July 22, 2005

Stephen Shields pours gentle words all over the recent discussion with Australia. There’s a lot to learn here. Thanks Stephen. Read more

July 22, 2005

In this post on conversion, I want to look at the sixth dimension of conversion: consequences.The first five dimensions, which are not “steps” but dimensions that often are intertwined and dialectical — like any good relationship, are (1) context, (2) crisis, (3) quest, (4) encounter-interaction, (5) commitment, and (6) consequences.One of the issues that has vexed pastors and Christians leaders for centuries is the problem when Church members, believers by all appearances, have little visible consequence of Christian behavior in… Read more

July 22, 2005

In this post on conversion, I want to look at the sixth dimension of conversion: consequences.The first five dimensions, which are not “steps” but dimensions that often are intertwined and dialectical — like any good relationship, are (1) context, (2) crisis, (3) quest, (4) encounter-interaction, (5) commitment, and (6) consequences.One of the issues that has vexed pastors and Christians leaders for centuries is the problem when Church members, believers by all appearances, have little visible consequence of Christian behavior in… Read more

July 21, 2005

In their 2004 book, If Grace is True, Philip Gulley and James Mulholland make a case for universalism and this is their essential creedal contention:I believe — on the basis of their experiences;God — who is the gracious, loving Father Jesus revealed;will — this is what this God wants;save — ultimately, finally, perfect;every person — who has ever lived, is living, and ever will live.Some of you may have read this book and know of some discussions out there. I’ve… Read more

July 21, 2005

In their 2004 book, If Grace is True, Philip Gulley and James Mulholland make a case for universalism and this is their essential creedal contention:I believe — on the basis of their experiences;God — who is the gracious, loving Father Jesus revealed;will — this is what this God wants;save — ultimately, finally, perfect;every person — who has ever lived, is living, and ever will live.Some of you may have read this book and know of some discussions out there. I’ve… Read more

July 21, 2005

In the fifth dimension of conversion (commitment), a person makes it clear that she or he is now committed to a relationship with Jesus. Conversion theorists say they are three “manifestations” of commitment: decision, surrender, and witness.We need to keep commitment all wrapped up in a relational mode instead of wandering into a judicial mode, however important the latter is, if we want to see its full-orbed nature. The decision is a decision to “be with Christ,” and the “surrender”… Read more

July 20, 2005

I was impressed with much of what I read on Sivin Kit’s website about Chris Erdman’s “preaching on the run.”Makes me a bit nervous, but I’m also quite sure that Jesus didn’t sit down and take notes, or that Paul did much of that sort of thing either. Maybe, but maybe not. A word to consider.But, we shouldn’t forget the awesome task of preaching or that the fastest way to be shifted from the pastoral office to another one is… Read more

July 20, 2005

A final thought on Peter.Let us accept that there are sudden or at least cataclysmic conversions like Paul’s. We know little about Paul’s experience prior to his conversion, but it is entirely possible that he had heard the gospel before his life-changing trip to Damascus. Even if that is the case, his conversion made his eyes twitter and his body shake and his soul wrench.And let us also accept that some people, as my former colleague, Perry Downs, used to… Read more

July 19, 2005

The blog has been pretty busy today, so it is about time for me to jump and in and give my two cents worth.First, I believe that question, which is innocent in itself, assumes what I will call at this point a judicial sense of conversion. That is, there is a point in time when God says “OK, you’re trust is genuine, you can be brought across the line, and the verdict is ‘forgiven’.” Such a judicial sense of salvation… Read more

July 19, 2005

Let me make a distinction again, because I’m hearing it enough and it is helping some people to see more of what is going on, it puts much of the critique into a smaller niche, and it frees us up to think more of what is going on.Emergent refers to the official organization (or whatever you want to call it). There was a lot of chat about this when Tony Jones became National Coordinator — and I say good for… Read more

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