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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

Jesus Asks His Church: "Who Do You Say That I Am?" -Part 2


Confessing Christ with All the Saints

The Word of God is the foundation, the sole infallible and inerrant authority and source for all we believe and do as Christians. God has given us everything we need for life and godliness in his holy word (2 Peter 1:3). We are to teach the Word of God as Christians, and particularly as Christian ministers we are to seek to teach the Bible as accurately as we can (2 Timothy 2:15).

For any Christian, and particularly ministers of the Bible, one of the first things realized in the study of the Bible is that the Word of God must be interpreted, and because of this need of correct interpretation we as members of Christ’s Church must know how to interpret the only infallible rule of our faith and practice, and know that our interpretation is correct. The Word of God must be taught and preached by the minister called of God, and we must seek to be faithful to our calling for Jesus’ sake.

In seeking to be faithful to Holy Scripture, and especially with regard to interpreting the Bible, we as Christians should seek to interpret the Word of God together in as well as with the Church, with the help of the Holy Spirit, and confess this faith before the world. This is a most important way of striving for unity in the one Church of Christ, and of confessing to the world what we believe, and protesting what we do not believe with regards to what the Bible teaches. Studying creeds and confessions can help in our interpretive faithfulness as well as honor the work of the Holy Spirit as he has providentially taught and watched over Christ’s Church throughout the years.

Continue reading "Jesus Asks His Church: "Who Do You Say That I Am?" -Part 2" »

November 30, 2005  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

When Your Values Are Threatened

Pope_Benedict_XVI.jpgI read an article on the BBC's website this morning about the recent Vatican document prohibiting active homosexuals from entering seminary or the priesthood. There was a page for reader comments, and the list of [primarily hostile] remarks grew extraordinarily quickly.

The prevailing sentiments were that the Catholic Church is "medieval," "outdated," "narrow minded" in publishing such an "utterly dishonest and morally outrageous" document. Every thinking man and his grandmother commented on how the Catholic Church ought not to believe and practice the things she believes and practices.

It's interesting that so many people who are uneducated in Catholic tradition and teaching are so quick to pronounce what the Church ought to do in any circumstance. It seems that those who feel their values condemned by God-through-the-Church would, in their search to justify themselves, rush to condemn God-through-the-Church, rather than simpy ignoring an authority they try not to acknowledge anyway (which is what you might expect in today's Western society).

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November 29, 2005  |  Comments (3)   |  Permalink

11/28/05 Around the Blogosphere

Tilting at Windmills
Take the time to read a 3-part review that deals a fatal blow to the latest book attacking Calvinism: Ben Witherington's The Problem with Evangelical Theology (Bayor 2005). Steve Hays of Triablogue answers point by point Arminian objections Part 1; Part 2; Part 3


Can't we all just get along? Why "playing nice" by postmodernist standards is a losing proposition
It is always amazing to me to see postmoderns making authoritative statements to falsify all claims to authority. Phil Johnson takes on the postmodern ethos of convictionless Chrisitianity in his new essay

John Piper & Reformation History Free MP3 CD Giveaway
( 4 CDs to choose from ) Offer Ends December 31st, 2005
Includes the following CDs (1) T.U.L.I.P & Romans 7-9 by John Piper (60 lectures and sermons), (2) Christian Biographies by John Piper, (3) Reformation HIstory Series by Tom Browning & Life Together: What is a Reformed Church? Series by Tom Ferrel (27 Sermons/Lectures, (4) Three John Piper Sermon Series w/bonus: includes a) Desiring God (4 sermons) (b) Biblical Eldership (4 sermons) (c) Unbelief (12 sermons) (d) Bonus Sermons Pleasures of God (8 sermons) ... If you like MP3s with theologically God-glorifying content here is the place to get them free.

Getting the Facts Right:
Michael A G Haykin talks about using historical inaccuracies to buttress a theological argument\

The Promise-Driven Life by Michael S. Horton
You have heard of the Purpose Driven LIfe? Well, Horton brings us a little closer to reality.

