> Don’t Stop Believing – Michael Wittmer’s blog

I just added don’t stop believing Michael Wittmer’s blog to my blogroll. He is a theologian and author who mixes good theology with a good sense of humor

From his About Me page:

My name is Mike Wittmer, and I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan with my wife Julie and our three children. I teach theology at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary and have written two books: Heaven Is a Place on Earth: Why Everything You Do Matters to God and Don’t Stop Believing: Why Living Like Jesus Is Not Enough. I am not sure if I will write another book with the title of a 1980’s rock song, but if I did, it would be Total Eclipse of the Heart (probably a book on sin).


“Caritas in Veritate” – Encyclical Letter of His Holiness Benedict XVI

It may be odd that a protestant, evangelical, reformed Chritian would be able to say that one of his favorite theologians is  Joseph Ratzinger now the current Pope, Benedict the XVI. I read anything of his I can get my hands on. His latest encyclical Caritas in Veritate is something I urge “all people of goodwill” to read…

The search for love and truth is purified and liberated by Jesus Christ from the impoverishment that our humanity brings to it, and he reveals to us in all its fullness the initiative of love and the plan for true life that God has prepared for us.

In Christ, charity in truth becomes the Face of his Person, a vocation for us to love our brothers and sisters in the truth of his plan. Indeed, he himself is the Truth (cf. Jn 14:6).

Read the entire encyclical here:  “Caritas in veritate” – Encyclical Letter of His Holiness Benedict XVI.

The Pope on ‘Love in Truth’ – WSJ.com

Father Robert Sirico of the Acton Institute wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal on Pope Benedist’s latest Encyclical Love in Truth (Caritas in Veritate)

Caritas in Veritate is a reminder that we cannot understand ourselves as a human community if we do not understand ourselves as something more than the sum or our material parts; if we do not understand our capacity for sin; and if we do not understand the principle of communion rooted in the gratuitousness of God’s grace. Simply put, to this pope’s mind, there is no just or moral system without just and moral people.

Read the complete article  here: The Pope on ‘Love in Truth’ – WSJ.com.

Website for Acton: The Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty.

DeYoung, Restless, and Reformed

So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.

I just added Kevin DeYoung’s blog DeYoung, Restless, and Reformed. to my blogroll.

He is Senior Pastor at University Reformed Church  and  the author of the books,

“Why We’re Not Emergent, by two guys who should be” (co-authored with Ted Kluck)Recommended for those who want a balanced critique of the emergent church.

“Just Do Something, a liberating approach to finding God’s will”.  I am going through this book right now with my highschool daughter

“Why we Love The Church – In Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion” – I am currently reading this book and like it alot. Mostly because I grow tired of all the Church bashing…

“Freedom & Boundaries – a pastoral primer on the role of women in the church”; – Haven’t read it yet

All are availabe at www.amazon.com.

Check out his blog and books.

Why We Love the Church: In Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion by Kevin DeYoung & Ted Kluck

Here is a new book I really like alot…hopefully it will help bring some postive dialogue and balance to the current “the church is to blame or everything” movement that is so prevelant today.

Why We Love the Church presents the case for loving the local church. It paints a picture of the local church in all its biblical and real life guts, gaffes, and glory in an effort to edify local congregations and entice the disaffected back to the fold. It also provides a solid biblical mandate to love and be part of the body of Christ and counteract the “leave church” books that trumpet rebellion and individual felt needs.

Why We Love the Church is written for four kinds of people – the Committed, the Disgruntled, the Waffling & the Disconnected.

About the Author

Kevin DeYoung is Senior Pastor of University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan, across the street from Michigan State University. A graduate of Hope College and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, he serves on the executive team of RCA Integrity, a renewal group within the Reformed Church of America. DeYoung in the author of Freedom and Boundaries and co-author of Why We’re Not Emergent with Ted Kluck. He and his wife, Trisha, have three children.

Ted Kluck’s work has appeared in ESPN the Magazine, Sports Spectrum Magazine, ESPN.com Page2, and several small literary journals. A bi-monthly column for Sports Spectrum Magazine entitled “Pro and Con” won the Evangelical Press Association award for best standing column in 2003. Additionally, Ted has written two WGA registered screenplays and an award-winning (Damah Film Festival, Sabaoth Film Festival) short film. Ted co-authored Why We’re Not Emergent with Kevin DeYoung. He lives in Lansing, Michigan with his wife Kristen, and son, Tristan.

via Amazon.com: Why We Love the Church: In Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion: Ted Kluck, Kevin DeYoung: Books.

