Wednesday, May 27, 2009


One of my favorite things in life is meeting up with good friends I haven't seen in awhile, having thought provoking conversations about life, God, politics and whatever else over a cup of coffee. This happened over Memorial Day weekend.

Here we are at the Old Market in Omaha on a perfect Midwest spring day (left to right: Dad, me, Clarke Stevens, Ed Noble). Clarke, who has visited the greatest cities in the world, considers the Old Market in Omaha to be one of the most cultured downtown districts.

Our conversations included...

The contrast between the Baptist Reformed and Holiness movements in America. These views would give vastly different answers to the question: What is the most true thing about me? The Reformed Baptist may emphasize "sinner saved by grace" while the other "saint who is fully equipped to live a holy life". Or, to bring it down one more rung on the abstraction ladder: Is it possible for a Christian to live a sinless life? The former would say, "Of course not, we're sinful to the core." The latter, "The grace of God enables us to say 'no' to sin."

There are also implications for eternal security, which started the conversation. Some people in my home church (Christ Community in Omaha) are alarmed at the pastor's openness to the possibility of someone losing their salvation. I can't speak to his view on this, but I know the Christian Missionary Alliance denomination has roots in the Holiness movement, which may be open (possibly teach) such a view.

I think a good look at church history would instruct and humble us. For the mainline traditions, it may push them to a more vibrant, orthodox faith. For the Evangelical/Bible churches, it would remind them that many of our ancestors in the faith thought differently on non-orthodox issues.

I have more thoughts on the "once saved, always saved"... for another time.

The Omaha Music Scene
Ed, from San Diego, commented on how teenagers in SoCal talk about the music scene in Omaha. Those bands would include Bright Eyes, The Faint, and Cursive. Here's a video for those interested...

Also, our friend Clarke happens to live near Conor Oberst's house. Doesn't his car (and the above video) epitomize Indie rock culture?
The Voice of God
I just sat back and listened as Ed and my dad talked about things God had been speaking to them about in recent days. Dad was speaking later that night on "hearing the voice of God." Ed talked about the "wool test." Does God speak to you? He speaks to his sheep (John 10).

I wonder if there are any loyal Greg Koukl followers out there who think that's not really what Jesus was talking about in John 10. Or that we shouldn't expect to hear from God. I'm not trying to patronize you- I think Koukl has some valid concerns about people's carelessness with this text, "My sheep hear my voice."

I can't wait to get to heaven, when conversations with old friends over coffee on a beautiful day will be a common occurrence.


Ed Noble said...

I know I'm not objective, but this is a great post. I love the ethos, pathos & logos of your account & your reflections. I consider it a privilege to hang out whenever we get a chance. And what can I say about Jack (your pops). He's like a good wine getting better & more winsome with every passing day.
Shalom la'chem

Metropuritan Mark said...

Ed, the only regret was that I wish we could've had more time to chill. It was crazy that we had the unexpected divine appointment. What are the chances?

I'm looking forward to the God at the Movies series. I'll keep up dated via blog and podcast,

- Mark

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Theoretica said...

Why are you deleting everyone's comments???