Monday, April 14, 2008

A Funny Thing Happened At the Forum Today...

This evening I dropped by the local Christian bookstore and coffeehouse. I don't go there much - place is a repository of "Jesus junk," but I needed to do some work on my laptop, so I borrowed their connection to the internet.

I had the privilege of overhearing a men's Bible study. Much is to be commended of these men:

1. Three were white, four (or was it five?) were black. It's good to see "Neither Jew nor Greek..." in practice.

2. Following the tradition in many black churches, the leader would call out a reference, and a reader would read it to the group after they had all turned to it. Nice touch, I'll file that away for future use.

3. I caught snippets of their conversation. They are recovering the Gospel. They discussed the way preachers abuse the idea of "Jesus accepts us as we are," and minimize the need for repentance.

4. They danced around it, and I wanted to walk over and instruct them directly but did not, but they wondered about "Free Will," and how this worked with the necessity of man to have a new heart. They quoted from Ezekiel (I will remove your hearts of stone...), and their leader said, "It's God, not us, who gives us a new heart." I didn't quite catch it if he made the right connection to the ordu salutis or not, but I think he's on the right track. There was some oscillation between we have to repent to get a new heart and God has to make us new to repent. So, they aren't clear, but I'm praying they'll figure it out eventually.

5. They talked about wheat and tares and discussed the number of tares in the church today.

So, there is hope for us after all. You just have to open your eyes. I, for one, was encouraged. Pray for this group of men. God is opening their eyes to the Gospel. One remarked, and I've heard this comment before, that it's like unlearning much of what you've been taught as a child. He's right. There's a lot of bad ecclesiastical tradition out there today, but God is working in our midst to correct it.

1 comment:

  1. Gene,

    I wasn't exposed to Reformed theology until I started blogging, just stumbled into it. Unfortunately, you just won't find many evangelical churches teaching the doctrines of grace. But I think the work of yourself and others can "get the word out".