Saturday, March 13, 2010


“Every Christian is a theologian, not just academically trained Christians, … but every Christian. ... Part of Christian maturity is doctrinal sophistication…”
– William Lane Craig

Ephesians 4: 13-15: “…Until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the son of God to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro… by every wind of doctrine…”
Galatians 1:6-9: “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and turning to a different gospel, not that there is another gospel, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preach to you, let him be accursed …”
Titus 1: 9: “… [the elder] must hold firm to the sure Word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to refute those who contradict him.

The above quote and Scripture references are taken from a Sunday school lesson given by William L. Craig. I’ve been listening to Craig and others in online lessons/sermons as a means to broaden my horizons.  I really appreciate the theme of this particular lessons, since it admonishes that we should all be theologians.  Not that I am called to pastor a church, nor do I have any designs on taking over church leadership, but I do feel called to be as knowledgeable as any one of the pastors in my (or any other) church, since that is what God expects from me, from all of us who are Believers.  This is necessary so that I can stand on my faith and trust in the Lord rather than leaning on my own understanding.  I believe that the more I know of Christ, the more He will rule my life.  I do not want to negate prayer as I emphasize the importance of knowing sound doctrine. Prayer is an integral part of the life of a Believer, and I believe I am called to live a life full of prayer and study of the Word.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Romans Doxology

33Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
34“Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”

35“Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay him?”

36For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.

……………………………………….. Romans 11:33-36

I love how, in this doxology, Paul weaves together words from the Old Testament as he closes out one part of his letter and begins another.  (Paul has just been speaking on the grace and mercy of God who has ordained, justified, and sanctified the Saints but who has turned his back on those who will not have him.  Beginning in Romans 12, the message takes a new course—a lesson in living a life of worship and of love.) 

As I was reading chapter 5 of Book I in C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity, I was reminded of this passage.  When I looked it up, I read the whole of Romans 11 (for context), and had to stop and read, and re-read verse 32: “For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.”  It is with THOSE words ringing in my soul that I must read verses 33-36. It is with THAT verse echoing in my mind that I must read the much-studied, much talked-about Romans 12. 

For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all. ….. Romans 11:32

Therefore my brothers, in view of God’s mercy, offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, and you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, his good, pleasing and perfect will.  ….. Romans 12: 1-2

Monday, March 01, 2010


4Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. 5Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 6He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
…………………………………………………………………………. II Corinthians 3: 4-6

Recently, as I have been discussing with friends the work set out for us – the Mission of Jesus, the carrying forth of the gospel—we have been reminding each other of the truth we find in II Corinthians 3 and 4. That is, we are called to boldly, fearlessly, and selflessly spread the love of Christ to those who do not have Christ and to disciple those who call upon His name.  However, in talking about the mission, especially the practical aspects, we find ourselves feeling anxious at the uncertainty of what lies ahead and at the weight of what we are feeling called to do. 

It is in feeling this uncertainty that I find myself searching the Scriptures for words of instruction and even of comfort.  As I was reading tonight through the Scriptures referenced in Sunday’s message, I felt the need to post the passage above.  These feelings of inadequacy or uncertainty are mere reassurance that I am, in fact, woefully inadequate to the task—and how blessed that this is true, that I might put off the old self all the more readily and put on the new self, the redeemed self, the self that has been justified and is now being sanctified unto that for which Christ took hold for me.