Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Mass Accomplishing Nothing

Tiber responds to James White’s Blog post concerning the nature of the Mass (here).
Tiber states:

In my Christmas Eve blog post, I was reflecting on how beautiful it is to receive Christ and I was attempting to make the point that Catholics don’t re-crucify Jesus with every Mass as we are often accused. The Altar of the Mass is where Christ’s sacrifice accomplished once and for all 2000 years ago is re- presented. In the spirit of charity, I do admire his heart for Catholics that he perceives as being in slavery and I appreciate his prayers for me. (we all could use more prayer). You are in my prayers too, brother James!

I don’t think “Brother James” was trying to argue the “recrucify” argument. Instead Dr. White was arguing for the idea that the Mass never actually accomplishes anything. It never actually takes away sin. Tiber seems to believe in experiencing the Mass, yet is not the picture of the treadmill a perfect description of the very Treasury of Merit system that enslaves millions of people? To this day I have never received from him an answer as to how one is saved and has peace with God.

What troubles me the most about Tiber’s post is reflected in this statement, “It's a mystery not easily explainable or "exegeted" but yet experienced by the people of God for two millennia.” Here experience trumps the clear revelation of God and his purpose in Christ to perfectly redeem and save a people. Penal Substitutionary Atonement must be denied. There is no imputation of Christ’s righteousness to the believer. Sin is never forgiven.

Dr. White is right on when he says the Mass is part of a man-centered system that enslaves men, and Tiber never was able to deal with that. He simply can’t. He admits God’s Word may not be “exegeted” to understand the meaning of the atonement. Then again, what should one expect when it is assumed God is not able to speak clearly in His Word to His people.

Joh 1:18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained [exegeted] Him.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Unity in Mongrelism

Ergun Caner has recently posted again about the multiple streams issue among Baptists. He speaks of as "a site that is an invaluable resource for those who study the history of Free Church groups such as the Anabaptists and Southern Baptists. Any group that holds to believer’s baptism and congregational polity has a rich history of dissent, against Catholic and Protestants alike. We were not a part of the “Reformation,” but rather went much further, becoming known as the “Radical Reformation.”"

Then later he states, "Doesn’t that sound familiar? The one thing I have learned from being a Baptist for over twenty years is that we are like a mongrel dog– our breeding has been a mix of many different types. We are a mixed breed. Get ten Baptists in a room, the saying goes, and you will find twenty opinions."

Aside from trying to imply that Southern Baptists and Anabaptists are the same thing, aside from the fact he has declared war on Calvinism and that it will not be tolerated at Liberty, doesn't this just sound great? Baptists are just a bunch of confused dogs as if "Free Baptists" and "particular Baptists" should have the ability to just mix together. He goes so far as to link Particular Baptists as being of the radical reformation. I have no doubt that many thought that of the Particular Baptists, but that was due to the fact that Particular Baptists were often accused of being "general Baptists” or as Caner likes to call them, Free Baptists.

There is a huge gulf that exists between Particular Baptists and General Baptists. The General Baptists of England have self imploded on their often heretical views. Their impact on history is becoming less recognized and scholarship (according to an article by James Renihan) is beginning to write more about the Particular Baptists.

Caner is correct that Baptists of differing views have come together. In a personal email, Dr. Renihan explained to me that the New Hampshire Confession, although looking Calvinistic, was worded very carefully so that Arminian Baptists of northern New England would be able to agree together with Calvinistic Baptists on a single Confession. Therefore I agree with Caner that there is a mongrel in Evangelicalism. This is the problem when Creeds unite men without having any substance. Unity in name only is no unity at all.

From the preface Caner quotes:

"We have also in this our Confession of Faith, laboured to avoid the dangerous Rocks of Pelagianism, Antinomianism, Arminianism, and the Remonstrants."
What is ironic is the missing semi-Pelagianism position. So basically lets labor to avoid any extreme while embracing the semi-Pelagianism position. Yet isn't semi-Pelagianism the exact fundamental issue between the Reformers and Roman Catholics? It is a sad state when RC apologists know this only too well and have taken advantage of many ignorant Evangelicals of which Caner remains.

Caner quotes from the Baptist Creed of 1679 Article Ten:


WE do believe, that known unto God are all his Works from Eternity. Therefore he foresaw Adam’s fall, but did not decree it, yet foreseeing it in his eternal Counsel and Wisdom, did Elect and chuse Jesus Christ, and all that do or shall believe in him, out of that fallen Lump of Mankind. And hath manifested his Love and Grace by Jesus Christ, (his Elect, or beloved Son) through the Gospel means, to all; and hath given us his Word and Oath, to assure us that he desires not the death of the Wicked, but rather that they repent, or return to him and live; and if any do perish, their destruction is of themselves.

Here we have a wide open door to Open-Theism. God has not in fact decreed all things. It was not God's purpose for Adam to fall. Adam fell and God only knew about it because He gained knowledge of the future from some external source? God knowing that perhaps Billions of men would reject Him and burn in hell for no purpose decided to create them anyway?

I would love to ask the writers of this Creed if the cross was just a big cosmic accident. Of course they would be glad to give the typical answer of God knew it would happen, therefore God somehow made it happen. I simply do not see how any of this is Scriptural.

My hope and prayer is that Baptist churches would recognize that resorting to vague or ambiguous Creeds is not going to bring unity. The great Particular Baptist Creeds should be recognized again as being able to be specific where necessary and giving liberty where necessary. True unity comes with sound Biblical doctrine.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas in Scott CIty

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. We didn't get buried by Wednesday's snowstorm, but we did get some ice and a little bit of snow and a whole lot of mess.

Here is a picture of a little town called Healy about 24 miles away from us.

Here is another one in Scott City

Of course, we had to take the kids to see Santa.

Steph holding Jacob who is looking at that big scary guy.

God Bless and Merry Christmas from the Fishers

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Monty Python's Flying Churches

Why everyone is looking to the Bill Hybels of Willow Creek and Rick Warren of Purpose Drivel Life for sound theology is beyond me. For those of you who wonder why I think "Seeker Sensitive" churches are leading Evangelicalism down a path of self destruction, simply read this article.

It's all about worship styles I am often told. It may be true that styles of music perhaps should not be so rigid, but the idea of worship most of the time has no solid theological foundation in the Scriptures. We have all the freedom to do what we want when we think Scripture is silent. In the end, we might just look like Monty Pythons Flying Circus.

Kudos to Pastor Ed for pointing me to this sad state of silliness. Here is a quote from him about a video that could just as easily be said about many other things.

First, it trivializes outreach to the lost for church attendance to the level of a Saturday Night Live sketch. No, I'm not humor impaired. I'm fine with jokes, comedy, and generally cutting up in the right context. Second, it sends an unwitting message to the lost that we have a lack of fear, awe, and reverence for God...and it's okay if they do, too.

May God grant us mercy and repentance.

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Christian Sabbath

So I thought I had it all worked out. The Sabbath is just not for Christians. We are freed from the Law of the Old Covenant. Christ is the substance of things predicted to come. We now have our rest in Christ. Yet consistency just won't go away.

Having rejected Dispensationalism long ago I have come to understand a Covenantal view of theology. Christ has not abolished the Law but has changed how that law is applied in the New Covenant. Christ is Lord, therefore He is able to establish the New Covenant as He sees fit.

What has troubled me over the years prior to my accepting Covenant Theology is the Ten Commandments. How do they fit in the New Covenant? Do we accept the first three? Do we accept the last six? Then on what consistent basis do we reject the fourth, the Sabbath Commandment? As Uncle Paul said, "It is probably the one commandment we consistently break."

After having read some articles in the RBTR on the Sabbath under the Old Covenant I spoke with the author of those articles, Richard Barcellos. He was kind enough to email me some articles that may never see the light of day in the journal, but nevertheless are written well enough that they need to be published.

I took some of the arguments presented in these series of articles and presented them on an e-mail list for discussion. I was amazed at how many rejected the arguments out of hand. At one point I made the statement, "If there is no Christian Sabbath, isn't it at least ironic that Christians all over the world worship on Sunday and have done so since Christ's resurrection." I received no response to such a glaring historical fact. It is as if the Christian Sabbath teaching was waving a flag saying, "Hey, I am right here silly."

In fact, I was overlooking something as plain as day in my own New Hampshire Confession. Read this statement:

15. Of the Christian Sabbath

"We believe that the first day of the week is the Lord's Day, or Christian Sabbath Acts 20:7; Gen. 2:3; Col. 2:16-17; Mark 2:27; John 20:19; 1 Cor. 16:1- 2; and is to be kept sacred to religious purposes Exod. 20:8; Rev. 1:10; Psa. 118:24, by abstaining from all secular labor and sinful recreations Isa. 58:13-14; 56:2-8; by the devout observance of all the means of grace, both private Psa. 119:15 and public Heb. 10:24-25; Acts 11:26; 13:44; Lev. 19:30; Exod. 46:3; Luke 4:16; Acts 17:2, 3; Psa. 26:8; 87:3; and by preparation for that rest that remaineth for the people of God Heb. 4:3-11."

