Thursday, January 13, 2022

2021 Reading Report

I'm going back through all my notes and trying to reconstruct the list of books I read this past year (I've got to do better about keeping the list current as I go -- that's one of my 2022 goals).

First off, I read the entire Bible through again in the New Living Translation, but this year I used the more leisurely Bible-in-a-year plan instead of the accelerate 90-day schedule (which I found very hard to keep up with in 2020, as it took me closer to 120 days).

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Allegiance over Fear

Since the COVID-19 pandemic struck in early 2020, we've seen all sorts of reactions on social media, on the news, and in out communities. When churches and other public gatherings were forced to suspend meeting for a period of time, one slogan that was bandied about a lot was "Faith Over Fear." 

The Greek word used in the New Testament that is most commonly translated into English as "faith" is the word pistis. As Matthew Bates has ably pointed out in his books Salvation by Allegiance Alone and Gospel Allegiance, pistis can often better be translated as "allegiance."

So I want to retool the slogan "Faith Over Fear" and think about "Allegiance Over Fear."

Friday, November 26, 2021

Drain of Young Pentecostal Brains | Whose Fault Is It?

The following is my translation of a post originally made in Spanish by Fernando E. Alvarado,  a pastor in the Asambleas de Dios of El Salvador, and blogger at Pensamiento Pentecostal Arminiano (Arminian Pentecostal Thought).

It’s common to hear pastors and leaders talk about how young adults and adolescents are abandoning the Pentecostal church thicken the ranks of other movements: “The Calvinists brainwashed them.” “He became reformed.” “She became a Mormon (or a Jehovah’s Witness or some other sect). ”How sad! Too much study drove him crazy, he ended up abandoning the faith.” “They shouldn’t study theology, they turn into liberals and think they know everything, then become apostate.” I’ve heard these many times, along with many other excuses.

Friday, November 19, 2021

How can a book I don't really know be my authority?

I've watched a lot of discussion online recently about biblical inerrancy and the authority of Scripture. An article by Australian theologian Michael Bird caused no small amount of discussion when shared on a Facebook group for discussion among scholars in my national church fellowship.

A couple of days later, I read the following statement in an article about biblical authority and divisions in American Christianity:

Perhaps in certain parts of academia – and in ministerial training in some denominations – historical criticism caused some to question the authority of the Bible, but for more than a century after the Civil War, the reading preferences and church affiliation choices of millions of American Protestants suggested that respect for the Bible’s authority continued undiminished, even if biblical literacy was not quite what it had once been. 

Note that last phrase: even if biblical literacy was not quite what it had once been.