Sunday, October 13, 2013

Wesleyan Thoughts on the Westminster Confession of Faith

Although I primarily attend a Nazarene church, which has essentially Wesleyan theology, I often think about and/or look at other branches of Christianity, for the purpose of seeing what I can learn from them. Just because I am not a Calvinist does not mean I reject everything opined by a Calvinist. So, with that thought, here goes. I am going to examine the Westminster Confession of Faith to see what I strongly agree or disagree with.

So then, let us examine chapter 1. The first paragraph addresses the difference between general and special revelation. The heavens declare the glory of God, but that is not enough to teach us about Christ's salvific work. God has revealed Himself to us in a multitude of ways to select folks in the Old and New Testaments.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

My Gallup Strengths Finder Results

In early 2011 I purchased a Tom Rath book and took its included Gallup Strengths Finder test as seen here. I haven't really thought about the results for awhile, but they recently came to mind as a result of me re-evaluating my SHAPE, both spiritually and otherwise. For those that don't know, by SHAPE I mean the following, as heard from Rick Warren.

Spiritual Gifts

Here are my top 5 strengths. I am re-thinking what these mean for me.

People who are especially talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.

People who are especially talented in the Connectedness theme have faith in the links between all things. They believe there are few coincidences and that almost every event has a reason.

People who are especially talented in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.

People who are especially talented in the Analytical theme search for reasons and causes. They have the ability to think about all the factors that might affect a situation.

People who are especially talented in the Intellection theme are characterized by their intellectual activity. They are introspective and appreciate intellectual discussions.

Now the question is, what do I do with these. I am re-evaluating them now.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 Ideas

In the past I have not proceeded with tremendous deliberateness or planning with regard to my Christian walk. I have often decided to read and study certain things based on what seemed interesting in the short term, and taken teaching opportunities that came up as a result. As a result of interaction with some Christian leaders I know, including Alan Stoddard, I have decided to put a little more planning into this.

I am not licensed or ordained in a Christian church, but I believe this is a long term goal I will pursue. Consequently, although this is not something I will achieve in 2013, other short term goals I work on from a faith perspective should I believe help with discernment and hopefully achievement of this long term goal.

In the short term, things I want to focus on include the following things.
  1. I am married, so I am by default my wife's pastor. I need to ensure her spiritual growth. We will be working on studying the Bible together. We are very different people in terms of study methodologies, so this will be a challenge for both of us. I normally use Logos with a stack of Bibles, commentaries, and somewhat academic books. We will likely be doing the chapter study method from Rick Warren's Bible study methods book.
  2. I am fairly often given what I would call substitute teaching opportunities at the church I attend. I also lead and sometimes participate in #bodylife chats on Twitter. Consequently, I need to be sure I continue to learn to be able to do that. I am fairly motivated to dig into interesting things on my own without much external prodding, so this should be pretty easy. I have been called a digger; I love a tough question. Even though there are some things about God I believe we cannot know, looking at these tough questions draws us closer to Him.
  3. Prayer is very important to me; and corporate prayer I believe is something that is sorely missing from Christian corporate worship today. I intend to do all I can to encourage that in many ways, including talking about it more on #bodylife chats, and working to lead more of it at the church I attend. I would love for believers I interact with to want to go to prayer first as opposed to waiting till we are flat on our backs, out of breath and or options.
  4. I want to do all I can to encourage people to generally talk about faith. If we disagree so be it, but let us at least have the conversation, so that we can know why we disagree, and so that we can each ponder our correctness. Let us be able to be ready to make our defense to anyone who demands from us an accounting for the hope that lives in us.
  5. I do a decent quantity of reading, studying and interacting with people regarding Christian faith. I have not recorded much of that, aside from some personal notes. I will want to record more of what is hopefully beneficial for others in this blog.

For each of the items above, I will have to continue to study to do them effectively. Additionally, when I do spiritual gift surveys, prophet, teacher, and leader are almost always the top 3, and the above items correspond with these gifts I think.