5.24.2004

Time is very sparse on doing all I like to do. I have been working an average of 11 hours or more on Wednesday's thru Friday's and partial Saturday's. I also have been doing sidework on off days to supplement our income. I have had no energy to write much less to expend on issues that really press on my mind. Life is good, because God is good. And that is Gospel!

5.03.2004

Thoughts on Theologic influences and consequences Part II

Another influence that has demanded much attention from me and is a source of great tension is systems of theology and Eschatology. There are men in my sphere of communion whom seems to me are undergoing radical change due to thier theological systems and their Eschatology. For those who are new to such terms as "systematic theology" and "Eshcatology" these are the terms given to define what the Bible teaches as a whole or it can also define what the Bible teaches in part. A Systematic Theology contains almost everything of what the Bible teaches in a systematic fashion (ie, What the Bible says about Angels, WHat the Bible says about Man, and What the Bible says about the last things or if I am correct the study of the last things or last days is Eschatology. If I have explained this erroneously somebody please correct me.
There are two systems of Theologic thought that are influential within the Church today that divide the body of Christ. The two that I am aware of and are ddemanding my attention are what is called Covenant Theology and Dispensational Theology. The consequences of either one are substantially different in terms of what the church's practice is and/or worship of the Lord. For example if you see the scriptures through a Covenant Theologic System than you will practice infant baptism and maybe also the infants partaking of the communion of the Lord's supper. And this is due to how one sees or rather presupposes on the scriptures to contain or work. Some presuppositions are warranted by scripture and others not. An Arminian presuppostion of what the love of God is and what the will of Man is are clearly without warrant from scripture, while the Calvinistic view is warranted and validated by what scripture teaches (I am certain some of contensions with that statement. Please do comment for the sake of understanding). Yet both of these two systems of Soteriology (study of salvation) are diametrically opposed to one another and for over a millenium in conflict and is a major point of contention in the church. Arguments for and against systems of theology are numerous and worthy of our endeavor to sort through I believe.
It is important to suspend are bias's derived from our traditional theologic upbringings and seek to verify whether they are Biblically warranted or not. For the sake of the unity and community of the body of Christ it is an endeavor worth are every effort in mental rigors and disciplines. If there is a distinct continuity between the Old and New Testaments (Covenant Theology) that inferrably demands that we change our practices in the worship and experience of God than I want to submit to those changes and views. I am sure that no devoted follower of the Lord Jesus Christ want's to live in direct disobedience to Him and/or in willful ignorance. That is why it is the duty of some to rightly divide the Word of God and with great care and "prove all things" scholarship seek to bring reconcilliation among the people of God and greater understanding on issues that are important and trivial. I am beginning to delve into these issues of theologic systems and so forth with the hope of finding some kind of conclusive tension breaker. Perhaps there will not be a breaker. The tension over theological differences has been with the church for a very long time. But at the least I would be able to come to a greater understanding of the issues and the consequences thereof and the benefit of them for the body of Christ in our pursuit of community with one another in Christ in, by and through His Holy Spirit.
(My intention in writing these consecutive blogs is to share my thoughts with you on what is often consuming my mind. These thoughts are in progression torwards greater understanding the more I discuss them with others and write them hear in this blog. It certainly is helpful to me. I hope and welcome your comments and or opinions. I seek to understand and know God as I am sure all of you Christ followers are too.)

One's theology surely does make a difference in one's life providing that the heart is engaged with the theology as well as the mind. I have seen one man whose life has been redefined by how he sees the life of the church and what it is to be in the church and/or what it is to be church. His church theology is engaged by his mind as well as his heart. His passion and interest for the community of the body of Christ and the bodies experience of Christ is very thought and heart provoking. His thoughts cause me to wonder and ask the question, "Am I missing something of the experience and presence of God in my life by how I see the church and how it is to function?, Does something have to change in what we in western culture see and know "church" to be and do?" What I have been hearing and experiencing are telling me that there is something missing and a change has been in progress and the change is not into something new, but rather into what it is supposed to be, and that is the original intention of the church's birth. These thoughts have been in my mind for sometime and I have not communicated them as of yet in a clear and distinct fashion but at the least I know this change has something to do with Community and the ever expansive liberating freedom of the Spirit of God and His people's worship of Him.

To be continued......