How many Christians rail against subsidies and condemn those who benefit from them and yet these same people will support them not only in the realm of business and in terms of deductions, so-called refunds and credits but will also happily accept grants for their children to attend universities?
20 August 2015
10 August 2015
Recently while discussing child vaccinations with an acquaintance I tried to point out to him that these medical people whether right or wrong are trying to do what they think is right. They aren't dreaming of harming your children while rubbing their hands together with a sinister laugh. He didn't agree. He believes there's a conspiracy to poison children motivated by control and profits. While I may believe a pharmaceutical company will allow something to go on to maintain profits I do not believe there is a deliberate orchestrated plot to harm the public.
That kind of ended the discussion for me. There is a lot of evil in the world and many overtly evil people but his view is more akin to Hollywood or a children's novel than reality.
22 July 2015
GPTS president J. Pipa acknowledges there is some historical precedent in the Puritan tradition which understood the Mosaic epoch as containing elements of Edenic symbolism. Meredith Kline and others have argued there is, on a typological level, a replication of the Edenic administration in Israel's presence in Canaan. Israel, a type of the Second Adam was placed in the land of milk and honey and given commands to keep that would determine whether or not Israel would be permitted to stay in the 'holy place'. A failure to do so would result in expulsion and exile.
19 July 2015
In Romans 9 Paul launches into a discussion regarding Israel and brings up the very important question regarding the fate of the Jewish people. Were these people so long in covenant with God now simply abandoned? With the inclusion of the Gentiles into the New Covenant were the Jews no longer part of God's plan? Paul addresses these questions by probing the plan of God throughout history and unveiling another layer essential to understanding both the Old Testament and the nature of salvation in general. He expands on the message he's already been discussing, that salvation has always been by faith in Christ even before Christ came upon the scene. There is a grand uniting story but it is told in two very different ways and historical settings.
26 May 2015
Sometimes this charge is made and the implication is that to be labeled a New Testament Christian is a negative thing, it is to neglect the whole testimony of Scripture. The charge is common among those who in particular wish to implement aspects of the Old Testament with regard to law and government. Dominionism which undergirds both Roman Catholic and the vast majority of Protestant thought rests on such an assumption.
14 May 2015
Recently I heard what I considered to be an extreme example of the Law-Gospel hermeneutic at work. It struck me in the same way Hyper-Calvinist readings of John 3.16 or 2 Peter 3.9 can. It was a clear case of system taking precedent over the text.
06 May 2015
John MacArthur's latest newsletter addresses the current rash of protests and the growing complaint with regard to the police. Citing Ferguson as an example, MacArthur felt compelled to address the issue of obedience to the government and the important role played by the police.
He cites Romans 13 as the passage which delineates the role and responsibilities of government and how God uses it to administer justice and righteousness on earth.
26 April 2015
Ninth century bishop Claudius (or Claude) of Turin sought to effect reformation within the Church. Originally from Spain he had contact with the court of Louis, son of Charlemagne and he ended up in Turin, at the heart of a region with an already long history of ecclesiastical dissent.
23 April 2015
The Cultural Mandate or sometimes the Dominion Mandate refers to the command in Genesis 1.28 to be fruitful and multiply, to subdue the earth and to take dominion. Those that refer to it today believe it is still in effect and largely unmodified.
15 April 2015
Commentators are revisiting the issue of ECT or Evangelicals and Catholics Together. The original document was penned in 1994 and since it has been about twenty years, it's definitely a time for reflection.
Sadly I'm not terribly impressed with the analysis.
09 April 2015
As of late, listening to the media makes my head spin. I often find myself not agreeing with anyone or how anyone frames the debate. This is true when it comes to economics and Ukraine but especially when it comes to this escalation regarding homosexuality.
05 April 2015
How are we called to live under tyrannical and murderous regimes, governments that claim universal conformity and have all but deified themselves? This question is often utilized to argue for Christian involvement in war, the justification of Christian participation in government and many other issues that obfuscate the teachings of Scripture regarding the Kingdom. It also all but ignores or distorts the countless examples of faithful people from the past that have stood for truth but not turned to the sword.
30 March 2015
I am pleased to note a growing number of voices questioning the Evangelical revisionism regarding Dietrich Bonhoeffer and I felt compelled to revisit this issue once again. The Metaxas work which appeared in 2010 became quickly popular as many Evangelicals conflated Obama with Hitler. The Metaxas work must be understood in this context and reads the Nazi era through this specific American Evangelical lens.
27 March 2015
Leithart's "Defending Constantine" instantly became popular in the realm of Christian Right academia. We live in a time that historical events such as The Crusades are being revisited, run through the filter of Dominionist Revisionism and robustly defended. It hasn't happened yet with the Inquisition, but give it some time.
