As a new Christian in the late 1970’s I was naïve and thought all Christians followed the teachings of the Bible and formulated doctrine and church polity objectively from the sacred Scriptures.
True followers of Christ need to understand their identity, their calling, how to be equipped for their calling, and the power to fulfill their calling. The following is about all of these truths.
The original Palm Sunday was a prophetic type of what should have fully happened in Israel (and what will eventually happen in the future): when the people of the world submit to the Lordship of Christ. The Bible tells us that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, and that the earth shall be covered with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters covers the sea (Philippians 2:5-12 and Habakkuk 2:14).
I have heard it said “balance is the key to life”. I agree with that statement, as I have found that any truth taken to the extreme (that ignores others aspects related to its subject) is unbalanced and can be harmful. This is also why Paul the Apostle said that he teaches “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27), which involves a full-orbed presentation of truth.
One of the most important lessons I have learned, from years as a pastor and leader who works with other leaders, is to have a robust, full-orbed theological foundation that is practical enough to meet the challenges of ministry, cultural engagement and life.
By “theology” I am referring to the study of God, the scriptures and its application to every aspect of life.
There have been some in the Christian camp who have labeled themselves Christian dominionists, possibly because they refer to the original covenant found in Genesis 1:26-28 as “the Dominion Mandate” and because they advocate a top-down approach regarding the imposition of biblical ethics on secular society.
There is much confusion as to whether the law of God as found in the Ten Commandments and civic laws are still in use in this New Testament era. On the one side there are hyper-grace teachers who say that the law is no longer necessary and is only useful as shadows and types that point us to Christ. On the other hand there are people who overstate the role of the law and actually put Christians in bondage, similar to the way the Judaizes did to the church (read Galatians, Hebrews and Acts 15).
It is my intention in this article to show the relationship between theological formation in the church, particular cultures, and contemporary movements. By culture I mean the language, arts, habits, values, currency, and aspirations of a people group, community, city or nation.
Ever since books like Robert Coleman’s The Master Plan of Evangelism, there has been an emphasis in the Evangelical church on individual discipleship. Other materials related to this subject like Dawson Trotman’s Born to Reproduce have greatly impacted my life and ministry, as I have made personal mentoring and discipleship the foundation of all I do.
However, books like Coleman’s use the gospels as the main reference point for discipleship instead of the epistles and the book of Acts. This can lead to a huge philosophical shift away from Jesus’ real discipleship method: the local church.
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