Redefining ChristianityTim Challies Reviews Bob DeWaay's new book, Redefining Christianity, a book about Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life and other aspects of the Purpose Driven paradigm.

November 28, 2005  |  Comments (1)   |  Permalink

A Biblical Reflection on Music & Theology By Marco Gonzalez

On August 20, 2000 It was a scorching summer day in San Jose California. The time was 9:20am. I stepped into a gymnasium, which would be accustomed for chapel. However, every day preceding Monday, Wednesday, and Friday it was a typical run of the mill gym. Nevertheless, as above-mentioned, at 9:20 am this unpretentious gym was revamped into the manifold wisdom of God: his church. Chapel usually commenced with various songs of praise. In view of this, the worship demeanor was unalike. Several would raise their hands, others would stand silently, and furthermore some refused to sing. However, almost all demonstrated tolerance in support of the songs, whether the words were theologically veracious or not.

Continue reading "A Biblical Reflection on Music & Theology By Marco Gonzalez" »

November 28, 2005  |  Comments (16)   |  TrackBacks (1)  |  Permalink

Loving the Truth by Pastor John Samson

I know I am speaking for all the contributors to the site when I say that we embrace and exult in the sovereignty of God over all things and the activity and the glory of God in the salvation of sinners. This perspective, we believe, is the biblical one, and keeps the Gospel central in our focus and God's grace as utterly amazing.

Historically, these doctrines of grace have acted much the same as guardrails on the mountain of God's truth, helping the Church at large avoid the perilous dangers of false doctrine. Yet in saying this, we never want to neglect other central truths of the faith. These would include the full Deity and humanity of Christ, the substitutionary atonement of Christ, sola scriptura - the belief that Scripture alone is the sole infallible authority for doctrine and practice, the Trinity, as well as the vitally important Gospel truth of justification by faith alone (sola fide), which Martin Luther described as “the article upon which a Church stands or falls.”

There are many other items that could be mentioned here, but something else that strongly unites us is the desire to faithfully exegete the text of Scripture. I would be hard pressed to think of anything more dear to our hearts than having a precious, personal intimacy with God and faithfully handling His holy word.

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November 25, 2005  |  Comments (5)   |  Permalink

Thanksgiving ...

The Beatitude
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." (James 1:17)

The Reminder
"When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes." (Deuteronomy 8:10-11a)

The Sad Reality
For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 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. (Romans 1:20-22)

The Response of a Regenerate Heart
[ David's Song of Thanks ] Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! (1 Chronicles 16:8)

I will give to the LORD the thanks due to his righteousness,and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High. (Psalm 7:17)

Today we are thankful for the effectual, invincible, irreversible calling of the Triune God, who disarmed our stiffnecked, autonomous, unwilling hearts and brought us into indelible union with Him

November 24, 2005  |  Comments (2)   |  Permalink

The Gospel of Prosperity Part 2: The Promise of Health & Wealth by Marco Gonzalez

tbn.bmp Since the birth of 1st Century Christianity, the church, collectively, has been beleaguered with false preachers. Many of the written epistles to churches were written with the intention of warning believers of the impending crisis surrounding the gospel. Paul, who possessed an abundance of fellow ministers that preached along with him, was ultimately left alone in his endeavor as some of his closet companions fell away for the “pleasures of the world.” It comes as no surprise then, that in the 21st century, false preachers and teachers are widespread; TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) has proven to us the prevalence of this.

Continue reading "The Gospel of Prosperity Part 2: The Promise of Health & Wealth by Marco Gonzalez" »

November 23, 2005  |  Comments (5)   |  Permalink

The Fall & Its Consequences by Pastor John Samson

When Adam fell, how great was the fall? Did all mankind fall with him? How far? What can be done to remedy the spiritual problem? Does man just need a good moral pep talk? ...a good doctor? ...or is man on a gurney at the mortician's with a tag on the toe?

These are not merely isoteric questions reserved for elite theologians. What you and I believe about man's basic nature has radical effects regarding how we view the Gospel itself.

