Santa the Arminian

Coming back from Sombertown, and traveling over the Mountain of the Whispering Winds, Kris Kringle is captured by the Winter Warlock, but escapes from his clutches by giving him a present. The gift is only a toy train, and I think it would be quite a stretch to draw any analogy with the gift of faith here, but judge for yourself: here is the result of the gift on the evil Winter Warlock:
“My icy heart, it’s melting! Suddenly my whole outlook has changed from bad to good. Ah, but will it last? I really am a mean and despicable creature at heart, you know. It’s so difficult to really change!”
Wow. Is that a perfect setup fora sermon on monergism or what? Mr. Warlock, if your change of outlook is due to your own efforts, then it will not last. Yes, you are a mean and despicable creature at heart, as are we all in our natural fallen state. Indeed, it is more than difficult, it is impossible to change yourself — only God can change you! (I am reminded also of a trailer for current movie School for Scoundrel, in which Billy Bob Thornton disparages self-help books: “You can’t help yourself, because your self sucks!”)
But Kris Kringle suppresses the Warlock’s truth with laughter:
“Difficult? Why look here, changing from bad to good’s as easy as taking your first step!”
Which leads in to the song “Put one foot in front of the other, and soon you’ll be walking cross the floor…” — an anthem to man’s ability to improve himself. Which makes plenty of sense when you put it together with Santa’s attempt to sort out the naughty vs. nice children: “Awww, I guess they’re really all pretty nice.”

Blogorrhea

A few weeks ago, I unmasked First Mormon Joey Smith as an Arminian. During this Christmas season, watching Santa Claus is Coming to Town (this is the lesser of two classics; the one with Meisterburger Burgermeister, not the better one with Heat Miser and Cold Miser), and was surprised to learn that Santa Claus is also an Arminian.

Coming back from Sombertown, and traveling over the Mountain of the Whispering Winds, Kris Kringle is captured by the Winter Warlock, but escapes from his clutches by giving him a present. The gift is only a toy train, and I think it would be quite a stretch to draw any analogy with the gift of faith here, but judge for yourself: here is the result of the gift on the evil Winter Warlock:

“My icy heart, it’s melting! Suddenly my whole outlook has changed from bad to good. Ah, but will it…

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A Reckoning

The Jagged Word

By Paul Koch

doc

I love the movie Tombstone with Kurt Russell and Val Kilmer. I’ve watched that movie countless times. I can recite most of the scenes and I am still moved by the powerful friendship displayed between Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday which runs through the heart of the movie. Now in the movie after the famous shootout at the OK Corral, Wyatt and his brothers are ambushed by a notorious gang of outlaws. The confrontation leaves his younger brother dead and his older brother without the use of one arm. This sparks Wyatt’s drive to bring justice to the land. In one particularly awesome scene, after Wyatt shoots his way through a trap saving his crew, one of them says to Doc Holiday, “If they were my brothers I’d want revenge too.” Doc Holiday responds, “Make no mistake; it’s not revenge he’s after, it’s a reckoning.”

A…

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Why Work is Law-Centered, Not Gospel-Centered, and Why the Distinction is Important

Ding, Ding, Ding. Good stuff here.

Literate Comments

http://oldlife.org/2014/12/how-did-the-reformation-ever-happen/

When we present work, which is a law-centered activity, as a gospel-centered activity, we do people a serious disservice and invite cynicism and disillusionment on both the part of the worker and the consumer of goods and services.

Why? Because the only way that you can be truly “gospel-centered” in your work is if someone else is seriously subsidizing you:

(1) You work a low-paying job but still live well and have plenty of time, energy and money to give because you have:

(A) Inherited money
(B) A spouse supporting you
(C) Parents supporting you

(2) You work for a church, a charity, a government … or a “ministry” like The Gospel Coalition, in which case you are being supported by either

(A) the people in (1) above, or
(B) People making their living in the capitalistic marketplace

(3) You have a special skill (say as an artist or…

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Forgiving Those Who Don’t Seek It?

The Reformed Reader

Product Details Andrew and I recently discussed the tough issue of how to forgive someone who hasn’t sought forgiveness.  In other words, how can a Christian forgive someone who has never asked to be forgiven?  What do you do if someone has very obviously sinned against you in a big way but hasn’t tried to make things right?  This issue will be handled a bit differently depending upon whether the person is a Christian or an unbeliever, whether the person is under church discipline or not, etc.  I appreciate how Ken Sande talks about this topic in chapter ten of The Peacemaker.

“When an offense is too serious to overlook and the offender has not yet repented, you may need to approach forgiveness as a two-stage process.  The first stage requires having an attitude of forgiveness, and the second, granting forgiveness.”

“Having an attitude of forgiveness is unconditional and is a…

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