Daily Archives: June 9, 2013

Theology: PROLEGOMENA (Preface and Introduction)

Theology at one time in our history was important in the Sciences, however this is not true in all circles today.


Thiessen in his systematic theology states, “Until rather recent times Theology was considered the queen of the sciences and Systematic Theology the crown of the queen. But today the generality of so-called theological scholarship denies that it is a science and certainly the idea that it is the queen of the sciences.” (Thiessen, Henry C.; “Lectures In Systematic Theology”; Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1949, p 23)


When they speak of the Sciences, what do they mean? Math, biology, chemistry, electronics, logic etc. are considered Sciences. What are the Arts? Psychology, language, history, art, philosophy, etc. are the Arts.


What are the Sciences based on? The Sciences are based on discoverable fact, known fact, systematic research, principles of fact finding, etc. Upon what are the Arts based? The Arts are based on thought, creativity of the mind and hand, philosophy, etc.


The study of Sciences in college leads to a Bachelor of Science degree, while the study of the Arts leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree. Since most Bible Colleges give B.A. degrees, they must feel that the study of the Bible and theology is in the area of thought and philosophy, or the Arts.


In the thinking of the world this classification is correct. However if we feel that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and correct in all that it says, then we would determine our study from the facts and not thought. This would technically place us within the idea of the Sciences. Indeed, I have run across a Bible college or two that offer the B.S. degree rather than the B.A.


James Orr in 1909 stated,


“Every one must be aware there is at the present time a great prejudice against doctrine – or, as it is often called ‘Dogma’ – in religion; a great distrust and dislike of clear and systematic thinking about divine things. Men prefer one cannot help seeing, to live in a region of haze and indefiniteness in regard to these matters. They want their thinking to be fluid and indefinite – something that can be changed with the times, and with the new lights which they think are being constantly brought to bear upon it, continually taking on new forms, and leaving the old behind.” (Orr, James; “Sidelights On Christian Doctrine”; London: p 3)

This Was Spoken Almost 80 Years Ago. How Much More True It Is Today. Does this sound like the electronic church of today — don’t bug me with the facts — I want experience? One Charismatic mentioned that fundamentalists should box their brains up and shoot them into outer space — they let their minds control them. Let yourself go. Now, is he not in essence saying you have to be mindless to be like he is? Sounds somewhat like rationalism which we will see later.


In the past all sciences allowed for God within their ideas, however today very few sciences allow for God of any kind and have replaced Him with man. Does that remind you of any passages in Scripture? Romans 1:21-23, “Because, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man, and birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.”


Americans have turned to humanism for their religion. How long before they turn to animals, beasts, and creeping things?


What does the word “Prolegomena” mean? “Prolegomena” comes from two Greek words. “pro” meaning before & “legein” which means to speak

— “to say before” says, Webster. (4302 in Strong’s is the base word “prolego”. 2 Corinthians 13:2; Galatians 5:21; 1 Thessalonians 3:4. These are the only usages in the New Testament.)


Ryrie states of the prolegomena, “It furnishes the author with the opportunity to let his readers know something of the general plan he has in mind, both its extent and limitations, as well as some of the presuppositions of his thinking and the procedures he plans to use.”



(Reprinted by permission: Ryrie, Charles C.; “Basic Theology”; Wheaton: Victor Books, 1986, p 13)


Prolegomena is a twenty-five dollar word for preface or introduction that allows you to impress people.


As we move along we need to understand some words.[1]



All That Data the Government Collects On You From Your Cell Phone…

Zwinglius Redivivus

All that ‘harmless’ data?  Here’s a story that tells what they can do with it.

Green party politician Malte Spitz sued to have German telecoms giant Deutsche Telekom hand over six months of his phone data that he then made available to ZEIT ONLINE. We combined this geolocation data with information relating to his life as a politician, such as Twitter feeds, blog entries and websites, all of which is all freely available on the internet.

By pushing the play button, you will set off on a trip through Malte Spitz’s life. The speed controller allows you to adjust how fast you travel, the pause button will let you stop at interesting points. In addition, a calendar at the bottom shows when he was in a particular location and can be used to jump to a specific time period. Each column corresponds to one day.

And then, once…

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7 Most Exciting Things a Pastor Experiences

Here are 7 most exciting things pastors experience:

A child who loves church – They are our future. And, we know it. Jesus loves the little children. And so do we. I love when a little child leads “them” to church. When a child loves church, I know the parent is sure to be excited also.

Note takers – Seeing someone following a message closely. Hearing pages of the Bible turn. Priceless. Seeing people actually live the truths taught…don’t even get me started.

Sacrificial givers – The church is built on people willing to invest in her work. The generous giver…who gives with no strings attached…way to make a pastor smile. Maybe even dance.

Visitors and people who invite them – Visitors. Could we grow the church and sustain it long-term without them? Of course not. Every person in the church today, unless they were born into it, started as a visitor. Every new church member and every knew opportunity to add someone to our discipleship efforts starts with a visit. I love people who invite. I love those who come when invited. I just want to hug them all. (But, I promise not to hug you on your first visit…or ever if you prefer, because I want you to visit. Visit. Visit. Visit.)

Servant hearts – When I see a man or woman in the parking lot or a baby rocker in preschool, or someone who says “Pastor, I’m here to help you any way I can”, I am encouraged to keep going. Their enthusiasm for serving others encourages me.

New people joining the church – The church is a family and every pastor loves when the family grows. When people who have been visiting start coming more often, and eventually decide this is the church family…WOW! Exciting! I may try to look like it’s a normal day, because I don’t want you to think we are desperate for new members, or scare you as I shout real loud, but inside, I’m bursting with joy.

When the church is the church – I am encouraged when I hear someone is in the hospital and a church member has already made a visit. I get excited when I hear of needs…that have already been met. When the church behaves like we were called to behave, without a staff member or me having to lead the effort, I’m energized. Elated. Blessed.


7 Most Frustrating Things Pastors Experience

Here’s my reply:

People who abuse power or position – It always bothers me, but even more so when it happens in the church. That includes, of course, the pastor. Ultimately, we are to follow Christ, but sometimes we can let positions and power get in the way of humility and obedience.

People who live dual lives – Hypocrisy. One church face and one community face. Frustrating. It gives the church a bad name. Many of my unchurched friends won’t come to church because they know someone who comes to church already. And, they aren’t impressed.

Rumors that spread with no basis of truth. (And, yes, it happens…often)

Selfishness – People who want what they want, even at the expense and inconvenience of others. Who will allow their personal preference to interfere with carrying out the ultimate mission of the church. Doesn’t sound very Biblical to me.

Tradition – I’m not against tradition per se. I like meeting at a set time every week, for example. I love getting gifts at Christmas. I get frustrated with tradition that is adhered to only because of tradition even thought it gets in the way of making disciples.

Time wasters – I’m on a mission. I have a keen sense that time is short and moves faster than I can fathom. I don’t want to waste precious Kingdom time debating issues that simply don’t matter.

Half-heartedness – Perhaps I got this one from Jesus. He called it lukewarm. I sense it when the Spirit of God is obviously active in the room, but so many look at me as if it’s a typical Sunday. I realize sometimes this is cultural or worship style preference. I’m okay when it’s that. It is frustrating when it’s a matter of immaturity of heart, especially when someone has been in the church for many years, but hasn’t grown deeper and more passionately in love with Christ. Some days I wish we were a ballgame. With bleachers. And a favorite team. Then they’d get excited.