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  • TFRStaff 6:38 am on 2016-04-20 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: authority in religion, , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    April 2016 Issue of Christian Worker (How to Study the Bible – Part 1.) 

    Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

    Here are the topics that you will find:

    • Studying with the Right Attitude (Johnie Scaggs Jr)
    • The Importance of Effective Bible Study (Cody Westbrook)
    • Understanding Bible Authority (Kevin Rhodes)
    • The Silence of the Scriptures (Steven Lloyd)
    • The Importance of Context (Rick Brumback)
    • Types and Shadows (Don Walker)
    • Understanding the Covenants (Clay Bond)

    Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

    You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions…or by clicking on the link provided here in The Fellowship Room under the “Friends” category to your right.

    Copyright © 2016 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

  • TFRStaff 6:54 am on 2015-09-15 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: authority in religion, , , , , , what grace will not do   

    September 2015 Issue of Christian Worker (Gems from the Pen of a Faithful Servant) 

    Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

    Here are the topics that you will find:

    • God’s Grace (Carl Garner)
    • We Are Family (Carl Garner)
    • Famous Last Words (Carl Garner)
    • Are You a Dissembler? (Carl Garner)
    • God’s Authority (Carl Garner)

    Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

    You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions…or by clicking on the link provided here in The Fellowship Room under the “Friends” category to your right.

    Copyright © 2015 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

  • Eugene Adkins 6:29 am on 2014-10-21 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: authority in religion, , , ,   

    I guess they do believe in personal interpretation after all 

    During the last couple of years in the ole’ blogosphere I have been accused by Catholic apologists of self-popery. And why such an accusation? Because I dared to have “a personal interpretation” of the Bible that disagreed with them and with the pope’s!

    In the Catholic Church, one’s doctrine is not determined by the revealed and written word alone – it is determined by those who make determinations based upon orally determining factors (a.k.a. making up the rules as you go) that shape the determination of God’s will in God’s word. Therefore to rest upon the written word of God alone is to be mistaken, and studying to show yourself approved (2 Timothy 2:15) need not apply since the studying has already been done for you. You just need to study what has already been studied and follow what those personal studies determined for you to study and personally believe.

    Case in point is the latest issue the Catholic Church is having with the pope’s willingness to actually “have a debate” on the sinfulness of homosexuality. The reason I bring this up is that there should be no debate at all – none whatsoever. And why not? Because the word of God has settled the issue, but unfortunately the written word of God is not enough for the Catholic Church.

    I know, I know. Many Catholic apologists will say “the issue is more complicated” than what I’m presenting it to be. And my response to that is “it’s only complicated because the pope (the pride and head of the Catholic Church) is complicating a very uncomplicated biblical issue and it’s making a lot of Catholics feel uncomfortable.” It’s actually a case of the pope wanting to do something but the Catholic Church has decided that personal interpretations do indeed matter after all.

    Following the closing of this latest “synod session” it was released to the press that, “This synod will be followed by a year of consultations, and a follow-up questionnaire will be sent out to dioceses around the world. A second, larger synod will then be held in October 2015After that, the results will be handed to the Argentinian pope, who will have the final say in outlining the Church’s stance on family matters.”

    A questionnaire? Why that would involve making personal interpretations wouldn’t it? Why not just speak “ex cathedra” and get it over with. After all, when the “ex cathedra” starts talking, the Catholic Church has no other choice but to listen because the pope can do no wrong when he starts dictating what is and what is not right for the Catholic Church to believe. But I really do wonder what would happen to all the Catholics if the very “papa” who could do no wrong actually told the majority of the people who make up the Catholic Church that their personal interpretation was wrong on this issue? I wonder how open they’d be to personal interpretation then? But then again, why would the pope do that? After all, who is he to judge?

    You see, the irony of the whole matter to me is that while I have been accused of self-popery multiple times over the last couple of years, because I have dared to have an opinion that disagrees with “Catholic Oral Tradition”, the reality of the matter is that the Catholic Church actually has a pope in authority who could be accused of the very thing I’m supposedly guilty of – self-popery! For if the Catholic Church had always had the right answer on this issue then how can this discussion be anything but wrong?

    The spiritual leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics had called for the Church to take a more merciful approach to unmarried mothers, remarried divorcees and gays, famously saying of homosexuals, “Who am I to judge?”” (see the above link for the quote source)

    So much for that Catholic unity. And may we all learn a valuable lesson about biblical authority from this situation.

    Related Article:

    • Joseph Richardson 2:03 pm on 2014-10-21 Permalink | Reply

      Hey Eugene. The Catholic view of interpreting Scripture really in no way resembles “making it up as you go” (arguably, this is the way many non-Catholics view it). We interpret it, largely, the way it’s always been interpreted. “Studying to show yourself approved by God” really ought to, you know, involve studying the way Christians have read and interpreted Scripture from the very beginning.

      I think you are misinterpreting the meaning and outcome of the synod on the family — along with many in the secular media. You are bound to get a warped view of Pope Francis and of the Catholic Church in general if you’re only going on what they say. If you have read any of what Pope Francis has actually said and written, “the sinfulness of homosexuality” is not a question of “debate” for him (though it may be, I admit, a question a few liberal bishops would like to raise). The oft-reported “Who am I to judge?” quote has been taken grossly out of context: what the pope said was, he had no place to judge a priest who had homosexual attractions and tendencies but who lived a celibate life in accord with the Church’s teachings. Sin is sin, and of that there is no question or doubt.

      The larger issue that the synod considered, and which indeed there has been a lot of debate about, is the best way for pastors to approach Catholics who have been civilly divorced and remarried outside the Church — who, in the Catholic understanding, are now “living in sin” and are not allowed to receive the Eucharist. Some (more liberal) would have the Church relax these restrictions, since sin is so widespread, but again, but if you read the final report of the synod, the gathered bishops reaffirmed the sanctity and sacramentality of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Despite what the media would tell you, and what activists would like to make it, homosexuality was a minor and marginal concern. (How best to minister to homosexuals in the light and truth of the Gospel of Christ is always something worth discussing, and this is what was discussed.)

      • Eugene Adkins 6:52 pm on 2014-10-23 Permalink | Reply

        Hi Joseph.

        My friend, it sounds like you’re making a molehill out of a mountain.

        • Joseph Richardson 7:37 pm on 2014-10-23 Permalink | Reply

          For a more realistic view of your “mountains,” you might try reading some conservative Catholic news sources. My favorite is the National Catholic Register. There is a lot of concern about this, but you are getting a very distorted perspective.

    • Jack 6:44 pm on 2014-10-21 Permalink | Reply

      Interpretation is the assignment of meaning to that which is not self evident. In other words_ opinion which denies the existence of truth and surely invites comparisons as opposed to what can be known.

      “But do not let immorality or any impurity or greed even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this YOU KNOW WITH CERTAINTY, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and GOD.
      (Ephesians 5:3-5)

      “And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge GOD any longer, GOD gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are a gossips, slanderers, haters of GOD, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and, ALTHOUGH THEY KNOW the ordinance of GOD, that those who practice such things are worthy of a death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.
      (Romans 1:28-32)

  • TFRStaff 5:07 am on 2014-09-02 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: authority in religion, , religious standards   

    Hugh's News & Views (Religious Standards) 


    People today follow all kinds of religious standards and have all kinds of ideas about what God will and will not accept when it comes to religious beliefs, religious practices, and moral conduct.

    Some believe that as long as they live up to the Ten Commandments they are acceptable to God.

    Some believe that if they live by the Sermon on the Mount or just the Golden Rule they will be acceptable. (More …)

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