Whatever a person understands scripture to teach about grace has enormous repercussions on Christian teaching and practice. Differing definitions of grace have led to whole new theologies of grace. Some perspectives might align better with scripture’s intended message than others.
Typically today, grace is defined as “unmerited favor.” However, even this phraseology promotes ambiguity and diverse practices because opinions differ over what qualifies as constituting “unmerited.” Thus the heart of the matter revolves around grasping when merit is absent, so that the gift can truly be given as grace. Continue reading “The Gravity of Grace: Definitions and Results (1)”
Why is it that the term “Pharisee” has such a bad connotation? And what exactly does it mean to be “Pharisaical” today?
Jesus’ speech in Matthew 23 is directed at this sect, and gives us a lot of insight as to what made many Pharisees contrary to God. Jesus calls them hypocrites 7 times.
There are 2 particular elements constituting their hypocrisy, which are as follows: Continue reading “Modern-day Pharisees: let’s get it right”
It came up again in a conversation between, for want of a better term, a conservative member of our fellowship and a more liberal one. The liberal brother was explaining that he no longer believed in the “argument from silence.” Then he made that statement that really caught my attention: “I believe the church of Christ has been hypocritical down through the years when it insists that we sing a cappella, reasoning that the New Testament is silent on the subject of instruments.
The topic of instrumental music can wait for another article. Let’s say something about hypocrisy.
Let’s be clear about something: His terminology was incorrect. He didn’t mean we were “hypocrites” because we sang a cappella, he meant we were “legalistic.” Continue reading “The Hypocrite”