Old Stuff – Ecclesiological Implications of Reformed Doctrine

January 8, 2009 — Leave a comment

Number 3

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Here’s another post along the lines of some of my theological musings over the past few months.  This is excerpted from some other writing I did, so I apologize if it doesn’t entirely make sense…hopefully at some point I’ll make time to actually fully develop ideas into coherent arguments and points.

“I think I have been overly dismissive of the biblical doctrine of election, or at least have failed to see the practical implications of it worked out in daily ministry. The revelation I had was mainly related to the idea of a seeker sensitive or attractional model of church. The question really boils down to our view of salvation. If we believe that God preserves free will above all, then we must therefore make the Gospel as attractive as possible to win as many as possible. Perhaps ministries will grow numerically, but I think my observation is that personal holiness and obedience is frequently not the hallmark of churches with that mentality. If instead you believe in the saving power of the unadulterated Word through God, your task is to simply preach that clearly and faithfully, with full reliance on the power of God to effect salvation. I want to trust the saving power of God rather than gimmicky ministry ideas and the titillation of worldly desires. Let those whom God has brought forth come, because He is sovereign over the salvation of all. Pragmatism didn’t have a lot of place in the ministry of Jesus (what is pragmatic about the call he gives?).

I guess there is still room for a discussion on Paul’s idea of becoming all things to all men, but somehow I’m not sure we can arrive at a justification for much of what we see in modern ministry methods. Biblical faithfulness and obedience often is not championed, rather pop psychology enshrouded in biblical wrapping. Do we view Scripture as some good suggestions, or the very command of God which He effectively accomplishes in the life of a believer through the power of the Holy Spirit?

Also, to tie into my thought from the other day about the form of ministry being predicated by one’s theological bent, I want to add the concept that it also is intricately tied to one’s Christology. Keeping a balance of Christ incarnate and Christ exalted leads to a balance ministry of missional and victorious. We are to work with our hands in mission but proclaim a victorious King. I pray that we would not err on the side of only being warriors for Christ, but also as humble, hard-working peasants who are subject to their King.”

Todd Engstrom

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Although I was raised in the church and had a knowledge of God, I didn’t embrace Jesus until I heard gospel preached and lived out by some Young Life leaders. God has proven faithful and good to me since that day, even in great suffering and loss. I have learned to treasure Romans 8:28 as a wellspring of hope and truth. God has blessed me with an amazing wife (Olivia), three sons (Micah, Hudson and Owen) and a daughter (Emmaline). Growing up in the northwest, the thought never crossed my mind that I would have four children who are native Texans. Despite landing in the south, I still watch Notre Dame games with my children every Saturday in hopes they will land at my alma mater.

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