And again in the London Baptist Confession of 1689:

7. As it is of the Law of nature, that in general a proportion of time by Gods appointment, be set a part for the Worship of God; so by his Word in a positive-moral, and perpetual Commandement, binding all men, in all Ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in seven for a (e) Sabbath to be kept holy unto him, which from the beginning of the World to the Resurrection of Christ, was the last day of the week; and from the resurrection of Christ, was changed into the first day of the week (f) which is called the Lords day; and is to be continued to the end of the World, as the Christian Sabbath; the observation of the last day of the week being abolished.

8. The Sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering their common affairs aforehand, do not only observe an holy (g) rest all the day, from their own works, words, and thoughts, about their worldly employment, and recreations, but also are taken up the whole time in the publick and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties (h) of necessity and mercy.

And again with the Philadelphia Confession of 1742:

7. As it is the law of nature, that in general a proportion of time, by God's appointment, be set apart for the worship of God, so by his Word, in a positive moral, and perpetual commandment, binding all men, in all ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in seven for a sabbath to be kept holy unto him, which from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ was the last day of the week, and from the resurrection of Christ was changed into the first day of the week, which is called the Lord's day: and is to be continued to the end of the world as the Christian Sabbath, the observation of the last day of the week being abolished.

(Exod. 20:8; 1 Cor. 16:1, 2; Acts 20:7; Rev. 1:10)

8. The sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering their common affairs aforehand, do not only observe an holy rest all day, from their own works, words and thoughts, about their worldly employment and recreations, but are also taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.

(Isa. 58:13; Neh. 13:15-22; Matt. 12:1-13)

Here it is plainly obvious what our Baptist forebears believed. They believed that the Christian does have a Sabbath to observe. That day is the Lord's Day, a Day of His possession. As Jesus said Himself, He is Lord of the Sabbath.

I would like to give a rough outline of Barcellos' argument for a Christian Sabbath in the next post. For now I would like to leave you with a sermon I just heard the other day. God's Providence could not have been more timely in my thinking about this topic.

Here is Don Fry's sermon on the Lord's Day from Revelation chapter 1.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

A Mere $180 Bucks

Apparently, unborn babies in the Ukraine are only worth $180 bucks. Here I am living in the United States potentially looking to see if it is possible to adopt a baby. It turns out that adopting a child runs in the multiple tens of thousands of dollars, tens of thousands of dollars that I am not in possession. So that idea was dropped. I am not one of those kinds of people that take loans and say, "God will provide." I guess I just don't have that kind of faith.

My wife and I looked into adopting a child from overseas. Perhaps there might be organizations that may make it a little "cheaper", something in my budget. I was wrong again. The costs still run into the tens of thousands of dollars that I just don't have.

However, it turns out if I just had a $180 and a "Dr." in front of my name, I could have talked a Ukrainian woman into selling her fetus (that's baby for those of you who don’t know) to me for slaughter. Apparently, people in the Ukraine believe harvesting Stem Cells will produce “beauty treatments in Russia”. So much for science being scientific when all science shows embryonic stem cells have not produced one thing positively for medicine.

Atleast these women are getting paid for aborting their babies. Here in the states women are desperate enough to pay for it. Now I admit that perhaps a fully mature baby that is birthed normally may be worth a bit more. Surely I could talk these fools down just a little? Perhaps a $200?

Sorry about the sarcasm, but this thinking is what I was referring to in my last post. If we accept as a starting point man's knowledge, then men will follow his foolish thinking to his own destruction. Colossians 2:3-4:

"Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument."

When we start with Christ, we will gain true knowledge of God and ourselves and a true understanding of the world.

(PS, Kudos to Tiber for pointing this out)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Importance of the Virgin Birth

Every year we have to have the silly debate in the media about the Virgin Birth. The claim is that Christians are not enlightened if they believe in such a silly miracle. So how do Christians often respond? "Well, that isn't necessary to believe to be a Christian." But is this true?

Albert Mohler discusses the question on his Blog:

Must one believe in the Virgin Birth to be a Christian? This is not a hard question to answer. It is conceivable that someone might come to Christ and trust Christ as Savior without yet learning that the Bible teaches that Jesus was born of a virgin. A new believer is not yet aware of the full structure of Christian truth. The real question is this: Can a Christian, once aware of the Bible's teaching, reject the Virgin Birth? The answer must be no.

Mohler is right. If we are to give into the idea that one doesn't have to believe in the Virgin Birth, then we inadvertantly give away the farm. There is far more at stake than just one "little" miracle.

By rejecting the Virgin Birth of Christ the result becomes a rejection of a worldview...a supernatural worldview. It is the surrounding worldviews that Christians are to oppose and in fact convert. As the Scripture says, "The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord."

When we start with a man centered naturalistic, materialistic or atheistic approach to knowledge and the way in which we view the world, by definition we must reject Christ. This kind of thinking only leads to self destruction and as the Scripture says, "Professing to be wise, they became fools." It leads to foolishness.

Some have asked me if God is true, then why are there so many religions to choose from. The answer is quite simple. When man starts with himself, then for every man there will be a new theory or religion or philosophy of the world. Dr. White was correct in his debate against Dr. John Crossan (former Jesus Seminar Scholar) when he said that for every Liberal Scholar, you have a new version of Jesus that often looks like the scholar himself [my own paraphrase].

We as Christians must call a world to repent and believe in a crucified and resurrected Savior. We call men to repent of their their arrogance and self appointed godgood. We must call men to repent of their thinking about themselves and their view of the world. It is simply arrogant of man to start anywhere outside of his Creator for knowledge about the world, himself or most importantly, the Creator.

Monday, December 11, 2006

More On Conception Of Christ

Tiber recently said on his Blog:

"In order for Jesus to be truly human, he had to "inherit" a flesh component that carried the nature of his mother. In order to be divine, he had to "inherit" the divine nature of God the Father through the Holy Spirit. "
This is exactltly what I was talking about. I had not even read his post when I had written mine. I guess great minds think alike.

The problem with the above quote is that it makes no sense at all. He had to inherit His Deity? If anything leads to the error of "mixing" God and man into a new thing it is this kind of thinking. Jesus is now half Mary and half God. So am I to believe God has a genetic makeup that when combined with Mary's you get a Jesus?

Jesus is Deity because His Person has always existed with the Father. He is human not merely because He was born of Mary but because God has chosen to "tabernacle" among us. He has become incarnate in the flesh. He doesn't need our DNA for God to make a new man.

It was the Holy Spirit that conceived Christ in Mary's womb. To say Jesus is half Mary is to be a philosopher (an illogical one at that) rather than to follow what the sacred text explicitly tells us.

BTW: My pastor has also repeated the assertion that sin is inherited through the male. Where this argument comes from is mere speculation as far as I can see. If this were so, could we say that if Adam had not sinned, he could have had children with Eve, and their children would not have inherited a sin nature? I realize that Adam is the Federal Head for all of humanity, but that not only has to do with being inherently sinful at conception in nature but also with the imputation of sin. Are we going to divide actual sin nature and Federal Headship Imputation?

I simply do not see that calling Mary Jesus' mother makes her anymore physically related to Jesus than calling Joseph His father. This is begging the question.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Immaculately Conceived In Protestant Churches

Does Jesus have to be born of a woman Immaculately Conceived? During the early centuries of the church, the attack against Christ and His Deity was the foremost battle for several centuries. Although the attacks have never relented totally, the church has defined its beliefs in the Creeds.

As devotion towards Mary grew over time it is easy to look back and see how the two theological beliefs would converge. Since Christians have recognized that Jesus is born without a sinful nature that is inherent in Adam, what are we to do with a Jesus that is born of a woman who is also a sinner? Today we are told that Jesus’ atoning work was applied to Mary prior to her being born. Therefore Mary was able to live a sinless life and not give Jesus any taint of sin. This sounds nice but the underlying presupposition must be challenged.

That however is not my concern. Many Protestants believe the same problem must be solved. I have heard several times that God merged new DNA with Mary’s to conceive a child in describing the Virgin Birth. So we now have a man mixed with Adam’s DNA through a woman and something else. Does this mean that Jesus is somehow inherently sinful?

This seems to be the presupposition that both groups need to understand. Protestants have come up with different ways to solve this problem. Recently I have heard that sin is only transmitted through the male. Therefore since Jesus had only Mary as His mother and no human father, he is free from sin. Again, the problems with this understanding overlook the many texts that speak of Jesus’ fathers according to the flesh. He is the son of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is the son of David. He is also said to be the son of Joseph. Does this mean that since Jesus is born into their household that their sin is imputed to Him just because he is not directly of their DNA? So now Mary's sinfullness is not given Jesus in any way?

