Monday, May 20, 2013

Cornelius Van Til Proving Yet Again That There Are No Brute Facts. All Facts Must Be Interpreted

Cornelius Van Til, the great Christian apologist, often says that, “There are no brute facts,” and, “all facts are interpreted facts.” (See his book Christian Apologetics). But is this true? Surly, says the world, and much of the church, “2x2=4! That is a base fact or brute fact!” Surly the doctrine of Common Grace means that math and other hard facts in the world do not need to be interpreted. I, along with Dr. Van Til, disagree. All facts must be interpreted. Dr. Van Til here answers this objection and shows that seemingly brute facts still needing interpretation, and the antithesis of the world and the Christian as it relates to Common Grace:

 At this point I may interject that when I thus emphasize the absolute antithesis, I am not denying or even for a moment forgetting the doctrine of common grace. That doctrine does not militate against the doctrine of the absolute antithesis, but here as elsewhere confirms it. Common grace does no overlook ultimate differences. Nor does it, when correctly understood, in any way, tone down those ultimate differences. On the contrary, common grace helps to point out that things which look alike are not ultimately alike. Common grace points specifically to the fact that similarities between the people of God and the people of this world are but proximate similarities and that these proximate similarities play before the background of ultimate differences. If people do not believe in common grace or do not know what it means, they are likely to raise proximate similarities to ultimate similarities or to raise proximate difference to ultimate differences with the result that the absolute differences are toned down. It is this which has often taken place in Non-Reformed Churches. There it has been thought that religions is a condiment that may be added to the otherwise neutral territories of life. Because they did not understand the doctrine of common grace these churches took it for granted that no ultimate difference could be hidden behind the statement of a Christian that two time two are four and a statement of non-Christian that two times two are four.

Now the fact that two times two are four does not mean the same thing to you as a believer and to someone else as an unbeliever. When you think of two times two as four, you connect this fact with numerical law, you must connect numerical law with all law. The question you face, then, is whether law exists in its own right or is an expression of the will and nature of God. Thus the fact that two times two are four enables you to implicate yourself more deeply into the nature and will of God. On the other hand, when an unbeliever says that two times two are four, he will also be led to connect this fact with the whole idea of law; but he will regard this law as independent of God. Thus the fact that two times two are four enables him, so he thinks, to get farther way from God. That fact will place the unbeliever before a whole sea of open possibilities in which he may seek to realize his life away from God. And it is the basic difference between what “two times two are four” means to the believer and what it means to the unbeliever that the doctrine of common grace has helped us to see. It has enabled us to focus our attention upon the antithesis without fearing that we are doing injustice to any of the facts that surround us.

Cornelius Van Til, “Antitheses in Education,” Foundations of Christian Education: Addresses to Christian Teachers, ed. Dennis E. Johnson [Phillipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1990], 7-8

Friday, June 10, 2011

This Could Have Been Written Today

What a joy it is to read books written a very long time ago by Godly men! It never ceases to amaze me how these men were so good to warn us of the consequences of popular thought patterns in their day. In our day, we see these consequences of these thoughts. We are living in the days that these men were warning of. Here is a great example from Louis Berkhof From his Systematic Theology :

“Up to the beginning of the nineteenth century the practice was all but general to begin the study of dogmatics with the doctrine of God; but a change came about under the influence of Schleiermacher, who sought to safeguard the scientific character of theology by the introduction of a new method. The religious consciousness of man was substituted for the Word of God as the source of theology. Faith in Scripture as an authoritative revelation of God was discredited and human insight based on man’s own emotional or rational apprehension became the standard of religious thought. Religion gradually took the place of God as the object of theology. Man ceased to recognize the knowledge of God as something that was given in Scripture, and began to pride himself on being a seeker after God. In course of Time it became rather common to speak of man’s discovering God, as if man ever discovered Him; and every discovery that was made in the process was dignified with the name “revelation.” God came in at the end of a syllogism, or as the last link in a chain of reasoning, or as the cap-stone of a structure of human thought. Under such circumstances it was but natural that some should regard it as incongruous to
begin Dogmatics with the study of God. It is rather surprising that so many, in spite of their subjectivism, continued the traditional arrangement.” Berkhof
Systematic Theology P. 19-20

Doesn’t this describe perfectly the seeker-sensitive/purpose driven model? The bible and the study of God is put on the shelf and instead, focus is placed on mans own subjective emotions and thoughts as divine dogma? Thoughts would be appreciated! Conversation welcome!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Does Discerning God's Will Mean Looking Into God's Secret Council?

