Thursday, December 31, 2009

Limbaugh vs Kennedy

Here is a great example from the Politico that shows how differently both political sides see things. For those of you who do not know, Radio Show Personality, Rush Limbaugh, has been hospitalized. So at this point in the article, some are "resisting" the return favor of Limbaugh's comments about Ted Kennedy prior to his death last March when the health care bill was beginning its run. The article states,

"Resist the snark about Rush's rush to the hospital?" asked Corn. "Yeah. But remember what he said about Ted Kennedy." Corn provided a link to a Huffington Post article that referenced a March Limbaugh show in which "Limbaugh suggested that Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) would be dead by the time health care reform legislation passes. 'Before it's all over, it'll be called the Ted Kennedy memorial health care bill.'"

Wonkette chimed in with a characteristically cheeky, "RUSH LIMBAUGH is in 'serious condition' at a Hawaii hospital, and we shall save the Death Jokes until he earns them the old-fashioned way."

I listened to those shows and, again, it amazes me what is heard as opposed to what was said. Rush was not hoping Ted Kennedy would die nor was he commenting anything about Kennedy personally. We all knew he was dying. He was, in fact, making a prediction that the Political Left was going to abuse Ted Kennedy's death by politicizing it.

Another fact was that Limbaugh was glad Kennedy was not limited by the Democrat's legislation to get the best health care he could afford. He hoped Kennedy would be able to fight his illness and beat it.

So the irony is that the Political Left has done exactly what Limbaugh predicted, and they totally missed it, even now.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Whose Revelation?

While driving around the country side this morning, I listened to the White Horse Inn interview a french journalist,Uwe Siemon-Netto. Their discussion was on the ever relevant topic of Christ and culture as described on the Oneplace site here.

What is interesting about their conversation is that they discussed a point with which I have been struggling. Uwe Siemon-Nettoo pointed out that when discussing abortion with an atheist, appealing to God's revelation, the Bible, is not going to help since the atheist does not accept the Bible. Therefore, as Christians, we must appeal to "natural law" in order to persuade our neighbors including the atheist about the moral issues of the day.

Now if you remember my conversation with a commenter on the subject of homosexuality, I actually attempted to use both lines of argument, biblical revelation and natural law. Yet just as it was clear from the conversation that homosexuality is wrong based on natural law, Uwe's appeal to natural law simply begs the question. If an atheist rejects Biblical revelation because he rejects the idea of a Sovereign Creator, then how will appealing to "natural law" be of any assistance since natural law requires by definition a Law Giver?

One of the things (if I remember correctly) I appealed to in my discussion on homosexuality was the Creator/creature distinction and the created order and purpose/design of nature in general and mankind in particular. We now live in a culture that rejects both general revelation and special revelation. Our culture has become completely saturated with the idea that revelation comes from within the belly (as the Mormon likes to put it).

Now I realize that the law of God is written upon man, and therefore he knows right from wrong. In fact, he lives as if God exists throughout every day of his life. I also realize it is to this [image of God within men] that the journalist is appealing. Yet so many of our fellow citizens are suppressing this image of God within them to such great extent, that reasoning with them is becoming more and more difficult.

For now, I will be meditating on how the Christian in particular and the church as a whole in general may remain a prophetic voice of God's law and Gospel, while at the same time living with his neighbor and contending for what is right in the political realm. One idea that has occurred to me partly took place in an interview with Greg Koukl from Stand To Reason the week prior also on the White Horse Inn.

In a question of whether or not the Christian needed to defend the inerrancy of Scripture with the skeptic, Koukl bascially argued no. He noted that Scripture is self-attesting but that the non-Christian would not see that and no Christian evangelist in the New Testament went forth with that as being the main message. This perspective really struck home with me as I have been meditating on Matthew's words at the end of chapter 7.
28When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
It is interesting to note that Jesus would obviously know that His own words have their own authority. He needs no testimony of man to verify the truth He speaks. Yet Jesus does not run out and say, "Believe Me because I am self-authenticating." Instead, it is something that is naturally or perhaps supernaturally seen and recognized.

So how does this all tie together? Well, I am thinking (still working through this) there is a time and place for appealing to "natural law" and God's revelation. The Christian must keep in mind that the United States is not a theocracy. Yet at the same time God's has instituted kingdoms to restrain evil and fulfill His purposes. The more a secular state understands their position before God, the better it will be for its citizenry.

The Christian must also understand that there will be times when society will reject God's law. Jesus' Kingdom is not of this age even though it is now breaking in. Using wisdom from New Testament Revelation to guide us should be our first priority as we struggle in our attempt to be salt and light in the world in which we live.

