A Muslim protecting Christian doctrine; Unknowingly!

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nj-easter-egg-huntI said it once and I will say it again! Those who devise non bibilically prescribed customs and feasts to the Christian faith are the ones who are “doing the work of the devil” reducing Christianity into a “fairy tale” with Santa Claus, Eastern Bunny and, of course, egg hunts, and certainly a few other childish parties.

Oh, of course these are such innocent things that they will hardly affect anyone, or any child’s forming faith, right? Wrong! You talk to your children about the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, along with teaching them about Jesus, then you expect that they will grow up and filter off the childish things and realize that none of these characters are real and for some miraculous reason, you hope that they will keep Jesus as a “truthful” character… What a hope!

Before you say it, as an avowed Calvinist I shouldn’t worry because after all God will preserve his own. It is right there in the “P” of T.U.L.I.P, or, “perseverance, (also preservation) of the saints, right? Wrong again! Yes, God will preserve His own but that doesn’t relieve you of your parent responsibility in raising your child in the most pure form of Christian faith!

Oh, I am all in favor of enjoying our liberty in Christ and I am all against legalism in any subtle or conspicuous form it rears its ugly head (and legalism’s head is in the rear), so, I am not talking about turning your child into an outcast, devoid of contact with society, and not participating in some “innocent” play, although such an “innocence” is debatable. What I am talking about is this militant stance in defending these types of activities not prescribed in the Bible as if they were somehow to be revered as something directly from heaven’s throne room! And how some do that? Answer: by calling anyone who opposes to such celebration a “anti-Christian” waging a “war on Christianity”, especially if one is not a Christian.

I said it before and I will say it again: God has used anyone to speak for Him, including a donkey, and God will also use those who are currently the enemies of His Gospel if that is what it takes to remove the attention from a stupid egg hunt that, in my view, a Church should not be promoting, and make the Church really turn their attention to what we are celebrating that day, that is, if we indeed celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. When a Muslim is outraged because of something that he was told is a Christian thing, read that outrage as perhaps God speaking through a donkey preventing us from turning the Gospel into a fairy tale sort of nursery rhyme, devoid of its meaningful and sacred and eternal meaning, and the ever changing power that it has been through the ages. Think about it!

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BT2013 just finished up in Dallas, TX. Bible translators and consultants, ethnologists and musicologists, and biblical studies scholars all met and presented papers on topics ranging from the history of Indonesian Bible translation to translation strategies for clause chaining languages. It was fun. I learned a lot. I got a t-shirt.

Some papers, handouts, and PPTs from BT2013 have been posted on MAP.


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A Reintroduction

Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary
Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Let me begin by introducing myself as some of you may not know me. My name is Craig and I’m on of the contributors here, but have been relatively silent for a while. Until this morning, I also blogged at TheoNerd, but because of the ever increasing demands on my life, I have decided to let my blog go and will be blogging here going forward.


For those who don’t know me, I graduated from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in 2009 with a Master of Divinity. I worked in a church for a little over a year, but due to budgetary issues, my position was eliminated in 2011. You can read that story in From Fear to Faith. I currently live in the Seattle area with my wife and daughter.


I write on theology in pop culture and have a talent for finding bad theology, especially on YouTube. I will continue to write on theology and pop culture here, as well as share the bad theology I find.

I look forward to interacting with every one here on a regular basis!

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Pox on the flavour of Christianity.

Note: This is a departure from my normal genre of writing, and is in the format of a rant or vent….one of which I don’t apologise.

John Piper has got up my nose when he said, “God’s intention for Christianity is for it to have a “masculine feel” 

I made the following comment elsewhere today:

Pipers ‘sodmonisation’ of Scripture is what happens when you cowtow to a certain theological belief system and community, in which the peer pressure to remain “one of the boys” is immense.

Seriously this guy has overstepped the mark. Joel made a great comment about his marriage improving in his recent post about leaving Fundamentalism in which he posted about a new book being released by IVP.

Shame on you John Piper! Shame!  Do you really believe that God’s intention is for Christianity to have an masculine feel!

I thought Christianity was about Christ, freeing all of humanity from the bondage of sin and reconciling us back to God. I thought within the framework of Christianity we recognise that both male and female were created in the image of God. And I thought that within the glorious liberation of the Gospel that there is no distinction between gender, race and societal class / position in Christ.  … H.T my blog 

Piper, Driscol, et al, all remind me of a school boys club where they get a grip on each other, if you know what I mean? I think Paul’s vent to them would be….guys I wish you would go and cut all your tackle off! Such is the nature of circumcising the body. …..end of my rant!

