Categories
church spirit

How To Become A Carnal Christian

I think that the usual take on carnal Christians is way off—I‘ve said that. A true believer that is indistinguishable from the world? Poppycock. Very often, they look like godly, righteous people who are teachers of the faith without some sleazy lifestyle.

I think we have Christians all over the spectrum: babes in Christ (from that other post too), those who are maturing in Christ, those who are caught up in a sin (and then perhaps being disciplined). Christians, at any point, can be called “Carnal” when they are being driven by the flesh—but that doesn‘t mean they‘re off committing adultery.  Though it might mean they applaud really stupid things when they should know better.

But how do they get there? I mean, what point does a person who is maturing in Christ start being so stupid that they prove they are carnal?

Categories
church human spirit

The True Marks of the Spiritual Man or Woman

Going back over my archives, I was reminded of an article from Milk & Honey: the Marks of a Spiritual Man by Bob Gesner. I remembered posting it (with permission) while planning t to interact with it.

Essentially the article highlights seven marks of a spiritual man: (1) hunger for God’s word; (2) dependency through prayer; (3) humility and obedience; (4) compassion for the lost; (5) longsuffering and forgiveness; (6) love towards the unlovely; (7) endurance and faithfulness. These seven marks are supported by various passages and are predicated on looking a certain way.

A hunger for God’s word is evidenced by daily devotions on God’s word. Putting away desires of the natural man evidences a spirit of humility and obedience. An overwhelming concern for the lost (like being moved in the spirit or weeping like Christ) is evidence.

Now, it’s great to encourage someone to read the Word and meditate on it—the Bible itself illustrates this in say Psalm 119, for instance. Unfortunately, I think the list winds up giving us a bunch of requirements that we all fall short of and, ultimately, can cause lost hope if we don’t cheat our way to attaining it. I find myself in agreement with the article where it says “most of us must conclude that there is much to be done in our spiritual life” but then don’t feel like I should be aiming to do anything. After all, I can’t.

Categories
apologetics history israel spirit

Increase Not Decrease: Examining John 3:30

Some years ago, I was at a house blessing with several Christians, an atheistic Buddhist, some agnostics, and some Hindus. The focus, said the Hindu priest was to realize that we were all part of the same faith. We were blessing the house by emptying ourselves and embracing what unifies us all, that which welcomes us all: God.

This upset me. I didn’t know what to say. I wish I had responded better than angry tears.

Categories
acts spirit

Modern Prophetic Fallibility

I am a cessationist insofar as all the gifts of the spirit are NOT (edit) in full operation today as they were in the early Church, but I am a continuationist in regard to “new” areas where the Gospel is being preached. I think that Holy Spirit purposefully functions in this capacity where the Gospel message is making inroads. I’m not putting this up here to justify some sort of circular reasoning but rather to qualify what I’m about to say as an argument I think continuationists should use if they’re going to want to push forward the idea that prophecy occurs today. So perhaps this opening should be read more as a warning: I don’t believe what I’m about to say, but I think it could be defended.

Categories
apologetics christ hermeneutics history scripture spirit the father trinity

The Author to the Hebrews vs. Kenotic Arian View of Scripture

Due to their opponents embracing a faulty anthropology, Evangelicals have often been accused of having a Docetic view of Scritpure. “Come now! Scripture is a human book,” their opponents say “and that necessitates error—not only because humans are sinful (a minor point) but because humans are finite and necessarily make mistakes!”

An obvious fallacious conflation of categories: why conflate bad breath and miscalculations with affirming erroneous beliefs—indeed, even morally wrong beliefs (which they may use examples as slavery, monarchism or patriarchies)?

Yet, this question about the ontology of a human as it relates to a human product cannot be so easily brushed away when one approaches the letter to the Hebrews. The author looks beyond the human author to establish all his arguments—and this refutes the Nestorian(1), or even Kenotic Arian(2), view of Scripture.