Friday, August 15, 2008

A Cool Idea

I had a great idea on what to do with David when he goes maniacal with his autism and tries to grab me or do something gross to himself. I recite Psalm 150:6 and have him raise his hands.
"Let everything that has breath praise the LORD." Let him fill in the blanks. Look at what gets accomplished:
1. We learn a verse from the Word
2. We worship (I trust)
3. We edify ourselves and all those present
4. We gain strength to persevere through the problem with our eyes on God.
5. Eventually he keeps his hands to himself. Persevere. He will.

Spiritual Autism: The Puzzle Solved

I have noticed that a lot of spiritual and doctrinal problems result from something I call spiritual autism. This is characterized by an almost exclusive focus upon one concept or idea.
Satan tried, I believe, to get Jesus on the "spectrum." By attempting to get him to throw himself off the pinnacle of the temple, the devil wanted to get Jesus locked on to the one verse in Psalm 91: "He will give his angels charge over you, and they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot upon a stone." Jesus would have none of it. "It is written: Do not put the Lord your God to the test."
So we should not be surprised to face attempts by our corrupt flesh and Satan to lock on to a verse or part of a verse, as if all the theology we need could be wrung from it.
Let's see how it works:
Satan's attack--induce victim to conclude the day of grace is passed, that he is hardened beyond repentance, that God gave up on him a long time ago--so just live in despair and blame God.
After all it is written in Proverbs 1: 28. "Then they will call to me, but I will not answer, they will look for me but will not find me."
The Sword of the Spirit: "Today, if you hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as you did in the rebellion" (Hebrews 3:15). "Now God commands all people everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:30). Are you a people? You have his command. Repent.

SONWORLD VBS--The Power is On

My son went to SonWorld VBS at a local Lutheran church. I highly recommend the St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Montgomery, IL which sponsored it.
Joe seems to have enjoyed it. My wife questioned me about whether I could subscribe to a "Choose Jesus" motif, being Reformed as I am. No sweat. Choosing Jesus is our responsibility, and doing so proves he has chosen us.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Rebuttal to the Below Letter

The following is my reply to the letter written by the despondent person quoted in the previous post:
Are you loking for someone to mollycoddle you? No sale here. God really is everything you say he is, but I would have to say that you are in need of some smart perseverance, and a swift kick spiritually speaking. Get the Word in front of you. Cry out to God! Do so every day. Follow the pattern in Hosea. Leave all normal activities. Replace all of them with prayer. Look at the Ninevites. They all put on sackcloth and ashes, and God was moved to compassion. Remember, you are not changing God when you do this. God is changing you.
Yes, you are on the right track when you say Christ is glorious beyond description. Believe that to the point of cutting out your eye and your arm. Resist sin to the point of death--of course prayerfully in the promises of Scripture, and he will come to your aid in due time. Get others involved. Get their prayers. Confess sin to someone in authority. You probably are resisting God in some area, and this is what creates a beachhead for Satan in your life. At least you have the spiritual sensitivity to see it. Don't badmouth Edwards, et. al. for their insistence that we deal with sin before God can move. Your dealing with it biblically proves he is moving.
It sounds like you have some good experiences in your past that make you yearn for them. Do not give up. Remember the counsel of Desiring God's counselors. "Our prize is Christ, the image of the invisible God, and his fellowship is worth ten thousand lifetimes of struggle and doubt and barrenness." Fight on--but fight smart. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, and he will transform you.
Also, do not wrest Scripture from its original intention. God did not write the book of Hebrews to make people perpetually blue and hopeless. Sure, it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, but paradoxically, the fearful need not fear. Keep your fear biblical--by reading and meditating on Scripture--Old and New Testaments--and persevere with others who have the joy. You will be eternally glad you did--for His Glory.

Monday, August 4, 2008


Hi. I find myself in the undesirable position of lacking the regenerating work of God to become a believer. So here's what I believe:
1. I believe that assurance of regeneration is commanded, possible, desirable, and that Christ is glorious beyond description.
2. I believe that one cannot effectively live the Christian life without assurance, even as an unhired employee cannot claim benefits.
3. I believe in the full inerrancy of the Scriptures, all 66 books. I believe that the Gospel is the truth and the only hope for dying humanity.
4. I believe the lack of assurance is not in any way owing to malicious intent or a shell game by God. He's not messing around with us.
1. I do not believe all people can be fully assured as soon as they "pray the prayer." My wife would argue with me about this, but you have to have some fruit in attitude and action to confirm that.
2. I do not believe lives demonstrating no fruit are warranted to be assured by God.
3. I do not believe in a "set it and forget it" attitude toward one's relationship with God. Centuries of scholarship have gone into this. Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Edwards, the Puritans, John Wesley, Tozer, etc. all agree. It is not an invention of modern Reformed theology.
But for some odd reason, despite cries, prayers, effort, consultation, etc. spanning 26 years in the direction of God, I at this time have little or no assurance that I am his and he is mine. Life is an empty exercise, depressing in nature, filled with personal sin and inability to respond righteously, knowing the sweetness of the things others enjoy and take for granted sometimes. This only intensifies the sense of debilitating guilt and fear. I do not know why. I listen to descriptions of what true regeneration is relating to real repentance, but I cannot capture it. Worldly sorrow that brings death is the order of the day.
I have little inclination to go back to the world. They hold nothing for me. I know theology backwards and forwards, and know the world is a hollow, empty place--the city of destruction.
So I soldier on. Not willing to give up what is left or conclude I am an apostate. Motivated by fear right now.
Perhaps I am an heir apparent to these great things.
I know Edwards would say "Perhaps some way of sin is blocking you." OK, but how can you remove the block of sin if you are not regenerated? Your sin-fighting efforts will fail because flesh cannot overcome flesh. And if you do not believe, all your efforts are a hypocritical sham and unacceptable to God anyway.
Maybe your efforts do not meritoriously obtain the salvation, but merely evidence it, I don't know. Everything in the world and in the flesh mitigates against the availing pursuit of God, with a demonic energy sometimes. Add to that the Scriptures--about how God did not hear Saul, Esau, and abandoned Judas to the devil himself, the book of Hebrews "it is impossible" motif, and you have a situation that seems impossible from any angle to address. Maybe.
But you can't become a monk if you are married:) Its hard to believe that the way life is for me constitutes evidence of regeneration.