Monday, April 25, 2005

The Music is Reversible

At the heart of the debate between the Covenantal and Dispensational views of the covenant(s) is the argument of continuity or discontinuity from Old to New Covenant. Covenant theology stresses continuity and dispansationalism stresses discontinuity.

Yet, in the area of music in the church, they quite often switch positions. The hard core covenanters often hold a "biblical" position limited to the singing of psalms alone, a cappella, completely ignoring both the instruments used in the psalms themselves and the "continuity" that would invite their heavy use today. Dispensationalists on the other hand often sing only "spiritual songs", citing the New Testament reference as replacing the Old way, yet use every instrument that makes a sound (without reference in the NT for validation).

So much for systematic theology...

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

A Hard Saying

"You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life." John 5:39-40.

Harsh words from our Lord to those want to know all about Him, but not know Him. Yikes, I better read my bible more.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Dangers in being Reformed

I've come to realize that there are some dangers in being "Reformed," and that these dangers are quite widespread. One pitfall can be found in the term "Reformed" itself. The word is in the past tense. It also indicates completion. And quite a few Reformed folk act that way, me included of course.

You see, this is the attitude that says, "all doctrine that we ever need to know was already figured out by a bunch of 400 year old dead guys. Oh, and we've arrived." We can be stuck in the past with blinders on as to the present... and to the future as well. Of course, everything and everybody can be judged in black and white by that completed knowledge. We wrench the Protestant Reformation, and its reactionary doctrines (they're not necessarily a bad thing), out of its medieval context and apply it equally to all times and all cultures. Not Reformed? Well, then, you're a suspect.

It seems that of all the doctrines "recovered", revealed or invented during the Reformation, the doctrine of semper reformanda, that is, "always reforming", is one of the most neglected in today's Reformed church. The Reformers themselves were humble enough (in this area at least) to realize that they didn't have the final word on everything. To think that they had reached finality in doctrine would have been to become as the very Rome they protested against.

The church needs to move forward in its doctrine and practice. To fail in this is like wrapping your talent in a hankercheif and burying it in the ground. And we all know what Jesus had to say about that.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Theology - Likes & Dislikes

Here are some of my likes & dislikes (or beliefs & disbeliefs):

Likes: The priesthood of all believers, decentralization of church government, the Berean spirit, private interpretation of Scripture (clarification: the duty to privately interpret the truth from Scripture as opposed to coming up with a private interpretation), 24/7/365 Christianity, moderation in consumption of alcohol etc.

Dislikes: Legalism, lording it over the sheep, institutionalization of the church, "corporate mindedness" within the church, pessimistic view of Christ's kingdom, hyper-spirituality.

These are some of the things that will form the basis for my blogging here on "From the Pew."

Monday, April 11, 2005

Why "From the Pew"?

Well, I'm in. Just getting my toes wet. My first blog post.

So why have I named this blog "From the Pew"? I'm not a pastor, seminary graduate or professional theologian, and am not currently a church leader or office holder. Just a regular dude sitting in the pew... with plenty of opinions about how we moderns "do church."

It seems that the ones "in control" make, and have always made, all the rules, biblical or not, and maybe it's time for a change. I seem to read my bible a bit differently than those systematically trained in who knows what.

My aim is to get Christians thinking about what they do and why. So, here's some theology "From the Pew."