Wednesday, February 28, 2007

“I GUESS THIS MEANS WE’RE JEWISH.” Part 1 of 3 Reactions to The Tomb of Jesus Controversy

At least that was my roommate’s reaction to the recent announcement of a Discovery Channel documentary. In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last week, producer James Cameron (Titanic, Terminator, Aliens) and Emmy winner Simcha Jacobovici recently announced the debut of a new documentary claiming the bones of Jesus Christ (yes, that Jesus Christ), his…ahem…wife, Mary Magdalene, and his son, Judah, have been found in an ossuary in Jerusalem.
I will be commenting through three different posts. That is the plan anyway, who knows if I’ll have more to say later. But, for now, the intention is to begin with a brief explanation of the content in I Corinthians 15 regarding the resurrection of Christ and how it is central to the gospel message, therefore the Christian faith as a whole. Why is this necessary? It is necessary because of the filmmakers’ assertion, and I quote directly from their interview on The Today Show with Meredith Vierra, “[The implications] are huge, but they are not necessarily the implications that people think they are. For example, some people are going to say, ‘This challenges the Resurrection.’ I don't know why. If Jesus rose from one tomb, he could have risen from the other tomb.”
Therefore, I think it is important to begin by taking a look at what The Apostles believed about the Resurrection and whether Jacobovici’s above statement is that of an informed “documentary/journalist filmmaker.” I should also add that while he tries to shrug off any responsibility for the stir he may create behind the lable, "filmmaker/reporter" he is simultaneously vocal about his theological inadequacy. “We are not theologians,” he says.
I wonder then, what qualifies him to conclusively state the impact of his hypothesis on a Faith he, apparently, knows nothing about?”
I humbly suggest that both Mr. Cameron and Mr. Jacobovici are thoroughly ignorant. The conclusions drawn, based on quotes from their interviews on Larry King and Today, do, in fact, reject the truth of Jesus’ resurrection.
Let’s start with Cameron’s statement, “Where you get stuck is the physical ascension to heaven, taking his bones and body with him to heaven, instead of leaving them behind on earth.
The ignorance in this statement is that of the orthodox, mainstream, and consistent Biblical interpretation/belief that the Resurrection was a bodily resurrection, that is, the body that died is the body that rose. A significant and profound teaching on the resurrection is found in Paul’s 1st Epistle to the Corinthians.

Here, we see clearly that the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is at the very heart of the Gospel. It is the very foundation for the Christian Faith. Without it, we are liars to be rightfully pitied by the entire world. But let’s look at what Paul says.

He begins in 15:1 with this statement, “Moreover, brothers, I declare to you the gospel…” he defines it (the gospel) in verses 3 and 4, “For I delivered to you first of all that which I received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures…”
He then goes on to give account of the eyewitnesses (500 +) that saw and recognized Jesus after the resurrection.

His entire purpose in summarizing the gospel message here is to teach them about not just Christ’s resurrection, but the resurrection of the believer as well. He goes on in verse 12, “Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.

Paul’s audience is suffering from a misunderstanding regarding their eternal fate. Possibly stemming from a prominent belief in dualism, the idea that the material is evil and the spiritual is good. Therefore, the train of thought goes something like this, “if material is evil, and my body is material, I won’t be resurrected when I die, therefore, there is no resurrection, therefore, let’s party like it’s 1999!” Ok, so I made up that last part, but this is basically the thing Paul is responding to. An interesting note to make is that despite the Corinthians’ confusion, their presupposition is that resurrection involves their bodies. Hmm.

So, Paul continues with his defense in verse 35, “But someone may ask, ‘How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?’ How foolish! What you sow does not come to live unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or something else.
Paul continues with a set of illustrations along this line of reasoning, concluding, “So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

Indulge me a bit here. I think the nature of the biblical teaching on the resurrection is painfully obvious if you just replace the pronouns in the above verse. “The body that is sown is perishable, [the body] is raised imperishable; [the body] is sown in dishonor, [the body] is raised in glory; [the body] is sown in weakness, [the body] is raised in power; [the body] is sown a natural body, [the body] is raised a spiritual body.”
A bit repetitive, I know, but I think it emphatically demonstrates the biblical concept of resurrection.

