Future of Christianity. Islam’s Growth

This article describes the higher birthrate of Muslims, which is projected to make the Muslim population surpass the Christian population by 2070. The article speculates that violence will be a likely result as shifts in power take place.

These demographics should help Protestants understand why Roman Catholics have maintained there views on birth control (that is, not using birth control). In the Near East, Christians and Muslims have adopted harsh customs to ensure that members of their communities do not cross over to the other religion due to the dangers that go along with depopulation. Marrying into the other religion will mean getting shut out of the family and could even mean death, things hard for those in the west to understand.

Islam projected to be world’s largest religion by 2070.

Rev. Lyle E. Schaller Dies at 91. Church Growth Consultant

Highly influential church growth consultant, Lyle Schaller, taught sociological principles to churches, which made them more attractive and effective in gaining audiences. His approach helped shape modern churches, although it also raised concerns about whether sociology should trump biblical theology’s emphasis on God’s role in conversion and the role of tradition in guiding congregational life. Rev. Lyle E. Schaller Dies at 91; Helped Protestant Churches Survive and Grow – NYTimes.com.

State Churches in Colonial America

Peter Manseau offered this interesting editorial about Christianity and the history of the United States, noting that the nation was not a Christian nation from its founding, although that might be debated. Congregationalism and Church of England were established churches in colonial America. Rhode Island was the first state to grant freedom of Religion. Massachusetts did not disestablish the Protestant church there until 1834.

America is not a “Christian” nation
FOX NEWS | MARCH 5, 2015
http://pulse.me/s/3Bgwzp

Within the last few days, we’ve seen protestors holding crosses shout “go home!” at Muslims in front of the Oklahoma State Capitol, several Idaho stat… read more

http://pulse.me

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modern

One Word of God. Gerhard

At times God [reveals His Word] by an internal breathing-on or inspiring that includes immediate illumination. At times God does this through external speech, and this is published mediately or immediately by angels and humans as His heralds and ministers, or it is put into writing, and this we call the written Word or Holy Scripture. These distinctions, however, do not create any essential difference within the Word of God. . . . After all, it is one and the same Word and counsel of God regarding our salvation.

Gerhard, Theological Commonplaces Exegesis 1, p. 24

Since the Word is one, we participate in disseminating that one Word when we proclaim or write about the Lord. We join ranks with all the prophets and saints of all times who proclaimed the one Word. We have a connection with all hearers of all time who have heard and read the one Word. We are even connected with all created order, which God called forth in the beginning by the one Word. He upholds all things by the Word of His power (Heb 1:3).

Orthodoxy

The End of Theology. Gerhard

The ultimate end of theology is not bare knowledge, but action.

Gerhard, Theological Commonplaces, Ex 1, p. 21.

When Gerhard writes about the “end” of theology, he means its goal, what it’s driving toward. We are poor theologians until we act upon what we have learned of God. Our acts should express themselves toward God our Maker, from who we learned theology, and toward those around us, whom God loves.

Toward God, our action is prayer and praise. Toward mankind, it is likewise praise of our (and their) Maker that manifests itself in mercy. (Sometimes mercy manifests itself in rendering judgment upon those who do evil, so that others might be delivered from evil: e.g., military and police work.) In acting on our knowledge of God, we join ourselves to God’s end: to save and treasure His creation through His beloved Son.

Orthodoxy

Theology in Johann Gerhard

The simple words of which ‘theology’ is composed appear in Scripture, namely, logos theou (Rom. 3:2; 1 Pet. 4:11; Heb. 5:12).

Gerhard’s Theological Commonplaces, Exegesis I, p. 17 (CPH, 2009).

When one writes for God, one writes theology. This points out the seriousness and depth of the task. Yet note how Gerhard draws his thoughts from common passages of Scripture that one might read and re-read. One cannot let the seriousness and depth of the topic prevent writing simply, clearly, and commonly about God.

Orthodoxy