And a lawyer stood up and put [Jesus] to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live” (Luke 10:25-28).
The lawyer’s question is very straightforward – it’s about salvation.
A few weeks ago, a dear lady in our church asked me to consider teaching a series on cults. After giving it prayerful consideration I decided instead to teach a series on the development of Christology in early Christianity. I divided the series into four presentations: (1) Early Jewish Developments; (2) Early Greek Developments; (3) Athanasius vs. Arius: The Nicene Controversy; and (4) Chalcedon: Two Whats in One Who. I was surprised by the reception. Everyone was intensely interested in the material.
Pentecostalism and sacramentalism are not mutually exclusive. By its very nature Pentecostalism is sacramental. Sacramentalism suggests that God mediates salvific grace through material means. The Pentecostal doctrine of baptism in the Holy Spirit with the initial physical evidence of speaking in other tongues provides the paradigm for Pentecostal sacramentalism.
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance (Acts 2:1-4).
This post is offered as an answer to many responses to my previous blog – Jesus vs. Religion. Many who are sympathetic to Jefferson Bethke’s poem suggested that his message was a reaction to “man-made” religion. Again, I am sympathetic to the poem, and my brother is undoubtedly a very talented and dedicated believer. But I remain troubled by the poem’s contradictions and naïve theological assumptions. So, let’s discuss the essential nature of the Christian faith.
This video has become “viral” and speaks to the heart of many. While I am somewhat sympathetic to the message, I find it to be uninformed and naive. Before I offer some correction to the message, let me state that this is not an attack upon this young man (Jefferson Bethke), or even a rebuke. Instead, I simply seek to offer some “fatherly counsel.”
A friend recently asked, “Could someone define the ‘old time way/religion’ to me?” My friend is a long term pastor with a heart to reach the next generation and is struggling with a cultural “tug-o-war.” Of course, he is not alone.