Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Homeschooling Update

Since I took time to write a series of posts on educational options and announce we were going to homeschool this year, I thought I would provide an update from time to time. Our year is going extremely well so far. We still have everyone get up and ready in the morning. However, our morning family worship time has been far less hurried since we don't have to drive the kids to school. I am able to lead the family and then leave for work after getting good time in the Word and prayer with the family. We are super thankful for this privilege. Also, the children are working diligently at their studies and have a lot more time for reading and playing. They are loving it! I will say that homeschooling them in 6th and 7th is a joy for my wife. Homeschooling them K-2 was too much for her. It is going great so far. I would love to know how school is going for the rest of you.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Charismatics, Liberals, and the Haters

As a conservative who holds public office I have had many exchanges with liberals, particularly homosexual activists. I have heard a particular argument numerous times. It goes like this, "who are you to question my experience? My experience is true. For you to question it demonstrates you are an unloving, closed-minded bigot." I'm neither threatened nor offended by that argument. I have no reason to believe that the worldview upon which social liberalism is built has any other grounding than personal experience. There certainly is no place for an absolute truth claim.

What can be frustrating, however, is when a similar approach to establishing truth and debate with others is taken up by charismatic Christians. I have engaged in far too many discussions with charismatics who appeal to their experience and then argue I am some kind of close-minded, unloving, out of touch with the Holy Spirit, "putting God' in a box" rationalist for questioning them. The charismatics and those with a kind of godless worldview seem to have the same basis for their appeal to truth i.e. "I had this experience and who are you to question it. You clearly don't love well."

Enter Dan Phillips at Pyromaniacs. He has been bringing up several concerns with charismatic theology as of late. I largely share his concerns. Here is a list of 11 concerns he posted this morning:
  1. Prizing experience over truth.
  2. Unbiblical redefinition of prophecy to validate and legitimatize their experience.
  3. Unbiblical redefinition of tongues to validate and legitimatize their experience.
  4. Mistaking feelings for reality.
  5. Mistaking self-image for reality.
  6. Complete absence of Acts 4:16-level "gifts"-activity since the first century, endlessly rationalized.
  7. Playing host to (and providing cover fire for) the very worst false teachers.
  8. Avoiding Biblical assessment at all costs, and shaming any who attempt Biblical assessment.
  9. Effectively sidelining the Word of God.
  10. Promising the moon, delivering nothing but excuses, dodges, and blame-shifting — at best.
  11. Effectively relocating the center of authority from God's Word to internal feelings and experiences.
Please don't misunderstand me. I know some careful charismatic theologians and pastors. I love these brothers. I don't buy what they are pitching as a proper theology of the work of the Holy Spirit. Many of them engage the issue quite well. However, increasingly the average person I converse with avoids any engagement at all by claiming they are offended that someone even questions their experience.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Homework for Daniel 9 sermon

I love that I pastor in a church where the people are actually asking me for homework to prepare for the sermon. I am happy to oblige! I am going to post several texts of scripture to read through as you consider our text for this Sunday.

1. Daniel 9:24. Please read Hebrews 1:1-2; Hebrews 8; Hebrews 9:11-28; Matthew 3:13-17
2. Daniel 9:25. Please read Isaiah 44:28; Isaiah 45:1, 13; Daniel 8, 2 Chronicles 36:22-23
3. Daniel 9:26. Please read Luke 21:5-9, 20-24; Luke 23:26-49
4. Daniel 9:27. Please read Isaiah 42:1-8; Luke 22:14-20; Hebrews 9:11-28; Revelation 21

As you try to grasp what is meant by the 70 weeks, I would also recommend you reflect on Daniel 9:24 as the summary of what will occur by the end of the 70 weeks and read the following texts:

1. Leviticus 25-26
2. 2 Chronicles 36:17-21
3. Genesis 1-2:3
4. Exodus 20:1-17
5. Isaiah 61:1-3
6. Luke 4:16-21
7. Matthew 18:21-22

I will not use all of these texts in my sermon. However, I have been studying all of these and several more as I try to wade through what scholars call the swamp of biblical prophecy. Have fun sticking your feet into the swamp. I look forward to us diving fully into it this Sunday.