In case you’re wondering, “spiritual body” does not mean disembodied spirit, which must be Jacobovici understanding of the resurrection. We've already seen that the Corinthian audience, even in their error, we're unwilling to divorce a tangible body from the idea of resurrection (i.e., "with what body will they come?") Paul defines his terms earlier in I Corinthians. “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

Paul states that there is a resurrection from the dead, and if you love, believe, and serve the One who was raised this resurrection will “change” (I Cor. 15:51) your natural, sinful body to an incorruptible, immortal one; a body defined and sustained by God’s Holy Spirit. Paul makes a very important point in all of this, and, while it does not directly address the current controversy, it would be a disservice to the text not to mention it. His point can be seen in verses like this…
I Corinthians 15:33, “Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits.’ Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God.
I Corinthians 15:54-58, “So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass that saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’
‘O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?’
The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Paul centers his entire message around the idea that Christ’s resurrection glorified God, our resurrection will glorify God, and because we have this glory to look forward to, our lives should be lived to glorify God.

So, Mr. Jacobovici, don’t try to tell us your “theory” is not a rejection of the resurrection. It is not only a rejection of the resurrection but also a rejection of the Gospel itself.

Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later

Dr. White has just put this up on his Blog. I had forgotten about this one. Pay now or pay later.

From Snow To Flood

There was a little concern by the State of Kansas that Scott County might have some major flooding problems. As you can see, their concerns were not unfounded.

It is simply amazing to see fields turned into lakes. (Yes, I know. There is a major flaw in this particular stitched photo.)

Keep in mind now. There isn't supposed to be any water here.

My wife's cousin had to shut down the power to this tower. When the power was cut, the generator decided to do its job. Some poor soul (I won't mention Cooper's name) was brave enough to venture out via a loader and shut it down.

In the end, the damage has been fairly minimal. Most homes that were sandbagged seemed to have survived. The Mennonites also came through with their hard work. The Lord has been gracious.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Groover MP3s

Pastor Groover from Dighton, KS has joined the 21st century of podcasting his sermons. His first sermon is on 2 Peter 3:11-18, Living in the Present With the Future in Mind. It is a great encouragement to hear a sermon that is actually based within the text that is initially read (much like DH's).

May God be glorified in the proclamation of his word.

Soli Deo Gloria

Monday, February 26, 2007

DH Preaches

An acquaintance of mine, Dave Hewitt, preached a sermon on Ephesians 1 yesterday. Now many of us have heard sermons preached on Ephesians 1, but if you like listening to sermons listen to this one and contrast it to what you may have heard in the past.

What I mean is this. How many times have you listened to sermons that refer to you getting rich? In DH's sermon, notice the God centeredness of the Gospel. Notice how much time he spends actually exegeting the text. When he speaks of spiritual blessings, notice that he actually defines what that means according to the text! Frankly, it is not about you. Salvation is always to the glory of the Father and His glorious grace.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Calvin Is RC?

“I suspect Calvin's own Catholic infant baptism really left an impression on him. He was not re-baptized for he believed that the Romish baptism was valid. It's hard to get around that creedal statement "I believe in one baptism for the forgiveness of sins", not one baptism for the sign of forgiveness of sins.”

The above quote is from Tiber’s Blog. He has been citing John Calvin as if John Calvin were really a sacramentalist of the Roman Catholic stripe. This is odd since every reformed person I know of would never see Calvin in that way. Perhaps all of these Reformed churches and Reformed people that I know have been in error for centuries now as to their own beliefs about Calvin? What an odd thing that would be.

As for Calvin not rejecting his baptism, is Tiber not familiar that the Reformed Tradition still clings to paedobaptism (yes there are reformed credobaptist people such as myself. I am simply referring to Presbyterian churches)? Some Reformed teachers would still defend Roman baptism as being valid today (anyone listen to the debate between White and Douglas Wilson?) Yet does Wilson believe in the sacraments in the same way as a Roman Catholic? If I were to use Tiber’s interpretative method, I could just as easily consider Wilson a Roman Catholic.

