A Few Observations About Many Things

Phew!

Last week had me in the Twin Cities area for three days while attending the EFCA’s Mid-Winter Ministerial. Sunday was it’s usual day: Adult Bible Class, Worship Service and Evening Bible Study. Monday had me back in the Cities for our North Central District’s C.O.M.S.’ meeting (Council on Ministerial Standing). Tuesday… hey, that’s today! I get to “stay” home for a change. At last, an opportunity to get caught up on many things, this blog being one of them.

Mid-Winter Ministerial Observations (continued)

The EFCA has tried to present itself as being fairly inclusive to believers of all sorts, as long as they can ascribe to our doctrinal statement. This makes for a rather diverse group of people, especially pastors, when it comes to some “finer” points of doctrine. For example, our existing statement claims to be somewhat “neutral” when it comes to the differences between Arminians and Calvinists (depending upon which field of that spectrum you drop your plow will have you agreeing/disagreeing with that statement, as we heard last week). Dr. Grant Osborne, professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School made a claim about this openness of the EFCA at a moment when attitudes were getting a bit tense regarding this difference. Dr. Osborne has always been a defender of Arminianism, but loves his Calvinists brothers & sisters in Christ. To quote him: “It was predestined that I be an Arminian; and, you Calvinists have to work at your Calvinism!” Touché! And I hope my less-humorous arminian brothers get the joke and laugh at that!

Men I’m very thankful for…

Dr. Osborne is one of those. I didn’t realize it at the time I was at T.E.D.S. but he was a gift to us then and continues to be now. May God grant him strength for more years at Trinity.

Dr. John Woodbridge, professor of church history at T.E.D.S. (for both of these men, I’m pretty sure there are a lot more words, letters and titles that ought to go behind their names, but neither one is pretentious enough to ever make a big deal of my forgetting what they are). I had Dr. Woodbridge 2 or 3 times and greatly appreciated him then. At the Ministerial, he gave 3 or 4 5-minute encapsulations of the history of the church’s understanding and development of pre-millennialism, including some portion of the EFCA’s formulation of this doctrine. And he did it so everyone could understand every word, even me! How I thank God he’s “one of us” (ordained in the EFCA since 1987, I believe).

Changes in the Blogosphere

There are changes taking place out there in the blogosphere to which I’ve just entered all too recently. the Calvinist Gadfly (http://calvinistgadfly.com/) announced a couple of weeks ago that he’d no longer be able to keep his blog up. Then just a few days ago, Steve Camp came to his rescue and announced that the Calvinist Gadfly would soon be coming back… as a group-led blog. This will be fun to watch (seriously).

Today, just this morning, Phil Johnson started out with similarly ominous tones (http://phillipjohnson.blogspot.com/) and as I start to get all misty-eyed thinking, “First it was Gary Larson retiring from drawing ‘The Far Side’; then, it was Bill Waterson retiring from drawing ‘Calvin & Hobbes’ ; and now, Phil Johnson is going to stop blogging on ‘The Pyromaniac’. Will it ever stop?!” But, after wiping tears from my eyes (actually, I think I spilled hot coffee over my hand at that point and it really hurt!), I read on and see where Phil is also going the route of a partnered blog (http://teampyro.blogspot.com/). Well, as least that corner of the theological blogosphere is still safe and I can travel there with great comfort and delight. Now, if Doug (www.coffeeswirls.com) ever gives up his Caribou Coffee habit and quits CoffeeSwirls, I think I’m doomed!

Anniversaries

Yearly remembrances are to be looked upon with great delight… most of the time. And today is no different (except that my lovely wife, Ann, heaped burning coals upon my head – no, that didn’t bring the tears to my eyes earlier – by giving me a card when I’ve prepared nothing for her). It was 30 years ago this very day, January 24, 1976, that I stepped up to her front door, rang the doorbell with butterflies playing dodgeball in my stomach and waited for her to open the door. I quickly asked, “Are you ready to go?” She said, “Yes; bye Mom & Dad!” and out to my parents’ car we walked.

This was our first date! 30 years ago (gladly, she’s changed very little in beauty and radiance; sadly, I have). We drove to Cedar Falls, Iowa, making our way to the University of Northern Iowa, stopping at Bob’s Big Boy for supper. She had the fried chicken basket and I had the fish dinner. We watched Jim Goodrich and the boys from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, whoop up on the UNI Panthers that night (Jim graduated from my high school five years previously, was a phenomenal basketball player and home town hero – about 50-60 of us drove there just to watch him play). On the way home, I had the audacity to sneak our first kiss! Seems like only yesterday.

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One Response

  1. Give up Caribou Coffee? Not a chance! My workplace has moved across town to within a football’s throw of a Caribou… if it’s thrown by Brett Favre!

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