Sunday, August 13, 2006

Bible Prophecy

I love it when bible prophecy comes to pass. For instance, David wrote about Jesus' crucifixion a thousand years before Christ’s birth & hundreds of years before crucifixion was created and perfected by the Romans. "Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and feet" (Psalm 22:16). My favorite prophecy, however, is found in Ezekiel 1. In this chapter Ezekiel is standing beside a river in Babylon when God gives him a divine vision of His glory. God manifests His glory through some strange looking "living beings" that had wings, hooves, and human faces. Evidently, Ezekiel was so impressed by these "beings" that he fell on his face in awe. Although the beings appeared to have been breathtaking, and Ezekiel had never seen such an incredible creation, this is not the focus of Ezekiel’s writing. Similarly, Ezekiel's reaction to the "beings" is also crucial to the text, yet, I do not think it is the main point either. After reading this chapter many times I have concluded that Ezekiel was alluding to something much deeper & more mysterious than flying angelic creatures which descended from above. I think the main point of Ezekiel 1 is found in vv. 15-20

“15 As I looked at these beings, I saw four wheels on the ground beneath them, one wheel belonging to each. 16 The wheels sparkled as if made of Chrysolite. All four wheels looked the same; each wheel had a second wheel turning crosswise within it. 17 The beings could move forward in any of the four directions they faced, without turning as they moved. 18 The rims of the four wheels were awesomely tall, and they were covered with eyes all around the edges. 19 When the four living beings moved, the wheels moved with them. When they flew upward, the wheels went up, too. 20 The spirit of the four living beings was in the wheels. So wherever the spirit went, the wheels and the living beings went, too (NLT).

One might skip over these verses without giving a second thought. However, after a proper exegetical study & intense prayer I realized Ezekiel was confirming God's inerrant word through predictive prophecy. Essentially, Ezekiel is foretelling of a future day when mankind would rise up and “ghost ride the Whip” on into “C-town,” rollin’ on a set of “dub fowz” while ‘dem chrome rims is spinnin.’ In other words, Ezekiel sees the first set of 24” shinny Spinners, or Spreewells, on an old Caddy. The hooptie is coming down from the heavens while the whacked out creatures are hanging out the top leanin’ back. Finally, Ezekiel gives further proof of his prophecy in v. 20 when he states that the, “spirit of the living beings was in the wheels!” Amen brother Ezekiel! I could not have said it better myself.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

What is DISCO-Calminianism?

I thought I would add a post that explains the name of my blog, "DISCO-Calminianism." The name is pretty much a dorky theological joke that I used to make a point about unity within the body of Christ. One of my teachers at CIU (Columbia International University) said one time, as joke, that he was a DISCO Theologian. By this he meant that his theology was somewhere in the middle between Dispensationalism and Covenant theology. The punch line of the joke is that the two theologies are opposites of each other. Although I have not studies these in too much depth here is a basic explanation of both of them. Dispensationalism is basically the belief that God speaks to people throughout history in different ways in each historical time period, or dispensation. In the Old Testament God spoke through the Law of Moses, and through the prophets, today God speaks through the bible and Holy Spirit. Covenant theology is the belief that God set up two covenants. In the Old Testament God created the Old Covenant, and then in the New Testament he added a greater Covenant to replace the old one. This is the New Covenant. The Calminianism part is the combination of Calvinism and Arminianism, which are also exact opposites. Calvinists believe in predestination, and Armenians believe in free will. The reason I did this was two fold. First I wanted to point out that, although these four theologies are opposites they are all still truly Christian, and when it comes to the "Big Picture" they really don't matter. This is small stuff, especially when compared to Christ’s greatest commandment, to love God with all our hearts, and love others as we love ourselves. The second reason was to make a joke and simply point out that my theology is some where in the middle. I think there is a lot of truth in Covenant Theology, Dispensationalism, Calvinism and Arminianism, however, they are man made systems designed to explain and infinite God. Therefore there are faults to all of them, and non are completely correct.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

It's All Greek to Me

Well, I started studying Greek. In a few weeks my semester will begin, and I get to start a three or four semester trek through the land of Ancient Greek! This scares the junk out of me! It frightens me almost as much as it excites me. That is why I am starting a month early. Oh yea! And you know what….....Three weeks into the class I will probably still not understand a lick of Greek. Nah, I am really just kiddin'’ on that last thing. But Greek is really hard. Now, I truly understand the saying, "It'’s all Greek to me." Although, it is difficult there are several things that really motivate me to learn the language, as best as I can. First, after 26 years, I am finally learning English. Yes, you heard right, I am learning my own language. If you ask me English is the most confusing, crazy, mixed up language in the world. It has all these rules, yet seven out of ten times the exceptions to the rules take precedent over the actual rules. For example the rule, ""i"” before "“e"” except after "“c,""” only applies for the word, "“friend."” What is this!!!??? There is no "c" in the word "their" I am glad I never had to learn english as a second language. I used to hate grammar in middle school. I was always the kid in the class who would ask the pretty girl next to me what the answers to the class work and homework were; therefore I never really learned the language. (While we are on the topic of English why is, "“homework"” a compound word and "class work" isn'’t; oh well never mind). Ok, enough of my tangent, back to my point. I have never learned English until now, and in order to understand grammar like the nominative case in Greek I first have to know what the subject of a verb is in English. The second reason I am pumped to learn Greek is that now, I will be able to read the New Testament in its original language! How COOL is that! For the first time I won'’t have to rely totally on others translations. I will actually be able to translate the New Testament for myself! Well, that's my goal, at least. This is huge for apologetical reasons, because when it comes to disputed passages I won'’t have to pick one side over the other based on limited information. I will be able to figure out supposed contradictions and hard passages for myself. Even better than that, I will be able to read the same language that was around at the time of my Lord, and that Peter, Paul, John, and all the other apostles used when writing their letters! Although, this is my final goal I still have a long, hard, joyous road before I get there. Finally, it gives me lots of encouragement that my beautiful & intelligent wife, Jenn, is so enthusiastic to help in the journey. Yesterday, as I was studying she was more than eager to call out my flash card vocabulary words. Periodically as she was quizzing me she would stop to tell me that I was doing a great job in learning Greek. (I think she was lying about that to make me feel good). Now, that is what I call an incredible wife! Jenn, who has already sacrificed lots to allow me to go to seminary, is now helping me and strengthening me the entire time. Wow, that'’s what I call a servant. I don't know what I did to deserve her. Actually, I didn't do anything, I am just very blessed.