Life Theology

Do you avoid what is serious, controversial, and eternal?

This is an article from last year written by Greg Doyel of CBS Sports. Doyel writes about the so-called “anti-abortion” ad that Focus on the Family ran with Tim Tebow and his mother during the Super Bowl.

Basically, he wrote that it was wrong to run a 30-second “political” ad during the Super Bowl.  He writes, “Still, I don’t want to see. Not during the damn Super Bowl. And I’m not complaining about the ad because it’s anti-abortion and I’m not. I’m complaining about the ad because it’s pro-politics. And I’m not. Not on Super Sunday. If you’re a sports fan, and I am, that’s the holiest day of the year. That’s a day for five hours of football pregame shows and four hours of football game and three hours of postgame football analysis. That’s a day for football addicts to gorge themselves to the gills on football.”

Turns out, the ad really wasn’t about abortion at all. You can watch it here.

For a full disclosure, Greg Doyel rubs me the wrong way. He makes an the occasional appearance on a local sports talk radio show in Omaha, and more often than not, he’s rude and crude. The article brings out his true colors: the fact that he is more concerned about being entertained by football than talking about serious things.

My point isn’t to bash on Greg Doyel. My point is to expose an epidemic in America, and in the world at-large. The epidemic is that we want to avoid anything serious, controversial, and eternal. We want to make life a big Disneyland. I enjoy football, but football is not serious. It is not controversial. And it only lasts for four months of the year. Abortion is infinitely serious. It divides families and communities. And the decisions made regarding it will echo long into eternity.

Abortion is all that’s serious, controversial, and eternal. There are other issues. And until Christ returns, the epidemic that life is all fun and games will continue to spread and take millions of souls with it.


A Prayer from Tozer

This is the prayer at the end of chapter one of A.W. Tozer’s book, “The Pursuit of God.”  If I read nothing else from this book, this prayer would have been enough:

O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more.  I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, that so I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” Then give me more grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long. In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


Baptism and Fullness

John Stott’s Baptism and Fullness is a short, systematic theology of the Holy Spirit’s work in the life of the believer and the church at large.  It was first published in 1964 and since then, as we know, the Holy Spirit’s work has been increasing in interest and controversy with the surging of the Charismatic and Pentecostal movements.

It’s a short work, only 119 pages and four chapters.  Those four chapters cover the promise of the Spirit, the fullness of the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit, and the gifts of the Spirit.

On page 24, Stott talks about John the Baptist calling Jesus the “Lamb of God” and the one “who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.”  Stott then sums up the ministry of Jesus saying, “If we put [John 1:29 and 33] together, we discover that the characteristic work of Jesus is twofold.  It involves a removal and a bestowal, a taking away of sin and a baptizing with the Holy Spirit.  These are the two great gifts of Jesus Christ our Saviour.”

I thought Stott’s treatment of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit was one of the better I have read.  For reference, Wayne Grudmen would be someone who believes along the same lines as Stott does with this doctrine.  I won’t go into great detail, but here’s a few quotes that grabbed my attention:

The New Testament authors take it for granted that God has ‘given’ their readers the Holy Spirit (cf. Rom. 5:5; 1 Thess. 4:8; 1 Jn. 3:24; 4:13); there is no single occasion on which they exhort them to receive him (p. 38).

Never, not once, do they [the apostles] exhort and instruct us to ‘be baptized with the Spirit’. There can be only one explanation of this, namely that they are writing to Christians, and Christians have already been baptized with the Holy Spirit (p. 45).

In the chapter on spiritual gifts, Stott discusses which gifts are available for today.  He believes that the gifts of apostle and prophet are not available today, but does not even discuss tongues, miracles, and healings.  I was very surprised to say the least that he didn’t touch on these “miraculous gifts” at all!

With seven pages left in the book, however, he says, “Probably at things point something needs to be said about ‘tongues’, a gift much emphasized by some.”  He then said, “There is a strong theological and linguistic presumption that the phenomenon referred to in 1 Corinthians [and Acts 2] is the same” (p. 112).  I agree with Stott on this, but differ in that I think the languages spoken were languages known to the speaker and the hearer (this might shock you, but maybe I’ll address this in a future post).  Whether we see eye to eye on this or not, Stott rightly says that all the gifts were given for the common good and to equip the saints for ministry (p. 115).

This is a solid, thorough work.  I don’t agree with everything; however, I did find most parts very helpful.  The work of the Spirit can be very controversial (for whatever reason), but the most important thing that we, as Christians, must remember and commit to agree on is that everyone who receives the divine call and repents of their sin receives the gift of the Holy Spirit.  As Stott says, “This…phrase [in Acts 2:38-39] is a very clear and striking assertion.  It is that promise of the ‘gift’ or ‘baptism’ of the Spirit is to as many as the Lord our God calls” (p. 28).  Amen.


Why More People are Becoming Reformed

Read a great post on why more and more people (espcially in my generation) are becoming Reformed.