In the Church today, there is much teaching about how to discern the will of God. Most of these teachings are based on fear and mysticism. Somehow, the will of God is some thing that must be discerned by prying into the hidden councils of God. Somehow, those who by prayer and seeking of God do not receive the revealed mysteries of God are somehow second class Christians. Discerning the will of God is not done by magical incantations or by mysticism, but by time in God’s word and heeding what God has revealed, not prying into the mysteries that God, in his providence, has not revealed.

Michael Horton in his Systematic Theology, The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way
gives us help in this area. It is a lengthy quotation, but I think it will be very helpful to all those who struggle with this question. Another great resource for understanding the will of God for us is Kevin DeYoung’s book Just Do Something: How to Make a Decision Without Dreams, Visions, Fleeces, Open Doors, Random Bible Verses, Casting Lots, Liver Shivers,
I hope you find this quote helpful and I welcome conversation on this topic!

“Calvin emphasized that whatever God has decreed that has not yet been publically revealed through the prophets and apostles, is beyond our capacity to know. God’s hidden will is distinguished from his revealed will. God cannot be charged with sin, but neither does it catch him by surprise. (Institutes 1:8.4.) We must not try to figure out god’s secret providence, but must attend to the means he has provided for our salvation (through word and sacrament) and earthly welfare (through vocations, friendships, and other common gifts we share with unbelievers) (Ibid). Where God has not revealed his secret plans in scripture, we have no way of discerning them. In fact, often god’s providence in the world is not apparent to us except by the clear promises in his word. So we are directed to seek out god’s will only in that which he has revealed—“In the law and the gospel.”

Through hidden in past ages, God’s secret purpose in Christ has been revealed in these last days. This knowledge is sufficient to ground our confidence in God’s purpose, even if we cannot discern his hand in our daily circumstance. God’s revealed will in his word is clear. “Yet his wonderful method of governing the universe is rightly called an abyss, because while it is hidden from us, we ought reverently to adore it.” (Institutes 1:17.2) just as we can know God only according to his works, not in his hidden essence, we can know God’s will only insofar as he has published it.

We must never forget that the place where the triumph of evil seemed so obvious and God’s saving care seemed most hidden was the cross. (Institutes 1:17.2.) God’s sovereign rule over nature and history in general cannot be separated from his saving purpose. Just as we find God in the “low place” of this world—lying in a dirty feeding trough in Bethlehem, wearily treading the road to Jerusalem, and crying out in dereliction on the cross—we trust that he is most present in our lives precisely where he seems most hidden.

That God has decreed all that comes to pass is not in question, but we lack any promise that we can access this information through proper formulas. In fact, the latter approach is characteristic of superstition rather than of Christian piety. Romans 12:2 promises that “by testing you may discern what is the will of god, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” On this basis, some have taught that God has a sovereign plan for our lives, but that we can step in and out of it. Often referred to as God’s “Perfect Will,” This notion of god’s sovereign plans considers it merely a Plan A—god’s best for our lives—rather than God’s secret but certain decree. Many believers struggle to discern God’s secret will in daily decisions because they confuse it with his “perfect will” in this passage.

However, Romans 12:2 is not speaking of God’s eternal councils, sure to be fulfilled yet hidden o us. Rather, the context (renewing the mind through the word) indicates that the perfect will that Paul calls us to discern is God’s moral and saving will (i.e.
the law and the gospel) insofar as he has revealed it in scripture. Therefore, when it comes to our vocations, whom we should marry, where we should live, and so forth, we are responsible to discern God’s will only insofar as it is revealed in scripture. For example, we must marry fellow believers (2 Co 6:14), but other considerations are left to our wisdom, the counsel of friends, and the desires of our hearts.

