Friday, August 24, 2012

A new look

There is a new layout system for blogger and I have finally gotten around to "updating." I know the new look is similar to the old look, but I try to keep things simple. I am open to suggestions on blog layout and such. Examples are great if you have them.

I am going to be working on a "series" as it were. Mostly because there are two aspects that need to be treated differently. That and together the two posts will probably will be longer than any given blog should be.

The first is how to deal with someone in a debate/discussion who refuses to claim or defend any position. Unfortunately this is found inside the church as well as a common tactic by non-believers. So it will have a section by itself since it is a more universal consideration.

A more lengthy second article is based on a recent discussion on abortion with a non-believer. It won't be a "blow-by-blow" but an evaluation of the arguments presented with the appropriate logical and theological issues those arguments entail. This one is a little more nuanced since we still must provide a good witness and argue a point we, at least partially, believe based on faith (which is something they don't recognize). This can sometimes be a sticking point to argue something well in an area partially outside of Christendom. It can be done, and I would argue is a form of defending the faith. I believe this is true because by showing our faith not blind devotion but a mind/body/soul interaction requiring thought and study, we defeat a common perception and remove a barrier. It also provides nice tie ins to lead to the Word, which is the desired end result.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

It seems fitting to quote Luther's Small Catechism on the "introduction" (it isn't named) to the Lord's Prayer: Our Father who art in heaven. What does this mean? God would thereby [with this little introduction] tenderly urge us to believe that He is our true Father, and that we are His true children, so that we may ask Him confidently with all assurance, as dear children ask their dear father. Luther's Small Catechism May all fathers emulate their Father in Heaven in raising their children. Also may all fathers emulate children asking God, their Father, for all help in their vocation as father.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Army of One

This is the recruiting motto for the US Army, but it fits our Lord during Holy Week. Here Christ, without armor, fights the toughest fight, the fight of all time. It doesn't seem like much perhaps- brutal but without major battles, swords, or battlefield honor. No- those are the things of the world. Jesus comes as his ancestor David came, without armor and "meager" weapons. Christ marches up to death, accepts the penalty for our sin dealt by the superpower of the time, and passes into hell. The war is now over in one swift stroke; but now comes the occupation by Christians. On Easter Morning Christ revealed the extent of the victory. It wasn't just victory over the Romans, the kind that the populace longed for. It was victory over the dragon and all his followers, including many elements of Rome as well as our own flesh. It was the better victory, by a better soldier than anyone can ever hope to be. Here is the model of a Christian soldier, fighting the demons who wage a guerrilla war. The demonic forces hope to eek out another small victory against the impending flood of Christ's return. Every hour they grow more desperate, knowing that at the time of His choosing is growing near and the rebellion will not only be over, but crushed forever. The Word lives. Christ lives again. Death and the devil do not. Hallelujah!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Compensating for our inabilities

God has done an amazing job at designing the human body. Case in point is when one has an injury that forces you to not use the injured body part, like a hand, leg, or arm. It is amazing how adaptable the human body is because it doesn't take long to be able to do a lot of the things you are accustomed to with only a minor inconvenience. This extends to those with life long infirmities or disabilities. They get along without them because they have to. And most manage fairly well. This human adaptability, a gift of God for those who would be in the fallen world, has another less useful function. We also tend to live with the infirmities that might kill us.

This extends to the flesh as well, or rather the part that is wholly sinful. It is certainly a challenge with evangelism to show others that they are sinful. This is especially true for those who have been Christian nearly all of their lives, having been baptized as an infant, and know nothing but the warm embrace of the Word. The world is used to their suffering, even embracing it. They don't know they are without God, and without the Spirit’s revelation, they wouldn't care. It hurts to work outside of your normal adaptations. Pleasure and vice are pleasing to the flesh; drowning out the nagging thoughts of failure and hopelessness. Without something to counteract the pull of habit and adaptation, the flesh easily rejects the Word and Faith. The flesh feels it can do it on its own. This is where the Law comes into play, beating the cruel reality against the adaptive mind and flesh, showing its inability to achieve salvation by its own works. The Holy Spirit also bangs away, revealing what God has done and does and will do all for the believers by faith. Some stop fighting the Holy Spirit, stop rejecting the gifts of God. Many on the other hand rage on, fighting the Physician who would cure their disease, preferring abject hopelessness. This warfare is the crux and basis of some evangelism opportunities. No amount of human preparation can prepare one for that type of warfare, but none needs to. This is God's fight- our role is simply to be the messengers of God bringing His life giving Word. God has no infirmities. We shouldn't try and compensate for ours when His Word does it all, and has been since before time.