Thursday, December 25, 2008

On The Weight of The Incarnation

"Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people." (Heb 2:17)

Another Christmas is here and gone, presents strewn about the house, cookie crumbs decorate the mouth corners of all, and the seasonal afternoon nap develops into a way of life. It truly is easy to lose sight of the heart of what it is we are celebrating amidst all the commotion of family visits, dinners, children playing, purchases and exchanges etc.

We can think quaintly of the baby in the manger, with the sheep and animals gently nuzzeling about Him. But it is there in Bethlehem we see humility and exaltation joined in One, glory and shame, the servant and King of all, this in one Person, Jesus Christ.

He was made like us in every way, subjected Himself to the same futility, cried like any other infant, played with other children, skinned His knees, as He grew He learned a trade and earned a living. In two ways He was not like us, He is indeed God and He lived a life without sin. All of this to save a people to Himself.

He didn't have to do it. Justice does not demand this humility and mercy on His part. The wonderous mystery of His choice to come as a Man and lovingly redeem a people lies in the unloveliness of those He came to redeem. He did not look upon us and see something that called for mercy (else it would no longer be mercy). Rather, in all of our ugliness toward one another and rejecting of God's Lordship He came to save.

We all to easily confess to our sinfulness without meditating on the hideousness of it, perhaps because it is too heavy to bear. "Christ died for the ungodly" (5:6) What does it mean to be "ungodly" other than to be opposed to God and all He calls good?

Such were all of us, yet He came nonetheless. He did not do this primarily to show us the life to live, for we could never live it. However, we see in Christ the invisible God. God is not some aloof invisible man distant from His creation as some would say. Our sin has seperated us from Him yet in His mercy He revealed Himself by becoming one of us. In Christ that seperation beween man and God no longer exists and those who are in Him may boldy approach the throne of grace.

These are sweet truths, worthy of meditation more than once a year.

Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Revisiting Schaeffer's "Final Apologetic"

In Francis Scaheffer's work "The Mark of the Christian" the timeless balance of truth and love, doctrinal integrity and interpersonal authenticity is struck. All too often we fall prey to one extreme or another in our evangelism, apologetics, preaching and relationships with one another. We tend to emphasize one of Scripture's mandates at the expense of another.

Followers of Christ who highly esteem the Word and the propositional truths contained in the Bible often can be guilty of bludgeoning others with those truths. Any disagreement is met with harsh outbursts where the person of the objector is attacked and villified. When it is between believers and non-believers, as far as I can tell this is no more evident than within the supposed "Culture War".

Believer to Unbeliever Lack of Love

In the made up "Culture War" moral miscreants and unbelievers are "the enemy" who must be destroyed. This is evidenced by a recent "outrage" of a homosexual nativity scene with 2 Marys and 2 Josephs played by live people (they must be working in shifts). At any rate the group has claimed it is not their intention to offend Christian but they just want an alternative because they "feel left out" of Christmas.

Is this blasphemous?



Meant to offend Christians?

But how do we react as Christians? Do we go on the radio and rant about these people and their degeneracy? Go stand across the street from their Nativity scene with signs reminding them that indeed homosexuality is immoral and hell is real? Well that's what is expected, and frankly that's probably what these people want; a bunch of angry offended Christians foaming at the mouth. This is ugliness and is often all the world sees of Christians.

So how should we react? By practically loving them. It can be as simple as bringing them hot coffee and warm cookies and gently saying "I completely disagree with what you are doing but I want you to know I love you." If they have any sense and they see you aren't there to pick a fight (which is probably what they want) they just might feel a little thing we call guilt in response to your returning good for evil.

I believe we are called to do just that, we are not called to protest, lobby, yell and scream we are called to love our neighbor and seek to save the lost. Schaeffer wrote of this stating:

"All men are our neighbors, and we are to love them as ourselves. We are to do this on the basis of creation, even if they are not redeemed, for all men have value because they are made in the image of God. Therefore, they are to be loved even at great cost."

Believer to Believer Compromise of Love

In the believer to believer conflicts and disagreements much ugliness and lack of love can also be displayed. Church splits often reflect this ugliness where the actual matter of the division gets lost in personal malicious attacks.

I know for myself the above is my own tendency, I love the truths of God inestimably and I hate to see them trampled down as a common thing. Bunyan's depition of "Mr. Valiant for truth" is one of my own heart. So, when I see or hear the center attacked I get angry at the person. My first thoughts in doctinal controversies generally are not how can I in trying to win this person intellectually to a "more perfect" (Acts 18:26) understanding of God show them that I love them unconditionally? My thoughts are generally thoughts of how to zing the moron. This is sin, and a theology of glory.

On the opposite end of the spectrum we have the tendency to compromise truth and doctrine for relationships. This is poignently seen in the incessant cries for "Unity!" in the church. These cries are valid Biblically (Eph 4:1-10) and are not to be dismissed out of hand. However, often the cry for "Unity!" is synonymous with a cry of "Compromise!". This has been the bane of liberal theologians exhortations for Church unity, it is a unity that is simply skin deep.

Again, as I have said my personal tendency is toward truth at the expense of brotherly kindness, so my sense of the the unity=compromise is rather acute. More than acute my theological spidey sense more often than not manifests in outright synicism at any cry for "Unity!" Because, like the dwarves in the C.S. Lewis' "Last Battle" I simply do not want to be taken in.

Living Christ's Commands

This is why I have found Francis Schaeffer's life and contribution to be of immense value. Schaeffer not only talked about the balance between truth and interpersonal relationships he lived it. His exhortation though simple enough is so easy to neglect. We are not to destroy the image of God in the person in our proclamation and defense of the truth, nor are we on the other hand to compromise the truth in order to have relationship with persons.

This is a simple message. However, in order to really live this balance I believe we absolutely must be intentional in seeking this balance. Schaeffer's own life manifested this balance as he opened his home at L'Abri to travelers and seekers, loved them in very practical manner all the while speaking the truth of Christ to them. This is "Speaking the truth in love" (Eph 4).

I honestly think that this is the most important aspect of "Schaeffer's apologetic" as without the diligent practice of loving the whole person our apologetic efforts are being undercut by our lack of love for the individual. This is in part why I have backed off a bit from the internet debate culture, so much of debate on blogs is simply bickering in an extremely insulting manner. Individuals are far more rude over the medium of the internet than in person, myself included.

It really goes back to the call to love our neighbor as ourselves which Schaeffer has emphasized.
While it is true that people may believe and say things that are ridiculous as well as blasphemous, yet for the sake of the image of God in the person they are to be reprooved and corrected while we do not seek to destroy them as persons through insult and a desire for ill will. We must honestly be checking our own hearts as often we will find ourselves desiring people to fail because of some disagreement we may have with them.

Don't be quick to think "I don't do that!" if we search our hearts we will undoubtedly see this dark smudge. All the more lamentable is that we more often than not harbor such ill will toward our fellow Christian with whom we may disagree doctrinally. We may actually feel a degree of glad smugness upon hearing of their failure. This is ugly, for in holding this attitude we have destroyed our brother in our hearts under the banner of "Truth".