Unlike God’s good and perfect (revealed) will, God’s hidden decree is secret to us. We have no reason to believe that god will reveal to us where we should live, even though he has “determined allotted periods and the boundaries of our dwelling place” (Acts 17:26. But we can be confident that he has revealed everything necessary for salvation and godliness. It is liberation to know that we cannot step in and out of God’s sovereign will, although it remains hidden to us, even if we discover that a decision was poorly made or circumstances did not work out as we had planned. It is not only unexpected that we should know God’s secret purposes; such inquisitiveness is treated in Scripture as an affront to God’s majesty (Rom 11:34).

Many Christians assume that, far from a “deep abyss” inaccessible to us, the secrets of god’s providence can be discerned by following certain formulas. Calvin rebukes the stoics for their fatalism: “for he who has set the limits to our live has at the same time entrusted to us its care; he has provided means and helps to preserve it; he has also made us able to foresee dangers; that they may not overwhelm us unaware, he has offered precautions and remedies” We are therefore bound to use them. (Institutes 1:17.4.) God has planned our future and is active in brining it to pass. “Meanwhile, nevertheless, a godly man will not overlook the secondary causes.” (Institutes 1:17.9.) So confident is Calvin in the sufficiency of that which has been revealed that he can conclude, “And it would not even be useful for us to know what god himself…willed to be hidden.” In fact, recalling a retort reported by Augustine, he added, “When a certain shameless fellow mockingly asked a pious old man what god had done before the creation of the world, the latter aptly countered that he had been building hell for the curious.” (Institutes 1:14.1) (Michael Horton Systematic Theology P. 362-364)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Purpose-Driven/Seeker Sensitive 10 Commandments

Since the Seeker-Sensitive Churches haven’t done it yet, I thought I would do them a favor and write down the 10 commandments of the Seeker-Sensitive/ Purpose-Driven Church. Here is the list:

I am the God your bearded Girlfriend who delivered your from a life without purpose

1. You shall love the vision God has given you with all your heart, soul, mind and strength

2. You shall engrave the vision God has given you on large tablets and in your journal so all that see it shall run. It came from heaven and you shall make it manifest on the earth. You shall bow down to serve it and fulfill the purpose God has given your life, for God is a God of purpose showing my purpose to the third and fourth generation of all who fulfill their purpose.

3. You shall not keep your God in a Box, for the Lord will not hold him blameless who keeps his God in a box!

4. You shall honor the day of Football and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day (Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and some Thursdays) is the day of Football. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male and female servants should still go to work so you can have the day off, but not the visitor within your gates. For six days in the week pass so you may rest and watch football, therefore the football day is made holy.

5. You shall always confess positive things over your life so that it might go well with you and you have a long and prosperous life.

6. You shall always do all you can to anger “religious” people

7. You shall not commit adultery and tell anyone so that you may receive forgiveness, God wants you to be happy and wouldn’t let you stay in an unhappy marriage

8. You shall always give your full 10% tithe and not rob God

9. You shall not tell big lies, God understands you need to tell little ones every now and then

10. You shall not settle for anything less than the best house, the best wife, the best job and employees, the best car, the best toys and have them all better than your neighbor and live you best life now!

So what do you think? Are there any I left out? Any that should be changed or fine tuned? Conversation is welcome!

Friday, March 4, 2011

True Orthodox Faith Means The Doctrine of Hell

I have a friend that I used to go to school with who said (in so many words or at least my recollection of the conversation) that his goal in discipleship, and what he would like professed Christians to do is to do what it says in Jeremiah 6:16a which says, “Thus says the LORD: "Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.” So I thought I would do that and point to one of these ancient fathers, and show his explanation of what the ancient path is. Irenaeus wrote a book called “Against Heresies” sometime between 182-188 A.D. This book was written before Constantine and before Nicaea so you can no accuse it of any conspiracy. If you wish to read the book, you may find it HERE. What was taught in the early church? What did they understand to be the faith once and for all delivered to the saints? This is what they confessed:

Chapter X.-Unity of the Faith of the Church throughout the Whole World.

