Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The purpose of "The Full Assurance of Understanding"

This is a Greek scholar by the name of John Eadie who wrote on Colossians 2:2. A very interesting take, and he justifies it by the way the Greek is set up. I found this to be quite a nugget of truth and wanted to share with everyone else:

"that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself"  Col. 2:2 NASB

The full assurance of understanding” is the fixed persuasion that you comprehend the truth, and that it is the truth which you comprehend.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Obligatory Paper on Calvinism

There was a first part to this paper, but it wasn't that good and was only there because my class required it.  

Consistent Calvinism
This paper however, is not concerned with what Calvin may or may have not believed1 but with the goal of consistent theology. The author believes that one cannot throw out the doctrine of Limited or Particular Atonement without the whole system of Calvinism breaking down. As Lorraine Boettner put it, “Prove any one of them [the five points] false and the whole system must be abandoned” (Boettner 46) RC Sproul also agrees:

I think that if a person really understands the other four points and is thinking at all clearly, he must believe in Limited Atonement because of what Martin Luther called a resistless logic. Still, there are people who live in a happy inconsistency. I believe it’s possible for a person to believe four points without believing the fifth, although I don’t think it’s possible to do it consistently or logically. However, it is certainly a possibility given our proclivity for inconsistency (Sproul 142).

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Problem of Enoch: Articles and Sources

Main Enoch post
Hey guys! I have listed some of the main resources I have found helpful for the study of 1 Enoch. I am sure I will be adding more to it. I have sections for:              

  • 1 Enoch translations
  • Analysis
  • Jude and Pseudepigrapha
  • Early Church Sources                      ** = freely available online

Translation of 1 Enoch:

The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, Volume 1 - a collection of the OT psuedepigrapha including 1,2, and 3 Enoch, Charlesworth is the standard these days and incorporated much of the new manuscripts.

**Text of 1 Enoch with commentary - This is a standard translation of 1 Enoch by RH Charles, a respected scholar in the field. He has a great introduction and shows how the Jews, the Early church, and even how the New Testament parallels 1 Enoch. He then has a great commentary on every verse of Enoch. It is old though, and we have found more manuscripts of 1 Enoch since Charles, but it is freely available online. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

 "Faith, then, we say, we are to show must not be inert and alone, but accompanied with investigation. For I do not say that we are not to inquire at all. For “Search, and thou shalt find [(Matt 7:7)]"  

-Clement of Alexandria (150-215 AD)
Stromata Book 5, Chapter 1

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Religion vs Spirituality

This was a letter to an author of some articles on the church I had read. I agreed with him on a lot of points, it was just his definition of religion I was wondering about. Here is our correspondence: 


I really enjoy your articles. I have a couple comments though. I totally understand your hatred towards the institutions of christianity. But by equating the institutions with religion and then hating on religion I feel is a bit misdirected. Websters definition of religion from back in 1828 was:

1. Religion, in its most comprehensive sense, includes a belief in the being and perfections of God, in the revelation of his will to man, in man's obligation to obey his commands, in a state of reward and punishment, and in man's accountableness to God; and also true godliness or piety of life, with the practice of all moral duties. It therefore comprehends theology, as a system of doctrines or principles, as well as practical piety; for the practice of moral duties without a belief in a divine lawgiver, and without reference to his will or commands, is not religion.

The book of James defines pure religion as: Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their afflictions, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. -Ja 1:27

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Selection and Rejection of Early Religious Writings

Tim Wellings NT Canon - Armstrong
#554 9/29/11
Forgotten Scriptures – Questions Needing Answers

