PIETAS

Matthew’s Spiritual Journey

Archive for May 2008

Studying TULIP

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John CalvinThis week, I am working through John Piper’s recent nine-part seminar about the five points of Calvinism or TULIP. The introductory first part, as well as links to the rest of this series, is available here. I have watched first five parts so far and greatly appreciated extensive textural analysis Paster Piper offers. I plan to post my notes after completing the series.

In addition, I am reading What We Believe About the Five Points of Calvinism, the 1985 booklet by Bethlehem Baptist Church Staff. I am grateful that Paster Piper’s ministry has made these lectures and notes available to wider audience.

In my Google search about Calvin and TULIP, I came across this article, “The Triumph of Arminianism (and its dangers)” by Keith Drury, which assets that “Arminianism has triumphed in the pew, if not in the seminary”. Below is an excerpt from its introductory section.

Jakob Arminius

The evangelical church today is basically Arminian in its approach. For now, Arminianism has triumphed and Calvinism is in retreat. I don’t mean that the Calvinist denominations have officially changed their doctrine. Most Calvinistic theologians have stuck with their five-points (see TULIP Calvinism Compared to Wesleyan Perspectives). But most of the ordinary people have drifted from traditional Calvinism toward the Arminian position. The average Christian today might claim to be Calvinist, but they function as a “practical Arminian.” While many Calvinist pastors still ascribe to the Calvinist shibboleths, in their practical theology, they are functioning Arminians.

My initial reaction? I said to myself that I need to do more research to verify this assertion. However, towards the end of this article, Mr. Drury writes something that does not make sense to me.

Face it, Arminianism is simply more logical. It makes sense to the person on the street. And today’s church is scrambling to make sense to unbelievers. We want to sound sensible, logical, rational, enlightened, fair. Arminianism is so much more appealing to worldly people.

Huh? Is the main point of Christian faith and theology being more logical, making more sense and appealing to people? Which verses in the Bible support this idea?

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Written by Matthew

May 6, 2008 at 11:08 pm

Faith of New York Rangers

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Look at these inspiring words I came across in The New York Times this morning.

The first thing we have to do is believe. If you don’t believe, you don’t have a chance. You have to believe and then everything is possible. When you start believing, it’s already happening. You just have to put the pieces together.

I risk reading too much into this but doesn’t it sound like part of a sermon about the role of faith for Christians? Perhaps inspired by the following Words?

Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. (John 3:18)

In my head, I even hear some echoes of Pastor John Piper’s extensive sermon series about regeneration.

So, who made such an inspiring comment?? Surprise! It was Jaromír Jágr, the captain of the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League, who was talking about what Rangers need to do in its Stanley Cup playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Mr. Jágr scored the crucial first goal during last night’s fourth game which Rangers won to avoid being eliminated in a sweep. The full article is found here.

Written by Matthew

May 2, 2008 at 2:12 pm

Matthew’s Shared Items

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I have added a new feature to my blog. Please follow this link to see news and commentaries I have read and found interesting. In addition, the box which is marked “Matthew’s Picks” on the right side of this page contains titles of most recent items I am sharing, which should allow you to jump directly to those posts. Behind the scene, I am using Google Reader to assemble these shared items and would appreciate any feedback (technical or editorial) you may have.

Written by Matthew

May 1, 2008 at 11:43 pm

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