In his book "The Mark of the Christian" Schaeffer argues strongly based upon John 13:33-35 that world will know that Christ is risen and is Lord by the changed lives of Christians manifesting itself in love. Schaeffer shows that unless we are truly loving each other WITHIN our differences the world has no reason to believe the Christian message is any different than all the other messages. It is this Mark of the Christian that distinguishes Christianity as authentic truth, for we can disagree even strongly yet love and fellowship with equal strength within our disagreements. Schaeffer writes:

"Before a watching world, an observable love in the midst of difference will show a difference between Christian's differences and other men's differences. The world may not understand what the Christians are disagreeing about, but they will very quickly understand the difference of our differences in an open and observable love on a practical level.

That is different. Can you see why Jesus said this was the thing that would arrest the attention of the world? You cannot expect the world to understand doctrinal differences, espescially in our day when the existence of truth and absolutes are considered unthinkable even as concepts."

Everyone will disagree and argue, the difference is that Christians are called to love within their disagreements and this is what will authenticate the message to the watching world. That is what our Lord Jesus Christ said. This love toward one another as fellow Christians is what will give a distinction to our message, and what Christ said validates that we ourselves are Christians.

I close on that note by quoting Schaeffer on the final apologetic:

"Yet, unless true Christians show observable love to each other, Christ says the world can not be expected to listen, even when we give proper answers. Let us be careful, indeed, to spend a lifetime studying to give honest answers. So it is well to spend time learning to answer the questions of those who are about us. But we must never forget that the final apologetic which Jesus gives is the observable love of true Christians for true Christians."

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Reformation Day

With each passing year I seem to appreciate the Reformation, and the men who fought for it, all the more. In this year in particular I in studying church history have come to see just how wicked the Roman church really was and even is (not the people in it per se). Also, the freedoms we have, and our form of government have their roots planted directly in the fertile soil of the Reformation based streams of thought.

We owe an inestimable debt to our Reformers who fought, and in many cases died, that we may worship Christ, as our conscience (hopefully guided by Scripture) dictates.

I will expand this further in coming posts.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Ford vs. Chevy, Coke vs. Pepsi, Left vs. Right...What side are YOU on?

Upon coming to a more Libertarian/Constitutional view of government I believe I have been afforded a bit of objectivity I previously did not have in looking at the current political camps. Being a Constitutionalist I am an outsider to the rhetoric of the two parties, so I am beginning to see the spin a bit more clearly whereas in times past I wouldn't have viewed it as spin at all.

It astounds me to no end each time I tune in to talk radio on my commutes how, no matter what the issue, no matter what the facts are, it is somehow the Democrats who are at fault. It always comes back to the fight between the two parties, that explains the bail out, the mortgage crises, and the failures in Iraq.

If Sarah Palin in an interview when asked what news papers she reads and consequently can't name a single one, it is because the liberals are being biased. It always comes back to this paradigm, no matter what the issue. It is the wild joker.

In talking about election fraud the radio hosts go on and on about how the Democrats love to rig elections and if a Republican ever attempted such a dastardly stunt he would fry. I find such talk laughable considering the question marks over the integrity of out two previous presidential elections both going to Bush. One University of Florida student learned at the end of a taser the price for publicly raising this issue to John Kerry.

Try to see the left vs. right split as on par with the fights which I saw the "hicks" at my high school would get into over whether Ford trucks were better than Chevy. They actually formed two packs of rival gangs sporting opposing T-shirts shouting insults at each others vehicles. This all seemed rather ridiculous to me as an outside observer because they were the same trucks, one just had a "Ford" logo the other "Chevy".

Another comparable analogy would be the difference between Coke and Pepsi. There is indeed a difference, one is in a blue can the other red. The tastes are slightly different as well, but when you get down to it they are both cola.

Now think about this, you are at a summer party and there is an ice chest equally full of Coke cans, Pepsi cans and Walgreen's "Cola" cans, which do you think is most likely to run out first? Why?

Transitioning from cars and soda, the point I want to get at is that what the whole left right paradigm is intended to do is to cancel or nullify any grassroots movement and absorb people into the fake fight. The two party mentality is clearly ingrained in our political speak...we speak of alternative parties as "third party" or we toss out shallow cliches such as "Ya gatta vote fer the leser of two evils."

All such phrases presuppose Democrat and Republican hegemonic dominance.

So, if people don't like the way things are going, like the war for example, well then we will vote Democrat because a Republican started it. Yet, the Democrats vote to continue to war. Or, say we want abortions to stop, so we vote Republican, yet the Republicans choose to not vote on legislation that would overturn Roe v. Wade through Congress.

It's a false choice.

This becomes more clear with the banker bail out scam. The bailout scam is the greatest step toward socialism in the history of the United States since the creation of the Federal Reserve and the income tax in 1913. This bill however had the current President and both of the establishment party presidential candidates as supporters. In the meantime the overwhelming majority of the public did not want this bill passed.

Every now and then we see the two establishment banker and corporate parties collude and pass the most fascist pieces of legislation. These are the moments the mask comes off and the two parties are exposed for what they are, henchmen or hench-women for an elite.

There are a few exceptions like Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul to name a couple.

Upon his inauguration Bill Clinton named one individual as being instrumental in shaping him and setting him on course to be president, his name was professor Carrol Quigley. Carrol Quigley claimed to have had a degree of inside knowledge as to who this elite were and felt that they should be public (Quigly had no objection to their ruling).

In his book "Tragedy and Hope" Quigley spoke of the two party system as a cleverly crafted paradigm of this elite, Quigley writes:

"The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to the doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can "throw the rascals out" at any election without leading to any profound or extreme shifts in policy." (T & H p.1247-1248)

Simply put the left v. right paradigm is a false dichotomy, as there is no real choice, either way the elite get their man in.

So, with that said, it is the job of the talk radio jocks, the Bill Orielly's, the Sean Hannity's, the Bill Maher's and Chris Matthews' of the world to fight and yell and scream and get the public to believe there is a difference and by so doing prop up the illusion of choice. That is their job.

Here's a video with visual graphics that explains how the false left v. right paradigm works:

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Root of the Financial Crises

! Updated at End!
The new film "Zeitgeist Addendum" gives an excellent explanation of how the fiat money system and our currency (Federal Reserve Notes) are by their very nature the heart of the economic problems we are facing. I certainly do not agree with all that the Zeitgeist film puts forward, I particularly disagree with their solution (a techno-Marxist Utopia) and their view of Christianity, however, the film is spot on with it's information on the monetary system/banker scam. It is simply brilliant in it's information:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Part 6:

There is more to the film, I have posted what I thought to contain the best information.

To be more clear with what it is and why I disagree with some of the film I will briefly write. I strongly disagree with the solution (hence I did not post it) that the film maker offers. I disagree with this politically as it is a form of what I would call a techno-Marxism, which of course on the surface seems appealing yet in it's naivete overlooks the sinfulness of man and the opportunity for corruption.

