Tuesday, December 8, 2015

34 Theses on a 34th Birthday


Similar to Martin Luther’s 95 theses that he nailed to the All Saints Church door in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517, I am composing 34 theses on my 34th birthday about the church plus some.

1. For the evangelical church to survive, we must adhere to the old saying of “in essential doctrines unity, non-essentials liberty, and in everything charity.”

2. In our ever changing culture, apologetics must take a central role in evangelical outreach to carry out the imperative statement in 1 Peter 3:15.

3. Though our doctrinal differences still remain (though hopefully are in on going debate/dialogue at the academic/laymen level), the Evangelical church must make camp with our fellow theists in the conservative Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic tradition on important moral issues of our day.

4. Fathers must lead their families (despite feminism) through service, love, truth, and grace.

5. Apologists must appeal to not only the left-brained individual, but the right-brained as well through story and dynamic writing/speaking.

6. Laymen should and must not condemn their brothers and sisters in Christ who obtain more knowledge about the Christian worldview in order to defend it with gentleness and reverence toward God for doing so goes against the biblical witness (for there is a differences between “knowing” the Christian worldview is true, primarily through the Holy Spirit vs. “showing” it is a intellectually viable option for some who are more intellectually inclined).

7. In light of contemporary attention spans, sermons, I urgently suggest, should be concise, compelling, cogent, and to the point in order to attract more men and women to the church.

8. In order to stay up on culture, we must be, with discernment, engaged with it for doing so will aide in evangelistic conversations about eternal truths that come out (though rarely) of movies, books, and plays.

9. Zondervan and other publishers should keep on publisning book’s that share multiple views on modern doctrinal views on baptism, eschatology, soteriology, hell, sin, instrumental worship, and the like for doing so will bring about a visibly unified evangelical church.

10. Parents should have content filters on their children’s computers.

11. During a disagreement, husbands and wives might consider the difference between “understanding” their spouse’s point of view vs. “believing” it (one can get what the other person is saying without actually agreeing with it).

12. The old saying that goes “children should be seen, not heard” has little value though children must find something else to do when husband and wife are having their daily conversation.

13. Grandparents, though important, are not the decision (except when civil laws are clearly broken) makers in grandchildren’s lives for the parents are to “teach them the ways of the Lord.”

14. Academically speaking, the humanities (theology, philosophy, logic, etc) have just as much value within the knowledge sphere as the hard sciences.

15. Academic accountability comes primarily from the Lord through reason and logic for covenant doctrinal statements play a secondary role.

16. Millennial aged voters should exercise their right to select the candidate of their choice.

17. The word “cult” shuts down the conversation with our Latter-Day Saint neighbors for the word “heterodox” represents the truth that the LDS worldview is divergent from historic Christianity.

18. Voters should realize that our next president, within the American context, will nominate a number of Supreme Court justices which will shape the highest court for years to come.

19. Trustees in parachurch organizations should decide doctrinal disagreements through prayer and clear reasons based on Scriptural exegesis, sound hermeneutical practice, and logical presentation.

20. Republicans and Democrats, in the USA, should pass a national balanced budget.

21. Climate change debates should be based on plausible facts explained to the laymen and not rhetoric or authoritative statements from the United Nations.

22. Recycle, reduce, and reuse makes sense.

23. Poverty is bad, fair wages are good, and the federal government should play a reasonable, but limited role in setting the minimum wage.

24. All lives matter

25. Salvation statements in the 66 books of the Bible are understandable for the learned and unlearned person, but other parts require study and thought in order to come to a sound interpretive conclusion.

26. To publishers, footnotes are the way to go, not endnotes despite if it saves paper.

27. Turabian rules are arbitrary, for reasonable citation is the key because the content should be the measuring rod for the professor to consider.

28. Playing music extremely loud up and down streets is not freedom of speech; it is disturbance of the peace for it is imposing one’s musical taste on another without a permit.

29. Sola Scriptura is a essential doctrine, though creedal statements play a key role in doctrinal distinctions.

30. Though trivial, Saint Louis Bread Co should brew decaf coffee all day and not stop at 2pm for what good does it do to have decaf in the morning?

31. There is less evidence, explicit or implicit, for instrumental music in the Bible vs. the practice of Christian apologetics.

32. Terrorism is both domestic and international.

33. Talking about sex, within reason, should not be taboo within the church for Scripture approves and celebrates it within certain contexts.

34. Paul says in 1 Cor. 16:13-14, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.” (NIV) for this is essential for believers in a ever changing world.

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