Monday, June 30, 2008

Jones On Preaching the Gospel

I really do not want to be misunderstood by the videos I posted. Here are a couple of quotes from Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones that may help. The first is from Preaching & Preachers. page 17

Still worse has been the increase in the element of entertainment in public worship – the use of films and the introduction of more and more singing; the reading of the Word and prayer shortened drastically, but more and more time given to singing. You have a ‘song leader’ as a new kind of official in the church, and he conducts the singing and is supposed to produce the atmosphere. But he often takes so much time in producing the atmosphere that there is no time for preaching in the atmosphere! That is a part of this whole depreciation of the message.

Then on top of this, there is the giving of testimonies. It has been interesting to observe that as preaching as such has been on the decline, preachers have more and more used people to give their testimonies; and particularly if they are important people in any realm. This is said to attract people to the Gospel and to persuade them to listen to it. If you can find an admiral or a general or anyone who has a special title, or a baseball player, or an actor or actress or film-star, or pop-singer, or somebody well-known to the public, get them to give their testimony. This is deemed to be of much greater value than the preaching and the exposition of the Gospel. Have you noticed that I put all this under the term ‘entertainment’? That is where I believe it truly belongs. But this is what the Church has been turning to as she has turned her back upon preaching.

Here is another quote from Jones found on Scott Bailey's blog:

It is true that where sin abounded grace has much more abounded; well then, “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound yet further?” The true preaching of the gospel of salvation by grace alone always leads to the possibility of this charge being brought against it. There is no better test as to whether a man is really preaching the New Testament gospel than this, that some people might misunderstand it and mis-interpret it that it really amounts to this: that because you are saved by grace alone, it does not really matter at all WHAT you do, you can go on sinning all you like because it will redound all the more to the glory of grace. That is a very good test of gospel preaching. If my preaching of the gospel does not expose it to that misunderstanding, then it is not the gospel. Let me show you what I mean. If a man preaches justification by works, no one would ever raise the question. If he says, “If you want to go to heaven, you must stop committing sins, live a life filled with good works, and keep this up regularly and constantly until the end, then you will be a Christian and go to heaven when you die.” Obviously, no one will accuse a man who preached like this of saying, “Let us continue in sin that grace may abound.” But every preacher who preached the gospel has been accused of this! They have all been accused of “antinomianism.” I would say to all preachers: IF YOUR PREACHING OF SALVATION HAS NOT BEEN MISUNDERSTOOD IN THAT WAY, THEN YOU HAD BETTER EXAMINE YOUR SERMONS AGAIN, and you had better make sure that you really ARE preaching the salvation that is proclaimed in the New Testament to the ungodly, the sinner, to those who are dead in trespasses and sins, to those who are the enemies of God. There is a kind of dangerous element about the true presentation of the doctrine of salvation.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Which One Is the Gospel?

I was sent one video that is supposedly about the Gospel. Can you tell me which one?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Time To Brag

I thought I'd show just a few pictures of the business of late.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Germany and California Liberals

In the wake of California Judges drooling to declare Homeschooling illegal, here is more Evidence that the West is in decline from HSLDA.

HSLDA Condemns German Court
for Jailing Homeschool Parents

June 19, 2008

On Wednesday, June 18, a district court in the German state of Hesse sentenced Jurgen and Rosemary Dudek each to three months in prison simply because they homeschool their seven children.

HSLDA condemns this court ruling in the strongest possible terms. Good parents who love and care for their children should never be sentenced to prison for doing what is best for their children. Germany is a Western nation and should know better.

HSLDA will be helping the Dudeks with their appeals, but German courts have so far consistently ruled against homeschoolers.

More information will be forthcoming as this story develops, and we will keep you informed. In the meantime, please remember the Dudeks in your thoughts and prayers. The family welcomes notes of encouragement which can be sent to:

Family Dudek
Friedrichstr. 6
37293 Archfeld—GERMANY

Thank you for your interest and support of homeschooling freedom in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Do we really need more evidence that Liberals are anything but neutral?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Position Paper: Application

Devotional and Pastoral Application

All doctrines are directly tied to how we view ourselves and how we live out those beliefs. The belief on the origin of the soul is no less important. We currently live in a day where not only is the Creator/creature distinction obliterated, but Naturalism and Materialism are the predominant philosophies taught in our public schools. Racism has been a major issue for Americans.