So are we sinners because we sin, or do we sin because we are sinners? In this brief article, I will seek to outline the basic views that are out there, ending with what I believe to be the biblical one:

Continue reading "The Fall & Its Consequences by Pastor John Samson" »

November 21, 2005  |  Comments (10)   |  Permalink

Mark Dever: Newest Inductee into the Hall of Contemporary Reformers

November 20, 2005: Today Mark Dever is the newest member inducted into The Hall of Contemporary Reformers. Mark Dever serves as the senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC, a reforming congregation, with emphasis on God-centered services, expositional preaching, evangelism & missions and community life. Take the time to click into his profile and scroll down to the bottom of his page to find essays, sermons, and a pastor's toolbox. There is a cornucopia of material that will be helpful to your ministry and discipleship. Dever has an expertise in Ecclesiology and has written a few excellent books on the subject. Apart from his pulpit, he has a ministry called 9Marks which gives superb material related to the Nine Marks of a Healthy Church. There are answers to many of your practical questions about church. Be sure to do an in-depth exploration of his profile. If you are unfamiliar with his ministry you need to get familiar with it. The Lord is using this ministry to make a profound difference.

Click here to enter

November 20, 2005  |  Comments (2)   |  Permalink

The Parables of Jesus

Today I Heard a broadcast about the Parables on the White Horse Inn Online. A Christ-centered message that is well worth listening to .... Recommended!

What is the purpose of the parables? Some have argued that Jesus spoke in parables in order to reach the masses. But is that the true purpose of the parables as described in the Gospel accounts? What are the parables all about? Join the hosts as they discuss why Jesus taught in parables and what they mean. "To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables; so that they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand; lest they turn again, and be forgiven." (Mk 4:11-12).

Click here to listen

RELATED ARTICLES
Is the Old Testament for Christians? by Graeme Goldsworthy
What Are We Looking For In The Bible? by Michael Horton
Must I Learn To Interpret The Bible? by D.A. Carson
"The Mystery of the Kingdom" Some notes on concepts from G.E. Ladd

RELATED BOOKS
Preaching Christ in All of Scripture by Edmund P. Clowney

Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture: by Graeme Goldsworthy

According to Plan: by Graeme Goldsworthy

November 18, 2005  |  Comments (1)   |  Permalink

InstaVerse

Reading Challies.com Today I noticed an intresting program called: InstaVerse. InstaVerse brings up a scripture verse automatically if it is not present (i.e John 1:1). It will also at the touch of a hotkey paste any part of scripture you want to your word processor or email.

Get InstaVerse!

November 18, 2005  |  Comments (2)   |  Permalink

The wind blows where it wishes by Pastor John Samson

In the early verses of John chapter 3, Jesus tells Nicodemus in no uncertain terms, the absolute necessity of being born again (or born from above). Unless a man is first born again (regenerated) he can never enter or even see the kingdom of God. Jesus stresses the fact that this new birth is not merely an optional extra. It is imperative. Jesus said, "You must be born again" (3:7).

Jesus didn't tell Nicodemus what he must do to be born again. Why? Because it was not within Nicodemus' power to perform this miracle. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." (John 3:6) Flesh can only reproduce flesh. It takes the Spirit to regenerate the human spirit. This miracle of regeneration cannot be achieved by human effort, or by self performed surgery.

Continue reading "The wind blows where it wishes by Pastor John Samson" »

November 17, 2005  |  Comments (11)   |  Permalink

Jesus Asks His Church: "Who Do You Say That I Am?"

Confessing Christ with All the Saints- Part 1
The Word of God is the foundation, the sole infallible and inerrant authority and source for all we believe and do as Christians. God has given us everything we need for life and godliness in his holy word (2 Peter 1:3). We are to teach the Word of God as Christians, and particularly as Christian ministers we are to seek to teach the Bible as accurately as we can (2 Timothy 2:15).

For any Christian, and particularly ministers of the Bible, one of the first things realized in the study of the Bible is that the Word of God must be interpreted, and because of this need of correct interpretation we as members of Christ’s Church must know how to interpret the only infallible rule of our faith and practice, and know that our interpretation is correct. The Word of God must be taught and preached by the minister called of God, and we must seek to be faithful to our calling for Jesus’ sake.

