Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Kay Bailey Hutchinson, First Female President!

I discovered who I am going to write in for President!!!!! While I was listening to more of Operation Chaos News during Rush's show today, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson came on and began blasting the Democrats. She has written an editorial that is simply a must read (here). Here is a potion of her interaction with Rush:

SEN. HUTCHISON: Well, Rush, if we would do this -- if the Democrats and if the people understand this issue enough to force them. If we could open refineries, make it easier to do so; open nuclear power plants, which is the cleanest form of energy at the best, most efficient prices that we could possibly produce it; and drill in ANWR, the Outer Continental Shelf and deep drilling in the Gulf Coast, we could be a country that doesn't have to rely on anyone else. I think we need to make this an issue in this election.

RUSH: I couldn't agree more.

SEN. HUTCHISON: Don't let the Democrats get by with saying, "Oh, it's just terrible that the price of gasoline is high, and it's the president's fault." It is not the president's fault. It's the Democrats in Congress who continue to keep us from drilling in ANWR. We had almost enough, 60 votes, to pass that last time. We were one vote short, couldn't get it, and so here we are again.

RUSH: Quick question, last one. I know you have to go. Senator Obama's running a campaign on "unity" and solving these kind of problems. Could he bring people together on this, Senator, to renew our effort to become energy independent?

SEN. HUTCHISON: Well, I haven't seen any ideas yet from the Democrats that would actually make a difference in our energy independence. That's the key. It's walking the walk as well as talking the talk. We've got to have real action which could be done right now in Congress today. The Democrats are in control of both houses, and yet we can't even get free trade agreements with Colombia much less an open trade --

Where has this woman been hiding? I am willing to bet my paycheck that if she had entered the race for the Republican nomination, she would not only have won hands down, she would be the first female President of these United States! She would have clobbered the slate of buffoons that we had to choose from. Why now? Why is she now doing something? Whatever her reasons are, she needs to continue doing it. Perhaps there is somebody who might start a Blog for conservative politicians that desire to lead a Conservative movement and get their message out.

I must admit not all things she says are rosie. She does play the political game. She writes in the article:

On Dec. 19, 2007, President Bush signed into law the Energy Independence and Security Act. This legislation had several positive features, including higher fuel standards for cars and greater investment in renewable energies such as solar power.

This is just stupid political talk. For here she is siding with government to tell car makers what they should be doing. This is not Conservatism, at least not consistently. Nevertheless, she writes:

Furthermore, the trend of farmers supplanting other grains with corn is decreasing the supply of numerous agricultural products. When the supply of those products goes down, the price inevitably goes up.

Subsequently, the cost of feeding farm and ranch animals increases and the cost is passed to consumers of beef, poultry and pork products.

Since February 2006, the price of corn, wheat and soybeans has increased by more than 240%. Rising food prices are hitting the pockets of lower-income Americans and people who live on fixed incomes.

To be honest, I didn't know any politicians had the kind of courage to say something like this.

She writes more,

"Congress must take action. I am introducing legislation that will freeze the biofuel mandate at current levels, instead of steadily increasing it through 2022.

Why does she believe this? Common sense. That's why. She also says,

The best way to lower energy prices, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, is to accelerate production of all forms of domestic energy.

Expanding biofuels while refusing to take other measures, such as lifting the ban on oil and natural gas production in Alaska and the Outer Continental Shelf, is counterproductive. We should be tapping into a broad portfolio of energy options, including clean coal, nuclear power and wave energy.

The key is increasing energy supply. By taking these measures, we can enable biofuels to be part of the energy solution, instead of contributing to the energy problem.

Please, please notice the "key is increasing supply"! The oil is there. It is in mass quantities. The anti-American, anti-Capitalism Left knows this is the solution. They will use Global Warming propaganda and polution EPA nonsense to keep spreading misery.

She is right. We must stop listening to people who say they have "good intentions" (ie: Liberal Democrats...Which I think is a lie anyway) and start looking for results. If she drops the lets get along portions of her political speech, she may very well be President in 2012.