Calvin was a man of his times. He debated about the issues that were pressing in his day. He firmly taught Sola Fide, Sola Gratia and Sola Christus, and shockingly enough, he even taught Sola Scriptura. Perhaps if the situation were different he would have gone against the notion of infant Baptism. As one Reformed Baptist has noticed, “I can agree with Books 1,2 and 3, but book 4 (of Calvin’s Institutes) goes south” [my own paraphrase].

In other words, Calvin’s teaching is solid throughout his Institutes until he attempts to defend paedobaptism. The beauty about being a Reformed Protestant and standing firmly in that Tradition, is that I may test all things in light of Scripture. Tiber may not.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

India Is Far From Solving Their Problems

Dr. Mohler comments on a very important abortion story reported in the Associated Press. In the Nation of India, it has now been recognized that abortion is killing millions of women in the womb while male babies being given life. This has caused a crisis in the population. So the Indian Government has sought to solve the situation.

"Dubbed the "cradle scheme," the plan is an attempt to slow the practice that international groups say has killed more than 10 million female fetuses in the last two decades, leading to an alarming imbalance in the ratio between males and females in India, Renuka Chowdhury, the minister of state for women and child development, told the Press Trust of India news agency in an interview published Sunday."
Mohler comments:

"Well, this is a crisis situation by any estimation -- and it is a good thing that the Indian government is finally admitting the problem. Why did it take the deaths of 10 million girl fetuses motivate the government to do something?"
I have to disagree with Dr. Mohler here (I know, I know, it is always tough to disagree with a man of his ability and character.) The Indian government is not admitting the problem by any means. Am I to believe they now know that abortion is murder? Are they now actively bringing charges against those who would murder the weakest of society, in this case that being baby girls?

No Dr. Mohler, they have not acknowledged their problem. Even the use of the term "deaths" instead of "murder" betrays their motives. They have only decided to deal with a situation that is not in their nation's best interest. That being "an alarming imbalance in the ratio between males and females". This is still "might makes right" philosophy. They are only doing what is expedient for their nation, not because of any inherent evil they are committing.

Until they acknowledge the fact they have suppressed the knowledge of the true God in order to maintain power over the weak, the problems in that nation will only take on new forms, even if they manage to solve this one temporarily.

In the past, the Scott City Christian School and the First Baptist Church of Scott City have supported an Indian missionary couple in the nation of India. They are in the battlefields for the minds and hearts of the people. There are many others as well. We should all pray for these missionaries. They are in a struggle for literally the lives of women and souls of men and women and their nation at large.

This couple must not reduce their proclamation to a mere moralistic campaign. They must proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For it is the power of God unto salvation for every one who believes. (Romans 1:16) It is this Gospel that will truly save and bring true repentance to a lost people.

Soli Deo Gloria

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Another Apology

A Pastor friend of mine helped me to see another error I have made. The link I made in my public apology is to a sermon I preached several months ago at the same church. This probably explains why Algo would actually spend time listening to it. It was by far a better recording.

If you decide to listen to the sermon preached last Sunday, keep in mind I used my new MP3 player, which only shows to prove that newer isn't always better. Next time I'll use my old MP3 player/recorder.

Here is the link. It is on the Parable of the Soils. Sorry. My inability to read and copy links properly is not the best.


PS. I just made a new MP3 file. It is basically the original, unedited version (I only edit out the music. If I don't edit this out the file is 50% larger and it is a .WAV file). In the first link above, I tried to fix the bad hum, but it also makes the words that I am saying very difficult to hear. So this link has the hum but I think the audio is easier to understand. Link here.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Semper Reformanda

Crossed the Tiber's recent posts have been interesting. By his standards, I would not only be anti-catholic, I would be anti-everything from Hinduism to Evangelicalism since I critique everything.

