Monday, July 31, 2006

Garrick Critiques Dispensationalism

For years now, Roman Catholics and others have rightly criticized the doctrine of "Once Saved, Always Saved" held by many Protestants. Don't get me wrong here. I believe that a true Christian is saved by God's grace and cannot become unsaved. He is a work of God in Christ.

The doctrine itself is what I have always questioned. It is simply inconsistent and incoherent. How can a man have some kind of arminian understanding of man, yet believe in that doctrine? Historically, Arminians have rejected Eternal Security of any kind. Yet why do so many believe in it? At a Founders Conference, Steve Garrick may have provided an answer.

Steve Garrick offers a critique of a hermeneutical system called Dispensationalism. In his critique, he gives a brief history of key figures and how they approach the Scriptures. He evaluates their method and view of Scripture and the Covenants.

He concludes that the church is really incidental to the Kingdom of God. The promises made to National Israel must be fulfilled and the New Covenant must be with them (Jer 31:31). The idea that the church is the New Israel of God and the first stage of the Kingdom of God is overthrown. The New Covenant of Christ with His church is seen in the most un-biblical fashion. How this system has stood for so long is beyond my comprehension.

Anyway, here is the link to listen to his message.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Fred Malone Lectures On Biblical Interpretation

Many of us in the conservative stream of Christianity use what is called the "historical-grammatical method" for interpreting the Bible. This is the method that is used in my church when traditions are recognized and worked through,and original intent is sought. There is a serious problem with this method though. It is simply assumed that if one uses this method, he will find the original meaning of the author, and his interpretation wil be unbiased. This is simply not the case.

How often have conservative Trinitarians read back into Old Testament passages the doctrine of the Trinity? Were Old Testament Prophets consciously writing about the Trinity? I think not. Much of what is revealed in the New Testament was hidden in the Old Testament. This is evidence of God's inspiring of the Old Testament. This is evidence of God speaking to His people.

The problem with saying that one believes in the historical-grammatical method of interpretation is that he looks for the original intention of the author, but often misses the fact that God is also the author. It is precisely for this reason conservatives, who love the doctrine of Sola Scriptura, have recognized the interpretive principle of Scripture interpreting Scripture.

There are also some other major factors that many preachers overlook in their interpretative method that influence the outcome of their reading of the Bible. For instance, does the Old Testament tell us the meaning of Jesus' teachings about End Times, or should we allow the teachings of Christ tell us how the Old Testament promises are to be fulfilled?

These issues are discussed in a 40 minute lecture by Dr. Fred Malone. You can listen to a very instructive lesson on Biblical Hermeneutics here. I truly think you wil be blessed.

Sola Scriptura!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Another Error For Dispys

With Israel in the news, several people I know have been a little concerned about Biblical prophecy and the "Great Tribulation" marking the end of this age. It was even suggested that Hal Lindsey may have some interesting insight. So be prepared for "end Times Experts" to be all over the place profiting from the latest "crisis".

First I need to state that Hal Lindsey's hermeneutic or interpretation method is to read headlines into the Bible. This explains why he has made many errors over the years. He once claimed that the Soviet Union would play a role in the End Times. I wonder if he still says that now? There are many more examples. So please do not confuse End Times Experts with true Biblical prophecy. They are simply making money while playing with people's fears.

Our method for interpreting our Bible will greatly influence our conclusions. Dispensationalism has been a major scheme in causing such erroneous conclusions as Hal Lindsey's. The major flaw in Dispensationalism is that National Israel (Jews of natural descent from Abraham) is still seen to be by many Evangelicals as being a distinct people of God from the church. Because of this error many prophecies are incorrectly interpreted.

It is true that Jews are "the people of promise", but only according to the flesh. The entire New Testament has simply overthrown the idea that simply being a child of Abraham gives any special place with God in these New Testament times. Why? The answer is simple. Jesus!

