wink ;): August 2005 Archives

Declared Righteous

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God has declared us righteous. What is going on when He does this? It is clear that we were once unrighteous and that now were are considered righteous. What is going on in this transition and how does it happen? There are three explanations (that I know of) which try to describe what happens in this declaration.

It is fairly clear that giving of our firstfruits to God is a moral action. Poll question: is it also a moral obligation? That is to say, it is good to give to God; is the converse also true--it is bad to not give to God?

For the sake of simplicity, we'll use the word "tithe" to mean the firstfruits which we give to God, and "tithing" to mean the givign of said firstfruits. Understand that this is a rather broad use of the word and it can include but does not imply the narrower meaning of the Jewish commandment/cultic obligation nor does it imply any percentage of income.

For the record, I think that we do indeed have a moral obligation to tithe. What do you guys think?

[Note: I'm just looking for a yes/no with an optional short rationale. I'm not really looking for discussion on this one. We can save the persuading and refuting for a subsequent post.]

Faith is not a Choice

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Just as I don't believe that Love is a choice, similarly I believe that Faith/Belief is not a choice.

Again, the proof is simple: try to believe something purely by willpower. I challenge you to believe that the Earth is Flat, or that George W. Bush is your biological father (note: this example doesn't apply to Bush's actual biological children). If belief and faith really were choices, then we would be able to beleive such things. But we can't.

I know I am going against typical Reformed teaching here, but I think that Love is not a choice. So, although I don't want to pick on people's children, when Adrian's daughter (asked if Love is a feeling) responds "Love is not a feeling. Its a decision.", I do have to say that I think she is only partially correct.

This one is a bit tough because the Greek is a little idiomatic:

  • And the sea wind great blowing was awakened. (interlinear)
  • And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. (KJV)
  • The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing.(ESV)
  • Soon a gale swept down upon them as they rowed, and the sea grew very rough. (NLT)
  • The sea began to be stirred up because a strong wind was blowing. (NAS)
  • Then the sea became choppy because a strong wind was blowing. (my translation)

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