He regrets at one point, "How could Catholicism be true if my parents were so messed up? This uses the incorrect paradigm of judging the veracity of a religion by those who don't practice it, which seems to be the way most of us, if we are honest, decide which church we will belong to."

I agree. We should not judge the veracity of a religion based upon people being inconsistent with their said faith. Yet he states in the next paragraph, "If I had to do it over again, (but there are no "undo" buttons in this life) I would have put much more time and effort into learning about what I was rejecting and starting to rail against."

Now I find this ironic. I realize I am just being anti-catholic here (he is never anti-Protestant...right?), but how many times has he had his erroneous understanding of Sola Scriptura pointed out to him? The fact that he read "100's of Jack T. Chick tracks read cover to cover as a 14 year old" only supports my argument. Now he is simply beyond hearing any correction at all, endlessly copying and pasting quotes as if he were not assuming the worldview he reads them in.

It is too bad modern Evangelicalism has departed much of its roots. When the Gospel becomes so shallow as to allow converts absolutely no understanding of basic doctrines, the "What we win them with is what we win them to" becomes the "what we must keep them with", and we can not keep converts in lousy, shallow theology forever. This is why churches must go back to the Scriptures.

Semper Reformanda...Always Reforming

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Public Apology

A public apology to Gospel Fellowship in Shallow Water, KS. I was asked to "fill in" this morning as the guest speaker. Every time I prepare a message, I think I do not have enough material. I preached through the Parable of the Soils in Matthew 13. I just checked the MP3, and I have found that the message was just under an hour long. The message should have been split in half. I apologize. The people of Gospel Fellowship were very easy to speak to and seemed to be paying attention. When there is a good congregation, it is easy to get carried away. They are a very gracious people.

For those who desire to know if I am accurate in my handling of the Word and desire to suffer through the sermon, here is the link.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

KJV Onlyism

When I lived in NH, I had the pleasure of meeting a King James Only Baptist. He truly believed that the newer translations like the NIV were taking verses out of the Scripture. After some discussion it was very apparent that his reasoning was circular. If the King James had it, and the NIV didn't, then the NIV took it out. Nevermind the manuscripts that they were based on.

The King James is the Word of God. Why? Because it is. It was the translation America was founded upon. Nevermind the fact that the Puritans did not use it at Plymouth Plantation.

Here is a quote from the translators at beginning of the King James Bible:
Translation it is that openeth the window, to let in the light; that breaketh the shell, that we may eat the kernel; that putteth aside the curtain, that we may look into the most Holy place; that removeth the cover of the well, that we may come by the water, even as Jacob rolled away the stone from the mouth of the well, by which means the flocks of Laban were watered [Gen 29:10]. Indeed without translation into the vulgar tongue, the unlearned are but like children at Jacob's well (which was deep) [John 4:11] without a bucket or something to draw with; or as that person mentioned by Isaiah, to whom when a sealed book was delivered, with this motion, Read this, I pray thee, he was fain to make this answer, I cannot, for it is sealed. [Isa 29:11]
They also firmly believed the original manuscripts were where the translators should always go:
If you ask what they had before them, truly it was the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, the Greek of the New. These are the two golden pipes, or rather conduits, where-through the olive branches empty themselves into the gold. Saint Augustine calleth them precedent, or original tongues; Saint Jerome, fountains.
Here the Translators themselves believed a comparison of translations and commentators of the original languages was a good thing for the man of God to get the "sense" of the original text:
Therefore as S. Augustine saith, that variety of Translations is profitable for the finding out of the sense of the Scriptures: so diversity of signification and sense in the margin, where the text is no so clear, must needs do good, yea, is necessary, as we are persuaded.
I have never read Hip&Thigh blog before, but his discussion of the subject seems helpful. Read here.

If you want to see a good video clip of the John Ankerberg show explaining the circularity of the KJV Only position, then check this out. I had the pleasure of seeing the unedited version. The KJV only guys were simply outmatched.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Sola Fide: One View Among Many

James Swan commented on "Jaraslov Pelikan’s book, Obedient Rebels: Catholic Substance and Protestant Principle in Luther’s Reformation [New York: Harper and Row, 1964]." It is short but insightful. We tend to look back at the Reformation from our own context forgetting that much was happening in that day.