Compare Reporters Perspectives On Obama

The over sensitive Politico came running to defend President Obama.

"Quarrel over the facts"? Here is a portion of Toby Harnden from the Telegraph UK.

4. In his studied desire to be the unBush by responding coolly to events like this, Obama is dangerously close to failing as a leader. Yes, it is good not to shoot from the hip and make broad assertions without the facts. But Obama took three days before speaking to the American people, emerging on Monday in between golf and tennis games in Hawaii to deliver a rather tepid address that significantly underplayed what happened. He described Abdulmutallab as an “isolated extremist” who “allegedly tried to ignite an explosive device on his body” – phrases that indicate a legalistic, downplaying approach that alarms rather than reassures. Today’s words showed a lot more fire and desire to get on top of things – we’ll see whether Obama follows through with action. In the meantime, he went snorkelling.

5. There has been a pattern developing with the Obama administration trying to minimise terrorist attacks. We saw it with Abdul Hakim Mujahid Muhammad, a Muslim convert who murdered a US Army recruit in Little Rock, Arkansas in June. We saw it with Major Nidal Malik Hassan, a Muslim with Palestinian roots who slaughtered 13 at Fort Hood, Texas last month. In both cases, there were Yemen connections. Obama began to take the same approach with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. We’ll see whether this incident shakes him out of that complacency. Whether it’s called the war on terror or not, it’s clear that the US is at war against al-Qaeda and radical Islamists.

It may be clear to this reporter, but it is not clear to me that the President knows we are at war. So in a true comparison, Bush would have treated this Christmas plot as a terrorist action and an act of war. Obama treats this as a typical legal issue. If you have any doubts, New York trial of 9/11 terrorists should be more than sufficient evidence to see where the Political Left desires to take this.

Dr. White also offers some insight into the Muslim mindset in his article

Dar Al-Harb: Why You Need to Know This Arabic Phrase.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Spurgeon On Baptism

In Malone's Appendix A: Spurgeon On Baptism, I thought this portion towards the end of the section on liberty was interesting.
We believe in what has just fallen from the lips of the Rev. W. Walters respecting the Baptists of this country. "From the beginning," says Locke, "they were the friends and advocates of absolute liberty--just and true liberty, equal and impartial liberty." The claim which we make to have been the first expositors and advocates in modern times of religious liberty, is based on the surest foundation, and is capable of the most satisfactory proof." Instead of exalting believer's baptism above measure, we say in the words of our honourable and Rev. brother Noel, "It is not separation from the church of Rome, or from the church of England, nor a scriptural organization, nor evangelical doctrine, which can alone secure our Savior's approbation." They who speak of infant baptism as a putting of the child's name in a will by the parent, need to be reminded of God's prerogative, and of the character of His government as revealed in the words; "All souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die." Who, believing this testimony, can also believe that unbaptized infants are "sucking pagans," while those kindly baptized through parental influence are sucking Christians?
That last line pretty much sums it up. To make the Old Covenant the New Covenant is to be inconsistent in the view of the perfection of Christ's work.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Fred Malone: The Baptism of Disciples Alone

I finally finished Fred Malone's, The Baptism of Disciples Alone (although I still have the 100 pages of appendices). This book is a great follow up to Alan Conner's, Covenant Children Today: Physical or Spiritual? If you are desiring to learn the biblical and covenantal reasons why Credo-Baptists believe that baptism is reserved for believers/disciples only, then both of these books are a must for your library.

I am convinced that Malone's book should be read after Conner's book simply because I think most Baptists are unfamiliar with Covenant Theology. Conner's book truly is a first step into understanding the nature of the New Covenant and its relationship to Baptism.

Malone's book also deals with the covenantal framework of the bible as it relates to the sign and seal of the covenants. What makes Malone's book a second step is that Malone spends much time teaching some basic hermeneutic approaches to reading the bible. Malone emphasizes over and over again the "Regulative Principle of Worship" as a guide to making certain we follow Christ's commands and not man-made acts of worship. He distinguishes between "good and necessary inferences and consequences" as opposed to clear and explicit commands in the New Testament regarding Christ's instituted sacraments. With the ground work set, he makes his convincing arguments for the baptism of disciples alone.

