Things You Catch Third Time Around
Since I was in Georgia last weekend,
we started showing the Tampa debate with Greg Stafford in the
Bible Study class I teach at PRBC. We continued that
this morning, since we hadn't quite finished my opening
statement last week. I had presented the first portion
of the debate in my Systematic Theology class at GGBTS a few
weeks ago as well, so I have now heard Mr. Stafford's opening
statement three times. But it was not until this morning
that I caught something (that I wish I had caught then).
Mr. Stafford places a lot of emphasis (I think quite wrongly)
on John 10:30-35 as if the Lord Jesus is identifying Himself
as a similar kind of lesser "god" just as the "gods" of Psalm
82. But as I was listening to him make his presentation
this morning, I caught that he was quoting from the NWT.
And as he read it again, something struck my attention.
I pulled up the passage on my Tungsten T3 (which, of course,
aside from having the LDS Scriptures installed, likewise has
the NWT), and discovered the following translation of John
10:35: "If he called ‘gods’ those against whom the word
of God came, and yet the Scripture cannot be nullified...."
See what I see? The NWT translates "pros" as "against."
About the only reason I can see for this rather unusual
translation is that the "translators" are providing their
interpretation: the word of God came "against" these "gods,"
i.e., the "gods" of Psalm 82 are, in fact, false judges.
The NWT seemingly sees Psalm 82 as being "against" those who
are called gods, and this could only refer to a concept of
judgment (and in that case, they are right in their
understanding of Psalm 82). But this is not the
use being made by Mr. Stafford. I found it ironic that a
plain reading of his own translation militates against his own
interpretation (but supports mine).
The Irrationality of the Left
I hear Rosie O'Donnell joined the growing anarchy
movement. You can't listen to the media these days
without hearing the left (and the middle) spitting in God's
face. Surely, "the wrath of God is being revealed
(present tense) from heaven against all ungodliness and
unrighteousness of men" (Romans 1:18). The culture wars
seem to be little more than a rear-guard action these days.
The intention of the original founders of the nation are,
functionally, irrelevant. Transcendent morality has been
banished from public dialogue as any thought that God may have
in fact revealed His truth on such issues is considered
offensive and un-American. Most "conservatives" are
fighting a losing battle, for they themselves have lost the
will to say, "Yes, there is a right and a wrong, it is not a
matter of opinion it is a matter of revelation, and the
choices you make on these things do impact me and my
family, so I will not sit quietly by while you rape and
pillage my society." The time is long past for the guts
to start telling it like it is: that it is Christianity that
is under attack, and that it is intolerance of God's law and
rulership that is now the orthodox dogma of the irrational
Jesus Christ, the Creator of all things, told us that
from the beginning marriage was between a man and a woman
(Matthew 19:4-9). This reflects God's sovereign
rulership and His intention and purpose in creation. Men
and women who hate God and His law seek every opportunity to
twist the Creator/creation relationship. Paul described
this very twistedness in Romans 1 as a sign of judgment from
God. What we are seeing is the open, unrestrained
rebellion of sinners against God's truth. Having been
turned over to their hearts' desires, they long to see every
semblance of God's law wiped from their world. When
man's laws represent God's (as in the definition of marriage
as a man and a woman, united together) they seek to eradicate
this silent, but ever-oppressive reminder of the God they
hate, but cannot destroy.
God bless America: with soul-shaking, tear-producing,
behavior altering repentance.
Evidently some folks think a quick
listing of "random thoughts" upon seeing the Passion movie is
a "review." Please. Take a blog for what it is: a
blog. It is amazing to me how folks will look at two
paragraphs here and ignore four hours of commentary on the
Dividing Line, including the playing of clips, etc., and jump
to simply silly conclusions. Earth to evangelicals: be
slow to speak, quick to hear. :-)
Personally, outside of noting the content of a book
I've ordered from a Roman Catholic publisher regarding the
film and its meaning from the Catholic perspective, I've had
enough of the film talk. Let's all go see the Gospel of
John...if you can find it playing somewhere. Or how
about just reading the passion narratives in a parallel
fashion and, following that up with Ephesians 5 and Hebrews
7-10. Yeah, that's the ticket!
Someone Stop the E-mail!
Ack, sorry, I can't believe I missed yesterday. Well, no
apologies. I could have blogged something, but I
invested that time in taking my kids to a late lunch.
There I informed my son that I'm dedicating my next book to
him in celebration of God's grace in his life in his baptism
last summer, and then I told my daughter that I will be
dedicating the book after that to her in light of her upcoming
baptism (date not yet determined). And you know what,
having lunch with my two wonderful kids was just too enjoyable
to do anything else.
I've hardly had time to get anything done today
(e-mail is going to kill me), but I did just happen to scroll
down the AR-Talk list and run into the following quotation
from a secular scholar.
- Like Wise and
his colleagues, while the Passantinos call their
counter-cult colleagues on the carpet for 'slandering' such
evangelical luminaries as James Dobson, Robert Schuller, or
John Wimber, no such outrage is expended on Jack Chick, Dave
Hunt, or James White for their often egregious distortions
of Roman Catholicism...(Bearing False Witness? An
Introduction to the Christian Counter-cult Douglas E.
Cowan (Praeger, 2003), p. 198.
You know, just
because someone is an accredited scholar doesn't mean they
have a clue when it comes to the most basic of facts.
Isn't it ironic to see such a ridiculous parallel between my
writings and those of Jack Chick and Dave Hunt? I've
written and asked for documentation. We shall see what
kind of response comes back. Sure does make you wonder
why you bother to be careful in your study of what others
believe when folks like this will say things like this anyway.
But then again, the reason to be truthful is you serve He who
is the truth anyway. I'll let Him sort it out in the
Passion News: I've
seen this a few times now. The interview is found
here. Take it for what it is worth.
for me to play this role was through Medjugorje, through Gospa.
In preparation, I used all that Medjugorje taught me. Mel
Gibson and I were going every day for Mass together. Some days
I couldn’t go for Mass, but I was receiving the Eucharist.
Somewhere along the line, I heard that the Pope was going for
confession every day, so I thought that I should go for
confession as often as possible. I didn’t want the Lucifer to
have any control over the performance. We have sins of
commission, but also sons of commission. My sin of omission
continuously is that I don’t love enough. So, the confession
was the preparation for the Eucharist. Ivan Dragicevic and his
wife Lorraine gave me a piece of the true cross. I kept this
on me all the time. They made a special pocket in my clothes
for it. I also had relics of Padre Pio, St. Anthony of Padoua,
Ste Maria Goretti, and saint Denisius, the Patron saint of
Actors. Another thing was fasting. I read many of the messages
continuously. Every day everyone could see me with the rosary
in my hands.
