New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches




NT Church Proliferation Digest Thursday, July 18 2002 Volume 02 : Number 122
Re: [NTCP] Every man a theologian
[NTCP] Re: Every man a theologian
Re: [NTCP] Re: Every man a theologian
Re: [NTCP] Every man a theologian
Re: [NTCP] Every man a theologian
Re: [NTCP] Every man a theologian
Re: [NTCP] Every man a theologian
Re: [NTCP] Every man a theologian
[NTCP] shunning doctrine

Date: Wed, 17 Jul 2002 10:31:34 -0700
From: "Brittian's Mail" <louderthantheradio * attbi>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Every man a theologian

you asked...
"Would it be OK to quote the Bible at such a
meeting? Could one refer to it without quoting it, perhaps in a prayer?
Would it be OK to .... bring that new church planting how-to book to the
meeting? Sighhh."

I don't know, it might be worth going to one of their meetings and asking
them and seeing what they are all about. That would be interesting.

Good points david.
in Him
brittian

- ----- Original Message -----
From: "David Anderson" <david * housechurch>
To: <ntcp * homechurch>
Sent: Wednesday, July 17, 2002 10:05 AM
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Every man a theologian
>
> Sam wrote yesterday:
>
> >I am glad that you enjoy theology, the written and cataloguing of 'HUMAN'
> >reasonings concerning 'God' and the universe. I am not adverse to that at
> >all. In fact out of my over 4,000 books in my library, there are well
over
> >3,000 of them that are theological in one form or another. The issue, and
> >this is THE issue, is that theology is ABOUT God, rather than KNOWING HIM
> >PERSONALLY. You can know all you want about someone and never truly know
> >them personally.
> >
> >I am a history buff. I know more about Oliver Cromwell and collect all I
can
> >about him and the Puritan revolution in England than any other period in
> >history. I know about him, but I will never truly know him as he is dead.
> >Theology is the compilation of data in categories of thought for the
> >processing of information and understanding on the subject of "God". Our
> >reasoning is flawed and tainted and biased. At best we only have a
"taste"
> >of what God is truly like and has revealed about Himself.
>
> Hi all,
>
> 1.) We are in complete agreement that the natural man (unregenerate man)
> is incapable of knowing God or even to be truly desirous of knowing Him.
> Thus Jesus explained that unless a man is born again he can't SEE the
> Kingdom, much less the King. John 3. No one has or will ever reach God by
> the merely intellectual pursuits. Amen.
>
> Agreed, let's move beyond.
>
> 2.) We are in agreement that believers can and do abuse knowledge,
> doctrines, and theology. Done it myself. To some it has surely becomes a
> sport rather than a means to an End. Granted.
>
> Let's please move on. Neither of these statements, in my opinion, do in
> any way diminish REAL intimate dealings with Him by those who do NOT do
> the above. Yet, I have as seen it repeatedly affirmed on this list and
> several others. Theology equals blasphemy in the minds of many. It's
> another synonym for Phariseeism.
>
> If you think I'm whistling in the dark, people, look at how church
> meetings in which "nobody brings a Bible" are glorified in the latest
> church planting book from Seedsowers, reportedly "the only publisher for
> the growing house church movement."
>
> This leads me to inquire: Would it be OK to quote the Bible at such a
> meeting? Could one refer to it without quoting it, perhaps in a prayer?
> Would it be OK to .... bring that new church planting how-to book to the
> meeting? Sighhh.
>
> Believe me, I have seen a lot good, constructive dialogue over the years
> interrupted by condescending voices who want to explain that really
> knowing Jesus excludes knowing anything else. When Paul wrote, btw, that
> he knew only Jesus, and him crucified he was certainly speaking
> comparatively rather than absolutely. He knew of Jesus resurrected, for
> example. He knew all that he wrote and frequently used the phrase "I know
> and we know."
>
> So, let's examine the last words in the quoted section above. What is
> YOUR term, Sam, for the enormous body of eternal knowledge/truth that God
> ALONE has "revealed about Himself" ?????? And why would such information
> - its study and it's storage in the heart, comparing spiritual with
> spiritual and excluding all human reasonings, be an impediment to
> "knowing Him."
>
> Sorry, I still don't get it, this never-ending "Jesus vs. knowledge"
> game. It's like my wife is in a far away place and my postman says to
> himself: "Now David doesn't really need this letter from her, why, why he
> just needs HER. I'm gonna throw it in the next dumpster with all these
> sale papers. It'll be for his own good."
>
> Knowledge, theology, doctrine ain't the problem. Sin is the problem.
>
> My own term, btw, one of them, is theology - the study of God and his
> world. The Real Deal, minus useless human reasonings, casting down such
> vain imaginations and bringing EVERY THOUGHT captive to Jesus. I think
> it's what the apostle had it mind when he charged Timothy "to study to
> show yourself approved." Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but my own studies
> have only brought me closer into fellowship with the Great Fountainhead
> of Truth, whom I love and endeavor to serve on his terms alone.
>
> Sanctify them through thy word, thy word is truth. Jesus speaking to
> Jehovah in John 17:17.
>
> David Anderson


