Monthly Archives: July 2011

cynicism or cloaked pelagianism?

Some how or other I wound up on a mailing list for a website that sells small group resources, teaching aids, advice, etc. I tend to forget about it primarily because the e-mails are routed to an account I checked only sporadically. Then, when I do see them, I often think: ‘Hey, I should probably unsubscribe because I’m not going to do anything with this site.’ However, the unsubscribe request remains to be sent, mainly because I keep forgetting to do it. (Maybe I will after this post).

This morning, on one of the sporadic times of checking that particular e-mail I found the site in question announcing a new teaching series. That much was not so interesting, mainly because that’s what the site usually does. However, the title, ‘Overcoming Sin‘ and the implied promise of a six-week completion date are what initially grabbed my attention.* I applaud the desire to teach on the subject of sin and their willingness to do so openly. But something about the series just doesn’t sit right with me.

My concern is simply this: the title, the promised six-week solution, and the synopsis of the series surprisingly lack reference to God, Christ and/or Spirit; you know, the three persons ordinarily associated with the solution to the sin-problem. Granted, the Scripture references do point in the more appropriate direction but it’s still the fact that the explicit cause(s) for overcoming sin is/are not mentioned;** the focus falls squarely on what humans can and should do. (I would be curious to see how they are going to apply 1 Tim 3.5 to this sort of discussion, but not curious enough to spend $29.70 +shipping). This sounds suspiciously like Pelagianism, or at least form of it.

I truly hope that this series is not going to suggest: do these six things and the burden of sin is no longer an issue; or: integrate these six lessons into your life and you will overcome the powerful stranglehold of sin and find yourself rising to the place where God desires you to be (and can therefore bless you). If that’s the focus, then my advice would be: read the Bible again. My sincere hope is that throughout this series, the wisdom of God, the nature of the cross (and resurrection) of Christ and the role of the Spirit are recognised as primary with regard to overcoming sin. To suggest otherwise is to do so in face of what Scripture teaches.

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* I confess that my remarks here can only be based on what I see from the announcement and synopsis; I admittedly do not have thorough knowledge of what the series specifically teaches. However, while my observations are superficial I fear that something deeper might be at work. Or maybe I’m just being too cynical.
** I’ll leave to one side the apparent use of proof-texting for this series.

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need some geeky mac assistance, please

Because I’m pretty thick when it comes to computer stuff, especially stuff related to internet connections, I need some help/insight/assistance for a recurring problem. I’ll start with the details and then explain my issue/problem.

We have a fairly standard internet service in the house: cable runs out of the wall into a slightly dated router, and whereas before we were confined to a single ethernet cable (albeit c. 50 feet long) we now connect via a wireless router . . . one that’s rigged to the original router. By me. Without gaffer tape (surprisingly). While the logic of the rigging made sense, I didn’t know if it would work once connected.  Lo and behold, it worked.  (I was rather chuffed with myself).  That was nearly 2 years ago.

Shortly thereafter (maybe a month or two), I opened my laptop as usual, kicked on Safari, loaded a page or two and began my usual evening surfing. However, while bouncing around from one page to another I suddenly received a message saying I was no longer connected to the internet. I looked to the top of the screen and saw that my signal strength was full, so I presumed that much was okay. I then decided to click on the ‘network diagnostic’ button in the middle of my grim announcement, and followed the onscreen prompts. To give you an idea, my situation looked something like this:

For the moment, ignore the date and time.

At this point in the process, I clicked ‘continue’, was asked a couple more questions and then be given the suggestion: try resetting the router and/or restarting its power supply (my paraphrase). Naturally I complied and  the suggestion worked. Problem sorted.

However, about a month or so later the same thing happened. Armed with my new knowledge of how to fix things, I did as before and was met with the same result. Good times. But then, about a month or so later . . . (you get the idea).

Now for my problem: whereas this issue would happen only occasionally, it has become more like a daily occurrence. In fact, the screenshot above was the first of three that happened on that particular day. It’s getting a tad annoying, to say the least (and there is certainly more that I would love to say).

Now for my plea for advice: can anyone tell me if the connection problem is either my fault (either because of something up in my laptop or my rigging job) or the internet provider’s? My instinct is the latter simply because of the status window (see above), which shows the problem being linked with ‘internet’ and ‘server’. But then again, my knowledge in this areas is laughable at best.

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