Random Thoughts on The Passion
OK, saw it. Random thoughts time. Hopefully
something more coherent will develop by the time of the
Dividing Line tomorrow morning.
1) When Jesus said "I AM" to the soldiers, they
fell back upon the ground. Why on EARTH delete that even
when Jesus says "I am"? 2) "It is accomplished"
and "It is finished" are not, in the context of the atonement,
the same things. 3) Jesus was wearing clothing
when He came out of the grave. *Not* the way to end.
4) The apostles addressed Mary as "Mother"? 5)
Mary had supernatural knowledge even prior to the coming of
the Spirit? 6) Relics, relics, and more relics
(straight out of Emmerich). Stations of the cross, "St.
Veronica," the whole nine yards. 7) We might well
see the founding of the Roman Anti-defamation League as a
result of this. 8) What on EARTH was that hideous
baby thing in the devil-woman's arms? 9) Most, but
not all, of the overt Roman Catholic elements were kept at the
"subtle enough not to catch the mind of the evangelical,
prominent enough to assure the Roman Catholic that all is
well" level. 10) The emotional element was not
quite as strong as I expected, but then again, I have never
gone into a film more primed to be watching it closely, so I
am hardly a meaningful barometer. Besides, I'm Scottish.
11) Will I think of this film at the next Lord's Supper?
Probably. 12) Will I envision Jesus as Jim
Caviezel? No. Not for a moment. Not once
during the film did I make that connection. That was Jim
Caviezel up there, not my Lord. 13) Will the
emotions over-run commitment to the why of the cross,
leaving people emotionally committed to whatever traditional
lens through which they viewed the film? For many, yes.
14) Does the film open the door for proselytization of
"evangelicals" by zealous Roman Catholics? Yes and no.
Outside of the unbiblical and extraneous Marian elements, the
issues are what they were before the film was released, and,
sadly, evangelicals remain just as ignorant of the importance
of sound doctrine regarding God's purposes in the atonement as
they were before. This just opens up more opportunities
either for that ignorance to be corrected, or, negatively, to
be taken advantage of. 15) Could an evangelical
successfully "filter out" the extraneous stuff? I
suppose so, but it would take a conscious effort.
So, to see or not to see? Tough call. It is
culturally relevant. A person who has seen it is in
better position to speak to its issues than one who has not.
On the other hand, it is not nearly as accurate as we were
told; it is truly a prize for Rome, and it may well bother
many believers with its portrayal and presentation. If
you go, don't go because of the herd mentality. Go
realizing what you are seeing, or don't go at all.
Man, I Feel Like I Missed a Celebration
Yeah, yeah, I'm going to see the film....but can we talk about
something else a second? I've been re-doing my
personal info page, mainly because
though I enjoyed sharing things about my personal life
(hobbies and the like), I have had to remove that material.
Far too many unfriendly folk in the world today, it seems.
Anyway, I have been listing publications and the like, and
just finished a complete listing of my debates, and lo and
behold, I had thought I was going to be doing my 50th in
April, when in point of fact, my debate against Greg Stafford
in Tampa was my 50th! It had counted 49! I
feel like I missed my birthday or something. Now I'll
have to wait till 100 to celebrate by maybe stopping at Taco
Time and having an extra Crisp Meat Burrito or something....
The Flood Continues....
The flood of Passion discussion is
overwhelming. You can't even keep up with it anymore.
I'm glad I got started on it months ago. :-)
Please note the article posted below; for Reformed Baptists
you may wish to listen to
Pastor A.N. Martin's sermon from Trinity Baptist on this
topic as well. There is stuff coming out now that is
hard to believe, especially about the comments being made by
Jim Caviezel, the actor who portrays Christ, that Mary "made"
the film for Jesus. It is hard to even confirm the
sources, so massive is the "buzz." Many of you have seen
Andy Webb's article on why he will not see the film.
Kevin Johnson has responded
to it with one of the most pro-Roman Catholic, confused,
and simply depressing replies I have seen thus far. I
will be responding to it tomorrow on the DL. Please
note: The Dividing Line will begin at
4:30PM MST tomorrow and will go for 90 minutes.
Please note this!
Also, please note two more things:
1) There's a new Angel cartoon down below,
one which illustrates tremendously the fact that Angel listens
carefully to debates. I really appreciate that. 2)
Please pray for the folks at Grace Reformed Baptist Church,
the home of Calvary Press. Their offices, and many
books, were destroyed by fire a week ago Sunday, and that
includes The Potter's Freedom. We are having
to take The Potter's Freedom into "back-ordered" status
until Calvary Press can recover from this malicious damage and
get the book back into availability.
No, It's Not Out, Yet...But It's Coming...
Just happened to run across the cover
to the book on ecclesiology that is coming out later this
year. I defended the plurality of elders in this work.
There are four other views (I guess that's why the title
speaks of "Five Views") and, most interestingly for most of
our readers, Dr. Robert Reymond presented the Presbyterian
view. Our interaction should be most interesting.
We'll be carrying it, of course.
Just a quick note as I try to get
caught up from my Atlanta trip. Met some great folks,
even a few folks from channel. Here's a little picture.
From left to right, using our IRC nicks (to protect the
not-so-innocent) we have redgoatee, RDD, DrOakley, johnMark,
and XB6. skyman drove down with his lovely wife, but
didn't hang around for the picture, and TheHinge visited
Sunday morning as well. Had a great time, and am very
appreciative of the folks at Faith Community Church,
especially Shane and Joel, for all their work, and to Jeremy
for having the vision to bring it about.
Well, I got my
e-mail back up and running, and what do I find but someone
from "semper-reformanda.com" blowing the proverbial fuse.
Somehow (please, don't ask me how), this "Calvinist" read my
tremendously brief comments in response to the Diane Sawyer
interview (evidently nothing else I had said about the film),
ignored everything I have ever said (repeatedly, as in over
and over and over again) in print (in at least five books), on
the Dividing Line over the years, in debates, in
preaching, not only on the Passion issue, but on the entire
issue of God's decrees, man's reponsibility, compatibilism,
etc...i.e., ignored everything I've ever done...and comes to
the conclusion that I am denying the culpability of the
secondary means (i.e., Herod, Pontius, Pilate, etc. in Acts 4,
Joseph's brothers in Genesis 50) and laying it all at God's
doorstep by saying God was the one who killed Jesus.
Here's the article. The writer even goes so far as
to quote Boettner on such a basic issue! Truly
unbelievable. Many thanks for FJ De Angelis for his kind
encouragement (no, of course he didn't bother asking me about
it before posting it) and deep insights. Folks like you
make tire sales in Alaska look very appealing.
On a much more insightful note,
Chad Bresson has written an excellent article on the film,
having seen it himself. It is filled with very helpful
links and the like. I have posted it "extra-blog"
Off to Atlanta!
