Author Archive

I recently had a very thought provoking class on the destiny of the unevangelized. It was our last class for Soteriology through Reclaiming the Mind Ministries. Have you ever been asked the question, “Is Jesus the only way to God?” “Is it necessary to believe in Christ to be saved”? “What about those who have never heard the Gospel of Christ? Can they make it to heaven?”  Now let me ask another question, have you really thought through the implications of your answer? The following will be an overview of what we covered in class. Is Christ necessary ontologically (what he did) and is Christ necessary epistemologically (knowledge of what he did)?

(more…)

Humanity and Sin (Session 1)

Posted: October 25, 2010 by Greg Burkheimer in Original Sin, Radical Depravity, Theology

Well, my H&S class begins next week through Reclaiming the Mind Ministries. I got a jump start today by looking at the first lesson.

Why Did God Create Man?
Session one covers a question that has been asked for a very long time. Why did God create man? It’s funny, before I went to study session one this afternoon, I posted this question on Facebook asking if anybody had any ideas as to why God created us. No one responded. No ideas! In this lesson the importance of the doctrine of humanity is discussed. What you believe about humanity affects your views in so many areas. Your theology, politics, sociology and how you view yourself are all areas that are affected.

(more…)

Willing to Believe (Part 2)

Posted: October 25, 2010 by Greg Burkheimer in Church History, Original Sin, Radical Depravity

In Chapters one and two of Willing to Believe we looked at the opposing views of Pelagius and Augustine. Pelagius believed that we are capable of obedience while Augustine said we were not. It all seemed to center around this issue of original sin and it’s affects on humanity.

(more…)

Do we all agree on the essentials? There is an interesting post over at John Piper’s blog called, “What Do I Have to Believe to Be Saved?” Perhaps the most important question that one can ask. I have been thinking about this question a lot over the past year or so ever since I went through a class defining essentials and non-essentials.
If someone were to ask you to take out a sheet of paper and write down what is absolutely essential for a person to believe in order to be saved, what would your list include? Another way to ask this question would be what is the bare minimum that a person has to acknowledge as true in order to be forgiven? As I soon found out this was harder than I thought it would be. Do you agree with John Piper’s list?

As a new believer one of the first goals you should have is to read through the entire Bible. There are many different reading plans out there (just Google bible reading plans). I have found that it is a matter of finding the right one that works for you. One plan I have found that is a little different from the rest is a plan from Pastor John MacArthur. The basic Idea behind the plan is to read to remember.

The Plan

Read through the Old Testament straight through at least once a year. About three chapters a day should get you there. It’s nice to keep a notebook or journal of questions you have or truths you learn. Also, just to record where you left off.
When it comes to the New Testament do something different. Read one book at a time repetitiously for a month or more. This will help you remember what you read. A good place to start would be with a shorter book, like the book of 1 John. Read through the entire book of 1 John for 30 days. As you follow this plan, start to record the major themes of the book and chapters. By the end of the 30 days you will know the book of 1 John very well. Think about it. With a standard read through the bible in a year program, you would be reading through 1 John once a year. With this plan, in 30 days you have done the equivalent of 30 years of reading in 1 John! And, because it was repetitive, you will remember it.
For longer books, divide them into shorter sections and read each section for 30 days. For example, The Gospel of John contains 21 chapters. Divide it into sections of seven and read each section for 30 days. You may want to alternate shorter and longer books for a greater variety.
Conclusion
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t follow this plan perfectly. You probably won’t and it’s ok. This is why it’s important to keep a notebook of where you left off. You may even find a modification of this plan works better for you. Following this plan will get you through the entire New Testament in less than three years. Remember, the goal is not speed but retention.
Resources

The Millennium

Posted: July 11, 2010 by Greg Burkheimer in Eschatology, Kingdom of God

“Perhaps no doctrine has more divided modern evangelical Protestantism than that of the millennium”Donald Bloesch, The Last Things, 87

            What is it about eschatology (the study of the last things) that either gets people wound up or turns them off? I would place myself more in the latter category. It’s not that I don’t have a desire to learn about last things, I really do, it’s just that there are so many different views out there and it can become very confusing trying to sort it all out. Also, quite frankly, some of those who consider themselves “experts” in the topic are just plain weird, trying to fit every single event that happens into the “grand scheme” somewhere and this is all they talk about. On the other hand, I don’t like that the end times are often ignored and reduced to a level that is not important.   

(more…)

The New Birth

Posted: June 8, 2010 by Greg Burkheimer in Calvinism, New Testament, Radical Depravity, Theology, Uncategorized

The new birth is not salvation? This was the troubling question on my heart as we covered the doctrine of regeneration one evening in Bible Doctrine III class. I had always thought that being born again was the same as being saved or justified and was a result of faith? The Reformed understanding of the Ordo Salutis (order of salvation) was about to challenge me to re-examine my belief. The purpose of this paper will be to briefly examine the Ordo Salutis in relation to which comes first, regeneration or faith?

(more…)