This is the anniversary that almost wasn’t. Earlier this year, some of my loyal readers may recall, I posted a farewell post with the full intention of shutting A Peculiar Pilgrim down for good. That cast-iron resolve lasted all of three months. I missed writing, and blogging in particular. I so enjoy the dialogue I’m able to have with all kinds of people that I just can’t reproduce in the non-binary world. So, in an act of subtlety I simply deleted that final post and pretended it never existed. I resumed business as usual and my readers (according to the stats) haven’t missed a beat. So my blogging career rolls on for at least one more season, God willing.
As tradition dictates I’m offering up my favorite posts from 2010 for your reading pleasure:
The Necessity of Theology – This post sprang from the outline to my opening class on the doctrine of Redemption. And I endorse every word of it.
I’m Not Good Enough… – Another angle on the inner turmoil that lead to my personal reformation experience five years ago that once and for all freed me from the aberrant doctrines that had ensnared me for over a decade.
The Ugly Truth About Mirrors – A post about the not-so-popular duty of the faithful minister to his congregation.
The Cornerstone Commandment: Can we Keep it? – Can any single person on this earth muster up within his fallen nature an earnest love for the Lord God with all the heart, soul, mind and strength?
Surprised that I haven’t commented on this brouhaha yet? Actually, so am I. My longtime readers know what an outspoken critic I am of Rick Warren and his purpose-driven pragmatism. For those few who may not be in the know, pastor John Piper, a highly respected preacher/teacher both inside and outside of the reformed community has recently invited Rick Warren to his Desiring God conference this year. Outrage and dismay ensued upon this announcement. Piper made a video justifying his invitation to Warren, saying among other things that he believes at root that Warren is theologically and doctrinally sound. I’m biting my tongue as I write – so much I could say… Maybe that’s why I haven’t said anything.
Bloggers responded immediately, resoundingly condemning John Piper’s discernment in allowing this man a platform at his conference. Some bloggers went over the top and unfairly attacked Piper’s character and his ministry. In certain circles John Piper has been declared anathema. Honestly, If I had posted an article immediately following the announcement I may have crossed that line too as a knee-jerk reaction. I held back, seeking to see the whole picture first. I guess the Lord is maturing me after all. I was beginning to wonder about that.
Anyway, at this point I don’t feel the need to address the issue other than to commend to you an article from Phil Johnson over at the Pyromaniacs blog. After giving the controversy some thought, I can honestly admit that I agree with Phil’s balanced post in about every way possible. And since he can articulate himself much better than I ever could, I will simply point you over to his blog for a thoughtful take on Pipergate. Enjoy!
On the Piper-Warren Connection
I just came across an informative article chronicling the recent resurgence of Calvinism. I agree with the writer’s assessment that this uprising is in response to the shallow, watered down Christianity-lite of modern Evangelicalism. Why? Well, because that’s basically how I came to embrace the doctrines of God’s sovereign grace. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was part of a world-wide movement. I felt like I walked entirely alone for the first couple of years. I battled alienation and discouragement during that period yet I latched on to the teachings of God’s absolute sovereignty with bulldog tenacity. No one, and I mean absolutely no one, agreed my new outlook on the scriptures. I sought refuge and companionship through my blog and found a growing, enthusiastic subculture on the internet where I could work out my theological wranglings among friends, who are also my brothers and sisters in the Lord. Continue reading
This excellent post comes courtesy of Defending. Contending. It vividly demonstrates how the human heart is indeed a prolific producer of idols.
Which Jesus do you worship?
John MacArthur states hard truth as boldly and earnestly as anybody out there. He pulls no punches in this article on his Grace to You blog. I agree with his assessment 100%. A great read.
Speaking of MacArthur and modern Evangelicalism, he has now published a third edition of his outstanding hard-hitting exposé on contemporary church-growth methods, Ashamed of the Gospel. Available at Monergism Books. Highly recommended.
A must read for those struggling with the direction of today's church
I can hardly believe it myself but A Peculiar Pilgrim has reached the ripe old age of three. In blog years that probably makes it eligible for retirement. Many blogs flame out after a year or two and while it certainly hasn’t been stoked into the roaring fire I’ve intended for it the last couple years, at least my flickering light hasn’t been snuffed out completely. I only posted about 30 articles in 09. That’s barely more than 1 post every two weeks. I hope to improve on that in 2010.
In the flesh and blood realm I will be teaching a class on Redemption starting the first week of January. I’ve been hard at work preparing the outlines for the course. I’m thankful to God for this opportunity and I pray it will bless those that God brings into my classroom. My plan is, if time avails, to post articles based on the outlines I’m preparing for the class. I’ll likely post the corresponding articles a week before I teach the lesson. This will also help in articulating and unifying what I’ve written in my outlines. I have about 17 lessons prepared (as of right now) so I would expect at least that many articles on the doctrine of redemption over the first quarter of the year.
As has been the tradition the last two anniversaries, I am posting links to my favorite articles of 2009. In no particular order, they are:
The Justice of God and Are we Saved by Belief or by Actions? – These two articles are responses from the comment section of my post, Will Atheists Go to Hell? by (shockingly!) a couple of atheists. The interaction was cordial and enlightening: A good read.
Grasping God – An article that explores the difficult to comprehend doctrine of God’s omnipresence and my personal struggle to grasp it.
AW Pink on Erroneous Evangelism – A quote from the esteemed theologian (with some personal thoughts added in) that pinpoints the deficiency of the modern church’s proclamation of the gospel.
Is Christianity a Crutch for the Weak? – An article based on a Sunday School discussion that posed this very question.
Four Views of Salvation Throughout Church History – A helpful chart that shows how Calvinism, Arminianism, Semi-Pelagianism and Pelagianism are contrasted in regard to the roles both God and man play in redemption.
Paul Proctor has an outstanding on-point article regarding the sandy foundation upon which the Church Growth Movement (CGM) is built.
Here is an excerpt:
Well, another Leadership Summit has come and gone at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois – a yearly conference led by its senior pastor and Willow Creek Association’s Chairman of the Board, Bill Hybels. They reportedly drew over 6000 attendees this year with some 60,000 watching a live broadcast of the event. They’ve been holding these annual gatherings for 13 years.
In a recent Christian Post article, Hybels once again revealed the humanist nature of the infamous seeker-sensitive church growth movement by posing the question:
“Do we still believe the local church is the hope of the world?”
You see, many Christians might look at that and not realize they’ve been subjected to a dialectic question designed to alter their spiritual priorities and get them onboard an alternative agenda. This is what trained facilitators do under the radar in many churches today.
But I would ask: Is that where your hope lies – in the local church?
Do you believe your church can save the world?
Did it save you?
Read the entire article by clicking on the link below:
Are You a Church Worshipper?