5 churchy phrases that are scaring off Millennials

millennialsFrom an article by Adie Zierman, at FaithStreet (read the full article at the link for additional thoughts by Zierman) –

“The Bible clearly says…”

We are the first generation to grow up in the age of information technology, and we have at our fingertips hundreds of commentaries, sermons, ideas, and books. We can engage with Biblical scholars on Facebook and Twitter, and it’s impossible not to see the way that their doctrines – rooted in the same Bible – differ and clash.

In fact, “clearly says” usually means “isn’t clear at all.” I mean, when we say things like that, we are often intending to intimidate the listeners into agreeing with us — because it’s all so clear. And intimidation is not a wise strategy in dealing with anyone, especially Millennials. Continue reading

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Finally, a Granddaughter!

rachel1
I have four sons.
I have one grandson.
And now I have a granddaughter.
Rachel Claire Guin
Born yesterday, 7 lbs 12 oz and 20 inches.

Ah, the joys of grandparenting …

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From the Comments: The Connection of the Church with Israel, Part 5 (Jesus an Old Testament Prophet?)

graftedolivetreeSo now it’s time to talk about Jesus some more. You see, lately I keep seeing this odd teaching that because Jesus taught before Pentecost, he’s really an Old Testament prophet and so his words are not binding on Christians.

Here’s a typical quotation

Jesus was an Old Testament “prophet” not a New Testament “evangelist.”

Jesus never preached the New Testament “gospel” in MMLJ — before the cross. He never produced one New Testament “Christian.”

Teachers of this doctrine include Dan Billingsly and Facebook writer New Covenant Truth. Continue reading

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From the Comments: The Connection of the Church with Israel, Part 4 (Is the Law Hung on the Cross?)

graftedolivetreeOne of the most commonly cited verses in Church of Christ theology is –

(Col 2:13-14 ESV) 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,  14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.

The ESV gets this translation right, but the NIV bungles it –

(Col 2:14 NIV) having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.

This is a key proof text in the argument that we aren’t “bound by the Old Testament” and therefore should be “New Testament Christians.” But the current version of the NIV is a bad translation, and the ESV gets it right. Continue reading

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From the Comments: The Connection of the Church with Israel, Part 3 (Hebrews)

graftedolivetreeThe book of Hebrews, of course, addresses the superiority of Christianity to Judaism. This has led many to treat Judaism as repealed — as a mistake that God has now corrected.

I suppose this attitude is the origin of the term “New Testament Christianity” — since I’m not familiar with an Old Testament Christianity. The idea seems to be that the Old Testament is a dead letter, meaningless to the true Christian.

Some of this comes from the “dispensation” theory popularized by the notes in the Scofield Bible in the 19th Century and given near-scriptural status in the Churches of Christ by the Jule Miller filmstrips, which were used to convert many to the Church of Christ point of view. Continue reading

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Jon Guerra: “I Will Follow You”

Available for free on NoiseTrade.

This was playing on iTunes as I was writing my last post to Paul McGinty.

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“Muscle and a Shovel”: In Reply to Paul McGinty

muscleshovelThis is in reply to a comment from Paul McGinty,

Paul,

The reason I’ve written the books I’ve written and posted here, and the reason I set up this blog back in 2007, posting daily for 7 years, is my concern and passion for the members of the conservative Churches of Christ.

I published The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace in 1994 or so. I then wrote Do We Teach Another Gospel? and decided to make it available at no charge via the Internet. I also obtained permission from my publisher to make The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace available for free on the Internet.

I give these away because I fear for the souls of my brothers and sisters in the conservative Churches of Christ. As you point out, there’s a sad irony in the fact that my studies reveal that the Churches of Christ aren’t the only ones going to heaven (praise God!), but also that certain teachings of the Churches of Christ can be damning. That is certainly not the result I hoped for — I have many dear friends among the conservative Churches — but I do no one any favors by concealing what I’ve learned. Continue reading

Posted in Muscle & Shovel, by Michael Shank, Uncategorized | 34 Comments

From the Comments: The Connection of the Church with Israel, Part 2 (Jesus)

graftedolivetreeWe should next consider what Jesus says about the entry of the Gentiles into the Kingdom. The difficulty, of course, is that Jesus said quite a lot about the Kingdom, and we often disagree as to when he was speaking about Gentiles.

For example, the Parable of the Prodigal Son is often taken to be about a lost personal relationship with God, but many scholars see the prodigal son as representing the Gentile nations and the older son representing the Jews. And so, the analysis gets complicated — but very interesting. Continue reading

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Worship Minister vs. Song Leader

Thanks to http://cartoonchurch.com

Thanks to http://cartoonchurch.com

I get emails –

This is a first grade question, but it seems to be a topic of concern in my church family. What exactly is a worship leader? How does his job differ from that of a song director. Our talented song director retired recently and there is the desire of the part of some to employ a worship leader.

Okay, as you surely have surmised by now, this is one of the all time great Church of Christ straight lines — at the same level as “How many Church of Christ members does it take to change a light bulb?”

[Answer: "Change??????!!!!!!!"] Continue reading

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From the Comments: The Connection of the Church with Israel, Part 1A (Israel’s final fate)

graftedolivetreeSome of the readers have brought up the question of Israel’s final fate. I should have thought to cover the question, and am attempting to correct that oversight now.

In Romans 9 – 11, Paul prays for and certainly hopes for a massive return of the Jews to the Kingdom, and there’s an argument that his prayer will be fulfilled, found largely in Romans 11:26.

(Rom 11:25-27 ESV) 25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.  26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”;  27 “and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” Continue reading

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