Although the many texts that are used by both positions are important, there a couple that are overlooked and have more of a direct bearing on the subject.

Let’s look at Mat 1:20:

But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.

Notice the text never says that what is conceived in Mary is of Mary in any way. We simply assume that Jesus must be half Mary and half God as if there is something magical going on between God and Mary. There is simply no textual warrant for such an illogical conclusion. Jesus is conceived of the Holy Spirit. He is from above and conceived into a man that is good and sinless.

The church fathers were right in attempting to protect the teaching that Jesus is fully human by teaching Mary gave birth to God in the flesh. For dogs give birth to dogs. Humans give birth to humans. Therefore Jesus is fully human. But it is a logical leap to say that Jesus must be of Adam or Mary’s DNA.

This leads to the next text that must be more directly dealt with.

1Co 15:45 So also it is written, "The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.

And also

Rom 5:19 For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

In these two texts we see that Jesus is a New Man who is able to represent a new humanity in Himself. He is totally distinct from the first Adam. Yet He is able to live among Adam’s humanity in order to save His Elect perfectly and redeem them from the curse of the law, their sin and death.

Jesus is not some half-breed or a mixture of fallen sinners and perfect righteousness. We do not need to do theological gymnastics to make Mary perfect (as in RCism), nor do we need to conflate Federal Headship doctrines to go farther than the Scripture teaches (as in some Protestant circles).

He is in truth the New Man (Adam) and New Humanity. All those joined to Him by faith possess His perfect life and need never to come under condemnation. He is the only-begotten or unique Son of God.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

He Yelled At Me

Many years ago in the Dover, NH public library I read a book by a Prochoice philosopher. He argued that babies are not "persons", therefore not protected by law. They do not become persons till they become self-conscious of themselves, and he argued that does not happen until they are approximately 2 years of age.

Everyday I come home a little before 5 PM. When I came home on Wednesday of this week, my son let my wife know he was excited. He knew it was me.

When I walked past him and did not pick him up, he screamed a high pitch yell. I think if we had a 4-month-old translator machine it would have said, "Hey, I'm over here silly. Pick me up!" He was clearly communicating to me.

I wonder if that moron (I know, I know. Don't call people names.) of a philosopher has any children. Romans 1 plainly teaches, men surppress the truth in unrighteousness. Therefore God hands them over to their perverted minds. A nation that allows the killing of their children is a nation under the wrath and judgment of God.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Cross: Historicity & Theology

Alpha and Omega hs announced the plans for next year's cruise. The theme will be "The Cross: Historicity & Theology". This will be an intensive cruise if one sits in on the classes being taught.

My wife wants to go. Therefore I think I know what I am getting her for our 15th. ;-)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Christmas Lights During the Darkest Days

It is Christmas, and we have put up our lights. Steven's idea was to make a cross and light it up.

Apparently with those Candy Canes, I am going to have to attempt to keep up with those Jones next door. :-)

Torturing Babies Vs. Terrorists

I am a firm believer that if an actual abortion were shown on TV, it would end tomorrow. Think about how "Shocked" Americans were when they were told that Terrorists were being tortured at Guantanamo Prison. Yet the same people, who were so outraged at waterboarding and stacking naked people (something college students do to each other), seem to have no problem with torturing babies.

Citizenlink has reported that the "U.S. House of Representatives did not garner enough votes this afternoon to pass the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act, H.R. 6099".

The irony is just sickening. The "Hate America First" crowd so desires to kill our own children, they will overlook the obvious contradiction in their own worldview.

Inconsistency is the sign of a failed argument. In this case, inconsistency is the sign of a failed society under the judgment and wrath of God. Without the Rule of Law that restrains men, how else may we interpret Romans 1 and its application today?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

More On Baptism

Another point about the Baptism debate. I was a little surprised that Bill Shishko used the emotional argument of “What happens to our children?” argument. What if they die in infancy? Are there any promises for Christian parents that their children will be in heaven?

Those are good questions, but I totally fail to see the relevance of them from a Reformed perspective. If one holds to the doctrine of election and original sin as Scripture teaches, what does baptizing infants do? If we are going to parallel them with OT circumcision, did that circumcision save anyone, especially in light of Romans 8 and 9? Is he arguing for an age of accountability and denying original sin?

Then a highly emotional example was used. What about a child that may be severely mentally handicapped? This I thought was great. I really thought Dr. White should have knocked the ball out of the park with this one. The reason is simple. We should baptize every person who is not able to choose Christ with the utmost urgency. Obviously Shisko is supporting some kind of baptismal promise unto salvation theory?

It might be countered that the baptism of a mentally challenged person only counts if the father is converted. So my question is, what do we do with those without parents? This kind of thinking gets quite convoluted. There is simply no end.

White was right when he states that Baptism is not circumcision. Circumcision was pointing forward to the inner work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration. Baptism is a work in which a man that is united by faith in Christ looks back to the finished work of Christ brought about by the applied work of the Spirit circumcising his heart.

If Shishko is going to be consistent in equating who is to be baptized with those who were circumcised under the Old Covenant, then just as children partook of the “Sader” meal in OT times, it should follow that children under the New Covenant should partake of the Lord’s Table. IMHO anyway.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Images and Worship

Tiber Jumper asks an interesting question on his Blog:

What's the difference between a Protestant and a Catholic?

The Protestant puts away his graven images after the holidays are over.

What's my point? Why do Christians put statues of Mary, Jesus, Joseph and the angels around their churches and homes at the Holy Season of Christmas? Because the statues call to mind the people they represent. Do they worship these statues? I don't know, I have often seen Christians standing in front of manger scenes singing Christmas carols at various churches but I don't assume they were worshipping them.
Well, if Tiber doesn’t know if they are worshiping these statues, why bring up the question? The reason is simple. He next cites a portion of the RC catechism in order to support having “graven images” on display and “contemplation of sacred icons, united with meditation on the Word of God and the singing of liturgical hymns, enters into the harmony of the signs of celebration so that the mystery celebrated is imprinted in the heart's memory and is then expressed in the new life of the faithful.”

Is this not an attempt to equate RCisms praying to Mary and the Saints as if that is what Protestants are doing? Are we really going to say that when a Protestant sets up a Christmas display in front of his house or church that that somehow is the same as a RC’s form of worship? Are Protestants really “venerating” anything?

He then says:

“Nothing in the Catechism says Catholics should worship graven images. But it does explain that the Incarnation "changed the economy" so that we are not forbidden to use holy images to bring our hearts heavenward.”
This is a common RC argument for praying to Mary and the Saints. This is something, which Protestants have rejected since the Reformation. To equate the Incarnation of Christ as a unique event in all of history with anything else is nothing short of Blasphemy. Jesus’ incarnation did not all of a sudden change the laws against idolatry. Tiber then makes an argument to deflect this when he says, “The Jewish temple had many statues of heavenly creatures and Moses was told to place a serpent's image on a brazen cross and compel the people to look upon it.”

Here is an example I once heard to help you think through this issue.

What if Moses were to come into a tent and find a man praying to Abraham. Moses says according to the Law you must die. The man responds by saying, that he wasn’t worshiping Abraham but only “venerating” him. Would Moses say, “Oh, ok. Never mind.”?
Let’s say Tiber is correct though. Let’s say Protestants have “moved away from iconoclasm and towards the display of sacred art and images” in their worship. Does that mean they are correct for doing so? There are many Protestants who argue against the use of images on Biblical grounds. Equivocating terms and practices is something the Theological Liberals and Cults do. I am sad to see a conservative religious man, who once professed the faith do the same.

I will close with this. Would Moses allow this prayer to be said? Would the Apostles have prayed this prayer?:

O Mother of Perpetual Help, thou art the dispenser of every grace that God grants us in our misery; it is for this cause that He hath made thee so powerful, so rich, so kind, that thou mightest assist us in our miseries. Thou art the advocate of the most wretched and abandoned sinners, if they but come unto thee; come once more to my assistance, for I commend myself to thee. In thy hands I place my eternal salvation; to thee I entrust my soul. Enroll me among thy most faithful servants; take me under thy protection and it is enough for me: yes, for if thou protect me, I shall fear nothing; not my sins, for thou wilt obtain for me their pardon and remission; not the evil spirits, for thou art mightier than all the powers of hell; not even Jesus, my Judge, for He is appeased by a single prayer from thee. I fear only that through my own negligence I may forget to recommend myself to thee and so I shall be lost. My dear Lady, obtain for me the forgiveness of my sins, love for Jesus, final perseverance and the grace to have recourse to thee at all times, O Mother of Perpetual Help.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Baptism Debate

Today while driving the countryside, I finally had the opportunity to listen to the Bill Shishko/James White debate on the subject of credo-baptism verses paedo-baptism. Shishko defended the paedo position by appealing to the standard household baptism as found in the Book of Acts. What I found a little different about his argument in this particular debate is his paralleling the NT era of household baptism with Noah and his belief saving his family through baptism.