Same Sex Controversy

OK, so I write a post deploring the imbalance of hundreds of sermons against homosexuals that exist especially among Fundamentalist Baptists (and even the Fred Phelps types). In fact, the very first sermon I remember in a Fundy church said homosexuals need to get back in the closet, and then the gay bashing started. Yet when I write this, someone who is not able to write a complete sentence attempts to defend homosexuality from the Bible in the comments section. So I am recommending an excellent book that deals with the apologetic methods of pro-homosexual arguments thoroughly. This book is written by Jeff Neill and James White. If you struggle with the contemporary scholarly arguments, this book is worth the read. It starts with the presupposition that God's word is authoritative and able to communicate clearly. With that starting point, they handle all of the major objections that are raised by those who would seek to pervert God's created order and purpose.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Adam and Steve Made Us This Way?

The latest Al Mohler Blog is an interesting and perhaps difficult read for those battling the Left in the "Culture Wars". He writes about the effects of the legalization of marriage for homosexuals in the People's Republic of Massachusetts has had on the homosexual community and the common culture as a whole.

Much of what he has to say may perhaps be a little scary at how our culture has perverted the created order, but his conclusion has me wondering. He writes,

"Denizet-Lewis's article raises at least one final thought. If the legalization of same-sex marriage is changing homosexual culture, is it also changing heterosexual marriage? We can only wonder how long it will take for some heterosexual couples to decide that "emotional fidelity" and "sexual fidelity" can be separated."

The idea that heterosexual couples are being affected by the homosexual couples' philosophy of "What is fidelity?" seems to me to be backwards (60s & 70s anyone?). I have no doubt that we are in a spiral and therefore one affects the other. I just don't buy the whole-sale corruption from the homosexual side.

For a long time, the idea that homosexuality is the unpardonable sin and the root of all sexual evil has just bugged me. Perhaps I am being counter-intuitive. Yet, when I read the Bible, the homosexual argument, that the Bible has little to say about it, is correct. The actual reason (as opposed to what homosexuals argue) this is so is because it is so clear in its teaching and clear that it perverts the basic created order. What need of mentioning it is there?

There is another reason I think this may be so. The Bible spends a huge amount of time condemning adultery. Why? Because adultery seems to pervert the natural order only slightly and yet does huge amounts of damage that hurts society. It is especially children that receive the results of our sexual sinfulness. Anyone that studies the subject or has anecdotally experienced (either directly or indirectly) divorce knows this to be true.

I have often told close friends of mine. If we want to see culture reformed from within, first the Gospel must be preached to those lost in sin. If we want to see culture restrained from without and by the force of law, then society must reject the "free-love" mentality among heterosexuals. Please note that I am stressing heterosexuals.

Perhaps I am being counter-intuitive. I truly think the homosexual issue would disappear if society allowed God to define what true love is and make their laws according to God's created order. This means heterosexuals must be held accountable by law. The idea of consentual sex must be rejected. Then and only then, can any further deviations from what is right be reformed.

So if I hear one more sermon about homosexuality, I think I am going to puke. Christian preachers must preach what the Bible spends its time telling us about. If homosexuality is 1% of the text, then to preach 50% of our messages on that topic is clearly imbalanced. It causes Christians to be self righteous in their own sin while condemning others. We must seek God's wisdom and allow all of God's revelation to speak, especially within the house of God.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Focus Holds a Debate With Newdow

Apparently I have been asleep. I must either be so tired that I missed an email update or there has been a very well kept secret going on at Focus' campus. Since I checked all of my emails, it must be a well kept secret. Last night atheist Michael Newdow debated Dr. Chris Leland as to "whether the use of 'God' in the Pledge of Allegiance and on U.S. currency violates the Constitution."

So I have to ask, did everyone else know this but me? Anyway, you may read about the story here.

First, I have to ask, what has taken them so long to have such a debate? The idea of publicly defending your position like this against a position that can't even begin to justify itself, much less make actual historical arguments is long over due.

Newdow is quoted as arguing,

“There was a huge change in thinking between 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was written, and 1787, when the Constitution was written... There’s no mention of God in our Constitution. As a matter of fact, if you look through, there’s statements against government getting involved in religion.”

I have long thought this argument was bogus on grounds of common sense. Although Leland's response may be adequate, I am not certain if he truly dealt with the argument. I'll have to get the MP3s to find out. Nevertheless, I'd like to make my own point about such an argument.