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Reading the Bible for All the Wrong Reasons: Chapters 5-7

Click to OrderReading the Bible for All the Wrong Reasons by Russell Pregeant

Here’s the conclusion of my look at Reading the Bible for All the Wrong Reasons. (See Part One here)

Neither Rigid Rules nor Billy Club: The Nature of Biblical Ethics

How do we understand “the rules” of the Bible and how has the Bible’s rules been used to beat people over the head? To emphasize his point, Pregeant tells the story of a woman who suffered years of abuse and was told by he pastor to stay with her husband. Why? Because the Bible demanded it. And yes, this kind of Bible abuse continues today.

The Bible and Our Beliefs: Reflections on Christian Doctrine

Here Pregeant takes a look at traditional theology as well as some other branches of theology (open and process theology are referenced, although not named directly). Pregeant discusses God’s power, knowledge, and the problem of evil.

Life in the Spirit: The Gospel of Grace and Demand

How do we live in the world and not fall into the trap of idolatry? How do we live out the gospel of grace? These are the topics that Pregeant discusses in this final chapter. The answer for Pregeant is love: love of the other.

I think it’s a safe bet to say Pregeant and I are close theologically, so it should come as no surprise that I liked this book. I think this book is a great resource for anyone just starting to question their understanding of the Bible as Pregeant is very careful to provide options, not absolute answers. Pick it up and give it a read. It’s not that thick and is a relatively easy read.

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In the Mail – Catholicism by Fr. Robert Barron

Now here is another book from Image Catholic Books that I am super excited about along with all of the related media.  In fact, a lot of people are very excited about it.  Fr. Robert Barron is going to be doing a livestream on the evening of the book’s release.  But, I’ll remind you all of that when it gets a little closer to time.

Thanks again for Image sending me an advance copy.

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Was Rob Bell really on the news?

I suppose in Christian circles people are asking important questions or providing important answers related to Rob Bell’s new book.  But, one question that I think still needs to be asked is: Is this really newsworthy for the general public? I can see articles in magazines like Christianity Today or something like that.  But, MSNBC?

For one, Bell’s views don’t really even seem to be anything new, i.e. news.  For another, his views really don’t seem to be all that significant compared to say … I don’t know, the leader of the largest Christian denomination in the entire world releasing a book about Holy Week.

But, this seems to be one of the problems to me of round-the-clock news reporting.  What should be most salient gets lost in the midst of … well … whatever.

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What I have learnt from Roman Catholics – so shoot me!

Joel has been having an interesting conversation here and here about Rome Sweet Rome. Also it bears mentioning that Jeremy has joined accepted the invitation to contribute towards Unsettled Christianity with articles of his own.

I have some ties to the RC church. My Grandmother was a devoted Catholic, my mum was raised in the RC church and I was baptised in the church…though later on my mum renounced the RC church and was baptised as an adult in a Baptist church…and us kids were sent to Sunday School at the local Anglican Church.

Later on in life, my mum returned to the RC church to fellowship. The local priests were legendary in the local area. At one time I was the manager of a building supplies business, which was next door to the manse. One night at the local pub – the two priests were there and one called me over. He asked me – your the manager next door…and then seriously said – Its not the swearing that gets me…after all your all hard working men and just being men, its not the noise of the equipment that bothers me – for we get up earlier then that- nor is it the smoke from the BBQ you often have of a weekend or afternoon after work… then his eyes twinkled and he smiled and said… What does offend me is when every afternoon you crack open a slab of beer and don’t have the decency to offer one to me through the fence.

That was unexpected. Some years later I had a powerful conversion experience through the ministry of a Charismatic Anglican church and for 10 years stayed. During that time I become the co-ordinator of a quarterly interdenominational prayer meeting – in which most of the local churches would participate. Including the RC’s. One of the most powerful times was at the RC church. The format of the night would have a representative of each church lead a short devotion into each segment of the night. For this night the priest asked me what I wanted him to speak on – my reply was to seek the Lord and share what ever he thought was right. This was my standard advice to all who were invited to lead.

He shared about what the candles and lighting of the candles signified in regards to prayer and how they were a visual reminder of our prayers going up to God like a pleasant incense to him.  It was amazing to watch as each representative from the various denominations shared and built up on what the previous speaker said…

I learn’t a lot from this priest about the power of acceptance. Though I wasn’t ordained as a minister  and still fellow-shipped with the Anglicans – he would always invite my wife and I to the yearly pastors cerebration meal that he would host at the manse – telling me that my ministry was appreciated. – He would also hold a large bonfire night each year for the church – fireworks etc…. he taught me that Christians should celebrate the good news. That we should be able to have a good time and to celebrate life and to enjoy ourselves.

It was through this RC church that our church did the Alpha course. The local RC Bishop made a local ordinance that every parish had to implement the Alpha course and it was a blessed time to do it and share with others…

In saying this – I still have reservations about singing songs to the saints, relics, veneration of Mary etc…despite these differences and yes I believe they are big differences of opinion…we were able to fellowship around the cross of Christ and his resurrection as being the main thing.


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