But how can we do this, knowing especially that the word of God has been misinterpreted throughout church history? The answer lies first of all in considering a healthy and biblical understanding of the Church in our creeds, confessions, and councils. The Word of God must be interpreted by the minister (“carefully handled”, or “rightly divided” as the KJV translates it), and our interpretations should seek to be consistent and line up with other orthodox ministers not only in the present, but in the past as well. This means we should read and interpret the Bible with the Church.

Continue reading "Jesus Asks His Church: "Who Do You Say That I Am?"" »

November 16, 2005  |  Comments (2)   |  Permalink

Pride: An Excerpt from Richard Baxter's 'The Reformed Pastor'

"One of our most heinous and palpable sins is PRIDE. This is a sin that has too much interest in the best of us, but which is more hateful and inexcusable in us than in other men. Yet is it so prevalent in some of us, that it influences our discourses, it chooses our company, it forms our countenances, it puts the accent and emphasis upon our words. It fills some men's minds with aspiring desires, and designs: it possesses them with envious and bitter thoughts against those who stand in their light, or who by any means eclipse their glory, or hinder the progress of their reputation.

Oh what a constant companion, what a tyrannical commander, what a sly and subtle insinuating enemy, is this sin of pride! It goes with men everywhere they go: to buy a home, to buy clothes, etc. It chooses the clothes one wears, their trimming, and fashion. Fewer ministers would ruffle it out in the fashion in hair and habit, if it were not for the command of this tyrannous vice. And I wish that this were all the damage it does to a minister, or the worst. But, alas! How frequently does it go with us to our study, and there sit with us and do our work! How often does it choose our preaching subject, and, more frequently still, our words and manner of preaching!

Continue reading "Pride: An Excerpt from Richard Baxter's 'The Reformed Pastor'" »

November 15, 2005  |  Comments (0)   |  Permalink

Foreknowledge by Pastor John Samson

Question: In Romans 8:29, the text reads "For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son..." Does this not therefore suggest that because foreknowledge comes before predestination in the text, then predestination is simply based on God's foreknowledge: because God foreknows or sees in advance (with full and complete knowledge) what a person will do, and who it is that will respond in faith to the Gospel, He simply predestinates those whom He knows ahead of time will believe?

Certainly this is how I understood this passage for many years and it is the way that many deal with the issue of predestination in our day. Previously, I also pointed to 1 Peter 1:1-2 which talks of those who are "chosen, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father..." and assumed that this verse would add weight to the idea that election and predestination is based on God knowing ahead of time what we will do - God merely chooses those whom He sees ahead of time will choose Him.

At first glance, it certainly seems to be a legitimate interpretation, yet the fact that foreknowledge comes before predestination should in no way surprize us. That's because God would need to foreknow a person He is going to predestinate to something. God does not predestinate unknown persons, but specific individuals whom He knows. So this not really an argument for either side in this debate. In both systems, Arminian and Reformed, foreknowing would need to come before predestination. The real question then is "what exactly does it mean for God to foreknow somebody?"

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November 14, 2005  |  Comments (6)   |  Permalink

John Piper Free MP3 Downloads

Mega Resource for Free MP3 Audio Downloads
by John Piper

Free MP3 Downloads

Download Here
Includes series' on: Why We Believe the Bible; T.U.L.I.P. Seminar; Desiring God; Living by Faith in Future Grace; Suffering for the Sake of the Body; Gravity and Gladness on Sunday Morning; Sexual Complementarity; Biblical Eldership; Prayer, Meditation, & Fasting: The Pursuit of Communion with God; Hunger for God (on fasting); Battling Unbelief; Men of Whom The World Was Not Worthy (Biography)

November 12, 2005  |  Comments (1)   |  Permalink

Hall of Contemporary Reformers

Today is the unveiling of a project (under construction) that we are currently working on at Monergism.com. These are the faces of pastors and theologians whom we think God has raised up to faithfully proclaim the gospel in our time, and whom the Lord is now using to preserve that silver thread of orthodoxy that has existed through the ages. A few of the links do not yet work, and we still need to add some biographical information to the faces already up there but there is plenty to read as is.

