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Questions

I always have a lot of questions. They’re increasingly on my mind though and many of them are just eating away at me. Some of these I think I have partial answers for, but most of them I do not. I think I decided (yes, I am that sure of myself) that I’m just going to start asking people a lot of questions. I really would like to discuss these questions with everyone that would like to talk to me about them. I sort of categorized them, but they are all pretty much interconnected. If you would ever like to talk about one or all of these questions, I’d love to.

Email: jeremiahjm@gmail.com

Phone: 715-864-2725
 

Here is a sampling of questions:

Church

What is the biggest problem facing the church today?

What is the biggest problem facing your church today?

Why aren’t we regularly seeing healings and miraculous signs that seemed to be characteristic of the first century church?

What prevents churches, locally and globally, from unity?

What prevents believers, locally and globally, from unity?

Why, in many churches, is it more okay for one to say that they struggle with pride or judgmentalism than to say that they struggle with lust?

Why doesn’t the church read more Scripture?

Why does our love for the world so often seem less than evident, or only expressed through charitable organizations?

What should the primary activity of the church be? Why? How should the church go about it?

Should we focus more on reforming the church systems and structures that exist or on creating something new that is already “reformed?” Why?

Why is there less frequent dealings with demonic powers in 21st century America?

Should we be more directly opposing demonic forces in our world? What would that look like? Would it be the same or different than it looked in the 1st century?

Do you have direct experience with evil spiritual forces? What was that like?

Gospel

Does it seem like we have the same passion for the gospel that the early believers did?

If not, why do we lack that passion?

If so, why do we not seem to be seeing the same growth in faithfulness, community, and numbers?

If you had to choose, is it better for the disciple of Jesus to focus more on making more disciples or on making “better” disciples? Why do you think that?

Do you think that there is a difference between a Christian and a disciple of Jesus? Why or why not?

What are the central points of the gospel that are absolutely necessary to understand and express?

What does it mean to preach the gospel?

How should we go about that?

Should we preach loudly to anyone within earshot on street corners, campuses, parks, etc? Why or why not?

How do we speak about God, the story of his Messiah, and the promise of the Spirit in a way that approximates its glory, goodness, and wonder?

Theology

Do you obey the Law? Why or Why Not?

What does it mean to die to the Law?

If you follow the Law, how do you choose which laws to obey and which ones not to?

If you do not follow the Law, how do you decide how to honor God with your life? How do you decide which behaviors are okay and which ones are not?

Do you think that there is a literary connection between the Land of the Old Testament and the

Kingdom of the New? Why or why not?

Do you believe hell is eternal? Why of why not?

What are the absolute barebones ideas that people need to believe to be a Christian?

How does transformation happen?

How much should we depend upon church tradition outside of the 1st century Scriptures that we have for our theology? Why?

Which traditions should we depend on?

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Categories: Miscellaneous
  1. David C. Miller
    February 24, 2011 at 12:11 am

    Church

    What is the biggest problem facing the church today?

    When you say ‘the church’ I assume you’re referring to the whole Christian church on Earth, not any specific denomination or ‘flavor’. And the biggest problem facing the Church today, as it always was and always will be, is the Devil. He first tempted us into sin, and he even now tempts us to disbelieve God by asking, “Did God really say?”

    That sin might take on different forms, but it always leads us to trust less in God and His Word. Some parts of the Church are enduring physical persecution, and Christians are forced to choose whether they will rely on God through their suffering, or will deny Him to end it. And I thank God that He has kept that kind of situation away from me and those close to me as I don’t know whether I would be strong enough to endure that.

    In some parts of the world, quite the opposite situation has arisen: we have become so wealthy and live so luxuriously that we have no need for a God to provide us daily bread, let alone forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
    There are problems everywhere, but they have this in common: they want to drive a wedge between us and God.

    What is the biggest problem facing your church today?

    For St. Mark Lutheran Church and School in Eau Claire, Wisconsin? There are the same budgetary issues there are any place else that have come up in the past few years. There is a new minister who is fresh out of the Seminary and is learning about the congregation and how to be a Pastor. The ministry to college students could also use some help. College is a time when many young people fall away from the church, and many others might come to it for the very first time, and I don’t think we (myself included) do enough outreach.

    Why aren’t we regularly seeing healings and miraculous signs that seemed to be characteristic of the first century church?