Pastor Malone writes as a concerned pastor. He offers his own personal testimony as a credo- baptist convert to paedo-baptistism (infant baptistism position) back to credo-baptistism. He writes as one who desires to see consistency and reformation among Southern Baptists. In his chapter entitled, "What Difference Does It Make", I feel he is writing to me.
Third, the church as an assembly of baptized disciples demands that the worship and teaching ministry of the church on the Lord's Day be geared toward disciples, people of faith, not "seekers." The Great Commission requires that baptized disciples be taught "to do all that [Christ] commanded [His disciples]." Systematic expository teaching and preaching is a commandment of the Great Commission. This is what is missing in many of our Baptist churches today, though commanded by Jesus Christ. I believe that the expository preaching of the PCA has attracted many former Southern Baptists who are hungry for the Word of God. Oh, that Baptist churches would follow the Great Commission and teach the whole council of God to people! Because faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ, systematic expository preaching will edify the saints and evangelize the sinner at the same time. Those Baptist churches that commit themselves to an expository, teaching ministry to the saints will see the fruit of obedience to Christ in the method by which He builds His church. The method of Christ is as clearly revealed in Scripture as the message.
I could not agree more. The method pastors use from the pulpit will be intuitively received as the the method to study the bible at home. If pastors consistently use topical sermons with unbiblical methods, then their congregation will soon follow. It is no wonder so many baptists have abandoned their historical roots in favor of seeker friendly methods instead of relying of Christ's Gospel and His instituted sacraments. If we truly desire to follow Christ and obey is commandments, then we must learn to be consistent in our interpretive methodology. If we do so, then we will learn the New Testament's teaching on the nature of salvation and the New Covenant sign of baptism. As he concludes this same chapter.
As the Old Testament children entered the Abrahamic Covenant through circumcision of the flesh, sealed individually by the righteousness of faith, so our New Covenant children enter the New Covenant by the individual circumcision of the heart, sealed by the Holy Spirit, revealed in their confession of faith, and signified by the sign of the baptism--the baptism of disciples alone.
Even though this book is primarily about the subjects of baptism, it has more practical applications than just baptism of disciples alone. Get it. Read it. Wrestle with it. Be blessed by it.

Pastor Malone has done a great service to those who desire to be faithful to the New Covenant that Christ has instituted.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Dr. White Responds On the D/L

Dr. White addresses the Manhattan Declaration on his D/L podcast.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Jacob, the 3-year-old, must read the hymnal to know how to sing this Christmas carol. Don't all 3-year-olds read?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

WorldNetDaily Takes On MacArthur

Dave Welch at WorldNet Daily has taken on John MacArthur, and those who would agree with MacArthur, about their opposition to the Manhattan declaration. Read the article here. Having read the article, I am wondering where the substance is. In fact, I am wonder if he even read the reasons MacArthur opposes the Declaration, and if he did, is he going to try to interact with them anywhere? If so, it certainly is not in this article. He concludes the article by saying,
I am thankful beyond measure that clergy like MacArthur were outnumbered by the "Black Regiment" of patriot pastors not only of our founding era but through the ages. His position of disengagement against tyrants, perpetrators of injustice and amoral agents bent on destroying God's created order, is, I humbly assert, a denial of the full Gospel that redeems everything a true believer touches.
Ummmm, what does this have to do with the current declaration? Mr. Welch seems to miss the obvious. Standing shoulder to shoulder with our neighbor in doing what is right is not the same thing as declaring Rome's Gospel to be Christian? This is a massive confusion of the two kingdoms. (Institution verses individual counter argument below)

False accusation:
The tragic truth is that if the Christian church in this country were actually carrying out the Great Commission in the form of the early church, from Apostles to martyrs through the ages (including many Catholic priests and missionaries, by the way), our nation would be spiritually, morally, culturally and politically reflective of the righteous fruits of the Spirit. We are clearly not.
To accuse John MacArthur of not producing godly disciples along with the average evangelical church is to tragically miss the mark. I can't even begin to understand this kind of non-argument.

False accusation:

I would concur heartily with Dr. MacArthur that the above has always been and must be the first order of business

for the institution of the church – but not the only business. Using his logic, the early church should have left the unwanted babies to die in the fields, the Reformers should have stayed silent against heresy, and men like Wilberforce were out of line fighting for the dignity and freedom of the slaves.

Are we really going to accuse John MacArthur as teaching disengagement simply because he recognizes a false ecumenical movement when he sees it? Do we really think that John MacArthur would stand against William Wilberforce? Mr Welch, please provide some kind of evidence to support such a claim.