The parallel is striking. God saw Noah as a righteous man. God commanded Noah to build an Ark. Through the faith of Noah the Ark was built, and as a result his family was saved. On the surface, I was impressed.

Thinking about that argument though has caused me to ask some questions. Did his children believe or disbelieve the faith of Noah? In other words, was Noah’s faith theirs as well, or did they just go along for the ride?

The Scriptures say that it took a hundred years to build the Ark. Did Noah’s sons assist Noah in building it? I assume that would have been the case. Now would they have built it if they were unbelievers? Were they morally neutral? And saying to themselves, “Well dad may have been called to build the Ark or he may not have been, but we’ll help because he is our dad.”

The Scriptural facts are, they were all saved from perishing in the flood. Even if they had babies on board, the children would have been saved. Is this really a parallel to the NT? If I baptize my baby, he is certain to be saved from the judgment? Or is there more going on?

Then I thought of Lot. Now Lot was considered by God as a righteous man. God sent messengers to Lot and told him to leave the city of Sodom. His sons-in-law did not believe Lot’s faith. And as they were leaving Lot’s wife disobeyed and was turned into a Pillar of Salt. Was Lot’s faith insufficient? Or did his household not believe and receive the faith of the head of the household?

The debate is very provocative. It will cause you to think through issues you may have not thought of before, such as the New Covenant, Particular Redemption, Election and ect.. It will drive you to be consistent in your approach to Scripture and in your theology. You can get them here.

Soli Deo Gloria

Thursday, November 30, 2006

He Should Be Rejected

I recently listened to a Muslim convert to Christianity explain how Muslims, who live in foreign countries, do not have to honor oaths that they take. They are in fact allowed to deceive as necessary. Such as is the Religion of Islam. Allah is a God who is not bound by anything, even oaths that He may take.

Newsmax has reported that, "Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to the United States Congress, has announced that he will not take his oath of office on the Bible, but on the Quran instead."

So we now have a man elected to an office who will not swear to uphold his authority by taking an oath that gives rise to the very form of government he intends to serve. In other words, the foundation for government and the oath of office may be ignored while serving in the capacity to defend those very foundations for freedom.

"Ellison's defenders argue that Ellison is merely being honest; since he believes in the Quran and not in the Bible, he should be allowed, even encouraged, to put his hand on the book he believes in . . ."
If he were honest he would admit that even though he is not a Christian, since he is serving a nation that is built on the premise of the Bible, then he must swear by that God to fulfill his duty. If he is not willing to do that, then he is not fit for the office.

Some may counter by saying, "What about religious freedom and pluralism?"

My response is simple. There is no religious pluralism without Christianity as the foundation of government. Please show me one Muslim nation that has religious freedom? or religious pluralism? Show me a nation that is atheistic that has maintained religious freedom over a significant amount of time? You will not find any that is comparable to the United States.

Islam seeks to install Sharia Law wherever it can. If this Muslim representative could, don't think for a moment he wouldn't try. If they are getting away with setting up their own court system in France and England, they will do it here.

Dennis Prager is absolutely right in the article when he says, "Forgive me, but America should not give a hoot what Keith Ellison's favorite book is. Insofar as a member of Congress taking an oath to serve America and uphold its values is concerned, America is interested in only one book, the Bible. If you are incapable of taking an oath on that book, don't serve in Congress."

Don't think for a moment the Framers (who took oaths very, very, very seriously) would not have bounced this guy out on his ear. If they would not have tolerated it (for very good and solid reasons), why would should we?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Jack Graham Proves Me Wrong

Every once in a while fad teachings come through our mouths, and then we wise up. For instance the idea that Jesus paid the price for everyone's sins substitutionarily, so that the only reason men go to hell is for their rejection of Christ. After a while we think about what we are saying and say "Hey, that's dumb and inconsistent with everything else I believe." So we move on hoping not to have caused too much damage for the Kingdom of Christ.

Today I heard a clip of Pastor Jack Graham proving me wrong. This idea is not a fad. He uses an illustration that is so convincing, I am surprised I did not believe this error earlier.

Here is the very brief clip of the illustration.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Discussion? Vote? Why Bother?

More evidence that the Activist Homosexual Community that seeks certain rights truly are not interested in getting equal rights but instead are attempting to force their beliefs upon the rest of society outside the normal democratic means. In the People's Republic of Taxachusetts, the state legislature has decided to violate the Constitution in order to maintain "the newly discovered gay right to marry" by ignoring a "citizen's petition seeking the amendment to define marriage as one man and one woman."

The CitizenLink article goes on to state:

In a speech at the Massachusetts Capitol one week after lawmakers left town, Romney explained why he was taking his stance.

"As I listened to the debate in the legislative session, I was struck by the irony and the hypocrisy," he said. "Legislators so energized to protect the newly discovered gay right to marry had no compunction about trammeling the long established, constitutional right of the people to vote."

If the Legislature refuses to vote, the plaintiffs are asking the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to order the secretary of state to put the issue on the ballot. Can the court order the Legislature to do its duty without violating the separation of powers?
So now we have a State Legislature violating the law after the State Supreme Court violated the law in order to give homosexuals the ability to redefine marriage and society's cultural norms against the will of the people. If the truth is not plainly seen for all, that the Left in this country hates our Constitutional system, I do not know what would.

Baptism and Grace Among Brothers

I was recently told that the doctrine of Scripture Alone causes divisions among Protestants on issues that are important in a person's salvation, particularly as it pertains to baptism. Well, I have found that the MP3s for the White/Shishko debate on the issue of Baptism are free here.

James White defends and explains the Baptist position on Believer's Baptism while Bill Shishko defends and explains Paedo-Baptism (baptizing infants) from a Reformed Presbyterian perspective. Both approach the debate from a Covenantal perspective

So many Protestants seem to have no idea that there are people, who differ on such issues and yet are so united on the Doctrines of Grace, are able to treat each other as Christian brothers. Quite some time ago, Pastor Lynne Smith explained to me that Presbyterians and Baptists are closer than most think and are probably the last two great allies on the Doctrines of Grace and taking Sola Scriptura seriously.

Listen to the debate and you will find that can't help but learn something.

Monday, November 27, 2006

King and Dobson On Separation of Church and State

James Dobson was apparently on the Larry King Live program again. King decided to question the issue of Homosexuality again by trying to appeal to the separation of church and state issue. Here is part of the conversation:

KING: Why is it a state institution rather than a religious institution? Why is the state involved?
DOBSON: Well, it's both. It is both.

KING: But we have a separation of church and state.

DOBSON: Beg your pardon?

KING: We have a separation of church and state.

DOBSON: Who says?

I certainly hope Dobson's response was fuller than this. The truth is that there is a separation of church and state. They are separate institutions with separated powers. At times they may overlap. Nevertheless, for Dobson to imply there isn't is contradictory to his own statement of "It is both."

I didn't see this conversation so I will give Dobson the benefit of the doubt he was able to clarify himself.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


I didn't miss Thanksgiving. The folks flew out from the People's Republic of Taxachusetts. Isn't family time just special? Especially when you get to spend it with your new grandson!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Norma Normans non Normata

"The norm that norms (but itself) not normed."

The David King and William Webster's series, Holy Scripture, will simply become classics.

For those, who would like to listen to a Protestant perspective on the "Scripture: The Only Infallible Norm", I have uploaded an MP3 file of chapter 6 of Volume I, Holy Scripture: The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith by David King.

David King gave me permission to give away the MP3. The chapter deals with many of the questions that RCs often misunderstand as to the Protestant's position on "Scripture precedes the Church; the Appeal to Apostolic Succession; Scripture, not the Church, the only Infallible Norm".

Here is the file. I admit it may take a couple of times through before you may grasp all of the information. Enjoy!

Monday, November 20, 2006


Newsmax reports:

Former Attorney General Janet Reno and seven other former Justice Department officials filed court papers Monday arguing that the Bush administration is setting a dangerous precedent by trying a suspected terrorist outside the court system.
There you have it. This is a legal issue (remember Clinton had nothing to hold Osama in a court room setting, therefore he denied anything to be done in his "arrest"). Terrorism is (according to Nacy Pelosi) just a problem to be "solved". There is no war. America is at fault. America is evil. We need to be cut down to size. American greatness and "exceptionalism" (as Rush likes to say) is causing Global Warming.