OK, here we go. Hit the
calendar for details if you are planning on joining us in
Woodstock, GA this weekend. Lord willing we'll be back
to ye olde blog on Monday. But as we head out, we just
got confirmation on two debates for Friday, April 2,
and Saturday, April 3rd at the University of Utah in Salt Lake
City. Friday night I'll be debating LDS author Dr. S.
Michael Wilcox on the subject, "Are Temples Consistent with
the New Testament?" (for those on the East Coast, Latter-day
Saints build special buildings they call "temples" in which
sacred ordinances, required for exaltation to godhood, are
performed). Then on Saturday night I will be debating the head
of the Sacred Light of Christ Metropolitan Community Church,
Dee Bradshaw on the topic, "Does the Bible Support Gay
Marriage?" I'll get contact numbers, location,
directions, and the like when I get back from Atlanta and can
update the calendar. With the debate on Long Island May
20th against Gary Michuta, and another scheduled to coincide
with our cruise and conference in early November, we are on
course for another busy year on the front lines!
Oh, and since I'm headed to
The senator from Georgia, Zell Miller, delivered
an address on the floor of the Senate recently.
It is a must read. Not that there are many with ears
to hear any longer. Law has been overthrown by the
King-Priests of the judiciary who think themselves free of the
law's constraints. The anarchy that can ensue from this
judicial revolution is now being seen outside the courthouse
in San Francisco. I am thankful there is a divine law to
which every single one of those judges will be held, aren't
Da Cruise, Da Cruise, Da Cruise!
OK, that's a pitiful recreation from
Fantasy Island, but hey, it works. Look to the right,
over there ---> see the link about the cruise?
FOLLOW IT! This cruise is being scheduled only eleven
months after the last one, so we gotta get moving!
Tired of hearing about how much fun everyone gets to have, all
the fellowship, the teaching? Then sign up! (8-D
Hey, great news on the publishing front! I was
able to communicate my concerns, and especially the real
"heart" of the book I am finishing right now, to my publisher,
and they have dropped the title that would have been really
bad, and gone with one I really like. Lord willing the
Fall catalog from Bethany House will contain Scripture
Alone: Exploring the Bible's Accuracy, Authority, and
Authenticity. This book was conceived many years
ago, but kept getting put back by other projects. And
now it is taking final shape.
Finally, I got a complaint from a fellow who claims to
edit audio for PCA ministers about the line below, "The great
question is not what will you do with Jesus Christ, my friend.
It is what will Christ do with you?" I was
informed that none of the ministers he knows would ever say
anything like that. Well, irony of ironies, I first
heard that line from R.C. Sproul, and yes, Dr. Sproul is
listed as a PCA minister. Ah well, you can't please
Who Killed Jesus?
Isn't it amazing that this is the big
question today because of the Gibson film? And isn't it
even more amazing that the early church, long before the first
gospel was written or the first epistle penned, knew the
answer? And isn't it just sad that most evangelicals
don't even believe what the Bible says about it anymore, and
refuse to consider what it really means? Here's the
answer, folks, for anyone who wants to know:
"For truly in this city there were gathered together against
Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and
Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of
Israel, 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your
purpose predestined to occur.
Answer to the question? God did it. It's
no mystery. The early Christians had bothered to listen
to what God had inspired seven centuries earlier:
Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
Smitten of God. There's the truth. Let's
start telling folks: God had His Son nailed to a tree, and no,
it wasn't so that you could decide if you'd like Him to be
your Savior. He did so to redeem His people, and if you
do not repent and believe, you will not be among those people.
But do not be mistaken: if you continue in your hard
heartedness, your unbelief will not cause His failure.
All that the Father has entrusted to the Son will receive
eternal life. The great question is not what will you do
with Jesus Christ, my friend. It is what will
Christ do with you?
A Completely Disgusting Hit Piece
We should probably get used to it. If it is
associated with ABC, it will be as anti-Christian as it can
possibly be. And so it was tonight, after the interview
with Gibson on ABC. The local affiliate, notoriously one
of the worst in the Phoenix area as far as news coverage is
concerned, presented what it called an "investigation" into
Concerned Christians, a Christian organization that seeks
to witness to Mormons. But how anyone could possibly
call this a piece of journalism or an "investigation" I cannot
begin to imagine. It wasn't just biased, it was grossly
twisted. Tiny little short snippets were isolated from
hours and hours of video tape secretly filmed in churches,
used completely out of context, leaving the substance of the
comparison of Mormon teaching and Christian truth completely
out in the cold. And then they brought in four Mormon
women, utterly without the slightest standing in regards to
the LDS Church, to display their emotional dislike of snippets
of Robertson's teaching, all the while throwing about
buzz-words like "hate." It was an utterly disgusting
display of yellow journalism at its worst. I guess they
felt left out after the "big boys in New York" went after
Gibson. In any case, be prepared for more of this in the
future. It is "good TV" to mock the idea that there is
such a thing as Christian truth, and anti-Christian error.
On the Subject of the Passion Movie
Everyone is talking about it, as
expected. I preached a sermon on it a few months ago,
and this past Sunday I sort of "updated" our folks at PRBC on
more recent developments.
the sermon for streaming,
here for downloading;
the more recent Sunday School lesson for streaming,
here for saving.
I'm heading for Atlanta this weekend, discussing the
translation issue Friday night, and the all-out assault on
justification Saturday morning, and then preaching Sunday
morning before flying home. See the
calendar for details.
l0g0s has pulled all the materials relevant to the
recent discussions on the objectivity of the covenant,
Galatians 2, and the like. See the entry for Feb. 16
It sounds like an apology as I read it. But one is not
required. Possibly others have engaged in this debate
for personal reasons, but I have not. Many have asked me
why I would bother posting material relevant to it here when
we have an audience with much wider interests than the debate
over the objectivity of the covenant and baptism. In
case anyone missed it, my reasons were stated very early on:
yes, I believe there are dire results in reference to
apologetics and the proclamation of the gospel to Roman
Catholics and others. But more basic is the issue of the
perspicuity of Scripture and the role of hermeneutics and
exegesis in the church's life and ministry. It was the
claim, early on, made by TGE, that we could not go to the
inspired text and determine if the passage in Galatians 2 was
truly relevant to this issue facing the church that caused the
strongest reaction from me. That issue will not go away,
even if we stop discussing it, and I don't think anyone needs
to apologize for strongly believing what they believe on the
More from the Sola Scriptura Book
I mentioned a while back that I am
really working hard to finish this book for Bethany House, and
that I would try to post little snippets. Here's today's
Just as God’s saving grace instructs those it saves, so too
the Word of God trains, instructs, disciplines believers as
they seek to live in the realm or sphere of righteousness.