Common Faith?
The Manhattan Declaration is a statement of common faith and First Principles by individuals, not by institutions, and I challenge John MacArthur to personally prove that any or all of the signers are not followers of Jesus Christ. I don't believe he is that arrogant.
All signers of heretical institutions are Christians? I would like to know how Mr. Welch knows this. I think it is completely arrogant to say anyone who claims to believe in the Gospel while ascribing to institutions that explicitly reject the Gospel is arrogance of the worst kind. It is to say you know what they believe personally as opposed to what is stated in their confessions.

By this poor argument, if he were to be consistent, then why not allow Mormons to sign this document. As he states earlier in the article,
However, time and time again over the past 20 years I have stood side by side with Catholics – and Mormons – who shamed the evangelical church by the level to which they put their money and their time where their faith is in standing for life and marriage. According to a California Proposition 8 insider, over three-fourths of the money and volunteers for that effort came from those two religious groups – again.
So hey, if this is merely about individuals, and if being a member of a certain heretical institution is not determinative of whether or not one is confessionally Christian, then change the statement in the Declaration to involve Mormons.

Mr. Welch seems to miss the substance in his response to John MacArthur. In fact, I am wondering to what exactly he is responding.

Who would disagree with this statement?
I can speak with the authority of a quarter century experience in the pro-life, pro-family evangelical grass-roots and "grass-tops" trenches that I don't know one Christian activist or leader I have ever interacted with who did not believe, as Dr. D. James Kennedy asserted, "There is no reformation without redemption"; that a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is the starting point for all personal and corporate renewal.
As a Christian Van Tillian presuppositionalist, I believe the Christian must start with the Trinity and the Gospel and God's revelation to man. It is with this starting point that we engage the unbeliever and our communities. This, the Manhattan Declaration confuses at best and abandons completely at worst the two-kingdom model and the Gospel. For example,
I do not and will not assert that I agree with the doctrines of the Catholic or Orthodox churches any more than I agree with all the doctrines of the Assemblies of God, Southern Baptist Convention, Presbyterian, Anglican, Methodist, Episcopalian and over 20,000 other denominations in the United States.
Mr. Welch does not really believe this. For he states a couple of paragraphs earlier that he believes in the "Solas" of the Reformation. Yet it is here he makes his confusion. Rome is not just another denomination. To compare them as such is to make MacArthur's case and prove his point.

In conclusion,
"MacArthur's primary objection is that "The Gospel is barely mentioned in the Declaration." He is also opposed because, "Thus for the sake of issuing a manifesto decrying certain moral and political issues, the Declaration obscures both the importance of the Gospel and the very substance of the Gospel message."

I must state why I believe he has missed the point of the Declaration..."
No, it is Mr. Welch who has missed the point. Never once does he deal MacArthur's charge that the Gospel is obscured. In fact, he demonstrates MacArthur's observation that it does just that.

If we are going to start with the Gospel as the center, then it must be properly defined. The Manhattan Declaration does not do this in any way, shape or form. As far as I can see, it is Mr. Welch, who is wrong on this one.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Man With Leprosy

Each Sunday, I try to take time and have a devotional with my family. We have been working our way through the Gospel of Matthew for quite some time. So I thought I would try something new and share some of our devotions as time allows. The text this past Sunday was Matthew 8:
The Man With Leprosy
1When he came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. 2A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean."

3Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" Immediately he was cured of his leprosy. 4Then Jesus said to him, "See that you don't tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them."

This text follows immediately after the Sermon on the Mount. I don't think the importance of this sermon should be missed. For Matthew concludes the sermon with this thought,

28When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

Why were they amazed? Because Jesus spoke as one who had authority. If we keep in mind the scope of Matthew, we will remember he is establishing Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah who fulfills the Hebrew Scriptures. It may very well be that Jesus is being seen as speaking as a New Covenant Mediator, who is establishing the importance of God's law among the covenant people.

It is quite possible that since Jesus is being seen as one who is able to institute the New Covenant and the Kingdom that the people may look to Him for answers. So what do we see? In verses 1 & 2 a man with leprosy comes to Jesus. He clearly sees Jesus as one who is in authority to free him from his bondage. This man sees that the law has bound to him to a state of uncleanness. Unless a covenant Mediator does something, he will remain in his uncleanness.

The man with leprosy comes humbly to Christ. He comes on bended knee. He asks Jesus if He is willing. Jesus is willing and cleans him of his disease. The man is then commanded to go and fulfill his duty as Moses required. He was to demonstrate that he had indeed been cleansed by the sovereign work of God.