"1. The Church though dispersed through our the whole world, even to the
ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and their disciples this
[She believes] in one God,

The Father Almighty, Maker of heaven,

and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them;

And in one Christ

Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation;
and in the Holy Spirit, who proclaimed through the prophets the dispensations of God, and the advents, and the birth from a virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the ascension into heaven in the flesh of the beloved Christ Jesus, our Lord, and His [future] manifestation from heaven in the glory of the Father "to gather all things in one," and to raise up anew all flesh of the whole human race, in order that to Christ Jesus, our Lord, and God, and Savior, and King, according to the will of the invisible Father, "every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess" to Him, and that He should execute just judgment towards all; that He may send "spiritual wickednesses," and the angels who transgressed and became apostates, together with the ungodly, and unrighteous, and wicked, and profane among men, into everlasting fire; but may, in the exercise of His grace, confer immortality on the righteous, and holy, and those who have kept His commandments, and have persevered in His love, some from the beginning [of their Christian course], and others from [the date of] their repentance, and may surround them with everlasting glory.

2. As I have already observed, the Church, having received this preaching and this faith, although scattered throughout the whole world, yet, as if occupying but one house, carefully preserves it. She also believes these points [of doctrine] just as if she had but one soul, and one and the same heart, and she proclaims them, and teaches them, and hands them down, with perfect harmony, as if she possessed only one mouth. For, although the languages of the world are dissimilar, yet the import of the tradition is one and the same. For the Churches which have been planted in Germany do not believe or hand down anything different, nor do those in Spain, nor those in Gaul, nor those in the East, nor those in Egypt, nor those in Libya, nor those which have been established in the central regions of the world. But as the sun, that creature of God, is one and the same throughout the whole world, so also the preaching of the truth shineth everywhere, and enlightens all men that are willing to come to a knowledge of the truth. Nor will any one of the rulers in the Churches, however highly gifted he may be in point of eloquence, teach doctrines different from these (for no one is greater than the Master); nor, on the other hand, will he who is
deficient in power of expression inflict injury on the tradition. For the faith being ever one and the same, neither does one who is able at great length to discourse regarding it, make any addition to it, nor does one, who can say but little diminish it."

We notice that everlasting fire for those who do not repent and come to the grace of Christ is one of those things that have been historically taught. The doctrine of hell is not some recent and novel idea introduced into the Church; it is a matter of essential Christian orthodoxy. To deny the doctrine of hell is to put one outside the bounds of the Christian Faith. This is and has always been the teaching of the Church, the Apostles, the Prophets and the Scriptures.
One thing Rob Bell said in his recent video about his new book on hell is true, “what we believe about heaven and hell is incredibly important because it exposes what we believe about Who God is, and what God is like.” I couldn’t agree more. For and infinite God to not punish Sin infinitely is not a good God. Sin and unrighteousness must be punished if God is to be righteous. Righteousness and holiness make no sense without hell. But God provided a way that sinners might not go to hell. Because God is good and God is Love and God is Holy, he sent his perfect and holy Son Jesus Christ to live on this earth under the law, the law that you and I failed to keep. He lived and died under the full wrath of God, the wrath that was rightly for you. Christ bore the whole wrath of God and curse of the law in his body on the tree, and died. But that’s not the end. Three days later he rose from the dead and conquered death, sin and the devil, and ascended to the right hand of the father and presented his own blood as the pure and true sacrifice for sin and then sat down at the right hand of God, signifying that his work is done. And we may share in his sacrifice by repenting of the sins we have done, to feel heart felt sorrow from them, to confess them to God and turn from our sins. And place all our trust in the saving work of Christ. That is the good news of the Gospel. It is not a matter of works, but it is a matter of the works of Christ. Christ has done it all that all that comes to him will not die but have everlasting life. Come to the grace of Christ and embrace the true Gospel.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Thank You to Rob Bell

This might sound weird, but I would like to publicly thank Rob Bell for his new book. The reason that I would like to thank him, is the same reason I express thanks to Brian Mclaren and Tony Jones. They have finally come out and exposed to the world their heretical views. They can no longer try to hide behind an Orthodox Christian veneer. They have, by their own words, firmly put themselves out of the camp of Christianity and their words have exposed them for the wolves in sheep's clothing that they have always been. For that I thank them for finally saying what they truly believe and exposing their teeth for all the sheep to see, so they might run to the shepherd for safety