Jesus has ushered in a new era and fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. Jesus taught over and over again that being a child of Abraham according to the flesh means nothing. He even calls the Pharisees in John chapter 8 as being children of the Devil. Jesus is not looking for an earthly Jerusalem and temple as many Evangelicals are. Jesus states in John 4:

"But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 'God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.'"

The Apostle Paul echoes this teaching in Galatians 4:

For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise. This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother. For it is written, "REJOICE, BARREN WOMAN WHO DOES NOT BEAR; BREAK FORTH AND SHOUT, YOU WHO ARE NOT IN LABOR; FOR MORE NUMEROUS ARE THE CHILDREN OF THE DESOLATE THAN OF THE ONE WHO HAS A HUSBAND." And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also. But what does the Scripture say? "CAST OUT THE BONDWOMAN AND HER SON, FOR THE SON OF THE BONDWOMAN SHALL NOT BE AN HEIR WITH THE SON OF THE FREE WOMAN." So then, brethren, we are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman.

While men like Hal Lindsey make money watching for an earthly Jerusalem, Scripture commands otherwise.

Friday, July 21, 2006

David King Defends Sola Scriptura In RBTR

David King, Pastor of Dayspring Presbyterian Church (PCA) Forsyth, GA, has written an article for the Reformed Baptist Theological Review. Yes, a Presbyterian minister writing for a Reformed Baptist publication seems a bit odd, but his article is a welcome addition to this present issue. He has written a series on Sola Scriptura with William Webster, Holy Scripture: The Ground and Pillar of Our Faith, published by Christian Resources Inc. in 2001. This series will possibly be ranked with William Whittackers work in 1588, Disputations On Holy Scripture and William Goode’s The Divine Rule of Faith and Practice.

King’s current (NEARLY 40 PAGE) article on Sola Scriptura surveys the current landscape in modern Roman Catholic apologetics. He discusses Formal and Material sufficiency of the Bible in a way that anyone who has engaged the issues with Roman Catholics will appreciate. The level of the article may be above the average person (since Material and Formal sufficiency is not in the modern evangelical vernacular), but is worth the read anyway. It may simply raise the bar of our thinking and apologetic. If you have debated RCs, then you have already have had to think through these issues anyway. Therefore reading one, who has a firm grasp in this apologetic field will only bless the man who loves God’s Word as being “God breathed, able to…equip the man of God for every good work”.

In footnote 27 (one should read all his footnotes since at times they are longer than the article itself) King states:

“Roman apologists often press the argument that the Bible itself offers no infallible list of infallible book, but often becomes indignant when the same argument is pressed about their claims of infallibility. They have no infallible list of infallible pronouncements, and no apologist to date has been able to offer the authors an ‘infallible’ list of ex Cathedra pronouncements. In fact, they often deny the need for ant such list all the while they wage the same argument against Sola Scriptura.”

The Roman Catholic must engage in “private interpretations” in order to argue his position that the Protestant position of interpreting the Bible is wrong. This is self contradictory, yet in my experience, RCs simply refuse to admit their error at this point.

On page 120, King demonstrates that there is absolutely no historical evidence of Mary’s Assumption. Yet he cites Karl Keating as saying, ‘The mere fact that the Church teaches the doctrine of the Assumption as something definitely true is a guarantee that it is true.” The doctrine of Sola Ecclesia is shown to be pitted against the Scriptures as it truly is.

King does an excellent job at pointing out the incredible inconsistencies (the sign of a failed argument) and double standards of Roman Catholic Apologists. As one who has personally experienced RC apologists on a lay level, King’s work on this particular doctrine may very well bless the Church of Christ for many years to come. It is a must read if you engage in apologetics and love to defend Sola Scriptura.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

One Week For Jacob

Well I have been peed on several times, and even Rachel was initiated. I have now changed 4 thousand fifty-five diapers. Jacob is simply to good for us anyway. He hardly cries which allows for the cat-naps. Somehow that phone keeps ringing even after I pulled the plug. I'll have to go figure that one out later.