Constitutions are written for a purpose. Here is a definition of Constitution from this thefreedictionary website:

1. The act or process of composing, setting up, or establishing.
a. The composition or structure of something; makeup.
b. The physical makeup of a person: Having a strong constitution, she had no trouble climbing the mountain.
a. The system of fundamental laws and principles that prescribes the nature, functions, and limits of a government or another institution.
b. The document in which such a system is recorded.
c. Constitution The fundamental law of the United States, framed in 1787, ratified in 1789, and variously amended since then.

Notice what a constitution does. It defines the system and the nature and function of the government. I just happen to be on my church's Constitution committee. I am sitting here looking through it looking for the mention of God or Jesus Christ. Let me take you through it article by article.

Article 1. No mention of God. Amazing! The very first article forgets to mention God. Must be a bunch of atheists running this church I attend...right?

Article 2 declares it purpose. So obviously the composers sought to write something that had to do with God and Jesus Christ. Jesus gets mentioned once and the word God is written twice. This point must not be overlooked. If there were a document that already stated the purpose (such as a Declaration of Independence) then this article may only be a reminder of why it is being written. The Constitution does have a preamble. Since it is not establishing a church is it any wonder that the name God is not written?

Article 3. no mention of God at all.

Article 4 has 8 sections on membership. Section 2 states, "Any person professing faith in the Lord Jesus Christ..." That's it. No other mention of God or Jesus.

Article 5 speaks of committees and their duties. It is by far and away the largest section taking up over 7 pages with no mention of God at all. Apparently, the writers didn't see the need for God in the establishment or justification of these duties.

Article 6 speaks to how meetings within the church should take place and what needs to occur in these meetings. For example, the annual election shall be held the second Sunday in December. Guess God won't be at the meeting since He wasn't mentioned at all.

Article 7 speaks of vacancies. Apparently, Jesus doesn't get a vote.

There you have it. An entire religious organization's Constitution barely mentions God or Jesus Christ. Why? That is not necessarily its purpose! The United States Constitution is not the Church. The Declaration of Independence is the purpose statement that gives meaning to the Constitution. Without it as being foundational, the Constitution just doesn't work.

John Adams stated,

"Our constitution was made for a moral and religious people; it is wholly inadequate for any other."

James Madison wrote,

"We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."

Now for the negative against Leland. The article from Focus says,

“He (Leland) spoke quite eloquently and winsomely how his own faith gave him a hope and a purpose no document — not even one as great as the Constitution — could possibly provide.”

I have no idea why people think this is persuasive to atheists. Moral betterness can be found in any religion. Personal testimonies are not the Gospel and in this scenario create a grand confusion between Church and State. To debate public policy and and matters belonging to the State, one must be very careful to recognize the United States may have been mightily used in God's Providence, but to go any further, as if the U.S. is a Christian nation in the sense that it is blessed by God similarly to Israel, is to overthrow the biblical testimony on the nature of God's Kingdom. Jesus specifically stated that His Kingdom is not of this world.

Perhaps if Christians would believe their own Confessions, we would be more consistent. I leave you with the LBCF 1689 chapter 24, Of the Civil Magistrate,

1. God the supream Lord, and King of all the World, hath ordained Civil (a) Magistrates to be under him, over the people for his own glory, and the publick good; and to this end hath armed them with the power of the Sword, for defence and encouragement of them that do good, and for the punishment of evil doers.

a Rom. 13 1,2,3,4.

2. It is lawful for Christians to Accept, and Execute the Office of a Magistrate when called thereunto; in the management whereof, as they ought especially to maintain (b) Justice, and Peace, according to the wholsome Laws of each Kingdome, and Commonwealth: so for that end they may lawfully now under the New Testament (c) wage war upon just and necessary occasions.
b 2 Sam. 23.3. Ps. 82.3,4.

