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Misc

Improve the quality

I just wanted to let any of my readers know about a new project that has been in the works for some time now.

ImprovetheQuality.com is a site about improving the quality of life by simplifying and improving your financial standing. It is in beta mode at the moment so there will be some more content appearing over the next few weeks, but please stop by and let me know what you think.

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Misc

One Month to live?

Dale at Iquitagain has thrown down the gauntlet for the month of Febuary. Can you take the 4 for 4 challenge?

http://iquitagain.com/weightloss-articles/a-month-to-live

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Misc

Falling behind

So, I have missed my posting time because a ton to things I have been working on in fact I am debating leaving //Godfidence behind to work on some other projects.

It isn’t that I don’t want to continue working and researching the Gospel and how to live it out but I could post them at our family site, so I don’t really need a second site as well.

Categories
Godfidence Misc Theology

Between Two Worlds

I have been in the middle of two worlds recently and it has been a very strange experience. While exploring the positive attributes of the house churches and the new less institutional models of Christianity I have found some great authors who have points I agree with even if I am not able to fully reconcile them with my current beliefs. Men like Frank Viola and Alan Knox have helped me to shake off some of the man made traditions that have seeped into my personal ethos that may or may not have had their root in the Scriptures.

I have also been influenced by a group I call the neo-reformed, which I have heard is the second fasting growing sect of Christianity second only to the Emerging church. These men are rooted steadfastly in the historic orthodox faith of the reformed tradition. Men like John Piper, Mark Driscoll and R.C Sproul, have helped me greatly get back to the historic truths of our faith.

My quandary stems from the fact that these two factions that are influencing me are in many ways diametrically opposed and my critical thinking skills are a little rusty. I believe that members of both factions love the Lord and desire to serve him, and for the most part the issues where I struggle are tertiary issues at best so it of great importance but I have been puzzling over it too long.

This is a long way of saying I may begin to do some deeper theological writing where I develop an argument and come to a conclusion, so if you enjoy that type of writing great! If you don’t enjoy it then you have been warned.

One of the first places this becomes an issue is in the area of ecclesiology (study of how the church should be governed). The house and organic groups for the most part seem to be under the impression that there was no leadership structure of any kind in the early church.

We wanted to know if it was possible for Jesus Christ to lead His church in our day just as he did in Century One – without a human head (pastor, minister, priest, etc.) – Frank Viola (Interview with Alan Knox)

Now I have already done some research into this area and it is clear to me, and the historical church that there is some form of human leadership within the church. It began with the apostles who then called for the ordination (election or appointment) of elders for each local congregation. These men were not mere the ones that fulfill the role as some people have asserted, i.e., if you do the job of an elder then you are an elder, but they were officially recognized by the local congregation, and the Bible points out certain responsibilities for these men.

The view that all people are gifted for the works of ministry in the church is one of the founding thoughts of the reformation and is one that most if not all of protestant churches hold to. The organic churches seem to go too far in the view that there are no Christians that are specially positioned in the church, like pastors and elders. Their main cry is that “He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,” which means that all of us as Christians are to minister to one another but there. And there is no real need for Pastors to do these things.

The priesthood of the believer has been so reduced to ministries like childcare and ushering that many pastors end up doing most of the ministry in the church community all alone. If someone is in the hospital, we call the pastor; is someone is in need of prayer, we call the pastor (After all he is the only one qualified to pray). Each believer has the responsibility to minister to the body in the ways they are gifted and beyond. Ministry isn’t just the Pastor’s job.

On the other end of the spectrum, Paul tell the Ephesians elders (read Pastors) to shepherd over the flock, in fact pastor means shepherd. Pastors are to watch over the flock and guard and guide them. Hebrews 13:17 assumes that Christians have leaders; “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” Not only does it assume some form of leadership it assumes authority of those leaders. It would be very difficult of not impossible to have any real authority if that authority was vested in a person simply because they met the qualifications but were not appointed. You could simply decide that a person is not your leader, therefore not worthy of your obedience.

I suppose the idea here is that there is a balance in this conversation that needs to be found by both sides of the discussion. It is far too easy to only see one side of a discussion when the truth if closer to the middle than on either end of the spectrum.

Categories
Misc

Best of //Godfidence 2008

I thought I would drop a list of my favorite posts of the year as well as the “Reader’s Choice.”  Take some time to look them over won’t you.

Jason’s Favs:

  1. Pride again rears its head. — I enjoyed this post because it gave me some insight on my personality and I hope has really helped me in my relationships with others, I know it has with my wife.
  2. Wow, answer to prayer! — This is just a good praise to God for answering prayer.
  3. The Parable of the Soils — This was another personal revelation and I wrote two posts on it although one is personal I believe it is still affecting me.
  4. Studies in Words — This was a great book by CS Lewis that I attempted to review.  It was just a great experience.
  5. First Among Equals — This was an addendum to my Biblical Leadership series, it makes the list because it was an example of what I wrote about in “Pride”(above)
  6. Biblical Church Leadership — This was fun to research and fun to read because I was able to learn for myself and look into a topic that has been much debated.
  7. Suburban Missionary — I wish I would have kept up with this series, not because of the writing but because I want to reach out with the Gospel to those around me.
  8. Community: a synchroblog — It was fun to take part in a synchro blog and this was a topic I care about.
  9. Being an Abba — This has been a great thought as I attempt to raise my daughters in the admonition of the Lord.
  10. Tribal Culture — I still haven’t had time to read the books some readers recommended on this one but I am still thinking about it.
  11. Could our financial woes be good for the Gospel? — Just some thoughts to put a good spin on the troubles we are facing.  I am not the only one thinking it

Reader’s Choice — Most Popular based on comments and number of times read, and some other factors.

  1. Rob Bell’s Trampoline
  2. Book Recommendations
  3. Through the Bible: Conquerors
  4. Suburban Missionary
  5. Biblical Church Leadership
  6. Community: a synchroblog
  7. Friday Videos: Global Warming
  8. Pagan Christianity
  9. Suburban Missionary: Friend of a Friend
  10. Pirates? Are you serious?
Categories
Misc

My Birthday

Today is my 30th birthday.  In case you wanted to know…

Categories
Misc

My hometown made Snopes.com!!!

I get new urban legends sent to my reader everyday and this one shocked the tar out of me. It isn’t often, in fact I don’t think I have ever seen my hometown online. Unless I looked it up.

snopes.com: Razor Blades in Merchandise

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Misc

Parallel thoughts?

I wrote yesterdays blog two weeks ago and today I discovered that John Piper was having some similar thoughts about the economic crisis. These times are good for missions.

Please read John Piper’s Article here, it is short and wonderful.

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Misc

Worship or Pop

Ok, I am trying really hard not to be so critical but on our way to King’s Island this past weekend my wife was flipping through some radio stations and stopped on some music that isn’t really my style but I started listening because it seemed pretty good.  Half way through I had to ask, “Is this a Christian song or a pop love song?”  My wife laughed out loud and responded with “That is why I love you, you are straight forward about that stuff.  It is a Christian song”

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Misc News

Lots of Changes

I have finally decided on a new theme for this blog and I plan on making a few other, deeper changes.  God has shown me a few things that I didn’t realize about myself and after some meditation I plan on changing my life accordingly.  God recently revealed some bitterness to me, it was difficult to see because it wasn’t toward any particular person.

I am taking this blog in a slightly more personal direction because it doesn’t seem like people like to read my arm chair theology anyway but I still like writing it so it may come up occasionally or I may just keep it private, I haven’t really decided as of yet.  Anyway I make the look of the blog a little brighter and hopefully a little brighter over all.