Rob Bell has been one of the slipperiest and influential heretics in recent memory. He has the ear of countless youth groups and young believers. I myself was an avid viewer of his videos when I first came to faith. He is very friendly and engaging in his delivery, very entertaining in his productions and presentations, and like every bit of rat poison, he says some stuff that sounds almost true. But he has been able to hide behind the cloud of fog created by his words, and now he is laid open and exposed. For proof of his heretical views, all you have to do IS TO CLICK HERE.

To answer Rob Bell, I will simply quote the words from J.C. Ryle. Listen to Bishop Ryle's response to one who denies hell:

They are preaching up the devil's old, favorite doctrine!

There is such a place as Hell. Let no one deceive you with vain words. What people do not like--they try hard not to believe. When the Lord Jesus Christ comes to judge the world, He will punish all who are not His disciples with a fearful punishment!All who are found unrepentant and unbelieving; all who have clung to sin; all who have set their affections on worldly things; all who are without Christ--all such shall come to a dreadful end! "Anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life--was thrown into the Lake of Fire!" Revelation 20:15

1) I know that some people do not believe that there is any Hell at all. They think it impossible, that there can be such a place. They call it inconsistent with the mercy of God. They say that it is too awful an idea to be really true. The devil of course, rejoices in the views of such people. They help his kingdom mightily. They are preaching up the devil's old, favorite doctrine, "You shall not surely die!" Genesis 3:4

2) I know furthermore, that some do not believe that Hell is eternal! They tell us it is incredible, that a compassionate God will punish people forever. They imagine that He will surely open the prison doors of Hell at last. This also is a mighty help to the devil's cause.

3) I know also that some believe that there is a Hell--but never allow
that anybody is going there! They imagine that . . . all people are
good, all are sincere, all mean well, and all, they hope,
will go to Heaven when they die! Alas! what a common delusion is this!

If I never spoke of Hell--I would think I had kept back something that was profitable, and would look on myself as an accomplice of the devil. Reader, I beseech you, in all tender affection--beware of false views of the subject on which I have been dwelling. Beware of new and strange doctrines about Hell and the eternity of
punishment. Beware of manufacturing a god of your own:

a god who is all mercy--but not just;

a god who is all love--but not holy;

a god who has a Heaven for everybody--but a Hell for none;

a god who will make no distinction between godly and the ungodly in eternity.

Such a god is an idol of your own imagination! It is as truly an idol--as any snake or crocodile in an Egyptian temple! The hands of your own imagination and sentimentality have made it! It is not the God of the Bible--and beside the God of the Bible, there is no God at all.

Friday, February 25, 2011

My Interaction in the Emergent Conversation Part 4

Joe has posted the conclusion to his rebuttal of my position. Did he make his case? Am I wrong? Should I repent? Please come to his blog and join in the conversation!

His Blog May Be Found Here

My Interaction in the Emergent Conversation Part 3

Joe, the individual that I am in conversation with, has posted a response to my posts on his blog. Please come and read. Has he refuted me? Am I wrong in my theology and should I repent? Has his case been made stronger, and mine weaker? Please comment and let me know, and comment on his blog and join into the conversation.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Interaction in the Emergent Conversation Part 2

I thought I would update all of you concerning my endeavors in the emergent conversation. This is a bit of a long post, but I promise it will be worth the read to get to the punchline. I have been in conversation with a seemingly nice fellow named Joe (his blog may be found HERE) on Jonathan Brinks website, and finally the root of the issue has surfaced. Allow me to share this conversation, but for those who have not read the first installment of this series, please come HERE and read the first installment. Then you will be all caught up and enjoy!


