A Perfect Encapsulation

If you read last week’s long post, you know I’ve been debating revelation and knowledge with a Roman Catholic named Tony Fernandez.

He has been mulling over how best to work through that volume I produced, and I have been mulling over my next essay.

Meanwhile, he retweeted this just now:

Isn’t that a perfect encapsulation of the issue? So let’s think about that for a second. If tradition is prior to Scripture, then it is a more authoritative form of revelation. If our knowledge and comprehension of God is more dependent on tradition than it is Scripture, what is the justification for that claim?

It’s funny how when we ask this of Roman Catholics, they appeal to Matthew 18.

It’s also revealing in that Tony had stated to me that he doesn’t believe there is anywhere we can hear Jesus’ voice today, without doubt or hindrance. Of course he is forced into that position, even while his Bible sits on the table beside his keyboard, seeing that the Roman Church has declared that the true and most immediate revelation from God is not Scripture mediated by the Holy Spirit, but rather Scripture mediated by the Church.

My first question, always, is How do I know I am hearing and interpreting the Church rightly, adequately, and without error such that I may be saved?

If only there were somewhere that God is speaking clearly and directly to His people, like a Shepherd who knows His sheep, calls them by name, leads them out, and gives them eternal life such that no one may snatch them out of His omnipotent hand.

But alas, we must hope that we are reading the right parts of tradition (there is no canon of tradition), and that our minds and hearts are sufficiently free of concupiscence so as to interpret that tradition rightly.

Good. Luck.

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A Spiritual Zenith: Enter Calvinism (Spiritual Autobio 7)

Buckle up for a longer post this time. I have to mention all the events and people included here, and I don’t feel like artificially breaking this up into separate posts, mostly because I have a lot to cover, and I’m not trying to tailor this series to a popular audience. When one wishes to blog like a champion, one must observe the rule to keep posts short, so as not to lose the interest of the average reader. Since I do not have many readers, nor average readers, I am writing at length today.

See this list for all posts in this series.


Still Floating Along, Not so Alone

Upon returning home from Yellowstone National Park in 2005, I continued working toward my Bachelor degree at SUNY Brockport, leading Campus Crusade for Christ (CC4C) on campus, and practicing evangelism with my mentors Peter and Phillip.

At CC4C, I became President of the club because the other student leaders had either graduated or quit college. With no leadership or ministry experience, and at 23 years old, I stepped into a pastoral role for two dozen young college students. Only two years out of drug rehab, I was relying mostly on zeal, while my learning in the Scriptures still had a long way to go. Continue reading

Calvary Chapel: Finally Home? (Spiritual Autobio 4)

Last time we saw the young man awaken in a small boat at sea, not knowing who he was or why he was adrift. By the end of the post, another person in a boat had been contacted. Please go back and read the previous posts in this series before reading this one. It’ll be more fun for both of us if a few of you follow along the whole way…

And look, I don’t have all the time in the world to really prune these posts and to make them titillating reading. I am doing this for posterity, so I ask you to bear with my writing, knowing it leaves something to be desired.


It was 2004, I was clean and sober for less than two years, and I barely knew my right hand from my left. I lived in a micro-apartment with rent of $330 per month, and worked night shifts at Tim Hortons, making just enough money to eat a little food and drive several miles each week in lil’ Murph, my 1989 Mercury Tracer hatchback. I had picked it up for $550 cash, and the air conditioning was a large rust hole in the back where the wind rushed in.

Aimless but Happy

Life was good, but I had no local church, no Christian friends, and no aspirations. Then I met Phillip at the Redemption Center in Brockport (see last post).  Continue reading

Islam: Mission Field, Global Threat- Confidence like Paul (Confident Evangelism)

Here is the final installment of my Confident Evangelism class. For all the class videos, click here.

Evangelism to Muslims? The whitest of the white fields ready for harvest. We Christians with financial means must invest in Muslim evangelism, or be found wanting on the Day of Judgment. It’s that serious.

– Adam

Jehovah’s Witnesses: Confident Evangelism

They’re the wily sect that everyone loves to avoid. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are an apocalyptic religion hunkered down awaiting the violent end to history, hoping their obedience to the Watchtower organization will earn them Jehovah’s favor and protection during Armageddon – but who has time to learn all about their mass of unique perspectives? Can we share the truth with a JW without a PhD in their doctrines?

This lesson is my best attempt to equip you with a confident course of action, without bogging you down in historical details. Give it a shot!

An added bonus in this episode is that we had a special guest in class – an ex-JW named Natalie, who kindly bore witness (punny of me to say) to my information, and added her perspective at certain points.

The workbook is here. Other episodes are available on this blog here.

Grace to you,

Adam

Mormonism: Confident Evangelism

Our most recent video from the course on Confident Evangelism at Webster Bible Church. Here is our workbook if you’d like to follow along (highly recommended).

My approach to Mormonism is one of warmth and kindness, patience, and yet directness in how we open the Scripture to show them their error. Your feedback is always welcomed. God bless. – Adam

Confidence in our Place in Church History: Video

This is the newest class video in our confident evangelism course – a dovetail to last week’s class on Roman Catholicism. Oftentimes it feels like evangelicalism is the new kid on the block in church history, but the best of our tradition is the tradition of the ancient church – and this should inform our confidence in evangelism. Enjoy.