We are not accustomed to such living when we first come to
Christ, of course, and hence must be instructed “in
righteousness,” and this the man of God can do on the basis of
the God-breathed Scriptures. The modern reader should
pay close attention to what this means in our context: God’s
Word is able to provide us with the foundation for sound
ethical and moral action and thought. We can live in
righteousness when we are willing to receive exhortation and
instruction from Scripture. Given the wholesale
abandonment of the Bible as the source for our knowledge of
how we as Christians are to live (accompanied by the rush to
human philosophies and mechanisms), these words need to be
heard once again in the professing church.
The Lull Before the Storm
Hear those crickets? Yeah, it's quiet.
The books have shipped (and I'm sure they were busy at The
Berean Call as well), but they are still in transit.
Won't be hitting the bookstores for a while, either.
Hence, the calm before the storm. :-)
Joined Paul Edwards for an hour on his program in
Detroit today (www.ontheword.net)
to talk about Roman Catholic apologetics. He's been hit
with folks saying he should have me on with this person or
that: ironically, just about everyone his listeners have
suggested won't debate me anyway. None of them called
Hey, the blog wars are over! w00t! And TGE
won. Or so he says. I'm a bit confused, though
(being a babdist does that): at first I was told that he
wouldn't engage in exegesis of Gal. 2 because it wasn't fair
because I teach Greek and all; then, during the exchanges, I
was faulted for not responding to every nitpicking comment
because I have two books coming out, one I'm writing, and
numerous other publications in the works; but now at the end
we hear about how nothing of substance has been offered in
response to this long list of articles TGE has written.
Hey, could someone quit moving the goal posts? Anyway,
he is off to build the Second Christendom in the space-time
world. Lord bless him.
Discerning Reader Weighs In
OK, obviously, they are not unbiased
here). However, no one can question their passion.
So, in obedience to the wisdom of Proverbs 27:2:
Bravo to our fellow Oregonians at Multnomah Publishers! First,
for the integrity they have shown by canceling a second
edition of Dave Hunt's "What Love Is This?" — one of the worst
books to have ever come off an evangelical printing press.
Second, for providing a forum for James White to demolish Mr.
Hunt's caricatured "Calvinism" with such force that only the
spiritually deaf, dumb and blind will be left to scour the
remains. James White is a champion of Biblical Orthodoxy —
maintaining the "pattern of sound words" handed down from the
Apostles in the face of its foolish perversion by the likes of
Mr. Hunt. A must read — especially for those who have been
misled by Dave Hunt, Chuck Smith, Tim LaHaye and others in
what has to be one of the most notorious theological hoaxes of
The Discerning Reader
Engrish.com Comes Home
I installed a silly device in my cell
phone today. I wanted to share with you all the
Take down the phone (Do I have to put it up somewhere first?)
--- screw out and then make the parts seperately (I have to
install the phone -- finish the installation (thanks for the
Make the keyboard develops. (Wouldn't time do that?)
And make it fit with the holes. Stick them.
(Brevity is good)
At last put into the battery and put on the back cover.
OK. Success! (w00t!)
are SOOO much fun....
A Personal Word (Updated with non-irrelevancy clause added)
Blogs are supposed to be sorta
personal, and I do enjoy sharing some elements of my life here
(though I also recognize the inherent danger of doing so in a
public format when you have many folks who will twist your
every word listening carefully). So the following
personal note I hope will be taken in the proper context.
This is a SMALL ministry. See Rich and I?
That's the staff. Period. Yeah, a few volunteers
help with e-mails, [and, having gotten
in deep trouble for not having noted it in glowing language, I
am grateful to them for their help, their support, and we
wouldn't be able to do it without them, and they are the
backbone of our non-paid help, and are truly great apologists
on their own, and they work really hard, and....ok, you get
the point] but that's it. We've lived on a
shoestring from the start, and unless I get PC real quick, we
always will. Yeah, we do big things with our
small staff, but it takes a lot of work! Anyway, that
means that at times the two of us are simply going at Mach 3
with our hair on fire (I know, I know), and just one more
"please, could you do this for me..." type request will be
just enough to send either or both of us off to Alaska to open
a tire store. Both of us are going 12+ hours a day at
the moment, he trying to keep up with a flood of orders,
website issues, etc., and I with book deadlines and the like.
So, if you write me an e-mail, and I don't reply within five
minutes, show some patience, please? I don't have a
secretary. I have to respond to them myself. And
sometimes I just have to let them sit since it is a choice
between "finish book, hopefully bless thousands vs. write an
e-mail, delay book by six months." And please realize,
when you ask me to write you a small book, compile
bibliographies, and in general function as your on-line
personal research assistant, the chances of your getting a
reply will diminish proportionately. It isn't personal.
It's that I have to prioritize my time, and how much time I
will invest in folks outside of my church and my immediate
ministry. And remember, I make myself more available
than almost anyone else I know of who does ministry similar to
mine. So I tend to need to go do forced reps on the
incline bench to work off the frustration when folks complain
that I won't drop important research just to "minister to
their needs" in the time-frame they ask and in the manner they
There, I feel better. (8-D
Even a Sensa Cloud Nine pen could not
keep my poor right hand from getting just a tad upset with me
as I ploughed through all but the last 40 books that need to
be signed. We managed to get 54 out the first day.
I'll get the rest done tomorrow before the DL, I hope, anyway.
Also, on the DL today....I
will be doing what I suggested below: reading through
Ignatius' letter to the Smyrnaeans. Now, I know, some of
you might yawn at such a thought. That's fine.
When you've seen as many starry-eyed converts to Romanism cite
that letter as if Ignatius was a post-Trentian believer in
transubstantiation as I have, you'll see the importance.
Besides, where on the net will you ever hear such a
discussion except on the DL? So gird up thy loins
and join us. Now, for the ultra-Geeky (and ultra-Greeky),
the Greek text is on line
here. But for those who want the plain ol' English
here is what you need. Fire up your browser, get the
text, and join us on the DL today at 11AM MST.
Last night in class we went over
Ignatius' epistle to the Smyrnaeans. Someone remind me
on a future edition of the DL to go over the first six
sections in reference to the gross abuse of this material by
Roman Catholic apologists (and those deceived by them).
I could post the text here on the website, or a link to the
ccel.org reference, and that way everyone could access the
text while I went over it. Anyone who has worked with
converts who, with stars in their eyes, talk about how
Ignatius gave testimony to transubstantiation, would find such
a discussion useful.
It's Big, It's Thick, It's Sorta Fluffy
I am referring to Debating
Calvinism: Five Points, Two Views, a single rushed
author's copy of which just arrived UPS at my office. It
is thick (427 pages), but it is typeset rather loosely (i.e.,
considerably less text on a page than most of the books I am
accustomed to reading, or writing), hence my description as
"fluffy." As to the content, well, I have to leave that
to the readers to decide. If you are a regular listener
to the Dividing Line, you've heard the arguments
before. Hopefully many people who would otherwise never
hear about the freedom and power of God's grace will hear and
believe as a result of this book.
