Monday, September 8, 2014

Calvinism Reloaded

In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of His glory" (Ephesians 1:11-12). Recently, I visited a church where the name of Christ was not mentioned at all. In fact, the preacher's sermon very seldom mentioned God. It was a man centered message devoid of the supernatural work of God in saving sinners from the eternal wrath of God. The sad thing is, much of American Evangelicalism is filled with this "Christ-less" preaching. Much of Evangelical preaching today has more in common with an entrepreneurial informerical than historic Christianty. Much of contemporary Protestantism is rampant with self-help commericalism and is entirely devoid of the glorious cross of Jesus Christ. True, Biblical Christianity is about the glory of God and how God sent His only Son to die on the cross for our sins and rise again from the dead. True Christianity is about the centrality of the Cross of Jesus Christ and our own inability to save ourselves. We are justified by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone and for the glory of Almighty God alone. True and authentic Christianity is all about God and His glorious grace, which He bestows upon those who utterly do not deserve it. Authentic Christianity is about God and not us. We need to flee from man centered commericalism and return to the Bible and the glory of God. This is why I am a Calvinist, because I believe that Christianity is all about God and His glory and not at all about us.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

One of the most important values in my life is authenticity. I want to live an authentic life at all costs. I do not want to be fake. I want to be real and perceive the world as it really is. I want to avoid lapsing into an existential solipsism (the view that the self is all that can be known to exist) and see the world in the fullness of its reality. Sometimes life is hard and we go through many difficult circumstances in human existence. However, I also see the great potential in this world for greatness and I am striving to change the world in my own way without being a fake or a fraud. I am restarting and relaunching my "Theologian X " blog and allowing this to my primary vehicles of expression while I am at Princeton Theological Seminary because this "Theologian X" motif or alias, has long been the best way to communicate who I really am and want to be known as to the external world. I have chosen "Theologian X" as a summary of my identity and ministry goals because it best sums up what I am all about. "Theologian X" communicates that I am a theological rebel and outcast to the mainstream American Evangelical culture from which I came. I exist to reach the outcasts in society that the church has deemed, "unreachable" and "undesirable." I exist that atheists, rebels and outcasts of society may come to know Jesus Christ the existence of the Triune God. In posting on this blog, I plan to give periodical updates to those who want to know how I am faring at Princeton Seminary and in life on the east coast. I also plan to use this blog to comment on various theological and political issues that will transpire within American Evangelicalism in the days ahead. Some of the things I will write about here will be controversial and "edgy." Some of you may not like my blatant Calvinism and other theological views. Others of you will not like my criticism of much of what is going on in American Evangelicalism and the Southern Baptist Convention and I am sorry. I can't placate and appease everyone. I just spent some very hard years at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas and I have a lot to say about my time there. I will have a lot to say about a lot of things going on inside and outside the church. I also will appeal to atheists, ideological outcasts and free thinkers to consider the claims of Jesus Christ. For the Son of man has come to "seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). Another primary goal of mine in going to Princeton Theological Seminary and posting things on this blog is to spark a nation wide revolution and reformation within contemporary American Evangelicalism. The contemporary American Evangelical movement is in much need of reform. In my own little world I plan to launch a rebellion against the status quo in American Evangelicalism. Like Martin Luther who posted his 95 thesis' on a castle door and gave impetus and rise to the Protestant Reformation, I plan to launch a full throttle Reformation against the mundane commercialism and superficiality so pervasive in the present day Evangelical Church in North America. I clearly realize that this blog, my ministry and views will not appeal to everyone or even most of my friends and family members. However, after spending decades trying to conform to some sort of arbitrary standard of normalcy within American Evangelicalism, I have had enough and the time has come for me to get radical and begin the work of deconstruction. I have chosen the name, "Theologian X" as the title of my blog and ministry because I aspire to be at once a theologian and a rebel against the status quo. I am theological vagabond and outcast that is reborn. .