It has been argued that Luther was going to make sure the Pope would remember him. For unlike other reformers, he was not leading a moralistic crusade (like Rick Warren or Joel Osteen). Instead, his Reformation was Gospel centered. Thereby the world was turned upside down.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Emergent Church Video

Having watched this video I have to ask, "Is this where Evangelicalism is going?" I realize Jesus was not a modern day "Conservative" nor "Liberal", yet did Jesus really hold these views of Himself and Scripture? I realize this video is painting with a broad brush, but isn't it symptomatic of our Christian culture?

What really strikes me about this video is some of the tactics now being employed by even conservative churches. For instance the idea of a teacher teaching a class with pastoral authority is beyond these people. Proclamation is merely a discussion. At one point a man recounts how he wanted to interrupt the preacher during a sermon. So in his mind the man of God who is proclaiming the Scriptures (Where God should be speaking to His people during the sermon) really is not of any significant authority. Radical egalitarianism pervades their thinking.

In fact, I would argue there is no Gospel in the Emergent Church. It is simply another Moralistic movement doomed to failure as all of the other moralistic movements have done. Watch out those of you who like Rick Warren. He is going down the same Moralistic path.

BTW: Kudos to Redski who pointed this nonsense out to me.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Terrorists and the Left

The CounterTerrorism Blog reported on a recently released tape by Al-Zawahiri. Zawahiri is quoted as saying:
"Bush suffers from an addictive personality, and was an alcoholic. I don't know his present condition (Americans know best about that, as they are experts in alcohol and addiction to it), but the one who examines his personality finds that he is addicted to two other faults: lying and gambling. As regards lying, his record is well known, and he has gone down in history as one of its most notorious liars... As for the Democrats in America, I tell them: The people chose you due to your opposition to Bush's policy in Iraq, but it appears that you are marching with him to the same abyss, and it appears that you will take part with him in the defeat and certain failure, with God's permission. And the American people shall discover that you are all one side of the same coin of tyranny, criminality and failure; that failure which – by the grace of God – has neutralized the endeavors of the traitors who entered Kabul and Baghdad..."
Now I expect a liar to blast Bush. He is the enemy after all (odd that the enemy knows their enemy). Yet notice the language being used against the Democrats. They are failing to get done what the Terrorists wanted. Oh wait. I mean failing to get done what the Left wants. I mean...uhhhhh...nevermind. I don't know what I mean.

Rush Limbaugh comments about this on today's broadcast:

"Now, is it just me? I have been commenting on this ever since prior to the election last November. Here you have number two to Osama, who I'm not even convinced is still alive, Ayman al-Zawahiri telling the Democrats that they are failing in their mission, in their promises in the campaign prior to the 2006 November elections. This guy is suggesting that they promised to do exactly what Al-Qaeda wanted, and now they're not doing it. Now, probably some of these weird moon bats from the Democrat kook base probably think Zawahiri is right on the money. They think the Democrats aren't being gutsy enough with these nonbinding resolutions and so forth..."
I don't know whether to laugh or cry. On the one hand this is serious stuff. It is quite an accusation to link Terrorists with Democrats. Yet I have to just laugh. It seems like a Saturday Night Live skit in reverse. This can't be real...can it?

Fear of the Lord Is the Beginning of Knowledge

I just love Albert Mohler's Blog. He deals with issues in the scholarly realm and deals with them unashamedly from a Biblical worldview. Today's Blog he cites USA Today's Tom Krattenmaker as saying:
A suggestion to creationists: Let science be science, and let religion prevail in the vast areas where science has little or nothing to offer. It's not as though science has an answer for everything of consequence. The purpose and meaning of life, the existence of good and evil and love and hate, the nature of a human soul and what becomes of it at death, the existence and will of the divine -- these are questions that belong to ethics, philosophy and, of course, religion.