3. Civil Magistrates being set up by God, for the ends aforesaid; subjection in all lawful things commanded by them, ought to be yeilded by us, in the Lord; not only for wrath (d) but for Conscience sake; and we ought to make supplications and prayers for Kings, and all that are in Authority, (e) that under them we may live a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty.

d Rom. 13.5,6,7. 1 Pet. 2.17.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Calling the Lost

Today, I read Sam Waldron's blog post with great interest. As far as I can tell, Dr. Waldron has a great love for the Gospel of Grace and seeks to be a faithful pastor shepherding the flock that God has placed under his care. Dr. Waldron also trains men for pastoral ministry. That makes today's post even more interesting. Dr. Waldron feels that he has failed in training his family and congregation for evangelism. He writes, "I am writing you partly because I feel that he [Bob Selph] put his finger on an area where I to some degree failed as a father and a pastor in my responsibilities."

I would hate to see his words twisted. So many today believe that "lifestyle evangelism" is the greatest means of proclaiming the Gospel. We have all heard this in some form or another, "Always preach the Gospel and sometimes we might even use words." Now obviously what most people mean by this is that we should live consistent godly lives that we may gain an audience with those around us. But let me be clear. The Gospel is NEVER preached through actions! NEVER! Was that clear enough?

The Good News of Christ is a proclamation. It is objective and outside of fallen man. Therefore we as Christians must always make the clear distinction between the Gospel and living in light of the Gospel. The Law may be written upon the heart. The heart in the Christian may be regenerated. But that is not the Gospel. Law is not Gospel. Gospel is not the Law.

Sam Waldron's post shows great humility. He is not saying we must live our lives as the means to proclaim the Gospel [if I understand him correctly]. He is saying that as Christians, we must imitate Paul and ultimately Christ (Is this not the effects of the Gospel upon our hearts?). We must follow Christ's desire to see men saved. That seemed to be my own Pastor Kyle's sermon this past Lord's Day. Therefore, we as Christians must be diligent in our calling to evangelize with every opportunity the Lord gives us. This also means that Christians must become well trained by their pastors and work with their pastors in this great work. There is no greater duty than to bring the lost into the Kingdom of God.

So let us give up losing weight for Jesus and learn the Gospel thoroughly and do that which Christ calls all Christians to do.

Soli Deo Gloria

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sermon On Rev 3 By Cory

I haven't been able to listen to many sermons lately, but I did manage to listen to Cory Kitch's latest sermon on Revelation 3 and the Church at Laodicea. I must say this has been the best sermon I have listened to in a long time. Listen/Download here.


