Joshua Graves
Exploring the Collision of Culture & Faith
A Few Random Thoughts
June 10, 2012

Some theological musings for a Sunday morning.

1. Acts 11:26–Followers of The Way are first called “Christians” after Jews and Greeks come together to form the church. They are followers, disciples, believers, etc. But they are not explicitly called Christian until the walls of division (ethnic and religious division in this case) are torn down by the legacy of Jesus and the power of the Spirit. We might be the “church” or “followers” or “believers” . . . but are we Christian? What walls need to be torn down in my life (personal, spiritual, social, ethnic, racial, religious).

2. Is the ultimate problem with Calvinism (at least the hyper-variety) the fact that Jesus, himself, makes a poor Calvinist in the gospel narratives? Is that ultimately where Calvinism falls to pieces? After all, Paul and Torah provided some pretty convincing evidence for Calvinism (and some evidence for other perspectives). But Jesus/the gospels . . . ?

3. I don’t know if I believe what I’m about to write but I’m going to write it anyways. If the ultimate test of religion is what said religion offers its non-adherents, historic¬†Christianity¬†might offer a pretty compelling narrative.

To die for a friend = the Qur’an.

To die for a stranger = Torah.

To die for an enemy = Jesus (the Gospels).

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Probably an accurate summary, regarding the outlook of the Qur’an and the Gospels.

And speaking of Islam and other faiths…are you going to give a summary of what happened at your lecture at the Baha’i center?

by Jeff (Jun 10 2012, 5:15 pm)

Great thoughts…one more reason why following Jesus is such a challenge and yet another reason why I am compelled to believe in Jesus.

Grace and Peace,


by K. Rex Butts (Jun 10 2012, 6:14 pm)

Jeff-great question. I posted the lecture and dialog
online. What other ideas do you have?
Rex. You are a good man! Keep up the great work

by Josh (Jun 10 2012, 9:56 pm)


I am interested in how things went at the presentation, as I have acquaintances who are both Muslim and Baha’i.

But I have no other thoughts yet! Mainly because I haven’t read the lecture. But now I see where you posted the information…on Otter Creek’s website. I’ll read it now.


by Jeff (Jun 11 2012, 12:06 pm)

Correction…I’ll listen now!

by Jeff (Jun 11 2012, 12:11 pm)

Good point about Jesus and Calvinism. That’s probably why only OT characters are ever discussed in relation to predestination.

by Jenny (Jun 11 2012, 1:21 pm)

Jeff, Let me know if you’d like to discuss further.
Thanks Jenny!

by Josh Graves (Jun 12 2012, 7:11 am)

Thanks, but I just wanted to listen (which I did).

by Jeff (Jun 12 2012, 4:52 pm)

Whether you’ve decided to pan this out and put it in your truth column or not, what I like about your summary of the big three is that it is how it seems to succinctly sum up the intrinsic feel of each Holy Book. Really well put, and in a way that pays respect where respect is due.

by Becca Kello (Jun 13 2012, 2:38 pm)
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