Mohler then deals with the fact that science does not have some objective and morally neutral ability to view the "scientific evidence". Science is not dealing with evidence in some kind of vacuum. Science assumes naturalism and materialism. Then scientists try to act as if they are being humble by just letting the evidence point them in the direction we should go. This is sheer hypocrisy and elitistic snobbery.

Scientists may act as if they are humble in their assessments, but nothing could be further from the truth. Dr. White's blog from a few days ago played a clip of a man who acted humble because he thought it was too big a claim to say that the Bible is God's Word. Yet who is being humble? The Christian who allows God to speak and bends his knee to His authority, or the man who assumes God doesn't speak because everything has a naturalistic explanation?

What really perturbs me is the pompousness of naturalist's claims. He assumes he is neutral and objective. In other words, he thinks he has greater ability than God or is God. For only God is objective, but even God is not neutral. God is Holy and could be no other.

Man denies the truth of God all the while using the Christian worldview or borrowing from the "image of God" within him to gain knowledge. Man is a fool. For knowing God he neither gives thanks nor glorifies Him. Christians must stop cowering to the world and call men everywhere to not only repent of their immoral behavior but to also repent in their thinking and bow their knees to the one who is the source of knowledge and sound thinking.

Monday, February 12, 2007

For Theo Too

Theo has asked me, "How do you know?" His question has been in reference to the books that belong in the canon of Scripture. In this U-Tube clip, Gerry Matatics asked Dr. White a similar question. How does Dr. White know Jesus Christ rose from the dead. He also asks about the Canon as well.

Now keep in mind the context of the debate and their respective presuppositions. Gerry, the Roman Catholic, starts with Rome and Dr. White starts with God's Word. Because of Gerry's presuppositions, he is able to say that Mary's Assumption is parallel to Christ's resurrection. He can't demonstrate this to be so historically, yet notice how Protestants are held to this kind of fallacious reasoning. No historical evidence for Mary's assumption is brought forth, yet Gerry somehow knows this to be true.

Gerry even uses the "Matthew wrote Matthew" argument, yet never shows that Rome teaches infallibly that Matthew wrote Matthew (as if that were even relevant).

At the end Dr. White asks for just one church father for testimony to this belief of Mary's Assumption. Gerry offers nothing. Let's face it. Gerry doesn't have to. Rome has spoken.

Watch the video.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

More Evidence Of I told You So

I have said it many times on this Blog. The Left is simply not able to withstand Islam. Remember Hitler invaded France while telling them he was not their enemy. The Left in this country does not see Islam as the enemy. Walmart, Big Oil and Pharmaceuticals are their enemy.

If you think Islam and freedom go together, please move to an Islamic country and say and do the things the Left encourages here in the U.S.. You will quickly discern your error. I am not even referring to immoral behavior. I am saying that Liberal Scholarship in manuscript studies of the Bible would never be allowed in a Muslim country in studying the Koran.

I am saying that publicly confessing you are a Christian may get you your head separated from your shoulders. Of course, how many Liberal Christians who deny the bodily resurrection would stand firm for the faith is probably quite small, since there isn't much in Theological Liberalism worth sanding for?

Read WorldNetDaily's story for more evidence that we, who are concerned about Islam, are not just being concerned about imaginary conspiracies. There is an enemy, and it is not Christianity or Capitalism or Free Enterprise or the U.S. Constitution.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Reformed Baptist Fellowship

After reading last night several things that my own denomination has stated publicly, from women in pastoral ministry to ecology, a friend sent me a link to a Blog that will actually be worth reading. The Reformed Baptist Fellowship will have contributors such as Richard Barcellos , James Renihan, Sam Waldron and James White. These men have an extremely high view of Scripture, so I expect many good things to be written.

First post is here.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Is This the Best We Can Offer?

Back in late January, my wife called me and mentioned in passing that Senator Sam Brownback announced his run for the President of the U.S.. My first cynical thought was that he would begin to lean to the Left to gain votes. It is one thing to be a conservative in Kansas. It is another when one lives in the D.C. Culture and Media bubble.