Also, as a Christian I reject the solution as only Christ is the solution to the fallen condition we are in, not some Utopian ideal. We need to be changed from the inside out and made into new creatures not from the outside in with a slick lazy society of comfort. Christ and His regenerating work and ultimate glorification of His own is our hope, not a system of government.

We should however not expect anything other than this from the world, as they without God are cursed to be worldly minded and seek solutions in that same fashion.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ron Paul Endorses Chuck Baldwin

Here is Ron Paul's endorsement of Chuck Baldwin for president in the 2008 election:

New Alliance - By Dr. Ron Paul

Friends - please read this new and important piece by Dr. Paul.

The press conference at the National Press Club had a precise purpose. It was to expose, to as many people as possible, the gross deception of our presidential election process. It is controlled by the powerful elite to make sure that neither candidate of the two major parties will challenge the status quo. There is no real choice between the two major parties and their nominees, only the rhetoric varies. The amazingly long campaign is designed to make sure the real issues are ignored. The quotes I used at the press conference from insider Carroll Quigley and the League of Women voters strongly support this contention.
Calling together candidates from the liberal, conservative, libertarian and progressive constituencies, who are all opposed to this rigged process, was designed to alert the American people to the uselessness of continuing to support a process that a claims that one’s only choice is to choose the lesser of two evils and reject a principle vote that might challenge the status quo as a wasted vote.

In both political education and organization, coalitions are worthwhile and necessary to have an impact. “Talking to the choir” alone achieves little. I have always approached political and economic education with a “missionary” zeal by inviting any group in on issues we agree upon.

This opens the door to legitimate discourse with the hope of winning new converts to the cause of liberty. This strategy led to the press conference with the four candidates agreeing to the four principles we believe are crucial in challenging the political system that has evolved over many years in this country.

This unique press conference, despite the surprising, late complication from the Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate, hopefully will prove to be historically significant.

This does not mean that I expect to get Ralph Nader or Cynthia McKinney to become libertarians, nor do they expect me to change my mind on the issues on which we disagree. In the meantime, why can’t we be friends, respectful of each other, and fight the corrupt process from which we suffer, and at the same time champion the four issues that we all agree upon which the two major candidates won’t address?

Many practical benefits can come from this unique alliance. Our cause is liberty —freedom is popular and is the banner that brings people together. Since authoritarianism divides, we always have the edge in an intellectual fight. Once it’s realized that the humanitarian goals of peace and prosperity are best achieved with our views, I’m convinced we win by working with others. Those who don’t want to collaborate are insecure with their own beliefs.

In the past two years at the many rallies where I talked and shook hands with literally thousands of people, I frequently asked them what brought them to our campaign. There were many answers: the Constitution, my consistency, views on the Federal Reserve, the war, and civil liberties. The crowds were overwhelmingly made up of young people.

Oftentimes I welcomed the diverse groups that came, mentioning that the crowd was made up of Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Liberals and Progressives with each group applauding. Even jokingly, I recognized the “anarchists” and that, too, was met with some applause. In conversations, many admitted to having been Democrats and members of the Green Party and supporters of Ralph Nader, yet they came to agree with us on all the issues once the entire philosophy was understood. That’s progress.

Principled people are not shy in participating with others and will defend their beliefs on their merits. Liberals and progressives are willing to align themselves with us on the key issues of peace, civil liberties, debt and the Federal Reserve. That’s exciting and very encouraging, and it means we are making progress. The big challenge, however, is taking on the establishment, and the process that is so well entrenched. But we can’t beat the entrenched elite without the alliance of all those who have been disenfranchised.

Ironically the most difficult group to recruit has been the evangelicals who supported McCain and his pro-war positions. They have been convinced that they are obligated to initiate preventive war in the Middle East for theological reasons. Fortunately, this is a minority of the Christian community, but our doors remain open to all despite this type of challenge. The point is, new devotees to the freedom philosophy are more likely to come from the left than from those conservatives who have been convinced that God has instructed us to militarize the Middle East.

Although we were on the receiving end of ridicule in the reporting of the press conference, I personally was quite satisfied with the results. True revolutions are not won in a week, a month, or even a year. They take time. But we are making progress, and the momentum remains and is picking up. The Campaign for Liberty is alive and well, and its growth and influence will continue. Obviously the press conference could have been even more successful without the last-minute change of heart by the Libertarian Party candidate by not participating. He stated that his support for the four points remains firm. His real reason for not coming, nor letting me know until forty minutes before the press conference started, is unknown to me. To say the least, I was shocked and disappointed.

Yet in the long run, this last-minute change in plans will prove to be of little importance. I’m convinced that problems like this always seem bigger at the moment, yet things usually work out in the end. Recovering from the mistakes and shortcomings of all that we do in this effort is not difficult if the message is right and our efforts are determined. And I’m convinced they are. That’s what will determine our long-term success, not the shortcomings of any one person.
The Libertarian Party Candidate admonished me for “remaining neutral” in the presidential race and not stating whom I will vote for in November.

It’s true; I have done exactly that due to my respect and friendship and support from both the Constitution and Libertarian Party members. I remain a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party and I’m a ten-term Republican Congressman. It is not against the law to participate in more then one political party. Chuck Baldwin has been a friend and was an active supporter in the presidential campaign.

I continue to wish the Libertarian and Constitution Parties well. The more votes they get, the better. I have attended Libertarian Party conventions frequently over the years.

In some states, one can be on the ballots of two parties, as they can in New York. This is good and attacks the monopoly control of politics by Republicans and Democrats. We need more states to permit this option. This will be a good project for the Campaign for Liberty, along with the alliance we are building to change the process.

I’ve thought about the unsolicited advice from the Libertarian Party candidate, and he has convinced me to reject my neutral stance in the November election. I’m supporting Chuck Baldwin, the Constitution Party candidate.

Monday, September 22, 2008

How History and Spin Repeat Themselves

The recent news article I have heard about is the federal raid on Tony Alamo Christian Ministries' "Compound". This raid came on charges of child abuse (allegedly physical and/or sexual). I don't know if the charges have any merit but that's not my point in this brief commentary. Nor do I particularly care for Tony Alamo, he strikes me as a heretic and a false prophet.

However, what I am bothered with is how this sort of stuff is always portrayed in the media. These people's place of residence suddenly becomes a "Compound" conjuring images of militants holding out in a standoff fashion with a large cache of firearms in a strategically designed complex surrounded by barbed wire fences and guard towers. This sort of 1984 Orwellian speak becomes too much when I read of how they held church services at "the compound" yesterday.

Simply put, the "compound" was a church and place of residence for members. They have used the "compound" spin since Waco on all these federal intrusions and 4th ammendment violations.

An AP article can be found here.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ron Paul Exposes the Two Party Paradigm, and The Economic Crisis' Roots

On the false Left v. Right paradigm fraud on the American voters:

On the economic crisis, causes and solutions:

Friday, September 05, 2008

The Sarah Palin Nomination

I suppose I will keep with the political theme here since that is what I have been mentally dwelling on the last few months. My main goal is to develop a robust Biblical approach to viewing civil government, the current election, and the state of the American Union. Perhaps in coming days I will post on a Christian theory of government proper, thus far I have just been giving commentary, and more developed exposition of a Biblical outline of government is needed.