All of mankind comes from the creative act of God on the sixth day of creation. Man is not the Creator but a creature made of body and soul. Man is made in the image of God. Most seem to argue that the soul is mainly what is being spoken of as being the image bearer of God. The practical outworking of this teaching should be obvious to all. We are not mere creatures with only a material background. We are not like dogs that seem to show much emotion. We are soulish creatures that will live long after this normal life has passed. We are to live to the glory of God. We are to live out the moral imperatives that are binding upon all of mankind by loving the Lord our God and our neighbor as ourselves.

A misnomer used in the modern vernacular is the term racism. There is only one human race. God created all men in the one race of Adam. This levels all men to being equal before God. No one is superior to another by nature.

This in turns leads us to the Doctrine of Original Sin. The Bible teaches that Adam is the Covenantal Head of the human race. When Adam sinned, because of our union with Adam, we all sinned. Adam’s sin and guilt were imputed or credited to every individual that has been propagated from him. Therefore all men die. We are sinners by nature, and God will judge all. In other words, because Adam’s nature was corrupted by his sin, he reproduces only his corrupt nature, both body and soul.

It is due to this unity in Adam that all men need a Savior, Jesus Christ. It is Jesus Christ that lived a perfect life in the place of sinners. It is Jesus Christ that bore in His own body the penalty of sin. By this sacrifice, the guilt of Adam’s sin has been removed forever. All who believe in Christ by faith alone have their guilt removed and receive His righteousness. At the resurrection, both body and soul will stand before God regenerated and once again perfect image bearers of God in Christ.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Position Paper: Objections By Boyce

Objections by Boyce

Due to the length of Boyce’s section on the origin of the soul, I will not be able to interact with everything he has to say. Boyce first critiques Traducianism and then gives a positive argument for Creationism. In his positive argument for his position he still manages to make arguments against Traducianism, which I will attempt to interact with here.

The first objection Boyce raises is the Traducianist’s argument that Genesis 5:1-3 teaches that Adam had begotten Seth in his own image, which would have included both body and soul.[1] Boyce contends that John 3:6 teaches explicitly that flesh gives birth to flesh and spirit gives birth to spirit. Boyce equivocates flesh as being the body. Therefore men only reproduce after their kind the physical body.

My answer to this objection is that even a Creationist such as Roger Nicole shows that this objection has no weight. Nicole argues that the immediate context is speaking of the natural man giving birth to the natural man.[2] In order for a natural man to see the Kingdom of God, the Holy Spirit must give the natural man new birth. Nicole also argues that 1 Corinthians 15 uses this same kind of language when referring to the natural body verses spiritual body. To see 1 Corinthians 15 in the same way Boyce sees John 3:6 would literally overthrow the meaning of the resurrection. Another verse from Luke 3:6 states, “AND ALL FLESH WILL SEE THE SALVATION OF GOD.” Does this term “flesh” [sarx], which often means body, only refer to the body in this text? Of course it does not.

In Boyce’s 4th objection he states,

“Traducianism receives strong support from the transmission of the mental and moral characteristics of men from parent to child. These become equally fixed and permanent with those of the body.”[3]
To which Boyce cites support from Dr. Hodge,
“That the mind is greatly influenced by the body cannot be denied. And a body having the physical peculiarities belonging to any race, nation, or family, may determine within certain limits the character of the soul. Sys. Theol., vol. 2, p.70.”[4]

This answer is a strong one as for the inherited characteristics are concerned. However, this does not answer all of them. No reason is offered as to why a soul is made sinful at its union with the body. Neither Boyce nor Turretin offer any explanation for how God creates sinful souls. This is important since the doctrine of Original Sin not only teaches that Adam’s sin is imputed to all of his posterity thereby leaving all men guilty, but that Adam may only give to his posterity what he has, which would be his corrupt nature and death.

A major objection to Traducianism is raised when Boyce writes,

“The chief, and almost the only objection to this theory of any weight, is that the idea of propagation of souls involves their materiality.”[5]
Dr. Francis Turretin states the argument this way,
“The same thing is proved by arguments from reason. The soul is propagated by generation, either from both parents or from one only; either as to its totality or only as to a part. But neither can be said. Not the former because thus two souls would coalesce into one and be mingled. Not the latter, for if from one (either the father or the mother only) no reason can be given why it should be propagated by the one rather than by the other (since both parents are equally the principle of generation). If the whole is propagated, then the parents will be without it and so will be deprived of life. If a part, it will be divisible and consequently material and mortal. Nor can it be reasonably replied here that neither the whole soul nor a part of it is propagated, but a certain substance born of the soul and (as it were) an immortal seed of the soul. For it is taken for granted that there is a seed of the soul by which it either generates or is generated; yet such a seed cannot be granted (which does not fall from the soul), and therefore proves it to be material and divisible.”[6]