Warning: This book may
well contain doctrines removed from the
space-time world which have been influenced by every possible
form of Greek philosophy, and may lead to a severe infection
of Donatism and Radical Anabaptist Objectivist Pure Exegesis
2/9/04: A Thought
Paul once said we see through a glass
darkly. A paraphrase of the concept might be that our
vision, like one upon the valley floor, is greatly limited.
As time-bound creatures we live in a tremendously small "slice
of time," the same concept God tries to teach us by describing
our lives like a vapor that appears and then vanishes away,
like the grass that sprouts in the morning dew and is gone by
the arrival of the mid-day sun. Not a one of us can ever
call God to account for His actions given our puny knowledge
and infinitesimal length of existence. How much more,
then, should we be grateful for the gift of His truth in His
Word, and should approach it with trembling fear and
thankfulness, and should despise the very thought of
questioning it in a manner inappropriate in light of our
nature over against its unchanging and eternal verity.
As the Psalmist wrote,
Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven...The sum of
Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous ordinances
is everlasting. (Psalm 119:89, 160)
A Useful, Relevant Sermon
by my fellow elder Don Fry at PRBC on the Lord's day.
Angel took a brief
vacation (actually, he's busy teaching the munchkins at his
church), but Tuesday's DL stirred the creative juices, and
when that happens....well, look out! If the above makes
no sense to you, you 1) didn't listen to the BAM debate and
hear question after question fly off into never-never land
without being addressed, or 2) you haven't listened to the DL
2/8/04: Ignatius to the Ephesians
I am currently
teaching Development of Patristic Theology Through
Augustine for GGBTS, and we are reading through Ignatius.
Last week we read this section:
For there are some
who maliciously and deceitfully are accustomed to carrying
about the Name while doing other things unworthy of God. You
must avoid them as wild beasts. For they are made dogs that
bite by stealth; you must be on your guard against them, for
their bite is hard to heal. (2) There is only one physician,
who is both flesh and spirit, born and unborn, God in man,
true life in death, both from Mary and from God, first subject
to suffering and then beyond it, Jesus Christ our Lord.
(Ignatius to the Ephesians 7:1-2)
Of course, the
final section is one of the most amazing descriptions of the
dual nature of Christ to be found in the Apostolic Fathers,
and it stands as a tremendous testimony to the early date of
the highest forms of Christology. But we noted that this
in-depth Christological statement is actually used in the
context of exhortation to the Ephesians to stand against false
teachers and heretics. This means Ignatius assumed the readers
of his epistle, the believers at Ephesus, would be able to
understand and follow the exhortation. Is it not sad that such
a description would be lost on a large portion of modern
evangelicalism, and that mainly due to the idea that you
should not challenge your listeners to move forward in their
understanding of God's truth? "Seekers" (John 6:24/65-66,
Romans 3:11) are more interested in having their "felt needs
met" than they are applying themselves to understand the
Incarnation, the relationship of the divine and human in
Christ, and to see this as important in detecting and refuting
false teachers who eat away at the fabric of every church that
loses sight of what is truly important. If you attended
services today in a church where God's truth was proclaimed
without compromise, rejoice and be thankful. In fact, take
time to give thanks to the Lord, and say something kind to
your pastor and elders. And as Ignatius reminded us long ago,
be on your guard against the wild beasts.
"holding to a
form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid
such men as these" (2Ti 3:5). The masculine plural
has as its referent
the "men" of v. 2; hence, the vice list in 2-4 refers to men
who "hold" a "form"
of godliness but they have
perfect tense over against present) the power of godliness.
This would refer to a settled attitude on their part
(illustrated by the preceding ungodly attitudes and
behaviors). We would have solid ground, then, to note the
opposite: the true power of godliness will result, as Paul
told Titus, in grace teaching us to live a godly life (Titus
2:11-14). Paul commands Timothy to purposefully avoid
interaction and communion with such men (avpotre,pomai).
Such would require the identification of such men (Romans
16:17). (If you cannot see the Greek fonts,
On the less encouraging side of
things...I get the feeling this is a reply, of
Wait a minute. Yes,
I do see the problem. This type of understanding eliminates
the ability of a lot of today's
Really and Truly
Legitimately Regenerate Reformed People Gospel
Pharisees to maintain their legalistic, man-made requirement
for obtaining justification. You know, that
works-righteousness requirement of intellectually
comprehending the capital-d Doctrine of capital-s, capital f
Sola Fide. Not to mention their impressive ability to
on-the-spot invent new pretzel-like hoops of question-begging,
fear, suspicion, and self-righteousness in response to all the
insidious Super-Ultimate Threats to The Doctrines of Grace
that lying idolators keep coming up with because they hate the
truth and can't stand to have their deeds of darkness exposed
to the perspicuous Scriptures, Objectively Exegeted by the
Approved Caste of Evangelical Seminary-Trained Spiritual
Yeah, that's a
pretty big problem, alright. Thankfully the perspicuous
Scriptures describe the solution: Stand piously in the temple
thanking God you aren't like those poor deluded sinners,
repetitiously intone mantras about the purity of one's
lineage, and crucify the Truth so that the Roman(ists) don't
come and take away your city and your heritage.
Yeah, I'm the one
attacking others. :-) I await Mr. Johnson's open letter to Mr.
Enloe with baited breath. I expect it to arrive around the
time the Arizona Cardinals win the Super Bowl, the Suns win
the NBA Championship, the Coyotes win the Stanley Cup, and it
stays below 100 all the way from June through August in
Who would have thought, just a few years ago, that we
would have been hearing someone who was not a part of the
Roman Catholic apologetics world railing like this about "solafidians"?
Well, I'm thankful I know a bunch of true brothers and sisters
more than happy to be painted as a "solafidian." And
I'll keep talking about how one will never exercise the
"fides" of "sola fide" unless enabled by the work of the
Spirit (monergism vs. synergism), how that faith is never an
"alone faith," an "empty faith," a faith incapable of
demonstrating its existence, but is a living faith, one that
flows from a changed heart, a changed nature, resulting in a
zealous desire to glorify God by walking in good works (James
2, Ephesians 2, Titus 2). Call these intellectual
doctrines if you must, but I dare you to try to explain to
anyone how they are to live so as to glorify Christ without
providing the very same objective basis in God's revealed
Do note one thing: when responding to TGE yesterday I focused
upon specific propositions and facts; in response we have
nothing but sarcastic ad-hominem (literally pages of it now,
including constant mockery of the exegesis of the text of
Scripture, incessant inaccurate caricaturization, etc.).
