Matthew’s Spiritual Journey

Posts Tagged ‘Theology


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I began my spiritual journey after I studied these mysterious words of utmost importance from Yeshua which stumped even well-trained Nicodemus.

Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:1-8)

I am thankful for the Lord’s merciful grace in opening my heart and mind to receive His message with joyful submission, as Paul reminds me in his letter to TItus.

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Written by Matthew

September 27, 2008 at 12:33 am

Posted in Religion

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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?

Written by Matthew

May 6, 2008 at 11:08 pm

God’s Two Wills

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Last night, I finally had a chance to read John Piper‘s article entitled “Are There Two Wills in God?” which Susan pointed out to me almost a week ago. This work from 1995 focuses on the theological subject of election as its subtitle [Divine Election and God’s Desire for All to Be Saved] suggests.

In my shallow first reading, I found the idea of hierarchy or rank order of God’s wills (to fearlessly coin a phrase) to be most beneficial, although I am not sure whether such a reading is an accurate portrayal of Pastor Piper’s thoughts. At any rate, this insight allowed me to construct a preliminary framework to think more clearly about the nature of unconditional election which remains the most challenging doctrine (at least for me) among the five points of Calvinism.

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Written by Matthew

April 28, 2008 at 4:29 pm