or as Mr. Challies would put it, "Friday Miscellanea. " Here's what I've been thinking about.
1. How about the American Idol performance of "Shout to the Lord" recently? I must admit I had some mixed reactions at first, it really irked me that they left out "Jesus" from the lyrics. At the same time, though, it's great that they're singing a great worship song like that for millions of people. I, for one, don't want to really take a strong stance either way, but it's definitely worth thinking about and searching the scriptures over.
2. I was really excited when I first heard about the recent Steve Gregg vs. James White debate on Calvinism. No other truths of Scripture are as stimulating, encouraging, and engrossing to me as the doctrines of grace. Granted, I haven't had the discipline to download even one hour of the debate, but I wonder if it's really the best use of my time. I know, I know, you really can't study a doctrine in Scripture too much, but I've examined the Calvinism issue so much that I wonder if I might be better off listening to a sermon on something like the fruits of the spirit, repentance, or evangelism.
3. My English class recently had the privilege of reading Jonathan Edwards' "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" in its entirety. All I can say is, dude, that guy could preach it! Seriously, it's tough to just read that thing; I can only imagine hearing a fiery message like that in person. Last year, I was blessed with the chance to do a big English project on him (different English class than this one) so I'm somewhat familiar with the guy; God really used him in some powerful ways. The sad thing is that he's so misunderstood by the secular world. My current class in particular says that he was trying to scare the people into being "reborn." I've noticed secular texts are really big on using the term "rebirth" to describe the Puritans' view of salvation; this is obviously not wrong, but it just strikes me as somewhat tedious and condescending to use only that one term when talking about Puritans. How about "regeneration," "repentance," or "salvation?" Those are good. In any case, they really got it all wrong, Edwards wasn't trying to scare people into getting "reborn," he was preaching the gospel. Yes he was obviously pleading with sinners to realize the danger of their situation, repent, and flee into the arms of Christ, but all the while Edwards trusted in God to gather His elect accomplish His will. Edwards wasn't manipulating people, just fulfilling the great commission. I, for one, would love to have that kind of knowledge, selflessness, and love of the Lord. I look forward to meeting him in heaven someday.
edit, 4. That video some friends and I made for the Academy Awards, Reliance and Revenge, is officially online now. It's lost some quality, but you can watch the video on GodTube here.
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