------- <><><> -------


Date: Wed, 17 Jul 2002 11:14:37 -0700
From: Dan Snyder <Dan * lsm>
Subject: [NTCP] Re: Every man a theologian

<< Sorry, I still don't get it, this never-ending "Jesus vs. knowledge"
game. It's like my wife is in a far away place and my postman says to
himself: "Now David doesn't really need this letter from her, why, why he
just needs HER. I'm gonna throw it in the next dumpster with all these
sale papers. It'll be for his own good." >>
Dear David,

Now don't get mad at me bro... but I gotta ask - is your Jesus really in a
far away place?
(I didn't think so :)

That's a big point though. If we have a far away Jesus then doctrines are
all we have. But if we know Him as the Spirit who now lives in our
spirit.... that makes Him subjective to us. He becomes the Friend and
Shepherd within us. He becomes real in our experience.

I like Paul's word in Philippians (a book on experiencing Christ) - In 3:8
and 10 Paul wanted to "gain Christ" and to "know Him". Amen!

That doesn't mean we throw the healthy teachings away... but the healthy
teachings (knowledge) should point us to the Christ who is really living in
our spirit. Otherwise, it's like the church in Laodicea - we may be rich in
doctrinal knowledge.... but to the Lord we're so poor (poor in experiencing
Him). We know about Him... but in our experience He's outside the door
knocking. That means He wants to come in.

To use your analogy, I hope I wouldn't get so busy reading letters that I'd
ignore my wife herself who's standing right at the door!

Dan


------- <><><> -------


Date: Wed, 17 Jul 2002 15:25:11 -0400
From: David Anderson <david * housechurch>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Re: Every man a theologian

>To use your analogy, I hope I wouldn't get so busy reading letters that I'd
>ignore my wife herself who's standing right at the door!
>
>Dan

Hi Dan,

Thanks for the note, brother. I was and am unaware that the Laodicean
church was ever cited for it's doctrinal knowledge. Certainly they were
not guided by it.

Of course, any human relationship likened to that of ours with the
ever-present Christ has its limitations. Trust me, I'll put the letters
aside when Carolynn returns from Ohio. :-)

ybiC,

D A


------- <><><> -------


Date: Wed, 17 Jul 2002 17:50:56 -0700 (PDT)
From: Vanessa DiDomenico <van3hijos * yahoo>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Every man a theologian

David A. says:

> This leads me to inquire: Would it be OK to quote the Bible at such a
> meeting? Could one refer to it without quoting it, perhaps in a prayer?
> Would it be OK to .... bring that new church planting how-to book to the
> meeting? Sighhh.
>
> Believe me, I have seen a lot good, constructive dialogue over the years

> interrupted by condescending voices who want to explain that really
> knowing Jesus excludes knowing anything else. When Paul wrote, btw, that

I myself don't like to memorize verse numbers, which were not even
included when the Bible was written. I prefer to quote without having to
give reference as if in a scientific experiment!! But quoting is necessary
for those who don't yet understand...

> Knowledge, theology, doctrine ain't the problem. Sin is the problem.

I agree completely... and remember, the word sin means ERROR... that which
God doesn't consider correct, and that is what He tells us in the BOOK...
or Bible.

LOVE,
Vanessa


------- <><><> -------


Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2002 00:44:58 EDT
From: TheologusCrucis * cs
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Every man a theologian
Hello everybody!

(Hello, Dr. Nick!)

I've been on vacation for a couple of weeks, but have come home to some very
interesting threads! Many questions can arise, on both sides of this subject.

For example: Existentialism, at least as a philosophy and lifestyle, has this
Achilles' heel: it is too subjective to communicate -- you can only
experience it, you cannot describe it. When I'm kissing my wife, I'm sure not
exactly rational -- I am feeling and experiencing. You cannot be lost in
experience and intellectually be analyzing it at the same time. (Link was
right, the great Romantic Liberals of the 2nd Jesus quest mostly came from
pietistic homes in Germany and England. They figured if Jesus was risen again
in their hearts, why depend on it historically?)

On the other hand, what authority determines interpretation? For my every
interpretation there are how many others? Probably as many as own a Bible in
North America. Modernism introduced the boring idea of a "systematic"
theology to match their empirical rationalism. Postmodernism has made any
text "open" to the reader's deconstruction and reconstruction. How many
different churches or parachurch ministries grew up around different
interpretations, just one topic among many, of eschatology? How many times
have we heard Greek thrown around and word games to prove a pet doctrine?
When I'm reading a letter or message my wife has left or sent, I'm not
irrational.

What can join us together in unity?

I know that faith comes from hearing. Hearing demands understanding. Yet I
also know that the Spirit, which is the same Spirit that rose Christ from the
dead, produces love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, faithfulness,
gentleness, patience, and self-control -- which is the very character and
attitude of Jesus; indeed, this is the abundant life that Christ promised
would flow like a river in our souls!

