Monday, January 25, 2010

The Megchelsen Challenge

When I was a twentysomething and new to the Reformed faith, my church in San Diego had an assistant pastor named Jim Megchelsen who was attending seminary at the time. He taught an adult Sunday School class on Zechariah. That’s a book in the Old Testament.

And he said something that has stuck with me to this day:

Jim claimed that 90% of our theological questions would be resolved if… now, that’s a very important “if”… if we understood precisely the relationship between the Old and New Testaments.

In other words: If we could know precisely where there is continuity, and precisely where there is discontinuity, between the Old and New Testaments, we would resolve many of the thorny issues that divide believers today.

For example, we would have answers to the following questions:
* Should we baptize infants or not?
* Should we (only) sing psalms in worship? Should we pray imprecatory psalms?
* Should clergy be called “priests”? (I consider that a “gimme,” but a billion other people on the planet do not.)
* Should we seek to implement the Old Testament law in our nation? In our lives?
* Should we expect prophecy in the church today? What is the church?
* Should we honor the Sabbath? How? And what day is it on, by the way?

Not to mention that we would have a much better understanding of the Trinity, biblical prophecy (in the “end times” sense), and very personal questions such as “does God love me even when I don’t keep the rules?”

What do you think?

As for Jim Megchelsen, I looked him up online. He’s currently preaching from Colossians in the mornings and Numbers in the evenings. Nice.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

not to mention paedo-communion, the propriety of following a church calendar, reformed vs. lutheran conceptions of the Lord's Supper, and a whole host of exegetical/hermenuetical issues regarding the NT's use of the OT.