Application #1
A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean." 3Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!"
Today, we do not have ceremonial laws calling diseased men "unclean". However, Dear Sinner, is this not a type or shadow of what it means to be a sinner before God? Has not your sin declared you unclean and guilty before a holy and righteous God?

Perhaps you are an outcast where you live. Perhaps you have violated local customs and are seen to be "unclean". Perhaps you have cancer and your disease has made you feel ugly before men? Perhaps you struggle with pornography or alcohol or drugs or stealing or sexual immorality or lying or coveting. Come to Christ.

Will you see yourself as you truly are? Will you come to Christ recognizing that there is no one else with the authority to cleanse you from all unrighteousness? Come today and receive from Jesus the free gift of everlasting life. Enter into His perfect covenant that He has kept before God in your place.

Jesus is indeed willing to receive you.

Application #2
See that you don't tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.
Today, we do not have priests to go and show ourselves to be clean as in Moses' day. Instead, I believe the text would apply in the life of the Christian believer to exercise wisdom in how he is to live his life.

We do not need to go and brag about how our lives in particular have been changed. For if we make the Gospel about ourselves, then we run the risk of getting men to look at us instead of driving the attention of men to Christ.

Instead, we ought to live or at least attempt to live in light of what Christ has done for us. We ought to govern our lives so as we grow in grace and knowledge of our Savior, we might learn to live consistent and godly lives. In doing so, we might gain an audience with our neighbors, co-workers, friends and relatives and perhaps even complete strangers to proclaim the Good News of what Christ has done in history on behalf of His Covenant people.

In conclusion, although this text was primarily for the Jew living under the Old Covenant, Jesus is the fulfillment of all of the Law and Prophets. He is the one who takes away the sin of the world. He is the New Covenant Mediator. He is the perfect Savior who will save His people from the their sins. As the Christmas message reminds us every year,
20But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,c]">[c] because he will save his people from their sins."
Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Natural Verses Super-Natural

I should probably clarify the naturalistic verses super-naturalistic explanations of evidence.

By naturalistic, I realize that for the naturalist, everything is within a naturalistic framework. Therefore everything has a naturalistic answer. Even the building of this computer system or the typing of this post is within a naturalistic view. This is why when an evolutionist looks at DNA, he doesn't see the information contained within it in the same manner a creationist does.

For the creationist sees a distinction between things that occur naturally as opposed to things that occur by intelligent design. For a computer system and its software has no natural explanation if we distinguish between and define things that occur naturally as opposed to super-naturally.

Here is the problem for the creationist from the evolutionist perspective. Human beings existence in nature. Therefore we came about by naturalistic means. Chromosomes and DNA do things all by themselves. They are in nature. Therefore they happen naturally.

The response by the creationist is quite simple. Even the naturalist recognizes things that are intelligently designed. When he walks down the street and sees a book on the ground, his first thought is not, "Gee, what a series of accidents." He doesn't even try to justify or rationalize his knowledge that the book has an author. Or perhaps when he is on a nature hike, and he picks up a stone and sees it is designed to be an arrow head. He doesn't think to himself, "Gee, what a series of accidents that formed this arrow head." He just knows the arrow head has a designer.

Therefore, when the creationist says "super-natural", he is simply distinguishing that which has intelligent design, whether it be a computer, car or DNA from that which occurs without intelligent design, such as metal on your car rusting or your computer breaking when it falls to the ground or crystals forming or erosion on a beach.

As the Apostle Paul says in Romans 1
18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
In conclusion, the creationist is arguing that DNA is violating natural laws. It does things that would only happen if intelligently designed to do so. DNA does not naturally form anymore than a Blog post. It is incumbent upon the naturalist to demonstrate the consistency of his worldview and to demonstrate that everything that happens does so without any intelligent design at all.

They do not live this way in every area of life in which they do not have to actively suppress the truth of God's existence. It is only when their guilt is pressed upon them by the testimony of nature that they become futile in their thinking and hardened in their hearts toward God.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Smoking Gun

If you have followed Mr. Ape's comments on the "Is Evolution a Hoax?", you will see he has the "smoking gun" evidence for the theory of evolution. It is Chromosome #2. Now you need to watch the video to learn the argument supporting the idea that a chimpanzee/human ancestor once had 48 chromosomes. After the chimps and humans split, there was a fusion of chromosomes. Since the DNA among other things is what evolutionists predicted would have occurred, evolution is now an established fact. (Although I am wondering as to what else it would look like for creationist theories)

Now as a layman, I don't necessarily follow all of the complicated scientific aspects of the argument. But the argument basically sounded similar to the star light problem. If the creation is only 6,000 years old, and star light that comes from a particular star that is 3 million light years away and it took 3 million years for the light to arrive on earth, then either we are looking at a false history of a particular star or the star light actually comes from the star, and it actually took 3 million year years to travel to get here. Thereby making the universe much older than what Genesis 1 teaches.