At anyrate I wanted to put out my brief comments on the nomination of Sarah Palin as vice president on the McCain ticket. I do this since the news (of all brands) is incessantly talking about Palin, either glowingly or critically. I write also because Palin's nomination represents what I see as the snookering of evangelicals into endorsing a the candidacy of McCain, who they previously viewed (for the most part) with suspicion if not outright distrust and disdain.

I need to be clear up front, I like Sarah Palin. I really do, she appears to be a genuine political representative truly attempting to serve the people who elected her. She is untainted from the sin of adultery to the special interests and avarice, unlike the majority of officials in Washington. She truly acted as a reformer in Alaska, not only speaks pro-life but actually lives it, and has expressed affinity to other genuine political reformers such as Ron Paul.

So, I like Mrs. Palin.

However, I think that is precisely why she has been chosen. She is likable in the eyes of the usually conservative base. She has been chosen not because she will actually do anything, but because she is likable and will draw in voters who otherwise felt ignored thus far. Those voters are 1.Evangelicals, 2.Feminists, and 3.Limited government conservatives.

Simply put, the election of Sarah Palin is purely strategic.


The media has to a degree highlighted the feminist vote grab aspect of the Palin pick. Some commentators assert that Hillary supporters will remain democrat and they supported Hillary not because she was a woman but because of her policies. I think these commentators overlook how superficial the electorate really is. After watching both major party conventions one exercising critical thinking will notice that on "both sides of the aisle" there is nothing but substance bereft platitudes and promises of better times.

The amazing part is that the electorate gets excited about these sweeping statements. I find that this to be indicative more of the state of the electorate rather than the shallowness of our politicians. We get smarmy politicians who have more lies than voters because we as an electorate

So, I say yes, disgruntled feminists will switch from Hillary to Palin simply because Palin wears panties rather than briefs. That's the matter of fact superficiality that exists in the electorate, this was known and is a reason for the Palin nomination by the McCain coaches.


Furthermore, many evangelicals have felt slighted in this election as they couldn't get loud God-word wielding Huckabee as the nominee. Listening to Christian political radio I had in previous months noticed a good bit of angst about who the evangelicals would support since McCain didn't seem to match their views. That angst has been alleviated by the choice of Palin, and the Christians might as well be break dancing in the streets for how ga ga I have seen them respond to the Palin nomination.

Again, this was calculated. Now Christians who previously were talking of not voting, or even worse voting for an alternate candidate from the 2 establishment candidates, are coming around to McCain because of Sarah Palin's nomination.

Small Government Conservatives

Lastly, Sarah Palin appeals to conservatives who want a small government and an halt the growth of bureaucracies around the nation. I can't see the staunch Ron Paul types coming on board the McCain Palin bus, simply because while Palin is a step in the right direction she is still a neo-conservative and supports the status quo on issues we see in desperate need of reform (such as US foreign intervention and the federal reserve system).

However, many less conservative conservatives who may have supported lets say a Duncan Hunter, and saw McCain as a lefty in disguise seem to be disarmed by the choice of Palin as VP. Granted, the embracing of McCain was for the most part inevitable by these guys, however, Palin has made it that much more palatable for them to continue to vote Republican this fall.

My Response

My response to all of this is two fold.

1. Firstly, I don't know how anybody can look at the Palin nomination and not see that this is purely a political chess move. Obama just had his queen taken and his king is in check from multiple angles.

2. Secondly there is a tangible that no one seems to be talking about in all of this vice president talk and that is this:

The vice president doesn't do anything.

So all this hope in Palin as a conservative, pro-lifer, correct view of marriage, fiscal responsibility etc (and she is/has all of those things btw) all that hope is misplaced. We need a president that is those things, not merely a VP. Constitutionally, the only thing the VP does is break a tie vote in the Senate, that's it gang.

Bush and Cheney are an exception to this but that is because Cheney is Bush's handler, much like Biden would be Obama's handler. In the case of McCain and Palin, Palin is simply a trophy pick. (as a side note if you didn't know Cheney was in the past day in Georgia and Ukraine vowing US support of these countries and further heightening tensions with Russia).

Palin will not be a major advisor to McCain as president, that's the job of the Council on Foreign Relations cabinet he will choose when he wins. The picking of cabinet members is the most indicative statement of where a presidency's allegiance lies.

Sarah Palin was picked to look pretty, attract evangelicals, disgruntled feminists and conservatives who didn't view McCain as conservative enough so McCain will win the election. That's Palin's job, whether she knows it or not, and she is doing it quite well.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Ron Paul's Speech At The Rally For The Republic

The Dr.Ron Paul is curing the apathy of millions, his speech at his alternative rally to the establishment Republican rally (that cost the tax payers millions btw) occurred last night. Here it is:
Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4:

Part 5:

Part 6:

Jesse Ventura also gave a very freedom minded speech at the convention, hinting at a 2012 presidential run.
Part 1:

Part 2:

Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain Pro-Life? Pheh!

McCainIt is beginning to amaze me how the Christian electorate will support whoever the establishment tells them to. All the establishment candidates need to do is say the pro-life platitudes "Life begins at conception." or other phrases like "Marriage is a union between a man and a woman." and Christians begin cheering for the shill candidate and blindly support them.

Thus has been the case with the Christian electorate's new found enthusiasm for John McCain. What has been John McCain and the Neo-Con's record on this issue? Every year Ron Paul submits his sanctity of life bill to congress and every year it sits rejected. Need we be reminded from 2000 to 2006 the "conservative pro-lifers" controlled both the Congressional and the Executive branches of the federal government? Last I checked 2/3 of government was a majority, they could have over ridden the Supreme court's unconstitutional Roe v Wade position through the legislative and executive branches if they really wanted to. They didn't.

More specifically John McCain never supported Paul's sanctity of life bill, nor did he propose anything akin to that in the Senate. Now Christians are starting to fall in line and convince themselves McCain is pro-life, this is the same guy who spoke of bombing Iran as a joke. The more grievous part is that people think it is funny.

So when I hear these guys pandering to Christians with the same tired promises of "Justices who are pro-life" it falls on deaf ears. They were in positions to act and they have done nothing, these promises of future Justice appointees is like the proverbial carrot in front of the stupid donkey to keep him going where the driver desires.

The donkey never gets the carrot. Nor shall we see Roe v. Wade overturned without a second American revolution.

It's like the Democrats in congress who keep voting for war funding yet position themselves Oh the HORROR! I have 2 choices and can't pick!for the dupes who vote for them as being "anti-war". Ultimately, it is the Left-Right, Democrat vs. Republican false paradigm that needs to be shattered. Both parties are controlled and it's an illusion of actual choice put out to the American people to keep them thinking that they have a say in who rules them. We don't.

