Theology Teacher in Iowa
Master's Degree in Bible & Theology from Sioux Falls Seminary
Seminarian at Calvin Theological Seminary
Posted in: Best Books of 2022
By far the best book that I read this year was Carl Trueman's "The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self".
Technically from 2020, but a must read for everyone who considers themself a living human being. :)
Posted in: Post-Synod: What If There is No Way Forward?
What exactly are the three "ways" here?
1. Preach against unrepentant sexual immorality.
2. Allow unrepentant sexual immorality.
3. Allow some unrepentant sexual immorality???
What am I missing?
Is there a version of "Third Way" that whole-heartedly embraces our denomination's position (the Biblical position) on unchastity?
Posted in: Post-Synod: 3 Ways to Love While We Disagree
"Well, the problem you are in is that we didn't start with Love - or Paul's definition of Love."
This is insulting and untrue. Synod worked toward Christ's Love with great vigor.
This was the most prayer-for Synod that we know of. Unprecedented listening sessions and prayer sessions were held through Zoom. Prayer warriors were praying over Synod the whole time. The delegates came well-prepared. We sat through hours of debate on the floor of Synod.
Synod called upon the Holy Spirit to come and guide His church. And the Holy Spirit did!
Unsurprisingly, the Holy Spirit agreed with His own words in Scripture and led our synod to stand firm on Jesus's definition of Love, and how Love sometimes has to warn and discipline.
(The Apostle Paul actually had a lot to say about the sexual immorality that Synod 22 discussed!)
Posted in: Addressing Article 17 Stigma
Both of those recommendations are very good!
Posted in: Diversity Notes on Synod 2022
I agree! (Although, this actually seems like an improvement to the 2021 Survey respondents diversity, that the denom published.)
I agree because -- judging by the reports of Consejo Latino, the Korean council, and the speaches given by our ethnic advisors to Synod -- the vote percentage on HSR/unchastity would have been much higher for the orthodox side and lower for the affirming side. Probably would have given us a better representation of where our denomination actually falls.
Don't abandon Scripture!
Could you explain why you felt that the replies to Steve's comment were off topic to the original post and thus worthy to delete but Steve's comment was not off topic and not deleted?
Posted in: Re-envision Synod Through the Lens of Prayer
"Humble us to submit our own opinions to the authority of Your Word and listen to You reverently and intently."
The Synod process has some downsides and, like any alternative option, is made up entirely of sinful people. But it's the God-ordained method of church organization and deliberation.
God will use our imperfect attempts as He directs our church.
Thank you for your prayer.
I'm saddened to disagree with so many denominational leaders.
While I agree that some doctrinal concepts are so foundational to our faith that to deny them is to hold to a different religion and some other concepts are merely error and sinful, I do not agree that we cannot or should not stand firm when God's Word speaks clearly to an issue.
Instead, we should indeed hold to God's Word with the faithfulness of de Bres! The truth is important, even when it's not about the "biggest issues". "Having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another" (Eph. 4:25). We aren't called to an individualism that expects our Christian brothers and sisters to deal with their own sins in their own way, but to encourage each other and as Jesus commands "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him" and also "exhort one another every day, as long as it is called 'today,' that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin" (Heb. 3:13).
We are called as a communal body to encourage each other to godliness and good works. Even when those sins aren't concerning "salvation issues".
Although 1 Corinthians 6:10 might create a problem for this entire argument.
I also notice the false equivalency that 1. Human Sexuality is complex and messy. 2. Therefore the Bible's teaching on Sexuality is complex and messy.
But the Bible's teaching is actually simple, clear, and consistent from beginning to end.
The failure of churches to hold Christians accountable for their sins of pornography usage is a problem for our churches. Yes, it's difficult because people work hard to hide their pornography use. No one walks around with a "Pornography Pride" flag. Yet it's prevalence is so profound that our denomination would do well to begin a monumental campaign, working together as churches to emphasize repentance or discipline, and providing support as people work to kill that sin in their life!
But I don't think that a failure to adequately eradicate one sin should give us permission to allow space for another sin.
Nick, I'm afraid that if you wish Synod to make no decision, you asking Synod 2022 to deny the explicit calling that previous synods, such as Synod 2016, have specifically asked it to do. And you'd also be asking it to not do the very thing which synods were created for and have always done.
It is to the church's shame that it took 300 years to "reach consensus" on the Trinity, but we might give them some slack because 1. the Trinity is so completely supernatural, unexpected, and relatively novel to these Jewish and gentile converts... plus 2. the New Testament, while completely written, is being passed around as individual parchments. With finality of Holy Canon comes the clarity needed for the Holy Trinity.
And then think about how it ended... the "concensus" declared all those with diverse views as HERETICS and thus not-saved and not-Christian!
And you're conveniently forgetting Synod 50. In the book of Acts, Synod 50 in Jerusalem placed a "light" burden on churches, which did not include much... but it DID declare that churches cannot allow for sexual immorality!
The Trinity is complex. The Bible's teaching on marriage, sex, and non-heterosexual behavior has been clear for the past 2000(+) years! It actually hurts your argument to bring up contested discussions in Christianity, because this has never been one of them until cultural pressure began making Christians feel uncomfortable. Non-heterosexual behavior and lifelong same-sex unions have existed long before Christianity began.
We must not disunite from the global church of all ages! It was the African churches which stood up against the LGBT affirmation in the United Methodist Church! Minority churches look down on the Scriptural infidelity of the CRCNA already as it is!
The purpose of Synods is to deliberate and make decisions. We've had 2000 years of deliberation (including over 50 years of deliberation in the CRC alone). Synod 2022 should affirm the decision of Synod 50! The position of the HSR already has confessional status because it already has Biblical status.
PS. It is disingenuous and wrong to claim that the Bible ever promoted chattel slavery as anything other than sin. In the Torah already, the punishment for kidnapping was death. The year of Jubiliee released the "slaves" (bondservants) and granted freedom. Except for some greedy colonizers, the church through all ages and places has rid the world of slavery.
Besides... even then, what is the point you're making? Do you wish that the slavery discussions would have lasted LONGER? When something is a sin, it is then a sin to prolong discussions which allow the sin to continue!