However, over the years, I have learned that there are many assumptions that go into scientific claims, whether they be evolutionary claims or creationist claims. So the issue is not one of evidence, but one of presuppositions. Another problem is that scientific "facts" often change. Although that is really not true, but our understanding of how the world works and our understanding of the "facts" does change. Being that our learning about chromosome #2 is still relatively new, I am most certain that our understanding of this "dilemma" will only increase.

I could sit here and list all of the past dilemmas that have caused Bible believing Christians to struggle. Yet there is no need to do that here. Suffice it to say that Evolutionists will always have a new "smoking gun". Trying to keep up the tit for tats only gives headaches and never deals with the real issues.

However, I thought an analogy for the new smoking gun might help. So I would like to use a schematic design of 2 vehicles that parallels the "DNA" of humans and chimps. As I understand what is being said, chimps have 48 chromosomes and humans have 46. So lets say there are 50 pages of schematics (only information on one side) for a Ford Explorer and only 45 pages for a Chevy Suburban. Upon examination, it was discovered that the Suburban's last 5 pages had copies on both sides. For the rest of the pages, only one side had information. Therefore both really had the same amount of information.

Could it be that both have a common ancestor and evolved into their current form? The evidence could seem that the information on the double sided pages of the Suburban were very similar to the Ford Explorer's one-sided pages. This might cause us to think they evolved. But is evolution the only possibility? According to Mr. Ape, evolution is the only answer.
They [scientists] must use natural explanations for everything. If every time a scientist who was unable to solve a problem said God must have magically created this, then human progress would come to a complete stop.
So even though creationists could postulate an explanation for the analogy I used or an explanation of the Chromosome #2 dilemma, by definition they are kept from doing so. Why? Mr. Ape's presuppositions have blinded him from any alternative explanations. Scientists should be open-minded to alternate theories. Mr. Ape is not. He is nothing short of a Fundamentalist of the naturalistic/materialist kind.

From a creationist perspective, I think the smoking gun is in the "irreducible complexities" argument. It is one thing to argue from information that already exists in DNA. It is quite another to show how DNA and the organism both came into existence. But I live in the world that allows for both naturalistic and super-naturalistic answers.

Mr. Ape lives in the world of creationism. Mr. Ape believes in morality. He uses language and the laws of logic and reason. He believes in the scientific method. He refrains from stepping in front of buses or jumping off of bridges. He lives as a creationist in every area of life except for one.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

RB Christmas Humor

If you have always heard that Reformed Baptists have no sense of humor, well...

Friday, December 11, 2009

NASA Is Involved?

In the mid-nineties, I remember being told that the ozone hole was recorded at its biggest ever. This meant that we were needing to stop our polluting the sky with our CFC hair sprays and building refrigerators with certain kinds of refrigerants. We don't hear much about that anymore simply because the Left won that battle. Big Corporations got rich and the Left moved onto to bigger battles.

However, what I thought was interesting was that NASA only reported part of the story. The same years that the largest ozone hole was being recorded was also the year the smallest ozone hole was recorded. Why NASA and the Media reported these things in the manner they did may be different. For NASA, it was always budget time. For the Media, well I am certain you may figure that out on your own.

NewsMax is now reporting a story on NASA.
Climategate may be just the tip of the global-warming iceberg, according to experts. The next weather-science scandal may erupt right here in the United States. For nearly three years, NASA has resisted the efforts of free-market groups to release e-mails that could reflect the same sort of pro-warming bias seen in the recent e-mails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of East Anglia University.
Well, the evidence is not in yet as to whether this story has any real basis. But knowing what NASA has done in the past, it sure would not be a shocker to find out the same thing has occurred here.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The True First Black President

Here is the man who should have been the first black President. Equal opportunity instead of equal outcome is fundamental to liberty. But I am certain Republicans will miss this opportunity as well for some good old boy geezer like McCain.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Sea Has Risen 80 Feet?

I had better call my parents to see if they have had to move because the sea levels have risen approximately 80 feet, and my parent's home is at approximately 70 feet.