For each person listed we show illustration (mugshot), biographical information, a bibliography, theological stance, calling, online essays/audio etc. I would especially like to thank a friend of mine, Steve Hesselman who is the illustrator and has been a tremendous help to me in getting this project off the ground. Over the next few months we would like to continue growing this section to this and will hopefully add on new face/person every week or two. We hope you find this helpful. Click here to enter - SDG

November 12, 2005  |  Comments (9)   |  Permalink

Are Our Churches Preaching the Gospel?

by John Hendryx

This year my wife and I traveled to Denver, Colorado to attend the world’s largest Christian publisher’s conference and retail show. It was quite an experience and probably the most massive coming together of any industry people I have ever seen. Buyers came in the conference with carry on luggage so they could take away the truckloads of free materials given away. Everyone loaded up on single copies of new books given out (some good, some not so good) many of which the authors were signing on the spot. And since we got to meet and connect with many persons in the industry face to face our trip was a great success. Below are some thoughts that I had about our time in Denver.

Are Our Churches Preaching the Gospel?

The next morning after we arrived in Denver it was a Sunday so we went to a local conservative/evangelical Presbyterian church. I was impressed by the facility and doubly impressed that they had a massive book library available to members so they might check books out for free. It seemed like a very literate church and one which we could be confident understood the gospel. That day there was an important guest missionary preacher and so I was most interested in what he had to say given that missions was our personal vocation overseas for over ten years. I want to share a little about what he preached on that morning because it is important to see an obvious trend in both our churches and in the Christian publishing industry.

Continue reading "Are Our Churches Preaching the Gospel?" »

November 11, 2005  |  Comments (10)   |  Permalink

The Gospel of Prosperity Part 1 By Marco Gonzalez

tbn.bmp When I first became a Christian, I was influenced heavily. Much of my doctrinal and theological stances were formed and shaped by the gospel of prosperity (or as many have labeled it “The prosperity Gospel.”) The prominent speakers: T.D Jakes, Jesse Duplantis, Kenneth Copeland, and Kenneth Hagin all participated in creating my understanding of the gospel. The success of these individuals is well-known Even without the major influence of their broadcasts on TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network), many of the dominant speakers have gross revenues reaching a billion dollars a year. TBN is primarily the telecommunication used to project these individuals toward Christians. I’ve personally listened to well-over a thousand hours of broadcasting.

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November 10, 2005  |  Comments (18)   |  Permalink

The Da Vinci Code Movie

This posting will be a little lengthy today, but I would encourage you to read it through. It comes from the blog of my good friend Dr. James White. I believe it gives an excellent foundation as to the issues involved. For these and other developing blog articles on the Da Vinci Code, please visit Dr. James White's web site at www.aomin.org
- Pastor John Samson

May 19, 2006. That's when one of the most outrageous anti-Christian films we've ever seen will explode onto American movie screens. Powered by big stars (Tom Hanks, Ian McKellen) and Oscar winning director Ron Howard, the film adaptation of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code represents the investment of millions of dollars in spreading the clear message that the Bible "was compiled and edited by men who possessed a political agenda-to promote the divinity of the man Jesus Christ and use His influence to solidify their own power base" (234) all at the cost of the truth about the "divine feminine."

If you haven't read the book (unlike more than twenty million others), you may have only heard bits and pieces about its blatant attacks upon the Christian faith. I have had the opportunity of addressing the book in a number of contexts, and will continue doing so in an attempt to equip believers to respond to the onslaught. But I would like to document some of the major errors and the way in which they are presented by Dan Brown here on the blog. I encourage you to take this information and be prepared to use this opportunity to present a strong case for the Christian faith. Yes, you read that correctly. We need to see that attacks upon the faith are opportunities if we are prepared and if we are willing to count the cost and go against the cultural flow. We all know that nothing like this could ever be produced if the main target were, rather than the Bible and Christianity, the Quran and the Muslim faith, or Judaism. No, that would never be allowed, but Christianity is fair game at Sony Pictures, that's for certain. But since it is going to appear, we need to be ready to take advantage of it, and provide not only a strong denunciation of its errors, but a positive presentation of the truth of Scripture. And in doing so, we need to be willing to draw clear lines between those who call themselves Christians and yet are unwilling to view Scripture as Christ did, and ourselves.

