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Archive for October, 2008

Do so now.

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Our pastor, Sam Gage, wrote this overview passage and then read it in two parts during this week’s morning service:

Sadly, modern Christians are absolutely clueless about a significant period of time called the Reformation. If you ask most Evangelical Christians today whether they were Catholic or Protestant, they would know just how to answer the question and say without much thought, Protestant. Although they would know that they weren’t Catholic, they would not be able to give a good answer as to what it means to be Protestant. “So, what is it that you are protesting?’ you might ask them. The brave might respond, “the Catholic church.” It would become painfully obvious that these protesting “soldiers” were unaware of why they were in battle and unsure of whom the enemy really was. The term Reformation is the historical name given to a period of time beginning in the sixteenth century where a cry went forth in Western Europe. All agree that the starting gun of the Reformation was Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses to the church door at Wittenburg, Germany on October 31, 1715. The second large body of commotion started in Switzerland by John Calvin in Geneva. The later large movement in Reformation centered not on an individual, but rather a group called the Anabaptists. Lastly, a fourth major movement in the Reformation was the counter attack mounted by the Catholic Church in response to the success of the Reformers. These events encompass a period of roughly two and a half centuries during the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries. The reformers unanimously circled their wagons around 5 truths:

  • Sola Scriptura
  • Solus Christus
  • Sola Gratia
  • Soli Deo Gloria
  • Sola Fide

Perhaps no other Sola caused as much turmoil during the Reformation as Sola Fide. It was the very doctrine that prompted Martin Luther in his 95 theses to challenge the Catholic position of indulgences. He had heard a sermon preached by a Catholic clergy which appalled him by its crude theology and materialism. Upon returning home, he drafted the theses and posted them October 31, 1517 on the church door at Wittenberg. Subsequently, the Catholic Church condemned Luther’s writing and wrote an order to have his worked burned. In response, some followers of Luther burned the order. Luther became a prolific writer and composed a number of works that refuted not only indulgences but established the reformational position of Sola Fide.

The Catholic position in opposition to Luther’s Sola Fide was that the grace of God was poured into us and made us able to do good works that make us fit for salvation. It was taught that only by our will cooperating with grace and producing good works was the sinner able to merit salvation. Justification to the Catholic mind was then a process, not an event by declaration.

In evaluating the Scriptures teaching on Sola Fide, we see that the righteousness that the justified sinner stands in is not the works which by performing he has merited grace. Rather we see that the only efficacious righteousness that will save us is being clothed with the righteousness of another—the righteousness of Christ imputed to us.

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Forty-thousand people per week cram into the former Compaq Center in Houston to play church with Joel and Victoria Osteen and all of America is exposed to their weekly TV broadcasts. What is preached from that place called the prosperity Gospel: if you do pray and do good things, God is going to reward you, or Christian Karma if you prefer. Millions have been suckered by the pretty faces.

Hooray to Newsweek for a great mini-editorial (short read) about Victoria Osteen What’s God Got to Do With It?

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…in that we can create and then in turn appreciate creations. This is not high art but it is fun art.

I am so thoroughly unartistic, but so glad to be able to witness when creativity and talent are pieced together by someone with a whole lot of free time on their hands.

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St. Crispan’s Day Speech from Henry V (Shakespeare). St. Crispan’s Day is October 25th.

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Matt Whitling says that because of the general disinterest in the topic and the advent of technology, “this is becoming an increasingly easy question to answer.” He states that classical, Christian schools should continue to work hard on handwriting and maintain “an attentiveness to aesthetics that is not anywhere else.” We should “continue to devote time to teaching [our] kids to create beautiful words as they are young and learning to write” so that we can make a key point of distinction from the world by the example of our “neat, clean and graceful handwriting.”

[from Grammar School Christian Worldview lecture from ACCS 2008 conference]

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Maybe the best video I’ve posted.

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