Traveling Thru Here

May 13, 2011

Tim Keller on Homosexuality: Good for Human Flourishing Inside the PCA?

Filed under: Ecclesia — Tags: , , — j.hansen @ 12:42 AM

There has been much commentary lately regarding Rev. Tim Keller’s public responses to questions related to homosexuality (here, here, here, here, and here, just to mention a few).  The aftermath of all this chatter has resulted in more general discussions of Keller, his role, and the future: here, here and here. Many of the discussions have quoted large portions of Keller’s interviews, but I had not seen a video of any of these interactions until I found this:

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April 30, 2011

Church Hoping: How Do You Weed-Out Churches?

Colleen Fletcher

Today I was checking to see what churches are in the area where I’ve been offered a job. Feeling more Presbyterian than anything else of late, I came across this church: The Presbyterian Church at New Providence (“Christ Centered, People Focused”).

To evaluate a church by its website may betray a certain amount of presumption. Be that as it may, my normal protocol has me checking the “what we believe” portion of their site first, but briefly, to see there doctrine of scripture (if available). Then, immediately I check to see who their pastors and elders are. This is the process I went through as to The Presbyterian Church at New Providence. Here is what I found.

They affirm this about the Bible:

the Bible is the living Word of God. Through the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments God reveals himself to us. The entire Bible is God-breathed and God-inspired. The Scriptures are the norm and basis upon which we build our faith and live our lives.

And one of their pastors is named Colleen Fletcher.

With this juxtaposition — their doctrine of scripture against their practical ecclesiology — the revelation of this verse from 1 Timothy 2 persuades me to seek greener pastures elsewhere.

How do you weed out churches?

April 25, 2011

See Jesus’ Mug Over at Kevin DeYoung’s Blog at TGC

Over here, Kevin DeYoung posted an audio clip of a famous sermon in which the accompanying video showcased an image meant to be a picture of the Lord Jesus.  Some commented on the post that such images violate the second commandment.

Q. 109. What sins are forbidden in the second commandment?

A. The sins forbidden in the second commandment are, all devising, counseling, commanding, using, and any wise approving, any religious worship not instituted by God himself; the making any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image or likeness of any creature whatsoever; all worshiping of it, or God in it or by it; the making of any representation of feigned deities, and all worship of them, or service belonging to them; all superstitious devices, corrupting the worship of God, adding to it, or taking from it, whether invented and taken up of ourselves, or received by tradition from others, though under the title of antiquity, custom, devotion, good intent, or any other pretense whatsoever; simony; sacrilege; all neglect, contempt, hindering, and opposing the worship and ordinances which God hath appointed.

As an RCA minister, DeYoung is not bound by the Westminster Standards. So, I thought it fitting to add a bit from the Three Forms of Unity (by which DeYoung is bound). Here are questions and answers 96 to 98 from the Heidelberg Catechism:

Q. 96.  What doth God require in the second commandment?

A.  That we in no wise represent God by images, nor worship Him in any other way than He has commanded in His Word.

Q. 97.  Are images then not at all to be made?

A.  God neither can nor may be represented by any means.  But as to creatures, though they may be represented, yet God forbids to make or have any resemblance of them either in order to worship them or to serve God by them.

Q. 98.  But may not images be tolerated in the churches as books to the laity?

A.  No; for we must not pretend to be wiser than God, who will have His people taught, not by dumb images, but by the lively preaching of His Word.

March 26, 2011

Christian, Baptize Thyself.

Filed under: Ecclesia — Tags: , — j.hansen @ 3:45 PM

I had a friendly argument with a Calvinistic Baptist last week on the topic of baptism. Yet, it was not chiefly focused on what you might think: the propriety of baptizing babies. We were focused, rather, on the question of who is suited to performing baptism. I argued that it is connected to the binding and losing ministry and the “keys of the kingdom” that Christ gave to Peter and therefore, without other textual warrant for broadening the ministry of baptism, it is really something that only Church officers should be doing. My friends position was that all believers are able to baptize those who have trusted Christ for forgiveness. Thus, I suggested to him that under his logic the newly repentant should be able to baptize himself. “Sinner, repent, believe the Gospel and baptize thyself!”

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