    I don’t know. If I had to be tautological, I’d say because God wants it to be that way. There’s nothing that says that healings and miraculous signs are supposed to be normative for the Christian Church. Just because a church hasn’t cured anyone’s leukemia through the power of prayer doesn’t mean that they don’t have the Gospel. Fidelity to the word that was preached seems to be how Paul measures preachers and churches in 1 Corinthians.

    Healings and signs also have a purpose behind them: they’re supposed to point to Jesus. How many times does Jesus say “Your faith has healed you”? They’re proof that Jesus is who he says he is, and they serve a didactic purpose too: we are all spiritually blind before Jesus lets us see the reality of our sin and the depths of his love, spiritually leprous and cut off from the community before he purifies us, spiritually dead before he calls us to get up and come out of the tomb. The farther away from Jesus you get chronologically, the more that connection gets lost. Peter and Paul could do miracles, but they also personally knew the resurrected Christ: it might be easy for them to say “I’ve seen more impressive stuff from my friend Jesus” than a comparable church leader centuries later.

    It could also lead to people putting their faith in the miracles themselves rather than God. It’s easy to hang with the Christians- if you ever get sick, you’re only a prayer away from being healed. If you’re ever hungry, those rocks over there can become bread. If you’re thirsty, just hit that rock over there with a stick and you’ll be ok.

    But that’s speculation as to why God made the choice He made. I dunno.

    What prevents churches, locally and globally, from unity?

    Disputes over doctrine, and disputes over disputes over doctrine. Sorry if this is a little inside baseball, but the Church of the Lutheran Confession split with the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod because the WELS wouldn’t split with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Even when the WELS and the LCMS split up 5 years later, the CLC didn’t reform with the WELS despite major doctrinal agreement because people were still upset. The CLC wanted WELS to admit that they had been wrong 5 years ago, and WELS couldn’t understand why the CLC was still upset.

    What prevents believers, locally and globally, from unity?

    Just like the answer to the previous question and the first question: sin. Sometimes it’s the sin of heresy or apostasy or tolerating false teachings on non-cardinal subjects. Sometimes it’s just being petty and arrogant. Sometimes it’s that people are so hurt by sin that they have trouble connecting with anyone.

    Why, in many churches, is it more okay for one to say that they struggle with pride or judgmentalism than to say that they struggle with lust?

    Because sex is icky. I think that’s that simple. People just get more uncomfortable talking about lust because it’s gross and personal and private in a way that pride isn’t. Both are sins, but sex is squirmy eww gross yuck.

    Why doesn’t the church read more Scripture?

    Because we think we know it all, and we sometimes find Scripture inconvenient when it doesn’t say what we want it to say, and we’re all so busy. I’ve been trying to read more and write more about it (remember when I almost got through 4 chapters of Romans?) as a way to encourage me to read and think. I also get e-mails sent to me directly each morning that take me through the Bible in 3 years, but I find that breaking it down that small leads to me missing the forest for the trees. It’s harder to keep track of overarching themes when you just read it in 5 minute chunks.

    Why does our love for the world so often seem less than evident, or only expressed through charitable organizations?

    We’ve forgotten what good works are. It’s not just feeding a poor starving African or giving money to buy shoes for people in Argentina. Those are flashy and totally awesome, but there’s more to it. It’s loving your parents, your wife, your family. It’s shown through working hard and well at whatever vocation you’re in. It’s hearing the word of God, learning it, obeying it. If you measure love using that system, you might find that it’s more evident than you previously thought. Or, you know, maybe Christians aren’t always the best at doing what they know they should be doing. Wouldn’t be the first time.

    What should the primary activity of the church be? Why? How should the church go about it?

    The primary activity of the church must be preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ to all people. He lived a perfect life for us, he died a sacrificial death for our sins, he was raised to life for our justification. That’s Good News, and we need to preach it everywhere because there are some people who, through that preaching, will be called from death to life. We need to preach it everywhere because Jesus told us to, and he rose from the dead. The church should go about it by utilizing the means that God has given us that he works through: his Word, Baptism, Holy Communion.

    Should we focus more on reforming the church systems and structures that exist or on creating something new that is already “reformed?” Why?