Maybe we should form the Al'Queda Bill of Rights. Now that the Left has won the elections, isn't that the next real step of true progress.

I am sorry, but for Reno to think Bush's actions are unprecedented is simply a bold face Left-wing lie. But if America voted for it, I guess let them do all the damage they can in two years. Now isn't that just a terrible way to think?

There is much that could be said about this topic of fighting Terrorism in the courts, but I'll just say this. The courts are not able to deal with our own American problems, do we really want a bunch of Left-Wing judges overseeing trials for "Enemy Combatants"?

WWLD (What Would Linclon Do?)

Piper On Election & Faith

Just read this quote from John Piper at Reformation Theology Blog.

If all of us are so depraved that we cannot come to God without being born again by the irresistible grace of God, then it is clear that the salvation of any of us is owing to God's election. Election refers to God's choosing whom to save. It is unconditional in that there is no condition man must meet before God chooses to save him. Man is dead in trespasses and sins. So there is no condition he can meet before God chooses to save him from his deadness. We are not saying that final salvation is unconditional. It is not. We must meet the condition of faith in Christ in order to inherit eternal life. But faith is not a condition for election. Just the reverse. Election is a condition for faith. It is because God chose us before the foundation of the world that he purchases our redemption at the cross and quickens us with irresistible grace and brings us to faith. - Dr. John Piper, in "What We Believe About the Five Points of Calvinism"
How could it be any other way? Having listened to Piper, I also believe that faith is also a gift of God. Therefore it could be said that we are elected to have the gift of saving faith by the Sovereign Grace of God.

Soli Deo Gloria

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Steven On the D/L

I was reminded tonight by Algo (a channel rat) that Steven called a radio program on 9/11/2003. He happened to be listening and thought Dr. White did a good job interacting with an 8-year-old. The context of Steven's call was that he had heard Christians will inherit eternal life and that Christians have it now. He approached me with the question and seeing he needed to do a little "growing up" I told him to call the Dividing Line. So he did!

Here is a short clip of that conversation.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Schumer Gets To Nominate Judges?

CitizenLink Update reported today:

When the 110th Congress convenes in January, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., will become chairman of the Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts and he's absolutely saying he plans to reject any of President Bush's judicial nominees who appear to be conservative.

"There will be no more right-wing judges, period," he told the New York Daily News. "(Bush) will have to negotiate with us, because we'll have the majority."

There you have it. Democrats get to appoint judges with their viewpoint. Even though historically, Presidents nominate who they want. I guess when there is a Democrat President, Conservatives will return the favor? Oh, who am I kidding?

I would like to ask Charles Schumer why he despises the U.S. Constitution so much. I already know the answer, and I think the above statement speaks for itself. It doesn't matter who Bush nominates, if there is even the appearance of a man who loves the Constitution and loves to interpret it in its own context, if he even appears to not legislate Leftist ideas from the bench, if he even appears to be someone of integrity and fair yet personally holds conservative views, if he even appears to be a Christian conservative, if he appears to be to the right of Schumer in any way, the Stalinists will shut Bush's nominees down.

I guess that is what Conservatives get for abandoning their principles.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Discerning Pastors, Help Wanted

For months I anticipated the movie, The Passion of the Christ, by Mel Gibson. The movie had been reviewed by Evangelical Pastors nation wide. It was claimed to be able to bring a new wave of revival to our land and would be used worldwide to proclaim the gospel. Such was the shallowness of the shepherds of Christ's church.

With just a few months before the movie was to come out controversy began surrounding the movie. It turns out that the movie itself was extremely Roman Catholic. After seeing the movie for myself, I could see the Roman Catholicism all over it (stations of the cross, Eucharist in RC sense, ect...). Yet, I was told most people would never notice those things. They could easily be overlooked. Having dealt with lay Roman Catholic apologists first hand; I knew the movie had far more ambition.

Sure enough, RC apologists were admitting that Protestants had no idea that they were watching an extremely RC film, and that they would use it for proselytizing. Crossed the Tiber has reported another Assembly of God pastor to have...well...crossed the Tiber. He explains that the movie had a major impact in the conversion of this pastor.

Again, I would have to ask a couple of simple questions of this pastor. Is he now rejecting the Protestant doctrine of Justification? Does he now reject the non-imputation of sin and the imputation of Christ's righteousness? In essence, does he now reject Substitutionary atonement for the synergistic treasury of merit system?

Having come from an Assembly background myself, I wonder if he was grounded in the truth at all. Much of the charismatic and pentecostal movement is very unsound to begin with and has often gone into outright heresy. So I suppose I should not be surprised.

So in one sense, I welcome movies and works of art that are more positive and even promoting a positive view of religion. Yet I have to wonder why Christian pastors think that just because a movie may have good qualities and being promoted by men who claim to be Christian automatically gives the movie a pass. Men like Dr. James Dobson were calling Mel Gibson anointed by God.

Are there any Christian pastors with discernment?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Christ at the Center

My senior year in Christian College I took a course called "Family Life Ministry" and a major part of the grade was based around a paper each student had to write. The paper was to be called, “A Theology of Family.” I don’t need to tell what it was supposed to be about.
I won’t get into the whole of what I learned but one thing I noticed is something I wanted to share in light of the weekend I have had. When studying the Bible towards my Theology of Family, I was constantly confronted with the Scriptural notion that the family relationship, the marriage relationship was meant to serve as a powerfully moving analogy of God’s relationship with His people and Christ’s relationship with his church. That previous summer, in teaching on the jealousy of God, I noticed this language in the Old Testament as well. More than once the Old Testament refers to Israel’s sin and rebellion against God as adultery. The whole nature of how we relate to one another, in friendship, in love, in family and in marriage began to take on new meaning in my eyes.
The reason I mention this little academic anecdote is because, this weekend I witnessed a wedding, officiated by a Pastor with a firm grip on this concept – that is a Scriptural truth regarding marriage.
Pastor Chris Gorman spoke from Ephesians 5:22-33. For those of you who don’t know, it’s that pesky little passage about wives submitting to their husbands and husbands loving their wives as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her. I suppose any one could have used this passage and allowed the bride, the groom, and any scripturally uninitiated attendants create their own, socially conscious meaning, but, thankfully, God has taught Pastor Chris a few things over the years and not only did we get to hear a consistent and thoughtful exegesis of Ephesians 5 on Sunday morning, but we got to see the very illustration that Paul uses to talk about Christ and His Church – we got to see a wedding. That’s right, the introduction for the sermon led straight into a wedding that a lot of the congregation had no idea was supposed to happen. My Grandmother says this is how they did it in the old days, but this was new to me.
The thing I latched onto during the service was the verse about the husband loving his wife as Christ loves the church, and how, if you were to characterize Christ’s ministry and attitude toward those he loves, that is the Church, it could be characterized by service and sacrifice. Something that, as a man, I felt like I needed to hold onto for the future and something most men probably still need to hear.
But beyond that, what I was excited to see was a church which so enthusiastically embraced a wedding ceremony with Christ truly at the center. I think this idea - the idea that our relationships with others, our marriages are to be living examples to Christ's love for His people goes to the heart of true Evangelism and it was nice to be there for it.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Elton John Banning Religion

Elton John is quote on Newsmax:

"I think religion has always tried to turn hatred toward gay people," John said in the Observer newspaper's Music Monthly Magazine. "Religion promotes the hatred and spite against gays."

"But there are so many people I know who are gay and love their religion," he said. "From my point of view, I would ban religion completely. Organized religion doesn't seem to work. It turns people into really hateful lemmings and it's not really compassionate."

So according to Elton John, organized religion is hateful. Just the simple statement that God defines reality and how His creatures are to live and behave is hateful and should be banned.

Now with that kind of rhetoric, is Elton John just some morally neutral creature able to sit in judgment on all religion? On what basis does he say it should be banned? Simply because it is his perspective, should those of us who believe Christ has organized and is builiding a church be banned? If each perspective becomes the point from which judgements should be made, how will his position resist someone of the Islamic persuasion in an Islamic country?

Sir, I think you are wrong for hating Gay people.

That is fine. Now die!

Can't we talk about it?

You may talk all you want. Now die!

But we are people, don't you respect humanity.

Yes, now die!

Please sir, your religious talk is causing others to be hateful.

I see your point. Now die!

It does not matter what Elton John believes anecdotally about people he knows who love their religion. For love is simply defined from his perspective. How does he know if it is true love if the Creator's definition of love is surpressed. We know that the Creator has told us specifically that men hate the truth and surpress it in Romans chapter 1. Isn't this the very truth Elton John denies?

Christianity is not calling men to die, but to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Homosexuality is not some unpardonable sin. All sin leads to death. It is sin that must be dealt with in the Person of Christ. Only He can take it away. Only He can give Life.