Anyway, a big thanks to our local church body for providing us with dinner every night. Steph just isn't up to cooking, and I think my macaroni-cheese and hotdogs will only go so far. If only boiling water was nutritious.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Does the Social Gospel Save?

While watching Cable TV the other night a program on an inner city black church showed people of faith going out into their community to stand against drugs and violence. The actions by the members of this particular church were commendable to be sure, but in the end, what have they accomplished?

The social gospel has been preached for decades now in all kinds of churches. Protestants are standing shoulder to shoulder with Roman Catholics in Prolife demonstrations. Many Evangelicals have successfully lobbied President Bush to nominate "Originalists" to the Supreme Court. All of the many things that are being done in the Name of Christ may be fine of themselves, but what do these things have to do with men's souls?

Is making men more patriotic going to bring men to Christ? Is converting a man to the Republican party going to save his soul? Does Jesus bless men who are committed to saving babies yet have no idea what the Gospel is? To bring this question back to the Cable program, will telling men not to do drugs because it is bad for you or will telling them to stop drive-by shootings going to really solve society's ills?

I was given a link by a "channel rat" Phileas and Dr. White. This link demonstrates that those who hold to a social gospel quite often really have no gospel at all. What was surprising about one of the greatest social gospel preachers Martin Luther King Jr. is that he seemed to deny the foundation for the very thing he was doing. He was in fact a heretic.

King Jr. denied the full Deity of the Son. He denied Substitutionary Atonement (as many evangelicals do as my own interim pastor does). He denied the ability and power of God to save an elect people in Christ. Teaching that sinners are converted solely by the preaching of the Law and Gospel and the regenerating work of the Spirit is simply left in the dirt.

For many years the social gospel has had its chance. It has miserably failed as a simple glance in our churches shows. Our churches are full of unregenerated members, who are doing good works for various reasons. The Gospel may change society, but only if it is preached consistently and preached from the Biblical text.

Friday, July 14, 2006


First I need to give thanks to our Father in Heaven for granting to me a wonderful and healthy new baby. I truly am a blessed man. God is simply not obligated to answer every prayer according to my will. Yet He has blessed me more than I could of imagined.

Thanks to Dr. Cupp. He did a great job in caring for Steph during those difficult decisions we had to make. I watched him pull out Jacob, and I see God has granted him with much ability and skill.

Next I need to give a big kuddos to Mindi. She is also pregnant and had the same due date as my wife. She was a big help to Steph in the Operating Room. Steph was her last patient. We pray her delivery next week goes well.

Next I need to thank Breigh, mom and dad for taking care of my other two children. That can be no easy task at times.

Thanks to Jim and Jen. I know God must hear your prayers. Out of anyone I know, they may have been the most concerned for Jacob, knowing Life's difficulties better than anyone.

Also a big thanks to Scott County Hospital. They have made Steph's stay as pleasant as can be for what truly is a difficult situation. Steph had a C-Section and managing pain can be difficult and caring for someone in that situation is work.

Thanks to all the "channel rats" that prayed for Steph. You know who you are. ;-)

I also want to thank all of you who prayed for us. Many members of First Baptist and First Christian and many others throughout the community had stopped by or caught me on the street or in a store and let me know they were concerned and praying for Steph.

God Bless you all.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Welcome Jacob!

Update! I noticed I had not put weight or length. My apologies!

6 Lbs and 2.2 Oz. and 19-1/2 inches.

Steph was great during her surgery. She is a bit sore now. She would covet your prayers.

Note for Jim, I will most certainly read your comments to Jacob.

For those of you waiting to see initial pictures of Jacob, here they are:

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

High Court Allows Constitution To Function

Citizen Link reported yesterday that the High Court of the People's Republic of Massachusetts has unanimously voted that a "resident-initiated state constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and woman" was in fact legal. So now let us all bow down to the mighty court and give thanks that the people who reside in that state are still allowed to follow the legal means of amending the Constitution.

