A good way to get some blog traffic is to talk about something controversial. I first learned this when my article “What should I do with my hands during congregational singing” sparked some fiery discussion a few years back.
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Although my convictions have not changed since I first published that article, my understanding of the theology behind singing has developed significantly. This longer article is an attempt to outline a more in depth and theological approach to singing in church.
Among the Australian public, few adjectives are considered more condemning than evangelical. After all, most evangelicals are misogynistic, homophobic dinosaurs. At least that’s what you’ll get from the haters on Q&A. Assuming there’s more to it than that, what exactly is an evangelical?
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Before answering that question it’s worth getting a common misunderstanding out of the way. By evangelical I do not mean evangelist or evangelistic. To get technical for a moment, in Greek the word “Gospel” is the eu-angelion (good-news). So to be an evangelist or evangelistic is to be someone who speaks the gospel to others- they evangelize. Although it sounds similar, the term evangelical usually refers to something different.
The Church has a bunch of creeds. Nicene. Apostles. Athanasian. They’re great for telling you what we believe about Jesus and his divinity, but none of them really explain what actually happened when he died.
Christians throughout the years have answered this question differently, some more successfully than others. Here’s four of those theories:
Christians are engaged in a war. We resist the Devil, demolish strongholds and do battle in the name of the King. We’re fighters in the Lord’s Army. Our weapons, however, are not guns and grenades but the sword of the Spirit.
For years I’ve fought as an amateur. As a self-taught soldier my strategy was pretty simple. Swing my sword as hard as I could and hope to God it connected. It was a good strategy, but not always the best strategy. What I needed was training.
Those with a prosperity theology will point to rich dudes like Job and Abraham and suggest that all real Christians should have heaps of cash. Those with a poverty theology, however, will point to the rich young ruler and suggest that all real Christians should be poor like Jesus.
So who’s right? In my opinion… neither. I’ve recently become convinced of an alternative (and actually Biblical) theology. I’m calling it righteousness theology.
Ever told someone that being a Christian is all about having a “relationship with Jesus”? I have. And it is true…
But what on earth does it actually mean? And why do you need one?