This argument may in fact be the strongest. Science has been of great assistance as to how the body propagates, but the soul remains a mystery. It is still my opinion at this point that there is such a bond between body and soul, that where the body exists, so does the soul. Simply because time and space and matter separate persons does not mean one does not conclude logically that the soul must be divisible. Pro-Lifers often teach that human beings are fully human at conception. Yet is there not a time between parent and offspring that the divisible parts (egg and sperm) are not fully human? Some things are mysterious and the propagation of the soul is no less. Speaking of the divisibility of the soul Turretin states, “If a part, it will be divisible and consequently material and mortal.” This argument has no weight. It assumes to the nature of the soul something Traducianists do not. There is no division in God yet there are three Persons. Perhaps in a similar way God has made man. A plurality within a unity seems to be the most consistent explanation of the texts cited above such as Genesis 1:27-28.

Due to space the last objection I’d like to interact with is Boyce’s citation of Hodge’s view that God creates the soul directly with Scriptural proofs.

“The more prevalent theory as to the origin of souls is known as Creationism. It maintains that the soul of each man is directly created by God at the time of its union with its body.

The arguments in its favor are thus presented by Dr. Hodge.

(1.) ‘That it is more consistent with the prevailing representations of the Scriptures. In the original account of the creation there is a marked distinction made between the body and the soul. The one is from the earth, the other from God. This distinction is kept up throughout the Bible. Body and soul are not only represented as different substances, but also as having different origins. The body shall return to dust, says the wise man, and the spirit to God who gave it. Here the origin of the soul is represented as different from, and higher than that of the body. The former is from God in a sense in which the latter is not. In like manner God is said to form 'the spirit of man within him,' Zech. 12:1; to give 'breath unto the people upon it,' 'and spirit to them that walk therein,' Isa. 42:5. This language nearly agrees with the account of the original creation, in which God is said to have breathed into man the breath of life to indicate that the soul is not earthy or material, but had its origin immediately from God. Hence he is called 'God of the spirits of all flesh,' Num. 16:22. It could not well be said that he is God of the bodies of all men. The relation in which the soul stands to God, as its God and Creator, is very different from that in which the body stands to him. And hence in Heb. 12:9, it is said, 'We have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?' The obvious antithesis here presented is between those who are fathers of our bodies and him who is the Father of our spirits.’”[7]

This objection only shows that man is a duality. To argue that every soul must come from God directly would be to argue that every body must come directly from Adam. The Scriptures plainly teach that Adam is our father according to the flesh. Even if we maintain that this only refers to the body and not the soul, only supports that the ultimate source of the body is from the earth formed by God. So when a man dies, his body goes back to its source while the soul goes back to its source. Just as my current body did not come directly from the ground but back through Adam to the ground, so my soul, which has come down through natural propagation will go back to God.

A counter-objection would be that I am reading my understanding of Genesis 1:27 into the verses cited above. Why could not Boyce’s understanding of the verses that Hodge cites as the framework that interprets Genesis 1:27? In other words, with whose presuppositions should we start? This is the debate at hand. It is up to the reader to see which method best interprets all of Scripture and is most consistent with the doctrine of Original Sin.

[1] Boyce, Systematic Theology, 203.

[2] Lecture notes from Roger Nicole.

[3] Boyce, Systematic Theology, 203.

[4] Ibid, 204.

[5] Boyce, Systematic Theology, 205.

[6] Francis Turretin, “Creationism or Traducianism?,”

[7] Boyce, Systematic Theology, 207.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Position Paper: Biblical Defense

Biblical Defense

The first text that shows the Traducianist position is Genesis 1:27-28. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’”

This text strongly implies that God made mankind on a specific day. Although all of man had not yet sprung into existence individually, they were created in Adam on that day. It is implied that man is able to multiply through normal means in order to carry out the command of God to fill the earth. In no text where reproduction is spoken of is propagation in terms of body only.

In Genesis 2:7 we are told that “the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” Here we see that man is a united creature of both body and soul. He is seen as one. Throughout the rest of Scripture the actions of the body are seen to be the actions of the soul. They cannot be divided even though we make distinctions for theological purposes in the same way that we distinguish between Justification and Sanctification. It is impossible to divide these doctrines yet we distinguish between them.

It also must be noted from this same passage that Eve was created out of Adam. No hint is ever given that Eve’s soul came directly from God. The Apostle Paul affirms this notion when he argues for male authority over the woman in the church in 1 Cor 11:7-8, “For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man was not made from woman, but woman from man.” Therefore it ought to be seen that Eve came forth from Adam by a miraculous work of God.

