Of course, the events of the last few months have been building up what will be a rant of epic proportions on the nature and character of our "public servants" in Washington...whenever I have a few hours to formulate (and filter) all the disparate and oftentimes inappropriate thoughts bouncing around in my head, said rant will no doubt be allowed to escape onto the pages of this blog. It will be therapeutic, I'm sure. That is, after all, the main purpose of this blog (which is read mainly by sympathetic members of my family).
But for now, in light of Holy Week and a hope for maintaining my blood pressure at reasonable levels, I've decided to post a few links related to the Church.
First of all, Justin Taylor has a great series of posts all week following the historical events of Holy Week in Scripture. By the way, The Gospel Coalition blog has become one of my daily clicks.
A very interesting article turned up in the Christian Science Monitor about the recent surge of Calvinism in America. It's actually a great piece on the phenomenon I've written about before. I'm encouraged by the fact that more Christians are gravitating toward a faith that's based on solid doctrine, and into what I like to call "real" churches. The mega-church culture within American evangelicalism has produced far too many unserious churches, which in turn tend to produce self-centered believers, unprepared for anything other than Joel Osteen's promised prosperity, who couldn't begin to tell you what it is that they actually believe. Calvin believed in a church that took its role of proclaiming the Gospel and shepherding the flock seriously.
Today, his theology is making a surprising comeback, challenging the me-centered prosperity gospel of much of modern evangelicalism with a God-first immersion in Scripture. In an age of materialism and made-to-order religion, Calvinism's unmalleable doctrines and view of God as an all-powerful potentate who decides everything is winning over many Christians – especially the young.I've been encouraged by the recent surge in college and grad types in our own church, and I can certainly identify with the desire for a serious church in increasingly troubling times. I continue to believe that early American Christianity's understandable and somewhat justified desire to get as far away as possible from Roman Catholicism lead to an overcompensation in certain areas of ecclesiology that was never intended by the Reformers.
Twenty-something followers in the Presbyterian, Anglican, and independent evangelical churches are rallying around Calvinist, or Reformed, teaching. In the Southern Baptist Convention, America's largest Protestant body, at least 10 percent of its pastors identify as Calvinist, while more than one-third of recent seminary graduates do.
But I also share Mike Pohlman's concern about the potential results of the "movement" becoming popular...