    That’s a false choice, obviously, but I’d say we should focus on reforming the church systems that already exist because there is NO CHURCH anywhere (not even the WELS, ELS, or CLC!) that is without error. Sometimes it’s a church body not living up to its principles, sometimes it’s a church body whose principles are just bad, but breaking off to form a new Really-Reformed Church is an exercise in futility: eventually your Really-Reformed Church starts screwing up because the people running it are sinners and you can’t form a Really-Really-Reformed Church without buying a bigger sign to put all the letters.

    This is not to say that churches should stay together despite huge doctrinal disunity. When groups come together and find out that they disagree on important points, it could be the right thing to do to split up to preserve the integrity of the confession. And while we pray for the whole church to be united, separating ourselves from people that are clearly teaching false things will hopefully lead them to repentance.

    Why are there less frequent dealings with demonic powers in 21st century America?

    I think we’re a very naturalistic people, us Americans. Very scientific. Therefore, any verifiable ‘supernatural’ event (even if it were demonic) would lend support to the belief in other supernatural things, including God. And seeing as how the Devil and demons don’t want to lend support to a belief in God…”The greatest trick the Devil played was to convince the world he didn’t exist” etc., etc.

    Even if there are less frequent dealings with demonic powers in the possessed-by-demons Biblical sense, there is still plenty of sin in 21st Century America that the Devil has caused (with our help).

    Should we be more directly opposing demonic forces in our world? What would that look like? Would it be the same or different than it looked in the 1st century?

    Again, if the work of the Devil and demons is sin, then the church HAS to be directly opposing it, and it has to look exactly the same as it looked in the 1st Century because Jesus Christ died and rose from the dead in the 1st Century AD. That proved his victory over death, the Devil, and sin. So if you want to oppose demonic forces in our world, preach the Gospel! And the Gospel is the same as it ever was.

    Do you have direct experience with evil spiritual forces? What was that like?

    Nothing super-special. No Hollywood movie. Just an Old Adam, a sinful flesh that daily needs to be drowned by baptism and repentance. Doing battle with that sinful flesh is sometimes a war of attrition, where I’ll be constantly tempted to indulge certain sins on a constant daily basis. Other tactics will only surface at critical times. The solution to them all is always prayer and faith in God, not that I’ve accepted that solution all the time.

    Gospel
    Does it seem like we have the same passion for the gospel that the early believers did?

    Not really. Maybe. Yes. I don’t know. I’ll answer both questions below because we all are sometimes very passionate and other times just get lazy or bored or disinterested or actively resistant to the gospel.

    If not, why do we lack that passion?
    Perhaps because we only know Jesus second-hand or third-hand. Andrew and Peter and the disciples knew Jesus. As in hung out with him. As in watched him die and got to stick their fingers in his hands and side after he rose. We’re all Christians because we heard about it from someone who heard about it from someone who ate fish with a risen Jesus. I can understand why we might lack that passion after we get more and more removed historically.

    If so, why do we not seem to be seeing the same growth in faithfulness, community, and numbers?

    Because it was never the passion for the gospel by the disciples or us that led to those things. It was always God who made the church. It still is Jesus who is the head of the church, not our passion. Just because a church isn’t growing isn’t indicative of its passion for the gospel or its faithfulness. If God wants his preachers to preach the gospel and have that lead to more Christians in the Church, ok. If God wants his preachers to preach the gospel and have that lead to persecution and fewer Christians in the Church, ok.

    If you had to choose, is it better for the disciple of Jesus to focus more on making more disciples or on making “better” disciples? Why do you think that?

    Aside from the usual preliminary remarks about false choices, I’d say making ‘better’ disciples. We live in a culture that it very well acquainted with the historical facts of Jesus, but really only scratches the surface of what that means. What’s the expression: a mile wide and an inch deep? There seems to be an attitude of ‘I know all that, so I don’t have to learn more’ that some Christians learn, and then they go through suffering or they meet people who challenge their beliefs, and they fall away. The Bible says they’re like seeds that are planted in shallow soil. I’d like to make ‘better’ disciples with deeper roots. I’d like Christians to move on from milk to meat (as Hebrews puts it, not as Paul uses the metaphor).

    Do you think that there is a difference between a Christian and a disciple of Jesus? Why or why not?