With the two party Council on Foreign Relations controlled candidates we really get the worst of both worlds. Republicans claim to be pro-life but just can't remedy the ghastly eugenics (abortion) laws because of the lefties. On the other side the Democrats claim to defend human rights but they just can't seem to stop the executive branch from torturing those goat herders we have in our semi-secret facility in Cuba.

The Epic battle between good and evil continues...It's designed that way. It's not going to get any better. We are psy-opted into the left right paradigm blaming the woes on the opposite party while remaining hopeful for the day when the good guys (our party) will be able to get things done...and finally end the war...stop abortion...stop torture...end warrantless wiretapping...repeal the patriot act...allow drilling...etc...etc...

In case you are wondering in this election we have a choice between Council on Foreign Relations team A and CFR team B. John McCain and Joe Biden are both members of the elitist David Rockefeller run group. Like Dick Cheney, Condelezza Rice, Bill Clinton, George Bush the older, the list can go on... The point is that no matter who wins the CFR gets their boys in.

Again, the false Left v. Right paradigm has captivated the electorate and constantly serves as a justification for the countless and continually growing unsavory practices and legislation coming from Washington. So that whenever some screw job happens to the American people half of them can contentedly say, "It's the Democrats again!"

Or on the flip side when we decide to bomb some other 3rd world country, which we armed a decade ago and installed the dictator, half of the country can say "Those Neo-Cons!"

In reality they are on the same team, corporate America. There is no difference between McCain and Obama, they are both the establishments candidates. Ron Paul describes this rather well in this recent interview:

Well enough wailing from me, this all comes as way of introduction to an article from News With Views by presidential candidate (there are more than 2 you don't have to choose the evil of two lessors) Chuck Baldwin. Baldwin is a real conservative, you know the kind that believe in small federal government, like the Constitution. Baldwin also is a Christian pastor, I highly recommend his article that addresses the new found "conservatism" of John the "Maverick" McCain, and how Christians are really trapped by this Zeitgeist the media keeps feeding us.

Much of what I have said is by way of reiteration and hearty AMEN to the article Dr. Baldwin wrote on McCain's "pro-life" position.

The article can be read by clicking here.

Also, I would point anyone interested to Chuck Baldwin's campaign web page, you can read where he stands on the real issues, (monetary reform, the North American Union, foreign policy, funding of the UN, and many others) the issues the mainstream media doesn't talk about in any depth. His page is here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Media Spin On Russia/Georgia Conflict II

This video addresses the propaganda/spin job taking place on the Russia Georgia conflict in the mainstream media. Again, the vast majority of stories make the Russians appear to be the aggressors rather than the U.S./Isreali backed Georgian government.

BTW I still intend to pick up on my Revival series, I simply haven't had time at the end of summer. Now that school has started again I should be able to have a bit more free time to blog.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Georgia Conflict and Media Spin

If you have been paying attention at all to the news coverage surrounding the current conflict in Georgia you will notice a few things.

Firstly, the news primarily has made the conflict appear to be due to Russian aggression and bloodlust. The coverage has almost entirely focused upon Russia as the main perpetrator of aggression in the conflict. This simply isn't the case as it was Georgia that performed a sneak attack into the Ossetia region (primarily ethnic Russian) trying to reclaim it. Simply put Georgia started it.

Secondly, the odd thing about all of this is the hypocritical talk flowing out of Washington about how the Russians are being bullies and attacking countries seemingly unprovoked. This talk is akin to a murderer scolding a thief and claiming moral high ground.

It almost seems to me as though they are intentionally fomenting hostilities between Russia and the US, with the missile battery in Poland, and all of these former Soviet states now trying to join NATO thumbing their nose and even threatening Russia (like Ukraine).

Also it was the US and Israel that were training Georgia's army prior to Georgia's sneak attack into S Ossetia.

Lastly, to further attest to the intentionality of this provocation is a 2001 Tom Clancey video game that has this exact scenario for it's plot, conflict in former Soviet states, Georgia is named, and the future year of the 2001 game...the year 2008. Here's the 2001 commercial for the game "Ghost Recon":

Kinda creepy huh? Just a lucky guess I suppose...

Friday, August 08, 2008

Wrapping The Debate Up...

Let Your Conscience Be Your GuideI have recently been in a small debate with a fellow named Preston over the opposing views of Open Theism and Calvinism. I will try to wrap up what I see to be the main points of the debate in a concise manner.

Oddly enough the debate ended up being primarily on the issue of authority in doctrine, or what is authoritative in doctrine. Preston wants to say that in addition to Scripture men's consciences and natural law are guides God has given us to know His character and even doctrinal teachings such as election.

I am reminded of Jiminy Cricket's exhortation to Pinocchio "Let your conscience be your guide!". Unfortunately, Pinocchio's conscience failed him and he ended up with a rather disfigured nose and in need of plastic surgery.

The same is true of us, while it is true men have been equipped with a conscience by virtue of the image of God in them, what Preston overlooks is the effects of the fall. That really is the point of Romans 1, though men have knowledge of God they suppress this knowledge and chase after passions and even are so delusional as to make gods according to their seared consciences.

We read repeatedly in the New testament of the condition of fallen man and how not only his soul needs renewal but his intellect. (Eph 4:17-18, 23) I would say with Anselm that if you think that there is some safe haven in man that is reliable and can be a sure guide to truth, if you believe that, then you have not yet come to know the depths of your sin.

I think that the very passage Preston would like to take refuge under to justify his extra-biblical doctrines (that is what's going on, like Rome he seems to want to unblushingly say that it is the Bible plus...)is the very passage which anathematizes Open Theism. For in v.22-25 of Romans 1 we read:

"Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen."

What do you say about a theological system that says God can not know the future other than that system has made God likened unto a man. What do you say about a system that elevates the alleged free will of man to such a height that in order to preserve it that system sees fit to dissolve God Almighty of attributes, what do you say other than that it is serving the creature rather than the Creator.

The main issue I see really comes back to authority, the axe must be laid to the root of the tree and this I see as the root. The logic of open theism proceeds as follows:

1. We know (via conscience/natural law) that man has free will.

2. We know (via conscience/natural law) that God desires man to have free choice. (the old robot/love analogy is usually invoked to "prove" this)

3. We know (via conscience/natural law) that for God to know the choices of men ahead of time would undermine men's freedom of choice.

:.\C. Therefore we know that God must have limited himself and does not know the future choices, but is also and agent in causality.

Do you see how none of the premises that lead to the conclusion have any root in the Bible? I am sure Preston would bicker about this formalization of his beliefs, that's fine, I am more than welcome for him to present his position in logical format. In either case and he admitted it himself, an authority outside of scripture is invoked to lead to the conclusion of a god who doesn't know the future.

That I believe to be the very essence of the debate, it is one about authority and presuppositions. I presuppose that the Bible in all of it's entirety illuminated by the Spirit of God is the only sure foundation for sound doctrine, knowledge of God and His work of salvation.