Seemingly, for some, that is the most substantive reply that
can be given, and it covers over all the inability to respond
to the factual issues (like refuting false accusations by
giving specifics and even URL's where the facts can be
2/7/04: Reformed Baptist Heresies Exposed!
TGE replied to my corrections of his
statements about me, and answered the question whether my view
of baptism is, in fact, as heretical as Rome's doctrine of the
Mass. An important exchange anyone concerned about
AAPCism, NPism, and the entire "Reformed Catholic" movement,
needs to read. Click here,
and be prepared. After posting this, Kevin Johnson
wrote a passionate Open Letter in response. Let me
summarize: I'm a very mean man. Let the reader
Also, please do not
faint, lose control of your car, or otherwise experience
excessive shock, but I updated the calendar, a little.
The info for my next trip is now included, a run down to the
Atlanta area February 20-21.
Wisdom from an Ancient Writer
We don't know the name of this
ancient believer, but his letter to Diognetius is soaked in
Pauline phraseology and theology. Ponder these words
penned so long ago:
This was not that
He at all delighted in our sins, but that He simply endured
them; nor that He approved the time of working iniquity which
then was, but that He sought to form a mind conscious of
righteousness, so that being convinced in that time of our
unworthiness of attaining life through our own works, it
should now, through the kindness of God, be vouchsafed to us;
and having made it manifest that in ourselves we were unable
to enter into the kingdom of God, we might through the power
of God be made able. But when our wickedness had reached its
height, and it had been clearly shown that its reward,
punishment and death, was impending over us; and when the time
had come which God had before appointed for manifesting His
own kindness and power, how the one love of God, through
exceeding regard for men, did not regard us with hatred, nor
thrust us away, nor remember our iniquity against us, but
showed great long-suffering, and bore with us, He Himself took
on Him the burden of our iniquities, He gave His own Son as a
ransom for us, the holy One for transgressors, the blameless
One for the wicked, the righteous One for the unrighteous, the
incorruptible One for the corruptible, the immortal One for
them that are mortal. For what other thing was capable of
covering our sins than His righteousness? By what other one
was it possible that we, the wicked and ungodly, could be
justified, than by the only Son of God? O sweet exchange! O
unsearchable operation! O benefits surpassing all expectation!
that the wickedness of many should be hid in a single
righteous One, and that the righteousness of One should
justify many transgressors! Having therefore convinced us in
the former time that our nature was unable to attain to life,
and having now revealed the Savior who is able to save even
those things which it was [formerly impossible to save, by
both these facts He desired to lead us to trust in His
kindness, to esteem Him our Nourisher, Father, Teacher,
Counselor, Healer, our Wisdom, Light, Honor, Glory, Power, and
Life... (Mathetes to Diognetius, Chapter 9).
2/6/04: Gay Marriage and God's Law
We spent some time on Thursday's DL
talking about the recent "decision" (hard to call such obvious
judicial chicanery and despotism a "decision" since that
assumes some basis can be found in law, and in this situation,
the state constitution) by the Supreme Judicial Court of
Massachusetts forcing the complete overthrow of the
institution of marriage by utter redefinition. This
revolutionary action, accomplished by judges who refuse to
operate within the realm of law or abide by the intentions of
the founding fathers of this nation, is clear evidence of the
depth of the decay of the moral fabric of the nation.
One cannot help but remember the inspired words of Scripture,
"There is no fear of God before their eyes" (Romans 3:18).
When men are this brazen in their hatred of God's right to
rule over His creation morally, one knows that Scripture is
being fulfilled: "For the wrath of God is being
revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and
unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in
2/5/04: Odd Things I've Heard Today
Real briefly today: two odd, odd things I saw this morning.
First, TGE was confusing "New Covenant Theology" with various
other viewpoints he doesn't like, and in the process said,
means the SPACE TIME world is IMPORTANT, which therefore means
that BODY is important, which therefore means that RITUAL is
important, which therefore means that theology that downplays
these things in favor of "spiritual" things is WRONG. No
matter how many prooftexts it appeals to, it's WRONG. And when
that wrongness is coupled with a radical refusal to even
recognize other people's baptisms--even those of one's fellow
Protestants!--it becomes a kind of "gnostic" flight out of the
physical world, every bit as idolatrous and heretical as many
things it itself condemns.
was said about "Baptists" in general, for some odd reason, let
me just say again: the Incarnation is important; God's Word
addresses the entirety of life; rituals are important if God's
Word says they are, but just because it is a ritual that you
invest spiritual meaning in doesn't mean I have to think it is
important; baptism is defined by Scripture, which you don't
seem to think is perspicuous enough any longer to even address
the issue; if I am convinced by the Scriptures that there is a
proper ground and means of baptism, upon what basis should
your opinions and traditions over-ride my convictions?; "gnostic"
is a lovely buzz-insult but given that I know what the
gnostics believed, having a biblical view of baptism and being
under the authority of Scripture before tradition in obedience
to Christ's command does not make me a gnostic; do you really,
really think my view on baptism is "every bit as idolatrous
and heretical" as the Mass as a propitiatory sacrifice that
perfects no one for whom it is made? If so, upon what
Yes, that's as brief as I can be. (8-D
Second item that makes you want to stick bamboo shoots
under your fingernails came from one of the most brilliant
scholars on the planet (at least that's the impression I
always get from reading his comments) posted on an apologetics
list. While condescendingly demonstrating his deep and
exhaustive knowledge of all things theological, and rebuking
the concerns shown by backwoods American evangelicals
regarding the inroads being made by NPism (primarily through
the writings of NT Wright), and assuring us that even the most
well-trained scholars really don't have a handle on these
things yet (remember, fundamentally, this means we have no
idea, really, if we have peace with God because Christ's
righteousness is ours or not...ponder that one for a moment
and mourn for the state of "Christian scholarship" in general)
we were informed, "I don't consider the discussion about the
New Perspective to be an apologetic issue at all, and thus it
is outside the focus of this list. I see it solely as an
issue for biblical studies and theology." Now mind you,
I'm a nobody to this writer, an ignorant person utterly
without standing, but even I can figure out what this means.
This person (and he is surely not alone: this is the attitude
that gave rise to How Wide the Divide?) rejects the
intimate connection between apologetics and biblical studies
and theology. I obviously hold a different view of
apologetics. I see apologetics as a biblical mandate of
elders in the church (to my knowledge, this scholar is not an
elder, Titus 1:5-9); I see it deriving its very essence from a
sound biblical theology. In fact, I do not believe a sound
apologetic exists outside of first arriving at a sound
biblical theology that then gives rise to the apologetic (one
of the primary problems with many in popular apologetics).