Another extremely important verse is John 3:6. Jesus states, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Are we to assume this text is only referring to the body part of man that is being reproduced? The context is clear that man begets man. Man is unable to reproduce a man who is alive to God. Men are dead in sin and will always remain so. It is the Spirit that gives birth to the spirit in regeneration. This text means that the already existing soul is given new life from above. Therefore, men do reproduce men after their kind. If creationism is true in any sense, it is only true in regeneration.

Another form of argument showing the unity of man comes from Hebrews 7, “One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him.”

Here is a text that shows Abraham’s descendants in some sense actually tithed to the Priest Melchizedek since they were in the loins of Abraham. Since man is not eternal like God and is not pre-existent, each person is comes forth from the soul and body of their parents. Although individual men are separated by time and space causing the term we use “generations”, the unity of man is strongly implied. The idea that a man’s body is hidden in Abraham (perhaps genetically from the physical point of view) while his soul is waiting to come into existence from another source is not consistent with this passage.

One more example of the unity of man, both body and soul, comes from Romans 5:12, “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned…”

In this text we see that in some sense all of mankind was present in Adam when he sinned. The text teaches that Adam is mankind’s Federal Representative. Through the natural means of propagation, all of men are considered to be sinners sinning in Adam by way of imputation. Reymond states it this way,

“It [the Federal (Immediate Imputation) View] does not deny for a moment that natural union between Adam and his posterity, but it urges that the natural union only determined the ‘direction of application’ which the governing principle of representational union took.”[6]
It seems best to conclude from this text that in some sense all of Adam’s posterity was in Adam when he sinned. Therefore all sinned in Adam, as Adam is their representative.

[6] Reymond, Systematic Theology, 437.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Position Paper: Thesis


The origin of the soul has been a debated issue among Christians for centuries. It must be understood from the outset that although the historically favorable position is that of Creationism, this is an in-house debate among brothers in Christ. Historically, theological giants such as St. Athanasius, John Calvin, John Owen, Hodge, B.B. Warfield and Francis Turretin have held the Creationist view of the soul. Many Reformers and their descendants have held the Traducianist view such as Luther and Lutheran Theologians, William Shedd, A. H. Strong and G.C. Berkhower. Robert Reymond, who authored one of the textbooks for the class, also takes the Traducianist position.[1] One of the greatest church fathers, St. Augustine never firmly took a stand for either position, showing this to be a difficult question.[2] Nevertheless, the Traducian position that men are propagated through the normal means of procreation is the position that is most consistent with the Scriptural evidence. It is also the position that is able to give better answers to the creationist’s objections. It will also be shown that Traducianism is more consistent with the doctrine of Original Sin.

Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology defines the two positions in this way.

Creationism is the view that God creates a new soul for each person and sends it to that person’s body sometime between conception and birth. Traducianism, on the other hand, holds that the soul as well as the body of a child are inherited from the baby’s mother and father at the time of conception.”[3]
Creationists are basically arguing that each soul comes directly from God. This must be the case according to their view since man is a spiritual creature made in the image of God. The idea that man’s soul is tied to the body in such a way as to make it divisible and material becomes an obstacle for Creationists.

It is my understanding that man is a creature and is to propagate like any other creature. We are not each a new spiritual human race with a common physical ancestry. Man is indeed united in both body and soul, as we will see from the Scriptural arguments. However, due to the extreme difficulty of a couple of the Creationists objections, I must agree to some extent with Reymond’s statement,

“…Scripture does not give us sufficient data to conclude decisively either way, and also that neither view helps us understand the nature of man in a way that the other does not…”[4]
Therefore, although, it might be difficult to be dogmatic about such a doctrine, to say each soul is a direct creation from God seems to go against the unity of mankind in general. Men are seen all throughout Scripture as one in Adam. Robert Reymond writes in defense of the unity of body and soul in propagation,
“It appears to be everywhere assumed by Scripture that through conception human parents ‘father’ and ‘mother’ not just a physical body but the entire offspring, body and soul. When Charles Hodge, himself a staunch creationist, to avoid the conclusion that God creates sinful souls, declares: ‘we do not know how the agency of God is connected with the operation of second causes, how far that agency is mediate, and how far it is immediate,’ and then admits in his later discussion of original sin: ‘It is moreover a historical fact universally admitted, that character, within certain limits, is transmissible from parents to children. Every nation, separate tribe, and even every extended family of men, has its physical, mental, social, and moral peculiarities which are propagated from generation to generation,’ he has abandoned his creationism, for if God does immediately create souls at conception or at birth, the mental and moral characteristics of parents cannot be propagated.”[5]

[1] The list of names was given in the lecture notes from Roger Nicole’s 29th lecture.