Hi Ryan,
Thanks for the thoughtful discussion. I hope to be as gracious to you as you have been to me. Perhaps I should explain... Gen 1:31 is gospel.... Gen 3:15 is the gospel.... much of the prophets is gospel. The gospel is not just confined to the New Testament however, in the New Testament, as the article I wrote shows with a preponderance of evidence, Jesus and his followers (the New Testament authors) redefined the word of God to be the gospel and Jesus. This makes the scripture redemption focused. You must remember that during the period of the New Testament writings, the temple was still standing and many Jews were believers... they were still in transition between covenants Many of them including Paul were still doing temple sacrifices. It was a very different time than now. That is the first point.

Secondly, the strongest argument for the redemptive only position comes from this passage: 2Ti 3:15-17 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, *which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. * (16) All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, (17) that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.... Paul states a redemptive purpose in verse 15 and most that quote the passage do not include it and, therefore do not include the relevant context which shows that in Paul's mind it is solely redemptive.

Let's face it, the scripture did not correct the unbelieving scribes and Pharisees. It did not prived them sound doctrine... it did not furnish then for every good work. They were worthless. Just like Ex 21:7-9 is worthless today. None would sell their daughter as a sex slave and claim the bible said they could.

Finally, for me.... the clearest declaration of the gospel is Isaiah 53. The redemptive decrees are more profoundly stated in the Old Testament than they are in the New because there was not a confusion about transitions and Jew/Gentile distinctions.

Thank you for calling me gracious, that is something I would have never thought to hear someone call me (I see myself as a bull in a china shop most of the time) Allow me to attempt gracious discourse once again. I would have to disagree with you. It seemed pretty common that Jesus scolded the Pharisees and the scribes because they should have known the things he was teaching. It was a dark room, the Old Testament, but it was a room fully furnished. Jesus was shocked that they didn’t know these things. Paul went into the synagogues and preached from the scriptures that Jesus was the Christ. He didn’t have a new testament with him; only a little bit of it was written. He had Luke because he quoted Luke, but he preached from the Hebrew cannon and showed that Jesus was the Christ. That says that it was all there to begin with. So the scriptures were to conform them to sound doctrine, but they missed it, 2 Tim 3:15-17 still stands on its own beautifully.

Also since it was brought up, no Christian picks and chooses which law to follow. I love every single one of the Hebrew commands. Every single one, because although I am not ethnic Israel living under the civil government of the nation of Israel, every one of those laws show me the nature of God and foreshadow Christ. Every one of those laws, yes, every single one, show me the nature of the father, his attributes, his loves, his hates, his judgments, his mercy, it shows me all these things. They also foreshadow Christ! This is of course harder to see if you deny Penal Substitutionary Atonement, (I’m not saying if you do or not, I don’t know you, but I’m positive that many who read this blog do not) but if you realize the truth of Christ giving his life for sins, all the law is opened up beautifully to show Christ.


We do see things differently indeed. I am not an advocate for the penal substitution theory at all.... have not been for a long time and, that is one of the reasons that I am drawn to this blog and like the book Discovering the God Imagination.

Certainly, we do not have to agree but... it seems that you are ignoring the fact that Jesus and his followers completely redefined the term word of God. The emphasis was on gospel... of course Jesus was/is the living gospel. My point is that there are several valid ways to view the biblical narrative and, the one you have chosen does not deal well with much of the New Testament writings. They show eschatological imminence. They show a new way of obedience.... the obedience of faith "hupokoen pisteos." They show a transition of covenants to be finished at the destruction of the temple.... they show an imminent end of the age. Christ is not being shown by a regulation that allows men to sell their daughters as concubines (sex slaves.) The gospel is everywhere in both the old and new testaments but, all of the old and new testaments are not gospel and Jesus and his followers did the redefining not me and a theology that will not deal with that is off the mark.


How would you deal with the fact that Jesus said he did not come to do away with the law but to fulfill it?


Here is a blog article that explains it or, at the very least makes an interesting point about the passage you are speaking of . (Please read the blog by clicking here, to see his point.)


