“Objective historic theology is Reformation theology. It is historical evangelicalism. It is historical orthodoxy.” So says John MacArthur (Charismatic Chaos: 32). If John’s lips are moving, there’s a good chance I don’t agree with much of what’s coming through them! The narrow and sectarian nature of that statement is appalling. But John is just following in the footsteps of his spiritual forefather, Martin Luther. Luther said that in the history of the church no one–not Augustine, not any of the Church Fathers–NO ONE other than himself–ever understood “pure doctrine.” He called everything before himself “great darkness.” (Table Talk: §530)
For those who might be interested to listen, here’s an interview with Steve Wylie on his podcast. I talk a bit about the influence (mostly negative IMHO) of Augustine in the formation of western theologies, and the possibilities of legitimate perspectives other than his. If you are happy in your Evangelical Protestantism, don’t listen to this one. It will just upset you. If you have begun to ask questions about things not making sense for you any more, you might enjoy this, and the crazy humor in the beginning. Steve interviews me about my migration out of mainstream Protestantism and we morph into some critique of Augustinian theology.
In this blog I explain (for those interested) why as of July 2015, Stephanos Ministries ceased to be a 501-C-3 corporation with IRS pre-approval of donations. For decades we were a 501-C-3, so what follows is surely not a judgment or condemnation on anyone who currently maintains that status. For years I believed being a 501-C-3 was a benign and mutually beneficial exercise of Christian liberty. I do not judge those who maintain that conviction today. However, in the light of recent political and legal trends in the world, I thought an explanation for our conviction and action in terminating our status might be helpful. Most believers I have met are very naïve and ill-informed on the “legal” aspects of operating a “church” or “ministry.” This is my attempt to inform and educate.
I am pleased to announce the release of our new book, How New is the New Covenant? – Discovering the Implications of Jesus is Lord.
2 Chr 7:14 is used by many as the pillar verse for virtually every revival ministry. The problem is, our definition and expectations of revival are often strongly influenced by our non-New Covenant thinking and theology, our religious culture, our political and social culture, and unresolved ego issues. This second installment in this series examines the difference between old and new covenant promises as it relates to our understanding and application of 2 Chr. 7:14 and our expectations of revival.
There’s lots of “hubbub” in the culture on the Noah movie. Here’s my contribution to the noise.
I think evangelical Christians that get all flustered on the Noah movie, just need climb off the wall, take a deep long breath, take their blood pressure medication, spend some time in a nice relaxing sauna, and go home and pet their dogs. There are far more important things in this life to give our attention to than a product of Hollywood.
Have you ever wondered why hundreds and thousands joined the early communities when it would cost them everything? Great grace, power, and fear were upon the ekklesia (church). We’re not too crazy about #3 these days-it’s not church growth seeker friendly. “None dared to join them,” doesn’t fit our “church growth strategies.” Yet even with great fear, people joined themselves. Why?
As I engage in different conversations with brothers and sisters around the world, and as I experience wonderful things I have never experienced before, things I thought I never would live long enough to see, there is a recognizable “theme” emerging in little pockets here and there . . . kingdom testimonies of a different order and quality than anything I have ever known.
The individual goal in this life is transformation into the image of Christ so that the life of Christ might be manifest in the earth. The goal is not “doctrine and Bible study.” Few things are more inoculating against the manifestation of the life and ethics of Christ, than listening to sermon upon sermon without any correlated obedience to the one we heard last week. It is like collecting coffee beans and believing you have a cup of coffee. We don’t. We have a potential cup of coffee.