Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A New Reformation Day

Carla posted a very thought provoking list of questions for this Reformation Day. Here are some of my thoughts:

1. Does the evangelical church really need a new reformation?
What's an "evangelical?" In other words, yes!

2. If it happened, where would it start?
Wherever God wants it to ;-) Actually, I think it would start from the ground up. Meaning, it starts with individual Christians recovering the centrality of the Word in their own lives, and it involves putting off those sins and traditions which are counter to God's truth and putting on those things which befit the child of God and the Kingdom. This would affect our churches, and then it would spread to other churches and ministries and institutions from there.

3. What would happen to the book publishing/Christian music/retail industry, as a result?
Well, there would be a greater awareness and push for truth and integrity in those areas. But I would say that there would still be bad literature and music, and there would still be those in it for dishonest gain. The demarcation between the true believers and the false ones would be even more clear. There would be people wanting to get back to expository, exegetical study. They would read the Puritans and current solid teachers (MacArthur, Sproul, White). As for music, there would be a thirst for songs that actually make us think and that, horror of horrors, even convict us (Keith Green, Steve Camp)! There would also be more psalms and Biblically based hymns (Indelible Grace, Red Mountain Music).

4. How would major Christian conferences be affected, if at all?
They would be Biblical, not only in substance but in demeanor. Take the recent A&O cruise, for example. It was solid exposition of the text of Scripture. And it was not only taught, but it was applied. It was not only applied to us as individuals but it was used as a means to better give an answer to those who ask about the hope within us. As far as demeanor, there would be greater focus on Christ and His Kingdom rather than on ourselves and our own self-promotion. Also, there would not be such a dichotomy between "the conference week" and "returning to the real world." You have a bunch of Christians together at once, and like it or not the world is watching. Conferences are not a break from our witness, but rather they (should be) a great witness.

5. Who might be the leading men & woman to spearhead a new reformation?
Hard question. I could guess, but I'd probably be wrong. I am not sure anyone would have guessed Paul, Athanasius, Luther, Calvin.

6. How would it affect you personally, to see a wave of solid, outspoken men and women in the church, calling for a Sola Scriptura approach to Christianity?
It would greatly encourage me, but it would also remind me that I have my own traditions and that reformation may mean giving up those things. Like in the Great Awakening, there was great confidence and joy in the Word, but there was also great sorrow and repenting over sin. Also, it would cause me to pray more earnestly, as with reformation comes opposition, but inwardly and outwardly.

7. Did the first reformation go far enough?
I would say no, because "enough" is totally reformed, and we will never arrive there in this life.

8. Does Evangelicism 2007 really look like Biblical Christianity?
No. Just look at the Evangelical Theological Society, the vast majority of cemeteries (aka seminaries), churches, etc.

9. How would a new reformation change local church ministries (Sunday school classes, youth groups, music ministry, Bible studies, etc.)?
There would be a much greater devotion to the ministry of the local church. The Bible would have central place in matters of doctrine, life, and practice. Church discipline would be recovered, and pastors would actually shepherd. The church would act more like a body, and the fruits of the Spirit would be more greatly evidenced, particularly our love for one another.

10. Would Christian blogging have any kind of impact on such an idea?
I think it just did... :-)

Tim Challies' list of Reformation Day blog posts:

Two messages by my pastor that you may be interested in listening to:

Biblical Picture of a Reformer- last Sunday's SS lesson on Hezekiah

Reaching Our Generation- last Sunday's morning sermon

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Sail Away!

For updates on the A&O Apologetics Cruise and Debate, see this site:

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Twas the Night Before Debate

1. Twas the night before debate, when all through Seattle
Not a creature was stirring, not even in channel;
The chairs all were placed before tables with care,
In hopes that Doctor Oakley soon would be there;
The Calvies were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of cross-exam danced in their heads;
And Flamey in her jammies and I in mine too,
Had just settled down for an October snooze,

2. When outside the door there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the hallway as fast as a train,
Unfastened the dead bolt and unhooked the chain.
The laser pointer and sounds gave me a clue
And I heard Scottish accents, so surely I knew,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a laptop, an iPod, stacks of books by Shabir,

3. With a bright colored sweater, his bald head in sight,
I knew in a moment it must be James White.
More rapid than eagles the channel rats came,
And he chuckled, and chortled, and called them by name;
"Now, AO! Now, Tired! Now MrP! Shuey!
On, Uni! On, How2! On, Wifey, and Bluey!
The defense of the cross! And here that is our call
Now read away! Read away! Read away all!"

4. As dry dust that before the wild desert storm fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the book-stacks the channel rats flew,
With hearts full of prayer, and Doctor Oakley too.
And then, in a twinkling, Doc’s studious looks,
The rustling of pages in each of his books.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the hallway Doctor Oakley came with a bound.

5. He was dressed in Coogi, his tartan tie in hand,
And on his wrist, his bright blue “No Compromise” band;
All of his notes his trusty Blackberry stored,
Bible verses and quotes that could not be ignored.
His laptop-- how useful! Libronics- how geeky!
And he even brought AOMin’s faithful dog Zekey!
Total Recorder played something by Deedat,
No possible way it would be won by mere fiat;

6. The end of a pen he held tight in his teeth,
And his tablet PC, it displayed the Hadith;
BibleWorks was open, and Qur’an Reader Pro,
And his iPod was playing some songs by Mylo.
He was ready it seemed, he was fit for the task,
Could answer any question Muslims might ask;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know we had nothing to dread;

7. He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And packed up the books, changed his channel nick to “lurk”,
He finished up emails that needed to be sent,
And with a holy nod, to his room he went;
He stood by the door, to the channel rats he waved,
And I wondered if from the usual kick Greg was saved.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he went out of sight,

Written by Marie Peterson, 10/06/2007