Perhaps he has forgotten what atheism and supposed non-religion has brought to our world the last century. Stalin ring a bell anyone? He may continue to attack Christianity, for surely that is the big target here in the U.S.. Yet it is the very religion that has given him freedom from Islamic Law. Be careful what you wish for Mr. John. According to Romans 1, you seem to be getting it.

Beauty and the Beast in Scott City

Last night the Scott City High School performed their final performance of Beauty and the Beast. With the 30 Bazillion dollar brand new high school and the very nice auditorium and with the brand new sound equipment that should allow everyone to be heard with very good quality, I figured the performance should have quite an advantage. It did. That, however, was not what made the musical great.

The casting was perfect. I personally know several of the students, and it was as if they were written into the musical by the author. Majken Eckels gave the lead performance of Belle. She was simply terrific. The girl can simply sing. A surprise to me was the singing by Mrs. Potts played by Jill Kuckleman. Again, she fit her role and her voice could not have been better. I wonder if I should have asked for her autograph. Perhaps it would be worth something someday.

The sexy pair, that again was cast perfectly, was Babette and Lumiere played by Amanda Kennedy (who may also become a famous singer) and Santos Prieto. They along with the silly girls brought humor to the program. Parker Artz played Belle’s father, and that boy can sing.

The Beast played by Travis Reece also did an excellent job. I am not sure how Travis managed to get through it all. He is also on the football team, which has been winning in their playoff games, and has been having a reaction to his makeup. Acting big is right up Travis’ alley. Playing opposite Travis was Gaston by Winston Sattler. There were not very many male performers (I think I counted 6 in all?), yet the cast seemed adequate with their performances. I do not remember hearing any stumbles or truly awkward moments. It seemed almost perfect.

Mrs. X (I don’t want to embarrass her) told me this morning that she had gone to dinner and the musical last night. She went home, believing she had been to the big city and had a wonderful night out on the town. I agreed. I came home feeling that way too.

If I find some pictures floating on emails around town, I will be sure to post them here.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Repeating History?

Yahoo News reports, "Al-Qaida in Iraq claims it's winning war ".

Well, isn't that a surprise. The party that has sided with the enemy on more than one occasion gets into power, and now the enemy claims it is on the road to victory.

Bush was asked in his press conference after the election if there were parallels between Vietnam and the Iraq Wars. He is far too gracious to tell the truth, so I will tell you what he should have said. He should have said, "Yes. Just as the Media helped North Vietnam win the war, so the Media today is helping the Terrorists win this war with one exception. I, the President, will not resign from my duties as President as Johnson did." Of course time will tell if Bush will be able to follow through and achieve victory.

It seems to me that just as North Vietnam was emboldened by Leftist Americans, just as Osama was emboldened by Clinton's "cut-n-run" policies, so will terrorists be emboldened by Americans desiring to cut-n-run from Bush's policy. I hope and pray one thing. Our policy should not be responsible for another South Vietnam-like slaughter in Iraq. We did that in the first Gulf War. May we not repeat it again.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Don Fry On Jesus' Coming

Several years ago I asked my Pastor about Revelation 22:20 which says, "He who testifies to these things says, 'Yes, I am coming quickly.' Amen. Come, Lord Jesus."

How can Jesus be coming quickly after 2000 years? He responded by saying, “It sure is a stretch of the language.” I agreed. It is troubling that several passages of the New Testament seem to imply that Jesus’ Coming should have already happened.

Yet what is being assumed by my former Pastor and myself is that this "Coming" is physical. To deny the physical Coming of Christ would most certainly be heretical and to be more like Jehovah’s Witnesses or even Full (or Hyper) Preterism. Yet could there be more meanings to "Coming" than just what we have always assumed and unable to entertain due to being cast out of the local orthodox church?

Consider a passage that has bugged me for many years now:

Mat 26:64 Jesus *said to him, "You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN."

Here, Jesus is responding to the High Priest during His trial. Yet surely the High Priest is not alive today awaiting the physical Coming of Christ. I have wondered for years now if Daniel’s language is being incorporated into the New Testament and Daniel’s meaning may be more than just the physical Coming of Christ. Is not the Book of Revelation about the authority of Christ to bring not only salvation to His people now, but also to bring forms of judgment now, since Jesus now rules all the kingdoms of men?

For years I have kept this understanding of these texts to myself. Today, however, I heard a sermon by Pastor Don Fry of Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church. He preached on Revelation 1:7 and went into many of these troubling texts on the Coming of Christ. It is worth the listen. He more than demonstrates that Christ is King of Kings now and is able to rule the world now, even though His future physical Coming will bring total fulfillment of his Kingdom.

Listen to the Real Audio version here or if you have an MP3 player, here. Enjoy, and be challenged!

BTW: Go Vote! :-)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Waldron's Dissertation: Faith, Obedience and Justification

The Journal, Reformed Baptist Theological Review, has finished its third year of publications. The Reformed Baptist Academic Press with Managing Editor Richard Barcellos is seeing a bigger future than just the journal. They are also starting a Dissertation Series. “RBAP is in the process of gathering relevant Ph.D. dissertations with the goal of publishing a series by contemporary Reformed Baptists.”

The first one out of the gate is Sam Waldron’s Faith, Obedience, and Justification. Since the RBTR has had several articles on the subject of New Perspectivism, I was expecting Waldron’s Dissertation to be one that must do a lot of refuting “NPism” by going to the Biblical text and explaining “Sola Fide”. This was not the case.

Instead Waldron’s Thesis was to demonstrate that three influential men today, who advocate some form of Covenantal Nomism, as being out of the Reformed Protestant Tradition. He does this in 7 chapters and a conclusion.

In chapter 1 he lays out his introduction, thesis and methodology. In the following 3 chapters he gives a positive presentation of the doctrine of Sola Fide as taught by Luther, Calvin and the Protestant Confessions. The doctrine’s main features, such as the difference in “resting on Christ” as compared with producing obedience, were explained from the writings of Luther and Calvin demonstrating what they clearly taught and believed. The Law and Gospel distinction was also explained throughout their works.

Chapter 4 was for me the most impressive. Waldron gives a brief survey of most of the major Confessions. He goes to the relevant texts and demonstrates that what Luther and Calvin believed was also believed by many generations to follow. This information gives the reader plenty of evidence that the doctrine of Sola Fide has been consistently taught and upheld.

Chapters 5-7 deal with Daniel Fuller, Norman Shepherd, and Don Garlington’s views of Sola Fide. Each of them are carefully analyzed to be sure that what they say is not misconstrued. Waldron contrasts their views with the Reformation’s history. Waldron carefully seeks to understand the meanings of terms that are usually reserved for Reformed Protestants. Imputation is often denied.

For instance Don Garlington is quoted as saying on page 221:

"In sum, the evidence educed from these passages by Piper [Counted Righteous In Christ] clearly confirms that the righteousness of God is none other than the righteousness of Christ. Nevertheless, it has not been established that imputation is the means by which Christ’s righteousness becomes our righteousness by virtue of union with Himself, plain and simple."

This may sound confusing, so Waldron explains:

“The righteousness of God is none other than the righteousness of Christ appears to be an impressive statement of the Traditional view of justification. That Garlington does not mean these words in that way should by this point be obvious. He means by the righteousness of Christ the righteousness that is imparted to us and infused into us by our participation in or union with Christ…. What Garlington means to say is, however, quite clear by now. He means that it is not possible to distinguish between the moral and forensic aspects of salvation. To become righteous means to become believingly obedient to the covenant as a consequence of which God declares you to be what you really and personally are—a faithful covenant keeper.”

Waldron demonstrates over and over again from the Creeds and Confessions that the Christian’s faith is not what makes him righteous but the object of that said faith…the imputed righteousness of Christ.

His concluding chapter is quite gracious but also factual. He shows that the three men are outside of the Reformed Protestant Tradition and should cease and desist from trying to remain Evangelicals. He rightly concludes that they have more in common with Trent than our Confessions.

I would never have thought of the approach this book has taken. The Reformed Baptist Academic Press is to be commended for producing a much-needed work such as this. The only criticism of these RB books is that the authors often quote the original Greek without bracketing the English equivalents for readers who can’t read Greek. Although I have become used to this, these books would be helpful to many who perhaps might otherwise ignore it for not making such provisions.

With the Auburn Avenue movement and New Perspectivism coming down the pike in a hurry, every pastor that shepherds the flock of God faithfully needs to have this in his library. Get it. Read it. Be equipped by it. Laymen too!

Soli Deo Gloria

Friday, November 03, 2006

White & Spong

Dr. White just came into channel and gave a brief note that the debate with Reverend John Shelby Spong on the subject of homosexuality went well. I am also told by "Brigand" that Spong used the "you are judgmental" argument and was quite the moving target (aren't all theological liberals tough to nail down?). I wonder if that begins to wear thin on people anymore.