    There were twelve Disciples, twelve Apostles, twelve men specially chosen and sent by God to work for him. There is a difference between those Disciples and me: I’m not called to be an apostle the way they were. That’s not my job. That’s not my office. I have a different vocation. But are all Christians disciples with a small ‘d’? Yes. We’re all trying to learn about Jesus Christ.

    What are the central points of the gospel that are absolutely necessary to understand and express?

    Paul said it best:
    Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

    For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.

    What does it mean to preach the gospel?

    It means that you proclaim to people the same news that was proclaimed to you: even though we are sinful and do not deserve it, God sent his son Jesus to live the perfect life we couldn’t live. He died the death we should have died. And he was raised to life.

    How should we go about that?

    As I said before, we preach the gospel in a variety of ways. We’ve called pastors to preach it in front of entire groups of people. We have teachers to teach it to our children. We proclaim the gospel through baptism (we’re baptized into Jesus’ death and thereby benefit from his resurrection), we proclaim the gospel through holy communion (his body and blood are “given for us for the forgiveness of sins”, Jesus promises), we proclaim the gospel through letters, blogs, e-mails, Word Documents, simple talking with people and even shouting it at the top of our lungs on the street corner.

    Should we preach loudly to anyone within earshot on street corners, campuses, parks, etc? Why or why not?

    As there are sinners on street corners, campuses, parks, etc, yes. Paul was a notoriously boring and unimpressive public speaker (so bad he killed a guy! Seriously, read Acts 20!) but he was doing what God told him to do, and God worked through him. We might think that the guy yelling fire and brimstone is doing more harm than good, but if God can use the Word spoken through Paul, he can use it spoken through anyone. And God’s word is what’s effective, not the messenger.

    How do we speak about God, the story of his Messiah, and the promise of the Spirit in a way that approximates its glory, goodness, and wonder?

    By speaking about it constantly with those we love (and the Bible says we should love a whole bunch of people).

    Theology
    Do you obey the Law? Why or Why Not?

    We should obey part of the Law, which I’d divide into three parts: the moral, civil, and ceremonial. The moral law is best explained in the Ten Commandments, but the two tablets given to Moses are summarized by Jesus as: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. I’m not required to follow the civil or ceremonial laws because I don’t live in ancient Israel in the first case, and because in the case of the latter, Jesus fulfilled the ceremonial laws and I’m not a Jew.

    So I SHOULD obey the Law. Do I always do so? No. That’s because I’m a sinner.

    What does it mean to die to the Law?

    I’d like to just drop all of Romans 6 and 7 in here because Paul makes his point pretty clear. So I’ll just paraphrase. Christians were all under the Law: we’re supposed to do what it says perfectly. And God is very upset with us because we don’t do what it says perfectly. But the law only has power over people who are alive (for example there’s a specific provision in the law that says that people are married “until death do them part”; death breaks the law of the marriage). But because Christ died (and we are united to Christ through baptism) we also die to that Law. So since we have died to the Law (and therefore died to the mastery of sin that the Law pointed out) we can live a new life with a new master: Jesus.

    If you follow the Law, how do you choose which laws to obey and which ones not to?

    Putting it in terms of ‘following the Law’ might be imprecise. We don’t follow the Law because we think that by doing so, God will consider us to be good people. We use the Law in three ways: to curb our bad behavior, to show us our need for a savior, and to guide us in the new life of faith. But even if we don’t NEED to follow the law since Jesus did that on our behalf, that’s not an excuse to do whatever we want or have free license to sin.

    As for choosing which laws still serve as a curb, mirror, or guide, again I’d point you to the moral, civil, and ceremonial laws from above. The fact that we don’t have to follow civil or ceremonial laws is very explicit in the New Testament (Paul and Peter have a fight over this, and Peter has a dream about all foods being ceremonially clean now). As for determining which specific passage is moral (thou shalt not kill), civil (stone people to death if they weave two different cloths together), or ceremonial (take a lamb once a year, kill it, and smear its blood on your door), I use all the skills the StoryLords taught me: context, context, context. Ask yourself: why did God make that Law? If it’s because he wanted to solve a specific practical problem (Israelites were becoming too much like their national neighbors and worshipping their false gods, so not weaving two different cloths would serve to separate the two peoples) it’s a civil law. If it’s because God wanted to foreshadow Jesus (he’s our Passover Lamb) it might be a ceremonial law.