Published in: on July 19, 2009 at 12:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

> Transforming Culture: Christian Truth Confronts Post-Christian America

Great quote from an article on Transforming Culture  by Albert Mohler

The truths of God’s Word reveal the Gospel of spiritual transformation, and the proclamation of the truths of God’s Word is the only means available to us of cultural transformation. From beginning to end, it is all in God’s hands.

We are called to faithful witness and compassionate ministry.

In the context of post-Christian America, our task is to preach the Gospel and to proclaim the truths of God’s Word. As the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church, the Gospel is foolishness to those seeking wisdom and a scandal to those looking for power. To the redeemed, however, the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. Here is found the only genuine transformation. Therein is found our charge.

Read the rest at Transforming Culture: Christian Truth Confronts Post-Christian America.

Published in: on July 19, 2009 at 12:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

Whatever you ask in prayer….

22″Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23″I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11:22-25

Is God a like a pop machine where we put in our money (in this instance prayer) and out comes what we asked for?  If we don’t have enough faith to believe the pop will come out will it not come out? Maybe, a better question would be what kind of prayer should we have. This will impact what we ask for,  how we ask,  as well as what kind of faith we will have in the answer.

Hear are some insights on these verses from The New Testament Commentary on Mark page 461  (William Hendriksen)

If the promise of Christ ” Whatever you ask for.. it shall be yours” seems almost unbelieveable , it should be borne in mind that such true prayer must be in in harmony with the characteristcs of true prayer which Jesus reveals elsewhere; in fact it must be in line with all of scriptural teaching. Accordingly it must be the expression of

Humble, childlike trust (Mark 10:15 Matt 7:11, 18:3; James 1:6)

A sincere heart and mind (Mark 12:40, Matt 6:5)

A will to persevere (Mark 13:31,33 Matt7:7; Luke 18:1-8)

A love for all concerned (Mark 12:31; Luke 6:32-36;Matt 5:43-48)

Submission to God’s sovereign will (Mark 14:36; Matt 6:10, 26:39)

This also implies that the prayer will be in Christ’s name; that it is in harmony with all that Jesus has revealed concerning himself, and it rests on his merits.  (Mark 6:37,41 John 15:16, 16:23)

Prayer is effective and pleasing to God only when it issues from a loving heart. (Mark 11:25,26)

Published in: on March 1, 2009 at 1:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

to make dead men live….

I found this quote from Father Stephen in a post The Nature of Things and our Salvation on “Glory to God For All Things” . It is found at fatherstephen.wordpress.com

“It is the nature of things that Christ did not come to make bad men good, but to make dead men live.”

Published in: on December 28, 2007 at 9:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Does the world (wide web) know we are Jesus’ disciples from our blogs?

“By this will all the world wide web know you are my disciples, if you have love one for another”

No, John 13 doesn’t go exactly like that. But as I read many religious blogs I see a lot of what the blogger says is “truth”, but without showing much apparent love for the unfortunate target. We can boldly proclaim the truth and at the same time not “bear false witness” against our religious brothers and sisters. Have we wondered why people won’t listen to the truth? If we speak the truth without love maybe they can’t hear it above all the clanging!

“If I speak in the tongues of angels but have not love I am a clanging cymbal…”

See Francis Schaeffer’s little book called The Mark of the Christian

Published in: on November 3, 2007 at 10:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

why matter matters – michael wittmer and heaven is a place on earth

I was talking to my brother-in law about the concepts of how the earth, this material world was created Good by God and how this fact is sometimes lost on Christians who seem to be focused on heaven and the life to come.

If we look at creation, fall and redemption and trace it through we find: That God created the world Good, then in the Garden came the fall into sin. Through Jesus work on the cross sin and death were defeated and now all things are (right now) in the process of being redeemed. In the final picture of Revelation we see a City of God where this redemption is brought to completion and God makes his dwelling with us.

This is why matter matters because it is good and it is where we will live in communion with God and each other.

Michael Wittmer lays out this whole case quite nicely in his book heaven is a place on earth

Published in: on October 7, 2007 at 6:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,