Divergent is the word when comparing the Presbyterian Church in the USA (PCUSA) and the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). Consider these recent news…
In 1 Peter 4:12-19, the apostle reminds us that as pilgrims in this fallen world, we are not to be surprised, we are not to be ashamed, and we are not to doubt God’s faithfulness when sufferings come. This was how believers throughout history endured unimaginable sufferings.
Calvinism “offers a rock-steady deity who orchestrates absolutely everything, including illness (or home foreclosure!), by a logic we may not understand but don’t have to second-guess” and that “our satisfactionâ€”and our purposeâ€”is fulfilled simply by ‘glorifying’ him.”
Dr. R. Scott Clark, Professor of Church History and Historical Theology at Westminster Seminary in California, explains why the “Israel of God” is not national Israel, but the elect of God from all nations, Jews and Gentiles alike.
The one who had no blemish or defilement, who was perfectly obedient, and who was eternally faithful became our defilement, our rebellion, and our unfaithfulness to be offered as a sacrifice for our sake on the cross.
I’ve watched a few episodes of American Idol the last few weeks, especially the Final 36 competition. The three songs that I remember most were “oldies”: one from the 80s and two from the 60s. Two of the songs, “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted” (1966) and “Bette Davis Eyes” (1981), were deemed “too old-fashioned.” Read more and watch the videos too.
“We are the generation that will see the end times… and the return of Jesus,” Hal Lindsey wrote in the 1980’s. Like all false prophets dating back 2,000 years ago, from Montanus (150) to Melchior Hoffman (1533) to William Miller (1843-4), all of the current false prophets believe that ours is the “terminal generation.”
In 1564, a group of French Protestants (Huguenots), in order to flee persecution by French Catholics, landed near present-day Jacksonville, Florida, and set a day of Thanksgiving on June 30, 1564. Their leader, RenÃ© de Laudonniere wrote, “We sang a psalm of Thanksgiving unto God, beseeching Him that it would please Him to continue His accustomed goodness towards us.” Whether there was a Thanksgiving fellowship meal afterwards is not known; what is known are the tragic events that followed this joyful Thanksgiving service.
In contrast to Philip Yancey’s three qualities of an “alive” and “healthy” church – diversity, unity and mission – are the three marks of a true church – gospel, sacraments, church discipline – set forth by the Protestant Reformers.
In his new book “Christless Christianity,” Dr. Michael Horton says, “Jesus has been dressed up as a corporate CEO, life coach, culture-warrior, political revolutionary, philosopher, copilot, cosufferer, moral example, and partner in fulfilling our personal and social dreams,” but rarely as the crucified and resurrected Redeemer of a powerless people dead in sin.
Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, recently weighed in again, this time with a profound thought that “Beatles songs are as likely to explain Christianity as the Bible.” Essentially equating rock bands with the Holy Spirit, he says, “They [rock music] are able to open our imagination to a way of thinking about God that we’ve become deaf to in church language.”
Desmond Tutu writes in the foreword, “It is possible to have a new kind of world, a world where there will be more compassion, more gentleness, more caring, more laughter, more joy for all of God’s creation, because that is God’s dream. And God says, ‘Help me, help me, help me realize my dream.'”