What is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted on here.  I’ve been working 60-70 hours a week (at 2 jobs) and still am…but I ended up doing some writing tonight that I’ll toss on here since it’s both a) long enough to be a post and b) of possible interest to some.  Because I’m already past my bedtime by 2 hours, there’s no pictures or editting tonight; just some quick Bible study that’s a horribly rough draft.

I won’t bother with the story of why I’m writing this, but I’m going to answer a single question.  What is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament?

Let’s look at every single instance that the Greek verb Baptizo (“baptize”) and the term Pneuma (“Spirit”) appear together in the Scripture. For those that don’t trust me, look at the results here:

So, here’s the verses: Continue reading

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A Brief Look at Heaven

In this day, there is no shortage of confusion about Heaven: it’s one of the topics of Christian theology that innumerable unbalanced and unregenerate people love to focus on (that and angels, which is highly related).  There is no shortage of fools and frauds that claim to have insight into Heaven; what it’s like, the nature of it, who goes there, etc.  Also, the last twenty years or so has produced a gaggle of I Went To Heaven books where some clown claimed to go to Heaven and get the inside scoop (every single one of those people is lying, and I explain why here).   There’s no shortage of claims about Heaven out there, and it gets pretty crazy.  Try and survive a few minutes of this barking-mad insanity, which is shockingly peddled by the New Apostolic Reformation crowd (Just kidding…I’m not shocked for a second).

So in an effort to help sort through the mess of misinformation,  I took my youth group through a brief exploration of the topic of Heaven.

Here’s the notes I gave them, for your encouragement and edification! Continue reading

Responding to The “Shellfish Objection”

Here’s something I taught the youth in my church recently as we were dealing with various issues related to Christianity.  I hope this is helpful to folks who have struggled with this question!

Christians who appeal to the Old Testament in conversations about homosexuality are often (crudely) accused of hypocrisy because the regulations regarding sexuality are part of the Old Testament Law.  The “Shellfish Objection” popularly comes up like this:

kirk-shellfish
The Shellfish Objection is often articulated in a version of the following:

The Argument: Since the Bible condemns eating shellfish but Christians don’t obey the laws against eating shellfish, then they’re hypocritical when they quote other laws as binding.  In other words, Christians hypocritically pick and choose which rules they follow.  Continue reading

Quick Thoughts: What is the “Seven Mountains Mandate”?

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park /Lac Moraine, parc national Banff, Alberta

If you’ve heard of the New Apostolic Reformation, you’ve heard of many strange ideas.  One of those may be the “Seven Mountains Mandate.”  What is that exactly?  Well, the Seven Mountains Mandate is an idea that originates in a vision that Loren Cunningham (founder of YWAM) and Bill Bright (founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, or Cru, and author of The Four Spiritual Laws) both had in 1975 (read about it here and here and here and here). The idea was that there are seven spheres (circles of cultural influence) that were the key to world evangelism; if a person could “reclaim” each sphere, they would establish Christianity across the globe and finish the great commission (and as a side benefit, usher in the second coming). Cunningham was told (by God, no less), that he had to infiltrate each sphere to successfully evangelize the world.

What were those seven spheres? Continue reading

Movie Review: God’s Not Dead 2

Gods Not Dead 2

It’s been just over two years since the movie God’s Not Dead came out.  When it came out on DVD, I saw it and wrote a review.  I wasn’t a fan because God’s Not Dead wasn’t a movie about Christianity; it was a movie about cultural Christianity.  It was a movie about the sort of shallow religiosity that I was taught when I was a teenager.

It was a movie where “theism” is the same as “Christianity”.

It was a movie where people become Christians without repenting of their sin or even mentioning Jesus at all.

It was a movie where the best part of the Christian life was attending a Christian Rock concert.

It was a movie where a freshman took on a PhD philosophy professor/atheist with a few pithy quotes and a couple of hours spent in a library.

It’s no shock that I really disliked the first movie; it showed the state of evangelicalism and pretty much explained why “I went to Heaven” books are always on the best seller list.

So, was God’s Not Dead 2 any better? Continue reading