Philosophy

Can you be a bad Reformed theologian?

I’ve really been digging Joe Thorn’s blog series “Experiential Theology”. Check out his blog here. I especially enjoyed his interview with Ray Ortlund, who blogs over at “Christ Is Deeper Still“. I really loved Ray’s response to the following question. Check it out:

We know heretics are bad theologians, but can one be a bad Reformed theologian? How?

Our minds were created to admire grandeur and coherence and challenge. Reformed theology provides all that, plus more. So we like it. But given our wickedness, the very excellence of Reformed theology can make us weird. We can admire our theology of God rather than God, because the theology itself really is gorgeous – but only as a dim reflection of the One described there.

Worse yet, we can admire ourselves for being so smart: “We get it, we’re Reformed, we’re not like those Arminian idiots over there in that other group.” God hates pride. All pride. Reformed pride.

Final thought. Through the years I have learned a lesson: Everything man-made will let us down. Everything, eventually. Even theological systems. Only Jesus will never let us down. We appreciate Reformed theology. But let’s put our final trust here: the risen Lord Jesus Christ himself, our dear Friend, the only Savior of sinners.

Now that’s living!

…that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”
Philippians 3:10-11 ESV

Many of us who live our lives as Christians set for ourselves the goal of “living like Christ”. We look to Christ as our great example of how to “live”. Now I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing, to imitate Christ in our lives is a great thing, something that is commanded in Scripture, yet we must understand first and foremost, to live like Christ is to die to ourselves. We should desire, and strive to “live” like Christ, but that in itself means that we must desire, and strive to die like Christ.  That was Paul’s desire, and it must be our desire as well. Paul said he wanted to “know him and the power of his resurrection” but Paul understood very well that was impossible if he did not become like Christ in his death, and in his sufferings. That is how we attain the “power of his resurrection” that is how we are able to “know him(Christ)” and that is how we are able to “live” like Christ.

*Just as a side not, when I say we must be willing to die like Christ, or become like Christ in His death, I am not saying we must all die on a cross, or even give our lives as a martyr (though we should be willing to do that if need be), but what I am speaking of is more of what it says in Galatians 5:24, to “crucify the flesh with its passions and desires…” or Romans 12:1, to “present your bodies as a living sacrifice…” Basically what I am speaking of is to die to ourselves, so that we can live for Christ (See 2 Corinthians 5:14-17)

Are we really willing to “die” like Christ? Is our hearts desire really to “know” Him? Are we really willing to “share in His sufferings” do we really want to become like Him? When spoken of like this, is the Christian life more or less desirable to you? Take some time to think about it, I know I will…

“…And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
Philippians 2:8 ESV


Morning Meditations…

What I’m reflecting/meditating on this morning:

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come.”-Revelation 4:8

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”-Isaiah 6:3

“Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?”-Exodus 15:11

When we read, hear, and say that God is holy, it is somewhat easy to pin down what that means. True, there are many facets, and his holiness, splendor, and majesty may be beyond our full comprehension, but we have a general picture of what it means, and though we may not fully comprehend it, it cannot help but turn our hearts to worship.(Unless you are Spiritually dead…)

As I think about, and reflect on God and His word this morning though, as I meditate on the above Scriptures, and His holiness, I can’t help but ponder the implications of His holiness for us when I read such passages as:

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”- Genesis 1:27

“…but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy…”-1 Peter 1:15-16

All I can say is wow, examine myself, be humbled, and then I must worship…