Anyway, Dr. White was able to proclaim a Saving Gospel that is actually able to save sinners, including homosexuals. So for those who think it is some unpardonable sin, the Gospel is still the power of God unto salvation for everyone believing.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Whosoever Wills Is the LynchPin For Many Pastors

"Whosoever wills" seems to be the lynch-pin for many pastors against the idea that God has to positively elect and raise to spiritual life dead sinners. Yet do Calvinists argue against texts that speak of "whosoever wills"? For many sermons that I have listened to over the past couple of years, it certainly seems to be the case.

I would like to know why the only apparent possible understanding of "whosoever wills" is that a person must have a free, libertarian, autonomous will? As a Calvinist, I have never said nor have I heard anyone else say that believers, who believe in Jesus Christ, do so against their will, nor have I ever taught that those who are "Irresistibly Drawn" by the Father are drawn against their wills.

I have been told several times recently that God chooses His elect by looking down the corridors of time and seeing who will choose Him. Then in the same breath, I am told that God chooses His elect based on nothing in them nor what they do. So in the end, it seems to come down to some poor understanding of the term "foreknowledge".

I have heard statements that God chooses based on His foreknowledge. I think that is fair enough, but what does that mean? This can be a tricky area for many Christians who slip up and give away their Christianity without knowing it.

Christians have confessed God's Omniscience for nearly 2000 years. We must deal with the question of the basis of God's knowledge. If we do not, then the Open-theists (which many pastor friends of mine know nothing about, sadly) will continue to come into our seminaries and Christian colleges as being a legitimate viewpoint. It is not.

God's knowledge is not based on His ability to see the future, but is based in His Eternal Decree. If it is anything else, why is God ever glorified? If God is not in absolute control of history, how can we praise God for what He has supposedly done, if in fact, He has not done it! Are we going to argue that things accidentally worked out the way God wanted it too?!

If you are a Christian believer, you are so not because God saw the future and saw you choosing Him. Instead God chose you for His purpose and His will to the glory of His grace. If it is within man in any sense, then by definition God does not receive all of the glory.

There are other ways to look at this question, but they all come to the same conclusion. Any consistent Biblical view of the will of man must understand that the man who wills to come to Christ, does so by the Sovereign Act and Free Sovereign Grace of God.

Soli Deo Gloria

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Day He Almost Got Saved

My brother has written a Blog entry that I can very much identify with. His grammar isn't the best (neither is mine), but the experience he shares is worth the read. He is not a theologian, yet he can see error and manipulation as well as anyone. I think the Orange Truck Blogger may want this testimony on his site. His (Orange Truck Guy) Tuesday's post sounds eeeeerily similar in theology.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Follow Their Own Advice

I keep hearing that Terrorism is Bush's fault. Conservative foreign policy is making and breeding more terrorists. If Bush would just be a "Liberal" and try to be friends with them, then men like John Kerry could be able to reason with them.

I think they may be right. I have noticed over the years that the farther left the Left becomes, they unintentionally make more conservatives. So I think they should take their own advice. The Left should all become conservatives, and then we might be able to reason together.


Saturday, October 21, 2006

Be Careful Who You Endorse

An acquaintance of mine just sent me a link of a book The Last Week. What is interesting about this link is the endorsement by Brian McLaren:

“Conservative Evangelicals usually think of themselves as the ones who take the Bible most seriously, but Marcus Borg and Dominic Crossan’s The Last Week shows one of the most careful and insightful readings of the Bible I’ve ever come across. The authors dig into the gospel of Mark’s day-by-day account of the week leading up to Easter, and they excavate profound insights into the political and spiritual dynamics of Jesus’ true passion - his message of the kingdom of God. Readers across the spectrum will be challenged, educated, stretched, and perhaps disturbed (in a constructive way) by this important, fascinating, and well-written book. Even those who quarrel with some conclusions will be inspired and instructed by others. Highly recommended!”
— Brian McLaren, author of A New Kind of Christian

You might be thinking, “Who cares?” What is interesting about this endorsement is that a very well known American Baptist pastor, Tony Campolo, has endorsed a book by Brian McLaren. Brian McLaren is probably the most well known voice for the heretical movement within Evangelicalism, the Emergent Church.

Now Brian McLaren is endorsing a book written by Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan. These two authors do NOT believe in the Bodily resurrection of Christ, nor do they believe in the inerrancy of Scripture. They are two theological liberals, who are well known for their work with the Jesus Seminar (Remember Peter Jennings’ pathetic special?).

So in essence we have outright heretics being promoted by a not so bad heretic (?) being promoted by a liberal American Baptist pastor.

I thank God His Kingdom will endure and go on despite the evils within and without the walls of the church.

Soli Deo gloria

Friday, October 20, 2006

Dave Hunt and the Church

Has the Church replaced Israel part 2 was a recent article written by Dave Hunt. Hunt is a Dispensationalist. He sees National Israel as a separate people of God that God loves in a unique way, even differently than the church. There are many godly men who are dispensational and hold to some understanding that National Israel is still under the Mosaic Covenant.

Theological Liberalism has left many mainline churches dead. Many Christians, who believe that the Bible is literally true, desire to hear conservative voices. However, Dave Hunt, in my opinion, is a man filling a void that he simply isn’t intellectually qualified for. He has debated a wide variety of religious groups. He speaks for many conservative Evangelicals. Yet after listening to him speak several times, I simply do not think he is able to be consistent in his logic and argumentation, nor is he able to do simple exegesis of the Biblical text.

In his second article, he is attempting to write a “sharp rebuke to those such as Hank Hanegraaff, D. James Kennedy, R.C. Sproul, et al., who teach that the church has replaced Israel.” Yet his article is full of logical flaws.

He starts his article against cultic groups such Armstrong’s, who “persist in the ridiculous theory that the ‘Ten Lost Tribes’ of Israel migrated to the British Isles and that therefore all those of British descent are the true Jews today.” What this has to do with anything is beyond me. Having read and listened to him debate, he loves to use the scattergun approach and the “poisoning the well” technique. By even mentioning these cultic groups, anyone who would even dare to think the church has replaced Israel must be a wacko…right?

He then proceeds to quote many Old Testament texts. For instance he says:

The One whom the Bible 203 times calls “the God of Israel” has sworn by an everlasting covenant that Israel (three times called the “apple” of His eye–Dt 32:10; Lam 3:18; Zec 2:8) will never cease to exist as a nation: “Therefore fear thou not...O Israel...though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I...will not leave thee altogether unpunished” (Jer 30:10,11). “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the city [Jerusalem] shall be shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more for ever” (Jer 31:38-40).”

Now this may seem impressive to the crowd that already agrees with him. Hunt however, never addresses the other side’s view.

First, I wholeheartedly agree that Israel will never pass away. The assumption by Hunt is never defended. I do not believe Hunt even knows he has assumptions. Perhaps if he took the time to understand his opponent’s viewpoint, he might learn something. Over the years I have come to believe he is simply not capable of understanding or receiving correction when he has been demonstrated beyond doubt to be wrong.

His assumption is quite simple. His interpretation method is to start with the Old Testament and then interpret the New Testament. Therefore, anytime the term Israel is used, for Hunt, it must mean National Israel under the Mosaic Covenant. The New Testament refutes such a methodology. Even if Hunt’s view is accepted though, he still misunderstands the Abrahamic Covenant of Grace as opposed to the Covenant of works made with Moses on Sinai.

Second, Paul explains with the greatest of clarity in Romans 8 and 9 that not all who are Israel are Israel. Therefore God’s promise of Grace established in the Abrahamic Covenant have never failed for His elect. In other words, the true Israel of God have never been those who were born physically of Abraham, but born again spiritually and believe in the Covenant of Grace.

Third, the Church replacing Israel is really a misnomer. Israel has never been replaced but redefined or even expanded. The National Israel of the Old Testament was but a shadow of the substance to come. Christ is Himself the true Israel of God. Since Christ is the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant, all who are joined to Him by faith whether Jew or Gentile are the Israel of God.

The Church is the body of Christ. It is the New Nation that Christ established. Hunt never mentions 1 Peter 2:9.

But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

Was Peter mistaken here? Was Peter saying that the Church replaced Israel? No! He was teaching that all believers in Christ are Israel. Therefore the New Testament should be our guide as to what the Old Testament means.

The fact that Hunt spends two full pages of writing proving nothing, should explain to us that the power of Traditions might be overwhelming and even downright blinding. Hunt has considered those who differ from him in eschatology to at times be in heresy. All the while he has shown no ability to deal with the Biblical text, nor does he have the ability to use logic or sound argumentation.

