All in systematic theology

A Wedding, A Bishop, and Christianity in the 21st Century

As I was getting ready for commencement, I watched another ceremony that captured much of the world’s attention—the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Megan Markle. Nobody does ceremonies like the British Royals. And this one mixed hundreds of years of tradition with icons of popular culture. As the ceremony progressed, cameras panned across a crowd that featured a who’s who of world famous celebrities.

But what grabbed my attention was the sermon.  

A Devil of a Dilemma Part 2: Why Angels are Immortal and Humans are Not

In A Devil of A Dilemma: Part 1, we examined Revelation 20:10 honestly and cogently, but many were not impressed or satisfied with what we termed a sort of “modified conditional immortality view.”  In truth, that is not a particularly good name since there is nothing actually modified about it per se, it merely states the main assertion of conditional immortality in plain language and follows it to its logical conclusion. 

"What is Theological Fragmentation?" A Four-Part Leadership Series Pointing the Church Forward

At the 2017 ERA annual meeting, President Steve Brown of BICS presented the idea that the major barrier to unity within the Advent Christians is “theological fragmentation.”  The major proposed solution, assuming one accepts the premise, was a call for a hermeneutical reformation (a la Kaiser as exemplar) to reinvigorate and reestablish basic, core, essential principles of interpretation in hopes of gaining unity of mind together. 

Hold on Tom and Corey...I want to go on vacation!

Corey McLaughlin and Tom Loghry have levied some heavy charges over the last couple of weeks. They have indicated that it is our responsibility  as Advent Christians to hasten the Second Coming of Christ. I want these good and well meaning servants of Christ to know this…I’m not ready for that.  I certainly want Christ to return, but can’t he wait until I’ve gone on vacation first?

The Dawn of Neo-Adventism?

The title of this article is punctuated with a question mark because of the embryonic stage at which it is being put forward. In his latest two-part series, “Advent Christians in the 21st Century”, Corey McLaughlin has set before us what is in my estimation one of the most pivotal reflections on Adventism in late Advent Christian history. Conditionalism has dominated Advent Christian identity in the latter part of our history, but McLaughlin has reminded us of our other hand, in fact what was once our dominant hand, which is our Adventism.

Advent Christians in the 21st Century Part 1 - Looking Back

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards,” says Søren Kierkegaard.  This is all the more crucial for the new generation of Second Adventist leaders as they ponder the four stages of social movements and apply them analogously to our denomination, noting that we are currently in the final stage of decline and therefore soon failure.  The grave is dug, the tombstone is written, but the body has yet to fall.  Is there yet still vibrant life in this mortal frame?  In order to understand who we are, we must first look back:    

Tweaking Tim Keller's Tweet

Early yesterday afternoon, Tim Keller sent out a tweet that set Twitter ablaze with controversy. Keller tweeted, “Jesus didn’t come primarily to solve the economic, political, and social problems of the world. He came to forgive our sins.” Accusations immediately began to pour in that Keller was claiming that Jesus does not care about social justice.

A Q&A Review of Biblical Authority After Babel: Retrieving the Solas In the Spirit Of Mere Protestant Christianity – with a personal response from Dr. Vanhoozer.

So, all the book reviews I read are either summary and analysis types which can get too involved or interview the author types which can meander too much, but it occurred to me that it would be nice to have a Q&A review that gets to the meat and potatoes of an author’s premise and gives a taste of their core assertions.  Then again, it is me writing this so it may be both too involved and too meandering!  Note:  Dr. Vanhoozer’s personal responses are in the last two questions if you are interested (basically the ones I could not confidently figure out on my own). 

The Gospel: Dealing with the Pharisee’s Carcass

Keeping the Gospel in front of you daily is even more important than making sure you eat three square meals a day.   Continually reminding yourself of your standing before God in Christ is essential if you are going to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ in such a way as to render loving obedience to Him.   All our striving to live according to the Law of God apart from a functional faith in the Gospel is both frustrating and fruitless.  

A Reformation Meditation on Solus Christus: Inadvertent Attacks by the Church? (4/4)

But our God is no mere object to be worshipped, He is a subject, a someone, The Someone, the Hero, the protagonist of the greatest story ever told.  He is active, not passive, close not far away.  He moves and we are moved.  He pours out His grace, and we receive and return it back with praise. Theologian Marva Dawn captures the picture well, “The gifts of worship flow from God the subject and return to God as the object of our reverence.”[2] 

A Reformation Meditation Series on Solus Christus: Attack On The Sufficiency Of Christ (2/4)

 Within the context of the Reformation each sola affirms something and denies something else.  The final authority of the church is sola Scriptura (by Scripture alone) rather than tradition.[1]  Salvation comes sola fide (by faith alone) rather than by a combination of faith and good works,[2] as well as sola gratia (by grace alone) which excludes any and all human effort or cooperation, in solus Christus (Christ alone) as the only mediator of that grace rather than penance, sacraments, the Priests, the heavenly Saints, or Mary, all to and for soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God alone) rather than man.

A Reformation Meditation Series on Solus Christus: Martin Luther & Solus Christus (1/4)

The first time Martin Luther thought he was going to die he cried out, “O, Mary help!”[i]  The second time, only a few years later, during a mighty thunderstorm he fell off his horse and screamed, “Save me, St. Anne, and I’ll become a monk!”[ii]  Years later after washing in the cleansing waters of Gospel grace and drinking the living water of Gospel life thus truly becoming born-again he would launch the Protestant Reformation.  In one sermon he would reflect back soberly saying, “St. Ann was my idol.”  He told the congregation the despicable truth of the human heart is that “it is easier for us humans to believe and trust in everything else than in the name of Christ, who alone is all in all…”

Coming and Going: a Theological Vision for Advent Christian Mission

Before I get on with what I am about to write, I want to first dispel any narrow association that might be assumed in my use of the word “mission”. Very often when we hear the word “mission” we think “missions”, and more specifically “foreign missions”. This is to be expected since the sort of talk in our churches that typically involves words that sound like “mission” are usually in association with short-term missions trips and supporting foreign missionaries.

The Advent Christian Statement of Faith

We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God. (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21)

We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19)

We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory. (Philippians 2:6-11; 1 Peter 3:18; Romans 5:9; Matthew 26:64)

10 Problems with “No Creed But The Bible” 

Is “No Creed but the Bible” actually faithful to the Bible? It is a simple question that can spur a lot of debate, but it is worth asking and trying to answer so that our churches and the denomination as a whole can become biblically stronger, healthier, and more unified. Here are 10 reasons we should pull a Frozen and “Let it go!” (If I had hair, I’d sling it back while I sang the song, but you will just have to imagine that for yourself!).