I did read your blog, and you did neglect much of the teaching of scripture on this. One has always been whether Jew or Gentile admitted into covenant with God by Faith (Romans 4) Faith has always been the way even before circumcision, and it still was faith that united us to God (Through Christ) even in the Mosaic Covenant. What Circumcision was, was a sign of entrance into that covenant. That is all, a sign of entrance. And we do have circumcision today (I will now unveil my reformed roots) We have it in the New birth, where God circumcises our hearts (The New Birth) which is a fulfillment to the promise given in the law in Deut 30:6, "The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live." and also in Jer 31:31-34, "31 “The days are coming,” declares the LORD,
“when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to[d] them,”
declares the LORD.
33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
after that time,” declares the LORD.
“I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
34 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, ‘Know the LORD,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the LORD.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.”

What the sign of entrance into the covenant with God in the church today is Baptism. Baptism is not mans statement to God, but God's statement to man. It is a sign of the covenant given in the new covenant, as we have in Col 2:8-15, "8See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 9For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. 11In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him."

The Scriptures are unified in their teachings. All the laws point to Christ and all the law is fulfilled in Christ. How do you deal with the sacrificial law? What was God teaching them through the sacrifices if it was not that blood had to be shed for the forgiveness of sin as it says in Hebrews 9:22, "Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins." And in the Law in Lev 17:11, "For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life." Jesus fulfilled all of this through his life and death, and the whole purpose of the Law was to show the holiness of God, how far short men fall, and that they must be forgiven, and only by the shedding of blood can they be forgiven, and that there was a perfect sacrifice coming that would once and for all forgive their sins. (Gal 3-4, Heb 8-10)


This is going to get too narrow to read.... I have copied your response to a word document and I intend to answer it. In short, you seem to be the one that does not want to deal with what the scripture says... In the passage in Matthew 5, Jesus says, until heaven and earth pass away and all is fulfilled not one jot or tittle will be removed from the law/Torah. Was Jesus just using hyperbole? I don't think so.... a paradigm shift is needed that does not have to construct a covenant between the Father and Son before time... an idea that I might add is questionably biblical but oh so necessary to create the sense of continuity. Anyway, I need to try to figure a way to answer these without using the tree as we will soon be down to one word wide. :)

And finally, we get to the heart of the issue. Did notice that statement? Said Joe, In the passage in Matthew 5, Jesus says, until heaven and earth pass away and all is fulfilled not one jot or tittle will be removed from the law/Torah. Was Jesus just using hyperbole? I don't think so.... a paradigm shift is needed that does not have to construct a covenant between the Father and Son before time... an idea that I might add is questionably biblical but oh so necessary to create the sense of continuity.” Post modern arguments are not scriptural and they know it. They know that there is no bible to support the changes they propose. What is the warrant for such changes if it is not in the scripture? It must be in their own minds and heart. This is by definition making a god in your own image and likeness, and that would be blasphemy and Idolatry. Postmodern theology is sin and teaching others to sin.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Love: By George Herbert

Today as I was driving to work I was listening to the White Horse Inn, as per usual on my Sunday evening drive. Michael Horton ended the program by quoting this poem from George Herbert intitled "Love." As it is the Lords day, and as I was reflecting on the Lord and our gathering in his name earlier today, this poem struck my heart. Oh, how the Gospel is so beautifully proclaimed in this poem!

Have we forgotten the pit in which we were rescued? Have we forgotten our path and how Christ has led us down the road of faith? Do we not remember the joy of our first love? Have we all been so taken in by Gnostisism that we see no connection between the matter of the thing and the sign of the thing signified? Have we forgotten the connection between the Gospel, the Church, and the Sacraments? Have we forgotten how much Christ has nourished our minds and hearts and changed those hearts to love him? Rejoice in the Love of Christ as you read this poem, and I pray for you all that:

Eph 3:14-19, "For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."


by: George Herbert (1593-1632)

LOVE bade me welcome; yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lack'd anything.

'A guest,' I answer'd, 'worthy to be here:'
Love said, 'You shall be he.'
'I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,
I cannot look on Thee.'
Love took my hand and smiling did reply,
'Who made the eyes but I?'

'Truth, Lord; but I have marr'd them: let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.'
'And know you not,' says Love, 'Who bore the blame?'
'My dear, then I will serve.'
'You must sit down,' says Love, 'and taste my meat.'
So I did sit and eat.