October 27, 2006

Agenda, Agenda, Agenda

Another book (Can We Rock the Gospel?) has been printed regarding the 'conservative' approach to Christianity's ties to rock music, however you define that term. Dan Lucarini, having co-written the book, now has two titles that bear his name regarding this topic.

There are several words that come to mind when I think of the typical 'right-wing' conservative, fundamental (whatever other adj. u want to use) position on music. One is suspicious. Another is stubborn. "Text-pushing" and "horrible exegesis and application" come to mind as well. My favorite and seemingly the most common is agenda.

Now, do I doubt the sincerity of these men? Absolutely not. I believe all the way to my core that they are seeking to help the body of Christ by fighting this issue. So, just to get it out there, I (as much as possible) appreciate what they seem to be trying to do. However, it seems to me that no matter the book or article that comes out, the authors are simply trying to "bolster" their position(s) on 'rock music' more strongly than the last time they composed. Why do I say this? No matter what the title or author (of those who hold this position), the premise, assumptions, and applications are always the same. These are a few:
  • All 'Rock' music is bad.
  • All music that sounds like or has association with rock music is entirely rock music.
  • The evil represented in the 'worst' of rock bands is equally represented by all music considered by the author to be 'rock' in genre.
My point is not that they are idiots. However, I have some problems with many of their 'assumptions.' (If you want to read more about the book in particular to see more examples of what I'm talking about, Challies.com has a great review.) Everything in their opinion is logical with premises that are undoubtedly Scripturally founded. I don't know if you've ever heard a presentation by a proponent of this view, but all the ones I have actually heard have been weak, with some even abusing Scripture. If you would like a sample, I can send you an .mp3 file of one.

I just wish this position was not so dogmatic on a position that is almost untenable. When you have to rely on science and history, and then wrap Scripture around the argument as a 'skin covering,' I don't see how you can be dogmatic. I'm not a post-modernist, but "where's the love? Where's the grace?"

But hey, "who am I?" right?

October 25, 2006

The Centrality of the Gospel and Romans 12:1-2 (Part 1)

On Monday, I had the privilege of preaching the power of the gospel as represented in Romans 12:1-2. A lot of Christians (especially the zealous-reformed type...) have been using the "Gospel" almost to the point where it is becoming a 'buzz word' where everybody 'knows what we're talking about, but no one can really define the term nor do they see its significance.' (Similar approach taken by Mark Twain in his definition of a Classic novel - "A classic is a work which everyone has heard of, but no one has read!")

Romans can be very intimidating! It is a very complex book. I do not suggest it for casual Bible reading early in the morning, unless you have a carafe full of a black brew steaming on the countertop. I had always seen Romans as a treatise on sin and righteousness, and those are dominant themes of the book. However, they can be the trees that cause us to miss the forest. Romans does begin showing the reader the sinfulness of man and his inability to please God. Beginning in portions of chapter 3 and especially in chapter 5, a ray of hope is given to the reader, who hopefully has seen that the righteousness of God has been revealed, and that it condemns him because of his sin. This ray of hope is none other than the Gospel of Christ. Paul spends chapters 1-11 developing the need for the gospel, the revelation of the gospel, and the explanation of the gospel. Chapters 12-16 develops the application for having received the gospel. "What should I do now? What does the doctrine dictate for me personally?"

As you view the book as a whole, it is very apparent that Romans 1-11 is the framework, with 12-16 serving as the swinging door. However, without the "hinges" of 12:1-2, the door does not 'work' These "hinges" show the relationship of the doctrine with the application. I would insert that you do not know doctrine if it is not affecting your life.

I want to assert that without Romans 12:1-2, Romans is 2 books having no direct connection. These two verses are vital to the cohesiveness of the work, but more importantly, they are vital to the Christians understanding of how the great doctrine applies to him personally in his life.

(Exposition and Application of 12:1-2 to come soon!)

Joys of being a student!

To my 3 loyal readers:

Forgive me for not having written in quite a while. In the last 3 weeks I have:

  1. Written a paper on the identification of the "rock" in Matthew 16:18 (15 hours)
  2. Written a sermon on Isaiah 24 (15 hours)
  3. Preached a sermon on Romans 12:1-2 (20 hours - Research, Typing, etc.)
  4. Travelled home and back. (Good ol' Rocky Mount)
  5. Discussed the blend of Biblical and Systematic Theology with a friend (1.5 hours - **I should've been doing homework...just for kicks)
  6. Become an associate member at Heritage Bible Church in Greenville. I am helping teach 2nd grade Sunday School there. I also am involved in the College/Career class there.
Having given almost every waking moment to school work almost makes me question whether I am spinning wheels or actually progressing. I say this somewhat in jest. However, I try to keep in mind that what I am learning is not what makes me. It is who I am growing to know and love that is transforming my heart to faith and obedience to God.

Just a 'blip' on the screen of eternity is my life. Knowing the futility of living this life for myself or to accumulate possessions is causing me to evaluate my use of time, money, and energies. Only the gospel is worth living for...and dying for!