Friday, 8 November 2013

more systematic theology

here's the next update of my study of Wayne Grudem's systematic theology. A great book!

"Is the Bible really necessary for salvation?"

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Top ten really swedish meals

We all know that Swedes love their meatballs and potatoes, but what else do they make that I have come to love?

1. Kassler Grätang.  A ham and rice casserole. 

2. Lax o Potatis.  Haha, this is what happens when you serve this dish. Fresh salmon baked with some lemon  slices, boiled potatoes, and hollandaise sauce.

3.  Pyttipanna.  diced pork, potatoes, and onions fried up, topped with an egg and red beets. The "quick" dinner.

4. Risgrynsgröt.Rice pudding is a dish made from rice mixed with water or milk and sometimes other ingredients such as cinnamon and raisins. Put some fruit salad next to it and it makes a nice evening meal.  

5. Flygande Jakob.  Flying Jacob is a Swedish casserole that consists of chicken, whipped cream, chili sauce, bananas, roasted peanuts and bacon....served with rice. Surprisingly good?

6.  Swedish pancakes.  Think crepes here, and yes, this is considered a meal.

7. Rotmos med fläsk.  Either you like it or you dont.  Mashed potatoes with carrots, onions, rutabega all mashed in, served with some kind of pork on the side.  You can even buy rotmos in a tube. Ha!

8. Smörgåstårta.  Sandwich cake.  Only for special occasions. I even made a blog about this one. (but i need to improve my skills here).

9. räkmacka. Who doesnt love a dump of cold shrimp with salad on an open sandwich?

10. and ending with the most classic Swedish...värma smörgåsar med kantarell.  Warm open faced sandwiches including chanterelles.

Things i havent really learned to love:
Fiskbullar (fishballs that are kind of like sticky wet dumplings that come in a can with sauce.)
Bruna bönor
Thursday is soup day?

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Systematic Theology Part 12

The four characteristics of scripture, or it's Necessity.

Why is the Bible necessary, what can people know about God without the Bible?

Wayne Grudem asks some really vital questions here in this chapter: Do we need the Bible to konw that God exists, we are sinners, how we can be saved, or God's will for our lives??

This brings up all those scenarios...what about the guy in the jungle who never got to hear about God or get a Bible?

Romans 10:13-17 says "how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?" and also "faith comes from what is heard."

Grudem summarized this text with a very sober reminder; without hearing the preaching of the gospel of Christ, no one can be saved.

John 3:18, "He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does NOT believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God."  wow.

The Bible claims an exclusivity of salvation through Christ (John 14:6, Acts 4:12, 1 Tim 2:5-6).

If people can only be saved by trusting in the gospel of Christ, what about people from the old Testament? They could stand on a forward looking faith in the promise of the Messiah.

From the time of Adam and Eve onwards, people were given knowledge and guidance through words which became more and more specific regarding the question of who God is and how to follow him.

Matthew 4:4, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."

If God's word did not exist, we could not with certainty know God's will reliably, in a "fallen world where sin distorts our perception of right and wrong, brings faulty reasoning into our thinking process, and causes us to suppress from time to time the testimony of our consciences."

God, who knows all the facts of the universe, and never lies, has given us an anchor in this life with the facts and words that he has put in the Bible.

People who have never read or gotten a Bible can know about God's existence.  Psalm 19:1, The heavens are telling the glory of God."

Even the wicked, according to Romans 1:19-20, have plainly and clearly percieved the things that God has made, yet they choose to ignore and suppress that knowledge.

Grudem goes on that the conscience of unbelieves bears witness to God's moral standards in a "general revelation." This is in contrast with "special revelation," or Gods specific words through personal address to individuals in the Bible.

Unbelievers know that God exists and that they have broken his standards, so the news that Christ died to pay for their sins should truly come as Good News for them.

Even if a person goes on to speculate that God somehow must have paid the penalty for their sins, this is not grounds for saving faith without the confirmation of God through his revelationm, i.e. the word of God.

Do you know of anyone who has become a Christian without reading the Bible or knowing what the Bible said?

What is the primary task of an evangelistic missionary?

Monday, 4 November 2013

Child centered Sweden

Yet another article about all the pros and cons of having a child centered culture here in Sweden.

I find that kids who have boundaries and healthy discipline tend to be much more content and mature than kids who can run free and call all the shots.