    …MORE TO COME…

  2. February 24, 2011 at 1:03 am

    As always, I appreciate the response. Is writing your preferred form of communication? I’m not going to respond specifically to much of it, and I’m going to avoid the areas where we disagree altogether. It doesn’t seem like we’ll actually get anywhere in changing eachother’s minds and I suspect that we will find the other’s rebuttals predictable and unconvincing. I just don’t really feel like it, if you do want to get into a friendly textual debate, let me know I guess, and I’ll consider it :).
    My favorite line: “Aside from the usual preliminary remarks about false choices…” Nice. Thanks for avoiding those. Sometimes it seems if you don’t ask in hypotheticals, you don’t get the response you’re looking for.
    I especially enjoyed your response about lust being more negatively perceived than pride. Short and simple is always appreciated.
    I think that I really mis-asked the question about reforming the church or starting something new (and not because of the false choice). I always miscommunicate though I guess. Awwww well. I still liked your response.
    Thanks. If you find yourself in mpls and would like to grab coffee or a beer or lunch or something, hit me up yo. Then I’ll have more questions for your answers. 🙂

    • David C. Miller
      February 24, 2011 at 9:57 pm

      I don’t expect a written rebuttal or acceptance or denial of every article above. If my responses have encouraged you, that’s part of the reason I wrote them. If they made you grumpy or thoughtful, that’s a good reason for them too (as iron sharpens iron yadda yadda). I can organize my thoughts better through writing. If some of my church-y friends read all of the above and wanted to chime in on something, that would be nice, too: these are important questions, Jeremiah, and we can encourage one another.

      If I’m in mpls (and I was accepted to grad school there btw) I’d love love love to have a meal. Same thing applies if you’re in the Eau C.

      My remaining answers follow:

      If you do not follow the Law, how do you decide how to honor God with your life? How do you decide which behaviors are okay and which ones are not?

      Even though we died to the law since Christ fulfilled it, it’s still the Word of God. It’s still His will for us to do those moral things. We don’t have to search inside ourselves in the still quiet of the night waiting for the voice of God to tell us what to do. He tells us very plainly what His will is for our lives. It’s not always as specific as maybe we’d like (“David, this is God talking and it’s my will that you order the cheeseburger instead of the soup”) but it’s not a huge secret.

      Do you think that there is a literary connection between the Land of the Old Testament and the Kingdom of the New? Why or why not?

      There’s certainly a connection, duh, but let’s see if we can flesh it out more. Jesus said that all of the prophecies and Old Testament revelations pointed to himself. That part about Noah and the flood? An illustration of how baptism saves. The animal sacrifices and blood offerings? An illustration of how Jesus’ blood atones for our sins. Even the Exodus itself is the story of how God can create a people for himself, choose them specifically, and lead them out of bondage and slavery into freedom. In the same way he chooses us and sets us free from the bondage of sin.

      When John baptizes people, he does it way out in the boonies along the Jordan river, the same river that marked the boundary of the Promised Land. To enter the old Promised Land, you had to go through the Jordan river, and you had to be baptized to enter the Kingdom of the New Testament. And in the same way that God promises to give land to Israel and fulfills his promises, he makes us heirs of the kingdom through a similar promise.

      Do you believe hell is eternal? Why of why not?

      Yes, I believe hell is eternal. Jesus says as much in Matthew 25 (Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life)

      I know you like short and sweet answers, so that’s it. Those are the words of the Son of God, so I think he knew what he was talking about.

      What are the absolute barebones ideas that people need to believe to be a Christian?

      Being a Christian isn’t about checking the right boxes on the ideas sheet (Trinity, check, dispensationalism, no, transubstantiation, no). There are plenty of Christians who can’t spell soteriology let alone explain it in a way we’d all be happy with. There are Christians who are young. As in really young. As in babies. So I’d say that Christians are marked by this: a deep trust and dependence on Jesus as their Savior.

      Is that a cop-out? Totally. So maybe it would be helpful to talk about the barebones ideas that a church needs to proclaim in order to be a Church. They need to say that people are not only sinners, they are sinful: unable to come to God, unable to please him by themselves. They need to say that Jesus is the Son of God, that’s he’s fully God and fully Man. They need to say that his death somehow did something to the sins of those people who believe in him. They need to be Trinitarian. They need to baptize people. They need to offer the Lord’s Supper (I know, I know, I’m a stickler for those Means’o’Grace). They need to teach what God says in His word.