But a sound theology will demand obedience, and its view of
truth will demand an apologetic. NPism involves a
radical reductionistic view of the gospel itself, and of
justification in particular. It's monochromatic
disemboweling of historic Reformed theology is just as
apologetic in nature as anything the Council of Trent had to
say and, due to its origin, maybe more so. When
justification can be moved en toto from soteriology to
ecclesiology (it was always ecclesiastically vital, but that
due to the fact that soteriology determines ecclesiastical
participation) you are obviously altering the basic message
that is preached. How that can be considered to be
separate from apologetics, I cannot begin to understand.
But, that may well be due to the fact that I am obviously a
dolt and will always be a dolt because I do not spend my every
day in the hallowed realms of the Academy. I actually
have to invest time and energy in the real world of ministry,
the church, teaching, not only of seminary students, but of
kids and laypeople and stuff like that which will forever
preclude me from "getting it." Ah, but I digress....
2/4/04: A Note on The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord
Jesus Christ by Anne Catherine Emmerich
As most of you know, Mel Gibson carries in his pocket a
"relic" from the Roman Catholic "visionary" and (eventually)
saint Emmerich. Some of the scenes and material found in
The Passion of the Christ came from Emmerich's
recording of her visions. Here is the description of the
book from its back cover:
THE DOLOROUS PASSION has been inspiring
thousands since it first appeared in 1833—being based on the
detailed visions of Our Lord’s Passion and Death as seen by
Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824), a German
Augustinian nun, and recorded by Clemens Brentano, a prominent
literary figure of the day. A saintly person from her youth
and a great mystic and victim soul, Sister Emmerich was
privileged by God during almost a lifetime of ecstatic visions
to see all the events of Our Lord’s suffering and death, which
visions we can now understand in hindsight were a great gift
from God to the world. Her account of the Passion and Death of
Our Lord Jesus Christ, while faithful to the Bible, is
heart-rending, edifying and surprising—because of its intimate
detail. THE DOLOROUS PASSION recounts with incredible
precision the horrendous sufferings undergone by our Saviour
in His superhumanly heroic act of Redemption. Also
illuminating is its description of Mary’s participation in the
sufferings of her Son, so that this book gives the reader a
poignant understanding of why Our Lady is often called our
“CoRedemptrix” and “Queen of Martyrs.” THE DOLOROUS PASSION
is a singular book that conveys a lasting impression of the
terrible Agony of Our Lord, of His infinite love for us that
motivated His Agony, and how his Passion and Death were
brought on by each person’s sins. Here is a book that gives
one a holy feeling just to read it. Here is a book that will
melt a heart of stone!
Fast forward three years. EWTN's "Coming Home Network"
show. Some former "evangelical" woman is on the screen,
and she says, "Well, I had never even thought of the Catholic
faith, until I saw The Passion film, and I was so taken
by the portrayal of Mary that I went looking on the web for
more information, and found Anne Catherine Emmerich's book,
The Dolorous Passion, and that is when I realized there
was so much more to Mary than what I had been taught.
And then I found out sola scriptura isn't true and then
I read Karl Keating's book and then...(fill in the rest with
the standard template conversion story)."
Do not forget John Piper's new book and the website:
Timely Words from Charles Haddon Spurgeon:
is in the Bible; go and ask my Master why he put it there.
I cannot help it. I am only a serving man, and I tell you
the message from above. If I were a footman, I should not
alter my master's message at the door. I happen to be an
ambassador of heaven, and I dare not alter the message I
have received. If it is wrong, send up to head-quarters.
There it is, and I cannot alter it."
Prayer, Sermon No. 16, March 25th 1855
On another front, boy
did pointing out Hunt's error in his current newsletter earn
me a few e-mails! Is this what Debating Calvinism is
going to engender as well? If so, I'll need to buy asbestos
gloves to wear while reading e-mail! But what was really
amazing (and rather sad) was the fact that this person wrote
an e-mail complaining about my comments about Hunt, and asking
that I withdraw them. Now, note the language:
I'm a layman, but I
know enough to know that what you posted yesterday was WRONG.
Please consider my request to retract your statement.
As much as you have angered me with your posting, and as much
as I have responded in kind, I ask you as a brother in Christ
to do the right thing and refrain from contributing to the
disinformation that so plagues Christendom today.
Now, that's not too
bad (despite the errors in his argumentation). But he
mentioned his "low traffic" website, so, I thought to myself,
"I wonder what he said on his site?" So I took a moment and
tracked it down (he didn't give the address in his e-mail).
Now, I'm warning you ahead of time, if you go there, prepare to
read stuff like this:
When I read
something of James White, I want to flush his head down the
toilet, and then do it again.
insults, the continuous use of "Whitey," etc., follow. This is
the kind of "Christian brotherhood" this fellow promotes. But,
here's a good insight into the kind of person that finds Dave
Hunt's What Love is This? a convincing and useful work:
I knew the new book would bring out these kinds of folks, I
just figured I'd have a few more weeks before they found my
2/3/04: The Arrow That Wasteth by Day
It's so great to find various barbs cast your direction first
thing in the morning, especially the morning after you teach
for five hours straight (which, while tremendously enjoyable,
is likewise very demanding). I get to go from the
sublime (sitting with bright students reading directly from
the text of Ignatius last evening, noting, for example, his
tremendous description of the two natures of Christ in the
epistle to the Ephesians, and that in the middle of a
practical exhortation to avoid false teachers, and making
application to ministry today) to the ridiculous with hardly
any period of consciousness in between! To what do I
refer? Well, though I haven't even thought about Mark
Shea for quite some time, I find the following on his blog:
James White: A Great and
and he wants you to know it. Be sure to check out the modest
cartoons and the heapin' helpin's of self-praise. "Pros
Apologian", by the way, is Greek for "I know Greek and you
don't." Salvation by Knowing Greek is a common tenet in some
circles of Christian thought.
I guess he doesn't
like Angel's caricature of me or something (what, like I drew
it? I can barely handle stick figures!).
Self-praise? Oh, I understand: our chat channel's name
is a Greek phrase. That means we are saved by knowing
Greek. (Ah the wonders of Roman logic: very same process
that gets you such wonderful dogmas as the Bodily Assumption
of Mary). I get the feeling someone is feeling a little
under-prepared to actually deal with meaningful apologetic
issues related to the text of Scripture, and this then
provides an excuse for such nonsense?
Speaking of nonsense, Dave Hunt is not even waiting for
the publication of
Calvinism to take his shots. The February, 2004
edition of his newsletter includes a few rounds lobbed my
direction, but more importantly, it contains the following
amazing criticism of Rick Warren:
this fatalistic view from The Living Bible: "You [God]...
scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe" (Ps
139:16)-not even close to what that verse actually says! Is
every sinful thought and deed exactly what God has planned?!
Men are not sinners but puppets if everything is exactly what
God has decreed.