Parents, we can do better than this article suggests!

Last week I shared an elevator with a lady (probably the grandma) and two kids.  She suggested they go one place, and they both called her dumb, a burden to have with them, and kind of a waste of time. And she just weakly smiled at me. If you raise your kids with no boundaries, will that really turn them into respectful caring people?

Time will show....

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Jäntelagen...a key to "understanding" Swedes?

Jäntelagen, what is that, you might ask?

It kind of goes to the opposite extreme of good old American self confidence.
Instead, don't dare think you are something special, worthwhile, have special skills, etc.

A recent tv show about some Americans coming to find their roots in Sweden has a little language lesson.
"When you ask a Swede how they're doing, they will not reply like the Americans with, "I'm great!"
A Swede will reply with as many self negaters as possible. Nej, ganska bra, faktiskt.  As if they are suprised that they feel ok. That is a classic example of Jantelagen.

I will stop here, but this thought is not over....

(From Wikipedia)
The Law of Jante is the idea that there is a pattern of group behaviour towards individuals within Scandinavian communities that negatively portrays and criticises individual success and achievement as unworthy and inappropriate. The Jante Law as a concept was created by the Dano-Norwegian author Aksel Sandemose, who in his novel A fugitive crosses his tracks (En flyktning krysser sitt spor, 1933, English translation published in the USA in 1936) identified the Law of Jante as ten rules. Sandemose's novel portrays the small Danish town Jante (modelled upon his native town Nykøbing Mors as it was at the beginning of the 20th century, but typical of all small towns and communities), where nobody is anonymous.[1]
Generally used colloquially as a sociological term to negatively describe an attitude towards individuality and success common in Sweden[2] and the rest of the Nordic countries, the term refers to a mentality that de-emphasizes individual effort and places all emphasis on the collective, while discouraging those who stand out as achievers.
There are ten rules in the law as defined by Sandemose, all expressive of variations on a single theme and usually referred to as a homogeneous unit: You are not to think you're anyone special or that you're better than us.
The ten rules state:
  1. You're not to think you are anything special.
  2. You're not to think you are as good as us.
  3. You're not to think you are smarter than us.
  4. You're not to convince yourself that you are better than us.
  5. You're not to think you know more than us.
  6. You're not to think you are more important than us.
  7. You're not to think you are good at anything.
  8. You're not to laugh at us.
  9. You're not to think anyone cares about you.
  10. You're not to think you can teach us anything.
These ten principles or commandments are often claimed to form the "Jante's Shield" of the Scandinavian people.
In the book, the Janters who transgress this unwritten 'law' are regarded with suspicion and some hostility, as it goes against the town's communal desire to preserve harmony, social stability and uniformity.
An eleventh rule recognized in the novel as 'the penal code of Jante' is:
  1. Maybe you don't think I know a few things about you?

Sandemose wrote about the working class in the town of Jante, a group of people of the same social position. He expressedly stated in later books that the social norms of Jante were universal and not intended to depict any particular town or country. Today, however, it is common in Scandinavia to claim the Law of Jante as something quintessentially Danish or Swedish (or slightly less often, Norwegian).
Later, the meaning of The Law of Jante was extended to refer to those who want to break out of their social groups and reach a higher position in society in general.[3]
In Sweden the 'Law' is often understood as having to do with economic achievement and social hierarchy (close to concepts such as humility and envy), while in Denmark, it may also be used to describe the negative attitude towards people who are culturally or socially standing out from the norm, but not necessarily more successful or higher-ranking.

Friday, 1 November 2013

This keeps coming up so...

The heated question in Sweden...are government daycares really the best way, and should they be for all kids?, is something that keeps coming to my mind. Here's my latest discussion based on an article I just read on the topic.

No förskola is better than parents time and love for a kid...

Sweden has pressure on all parents to get their kids into the "system."  Put them into government child care as soon as possible, dont you know that everyone needs to do their part for this economy to run well?

Once again, here comes an article about how untrue it is...dagis is never a equivalent subsitute for parents time and love.

"Parents think, Its boring at home for my kids......but to peel carrots and be at home with your kid can be the best thing you do for your child."

Heres the latest article.  Well worth the read (in Swedish).

Heres an older blog I wrote on the same topic.

familj life

Våra familj är inte perfekt, men vems är?  Man letar efter den perfekta bild av en perfekt familj, men detta bild är mycket mer real...