I try to read a lot. It doesn’t always work out as much as I’d like, but I’m always reading something. Additionally, almost everything I read is for the benefit of the people in my church. In the year that I’ve been with Central Valley Community Church I’ve been asked questions, confronted with issues directly as well as peripherally, and in all of it I’ve been driven to the Word and to the faithful witnesses of that Word so that I might deal with these things in a mature, informed fashion.
Every once in a while, however, I like to read something from a total nut-job. It helps now and again to be familiar with some false teaching. Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t lull myself to sleep every night with the Book of Mormon in my lap, although, if there were one book that could induce a coma, it would be Joseph Smith’s leather-bound masterpiece of sophomoric futility. That being said, I do like to read false teaching that people are actually listening to and believing. Generally, I don’t worry too much about whether or not CVCC members will have a crisis and suddenly decide Buddha is the answer. What does concern me is material that either obscures the gospel or flatly contradicts it and is simultaneously appreciated and endorsed by the body of Christ. Now, hear me clearly, this is about being faithful to Scripture, something we must not compromise, and any subsequent language that may be interpreted as harsh is not intended to be harsh towards anything but false teaching.
My most recent foray into Heresy Land, to be fair, is not authored by a categorical “nut-job.” He’s relatively mainstream and is even endorsed by Eugene Peterson (oh, say it ain’t so Gene!). It’s also evident that the intentions of the author are “good.” But then again, you know what they say about the pavement on the road to hell. Some of you may have read and liked the book I am about to mock, and if so, don’t assume I’m saying something about you. This is all about William P. Young and his view of The Trinity, presented in the novel, The Shack.
The plot is relatively simple. Our main character, Mack, gets an invitation to meet God in a remote shack. Mack in the shack. You may insert a dissatisfied artistically snobby “sigh” right here. Moving on.
When he meets God in the shack he encounters the Trinity. Jesus is there, God the Father is there, and the Holy Spirit is there. The Trinity is a complex, but glorious and necessary doctrine. To deny it or obscure it is to, at least, blur the lines as to what constitutes right doctrine and at worst, become something other than Christian. Anytime you redefine the nature of God you’re on dangerous ground.
Scripturally we see that there is One True God that eternally exists as three distinct persons – Father, Son, and Spirit – who are each fully and equally God. This is not something that is quick to grasp – yet Scripture consistently testifies to this mysterious truth. This testimony is so abundant and consistent that there is no space in this article to demonstrate it, but this is how orthodox Christianity has always understood God’s nature and self-revelation.
Here, I hope to articulate some essentials of the doctrine from Scripture that The Shack obscures or perverts. First, we have a problem with the image of God that this book portrays. I am afraid that not many Christians understand or take seriously the command to not make for themselves a “graven image” of God. Many think that the second commandment applies only to false idols. But the command obviously extends beyond that.
You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven…” (Exodus 20:4). This includes, I think, casting Morgan Freeman as God in Evan Almighty, novelizing God the Father and portraying Him as a jovial, African American woman. Yet, that’s how God reveals Himself in The Shack. What’s the problem you ask? God, and God alone, has the prerogative to reveal Himself. We wouldn’t know squat about God if He didn’t reveal Himself, and to my recollection he’s never, in the history of ever, revealed Himself as Oprah.
If you want to portray Jesus, there’s a freedom to do that, because the Son became a man and was raised as a Jew in first century Palestine. That’s why I don't get up in arms every time someone makes a movie about Jesus, though I don’t understand why he’s yet to be portrayed by someone of Jewish descent.
The Holy Spirit was revealed in the shape of a dove at Jesus’ baptism and it could be argued as tongues of fire at Pentecost in Acts 2. This is the pattern we follow. Scripture dictates how we portray and honor God and I don’t see why we would make an exception for art or literature. Nowhere are we permitted to cast God the Father out of stone or create a humanized likeness of Him. In fact, we’re commanded not to. Yet, Mr. Young breaks this command twice over by portraying God the Father as an African American Woman and the Holy Spirit as a fluttery non-descript Asian woman without the courtesy or reverence to veil his narrative in metaphor or allegory.
Further, there is some serious confusion in the book as to the difference between the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. There are several examples. As Mack is talking with the “Father” he notices scars on his…I mean…her wrists identical to Jesus’ cross-inflicted wounds. She notes, “Don’t ever think that what my son chose to do didn’t cost us dearly. Love always leaves a significant mark…We were there together.
While the Bible is clear that God was present at the crucifixion (read Psalm 22 to understand that one) it is also clear that God the Father didn’t die on the cross, the Holy Spirit didn’t die on the cross - Jesus died on the cross. Young wholly confuses this category and therefore sacrifices any and all scripturally intended significance for the distinction.
The Scriptural picture is God the Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit, submitting to the will of the Father, who is pouring out his wrath on the Son in our place, for our sin. The picture of The Shack is that somehow, The Father and The Spirit were subjected to that punishment as well – and this makes no sense when compared to God’s Word.
Further, God the “mother” tells Mack at one point, “In Jesus we (i.e. the Father and the Spirit) became fully human.” This is a heresy called Modalism. It teaches that essentially, there is no distinction between Father, Son and Spirit but rather, God puts on the Father uniform in some situations, puts on the Son uniform to die for sin, and the Holy Spirit uniform in the hearts and lives of believers.
This is not what Scripture teaches. One example of the Bible distinguishing between the Father, Son and Spirit would be the baptism of Jesus. We see Jesus come out of the water, the Spirit descend in the form of a dove, and the Father speak from Heaven. Additionally, all through the gospels Jesus talks about the Father sending Jesus, not pretending to be Jesus. We see Jesus talk about how he only says and does what the Father tells him to say and do.
God didn’t have to reveal Himself to us, yet he chose to do so through Jesus and through His Word. How can we overlook it for the sake of our entertainment or some form of edification that falls so short of His inspired Word?
The Shack will come and go. But the heresies and false teaching within it are ancient and my prayer is that faithful Christians will come to loathe such fallacy in comparison to the riches and bounty of deep study and time in God’s Holy Word. Because I love you, that is what I want to move you. I do not want us to be swept away by heresy that sounds good or is entertaining. You may be able to get a few good insights out of it but I’m not sure it’s worth navigating through the junk. That would be kinda like making a point to eat at McDonalds because you like the Salad. I don’t want us to be moved by the newest, coolest, seeker sensitive thing. I want us to be moved and shaken by God’s Holy Word. That is my prayer.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Be On Guard

They came knocking during a time when I would not be home. I wasn't able to be there guarding my own. "Why are there so many denominations?", the woman from the Church of Christ asked. Notice the question isn't about the Gospel, but rather which church is the true church. "Sheep stealing" is the phrase I like to use.