Continue reading "The Da Vinci Code Movie" »

November 10, 2005  |  Comments (8)   |  Permalink

The Person of Christ Driven Life: A Purpose for a Person

A Purpose or a Person?
Stay away from lists! Stay away and flee from Christians who say that if you follow a certain 10-step, 12-step, or even 40-step program that you are guaranteed a "successful", "prosperous" or "victorious" Christian life.

Why? Because Christ has given us himself as our focus. It is Christ himself in his person and his work who needs to be emphasized, not our purpose in life, even the Christian life, or our needs. What needs to be emphasized in order that it might drive our lives toward gratitude in Jesus is the life, death, resurrection and ascension of our only Lord, Savior of sinners and healer of sin! We don't need a "purpose driven life" we need a "Person of Christ" driven life!

When we focus on programs of so-called purpose, however many steps they might have, we focus on ourselves, whether we like to admit it or not!

With lists set for Christians with the goal toward growth, whether it be lists of purpose, or lists of achievement, what happens in a subtle manner is that we Christians begin focusing on ourselves, our success (or failures) with regard to the list or the program, and we can take our eyes off our only Savior.

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November 10, 2005  |  Comments (2)   |  Permalink

IVP PLANS 27-VOLUME REFORMATION SERIES

Just found out from Ligon Duncan and Justin Taylor over at Reformation 21 that Intervarsity Press has something many of us will be interested in. If you are already familiar with IVP's Ancient Christian Commentary Series (ACCS) there is something simlilar in the works with regard to the writings of the Reformation...

According to the post, InterVarsity Press is developing a 27-volume “Reformation Commentary on Scripture” series, to begin releasing in 2009. Beeson Divinity School Dean and author Timothy George will serve as general editor. The series will include never-before-translated works by key figures from the Protestant Reformation. I assume this means the excellent works of persons such as Peter Martyr Vermigli and others will be included.

November 09, 2005  |  Comments (2)   |  Permalink

What's In A Name? A Review of D. G. Hart's 'Deconstructing Evangelicalism'

What is an evangelical? Where do we find their confession of faith? If I want to engage in a dialog with an evangelical, where do I find out what they believe? Who are their teachers? How does one get a membership card to join evangelicalism? Who is running this important and influential movement of the twentieth century?

D. G. Hart, scholar, teacher, elder and historian in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, has written another fine historical study that ought to be considered by pastors and lay people alike. Hart's new book is a work of deconstruction. It is not deconstruction as we tend to think associated with French linguists and literary interpretation. It is a deconstruction of an identity.

It is Hart's important claim that 'evangelical' as a term exists, but that as a true identity within Christ's Church, 'evangelical' might as well be nonexistent. He writes provocatively in his interesting introduction:

"Evangelicalism needs to be relinquished as a religious identity because it does not exist. In fact, it is the wax nose of the twentieth-century American Protestantism….Despite the vast amounts of energy and resources expended on the topic, and notwithstanding the ever growing volume of literature on the movement, evangelicalism is little more than a construction." (pgs. 16-17).

Continue reading "What's In A Name? A Review of D. G. Hart's 'Deconstructing Evangelicalism'" »

November 09, 2005  |  Comments (4)   |  Permalink

There's Good News and Bad News by Pastor John Samson

The book of Romans is the most comprehensive statement of the Gospel in the pages of Scripture. It starts with these words, "Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God." (Rom. 1:1) Each word is significant, but one that is normally overlooked is the little word "of" in the phrase "the gospel of God." Here, the word does not mean "about" as in the gospel about God. The word "of" here speaks of possession. The gospel of God is the gospel belonging to God, or God's gospel.