      How does transformation happen?

      God does it completely without our help. The Holy Spirit comes to us through Word and Sacrament (I promise that’s the last time I’ll namedrop the means of grace) and raises us from spiritual death to life and makes us part of the church (the body of Christ, with Christ as the head, which is important because Christ is alive). The Holy Spirit even sanctifies us and keeps us in the one true faith unto life everlasting. He’s a dependable guy.

      How much should we depend upon church tradition outside of the 1st century Scriptures that we have for our theology? Why?

      There are some church traditions that are helpful just to keep us away from the historical errors of the past. Imagine if we expunged Nestorianism or something from our memory and had to have those fights all over again. What a waste! We can learn from history, even church history. We should always compare everything we preach to what was originally preached in the 1st century Scriptures, but for as much suffering and confusion as church tradition has caused sometimes, it also is useful to keep the crazies away. For example, if someone is preaching their interpretation of those 1st century Scriptures that has never been held by any remotely orthodox Christian community ever ever, I think we’re pretty safe in dismissing it out of hand. If we had to do the archaeology to look up papyrus scrolls and make our Greek lexicons afresh every time somebody had an off-the-wall idea from reading the long-lost Gosepl of St. Leeroy, we’d never be able to respond to error effectively.

      Which traditions should we depend on?

      Obviously those traditions that have been instituted by God must stay. Jesus commands us to baptize people and to have the Lord’s Supper. He teaches us the Lord’s Prayer, he says we have to administer the Keys. He also institutes the office of the public ministry. We’re always going to have the Bible, we’re always going to have the sacraments, we’re always going to have pastors and teachers. Other than that, any tradition that helps us remember God’s promises is great. Before I completely out myself as one of THOSE snooty confessional Lutherans, I happen to like the lectionary: it provides a nice structure to make sure we as a church cover all our bases and don’t go off on weird tangents. Of course, I’ve also witnessed the downside of having the same liturgy week after week: you start to memorize the confession of sins, then you start to recite it by rote, then you start to not even notice you’re saying it, and that’s bad. The creeds are also helpful traditions. Music in worship is also a fantastic tradition.

  3. February 25, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    You should go to Minnesota. It’s better here. Except for property taxes. And winter driving. The football teams suck too. And its more expensive to live…

    I didn’t know if everyone would think there was a connection between the Land and Kingdom, so instead of asking how strong people thought the connection was, I just asked about whether they thought there was one. Can you think of other examples? That one is pretty apparent (and important). The one that came to my mind in a similar vein, but less because of location and more because of story parallels, is in Matthew 4. after Jesus is tempted and gets done being the Deuteronomic Ideal (made up term) that Israel was not, he starts preaching that the Kingdom of Heaven (also along the Jordan, filling full Isaiah 9 as both True Israel and Messiah). After living out Deuteronomy (Deuteronomic Ideal, being the fleshly example of the Word), Jesus teaches that humanity is at the cusp of the Kingdom, that it’s near, at hand. This closely parallels the story of Israel where just after Moses’ big sermon, they are prepping to enter into the promised land.

    I’m not really a tradition guy. I think that it’s possible for someone to preach an interpretation of 1st century Scriptures that might not be found in historical traditions but might also be a legitimate interpretation. I think the importance is on interpreting the first century Scriptures and not on interpreting the proceeding interpretations of it. Certainly, I would like all of my interpretations to be evaluated by my community, and they can use whatever they like to challenge them, but ultimately whether I am shown to be in error (which, wherever I err, may God grant me people around to force me to see it) or not is based upon the text and not what someone in the 1600s would have thought of my thoughts.

    I am, probably to the surprise of many, down with liturgy. I’m less… organized churchy than even my most loose of friends, but I have an appreciation for writing that took thought, organization, and theology. The redundancy of some of that is regrettable, but it is no more redundant than many of your standard contemporary evangelical churches. I know people who dislike the liturgy because of its repetition but can sing “I am a friend of God” 4983247120938570192 times in one song and think it was awesome. That is an exact number.

  4. KTK
    March 27, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    That is not an exact number.

    • March 28, 2011 at 9:16 am

      I don’t know if you know what an exact number is.

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