Daily Post #85

Pietism in Less Than Five Minutes: Are you an evangelical Christian? Are you a Christian that cares deeply about faith on an individual level? Then it might be helpful to learn about a late 17th-century movement in Christianity that began in Germany. It is called Pietism. As Christians, it would benefit us greatly to know more about various thinkers, movements, and ideas of our history. We do not live in a vacuum; others have gone before us. Others have succeeded and failed. We can learn from them, reject where they erred, and embrace the good. Click here to learn about Pietism in only a few minutes.

Grading: Whether one likes to admit it or not, there is a significant level of subjectivity that goes into grading even when using rubrics that attempt to bring some objectivity into the process.

Purpose in Five Words or Less: What if you could only use five or fewer words to capture what God has put you on earth to do? Of course, there are duties that we all have as Christians, but I am talking more about your specific calling, or vocation. I have four in particular, although I will not toss them out here. So think about this. What has God put in your deep heart to do for him no matter what outward form it may take from one season to the next? Okay, so here is one of my words: 1. Teach

Toxic Youth Camp Messages: The message I heard time and time again as a teenager is that God had something HUGE for me. Everyone, including me, was supposed to change the world. But that is not true, is it? God does not have a HUGE plan for each person; instead, God has a special plan for each person. It is special and unique, but not necessarily “huge.” Some of us will touch a few lives, some a few hundred, some a few thousand, and some millions. But that is up to God, right? If we equate a meaningful destiny with quantity, then most Christians will feel like a failure. Besides, this is not biblical. But if we equate a meaningful destiny with God’s will that is rooted in a person’s specific makeup that God has bestowed to match what He has called them to, then EVERY SINGLE person can live a very meaningful and special life whether it is “big” or “small.” The “Everyone has a huge destiny” message is an Americanized version of a Gospel truth. And this results in what always results when humans get their hands on something that comes from God: perversion. Evil is perverted goodness; it has no origin of its own.

My First Two Books are 99 Cents on Kindle:

The Word as a Vehicle – This book is about how the Bible can help us encounter God and enjoy his presence, not just learn more about him.

Where Does God Go? – This book is about hearing God’s voice, listening to him as he listens to us, and living in such a way that God can also turn to us with his burdens and concerns.

They are short books. If you purchase and read, please leave feedback on Amazon and send me a message to let me know what you think.

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Daily Post #84

What is Universalism? It is a heresy of which every Christian needs to be aware. It is one of the worldviews that opposes the pure Gospel of Christ and can lead people astray. As Christians, we need to be able to detect and discern this view that is explicitly stated or implicitly suggested. This article can be read in 3–4 minutes and it does a great job contrasting Universalism with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Apostles’ Creed: This is something that all Christians can benefit from memorizing. Click here to read and I challenge you to memorize it. It is widely accepted across many different denominations and is a very concise statement of orthodox Christian theology. Also, on the right side of the webpage is a very, very brief explanation of its origin which is helpful.

Everlane: Looking for high-quality clothing that is ethically made? This is a wonderful company. You can read more about them by clicking here. While clothing that is ethically sourced is more expensive, it might be worth buying less so that when we do buy, it is not supporting companies that abuse workers in developing countries. I can do better. You probably can as well.

Daily Post #83

Gender & Sexual Orientation: When ideas believed to be true are not rooted in God’s eternal Word, then they resemble fast fashion. They come and they go. They are popular and then they are not. For example, gender used to be considered binary (two: male, female) and something that was congruent with one’s biological sex. In other words, it was considered fixed. But now gender has been untethered from biological reality and has morphed into something that is chosen. On the other hand, sexual orientation used to be something that one chooses, and now is viewed as something biologically determined. Granted, I will quickly admit that sexual orientation is something heavily influenced by one’s genetics. So how can it be wrong whatever direction it takes? The Christian worldview is robust and has a complex answer to such questions. Due to The Fall (the first sin), human nature became fallen (Original Sin), and nothing lies outside the scope of what has been affected by sin. Thus, it stands to reason that within a biblical paradigm even our physical bodies—including our genetics and biology—are affected and can result in immoral orientations that must be redeemed. So, what does culture say? Gender used to be fixed but now you can choose while sexual orientation used to be chosen but now is considered fixed. Which is it? What will it be next? Oh the pain (and cost) of not having moral absolutes. It is a topsy-turvy moral soup where one cannot find firm ground upon which to stand (ironically, Nietzsche picked up on this with keen insight). In the Christian worldview, God’s moral nature is the absolute and fixed moral standard. One doesn’t have to live on the ideological roller coaster that resembles fast fashion in the social and moral arena.

Aristotle on Friendship: There are three types of friendship: (1) ones based on usefulness, (2) ones based on pleasure, and (3) ones based on the virtue and admiration of the other. The latter is the only type of friendship that is really not based on self-interest although the self will no doubt benefit. Yet, who has the character and maturity to enter a friendship that is just as focused on the other person’s good as one’s own? Very few according to Aristotle. He writes: “Naturally, such friendships are rare, because people of this kind are few. Besides, they require time and familiarity” (Book VIII, Nicomachean Ethics). Who said that philosophy is not relevant?! Consistent with his idea that ethics is primarily about being the right kind of person rather than figuring out the right or wrong course of action (like deontological and consequentialist normative ethical schemes), Aristotle emphasizes character when discussing friendship as well.

While It May Lack Integrity, It Is Funny!