Confession? In Church?

I love being Protestant. I would never have any desire to become a Catholic. Not hatin’ on Catholicism, I just don’t believe it is Biblical. So don’t misinterpret me: I think we should have confession in church. Why? For this reason:

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

James 5:16

So, having said that, I shall specify that I do not mean a formal confession, churchgoer-to-priest, useful for forgiveness/absolution of sins. The basic meaning of the word for “confess”  in the verse is “acknowledge” or, more wordily, “to bring out verbal agreement.” So, when the Bible says to confess our sins to each other, the main point is to admit to others our agreement with the truth of our sins.

To put it simply: we should speak openly about our faults. Continue reading “Confession? In Church?”

Could Sigmund Freud Have Made a Good Calvinist?

Most people who know who Sigmund Freud is tend to laugh at his theories. Stuff like the disturbing Oedipus complex and his obsession with libido being the driving element behind human behavior tends to put us off. From what I hear, most of Freud’s theories have been discredited (though I am not certain on this). However, a very heterodox friend of mine recently made an interesting point. Here’s the quote:

I am honestly surprised that more Christians are not accepting of the psychoanalytic tradition. It seems to me that monstrous state of our sexual drives uncovered by Sigmund Freud and the theology of original sin preached by St. Paul are quite congruent. Our modern sensibilities revolt against the idea that infants and children are sexual beings, but if we are truly born in original sin, then it is not so absurd to believe that infants and children are sexually perverse. I have always felt that psychoanalysis is the only psychology that takes original sin as a permanent feature of human existence.

Basically, according to him Freud’s ideas are a perfect match with original sin, especially in the form of total depravity, as we Calvinists believe.

What do you think? Could Freud have been a good Calvinist? Or, to put it less facetiously, do you think Freud’s ideas on psychoanalysis really make good sense in harmony with original sin?

Sovereignty and Responsibility: A Quick Thought on God’s Justice

One of the most perplexing questions in regards to a strong view of God’s sovereignty (that is, either a hard determinist or compatbilist view of free will) is how man can be held morally responsible for actions that he is predetermined to commit. If you choose (A) because God foreordained that you would choose (A), how can you be held responsible?

Quite often, as Reformed people we go straight to Romans 9 to answer this. We basically tell the questioner, even if that person is ourself, to shut up:

You will say to me, therefore, “Why then does He still find fault? For who can resist His will?” But who are you, a mere man, to talk back to God? Will what is formed say to the one who formed it, “Why did you make me like this?”

Romans 9:19-20

The problem is that most people aren’t going to take this well. Even though this is a completely legitimate point, inspired by God Himself, it seems to just shove people’s emotional difficulty out of the way when used as many use it. Continue reading “Sovereignty and Responsibility: A Quick Thought on God’s Justice”

Christianity: The Great Romance

The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

1 John 4:8

Christianity is unique. No other religion is based on pure, unadulterated love between a God and His people. Nothing can compare to the impossible relationship we are allowed to have with our Creator and His children. “For God so loved the world…” One of the most well-known verses in the Bible speaks first of God’s love for us. That, however, barely scratches the surface. The word “love” in all of its various forms is found 700 times in the HCSB. God wants us to know something more than anything and that is that He loves us more than we can possibly imagine, and He wants us to love Him in return. Continue reading “Christianity: The Great Romance”

Is Baptism the Real “Sinner’s Prayer?”

A few weeks ago, I made a post discussing the Biblical correctness of the so-called “sinner’s prayer.” You can read that here if you haven’t already. My conclusion was that something akin to the sinner’s prayer is certainly warranted in receiving Christ, but that the common evangelical form has several pitfalls. Yet after hearing Francis Chan speaking on baptism (on YouTube) recently, and doing some follow-up research, I saw an interesting idea some people hold:

Repentance and baptism are the Biblical way of doing what the sinner’s prayer is meant to do.

Continue reading “Is Baptism the Real “Sinner’s Prayer?””

God Really, Really, Really Hates Sin

Lately, I’ve been reading through Jeremiah, and I have come to one important conclusion: None of us even have the slightest clue how much our holy, loving God hates sin. I won’t elaborate too much on this. I will simply say that if we could grasp God’s intense, holy, hatred of sin, then we who love Him and trust in His Son would be far less likely to continue in sin. I’ll let Scripture speak from here. Just read the following passage and realize that there are quite a number like this in Jeremiah, not to mention the other prophets, and some are even more violent and graphic.

Continue reading “God Really, Really, Really Hates Sin”