Whenever I hear the above question, red flags immediately spring into action in my mind. It also does for my wife. Many people have questioned my insistence on more Creeds. I am constantly being told that the church needs to be more pragmatic or as Mega-church leader Rick warren says, "Deeds, not Creeds". Thinking like this is completely the opposite of the New Testament's teaching and misses the true need of man.

Last evening I did yet another weird thing. I read the entire epistle of 2 Peter to my family. I realize that is radical. Yet when my wife was asked a simple question about the Law of God and whether or not the Ten Commandments were a part of the Old Covenant, she threw her visitors a curve ball. "Do you mean the Covenant with Adam? That is the oldest Covenant." Being stumped with a simple response they moved on.

So again, why do I spend much of my time teaching Creeds? The answer is simple. Lots of groups are about "deeds". Many are helping the homeless or hungry. Many go door to door "sharing" something. Why not join their group? Peter tells us about false teachers within the church:

"the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen."

Peter is stirring up by way of reminder [ie: repetition] the doctrines that he has taught the flock of God. Peter knew his time was short as he speaks of his departure from this world. He knew he could not be with his people forever. He wanted to leave them mature and standing firm in the faith once for all delivered unto the Saints. I wish to do the same. After coming home and hearing of false disciples from the local Church of Christ attempting to steal those from under my care, I am relieved to know that for sound reasons my family stood firm for the Gospel of Grace.

Soli Deo Gloria

Saturday, April 19, 2008

More Astronomy Pictures

I had some more fun last night with my daughter taking pictures of Saturn and the moon. It looks in focus in the camera but then it comes out out of focus. My eyes must be worse than I thought. Perhaps filters are the solution? The Heavens truly declare the glory of God. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Secularism, Relativism and Bush

I was listening to the news and heard President Bush take a swipe at the Moral Relativism of our day. He clearly articulated the poor governmental policy this repugnant and self-contradictory view is. Here is a quote from today’s speech. Why hasn’t this guy been leading a movement?

“Most of all, Holy Father, you will find in America people whose hearts are open to your message of hope. And America and the world need this message. In a world where some invoke the name of God to justify acts of terror and murder and hate, we need your message that "God is love." And embracing this love is the surest way to save men from "falling prey to the teaching of fanaticism and terrorism."

In a world where some treat life as something to be debased and discarded, we need your message that all human life is sacred, and that "each of us is willed, each of us is loved" -- (applause) -- and your message that "each of us is willed, each of us is loved, and each of us is necessary."

In a world where some no longer believe that we can distinguish between simple right and wrong, we need your message to reject this "dictatorship of relativism," and embrace a culture of justice and truth. (Applause.)

In a world where some see freedom as simply the right to do as they wish, we need your message that true liberty requires us to live our freedom not just for ourselves, but "in a spirit of mutual support."”

While I was looking for President Bush’s actual quote online I read this article written by Norene Kelly from a Secular Humanist website:

"Rice calls the president “intuitive.” Intuition is the act of knowing without the use of rational processes. Philosopher Henri Bergson, who defends intuition as a viable method of knowing, speaks of an “intellectual sympathy” by which we may acquire knowledge.2 But I suspect that such intellectual sympathy is not what Rice is referring to when she says Bush is intuitive. Bush’s intuition appears to spring from his Christianity, his Bible, and the like-minded people with whom he surrounds himself. Additionally, intuition alone is obviously not enough; it must be balanced by logic, by the scientific method. Where is that balance in Bush’s words and actions? Indeed, I don’t think the president would care to fly in a plane built by intuition, yet he is running the government by it." (emphasis mine)

Notice the sentence, “Additionally, intuition alone is obviously not enough; it must be balanced by logic, by the scientific method.” Now how does she know or justify logic or the scientific method while rejecting the One True and Living God that is the source of his knowledge? I guess she just intuitively knows!

