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Posts Tagged ‘Isaiah 7’


It seems like so much has happened since our first congregational meeting on this topic in December. There have been plenty of changes in the plans and dollar figures. One of our members, a retired OPC elder, noted that with building projects you should double the figure and add 10%. He was about right as we went from Dec. to mid-May.

What are we doing?

At some point I’ll put a link to some graphics but here is the rundown.

  1. Adding a triple-wide modular (new) that will provide office space, a new nursery and SS space.
  2. The office space will be converted into sanctuary space. We estimate adding 60-70 seats. We can’t fully utilize that space or we’d have to retro fit with sprinklers, so we’ll actually have some storage space for chairs/tables/instruments depending on the use of the sanctuary space at any given time.
  3. The “overflow room”/SS room will be converted into a new ladies’ room where they shouldn’t have to worry about the door knocking their knees every time they enter/leave a stall.
  4. The old ladies room will be converted into a men’s room so we can have more than one guy in there at a time (up to 3).
  5. The old men’s room will become a family/ADA restroom that can handle busy bathroom times.
  6. Part of the covered sidewalk at the entrance will be walled in to create a foyer or narthex. There will be double doors to enter the sanctuary space so there will be more noise insulation for bathrooms and crying/naughty children.
  7. We will reorganize our largely haphazard parking to accommodate more cars in a more organized and functional fashion.

We are looking at about a $370k project and a sizeable loan to fund it. We do have nearly 1/2 of the funds already but taking out a loan is a big deal. We cannot wait until we have the money in hand because we will soon stagnate and/or shrink if history repeats itself. We are past the comfort zone of capacity and that is okay in the short run, but a church that is too “full” will usually shrink back to comfort (and often beyond as some people misinterpret the departures).

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aka, the Virgin Birth.

It is listed as one of the 5 fundamental beliefs during the fundamentalist-modernist controversy of the early 20th century.  Is it a fundamental belief?  It is necessary for Jesus to be conceived in this way if he is to be fully divine?

There are a surprising number of people who are saying it isn’t necessary.

Emergent (revisionist) pastor Rob Bell, in his book Velvet Elvis, stated that while he personally affirmed the virgin birth, it was not a necessary belief.  You don’t need the ‘spring’ of the virgin birth to ‘jump’ (cue the Van Halen please), so he says.  He includes some shoddy exegesis and historical context to make his point about why you might think Matthew doesn’t mean what we thought he meant.  Got that?

Easy for me to disregard Rob Bell; he doesn’t have conservative street cred.  But Michael Green, another story.  He wrote the commentary on Matthew in the Bible Speaks Today series edited by John Stott.  I’m reading this for my sermon series from Matthew this Advent.

Green covers the standard arguments against the virginal conception, and counters them pretty well.  Like Bell, he personally holds to the virginal conception.  But he didn’t stop there, and I was a bit shocked.

“However, it is only proper to say that there is nothing necessary about the virgin birth.  The deity of Christ is not inextricably tied to it.  God might well have entered  this world in the normal manner, or chosen some unprecedented way of becoming one of us.  He need not have come through a virginal conception.  The documents, however, assert that he did.”

This precisely where a good biblical and systematic theology save you from a mass of heresy.  Adoptionism (the view that God adopted the human Jesus to be his divine son) would be a denial of the Trinity.  Any other method would presumably include Joseph or other male.  If an ordinary man is involved, Jesus is born “in Adam”.  All who born of 2 human parents are born under the covenant with Adam (Romans 5) and are therefore subject to sin and death.  Jesus, in order to save other, must be free from sin and death.  He must not be “in Adam” as his covenant head.  He becomes the 2nd Adam, the head of a new covenant so that all who are in him by faith are delivered from sin on account of his obedience, death for sin and resurrection on our behalf.

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