[2] Personal notes from Roger Nicole’s lecture

[3] Grudem, Systematic Theology, 484.

[4] Reymond, Systematic Theology, 424.

[5] Reymond, Systematic Theology, 424.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Position Paper

This week I am going to attempt to write a position paper for my Founders class. It is the final project that I must do to complete the class. Hopefully over the next several days I will be able to post sections of the paper.

I will be writing about the origin of the soul. The most popular historically held position is Creationism. The position I will attempt to defend is Traducianism. In my next post I will define these terms and offer my understanding of the debate. Then I will argue for my position and give Biblical support. Then I will interact with James P. Boyce's position and answer his objections. Then I will offer pastoral and devotional applications and the importance of Traducianism as it relates to the doctrine of Original Sin.

If I deviate from said outline, you'll just have to sue me.


Monday, June 09, 2008

Corner Gas

Watching TV is getting more difficult. I love to watch Comedians and good sitcoms. Yet I literally have to pause my DVR in order to avoid the absolute total depravity with commercials showing girls gone wild. Every sitcom literally makes dozens of stupid sexual jokes, and almost all shows are difficult to watch with kids.

While being bored with the typical TV sitcoms we happen to stumble across a show that has at least 4 seasons. I am not sure where this show has been hiding or how we missed it. Perhaps it is precisely because this sitcom is not vulgar in any way that has kept it from being advertised. Whatever the reason, we are glad to have found it.

I don't usually write about sitcoms, but Corner Gas is a fantastic show. Even the commercials are clean. One Blogger describes it this way:

We immediately took to it as the humor is dry and does not rely on the typical sexual jokes, meanness, or slapstick of most Hollywood sitcoms. If you like BBC comedies, you will like “Corner Gas.”

It airs on WGN. Watch it and enjoy.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Preaching: A Means of Grace

Once again I was privileged to preach at Gospel Fellowship at Shallow Water. For some reason, they keep putting up with me. Here is a link to the sermon if you wish to suffer through it.

I ought to give a public thanks to Dr. James Renihan. Although he might not like the idea of being cited in a sermon by me, he was of great assistance via an article he wrote on the Means of Grace. I was given such short notice that I must thank God that He has given us men who equip laymen, such as myself, to do this kind of work.

Friday, June 06, 2008


If you are a Dispensationalist, is there really any reason to oppose such a ridiculous idea as this website's "WHY?"?


We all have family and friends who have failed to receive the Good News of the Gospel.
The unsaved will be 'left behind' on earth to go through the "tribulation period" after the "Rapture". You remember how, for a short time, after (9/11/01) people were open to spiritual things and answers. (We are still singing "God Bless America" at baseballs' seventh inning stretch.) Imagine how taken back they will be by the millions of missing Christians and devastation at the rapture. They will know it was true and that they have blown it. There will be a small window of time where they might be reached for the Kingdom of God. We have made it possible for you to send them a letter of love and a plea to receive Christ one last time. You can also send information based on scripture as to what will happen next. Each fulfilled prophecy will cause your letter and plea to be remembered and a decision to be made.

"WHY" is one last chance to bring them to Christ and snatch them from the flames!

This second chance-ism is has been turned into a money maker. So if you really believe this nonsense of emailing your friends and family after the rapture, just send me your money. I will be more than happy to take it.

I must confess the website looks pretty cool.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Life Is Not a Choice

Driving down the highway last night with my son, we passed a sign like this one (without the form).

Although I understand the idea is to say Life is good, but I simply can't grant the premise that it is a choice...ever! When we do this, we simply grant those who oppose God's Law the foundation for doing so.

Here is more evidence for the doctrine of Total Depravity. Mankind is always suppressing the truth of God's existence and the constant reminder in this creation that we abide under His wrath. FoxNews has reported a story of a woman who attempted to murder...ahem...abort her son. She just could not take the possibility of a child born with some kind of disease that might kill him. So she tried to kill the child in the womb. I guess out of sight is out of mind. Sad...truly sad.

In this article the writer states, "However, doctors told the couple from Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, that this child was likely to survive, so they decided he deserved a chance."

What arrogance of mankind. Men are often accused of being oppressive and suppressing women's rights. Yet, in the name of freedom from oppression, here is an example of the thinking of Feminism. Suppressing the rights of an unborn child.

This is a denial of the created order and a clear act of the rebellion against God's Law. Babies are not choices. They are gifts from God no matter how long He places them in our care.