Showing posts from May, 2017

book report - Blue Ocean Faith by Dave Schmelzer (2017)

This book is so much better than I expected!

It's not that I had very low expectations for this work by Dave Schmelzer, but I already listen to his weekly podcast of the same name, I already get his newsletter, I have read many of the articles on the Blue Ocean Faith website, and I did not know if there was anything new for him to say.

I'm not sure if he has said anything new, but he presents it very well with great anecdotes and illustrations from his life and those of his fellow BOF co-laborers.

Yes, I was a fan before the book and I'm a bigger fan since reading it. He is not ashamed of his theological roots but triesnot elevate his preferences over the bigger picture. What does he see as the bigger picture?

The important "sola" is solus Jesus which is over and above sola scriptura. Not that scripture is important but scripture is read through the lens of Jesus.The focus is on Jesus not ring fencing, defining who is in or out, he calls this "centered set&q…

I love Matt Walsh...

even if he doesn't love me.

Matt Walsh is a popular conservative writer whose Christianity is as black and white as mine used to be. Black and white is such an easy place to be until it isn't. When none of the promises of the Bible-pocket-promise-book (yes that's a real book I gave to a mentally ill friend of mine decades ago) mean anything any longer. In those times of trauma, when the faith we received from our fundamentalist, book focused churches leaves us staring at a silent, dead Christ, something will give.

Sometimes, it was my integrity that gave. I was encouraged to repent of my inquisitive mind. I consulted encyclopedias (not a brief book for my pocket) of bible difficulties, because there are so many issues with the book. Despite the very warning from St. Paul, the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life, I went back to the book. It was the only thing tangible. The book is a blunt instrument, causing tremendous damage. But it gets results. It provides judgment i…

Jesus the refurbished prototype

St. Paul likes to contrast Jesus with Adam, the first human in the Hebrew creation story. He writes in his magnum opus, the letter to the Roman church,

Romans 5:14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.

Adam was a prototype, but his defect was a lack of trust in God. Paul's argument is this defect affects all of humanity, until the new prototype, God in human skin, appears and rectifies it.

18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

It is verses like 18 that I take literally which give me confidence that all humanity will be reconciled to God and not just a few. But this is n…