Positional Views


Find this page under the What I Believe section. Click to enlarge.

I spend a lot of time checking out other peoples blogs. I really enjoy surfing the blog sphere getting a feel for what’s going on. Often I read something and wonder, “What informed or influenced a person to come to that conclusion.” To that end I thought it might be wise to allow people to see the things which influence me (I guess it’s something I wish I saw on other peoples blogs). It’s intended to be a working document and by no means complete. I’m sure that there’ll be a number of items which I leave out but I’m going to try and be as transparent as possible.

If you ever wanted to see what’s been added over time you could click on the “What I believe” tab at the top of the page and follow the links.

Remember, if you’re reading this, then you’re exhorted to,

21 But examine everything {carefully;} hold fast to that which is good;”

And I’m exhorted to,

2 preach the word; be ready in season {and} out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.”

My view of dispensations in the Scripture.

I believe that all Scripture should consistently be literally interpretated (often called the Historical-grammatical method). As a natural consequence of this I view the nation of Israel and the Church as separate entities within God’s overall program.

One can clearly observe God choosing to deal with man in 7 clearly distinct ways which are commonly called dispensations. They are innocence (Genesis 1:1–3:7), conscience (Genesis 3:8–8:22), human government (Genesis 9:1–11:32), promise (Genesis 12:1–Exodus 19:25), law (Exodus 20:1–Acts 2:4), grace (Acts 2:4–Revelation 20:3), and the millennial kingdom (Revelation 20:4-6).

Whereas I don’t believe that being dispensational or covenantal affects a persons understanding of soteriology it certainly affects one’s understanding of ecclesiology and eschatology.

What is your view on church discipline?

Christians continue to sin even after coming to salvation (1 John 1:8). All Christians are called to encourage, exhort and rebuke one another so as to mutually build each other up in the Faith (2 Timothy 3:16). If a person from amongst a group of believers sin becomes apparent it is the duty and joy of the brethren to restore him or her. This is as much for the benefit of the individual as it is for the local body (1 Timothy 5:20).

The process followed should conform to Matthew 18. The desired outcome at every stage of church discipline is restoration. It is a complex and difficult task and not one to be engaged in frivolously or without due pray and consideration. The final step of church discipline, rather than being punitive to the offender is an act of release of obligation for the church.

What steps do you follow in leading an individual to Christ?

A person should be presented with the truth of who God is, what man is, what man has done to fall short of God’s glory and what provision God has made to restore the relationship.

Every person is different and will have a different conception or understanding of God. Most people will require more insight into one of the four truths above.

How do you define “evangelism”?

Evangelism is a encompassing word which includes aspects of fulfilling the Great Commission, missiology, and appologetics.

It is one of the foundational works that all churches and all Christians should be involved in.

How do you define the word “inerrant” in relation to the Bible?

It was God who during this process of inspiration directed human authors to compose and record without error His message to mankind. As such Scripture, in the words of the original writings, remains totally without error, free from any contradiction and completely accurate in all its’ parts.

Still to come:

What is your concept of missions and giving to missions?

What is your position on marriages you will or won’t officiate, and your policy on premarital counseling?

What is your understanding of the Bible on the giving of money to the Lord’s work or toward church finances?

What is your practice with regard to counseling in general?

What is your view of the baptism and filling of the Spirit?

How do you interpret the term “imminent return of Christ”?

Is there a real heaven and /or a real hell? Are they eternal?

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3 thoughts on “Positional Views

  1. I look forward to reading your work in progress here.

    One thing I would like to comment on is your section about evangelism. For me, evangelism isn’t something we get involved in, but rather something we do by definition. What I mean here is that anyone who dares to call themselves a Christian is an evangelist. For me, one can not be a Christian without being an evangelist. Evangelism is about sharing the Good News, and so if it is Good News to people then one is going to want to share it.

    • Yip. That’s it. I agree.

      It was getting late and I was getting tired. I spent about an hour writing the section on dispensationalism and even longer on the one paragraph description of inerrancy. I should have stopped rather than continued on to evangelism and done a half job.

      I agree with you on the involvement thing. Paul didn’t just write letters, he stood in Synagogues and markets telling people about Jesus and calling them to repent. He spent night and day growing and teaching people. You’re right: we should too.

      Oh, if anyone else is reading this, at the beginning of this post I said, “I spend a lot of time checking out other peoples blogs.” http://heartofapastor.wordpress.com/ is one of those. I like him. He’s honest. He’s also the only Lutheran I know.

      Thanks for responding,

      Mark

  2. You mentioned this was a work in progress so I knew you had more work to do. It just that when it comes to evangelism I usually get fired up because too many people see evangelism as something that only the pastor does or some appointed committee does or others who are “gifted”. I am surprised at how many people don’t see themselves as evangelist. We indeed have a lot of work to do.

    Thanks for your faithful writing and ministry.

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