So far in reading his materials, the only reason I see people supporting his ministry is that he affirms what many already believe in a time when theological liberalism has wreaked havoc among American Evangelicals.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

John 3:16 God's Love Saves Perfectly

This past Lord's Day was Layman's Sunday. I know. I know. Layman preaching? Well, all three of our Pastors were at the Area Conference in Hutchinson, KS. I am not sure how the conference went, but no one threw any rotten food at me. I usually take that as a good sign.

I preached the sermon on John 3:16 that I preached for my class at St. Francis last January. I think I may have preached 30 minutes there. Yet somehow, Sunday's message was 50 minutes. Go figure. Anyway, if you would like to suffer through it again, here is the link.

I pray that the Lord was blessed and that His people were as well.

Soli Deo Gloria

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

If God Commands...Man Must Be Able?

Dr. Jerry Vines recently gave a sermon against Calvinistic theology in Southern Baptist Life. What amazes me about men such as Dr. Jerry Vines is that they tend to think that Arminians have their verses and Calvinists have their verses. Neither side seems to be willing to understand the other.

I have found this completely untrue. After many years of reading on a layman's level, I have found Calvinists responding to all Arminian arguments. The reverse however is simply not the case.

Tom Ascol offered a critique of several of Dr. Vine's points. Dr. Vines stated at one point:

"It also raises questions about the character of God. Because, listen, in Acts 17 verse 30 it says that God commands all men, all men everywhere to repent. But now wait a minute. If they can't repent until they're born again and yet God is commanding them to do something which they are not able to do, what does that say about the character of God?"

This objection has been answered countless times. A man with a doctorate should be one of integrity and one who is well studied, especially when preaching before the people of God.

Dr. Ascol's answer was a little different than normal. I thought it was simply brilliant.

Dr. Vines leaves the implication unstated that it would be unjust of God to require what a person is not able to do. Yet, Jesus clearly commands us to do what we are presently unable to do when He says, "Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). Interestingly, and no doubt unwittingly, Vines' objection is based on the the philosophical foundation that drives both Arminianism and Hyper-Calvinism. Both of these errors claim, just as Dr. Vines indicates, that a man's responsibility extends only as far as his ability does. The Arminian sees this and says, "Yes, and we know that sinners are held responsible to repent and believe, therefore they must have the ability to do so." The hyper-Calvinist sees this and says, "Yes, and we know that sinners do not have the ability to repent and believe, therefore they are not responsible to do so."

It is the Calvinist who refuses to accept the rationalistic presupposition. Rather, Calvinism recognizes that the Bible teaches that sinners are both morally unable and yet spiritually responsible to repent and believe.

Although Dr. Ascol doesn't take the time to critique the entire sermon, he answers many questions. Perhaps one of these answers may be what you are looking for.

Spurgeon's Sermon Link

Here is a link to the actual sermon given by Spurgeon (Kuddos to Mike). There is simply no way any serious minded person can read this sermon and come away with the conclusion of Ergun Caner. Perhaps Dr. Caner should use some of the skills he gained in getting that prefix to his name.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Ergun and Romans 9

The October 16th's post on Ergun Caner's Blog:

Just some food for thought, from the 1859 sermon by Charles Spurgeon entitled JACOB AND ESAU.

"Why does God hate any man? I defy anyone to give any answer but this, because that man deserves it; no reply but that can ever be true. There are some who answer, divine sovereignty; but I challenge them to look that doctrine in the face. Do you believe that God created man and arbitrarily, sovereignly -— it is the same thing - created that man, with no other intention, than that of damning him? Made him, and yet, for no other reason than that of destroying him for ever? Well, if you can believe it, I pity you, that is all I can say: you deserve pity, that you should think so meanly of God, whose mercy endureth for ever."

CITATION: Charles Spurgeon, Sermon: JACOB AND ESAU (January 16, 1859)

I read recently that I "“turned Romans 9 upside down". ” Well, then I stand in good company... with Spurgeon... against those who embrace reprobation.

This is a refutation of the charge that Ergun had mishandled the Word of God? First of all, the charge against Ergun is about his sermon in which he misquotes Romans 9. I listened to that sermon, and he clearly stated that God loved Jacob and hated Esau based on what they would do. So let's see what the text says shall we?:

Rom 9:10 And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac;
Rom 9:11 for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God's purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls,
Rom 9:12 it was said to her, "THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER."
Rom 9:13 Just as it is written, "JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED."
Rom 9:14 What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be!
Rom 9:16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy.

Now that you have read the text, does it have anything to do with Spurgeon's quote? Does it have to do with what God expressly commands and wills? Ergun most certainly overthrew the text in favor of his Tradition.

What do we do with the following portion of the text? Should we ignore it?

Rom 9:18 So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires.
Rom 9:19 You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?"
Rom 9:20 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, "Why did you make me like this," will it?
Rom 9:21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?
Rom 9:22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?
Rom 9:23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory,
Rom 9:24 even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.
Here we are specifically told that God did in fact raise Pharaoh for a purpose. That purpose was to display His wrath. Ergun would do well in learning the major differences in the terms "Election" and "Reprobation". In fact, I have even Blogged about the terms in the past. If I can understand them, shouldn't he?

I do however have a question for Dr. Caner. If God knew beforehand that perhaps billions of men would choose to go to hell, and He knew beforehand there was nothing he could do about it, why did He create them? How does his position solve anything?

The problem with attempting to make Spurgeon a non-Calvinist is that history won't let Dr. Caner. With the advent of the Internet and easily researchable engines to give large amounts of information, the truth is easily found if wanted. Dr. Caner may attempt to go the road of Dave Hunt, but Hunt was soundly refuted. Perhaps Dr. Caner would be wise to read a little more before he tries to manipulate citations.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Reformation Weekend

Reformation Weekend

October 27-29, 2006

  • First Baptist Church
420 S. Scott
St. Francis, KS

  • God's Sovereignty and Man's Responsibility

Meeting times:
Friday 7:00 pm (session 1)
Saturday 10:30 am (session 2)
                         12:00 pm (dinner is provided)
                           1:30 pm (session 3)
                           3:00 pm (break)
                           7:00 pm (session 4)
Sunday 10:30 am (session 5)
                         12:00 pm (dinner is provided)

Pastor Roy Hargrave will be preaching in each session. The Saturday afternoon session will include a Q & A time with Pastor Roy.

Lodging is available in homes on a first come basis.  For more information call: 785-332-3921 or 785-332-2959, or email:  In  St. Francis there is Cook's Empire Motel, 785-332-2231. In Goodland (35 miles south) there are a number of motels;including Comfort Inn, 785-899-7181, Howard Johnson, 785-890-3644, Super 8, 785-890-7566, and Best Western, 785-899-3622

Dr. Roy Hargrave, who has been in the ministry for more than 31 years, is now in his 17th year as Senior Pastor at Riverbend Community Church, Ormond Beach, Florida. Under his leadership, the congregation has jumped in size from 400 in regular attendance to over 1400. The size of the staff has also grown from seven full-time staff members to 30 full-time staff members, including 11 pastors. The budget has grown from $500,000 per year to over $2,700,000 annually.
With some 120 ministries on it's 112 acre campus, including  Riverbend Academy (which gives students a classical Christian education, Riverbend has become a leader in cutting-edge ministries. In the year 2000, the church instituted a theological training school (Riverbend Bible Institute), with over 200 attending each semester in a wide variety of theologically based classes.
Pastor Roy's philosophy of ministry includes a strong commitment to solid, expository proclamation from the pulpit. “The Lord builds His own church” is one of Pastor Roy’s favorite sayings, and he believes that the means He uses to build it is the clear, God-anointed preaching of the “whole counsel of God.” Evangelism is important to him, but it is not the priority of his ministry. The glory of God is the priority, and all the important things, including evangelism, flow out of that chief end.
Pastor Roy, who also has a media/radio ministry called "Reflections of Grace," was born in Kennett, Mo., in 1954 and grew up in nearby Rector, Ark. He was nine when he was saved by the grace of God in a country Methodist church in his hometown. Throughout his childhood and teenage years, he was very active in sports, particularly baseball and basketball. He was an Arkansas All-Star basketball and baseball player at Rector High School. After his senior year at Rector, he attended Southern Baptist College (now Williams Baptist College) in Walnut Ridge, Ark. He transferred to Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo., and received his bachelor's degree with a double major in Philosophy and Religion. In 1987 Pastor Roy received a Master's Degree in Theological Studies from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, Tenn. He did graduate work at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and then received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., in 2002.
Roy is married to the former Marki Mosley of Rector, and they have four children: Nathan, Rachel, Jordan and Roy Alton II (also known as "R.A.").
Pastor Roy's Purpose Statement: "To clearly and faithfully declare the truth of God by rightly dividing the Word and courageously proclaiming its content to exalt Christ through my life and my words."
(The above information was taken from )