So I began to tell my wife that he would probably start coming out against the War and other cultural issues. She corrected me on how pro-family and prolife he has always been. Indeed he is a religious man. I simply wanted to be proven wrong and stuck to my initial thoughts.

Fox reports:
"He opposes President Bush's plan to send more troops to Iraq, saying, "Iraq requires a political rather than a military solution." Brownback also favors an eventual path to citizenship for some of the nation's 11 million illegal immigrants."

I am now disappointed. Within 24 hours of my telling my wife he would cower to the Press to get good coverage Brownback leaves the ranch. During a time when Conservatives desperately need a conservative leader to lead a conservative movement none can be found. I realize there is no Ronald Reagan out there. Perhaps somebody might see the vaccum and fill it?

For nearly six years we have watched Bush talk about defeating the enemy. Yet he does this while giving Ted Kennedy the ability to write an Education Bill. He has tried the New Tone with the Left. What has this gotten him? Nothing but an emboldened internal enemy.

Any Conservative Leader could have destroyed the Democratic Party. Instead Bush goes to his corner everytime he knocks them to their knees. Instead of following his foreign policy of Victory, he allows his enemy another shot. Perhaps this is why we haven't won the war? Perhaps Bush has been wimping and not seeking full and decisive victory over the enemy in Iraq?

After watching Brownback these last few weeks, I see nothing that inspires me. More politics and more political solutions so that the treaty makers can come up with a solution, pat themselves on the backs, only to have to face an emboldened enemy in a few more years. This kind of politician is not what America needs.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Ability or Inability

"It is within you." I think that is what he said. I think the context is within all of humanity. All people have the ability. Perhaps I missed it. Perhaps I need to get the CD and listen again. But I am very certain he said it.

It is within you to love God? It is within you to come to Christ? It is within you to obey God? Was he referring to some kind of "prevenient grace"? Even referring to John 15 "Apart from Me, you can do nothing." Whatever it was, he certainly had departed the text.

Let's see what Jesus and Paul had to say about human ability.

John 3:3 "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God."

Joh 6:44 "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

Joh 6:65 And He was saying, "For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father."

1Co 2:14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.

Rom 8:8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

I hate to proof text, but there are other passages that speak of the inability of man. Lest we think too highly of ourselves, we might consider that a man has nothing to offer God. That is what makes grace so amazing.

Soli Deo Gloria

Friday, February 02, 2007

Eyewitnesses or Muhammad

As I was listening to Muslim Apologist Shabir Ally give a presentation as to why Jesus didn't actually die on the cross, I was reminded of a question that occurs every time I listen to guys like that. Why should I believe Muhammad?

Shabir Ally has stated that Muslims honor Jesus as a prophet. The problem is that Jesus didn't actually die on the cross. Instead someone made to "look like him" did. Why does he believe this kind of nonsense? Because Muhammad said so.

Here is the major question that jumps into my mind. I assume that since they recognize that Jesus is a prophet, then they would also believe that Jesus was actually a follower of Allah. They also believe that Allah is all-powerful. They believe Allah has the ability to preserve the Koran perfectly, or I assume any Word of God perfectly.

If Allah is able to do this, why am I asked to believe things about the life of Jesus from a man who was illiterate, far removed from Palestine, and 6 centuries removed in time from the events of Jesus' life over actual Gospel accounts telling us information about Jesus which were directly written by those who actually saw Him?

Well, the Gospels are corrupt I am told. So instead of Allah preserving original accounts of Jesus, he gives us testimony from some cult leader several centuries later? This is what Allah expects? This is what Muslim apologists truly want me to believe? The presuppositions are horrendous and simply not worthy of being acknowledged.

Basically, Shabir starts with the Koran. I start with God's Word. If the Koran were God's Word it would be consistent. Since the Koran can't even define the Trinity correctly, it must be wrong. Of course they think their definition of the Trinity is correct because the Koran can't be wrong. Strange to have a Muslim book tell Christians what they really believe, Historical Creeds notwithstanding.