This little word "of" then has tremendous implications. It speaks of the fact that God is not only the author of the gospel, but that He owns exclusive rights to it. The gospel is His Gospel, and we as proclaimers of that gospel have no right to alter it, modify it, or shave off its rough edges in an effort to make it more palatable.

According to almost all commentators on the book of Romans, in chapter 1:16, 17, Paul outlines the theme of the book when he writes, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, 'the righteous shall live by faith.'"

The book of Romans is the presentation of the gospel. The word "gospel" means good news. That always needs to be kept in mind. Yet the good news doesn't make too much sense without an understanding of the bad news.

Continue reading "There's Good News and Bad News by Pastor John Samson" »

November 07, 2005  |  Comments (7)   |  Permalink

Bible Logic Fallacies of Synergists

The following numbered items are common assumptions made by synergists in rejecting the bondage of the will and God's sovereign grace in salvation.

Fallacy #1. God would not command us to do what we cannot do.

God gave the Law to Moses, The Ten Commandments, to reveal what man cannot do, not what he can do.

A. Premise #1 is unscriptural. God gave the Law for two reasons: To expose sin and to increase it so man would have no excuse for declaring his own righteousness. Why? Because in the context, he does NO righteousness. As Martin Luther said to Erasmus, when you are finished with all your commands and exhortations from the Old Testament, I’ll write Ro.3:20 over the top of it all. Why use commands and exhortations from the O.T. to show free will when they were given to prove man’s sinfulness? They exist to show what we cannot do rather than what we can do. Yes, God gave commands to man which man cannot do. Therefore commandments and exhortations do not prove free will. Nowhere in scripture is there any hint that God gives commands to natural men to prove they are able to perform them.

[Here is the passage Luther quoted to Erasmus to show that law's purpose is to expose our bondage to sin, not show our moral ability to keep it: "Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin." Rom 3:19, 20]

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November 05, 2005  |  Comments (16)   |  Permalink

The Strong Hold of Ecumenicalism: Ecclesiological Chaos By Marco Gonzalez

untitled.bmpOver the past fifty-plus years, the air of ecumenicalism has been breathed into evangelicalism. With the hopes of “unity,” leading figures in the ecumenical movement have tried to unite in evangelicalism: non-evangelicals, Catholics, and Liberals. The ivory tower of theologians has lessened the cause of Christ and as a result broken fellowship, unity, and Christian Brother-ship. While I believe unity is a high priority for evangelicalism, I have to ask the question: at what cost shall we become unified?
Evangelicalism as a whole is plagued with the ideology of ecumenicalism. At heart of ecumenicalism is what I call “ecclesiological chaos.” There are countless well-known preachers/teachers emphasizing the necessity of world wide unity with Catholic, non-evangelical, and Liberal churches.

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November 02, 2005  |  Comments (13)   |  Permalink

The Jesus Syllogism

A Biblical Reflection on John 6 by John Hendryx

According to Scripture, all persons have a knowledge of God (Rom 1:21), but not all persons know Him in the same way. Some people know Him as a friend, but others know Him only as an enemy. These are, by nature, hostile in mind toward Christ, suppressing the truth in unrighteousness (Rom 1:18), because they love darkness and hate the light (John 3:19, 20). The question I want to put before you to contemplate today is why is it that some persons see the beauty and excellence of Christ, knowing Him as a friend, while others find Jesus and his promises of grace so repulsive, remaining His enemy? What is it that makes people to differ in their response to the promises of the gospel?

The purpose of this short essay is to show from Scripture a discussion Jesus had in his time on earth where he unequivocally asserts that it is grace alone that makes persons to differ in our response to the gospel; whether we believe it, or reject it. And to drive this point home we will show how Jesus insists that UNLESS God grants His invincible grace no one would ever believe the gospel ... yet ALL persons to whom he grants this same grace will believe unto eternal life.

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November 02, 2005  |  Comments (13)   |  Permalink