Al Gore said in this article that 40% of the North Polar ice cap is disappearing.
These people are examining what they can or should do to deal with the P.R. dimensions of this, but where the scientific consensus is concerned, it's completely unchanged. What we're seeing is a set of changes worldwide that just make this discussion over 10-year-old e-mails kind of silly.* The entire North Polar ice cap is disappearing before our very eyes. It's been the size of the continental United States for the last 3 million years and now 40 percent is gone and the rest of it is going. The mountain glaciers are going. We've had record storms, droughts, fires, and floods. There is an air of unreality in debating these arcane points when the world is changing in such dramatic ways right in front of our eyes because of global warming.
According to HowStuffWorks,
If all of the Antarctic ice melted, sea levels around the world would rise about 61 meters (200 feet).
Now perhaps just the northern ice cap has melted before our very eyes and not the southern ice cap. So the sea levels have only risen 40 feet. If so, then my parents still have some time to escape the coming wrath of nature.

Al Gore Speaks About Emails has posted this Blog post by Andrew Bolt. The quote is from an interview posted at Slate.

Q: How damaging to your argument was the disclosure of e-mails from the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University?

A: To paraphrase Shakespeare, it’s sound and fury signifying nothing. I haven’t read all the e-mails, but the most recent one is more than 10 years old. These private exchanges between these scientists do not in any way cause any question about the scientific consensus.

Apparently, anyone who disagrees is not a real scientist, because hey!, there is a consensus. What is really interesting is the facts of the dates on the emails. They range from 10 years ago to last month. Al Gore doesn't debate this topic and for obvious reasons.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Is Evolution a Hoax?

I realize that if you're not a flat-earther...I mean if you're not a Biblical creationist, then anything a Creationist has to say is just bunk. But after watching Clash of the Dinosaurs last night on the Discovery channel, I was reminded how this Global Warming hoax is just a microcosm of the entire theory of evolution.

Years ago I remember reading a quote supposedly by an Evolutionist arguing that evolution must be true since creationism is ridiculous. In this article, an evolutionist tries to defend Dr. Wald's position by quoting him properly.

The original quote is probably in reference to this,
We tell this story to beginning students in biology as though it represented a triumph of reason over mysticism. In fact it is very nearly the opposite. The reasonable view was to believe in spontaneous generation; the only alternative, to believe in a single, primary act of supernatural creation. There is no third position. For this reason many scientists a century ago chose to regard the belief in spontaneous generation as a "philosophical necessity". It is a symptom of the philosophical poverty of our time that this necessity is no longer appreciated. Most modern biologists, having reviewed with satisfaction the downfall of the spontaneous generation hypothesis, yet unwilling to accept the alternative belief in special creation, are left with nothing.
To which Dr. Wald responds,
I think a scientist has no choice but to approach the origin of life through a hypothesis of spontaneous generation. What the controversy reviewed above showed to be untenable is only the belief that living organisms arise spontaneously under present conditions. We have now to face a somewhat different problem: how organisms may have arisen spontaneously under different conditions in some former period, granted that they do so no longer.
Why does Dr. Wald think a scientist has to approach the origin of life through the hypothesis of spontaneous generation? Because in his mind, Louis Pasteur only perpetuated a myth of creationism. Pasteur was rejecting a "common-sense a belief as that in spontaneous generation".

In the conclusion of the article, Dr. Wald is quoted as saying,

The important point is that since the origin of life belongs in the category of at-least-once phenomena, time is on its side. However improbable we regard this event, or any of the steps which it involves, given enough time it will almost certainly happen at lest once. And for life as we know it, with its capacity for growth and reproduction, once may be enough.

Time is in fact the hero of the plot. The time with which we have to deal is of the order of two [sic] billion years. What we regard as impossible on the basis of human experience is meaningless here. Given so much time, the "impossible" becomes possible, the possible probable, and the probable virtually certain. One has only to wait; time itself performs the miracles.

So hey, give something enough time, and something magical will happen. This is called reason over mysticism. Sorry, folks. This is as religious as anything I have read. We didn't observe it. We don't know how it happened. We don't know where it happened. We don't know really much of anything. But we are here, so it must have happened.

I think the misquote by some over zealous creationist got the spirit of the presuppositions correct.

The Coming Global Ice Age

For those of you who do not remember or are too young to remember the Ice Age scare, this article by Gary Sutton at is a common sense reminder of the problems caused when science and government are joined at the hip.

See if this paragraph doesn't remind you of anything familiar about the current "crisis".
In 1974, the National Science Board announced: "During the last 20 to 30 years, world temperature has fallen, irregularly at first but more sharply over the last decade. Judging from the record of the past interglacial ages, the present time of high temperatures should be drawing to an end…leading into the next ice age."
Now if our government will just "Downplay that embarrassing old chart [then] maybe nobody will notice". The problem is, "Sorry, I noticed." I noticed as well.