I therefore stand with the reformers on the doctrine of sola scriptura, which by the way for our Papist friends IS Biblical: "To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn." (Isa 8:20)

Before I end I do want to say that there was one point Preston made that I think hasn't been said enough, and that is that Open Theism is the logical outcome of Arminianism. I think he is absolutely spot on in this and I have been saying this for some time. It is interesting to hear an OT professor acknowledge this.

We may continue the debate if desired, however I will be moving on to my intended series on the marks of a move of the Spirit of God in future posts. Thanks for the talk Preston, you are more than welcome to throw your input in at anytime.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Man Who Ran Brett Favre Out of Green Bay

Take a good look at this fellow, he is the primary reason why Brett Favre is now playing for the New York Jets. Yes, yes, I know Brett retired. But we all thought there was a chance he would wan to play as the season approached. Apparently such a thought never occured to the management in Green Bay, and Favre was no longer welcome. Not to dwell too much on sports I just thought I'd throw this out there.
Thanks a lot Mr. Thompson, you really displayed how to treat the single most iconic player the Green Bay Packers ever had by running him out of town in your fit of avarice and thirst for self glory.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Response To an Open Theist

The following is my reply to "Preston" who commented on the post on the need to reform in the Church. His criticism was lengthy as was my reply, I feel that it hits on much of the center of the Open Theist controversy as well as many of the popular objections to Reformed theology. That said, I figured I would make a post of my reply. Preston's original comment can be read in it's entirety in the comment section of the post "The Need for Reform or The Pelagian Captivity of the Church".

Here's my reply, Preston's words in blue:


Thanks for your comments, I am very welcome to criticism and debate and do not "moderate" people like some blogs do so that no one can criticize them. So thanks for coming by and feel free to add what you wish to the discussions over here.

As for what you have said, you make the common error in viewing God's predestination and man's responsibility. You assume that one can not have both in a theological system. That really is what you are saying, either predestination and foreordination of an all knowing God, OR we can have responsible moral agents.

This my friend is the definition of a false dichotomy fallacy and is why you are an open theist. Let me quote you so it is clear, you commit this fallacy as you write:

"I find Calvinist such as yourself very entertaining. On one hand you write a post asking what's up with all this Pelagianism in the church and that something needs to be done about it. OK then sir put your theology where your mouth is - stop blithering about it in a public forum and start confronting the one who is really responsible for all this - GOD!! Since man is unable to do anything from a freewill standpoint , but is predestined or foreordained to do everything then God is the person you need to take issue with."

So because God has foreordained events and predestined individuals to be in his Bride (Eph 1:3-4), YOU make the conclusion that therefore man has no responsibility and therefore I should not treat them as such. This is a false dichotomy, and is the one of the major planks in open theism.

You assert that a Sovereign, All knowing, Predestinating God can NOT exist alongside free, moral agents who are responsible for their choices. That is the false dichotomy.

Scripture says otherwise, God is both Sovereign over men's salvation so that none come to Christ but by His drawing and ALL whom He draws will come to Christ and be saved, and man is responsible for his choices. Let's exegete John 6 to prove this:

" All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.
For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.
And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.
For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:37-40)

"ALL" v.37 is a universal clause, meaning everyone, and is often meaning everyone of a particular group. In this case ALL refers to those the Father has given to Christ. Do you see that? "All" is both universal and particular in it's scope. So logically it could be read: "ALL X's come to Jesus and are raised to the resurrection of life"

X meaning those given to Jesus by the father. So if someone is given to Jesus by the father that person comes to Jesus, and will be raised up at the last day. And not only that if that is true Jesus says He will not lose those whom the Father has given Him. (they wont fall away) But will believe unto life eternal. That's what the text says.

This is a brief exegesis however my point is twofold here, 1. I didn't get this sovereign predestination view of God from pagan philosophic ideas, I got it from the Bible, that's what John 6 says. 2. Also, I wanted to show that well God has given some people to Jesus, and it is they ALL of them who come and believe, Christ says He will lose NONE of them but raise up ALL of them at the last day. Again, that's just what it says.

That being the case I don't think you and I would disagree that there is a hell. Assuming what I have said above either God is unjust in damning those people, or there is no injustice on God's part at all, and all the damned are morally responsible.

That being the case I am both commanded to exhort people to sound doctrine (Tit 2:2-5), and to win souls (Matt 28). There is no inconsistency here, I am not privy to who the elect are, all I know is that no one comes to Christ but by God's sovereign regenerating grace.

Heretics are responsible for their false teaching and will be judged by God. And yes you are correct I certainly believe that heretics repent of their error by the merciful grace of God. That's what Paul says to Timothy:

"And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will." (2 Tim 2:24-26)

That is why I am prayerful in evangelism and apologetics, only God can open the eyes of the sinner. There is no inconsistency with God's sovereign heart changing work and my responsibility to preach. Heretics don't all of a sudden wise up of their own accord and cling to sound doctrine (that would be a work would it not?), it is by grace that they return to sound teaching. At least that's what Paul the inspired apostle taught.

As for those God has not chosen and leaves in their error, and their moral responsibility:

These individuals are still responsible for their sin even though God has seen fit to pass them by. It is His prerogative to select who shall be His bride, or to even have a bride from sinners at all. God would have been just to damn the whole lot of us, but in His mercy He has chosen to save some.

Now it honestly took me thus far to do what I see as a fair reply to the ideas loaded in your first paragraph which I quoted. I have spent this much time on it because you repeat yourself and this is the heart of your error.

But I will briefly address the rest of what you said now:

"If you truly adhered to predestination then you would realize that its God fault for all this and not any one else."

How is God at fault that men and women hate Him? It is just silly to me that people always say this stuff. He doesn't actively "MAKE" people unbelievers/haters, that's just what the natural man is and does. If He in His predestination leaves some in this state to be damned for their rebellion why is He at fault?

You confuse Calvinism with determinism, a common straw man, and pound away at this scare crow you have erected in your backyard with "Calvinism" written on it's shirt. You thrash and punch at this Straw man while the real Calvinists are looking over the fence into your yard wondering when you will wear yourself out and come talk with them over a pint of ale and figure out what we are really saying.

So let me make this clear, God's predestination of the damned is not active, it is passive, He leaves them to their free wills, and they always choose sin and God rejecting idolatry. They are entirely to blame.

"But alas there is the rub! In your own mind you believe that man DOES have a choice and does have a freewill - if you didn't then why all this complaining! You seem to act as if we have a choice here - but according to your theology we really don't!"

How you do lash out at that scarecrow! Next time I suggest a kick to the groin! No Reformed theologian says we don't have a choice. What we say is that left to ourselves in our sinful state held under the sway of the wicked one (Eph 2:1-3) no one ever chooses God. They will always choose sin, in that sense men are bound.

No one ever complains, "I want to believe in Jesus but God won't let me!" The unregenerate want nothing to do with Christ, at least the Jesus of the Bible. The problem is the heart not so much will power. It is only by grace that we find an interest in Jesus at all.

"The issue the rest of us have with Calvinism is that your theology DOES makes God out to be a Monster because God is somehow more concerned with his power and Sovereignty than about love."

