A Critique of Worship Music Criticism

The last question I’d have to ask is if worship music criticism does not point to a deeper issue and that of being critical in general. While I can’t speak for individual motives behind each rendering of criticism, I have found with my own self it stems from a prideful arrogance that somehow my standard should set the precedent for how we worship God.

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"1. Put your heresy in a song with a good beat. It will be sung in churches all over the world."

10 Heresy-Hiders in Evangelicalism

7. Appear cool, sweet, metro, or simply different from other pastors. Spike your hair and dress cool. Say curse words from the pulpit occasionally. Be “edgy,” a type of “shock-jock.” Be the “Howard Stern” of the evangelical world.

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Book Review - Waiting for the Land: The Story Line of the Pentateuch

Over the past few years I have fallen in love with the Pentateuch. I now see it as some of the richest theology in all of Scripture. So when I saw this book from P & R Publishing, its title and evocative cover had me hooked in no time flat. Waiting for the Land: The Story Line of the Pentateuch by Arie C. Leder did not disappoint. Instead old insights were crystallized and new gems were discovered as I paged through this wonderful book.

My copy of this book is so dog-eared and underlined that for a long time I’ve hesitated to write this review. I know I won’t be able to say everything I want to about this book, or share every insight that I gained through reading it. I almost want to read the book again right now, as I prepare to finish this review!

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SharperIron's Doctrinal Statement: Questions from Readers

The SharperIron Doctrinal Statement is available here.

Salvation and regeneration

This one came to us via the site contact form in July of 2011.

I would be interested in joining your group and adding to the discussion, however, you require that a person believe your Doctrines Statement and I have a problem with statement #8, which defines “Salvation” as being the result of the inner transformation of the man. This is not Salvation. Your statement is a fine example of the error of Roman Catholicism, which fails to understand the difference between, and relationship of, what Jesus has done FOR us and what the Holy Spirit is doing IN us. Salvation (which is the promise of the believers resurrection from the dead) is what Jesus has done FOR us, outside of us. The new-birth is what the Holy Spirit is doing INSIDE of us (it comes to every believer as a RESULT of trusting the the Gospel of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection). The new-birth is not the Gospel itself and it is not a biblical definition of Salvation.

Would I be allowed to join dispite my refusal to accept your false definition of Salvation?

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Society of Evangelical Arminians: What is Arminianism?

The following is by Dan Chapa of the Society of Evangelical Arminians (SEA). Since theologically serious alternatives to Calvinism seem to be in short supply these days, SharperIron contacted SEA recently about the possibility of representing classical Arminianism for the SI audience. To learn more about the SEA, see their About Us page.

Arminianism is a summary of our understanding of the Scripture’s teaching on salvation. The name comes from Jacob Arminius, who led 17th century opposition to Calvinism, but the idea stems from Scripture and has deep roots in the early church fathers. Many non-Arminians have mistaken notions about Arminianism—as do many Arminians. This post will define and defend the essential aspects of Arminianism (total depravity, resistible grace, unlimited atonement and conditional election), without critiquing Calvinism.

Total Depravity

Both Calvinists and Arminians believe in total depravity—the idea that fallen man requires God’s grace through the beginning, middle and end of the salvation process. Adam’s fall left us unable, of our own strength, to repent and believe or live a life pleasing to God. But total depravity is not utter depravity; the lost don’t commit the worst sins possible on every occasion. Still without God’s grace, sin impacts every aspect of life and we cannot seek God on our own. Rather, He seeks us and enables us to believe.

Resistible Grace

Arminians may vary on exactly how God’s grace works; but all Arminians hold to the necessity of prevenient grace (grace that comes before conversion that enables us to believe). When God’s grace starts drawing us to conversion, we can choose to say no and reject Christ. God hasn’t predetermined repentance and faith; nothing causes these such that rejection is impossible and we cannot choose otherwise. But believing does not earn or cause salvation; God chooses to have mercy on believers.

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