Saturday, August 14, 2010
This picture and message of the humble John Owen was created by my friend and fellow Texan, Eddie Eddings. Eddie is an extremely creative and talented brother in Christ who runs two blog sites: one being Calvinistic Cartoons and the other is Facets of Grace. Both sites are amazing demonstrations of this brother's God given talents and are clear testimonies as to his love of Christ and the true doctrines of the faith.
This line of reasoning from John Owen was a key turning point for myself when I was wrestling with the doctrines of grace and reformed theology. By the time I came across this piercing question, I was already leaning very heavily away from my Arminian moorings, but it most certainly was the moment where the point was turned for me. As I read it for the first time, I felt as though I was awakened from a dream where I had been the center of my own universe - only to realize that it was only about God and His glory for which I existed. Some seem to resent this revelation, but for me it brought great joy. The freedom and peace which this truth provided me actually caught me off guard; it literally was an aspect of faith in God which I never experienced or even expected to. I knew that there were those who lived in a reality something like this, but I did not think that it was for the "average" Christian. I thought it was only for those special projects God had in order to do great things while the rest of the rank and file of Christianity were relegated to be content with something a little better than mere mental ascent.
So, I praise God for men such as John Owen and even Eddie, who are walking in obedience to the high calling and living lives which are worthy of the gospel.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Sunday, August 1, 2010
In the recent past, I have come to have a growing appreciation for the teaching of Pastor Tim Conway. In my opinion, he is able to take seemingly difficult passages (to me anyway) which seem to run contrary to the historic reformed position. Pastor Conway, to my understanding, is indeed reformed in his understanding of the scripture and holds to the doctrines of grace in any and all sermons I have heard from him via Illbehonest.com.
In this particularly long video (1:12:41), Pastor Tim addresses issue such as "shipwrecked faith", "departing from the faith", "swerving from the faith" and "enduring to the end". He focuses the majority of his attention in the book of Hebrews in order to illustrate these concepts. He seems to take a great deal of care to makes distinctions between falling from the faith, falling from grace and whether or not one can lose their salvation.
What he says here in this message goes a long way to reconcile some of the passages that appear (again to me) to be downplayed by some, if not most, reformed teachers which I have had the privilege to hear and learn. Admittedly, I did not grow up in the reformed tradition. I came to the doctrines of grace about three years ago with the help of a very patient friend, who came to these same doctrines two years prior to that. My concern is that I am too dismissive of anything that has even the slightest hint of Arminianism. However, as I strive to avoid the gross errors of my past, I also long to serve my Lord in spirit and in truth.
So, if you have the time to listen to this lengthy message and offer up any opinions on either this message or the ministry itself, I would greatly appreciate it.