Perhaps your idea of love. I find it the most loving thing that God has in His mercy had a plan to glorify Himself in the saving of sinners through King Jesus.

And yes sir it is all about HIS GLORY, He's the center of it all, your speech betrays your man centeredness. If God is God, and He is the definition of perfection (Oh wait you don't believe that God is perfect...your an open theist) but anyway if He is the definition of perfection, beauty, Goodness, Holiness it would be an injustice for Him not to seek His own glory. We give crowns to beauty queens, trophies to athletes, praise to just rulers is not God all of these things to the ultimate and therefore deserving of the ultimate glory not to be shared with another?

The marvelous thing is that in seeking His own glory He is loving sinners and saving them. Things angels desire to look into. I recommend "God's Passion For His Glory" by John Piper, in it he has the full text of Jonathan Edwards' "The End for Which God Created the World" In it he argues that God does everything for one purpose His glory. This makes the man centered cring and the God entranced stand in awe.

Now here's the real rub (why is everyone so fond of that phrase anyway?):

"You see the issue most people have is that Calvinism grossly violates man's God given sense of natural law or right reason! Whenever this is violated then this is a good sign something is NOT truth, but a lie - i.e. Calvinism!"

And you want to say I lean on pagan philosophy?! Natural law? Pheh!

This was and is my point with open theists, you erect laws of what God can and can't do and make God altogether to your liking. When I come along and start quoting chapters like John 6, Eph 2, Romans 9, you have to reach for the panic button and start whipping out some "laws" that God is bound to that you guys just made up. Do tell sir what are some of these natural laws that God can not violate?

Now I really don't know what to make of this:

"Why do Calvinist have a problem with God setting aside his knowledge or power so that he may LOVE or better yet allow man to love Him! God is not some power hungry deity - as Calvin made him out to be. Besides, who made the rule or where is it found in the bible that if God is not TOTALLY in control he is somehow not God......let me clue you in there isnt!"

We have a problem with God setting aside His knowledge because it is not Biblical, where does the Bible say God set aside His foreknowledge in order that we could have as you see it "true free choice"? Quite the contrary we see the authors of the Bible often speeking of God's foreknowledge (ex 1 Pet 1:2).

As for God being in control, and if He is not in control He is not God, yes that is very much Biblical. That's why the true God was able to manifest signs and wonders when the worshippers of Baal could not, He was in control. That's why the true God brought rain when Baal could not. Christ commanded the wind and waves, feeds 5000, puts to death death in His death so that we might never die.

It is a distinguishing mark of God the one true God that He is sovereign, it is what sets Him apart from the false time and time again in the Bible. Also the Bible repeatedly attests to God's sovereignty:

"all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, "What have you done?" (Dan 4:35)"

God is sovereign over men's physical frames:

"Then the LORD said to him, "Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?" (Ex 4:11)

Now I could go on citing texts but this is becoming a post in itself so lets finish the rest of the response, as for Calvin, I would suggest actually reading his works before smearing his name. You further state:

"Open Theism is not a Pagan philosophy - but rather predestination and original sin are. The seed of paganism Calvinism has its roots from is Augustine. Prior to him, the only place most of the 5 points of Calvinism were found were in Gnosticism and Pagan philosophy."

I just can't believe that in a post where you cite no Bible, you fall back on the so called "laws of nature" that you have the gall to say that I am the one leaning on the legs of pagan thought. It's amazing how ridiculous we can be. I would suggest you start drinking from the wells of men outside of Bob Enyart and your cliche up there in Denver. Read some Spurgeon, you don't need to be a Calvinist to appreciate his stuff.

As for Augustine, again this displays your ignorance and regurgitation of nonsense being fed to you by men who themselves haven't done their homework. The 5 points of Calvinism were formed in reply to the Arminian 5 points in the remonstrance, Calvin and Augustine knew nothing of TULIP. It's just a helpful acronym to summarize a much broader Doctrine of God and soteriology.

Furthermore, you dont say HOW Augustine was pagan, you just say it, cause you don't like what he represents (I say represents rather than says because you probably never read City of God or his Confessions). You just say these things and think that makes them so without any real reference, kind of like this next statement:

"As for making God play by "Our Rules" is a fallacy. If God desires relationship with his creation - like any good parent would want to do - then don't you think it would be a good idea on God's part to make sure we have the ability to understand him? Instead with Calvinism we have God playing some twisted form of "Cosmic Peakaboo" with us?"

Fallacy? What fallacy would that be?

I argue that you open theists make up unbiblical rules (which you cited in these "natural laws"), and then from there you reject descriptions of God that are Biblical and shave off attributes so God plays by these rules you made up.

The amazing thing is that in the sentence I just quoted you do the very thing I argued that you do, and to which you are attempting to reply. You define "Good parent" and say God to be a "good parent" must act in manners x, y, and z. Therefore no predestination, sorry John 6. If that's not fitting God into the mold of your man made rules I don't know what is.

Again God is not obliged to do any such thing as you have described. He is not bound by any of the shackles with which you would hold Him with. As C.S. Lewis put it, "He is not a tame Lion". He would be perfectly just to have made us let us fall and never had any more interaction with us. You have no right to call this "unloving" (an amorphous word) that's like a thief who broke into my home beat my children, assaulted my wife calling me "unloving" when I decide to point a gun at him. It is called justice. Last I checked God wasn't obliged to love people who rebel against Him and hate Him But GOD (Eph 2:4) out of His mercy and grace, He has done just that.

You see you really don't know the depths of your sin, and therefore you don't know the greatness of God's grace. You seem to see grace as something God is obliged to give by some rules He has to follow. This is the very antithesis of the definition of grace.

You are right that the Bible is evidence that God wants us to know Him, my point is that unlike you I see the Bible as a merciful gift not something God was obliged to bestow to keep in accord with the definition of "good" that exists outside of Himself.

Also in the paragraph you seem to take a rather heretical view of the incarnation of Christ, shaving off Christ's divine attributes.

I am just blown away by this next statement because of it's clear contradiction with scripture:

Furthermore, when Christ spoke to people he did so by how??? Through parables - WHY? By appealing to man's sense of right reason, through his God given sense of natural law. The very reason Jesus' could not be refuted was that he was logically consistent and thus appealed to "the rules" as you so aptly put it!"

Actually when we turn to Scripture we see Jesus tell us WHY He spoke in parables:

"he said, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that 'seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.'" (Lk 8:10)

Well would you look at that, Jesus seems to say that there are certain people (the elect) to whom the secrets of the kingdom are given the rest are left in the dark and without understanding. As for Jesus appealing to "the rules" I have no idea what you are talking about, if you mean love your neighbor and stuff like that, yes He did appeal to that, but that is the Old Testament revealed word of God, not some natural rules you keep alluding to.

These "Natural Rules" are nothing more than the ideas of the humanistic spirit of the age that has been smuggled into Christian theology resulting in one false teaching after another. The paragraph I just quoted from you with all of it's refrences to "reason" has more to do with the enlightenment ideals than the reformation. Open theism really is a form of Deism (the teachings of Deism and OT are strikingly similar), the difference is OT is just upgraded into a more feel good modern consumeristic package.