If you rob a bank for $50 bucks, you go to prison. If you run a pyramid scam, the government will come after you in a big way. If you extort money from employees retirement accounts in corporate America, the American people want your head. The fact is, science and government are defrauding millions and millions of tax dollars out of the American people's pocket books. Perhaps these emails will cause more Americans to take notice that "Thou shalt not steal" applies to everyone.

His concluding paragraph sums it up.
Sadly, the public just learned that our scientific community hid data and censored critics. Maybe the feds should drop this crusade and focus on our health care crisis. They should, of course, ignore the life insurance statistics that show every class of American and both genders are living longer than ever. That's another inconvenient fact.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Can Baptists Be Reformed?

A recent discussion has been taking place within Reformed circles of whether or not Reformed Baptists have a right to claim the term "Reformed" as a proper nomenclature for their identity. For instance Dean Gonzales has written a blog post here, and James White has responded in part to Dr. Clark as well here.

For those of you who would like to listen to a fascinating discussion of an overview of the history of the three streams of Baptists as they relate to the Reformation and Reformed churches, please listen to the Reformed Forum's, Christ the Center podcast. This particular discussion lasts for over 80 minutes and is very helpful for those who are Baptist and are embracing the Reformed faith.

I don't know who James is, but he does an excellent job at explaining the origins of the English Particular Baptists, the Seven Churches of London. At the 55 minute point, he also makes a very good defense of the Baptist position by showing its consistency with the New Testament's eschatology and the New Testament's interpretation of the Covenantal outworking of redemptive history.

Just download and listen already.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Manhattan Declaration

Both Alistair Begg and Michael Horton have commented on the Manhattan Declaration. Both reviews are very helpful (read here & here).

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

From the Pastor's Desk: part 9: Finally, The End

One last post on Pastor Butler's sermon. The last section of his notes state,
Romans 10: 10-15, "For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing His riches on all who call on Him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?"

Interesting! If elected, then why the need to believe?

If elected, then why the need to preach?
Although much of this objection has been dealt with, one other aspect needs to be noted. The fact is, the non-Calvinist's (basically Arminian position at this point) position on the providence of God needs to be explained. The fact that God has decreed all things and governs all things does not mean that men are robots. Please note the London Baptist Confession on God's Decree.
1._____ God hath decreed in himself, from all eternity, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably, all things, whatsoever comes to pass; yet so as thereby is God neither the author of sin nor hath fellowship with any therein; nor is violence offered to the will of the creature, nor yet is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established; in which appears his wisdom in disposing all things, and power and faithfulness in accomplishing his decree. [emphasis mine]
It is precisely because God decrees all things that man's will is "established". If God has not decreed all things, then the only logical viewpoint would be some kind of Fatalism. There is no such thing as autonomous free will.

The section in the LBCF on God's providence is also helpful at this point.
2._____ Although in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first cause, all things come to pass immutably and infallibly; so that there is not anything befalls any by chance, or without his providence; yet by the same providence he ordereth them to fall out according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.
And paragraph 3 states,
3._____ God, in his ordinary providence maketh use of means, yet is free to work without, above, and against them at his pleasure.
What the non-Calvinist seems to miss is that God not only decrees the ends but the means as well. So when Paul asks in Romans 10 as to how will unbelievers believe if they have not heard? Well, the Calvinist is not saying God will "zap" them. Again, in God's providence, in this case Special Providence for His people, God uses means to accomplish the end.

Therefore, with what was said in a previous post about the secret decrees of God, since men do not know who the elect are by just some special revelation that God has not given, we must do as the Apostle Peter says.
Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure.
We are not to assume our election as many Dispensationalists/Once Saved Always Saved do. Instead we are to do what Reformed theology has long taught. We are to as Paul says elsewhere,
continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
This is not to gain salvation, but because of what Christ has done for us, we may now freely die with Christ.

In conclusion, I am willing to bet that there is much in the Confession that Pastor Butler would agree with at this point. I doubt Pastor Butler is some kind of Deist or Fatalist or Open-Theist. It is my hope that he would be willing to sit down with us and come to an understanding of what Calvinism/Reformed Theology actually teaches as opposed to his caricatures. Perhaps then both of our churches will have true fellowship based upon a mutual understanding of our respective positions, united by Christ's Gospel.