A digital commonplace for a Regular Guy called Charlie Pharis

Category: Theology (page 1 of 1)

On the Supposed “Historical Jesus”…

C.S. Lewis on the alleged “historical Jesus”…

Any theory which bases itself on a supposed ‘historical Jesus’ to be dug out of the Gospels and then set up in opposition to Christian teaching is suspect. There have been too many historical Jesuses—a liberal Jesus, a pneumatic Jesus, a Barthian Jesus, a Marxist Jesus. They are the cheap crop of each publisher’s list, like the new Napoleons and new Queen Victorias. It is not to such phantoms that I look for my faith and my salvation.

C. S. Lewis, “Why I Am Not a Pacifist,” in The Weight of Glory: And Other Addresses (New York: HarperCollins, 1949/2001), 88.

Great Quote on How We Read the Bible…

I’ve been fascinated by Steve McCoy’s blog series on The Big 5: Books That______________.

It’s been enlightening and inspirational to see some of the books that have influenced folks and their thinking. The latest installment is The Big 5: Books That Changed Your Mind. Drilling down through the comments, I came upon this response from Todd Bumgarner, which included this quote…

I have been using two markers in my Bible: a highlighter for the things I like, a sharpie for the things I don’t.

Thanks, Todd. And thanks, Steve!

Wow. Just Wow. Un-freakin’-believable…

Here are some things I bet you pastor/preacher types out there weren’t aware of, until John Killinger said so, in a presentation today in Memphis…

  • Doctrine is a “thing of the past.”
  • Pastors are reluctant to preach from the Gospel of John, preferring instead to focus on the “human” side of Jesus found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
  • We need to be “a little less certain” about who Jesus was and what he was all about.
  • Jesus did not conceive of Himself as the Savior of the world and may not have viewed Himself a sacrifice at all until the crucifixion.
  • Salvation is more about “self-fulfillment and love” than any pesky old doctrine.
  • Daniel lied.


Guess we all need to be “re-evaluating” our stance in light of this “advanced” understanding of the gospel and its ramifications.


Incomplete and Inadequate Worship…

Making my way through Psalms 96-100 today.

This powerful picture of worship resounds with the attributes of a holy, awesome God and our response to Him and His character. Pure praise, right?

Hold on, there. In with all the exhortations to praise, mingled in with the commands to worship, there are some other “necessities” that actually make worship what it was always intended to be.

  • Worship must include evangelism. Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth! Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! (Psalm 96:1-3). After all, didn’t Jesus say that the Father is looking for people from every tribe, nationality, tongue, class, and geography to worship Him in spirit and in truth? By the way, He shared that principle in the context of a conversation with a woman who was far from God: evangelism – that goes along with worship. Are we so enamored of “worship” and all that has come to entail today that we have forgotten the Father’s heart for those who are not yet worshipers?
  • Worship must include stewardship. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts! (Psalm 96:8) Real worship costs something. It’s impossible to say we’re worshiping God with our whole hearts while our treasure tells the real story.
  • Worship must include holiness. Not holier-than-thou-iness. Not rigid, legalistic Pharisaism. Not a pseudo-elitism that separates “us” from “them.” But real holiness of character in our everyday life. O you who love the LORD, hate evil! He preserves the lives of his saints; he delivers them from the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart. (Psalm 97:10-11)
  • Worship must include seeking and expecting to hear from God – and obeying when He speaks. Moses and Aaron were among his priests, Samuel also was among those who called upon his name. They called to the LORD, and he answered them. In the pillar of the cloud he spoke to them; they kept his testimonies and the statute that he gave them. O LORD our God, you answered them; you were a forgiving God to them, but an avenger of their wrongdoings. Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy mountain; for the LORD our God is holy! (Psalm 99:6-9). If we claim to be seeking God’s heart in worship, why don’t we expect Him to speak to us? And if He is actually going to communicate His heart and His plans and His purposes, why aren’t we willing to obey Him fully?
  • Worship must include joyful service. The “classic” passage often used to describe worship is this: Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! (Psalm 100:1-2). How many times have we heard – or said – something like, “I just can’t give up my worship experience to work with the children/students/hospitality/whatever”? Guess what? You already gave it up. And you replaced the only true Person worthy of your worship with someone far inferior. Ouch!

My thoughts. As usual, the customary disclaimer applies. Oh, and your mileage may vary…