Well we are at the end so lets just quote the last paragraph and be done with this gauntlet:

"Besides, sir you are so severly blinded by Calvinsim that my rambling here will do little to prick your mind or your heart about what you have said about Open Theist or the so called heresy of Pelgianism (whatever that means). Good luck in your search for Truth - I just hope God manipulates your brain to find it."

The ghost of John Calvin has pulled the wool over my eyes, and as you accuratly put it your rambling is no longer effectual. How shall I ever be free from this view of God entranced vision of all things!

Woe is me, for I am no longer a humanist! We don't haver seeker sensetive churches, because we know that no one seeks God (Rom 3:10) the only One who does the seeking is Christ, who came to seek and save the lost (Lk 19:10)...Woe! Woe! Woe to us!

In all seriousness, it has been by God's mercy that I came to these truths, I was an Arminian at one time and wrestled with the issues of the problem of evil and flirted with open theism. I rejected it because it wasn't Biblical.

I just find it blasphemous that you speak so scathingly about God's eye opening grace to people.

To close I do want to ask you a few of questions:

1. What does God know given your view? (Back this up with Scripture)

2. How does God govern the events of the world? (Cite Scripture)

3. What does God do if anything in order to save a sinner?

4. How do you interpret John 6? (If it doesn’t' mean what I said then what DOES it mean?)

Friday, August 01, 2008

Worship or Irreverence?

This video seems to illustrate what I was talking about in my previous post, about the radical man centeredness pervading evangelicalism. I see this as nothing short of taking Christ's name in vain and making light of His person. But then again I will be called a stick in the mud and have buckets of "Don't Quench the Spirit" heaped on me.

My criticism has nothing to do with style of music but rather slapping the name of Jesus into a crummy pop song from the 80's. This has nothing to do with exalting Christ and everything to do with people stomping their feet and having a good FUN (the most popular adjective in evangelicalism today) time.

The video is by a "worship leader" Rick Pino, obviously charismatic and the link can be found here. (since the video probably wont work on this page...sigh)

BTW, hat tip to the guys at the Fide-O blog, they are the ones from whom I came in contact with this video.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Need For Reform, or The Pelagian Captivity of the Church

Augustine, valiant for truth against the heretic PelagiusI believe it was RC Sproul who first spoke of the "Pelagian Captivity of the Church", perhaps he borrowed it, but that's where I first heard this diagnosis. Dr. Sproul is right you know, evangelicalism in America is indeed captivated by the philosophy of Pelagius. This is bigger than the fact that Calvinists make up less than 10% of American Christendom.

This also goes deeper than your typical Arminian "Whosoever" free will theology. The depths of the captivity can be seen by the types of Christian books are being written, the vast majority of the popular books have self improvement/growth at the center and usually involve a set number of steps. This is a form of law light, that makes the Christian walk, shall we say, "do-able".

Also, the major trends within evangelicalism clang as shackles announcing the sway of Pelagian theology over the mind of American Christianity. Trends such as the Emergent church, with its radically autonomous postmodern theology. (Yes I know the Emergent church is diverse and broad and you can't pigeon hole the whole.) Also, the growing popularity of open theism, and denial of original sin both attest to the prevalence of Pelagianism.

These are the symptoms, and they support what Dr. Sproul has said on the state of American evangelical theology. So what is Pelagianism?

I would summarize Pelagianism as a theological system that elevates the will of man and puts the onus upon man and his resolve in order to be saved. This will take the form of particular denials and affirmations but I want to keep it simple.

So, not to repeat what has been said often, for further clarification as to what Pelagianism is I would refer readers to great articles if they have no idea what I am talking about. I assume knowledge of the debate on the reader's part, so if you don't know don't be lazy, click and learn! These describe the man Pelagius, his theology and his conflict with Augustine over his teaching. It's by Sam Storms and a good intro for someone who has no clue what I am talking about (Link HERE)

I would like to more or less get at what is the connection between Pelagius, and all of the present trends. Take Open Theism for example (a theological system that denies that God knows the future and ordered it). Philosophically Pelagius and all modern Christians must answer the problem of evil (why is there evil in the world, and how can a good God permit it?). If we don't ponder such things and wrestle for answers we will be intellectuals lightweights, giving shallow platitudes as elixirs to those who have fallen ill in our post-modern world.

These shallow platitudes have manifested themselves in theologies such as open theism and it's answer to the problem of evil. The answer the open theist gives to the problem of evil is that God simply doesn't know what is going to happen and therefore can't do anything about it. Evil is due to man's free will, and for man's will to be free God simply can not know his future choices.

What's amazing to me is that when I talk with open theists they want to tell me I am the one leaning on pagan philosophy rather than the Bible. I believe that serves as the definition of delusion. Open theism is born wholly out of a philosophical attempt to answer the problem of evil, the issue is that they seek to answer the PE with Pelagian free will assumptions, and this is the logical end, God doesn't know the future.

That's where open theism comes from, logic applied to Pelagian assumptions of autonomy. Pelagian thought is the root Open Theism is the fruit.

Now I would say that we are by our very nature we are prone to this sort of I think I can...I think I can...thinking. We naturally think man is the master of his own destiny, and thus we create rules God has to play by in His dealings with man. Any suggestion of a God who does not abide by our rules is appalling and seen as a monster. This is why we have men in arguing against Reformed theology blasphemously call irresistible grace "Divine rape". Others fearlessly call the God of Calvinists a "Monster".

God wasn't playing by their rules.

What I have described is the more polemical issues of the Pelagian captivity, what I really want to point out is how this mindset is really the underbelly of all the silly trends that are blowing through evangelicalism year after year. (Whether it is Post-Modern "Christian", Books with self improvement steps, Revivalist meetings etc).

All of these genres of silly trends have the same thing in common, man is dead at the center and God is beholden to the beck and call of man.
Partly what I see feeding this radical theological self absorption is the affluence we currently possess in the West. Perhaps if we were abased like some of our other brothers in the world we would think less of ourselves and more highly of the Sovereign One.

I think I will wrap up here, my main argument here is that what the Church needs is twofold Reformation and Biblical God wrought Revival. In this post I have attempted to point to the heart of what needs to be reformed, I see that as the man centered Pelagianism that is the impetus for all of the other things that pop up. So rather than dealing with all of the bullets being fired (Emergentism, Revivalism, Joel Osteenism, Rick Warrenism, TBNism etc) I want to take the gun away, and I see that as an unbiblical view of man, the fall and it's effect, and a shallow view of Christ's accomplished work.

In short the church is captivated by Pelagian thought, she needs to return to her Protestant roots for as of now much of what passes as evangelicalism has more in common with Rome than Luther and Calvin.

I have no answer as to the how of Reform, but our God is gracious and merciful, He likes to shine when things look the bleakest. Let us seek His aid for His Church. "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints." (Eph 6)

The comming posts shal deal with the marks of a true revival, since there is much debate over the recent Todd Bentley meetings I will weigh in on that.