From a political standpoint this paragraph is also of interest.

“While cogent arguments can be made in defense of moralism and intuition, it is not apparent that Bush subscribes to them. Take, for instance, James Rachels’s Elements of Moral Philosophy, in which Rachels argues that there is a core set of values that are common to all societies. These values, according to Rachels, are (1) we should care for children; (2) we should tell the truth; and (3) we should not murder. Setting veracity aside, it is clear that Bush’s priorities do not include caring for children or avoiding murder. What kind of moralism, then, is he a proponent of? No wonder a country like France, with its rich intellectual history, is baffled and alienated by Bush and his moralizing.”

Notice the equivocation that caring for children is the same as the government taking your children and raising them for you. Also, how does she know what Bush thinks? Citing Condoleezza Rice may perhaps give us some insight but hardly all that needs to be researched. She isn’t the end of all knowledge. Perhaps Bush is of the “teach a man to fish” kind of moralist when it comes to our own children verses the failed welfare statism of the Left.

There seems to be an equivocation of war and murder. She seems to be calling Bush a murderer. How does she know murder is wrong? What constitutes murder? For someone who is obviously being arrogant intellectually, I find nothing intellectual about this kind of equivocating that is never defended. It is pure emotional drivel.

Then to refer to France as being a country of intellectual history is just as baffling. That country has been in serious trouble intellectually for centuries. This is just pure arrogance and inability to see past one’s own nose. The confusion of separation of church and state may be a troublesome issue for Fundamentalists and Conservative Christians in general, but to think that the Left has not misunderstood the separation issue is also problematic. In my opinion, when the Left wants Big Government to care for every minute detail of my life is to violate the separation issue they decry of Conservatives.

Kelly finishes with this last statement.

“And I do hope—perhaps futilely, but hope is about all I have until the next election—that he might come to understand that life is complex and colored in shades of gray, and that his beliefs are not true for everyone, everywhere. Maturity, like life, is not a destination but a journey; keep on trucking, Mr. President.”

I agree that much of life is difficult and appears gray. Much of life is left to individual conscience. But that’s just it! How does Norene know this? Are the gray areas in her life known to her through intuition? Keep on trucking Norene. Perhaps one day you’ll think through and justify what you are saying instead of suppressing the truth in unrighteousness.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Matthew 4:5-7

Once again, Gospel Fellowship in Shallow Water had to put up with me as the quest speaker. I don't know what it is, but I just can't see my notes. I look at them and think, what a bunch of nonsense! Perhaps one day I'll learn to really sit down and write a sermon that is worth preaching. Anyway, I preached on the second temptation of Christ. If you wish to suffer through it, here is the link.

Grudem and the Problem of Evil

I am reading through Grudem's chapter on God's providence. He has much to discuss on the problem of evil. His chapter is definitely worth your time. This one paragraph says the obvious problem for those who deny God's sovereign providence over evil.

We should notice that the alternatives to saying that God uses evil for His purposes, but that He never does evil and is not to be blamed for it, are not desirable ones. If we were to say that God Himself does evil, we would have to conclude that He is not a good and righteous God, and therefore that He is not really God at all. On the other hand, if we maintain that God does not use evil to fulfill His purposes, then we would have to admit that there is evil in the universe that God did not intend, is not under His control, and might not fulfill His purposes. This would make it very difficult for us to affirm that "all things" work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28). If evil came into the world in spite of the fact that God did not intend it and did not want it to be there, then what guarantee do we have that there will not be more and more evil that He does not intend and that He does not want? And what guarantee do we have that He will be able to use it for His purposes, or even that He can triumph over it? Surely this is an undesirable alternative position.

His chapter on providence is a full chapter that deals extensively with the various aspects of God's control over His creation. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Frozen Four and BoSox

It's been a good weekend for sports. Boston College wins the NCAA Frozen Four and the Red Sox are beating the Yankees 6-1 in the 3rd inning. Life has been good.


