Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Opus 2022-287: You Can Call Me John...

Labels help.  I am a fan.  They are shortcuts that aid in our thinking and decision making.  They also can be useful in assisting us in being empty headed and lazy.  

One of the big problems in our post-modern society is that the people who control the information keep changing the meaning of words.  At one point a Liberal was someone who believed in the rule of law, the Bill of Rights, the worth of the individual and the almost sacred nature of property.  Twenty years ago that would describe a conservative.  Now that we have the Never-Trumpers ravaging the landscape it seems to be restricted to the far right.

As a Christian I have noted this most frequently in the words we have used to describe people who genuinely believe in Jesus.  A good place to start used to be in asking if someone was a Christian.  There was a time when saying you were a Baptist meant something.  Once we could have called ourselves born again and known what it meant.  Then the used car industry started using the word.  Evangelical used to mean people who were serious about spreading the good news about forgiveness from sin.  Now it means you have a book to sell and want people to think you are spiritual.  Now I almost need a paragraph to explain what it means to be a devout follower of Jesus.

In theology labels are sometimes useful but weak.  Take the difference between Calvinists and Arminians.  That is handy but it really isn’t John Calvin vs Jacobus Arminius.  The majority of Christians don’t know what they believe so the labels go over their heads.  The difference comes down to a couple of starting points and branches out from there.

It is focal doctrine.  The two camps separate early in the debate.  It is Sovereignty of God vs the Image of God.  

It is Predestination vs free will.

If you like big words, it is antinomianism vs legalism.  

Everything flows from there.

For one branch the total sovereignty of God trumps and neutralizes all other considerations.  This is a good point to start because it is true.  God is all the omni’s, omni powerful, omnipresent, etc.  No one on the other side would question that but they understand it in terms of the image of God.  The Bible tells us that when He created us He made us in His image, the Imago De.  That makes us unique in creation.  We are not just products of heredity and environment.  We make choices and those choices are real.  That leads you to free will.

The problem with labels is the same problem we are having with science.  Honest, sincere people can work with either one and make life better.  Hypocrites and frauds can distort either one to advance their agenda.  As usual, the problem is in the people not the program or organization.

Label me skeptical.

homo unius libri

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Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.