Now, don't get me
wrong. I'm no fan of The Purpose Driven Life, but
isn't it amazing to see Dave Hunt criticizing the belief that
God has ordained the length of our lives and the date of our
death? Has Hunt moved into Open Theism? We know
Open Theists do not believe God knows the day of our death,
let alone does He ordain it. It is so desperately sad
to see those who profess the name of the Lamb slain before the
foundation of the earth expressing such disdain and even
hatred for God's sovereign decree! The same can be said
of George Bryson and everyone else who would rather have the
creature, man, in control of the future than the all-wise
all-knowing God! Don't expect any meaningful
interaction, by the way, from Hunt regarding the many texts of
Scripture that teach God's unquestion-able sovereignty over
human affairs in our upcoming book.
But, note as well Hunt's assertion that the Living
Bible is in error in its rendering of the text. The
careful student of Open Theism has seen this before as well.
Those of you who have listened to my debate against one of the
leading Open Theists, John Sanders, knows that this passage
came up in cross-examination and, like Gregory Boyd, Sanders
referred to the KJV's translation of the text, which reads:
Thine eyes did see
my substance, yet being unperfect;; and in thy book all my
members were written, which in continuance were
fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
But compare the
Your eyes have seen
my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The
days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was
not one of them.
The KJV is simply
in error here. For some odd reason it ignores the Hebrew
term yom, which is consistently translates as "day"
elsewhere (I bet a quick scan of Hunt's website would find a
number of examples where he would defend that very
translation) and leaves it untranslated, inserting the odd
phrase "my members." Compare ASV, NKJV, NIV, ESV, etc.
I would love to have someone write to The Berean Call
and ask him why he supports a translation that ignores the
word "days"? In reality, the Living Bible is here more
accurate and literal in the rendering of the Hebrew word than
is the KJV! But, of course, it is "elitist" of us to
even point this out.
So, after giving aid and comfort to the Open Theists, Hunt
Clearly, there were
no "elect" within Israel who alone were chosen for salvation.
Salvation was offered to every Israelite without exception.
That is why Calvinists avoid the Old Testament pictures of
Christ's coming sacrifice (as James White does in my debate
with him in book form: Debating Calvinism: Five Points, Two
Views - see offering list).
The irony is that
Hunt does not see the problem in his own argument. He
limits his scope to Israel and seemingly claims the sin
offerings were for everyone, as if a person who lacked faith
even in the Old Covenant was somehow "covered" by this
hypothetical atonement. God had His remnant even amongst
the godless people of Israel throughout her history. But
he seems completely blind to the more obvious issue: the sin
offerings were only for the people of God, not for the whole
world! It is like Hunt and Bryson and others don't
remember that there were millions of other folks living
outside the borders of Israel. The sacrifices, which
pre-figured that of Christ, were not offered for them.
How much more obvious can this be? Yet, as with so much
else, tradition blinds the mind. Hunt also opined:
James White avoids
1 Corinthians 10:2-4, as does Boettner. None of the 13
contributors to Still Sovereign touches it, and both
MacArthur's Study Bible and Sproul's Geneva Study Bible ignore
the obvious problem for Calvinism.
Remind me from now
on to say "Dave Hunt avoids <fill in the blank>" each time I
address any of the many, many passages or facts of biblical
exegesis he missed in What Love is This? And you
know what is so incredibly hypocritical here? There
is no entry for 1 Corinthians 10 anywhere in the scripture
index of his book! Does that mean he "avoided it"
himself? "Ring. Hello? Mr. Kettle? Mr.
Pot on line two."
But beyond this, I get the impression Hunt's
dispensationalism is driving his hermeneutic yet once again.
He will indeed get different responses from Reformed folks on
this passage, since how one views the New Covenant will impact
how they see this passage. As normal, Hunt doesn't tell
us what he believes, nor does he defend his
position; he simply says the passage is contradictory to
Calvinism (shades of George Bryson: "Question is asked of
Bryson" "Well, you see, that's the problem with
Calvinism...."). Hunt has no answer to the question.
I believe the mixed nature of the Old Covenant (elect with
non-elect, regenerate with reprobate, Davids and Ahabs) is
reflective of the fact that in the fellowship of the
external church we have the same mixture, hence the
constant exhortations and warnings addressed to those gathered
in the public meetings. The point Paul is making is that
though all Israel had seen the miracles and experienced the
supernatural activities of God, the vast majority of them were
cast down in the wilderness due to unbelief. Therefore,
do not think mere association with the people of God is a
substitute for belief. I did not "avoid" the text as
the text is not relevant to the issue of my book.
Wouldn't it be great for Dave Hunt to debate this issue
publicly, so that questions like that can be answered directly
in a period of cross-examination? We think so too.
Hence our challenge to Mr. Hunt to debate stands.
Raised in a Christian Home? Rejoice
I was going to comment on some more material in Bryson's book,
but I'll leave that for Tuesday evening's DL. I'll
content myself this Lord's Day evening with noting Paul's
words to Timothy in 2 Tim. 3:14: "You, however, continue
in the things you have learned and become convinced of,
knowing from whom you have learned them." I grew
up in a Christian family. I heard about Christ, and the
cross, and sang "The B I B L E" from my earliest days.
My first memories have to do with the faith, and some of my
most precious recollections are connected with baptism, the
church, and testifying of my faith in a public school. I
remember late night New Year's Eve prayer meetings, Christmas
cantatas, Vacation Bible School, and Scripture memory drills.
I wonder if Timothy had similar, though culturally different,
remembrances from his youth?
I learned a few years ago that I have four great
grand-parents who came here to the US from Scotland (hence my
natural aversion to being hugged by strangers!). In
fact, one of those great grandparents was a Presbyterian
minister who became a Baptist upon arriving in the US (now
isn't THAT ironic?). As far back as I've been able to
determine on my father's side, there has been a continuous
line of ministers.
I don't have one of those conversion stories that takes
35 minutes to relate and that gives you goose-bumps. I
wasn't saved out of drugs and sex and alcohol and gangs and
the like. The Lord was merciful to me at a very
young age, so I never got into all of those things. But
as I consider Paul's words to Timothy, I rejoice. I am
so thankful for those who taught me God's truth.
Update on the above:
The redoubtable l0g0s read my comments above and actually had
the temerity to twist my own experience into evidence of
"Reformed covenant theology." Is there no end to what
his fertile imagination can come up with? Seems not.
What my Baptist upbringing, including my parents teaching me
about the cross, calling me to repentance and faith (a very
bad no-no according to the AAPC speakers), a profession of
faith, baptism following the profession, and growth in
grace over time has to do with the idea of infant baptism
joining me to a covenant outside of faith and repentance I
haven't the foggiest. Then again, this is the same
fellow who can close his eyes so tightly to reality that the
exegesis of Galatians 2 provided weeks ago on this blog just
disappears into thin air, so we really shouldn't be overly
surprised at the flights of his imagination. Amazing,