24 March 2015
Christian media circles are awash with reports of mass conversions throughout the Middle East. Muslims are experiencing dreams and visions of Jesus and converting to Christianity in droves.
What are we to make of such stories?
Is it possible that such a thing is occurring, and if not then what is happening?
21 March 2015
Artificial Intelligence is all the rage at the moment as the Computer Revolution prepares to take a leap into its next phase of development. However like the race for space exploration there are serious problems that have not been resolved, that will leave the quest for Artificial Intelligence (AI) much like the dream of manned deep space exploration... the realm of science fiction.
AI is predicated on a monistic view of consciousness and thus a rejection of Epistemological or Substance Dualism, the differentiation between brain and mind as well as subject and object.
16 March 2015
In Epistemology we can speak of categories which help us to organize and identify both ideas and entities. These categories can be approached from several different vantage points and thinkers have differed over how to arrange them.
12 March 2015
The folks at Reformed Forum are always interesting. I enjoy their articles and listening to their podcasts. One of them recently posted a brief piece mentioning the insistence within the Reformed tradition that revelation must not be separated from nature.
He argues revelation should not be treated in an abstractly supernatural fashion but that grace perfects nature.
He then goes on to pair the Barthian and Anabaptist views as being similar and in opposition to the Reformed view. He believes their view(s) to contain implicit dualist tendencies and represent a kind of anti-nature and anti-matter mindset. He doesn't specifically mention the Gnostics but most make the charge at this point. He then argues that the Reformed and in particular the Amillennial wing within the Reformed need to be sure not to fall into this trap.
07 March 2015
I recently saw a post on Facebook by a housewife that expressed her 'pride' in her husband that he was working the long hours that weekend. His company had a deadline to meet. She was 'proud' because his willingness to work the long hours 'enabled' her to stay home with the kids.
19 February 2015
In the mid 17th century there were Baptists remaining in Massachusetts that had not ventured to the newly founded safe-haven of Rhode Island. Rejecting many aspects of Puritan theology they met in homes on Sunday morning. They refused participation in the official state-sanctioned Church.
This was abhorrent to the Puritan authorities, an unacceptable manifestation of Pluralism, and as a result some of these Baptists were arrested, fined and for those who refused to pay... whipped.
By using the law (the threat of violence) to force people to become Christians and act in Christian manner means that instead of making disciples or converts and baptizing them we are instead threatening them with judicial action, imprisonment and death. And that's largely the story of Christendom... a false Church which perverts the Gospel and makes godliness into gain or a means of attaining power. And this church when resisted persecutes the faithful.
This Puritan view is essentially the project of the Christian Right. From Peter Marshall to David Barton, to Francis Schaeffer and Jerry Falwell, from Pat Robertson to Albert Mohler, the basic goal is the same. They believe that by Christianizing society we can somehow bring the blessings of God on America. Somehow America will please Him... as if America were the apple of His eye, the nation which somehow bears the 'blessing' which was in truth applied to Israel because it pictured Christ's Kingdom. To expect this blessing for America is to establish another messiah... a false god with a false gospel.
18 January 2015
Though many churches elevate Scripture as God's Word and many profess to follow Scripture Alone, the reality is far different. We are surrounded by Churches that have elevated tradition and cultural norms placing them on par with God's Word or in some cases above it. Others have simply given in to the world and embraced its methods to build and sustain God's Church. While we don't doubt their motives, the result has proven disastrous and instead of strengthening the Church, they've created a counterfeit.
17 January 2015
For those of you who haven't heard of Hengstenberg he was a German theologian and professor who in the midst of the Higher Critical movement of the 19th century stood firm in his conviction that the Biblical Text was divinely inspired and worthy of our trust. I can't agree with all of his views or actions but at his core and regarding this most essential of issues, Hengstenberg stands tall.
12 January 2015
The issue of Bible translations has proven to be a very confusing one. Christians are rightly concerned for the text of Scripture and there are legitimate reasons to be wary of most modern Bible translations.
10 January 2015
Taking on this status allows organizations to collect money and yet be exempt from many of the normal tax requirements. The monies are used in a non-profit capacity. They service the administrative costs of the organization and fund the social interests the organization wishes to promote. Obviously there are restrictions and guidelines as far as what types of activities fall within this spectrum. In the United States religious organizations, churches and ministries are granted this status if they apply.
08 January 2015
Recently I've been listening to some podcasts put out by Dallas Theological Seminary which if you don't know it already is usually viewed as one of the primary vehicles of Dispensationalism in the United States.
Most of the big names in the Dispensational movement have at one time or another been associated with that school.
05 January 2015
It depends on what you mean by a 'Church' building. If you mean are we opposed to a body of believers meeting under a roof, then the answer is clearly no.
If you mean, do we believe that bodies of believers should have special set-aside even consecrated buildings with their own special architecture etc....? Then, the answer is no.