In his book, Forgotten Scriptures: The Selection and Rejection of Early Religious Writings, Lee Martin McDonald offers a very different perspective from traditional conservatives such as B.B. Warfield and the recently reviewed Brooke Wescott. However, though McDonald brings up similar questions to those of the Jesus Seminar, his conclusions would not be considered liberal, placing him between the two extremes that dominate the New Testament canon debate. McDonald’s thesis is stated on page 193: “The Scriptures that informed the faith of early Judaism (200 BCE to 200 CE), and early Christianity (first-third centuries CE) are not exactly the same as the Scriptures that inform the faith of Jews and Christians today.” McDonald offers convincing evidence to prove this statement from the fluidity of the Old Testament canon at the time of Jesus to the fluidity of the New Testament throughout most of the history of the church. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Brief history of the New Testament Canon

This was a book report for my New Testament Canon class. I used this book called "A General Survey of the History of the New Testament Canon" reprinted as "the Canon of the New Testament" by Brooke Westcott. You can download his book for free from Google books. Its a good introduction to the Canonization process throughout the history of the church. Enjoy:

I selected “The Canon of the New Testament” by Brooke F. Westcott. This was a good in depth background of the formation of the Canon through the years of the church. Westcott gave the early church the most pages, which is quite important with the understanding that the Canon at that time was quite flexible. Westcott's aim for his book was to present the canonization process through church history (Wescott vii). He showed that the individual books of the New Testament were not considered separately but claimed to be part of the Apostolic tradition of Christianity.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

My story

This was for my Missions class. Its basically my testimony and how I got to Washington:

I was riding home late at night on my motorcycle and life was good. It was a hot Texas summer in '08 and having just graduated high school I was ecstatic to be free! Suddenly, three deer bolted across the road. I was going about forty five miles an hour and I slammed on the brakes and veered off into the grassy side ditch. I was still in motion and going about thirty in the ditch. I narrowly missed a street sign as I angled back to the road. I remember thinking what a close call that was when a huge hole appeared in front of me.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Restlessness in Victory

Sometimes I feel like I am not doing enough. Like I am just here, biding my time until the end. I feel like nothing much has changed, like I haven't really accomplished anything. How can it be that I am destined for paradise? But then, God causes me to remember. To remember how I was – part of the world, and obeying the prince of the air. Living only for pleasure and myself. That is what God has called me out of.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

History of Womens Role in the Church

So to give some background about why this was written. It was for my Church History class, which is a random class for the subject of womens roles to come up. But during one of his lectures, my teacher mentioned almost as an afterthought that women were leaders in the early church. I felt the need to object and let the class know that my teacher was off. And, in response, I chose to do my oral presentation and end of the class term paper on The History of Womens Roles in the Church. Let me know what ya think!

Tim Wellings
The History of Womens roles within the Church

For the past two thousand years, the Church has been almost unanimous on this issue. There have always been people questioning the practice, but the Church has stood firm. It has only been in the last century or so that the Church has overturned her practice and gone against the word of God. I am talking of course of womens' roles within the Church. Before I get into it, I do want to stress that this is not a salvation issue, but one of sanctification. Yet while it is not a foundational doctrine, it is very important who God wants teaching His very word and His ways, and who He wants shepherding His people.

Laziness of the church and responses

The Question:

The disciples often had difficulty understanding Jesus because they already had an idea of who the “messiah” should be. Does this happen within the church today? What “political, social, or religious agendas from our culture have shaped how we understand Jesus’ kingdom?” (Burge p. 194, question 5).

My answer:

Heck yeah it happens in the church today! We may have inherited protestantism, a movement that stood up to the corruption of the church at the time, but we are now no different.

A glimpse of the African Church

This was from a fellow classmate of mine in NT Survey. Though I know there are many great things about the African church, here is a look at some of their struggles:

The Question:
The disciples often had difficulty understanding Jesus because they already had an idea of who the “messiah” should be. Does this happen within the church today? What “political, social, or religious agendas from our culture have shaped how we understand Jesus’ kingdom?” (Burge p. 194, question 5).

The disciples did have an expectation for a Messiah that they had "framed up" in their minds to suite their political, religious, and cultural perceptions.

It still happens today even within the Christian community.
Take for instance, Africa is a place where most cultures have generated a great fear and concern for activties regarding black magic, spell, witchcraft, charms, and potions.