Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Brain McLaren's new book

Tim Challies recently reviewed Brian McLaren's new book "Everything Must Change." In the review, he mentions countless dangerous ideas held in the book.

For those of you unaware, Brain McLaren is the leader of the Emerging Church movement. Also associated with this movement are prominent leaders and pastors such as Rob Bell and Tony Jones. This is a recent movement that is encouraging others to value relationships over Truth, and is also revamping the traditional view of salvation in Christ. I realize some of my readers are at least somewhat involved in this movement, so please tell me if I am being too subjective here. And I would appreciate any feedback.

Moving on to the book, Mclaren states that:
"With no apologies to Martin Luther, John Calvin, or modern evangelicalism, Jesus (in Luke 16:9) does not prescribe hell to those who refuse to accept the message of justification by grace through faith, or to those who are predestined for perdition, or to those who don't express faith in a favored atonement theory by accepting Jesus as their 'personal savior.' Rather, hell--literally or figurative--is for the rich and comfortable who proceed on their way without concern for their poor neighbor day after day."
Tim summarizes views on heaven, hell, and salvation with this:
"Rather than being eternal realities, heaven and hell become states we create on this earth as we pursue or deny the kingdom of God. Because Jesus' message is not one of sinful men becoming reconciled to a holy God through an atoning sacrifice, those of any creed can seek and participate in the kingdom. People of other creeds may well be participating in it more fully and more purely than ones who claim to be Christians. Men and women of all creeds can be followers of Jesus living out the kingdom of God even if they have never heard His name."

Wow!!! Tim sums up the book with this statement:
"It seems increasingly clear that the new kind of Christian McLaren seeks is no kind of Christian at all. The church on the other side of his reinvention is a church devoid of the glorious gospel of Christ's atoning death. It is a church utterly stripped of its power because it is a church stripped of the gospel message. McLaren's new gospel is a social gospel, a liberal gospel and, in fact, no gospel at all. This Emerging Church has managed to do something remarkable--it has emerged into something the church has already seen, has already wrestled with, and has already defeated. The Emerging Church has gone suicidal."

The reason I point these things out is not to create arguments for arguments sake. The Truth is a very sacred thing, and I am interested in knowing God and the gospel as explained in the Bible. Obviously, some might point out that I have a skewed view because of my theological presuppositions, or just by the fact that I was born in the late 21st century. But as I explained in a recent post, my pursuit and understanding of Truth is only further confirmed by the history of the church throughout the ages.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Billy Graham, C. Hitchens, and Woody Allen?

I found this info. from a great blog that I read called Looking Closer.

This short Time article shows how Christopher Hitchens, a famous atheist, had some unflattering words towards Billy Graham. The article states that Hitchens uses evidence that actually proves himself wrong. And it also shows what conviction Billy had in sharing the gospel as the Bible presented it, rather than conforming his message into what the itching ears of the masses wanted to hear.

Also, Looking Closer provided these two videos that were really cool.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Props to Evan

So, my buddy Evan McHugh played a show last night at Smith's Olde Bar in Atlanta and he get a pretty cool write-up from the AJC.
"Atlantan McHugh's "From the Second Chair" is a little marvel. If any major label A&R department heard this and passed, they should be flogged. The songs are smart and memorable. The musicianship and arrangements couldn't be more luscious if they were drenched in butter, recalling the best moments of David Gray and Damien Rice. But it's McHugh's swoon-worthy voice that steals the show."

Wow...I couldn't agree more. Especially the part about the butter.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Reading tips

I like reading a lot, as mentioned earlier. And I found this article of reading tips to be very helpful. In the article Tim Challies list 10 ways to read more books and to read them better, or as I would like to say, to read books more better. :)

I'll list the tips here, but check out the article for more info.
2)Read widely
3)Read deliberately
4)Read interactively
5)Read with discernment
6)Read heavy books
7)Read light books
8)Read new books
9)Read old books
10)Read what your heroes read

My personal favorite is #9, reading old books. As I've heard many people quote before, and as Tim points out, C.S. Lewis has a great quote that I live by in this arena:
"It is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between. If that is too much for you, you should at least read one old one to every three new ones. Every age has its own outlook. It is specially good at seeing certain truths and specially liable to make certain mistakes. We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period. And that means the old books.”

Monday, September 17, 2007

Improbable People

"God does impossible things through improbable people"

That was the message last night at the Gathering. It such an encouraging truth to me. I often feel very inadequate to do anything of worth towards advancing the Kingdom. But, the Bible's heroes are mostly men who were wretches and nobodies. It gives me hope.

This idea is also written all over books and movies. It's really what makes a good book or movie good. Well, here's a video made by my buddies James and Scott, in case you missed it last night, of several different nobodies doing impossible things. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Gospel

For those of you praying for me lately: Thank you. I got a fresh wave of grace this afternoon from His Word. Luke 23 states how Jesus tells Peter that Satan has demanded to have him that he might sift him like wheat. BUT, Jesus prayed for Peter, so that WHEN he returned, he might be able to strengthen his brothers.

Also, Hebrews 4 speaks to the rest found in Christ. He did all the striving. He was tempted as I am. Therefore I have confidence to go to Him with confidence to receive mercy and grace in my time of need.

Also, I found the following video to be refreshing. It's a new clip from Piper explaining the gospel in 6 minutes.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Asheville and such

Asheville was good this weekend with the guys. Good local beer, good reading, beautiful weather, and watching some great football games. (Doesn't Ethan's Fu Manchu look great!?)
More pics here

I'm digging Shane and Shane's new album.

And I read this Sunday. Good stuff.
"We are not to try to get in a position to avoid trials. And we are not to 'catastrophize' and declare the 'end of the world' when things happen. We are to see every event as an occasion in which the competence and faithfulness of God will be confirmed to us. Thus do we know the concrete reality of the kingdom of the heavens."

- Divine Conspiracy, Dallas Willard