Understanding the Apostle Paul

An Anabaptist acquaintance of mine, Kurt Willems, who is planting a BIC (Brethren in Christ) in Seattle has done a good series on the various perspectives on Paul. You can get out his stuff here:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thepangeablog/2016/04/11/study-paul/
Kurt writes:
We also have the challenge of trying to catch up on a theological conversation that has been going on for about 2,000 years. Augustine had an opinion or two which Luther [traditional view] built upon and the New Perspective rejected and the radical New Perspective has pushed even further. What I’m referring to specifically is the way that interpreters of Paul’s letters have framed his famous interaction with his heritage as a Second Temple Judaean in the first century.

Did Paul reject the Law as a mere custodian of God’s impossible standard until Christ came to offer righteousness by faith [“traditional” view]? In other words, is the Law opposed to God’s grace revealed in Christ–universally so.

Did Paul believe Torah practices were grace-filled for the Jews, but in order to include the gentiles, it was now time to tear down the specifically exclusive Jewish boundary markers (ie circumcision) to expand God’s family [New Perspective]? In other words, the Law is not about “works righteousness” but core elements of it are exclusive to Jews, so those things have now been relativized in Christ so all can equally be included.

Did Paul himself remain Torah observant and uphold the Torah for Jews, but use negative rhetoric about the Law to persuade the gentiles that they need not become Jewish to be included in the covenant with God [Radical New Perspective]? In other words, there are two paths (a Jewish path and a gentile path [Christ]) to enter the single covenant of God.

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Truth Bomb

I would repost almost everything from the Babylon Bee - a Christian version of the satire news "The Onion". After 12 Years Of Quarterly Church Attendance, Parents Shocked By Daughter’s Lack Of Faith April 7, 2016 null This one is powerful: http://babylonbee.com/news/after-12-years-of-quarterly-church-attendance-parents-shocked-by-daughters-lack-of-faith/

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If You’re Interested in Learning About Speaking in Tongues

If you're interested in learning about speaking in tongues I highly encourage you to read: Speaking in Tongues: Jesus and the Apostolic Church as Models for the Church Today Paperback – March 10, 2016 by Robert Menzies (Author) And then my thesis ;-) -Shel

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The No-Touching Zone US-Canadian Border

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/06/07/canada-us-border-video_n_3402435.html

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Yes Im Still ALive

Have not posted regularly because Im trying to finish my doctoral thesis. I have been approved as a candidate for the DMin at United Seminary. I have completed all course work and a medium project. Now I am working on the final deal. Prayers are appreciated.

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Craig Keener – It Young Earth Creationism Biblical?

Craig makes some great observations in this article. I was discussing some of these myself the other day with one of our elders. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/craig-s-keener/is-young-earth-creationism-biblical_b_1578004.html?fb_action_ids=1545716955725842&fb_action_types=og.likes Even self-identified evangelicals, who tend to read the Bible more conservatively than most other groups, do not speak with a unified voice regarding the process of creation. Clearly, young-earth creationism, which argues that the world was created in six 24-hour days, is widely promoted on a popular level. Less publicized is that a large number of evangelical thinkers prefer a different range of options. Let me briefly survey some options before turning to Genesis. For example, like many other evangelical scientists, Francis Collins, former director of the Human Genome project, affirms evolution. A 2009 Pew Forum poll suggests that roughly a third of evangelical Protestants agree. More surprisingly, this approach among some evangelicals did not originate recently. For example, one of Darwin's leading U.S. defenders in the 19th century was a committed evangelical. Harvard biologist Asa Gray, featured on a U.S. postal stamp in 2011, never persuaded his friend Darwin that evolution displayed divine design, but Gray defended evolution. Some prominent evangelical theologians today (such as Alister McGrath) support evolution, but even late 19th- and early 20th-century conservative theologians such as Calvinist B. B. Warfield and Baptist A. H. Strong allowed that God could have used evolution as a mechanism of creation. More surprising is William Jennings Bryan, the Democratic politician known for arguing against evolution in the famous 1925 Scopes Trial. He allowed for the universe to be very old, viewing the six "days" in Genesis as longer eras....click the link above to read the rest.

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Micah J Murray: We Need to Talk About Sexual Assault

We Need to Talk About Sexual Assault by Micah Murray.

Shel here. Micah's post is a hard but important read.

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What is Open Theism?

http://godisopen.com/what-is-open-theism/

"Open Theism is the Christian doctrine that the future is not closed but open because God is alive, eternally free, and inexhaustibly creative.

Furthermore, the Biblical Open Theism belief is that the Bible depicts God as God truly is. The God of the Bible is truly loving, powerful, righteous, faithful, vengeful, relational, and desperately beautiful. God raises up nations and destroys them (Isaiah 40:23). God is heartbroken by rebellion and exacts retribution (Genesis 6:6-7). God pleads with His people to return to Him and attempts everything He possibly can to make them love Him (Isaiah 5:4). God is nauseated by heinous sin (Jeremiah 19:5). God forgets His people’s sin for God’s own sake (Isaiah 43:25). God feels scorned and rejected when we abandon Him (Hosea 1:2).

But most of all, God is love (1 John 4:8). God so loved mankind that God made us in His image (Genesis 1:26). Imagine the God of the universe making lowly man into God’s own image! The picture is beautifully breathtaking. God created man for a love relationship! All God’s actions point to God’s love, even His vengeance. God desperately wants man to love Him and will go through extreme lengths to make it happen.

God describes Himself as relational and powerful. God can do everything; God can test people and learn that people love Him (Genesis 22:12), God can listen to new songs (songs WE(!) write for Him) (Psalms 33:3), and God can perform new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17). God even explains His relationship to mankind in the most loving way; God states that He will stop judgment against a nation if they repent (a judgment God “thought to bring upon” the nation)( Jeremiah 18:8). Amazing and righteous! God thinks He is going to destroy a nation, but repents based on human repentance. We see this wonderfully illustrated in Jonah, where the most wicked people on Earth repent and then God does not bring upon them “what He said He would bring upon them” (Jonah 3:10)." More at: http://godisopen.com/what-is-open-theism/

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