Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Difficulty of Being Always Reforming
by The Jolly Blogger

"The principle of being always reforming is not stated explicitly in Scripture, rather it is one of those theological propositions that is deduced by good and necessary consequence. It is deduced from the Scriptural considerations that only the Scripture is infallible and that man is sinful. Thus, sinful man can study the Scriptures and summarize the Scriptures into everything from formal theological statements, to informal expressions of personal conviction, to guidelines for Christian living.

But, those human summaries, guidelines, and other assorted whatnot can never carry Scriptural authority. Because such things are formulated by men we always have to assume that, even though we're really very sure we're right about the things of which we speak, we could be wrong. "Always reforming" gives us a kind of safety valve or escape clause by which we ourselves, or later generations, can revisit or rethink what we said back in the day. "Always reforming" also honors the pre-eminent authority of Scripture and relativizes all other expressions of faith."

Thank you Jolly Blogger for articulating more clearly things I've tried to say. This article sets forth the principles leading to the concerns expressed in my post on Confessional Scholasticism Versus Biblical Theology.

Semper Reformanda,

~ The Billy Goat ~

Monday, May 23, 2005

Texas Visit: It's hot down here! Record heat for this time of the year in Austin. And the corn is already knee high, and it's not even Memorial Day, let alone the 4th of July! A hot day in Texas still beats a day in the office... :)


~ The Billy Goat ~

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

To And Fro: Lots of ideas. Little time to develop them and put them to blog. Here are a few.

What is "Process Theology", and should we care?

What makes a "para-church organization" "para-church"? And if you think you have an answer to that question, what are the implications and logical results of the assumptions behind your definition? Also, why should I accept your definition as definitive? (If you didn't "get it", I'm asking on the basis of what authority I should accept your definition as final.)

Is this the year the Detroit Tigers make it to the playoffs? I grew up when a Tiger team included Al Kaline, Rocky Colivito, and Norm Cash. I remember Sparky Anderson with fondness. Those were the days. Is this the year we hope once again? I need to learn the names in the lineup. I'm even checking the latest American League Central Division standings in the sports page almost every day.

We leave for Texas in a few days to see family. Austin Hill Country, prickly pear, and Bluebonnets... Texas is not the "south". Texas is the "west". Blue sky and low humidity (away from the coast). ...and I'm taking the golf clubs.

Speaking of which I really like my new Ping #5 driver. It was my choice of gift for my quarter century anniversary at the soap factory. Another 300 years and I'll have a complete set of clubs... ;) We were playing scramble at Pine Croft near Beulah, MI on the shore of Crystal Lake. I made the mistake of letting Jim take a try with it. With that club, he hit the ball a "country mile" and got us up close to the green. He wanted to put that club in his bag and take it home. Sorry Jimmy. You'll have to wait until you get the rest of your 25 in at the shop. :)

Speaking of "toys", back in late March we got a portable outdoor fire place (POFP). We really enjoy it. It's relaxing to sit out on the patio in the evening with a little fire going in the POFP.

At church we are looking at embarking on a long range building program. We're maxed out, and attendance has leveled off because the sanctuary is maxed. We desperately need more classroom space too. The suburban area around the church building is growing; new subdivisions and etc... We're not looking for "numbers", but we do want to be faithful to what we've been called to as a church of Jesus Christ. It is my prayer we do not lose sight of the core values that have made this church special to us as a family. I'm adverse to "change", but some change is necessary if we want to retain those values. Much, much prayer is needed....

Enough rambling to and fro for now....

Jesus reigns!

~ The Billy Goat ~

Monday, May 09, 2005

A Nice Little Place Up North: This past weekend was the MARBC Men's Retreat at Lake Ann Baptist Camp, up west of Traverese City. Lake Ann Baptist Camp is a very beautiful place. Renovations over the past few years have included a very fine dining hall, a new chapel, and this past year, a new welcome center and office building. The camp has been in existence almost 60 years, and many are the lives that have been touched for good over that period of time.

One of the popular activities at our Men's retreat at Lake Ann is the afternoon golfing at any number of fine golf courses in the area. Not all the men golf, and there are other activities besides golf, but in the three years I've been to the retreat, I've always ended up taking the clubs with me. The courses we've played are beautiful, and the fellowship is good. We play a scramble - best ball format. That takes the pressure off and we can just have fun and get to know one another better.

The preaching sessions are stimulating. Also there are the later night card games and "sit and chat" sessions at the dining hall where the coffee pot is always on. We get to meet other men from other churches in the Michigan area, and that's a neat thing. I really look forward to this early May men's retreat, and I'm already eagerly looking forward the one for next May.

In His joy,

~ The Billy Goat ~

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Arctic Barnabas Ministries

Encouraging Missionaries, Pastors, and Christian Workers in the Alaskan Bush, Western Canada, and Far East Russia

"Arctic Barnabas Ministries is an inter-denominational not-for-profit ministry, seeking to meet the needs of the church body in Bush Alaska, Western Canada, and Far East Russia. This is done through the encouraging and discipling of Christian leaders. These leaders - missionaries, pastors and Christian workers - face harsh challenges specific to the part of the world where they serve.

These people face very remote living conditions, isolation, extreme temperatures, and long periods of time with little to no daylight. Adjusting to such an environment is a challenge for anyone.

Arctic Barnabas is a ministry that exists to provide fellowship, respite, a listening ear, and a helping hand - the things needed to enhance the possibilities of long-term service in a place where "short term" just doesn't work. In order for someone from the outside to be effective in a village, it requires living in the area long enough to earn the right to be heard. This can take years. ABM strives to meet the needs of these workers, as well as act as a catalyst among Christians elsewhere to assist in the effort. We need to do what we can to build up and bolster Christian workers so they will be able to have an effective, long-term impact. "

We recently had the opportunity to hear Rob & Kristi Dillingham present the ministry of Arctic Barnabas Ministries. With us were some friends of ours whose daughter and son in-law are involved in ministry in the Alaska Bush, and who have seen first hand the impact and encouragment Arctic Barnabas Ministries has on those Pastors and Missionaries serving in that environment. It is our friends testimony that ABM is serving a very much needed service to those involved in ministry in the Arctic area of the world. Click on the link above for more information.

To God be the glory,

~ The Billy Goat ~