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Grudem On Creation

Wayne Grudem’s chapter on Creation in his Systematic Theology is quite a challenge. There is much discussion about the age of the earth that may be frustrating for those Christians like myself, who have already seen the wheel reinvented. I say this knowing that Christians must always be willing to reevaluate their beliefs. It is just frustrating to spend an entire chapter to basically come to the conclusion of “on the other hand”, it could be…

Grudem seems persuaded by Davis Young’s argumentation that the old earth model is “based on many kinds of scientific data from different disciplines…too be very strong.” He says this while also concluding that this militates against the natural sense of Genesis 1-11 especially 1-2.

In his section on Flood Geology he writes,

“I am not persuaded that all of the earth’s geological formations were caused by Noah’s Flood rather than by millions of years of sedimentation, volcanic eruptions, movement of glaciers, continental drift, and so forth."

This is all very interesting since even Flood Geologists don’t claim this in the absolute sense. Mount St. Helen was clearly changing the landscape post flood as recently as 1980. But he continues on to say something that is even more troubling:

"The controversy over Flood geology is strikingly different from other areas of dispute regarding creation, for its advocates have persuaded almost no professional geologists, even those who are Bible-believing evangelical Christians."

He then argues how there are books objecting to Darwinian-evolution since the theory’s inception. This is precisely the problem. Why should one accept geology that is outside of the biblical framework while not accepting Darwinian evolution? Let’s face it. It is easier to see the relation philosophically between biological evolution and special creation of Adam than it is between geological evolution and the Genesis Flood. The Flood is one of the most unbelievable stories in the Bible. We simply ignore the major impact it has on the narrative of Redemptive-history and its massive impact on the earth itself.

On page 299 Grudem writes, “These arguments favor an old earth view…” What arguments? He writes:

“Some of Young’s most forceful arguments for an old earth, in addition to those from radiometric dating, include the time required for…continental drift (fossil-bearing rock fields near the coasts of Africa and South America were apparently previously joined together, then separated by continental drift, something that could not have happened in 20,000 years at the present rate of two centimeters per year)…”

This reminded me of an atheist acquaintance I had back in New Hampshire, who said to me, “The flood could never happened because there is not enough water on the world to cover the earth. Look at the mountains for crying out loud.!”

This kind of argumentation is a clear example of violating the very thing we say we ought not to do. Whenever we read into the text of Scripture our traditions, then we do violence to the text itself and mute God’s voice.

One Flood geologists sings in a song he wrote:

Millions of dead things

Buried in rock layers

Laid down by water

All over the earth

Flood geology may not be convincing to the modern mind (evangelical or otherwise), but I have been reading and hearing story after story of how we find fossils and sedimentary layers all over the earth laid down by water activity. I must agree with Geologist Steve Austin. He argued in a video that Mount St. Helen will someday radically change geology science. I once saw a Nova [if I remember correctly] Special that interviewed scientists of many different fields making predictions about what life will be like for years to come at Mt. St. Helen. For the first half of the program all of the scientists made predictions based on their evolutionary worldview. The last half of the program was something I’ll never forget. They all had to reject what they had learned in school. Their predictions were flat wrong.

Simply because men assume that the continents have always been drifting at the rate of 2 cm per year doesn’t mean that is true. It is assumptions like that and that water could not cover the earth because the mountains are to high when Psalm 102 tells us that the mountains were raised after the flood that cause unbelief in the "natural interpretation" of the text. (For some reason, Grudem accepts the world-wide flood. But the arguments against his belief is based upon the exact same arguments!)

In conclusion, although, I agree with Grudem that if a text is unclear about a scientific position, science could perhaps gives some insight into a text. What I disagree with Grudem whole-heartedly is that all of the disciplines of man should submit to the authority of God’s Word, especially the clear teaching of Scripture. I have yet to understand why men radically change their hermeneutic when it comes to Genesis, but they are so willing to die for a literal crucifixion and burial and resurrection. Grudem must be aware that resurrection is just as radical as Flood geology, if not more so! It makes me wonder if men like Grudem are truly confident that Christ is coming again and that at His coming He will very quickly restore the heavens and earth? (I know he is, this is just a rhetorical question.)

May I recommend an excellent video by Steve Austin that addresses many of Grudem's concerns. You may get it here. You will never view geology the same way again.