A Coalition of Dust Bunnies

Casual-Conversations-Confederate-Flag-Heritage-or-Hate

If you have a moment, you might want take a look at this video, starting at about the 45 minute mark. In the course of a panel discussion at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, a point I had made about the American and Confederate flags came up. My guess is the point they were likely dealing with was the third point in this post. Being always grateful for a chance to interact with various saints, let me join in on this discussion, albeit somewhat belatedly. In his response, Dr. Akin said that the two situations were different. His reasoning was this -- he said that when the average person looked at the Confederate flag, he would simply think "slavery," and that there is no comparable reaction when people looked at the American flag. There are two responses to this that I would like to offer. First, we could round up quite a few people who do in fact have a visceral negative reaction to the American flag. They do exist, and there are quite a lot of them. It is not … [Read more...]

Play the Man

"At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore" (Ps. 16: 11) The Basket Case Chronicles #199 “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity” (1 Cor. 16:13–14). Nearing the end of this epistle, Paul gives a small burst of ethical exhortations. This cluster presents an interesting juxtaposition. The first set in v. 13 is quite martial, and then in v. 14 the “battlefield” consists of doing everything in love. One of the things that armed forces do is post sentries. The first exhortation says to “stay awake, be alert, be watchful.” The second says that we are to defend our position, which we do by standing firmly in the faith. The third is an interesting stand-alone verb andrizomai, which literally means to “play the man,” The fourth says that we are to be strong, powerful. So then, what we are told to do here is to be alert, to stand courageously, to be masculine and strong. Where then do we take this? Paul says … [Read more...]

50 Livers a Week

The eighth video is now out. The entire thing takes place over lunch -- over one of the most cold-hearted meals you will ever witness. Take note of the academics who are dismissed because they want to suppress within their own consciences what it is they are doing. But this means that Cate Dyer, the woman in the video, knows what she is doing. She is trafficking in the sale of dead babies, and she knows it. <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/cz1gRNPgMvE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> … [Read more...]

Their High Altar

The way of death is ancient . . .

There is quite a dramatic difference between "pardon me" and "forgive me." We say the first, for example, in cases of inadvertent error, as when we bump into someone accidentally. We need to say the latter when we knew what we were doing, did it on purpose, knowing full well that we ought not to have. If we bump into someone in a crowded hallway, we ask for pardon. We say "pardon me" or "excuse me." But if that other person was the only one in the hallway, and we lowered our head and ran straight into him, then "pardon me" would be taken as sarcasm. The only thing required is repentance and "please forgive me." Now through the death of Christ on the death, we are offered full and free forgiveness for our sin, confessed as such. We are not offered anything as a supplement to our excuses. When John tells us that God will forgive us our sins (1 John 1:9), he places a conditional upon it -- "if we confess our sins." The word for confess is homologeo, which literally means to … [Read more...]

If the Day of Judgment Had a Little Brother

The problem with such images is the understatement.

In one sense, of course, nothing can compare to the great Day of the Lord. Nothing compares to it, and yet Scripture repeatedly compares things to it. But the Bible does this in such a way as to show that nothing can compare, which is what gives the comparisons such force. “The high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed: The thorn and the thistle shall come up on their altars; And they shall say to the mountains, Cover us; And to the hills, Fall on us” (Hos. 10:8; cf. Luke 23:30). So if you want one sort of image for the Day of Judgment, here in the Pacific Northwest we have multiple forest fires to choose from. The flames can get 300 feet high. Use your imagination. . In another sense, there is second  aspect to the Day of Judgment that seems much quieter and less lurid, and yet is far more terrifying. Bu it is only actually terrifying if you think about it, which is what these Planned Parenthood videos are making us all do. These videos are a tiny … [Read more...]

Surveying the Text/Zephaniah

Introduction: As with many of the other minor prophets, what we know about the author of the book is basically contained within the book. This book begins with an unusual genealogy, one which means that Zephaniah is probably the great-grandson of King Hezekiah, which would place him in the tribe of Judah. From the nature of the prophecies, we can place his ministry during the reign of his kinsman, Josiah, and this ministry was probably during the early part of Josiah’s reign. He makes reference to the “remnant of Baal” (Zeph. 1:4), and these were dealt with after the discovery of the law in Josiah’s reign (621 B.C.). Nahum and Jeremiah were more or less contemporaries. The Text: “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing” (Zeph. 3:17). Summary of the Text: Like the book of Joel, the emphasis here in on the “Day of the Lord” (e.g. compare Zeph. 1:14-18 with … [Read more...]

The Covenant Home 1

Introduction: For various reasons, the word federal is grossly misunderstood today. But our word comes from the Latin word foedus, which means covenant. Thus a federal union, or confederated association, should be understood as one bound by covenant oaths and loyalties. As Christians who understand the importance of covenants in the Bible, we should set ourselves to understand the meaning of federal marriage. This is just another way of saying covenant marriage. The Texts: “But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (1 Cor. 11:3). “For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body” (Eph. 5:23). The Face of Marriage Covenants: Some might want to assume that as Reformed Christians we simply have covenants on the brain, finding them everywhere in Scripture. You know, covenant peanut butter and covenant jelly. But this message is not an … [Read more...]

Tend the Weeds

As I mentioned before, love is what makes a Christian community grow. Community is like a garden, and gardens contain many growing, beautiful things. But community is also the garden in which grumbles grow. Since the fall of Adam, there has never been a garden without weeds, and this is because our hearts are in such a condition that a garden without weeds would be terrible for us. If sinful men were given weedless gardens, this would simply prove that the garden had been entirely abandoned, and that they were the weeds. So when a Christian community is a growing and thriving place, grumbles will grow, depend upon it. Everything depends on how the grumbles are handled. In ancient Israel, the problem with grumbling ran much deeper, and it was sometimes met with severe judgments from God. But in the New Testament, as the new Israel was growing, complaints sprang up as to how some of the widows were being neglected in the distribution of food (Acts 6:1). They handled it properly, … [Read more...]

Seven Courses

Not only is this a covenant meal, with all the parties to the covenant alive and present, Scripture gives us another image to use with our grasp of the word testament. “For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth” (Heb. 9:17). Here we have the image of a reading of a will. Our elder brother has died, and we have gathered to hear what He has left for us. Now of course, these images complement each other, and we do this in the full and certain knowledge of His resurrection. But even though He is risen, we remain His heirs. That part of this image is true enough. In thinking about this, we can rely on the insights of the old Scots Reformed preacher John Willison. He points out that the executor of this will and testament in this world is the Holy Spirit. And as we have gathered to learn what we have received, we may learn it under the figure of a meal with seven dishes. This is a seven-course meal, and when you come in … [Read more...]

3 Marks of the God of the System

The bailiff will please show the gentleman to the door.

Every system has a god, which means that when you have identified certain markers, you have identified the god of the system. If the god of the system is not the true God, the God who made Heaven and earth, then the god of the system is an idol. In order to be an idol, the god of the system need not be an inert object, adored only by the superstitious. Paul says that those who sacrifice to idols sacrifice to demons (1 Cor. 10:20), and Paul certainly believed that the demons were there. Idolatry is not when you worship something that is non-existent; idolatry occurs when you worship something created. Because people (in the grip of modernity) have come to believe that idols are necessarily nullities, they subsequently have come to believe that anything that is not a nullity -- like the Supreme Court, or the spirit of the age, or what all the cool kids are doing -- cannot be an idol. But it can be, and if it is created and is the god of the system, then that is precisely what … [Read more...]