I say this is why it is a story that unites us, that bring us together.
Experience is to subjective and personal. We need something outside of us and
our untrustworthy emotions. Intellect is to far to abstract.

The Gospel is the basis and foundation for both. We hear the Gospel,
understand the Gospel, faith thru the message of the Gospel, in the Spirit,
comes (and I agree with Sam on the order of salvation!) and produces in us
great existential reaction! Why cannot both be happening? I lose myself in my
wife's kiss only because I know that she loves me. To just enjoy the presence
of my wife is not enough, and to just know things about her is not enough.
But to know about her and to know her -- that, my friend, leads to memorable
nights! ;o)

What do you think?

TC


------- <><><> -------


Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2002 04:48:12 -0700 (PDT)
From: Vanessa DiDomenico <van3hijos * yahoo>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Every man a theologian

When I'm kissing my wife, I'm sure not
> exactly rational -- I am feeling and experiencing. You cannot be lost in
> experience and intellectually be analyzing it at the same time.

Ooh, husband and I must be real weirdoes, for we intellectually analyze
everything. We talk a lot since he's been sick and jobless!

>
> On the other hand, what authority determines interpretation?

The authority that determines interpretation is history... one must know
the hsitory of the time and people the Bible was written for, for if we
read it thinking as people in the 21st century, forget it, you can't
understand much. ALso, one must know the exact uses of the words in greek
(or hebrew) in the time it was written, to determine what it means. As a
spanish-english translator, I know how hard it is to transmit the exact
meaning of a non-technical writing. For example, in the original,
presbiteros, elder, simply meant THE OLDEST PEOPLE IN THE GROUP. How did
that meaning become other meanings? I don't know and don't really care,
for any meaning added after Paul expressed HIS intended meaning is
worthless.

Another thing, is that an interpretation that conflicts with anything else
the Bible says, you already know is wrong. The Bible works ALL together,
and doctrines based on 1-2 verses, and which forgte the rest of the Bible
are very dangerous. Dozens of denominations have been born through people
who base their whole christian life on 1-2 verses that they happen to
love.

> I know that faith comes from hearing. Hearing demands understanding.

From hearing who? I NEVER have believed a word I heard from a human. MY
faith comes from reading the Bible and praying to God that HE explain it
to me. From hearing other humans, my heart always cries out 'hypocrite'
> Intellect is to far to abstract.

For most people... God gave some of us a better ability with the intellect
that anything else. I understood college math before I understood how
people think, feel or act!! I always saw people's actions as
incomprehensible and hipocritical. I didn't learn to lie to protect myself
until I was 12-13! Thankfully, God took that ability away just a couple of
years later... whcih means I sometimes get in trouble for always saying
the truth while moving in a society based on lies (more than in the USA).
Intellect is the ONLY safe thing I had as a child! And the first thing God
explained to me through the Bible was science... quantum physics and such
fit in quite well with the bible, except that the only people who
understand it are all university professors most trained to be atheists!
When God explained science to me, that is when the ONLY real block for my
faith was removed. And when Isaac Newton foudn the laws of physics, he did
so because his intellect told him that God is a God of laws, so that He
would have set up laws for the way the universe moves and exists. He
looked for them to prove that God exists!!

And I think existentialism is a philosophy that has nothing to do with
God. It is completely humanitarian.

Vanessa


------- <><><> -------


Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2002 13:34:09 -0400
From: David Anderson <david * housechurch>
Subject: [NTCP] shunning doctrine

Howdy,

All forms of divine revelation are complementary toward a genuine experience.
Though God uses several means to reveal Himself, He is quite capable of
working above or without means. isn't that exciting to be connected with
God in so many ways?

Now, a reason or two why the doctrinal aspects of following Christ are
shunned and apologized for so often is that:

1.) Some, due to real or imagined deficiencies, cannot share Jesus Christ
for lack of words. And what they lack is also what they don't seek.
Obviously, good deeds should underpin the words. These could, however,
easily recite what happened in every episode of Star Wars. "Theology?
That's for the clergy. It bores the LIFE out of me. So don't bother me -
I pulled the shades down long ago."

2.) Others fear that doctrine will disturb tranquility and possibly
divide their group. At the very outset of the first meeting it should be
acknowledged that doctrinal differences do not warrant division. Most
splits I have seen resulted from persons who refused to love one another,
then pretended that some doctrine was the big issue. Seen it?

3.) "Whatever the institutional church does is wrong. They do doctrine -
we do not."

Years ago I had a memorable conversation with Dan Beaty, who was on the
internet before I. I asked him about home church folk then. His reply:
"They are against everything."
Slight exaggeration but not by much. Thankfully, this is no longer the case!

Luke 4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall
not LIVE by bread alone, but by every word of God.

Enable us to love You with our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.

David Anderson


End of New Testament Church Planting Digest V2 #122

< Previous Digest Next Digest >




house church eldership servanthood lord's day lord's supper world missions