Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Highlights of '09

Now for the Highlights of this year... In January Seth, Michael, and I went to the DeGroots for New Years. We had an awesome time with Dan, Colin, and Josh. (Which we are planning on doing again this year.) Then that same month Rebecca on up, - Mom, went to the SACIFF. In the Spring, after an icy snow Seth, Michael, Joseph and I went it a steep ditch with the green Metro. We were all ok, but my head smashed the windshield. That same time period I became an Uncle. I think it was in May that I started working for Joel. That same Month Seth, Aaron Wang, Ben, and I made a super short film, "TRANSGRESSOR." I think it was in June that Two of my good friends, Benjamin and Daniel Allen and I spent a great Day hanging out in Omaha. In July, I became the director for the PHF entry "Esther" in whom played, Seth, William, Samuel Clingman, Elizabeth, Josiah, Rebecca, Josiah Krutz, Micah Swab, Lucy, Juliana, and I. (We later received the Audience Choice Award.) In August our Family went to Colorado for vacation, but on the way home, the fuel pump went out. So Pastor Kayser headed four hours out to get us, and another four to bring us home! The very following week, Mike Elliott, Joseph Cave, Caleb Duff, and I had a intense week long hike, in the same state, where we hiked 50 some miles in 4 1/2 days. In October at the PHF, I was able to have an awesome weekend with Ben, Matt, Samuel, Toby, Andrew Axsom, etc, plus alot of visitors from other states. Also despite a humbling mess-up I was awarded the Audience Choice Award for the speech catagory. Also in October I had the fantastic opportunity to help Jon on his new house. That was a TON of fun. Since then, the most significant things I've done, include finishing Robert Reymond's Systematic Theology, and spending time with Ben and Matt. Wow, has God poured out blessings and friends into my life!

A Review of the Accomplished Goals Last Year

Last Year in December I posted 10 Goals for 2009, now that '09 is practically over, I wanted to contemplate God's provision for me to accomplish or alter almost all these goals.

I. Live day to day in Christ's power
This is a slippery goal to begin with! And I suspect it will remain a goal of mine for the rest of my life. But as I consider the past year, I do believe that the Lord has sanctified me in that area.

II.Memorize significant portions of scripture
Sadly this is one of the goals which I failed greatest in. While I did memorize portions of Isaiah, Proverbs, and others, I wouldn't consider them to have been "Significant" portions.

III.Read through the Bible at least one entire time.
This was one of the goals which I think was RIGHTLY altered very early on. As I talked to friends and attempted to read 3-4 chapters a day, I realized that it would be more be beneficial to read it, apply it, and meditate on it then to speed read it through. So while I began the year in Jeremiah, I plan to end it in Exodus. (As an interesting note, there where a few books I read it one sitting and found much more comprehensible without the Chapter breaks. {For instance, Romans.})

IV.Strengthen my fellowship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Contemplating this statement in and of itself, it is not as if a man can to God and strengthen his fellowship with Him on his own accord, yet scripture does command "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you" James 4:8a.

V.Sanctify in how I make conversation with others (including expanding who I talk, the purpose of the conversation, how I react, etc.)
Since this is one of my most clear cut goals, I think it is a easier one to dissect. as I consider the past year, especially the last several months, I see definite improvement. God has strengthened me so that I attempt to enter into conversation, not for myself but for the encouragement of others.

VI.Learn Humility
Wow, that is one blanket, undefined goal. In a small way I do think I have sanctified in humility. ei. when I do stupid things or say embarrassing things, and then weeks late realize what I did, I try to thank God for humbling me, trusting that all things, including my embarrassments work for the glory of God and the good of his people. But still I think this will be a goal that continues for my life. (On of the ways God humbled me was at the PHF, when I forgot my speech in the middle of it for about a minute!

VII.Learn Self Control
Another blanket goal... One to last a lifetime. Yet I believe God has graciously enabled me to not be offended as easily as I used to be, and keep me from getting as angry as I used to. Still, self control reaches into all kinds of areas and I am far from accommplished.

VIII.Finish Algebra 2

IX.Get my drivers license
YES! (After two failed driving tests!)

X.Start some type of business/get a job
The Lord fabulously provided me with a significant amount of work this entire year. I worked extensively for Joel landscaping, and with Dad on odd jobs.

As you can see, not only has God blessed me tremendously but there plenty more work for the next year!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Paradise Restored (A book review)

David Chilton's "Paradise Restored" is a superb introduction to eschatology. Starting from ground level, he slowly and logically builds a watertight case for postmillienialism and a theology of Dominion.
This book does not focus on critiquing the other positions. Instead Chilton works at forming, (or rather reforming) the discarded Biblical Theology of Victory. He brings scripture to light, giving new meaning to Adam's loss of Paradise, Christ's Victory, and what it means to Christians theology of the future.
Many of my own questions about eschatology were answered, and I came away with a much greater understanding of Postmillienialism. This is a fun and easy MUST read for anyone who wants an grasp on Biblical Eschatology

Friday, December 11, 2009

Robert Reymond's Systematic Theology

Robert Reymond's "A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith," has been called the new standard for Reformed Systematic Theologies. While I have never read any other Systematic Theology, Reformed or otherwise, Reymond seems to cover all the bases. He starts with the doctrine of Scripture itself, moves on to the Nature of God and the Nature of man, he then addresses the Theology of Salvation, then character and structure of the Church. He ends with Escatology (theology of last things). Within each of these "Parts" he addresses common heresies (past and present) and critics non-heretical stances where needed.
His most powerful "Part" was probably the second. In the Second, "God and Man," he acclaims the importance of a Presuppositional worldview. He also clearly sets forth the doctrine of God as Trinity, and the nature of fallen Man, originally made in God's image. If anyone was to read one part of the book this is the part I would recommend(Though for the most part it was all fantastic).
There were an few areas of disagreement worth mentioning. While he didn't linger on it long, Reymond took a jab at Reconstuctionists. This he did while rightly asserting that the Church should not have the power of the Sword, nor should Christians advocate a "theocracy." I suspect he was defining "theocracy" as "rule by the Church," because the scripture references he gave would only support that position. They could not be construed to deny God's law's rule over the State.
Also, while showing beautifully the doctrine of Christ's Kingdom as, "already, not yet," in eschatology, he did not come to the natural (and Scripture) conclusion of Postmillenialism.
The rest of my disagreements were even less minor. (Though I did address one of them several months ago in "Are the Attributes of God Communicable/Incommunicable?") Over all I found Reymond's book to be an excellent first Systematic Theology to read. Not only was I able to "get" some complex doctrines, when it came crucial theology it was RIGHT ON and POWERFUL! If you are considering reading or purchasing a Systematic Theology, whether you are Reformed or not, I highly recommend Robert Reymond's.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Here are a two of Scripture's most presuppositional statements. Gen. 22:16a "By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD." Ex. 3:13-14 Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”