The arrogance of the left and the courts is quite troubling. Whether you agree with the initiative or not, you should be quite alarmed that such a case would ever arrive to the High Court. Were not this case so important to the Left, this decision would never have passed go or collected two hundred dollars. Would the normal means of amending a state constitution in any other matter have been so heavily fought over? Certainly not!

What is troubling about this case is that it reveals most clearly what conservatives have been shouting about for a looooooooong time. The Left in this country HATE our constitutional form of government. You know. Things like voting and debating ideas and electing representatives and (God forbid) passing "resident initiated amendments" are certainly to be disdained and looked down upon. The average person is much to stupid to participate in our republic.

The idea that a High Court must decide whether or not the legal means people have used for hundreds of years is itself legal makes me wonder if our precious republic is still here. What if they change their minds tomorrow? Who will stop the Court? It is painfully obvious the legislature won't. Perhaps this time the High Court feared the people's retribution. Will they fear them tomorrow?

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Baseball State Tournament

Steven is walking a little tall tonight. A week ago or so, Steven was one of 13 players selected to play on the Scott City All-Star team for the Cal Ripkin Tournament. Today his team won their third straight game to win District 1. This Thursday the Scott City All-Stars will travel to Lakin, Kansas for the State Tounament of Champions.

Congrats to you guys!

Now it is time to get to work on improving his fielding!


Thursday, July 06, 2006

An Idol Called Evangelism

I have finished listening to a sermon on Evangelism by Pastor Roy Hargrave, An Idol Called Evangelism (link here). I have to agree. For some time now I have noticed within the sacred halls of the Southern Baptist denomination, a new fight is underway. Now that the Scriptures have been wrested from the theological liberals of the denomination and inerrancy has won the day, fundamentalist conservatives have begun to turn their guns on the Calvinists.

For some time now, Calvinists have been given a pass that as long as they are willing to evangelize, then unity will be granted. Since Calvinists are not seen as being able to evangelize and "win" people to Christ through Finneyite methods, they are seen as enemies of the faith. In other words, it is not truth and a doctrinally sound presentation of the Gospel that is needed for unity, it is just having the right motives and big numbers that gains favor within the denomination. If it is not a Billy Graham crusade bringing "mega" peoples to Christ, then it is not really evangelization.

There is a reason that Calvinistic theology is the front or the hill to die on for many Southern Baptist ministers. It is those who hold to a Biblically sound view of the Gospel that threatens to undo many of their methods. A Calvinist would certainly not use a Fire Engine in a baptistry to attract children. It is painfully obvious to the Calvinist that the modern Finneyite methods of evangelism are causing the biggest problems for the SBC. Numbers may look impressive on paper for the denomination, but as Jim Elliff points out in an article that having several baptisms per person to gain one convert is not real evangelism.

There are many within the SBC who want to see true Reformation come to their churches and denomination. Only Biblically sound preaching will be able to bring this about. Will the Falwell types continue on the road to self implosion all the while fooling themselves that their Mega-churches are successful? Shallow converts bring about shallow Christians who may not be true Christians at all. I suppose only time will tell.

My opinion is that those who are attempting to bring Reformation to their churches be patient and steadfast. History has shown that by remaining consistent in sound preaching will the Spirit bless His Word and our faithful work in proclaiming that same Word.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Independence Day

Once again, I am celebrating the Fourth of July, Independence Day, with my family. I just love lighting fireworks with the kids, while reciting "No King but King Jesus." Yes, I am geek in using every opportunity to evangelize my children.

I really wanted to Blog about the issues that several have asked me concerning church and state. As I was reading Steve Camp's Blog, I thought he had great things to say. So I implore Christians to read what he has to say carefully.

May God continue to Bless this great land of the Free and the Brave!