74. A Different Kind of Election

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The presidential election for 2016 is over!

So it’s time to talk about a different kind of election, the election of sinners by God to salvation. Andy shares the five points of Calvinism and Arminianism, the two common theological systems that are debated and compared when discussing God’s role in salvation.  But then the curveball comes, the Lutheran position on election is presented, a position which rarely discussed in the predestination debate among Christians.  The Lutheran understanding of single-predestination is by far a different election from Calvin’s double-predestination.

Some show notes:

Five Points of Calvinism

T – otal Depravity
U – nconditional Election
L – imited Atonement
I – irresistible Grace
P – reservation of the Saints

Five Points of Arminianism

  1. Free-will, human-ability
  2. Conditional Election (Election is Foreknowledge)
  3. General Atonement (Objective Justification)
  4. The Holy Spirit can be resisted.
  5. Falling from Grace

Lutherans hold to 1.5 points of Calvinism and 3 Points of Arminianism

Total Depravity and Predestination for Salvation
General Atonement, Grace is Resistible, and Falling from Faith

We are saved by grace through faith.  

John 3:16
Ephesians 2:8-9
Romans 4:5

Faith is not our work but the work of the Holy Spirit.

Titus 3:5

1 Corinthians 12:3
John 1:13
Ephesians 2:8-9
Ephesians 2:5 “God makes us alive.”
Romans 9:16
John 6:29

We are incapable of deciding to have faith.

1 Corinthians 12:3
Ephesians 2:1 “We are dead in our sins and trespasses.”
John 1:13
John 6:441 Corinthians 2:14 “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”

Any verse about being born again indicates this also, for what role do we play in our natural birth?  None!

Since faith is purely a gift of God and we play no role in our conversion, then it could be assumed that God then chooses who will be saved, and also chooses who will not be saved.

Here’s what Scripture says on the matter:

God elects/predestines to salvation!

Ephesians 1:3-13, 4:3-5
John 1:13
Ephesians 2:4-5 “God made us alive (spiritually).
Romans 8:29-30
2 Timothy 1:8-9

It is the will of God that no man should perish!

1 Timothy 1:3-4
2 Peter 3:8-9

 

 

 

 

 

72. Jesus is Pro-Life!

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jesus-is-prolife
Jesus said that he came to give life and to give it to the full.  He also said that the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10) It should be pretty obvious which side of the abortion debate Jesus stands and which side the devil hides.

In this episode, James Conrad shares his family’s personal experiences with multiple abortions and the tragic aftermath that these murders have left for the survivors.  The good that has arisen from these horrendous loses of lives is that James’ mother started a pro-life activism group who has fought relentlessly for the rights and lives of the unborn.

James shares why all lives matter and why everyone has equal rights to life and how abortions are very harmful to women.  He also responds to the argument that abortions should be legal to save the life of the mother and gives some important advice on responding to several political questions that pro-life advocates often times encounter.

Show Links:

Elliot Institute’s Fact Sheets – Check out the one’s on how harmful abortions are for women.

Does Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions? – Check out the free brochure download!

Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust

Recall Abortion by Janet Morana (Book James recommended)

Live Action Youtube Channel (James mentions their videos)

59. Contradictions in the Bible

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Hey Andy Wrasman,

Someone handed me a pamphlet about your movement! I read through it and I noticed a few problems. You say, “In light of these contradictions, all religions simply can’t be true. They could all potentially be false, but they can’t all be true” and I’m inclined to agree! However, if this statement about contradictions is true, how do you reconcile all of the contradictions among the Gospels like Joseph having different genealogies in Matthew and Luke, the date of the Last Supper which differs from the others in John, and the nature of Judas’ death in Matthew and Acts? By your own logic, shouldn’t the Gospels be viewed as false?

Secondly, you say in your pamphlets that “the original Gospels were written by eyewitnesses, or written by people who wrote using eyewitness testimony.” The earliest Gospel, Mark, was written 30-40 years after Jesus died, allowing plenty of time “for myths to have crept into the accounts.”

I know you’re probably just trying to take advantage of fundamentalists who want to buy cool and edgy shirts and bumper stickers, but come on dude, you should be able to do better than this.

Best,
Jim

In this episode, Andy gives his response!

Show links:

Contradict Movement Gospel Tracts

Contradict – They Can’t All Be True (excerpt is read in this episode)

Did Jesus Die on the Cross?

Chinese email I read on the show:

To give an example of the difficulty of understanding a text when we
don’t know the context of its writing, I want to share an e-mail I received
from a friend (copied exactly as it came to me in my inbox):

i’m glad to hear you r good at home, it must be great to do thing
the same way you always do, haha.

yeah,7.5 is quite a tragedy, a lot of people died that day. I
was quite angry when i heard news. One of my friends is a
soldier there, and he told me that our GOVERmNT sent about
100.000 soldiers to XINJIANG, to get things back to normal
and to stop the revange, cus you know, lot of people who have
family been killed at 7.5 take revenge during the following
days. anyway, if i was them, i’ll do the same thing.

thx for the tips, i really need some exercise, i’m getting fat
now. haha

here is an article wirtten by DANIU, he is talking about you,
haha. he thought you rock. i’ll give you the link, but it’s in
chinese, probably i can translate it to you later

56. Building Bridges Part 2

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Episode 16 of Reconnect featured guest, Ken Chitwood, sharing an article he wrote entitled, “Building Bridges: Toward Constructing a Christian Foundation for Inter-Religious Relationships in the Shift from Religious Privilege to Spiritual Plurality”.  The key points for inter-religious dialog that Ken suggests are: pay attention, find, and form, friendships, listen and learn, dine, dialog, and do together, discern, and witness to the worldview.

While I agree with many of Ken’s points to approaching inter-religious dialog, I have a different application of the term “building bridges”.  I explain this approach in an article that I wrote for Reformation 21: “Embracing Religious Contradictions to Proclaim Christ Crucified: Tolerance and Coexistence”.   Looking at Acts 17, I see how Paul knew the beliefs and culture of those he was sharing the Gospel of Jesus.  He made the presentation of the Gospel from starting within their belief system with a point of contact that he could use to make a connection to the Biblical narrative of salvation.  I was given the opportunity to share this approach to evangelism at Brookfield Lutheran Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin.  This episode contains that sermon message. 

Senior pastor at Brookfield Lutheran Church, Robert Mrosko, was a guest on Reconnect Episode 39, discussing Star Wars.

The building bridges technique I am advocating for is also shared in Episode 34: “Storytelling Evangelism”.