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21 Responses

  1. Jean says:

    Great word; great reminder.

    For more on the theology of glory/cross, this article is very good:

    http://pastormattrichard.webs.com/lq_16-4_04_kolb.pdf

  2. Jean says:

    I don’t know about you (perhaps I’m over sensitive about these things), but when I see quotes like this in my news feed from immensely popular theologians of glory, while Christians at home and abroad are suffering in unbearable ways, I find these statements quite offensive:

    “You may have given up, but God doesn’t give up. He is about to breathe new life into your dreams, into your health, into your relationships. You’re going to feel a stirring, a new passion, a new excitement. That’s God resurrecting what He has placed inside of you.”
    – Joel Osteen

  3. Michael says:

    Jean,

    You are more decent and genteel than myself.
    It makes me want to pop him.

  4. Jean says:

    Better him than me. 🙂

  5. Michael says:

    We’re good, Jean. 🙂

  6. Em says:

    it is too bad that “glory” represents anything but a fearful and awesomely all powerful holy God…

    God does want us to prosper and be in health, of course He does. But He doesn’t rearrange history to indulge us… America has seen a half century of prosperity (not very long, when you think on it) – i wouldn’t want to be the teacher who claims to be declaring God’s truth by equating prosperity with a close walk with God… our God is a refining fire, if you’ve never felt the heat then …?… dunno

    if you haven’t ever been mocked and hated for your Faith or even marginalized, you probably don’t get out and about much – if you’ve never felt slighted in the blessings department … well, you are either very fortunate or are very close to God

    when i was asked to write my memories of my grandfather and grandmother, who went thru the Great Depression serving God in the Holiness Movement, it started out as a chore and an obligation – but by the time i had finished i understood so much more of God’s grace and, most of all, His holiness – aaand the tendency children have to blame the Faith of their parents when they experience troubles

    God keep Michael N and those near and dear to him, give him good medical care and healing …. just prayin – cuz i can 🙂

  7. Michael says:

    Thank you, Em. 🙂

  8. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    the theology of glory really isn’t that you think good things will happen – it is much larger than that. The theology of glory is that you think you can tell what God thinks of you by circumstances in your life.

    A person is a theologian of glory if he stands up and says “God has blessed our church with tremendous growth.” – there is no evidence for that – it could be satan growing your church … so watch out. If a person were to say “God has blessed me in my ministry”: – same thing.

  9. Em says:

    Michael, FWIW, my son who recently had a heart attack (serious enough for a life flight) said, “Mom, I’ve never felt depression like this…” and he’s had some very depressing things in his 51 years… i’ve lived long enough now to have known a few men who have had serious heart episodes of one kind or another and all them, for a good year afterwards, became very uncharacteristically emotional – God give you good comforters

  10. Em says:

    #9- MLD, strangely, my daughter was saying the very same thing last night as she watched TV … an outstanding singer on the Voice had commented that it wasn’t his doing, God had blessed him… sounds commendable at first

    God has blessed me, too, all through my life, He has been there instructing and correcting and waiting –

  11. Michael says:

    Em,

    I tend toward being emotional anyway…and I’m finding what you said is true.
    I’m fighting depression and learning that I have to limit my stress inducers.

    I had a hell of a rant I wanted to unload today, but decided I wasn’t ready to deal with the conflagration.

    It will wait, I suppose…

  12. Michael says:

    MLD…good add there.

    There may be no more pernicious lie of the devil…

  13. surfer51 says:

    Life in Christ can be hard at times.

    Old Jonah would say, “Tell me about it, I got a submarine ride until I was ready to give in. I was just minding my own business and then next thing I know I am supposed to go to the fiercest warriors of my time and tell them to repent. These were people who wrapped their pyramids in human skins of the conquered. I was freaked out and ran the other way, but after the submarine ride I knew who was in control.”

  14. Erunner says:

    Michael, my heart goes out to you and I pray this time will bear more fruit than you can imagine. This is another article I felt was written for me.

    “Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

    (Matthew 16:24 ESV)

    I don’t want to.

    Crosses mean pain and then a long, hard, walk to the places you die.

    The “victorious” Christian life is when you persevere to the end.

    If you remember Gethsemane, Jesus tried to find a loophole too.

    He didn’t find one.

    Neither have I.

    There’s life after death.

    Thy will be done, Lord…

    Very early on (probably before I was saved) I developed a false theology and have done all in my power through the ensuing decades to justify it. You described it above.

    Self preservation has been my idol. As a result I removed God from the throne and worshipped at the altar of self.

    Christianity can be described as a relationship with our maker. It’s something I’ve limited because I haven’t trusted Him to be there for me when I desired Him the most. That has led to the buttressing of my false theology.

    Thy will be done is still a tough one for me. Thank you for your honesty.

  15. Michael says:

    Erunner,

    Thank you, my friend.
    It was worth posting if it helps.

  16. Erunner says:

    You’re welcome Michael. I have always believed if anything I’ve posted through the years helped one person then it is all worth it. You’ve done that in spades.

  17. Andrew says:

    How do you distinguish this theology of glory from what I hear preached from Proverbs on wisdom? I hear it a lot that “generally” speaking if you follow the wisdom in Proverbs your life will be blessed. Its never an absolute promise but a guiding principal but it does seem a favorite for some pastors making me suspicious that they are theologians of glory.

  18. Michael says:

    Andrew,

    You answered your own question.
    Things do work out better when you follow certain principles of life.
    Those, however, are not absolutes.

  19. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Andrew, generally avoid reading Proverbs as isolated from the rest of the wisdom literature. Proverbs provides some proverbs that spur wisdom but Ecclesiastes warns against the limits of axioms in a world that confounds us and Job warns that a person can do and say all the right things and still come to misery.

    A certain dude was tweeting about how a wife is a reward God gives for a life of toil and then referenced Ecclesiastes 9:9. Seems doubtful that’s the most likely reading of that text unless somebody wanted a prooftext for getting a trophy wife.

  20. Scotty says:

    Praying for you Michael.

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