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Their Temples of Reason

It is usually no fun when people play the race card, but when evolutionists do it, the results can be highly entertaining, at least after a few million years.

My brother Gordon is Senior Fellow of Natural History at New St. Andrews. He was recently engaged to teach a one-off course in microbiology at the University of Idaho, which drew this protest, and then this one.

There is a kind of evolutionist who insists that his theory can only be falsified with rabbit fossils in the precambrian, and then rests easily in the full assurance that anything with a rabbit fossil in it can’t be precambrian by definition. This method works swell for them, and so they try to use a similar approach to journal articles, terminal degrees, and teaching slots. Creationists are clearly not equipped to be in the proximity of any of those things — for are they not all cornpones? — and so whenever they see a creationist they chase him out promptly, and then use his strange absence as an argument. His absence is an argument, and his presence is an outrage. What my net don’t catch ain’t fish, and if it does catch one on accident, we can always throw it back immediately and pretend it didn’t happen.

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Category: Apologetics | Tags:

The Same Nervous System

“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16: 11)

The Basket Case Chronicles #150

And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular” (1 Cor. 12:26–27).

Not only do we adjust for one another, so that the more presentable parts of the body are presented, and the less presentable parts are covered, but we also share the same spiritual nervous system. If one member of the body is in pain, then the entire body experiences the pain. If one part is glorified, then the entire body rejoices.

So Paul then gathers up all the illustrations from the body he has been using, and says that the Corinthians together are the body of Christ, and he says that each one of them is a particular member. They are therefore interconnected, and should function with that interconnectedness in the way he has been describing.

Davenant Presents . . .

Future Prot

A number of you regulars at this blog are located in Southern California, which means this is an event you should mark on your calendars. For those of you living elsewhere, you can get information about live-streaming at this location — so I guess you all should mark your calendars. Okay, everybody mark your calendars. It promises to be a hummer.

Here is the back story on how this all came together. The event was made possible by the Davenant Trust, the same group that provided New St. Andrews with a generous gift to kick start our translation project of Reformation theology. Make sure to check them out.

Category: Personal | Tags:

Why Grace Makes Everybody Nervous

“But those who insist that apple trees must always produce apples will make the friends of free grace nervous, not because they have anything against apples, but rather because they know the human propensity for manufacturing shiny plastic apples, with the little hooks that make it easy to hang them, like so many Christmas tree ornaments, on our doctrinal and liturgical bramble bushes. But on the other hand, those who insist that true grace always messes up the categories of the ecclesiastical fussers make the friends of true moral order nervous — because there are, after all, numerous warnings (from people like Jesus and Paul, who should have a place in these particular discussions, after all) about those who ‘live this way’ not inheriting the kingdom. Kind of cold, according to some people, but the wedding banquet is the kind of event you can get thrown out of” (Against the Church, pp. 84-85).

The Nature of Nature

Unbelievers live in the world, and this is why we must continue to insist on the authority of nature. They also live in the world defined by Scripture, but they are more inclined to deny this than to deny they live in the world. Not only so, but whenever they deny that they live in the world defined by the enscripturated Word, Christians are more inclined to let them get away with it. This is because Christians accept the Bible, and non-Christians don’t. Everybody lives in the world, like it or not.

Right, and this is why we must continue to insist that the world has a nature, and that this nature is teleologically structured. There is an entelechy to all things, and this purpose, this telos, this intention, this embodiment, was determined by the God who made the world. The world has a nature. Whenever we speak of Nature, we are simply expressing this truth in a shorthand way.

But we are currently living in the midst of a large-scale revolt against nature and nature’s God, and this revolt wants to say that “nature” is a blank, that it has no nature, and that man can therefore impose whatever he wants on it. The godly man wants his dominion to be the result of an obedient conforming to the way things are, while the ungodly man wants his dominion to be the result of whatever he wills, and what he wills is almost always wired up to his lusts somehow.

According to the theorists of this revolt, the world is a lump of dough, to be shaped into whatever forms the masters of the universe in question desire for it. Sarte’s phrase for this was that “existence precedes essence,” and he touted the idea that human beings do not possess any inherent nature or value, and that everything we become is therefore a function of the will. Just as Nixon surrendered economic sanity by allegedly saying “we are all Keynesians now,” so also fickle Christians seem to be readying themselves for the time when they can say “we are all existentialists now.” It turns out the Cities of the Plain have a theological society, and we have a bunch of guys who are desperate not to get kicked out of it.

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Sex Offenders in the Church

Several folks have asked me what I think of this article about the place of sex offenders in the church, so I thought I would say a few words about it.

Let me say first what I appreciate about Jimmy Hinton’s article. First, I admire his courage. When he found out about his father’s offenses, he did the right thing. Second, I admire his insistence that the practical price of the dislocations in the church be borne by those who caused the dislocations in the first place — the offenders. When there have been grievous offenses, the church must not help the culprit gang up on the one who was wronged, in order to heal the wound lightly. Demands for superficial reconciliation would fall into that category. And third, I agree with him that molestation of children is common in the church, and that putting another coat of whitewash on the sepulcher doesn’t deal with the stench.

That said, I do think he has arbitrarily limited the boundaries of this kind of offense, and consequently, the hard line taken can’t really serve as a hard line, and won’t provide the kind of practical help that pastors and boards of elders need in this kind of mess. For example, he limits his discussion to pedophiles, and draws very precise lines for it:

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Identity in Christ: Bedrock Discipleship

Introduction
Today is Resurrection Sunday, our annual commemoration of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus from the dead. We mark this annually, but it is important for us to remember that we also mark it weekly—every Lord’s Day is a celebration of the resurrection. But what exactly are we celebrating when we do this?

The Text:

“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:3–11).

Summary of the Text:

When we were baptized, we were baptized into the death of Jesus (v. 3). Note that—our baptism, His death. When we were baptized, this was not just into His crucifixion, but also into His burial (v. 4). The reason God identified us with His death and burial was so that He could also identify us with His resurrection, enabling us to walk in newness of life (v. 4). For if we are identified with (symphytos, the word rendered as planted) His death, we must also be identified with His resurrection (v. 5). Our old man was crucified with Him (v. 6), and death liberates us from the death of sin (v. 7). And death with Christ goes together with life in Christ (v. 8). Christ rose from the dead forever, and it is that everlasting life that we have been identified with (v. 9). Death is once for all, but life is forever (v. 10). Therefore, reckon yourselves to be dead to sin but alive to God through Christ Jesus our Lord (v. 11). What does this newness of life taste like? It tastes like the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, and all the rest.This is the true liberation of Easter.

The Structure of the Exhortation: Continue reading

Category: Expository | Tags: ,

Nehushstan Memorial

In Scripture we find two kinds of idols. The first is an alternative to the living God from the get-go. When the children of Israel turned aside to Baal or Molech, they were sinning overtly and rebelliously. They were turning from the living God to false gods.

The other kind of idol starts out innocently. God gave His people something to remember Him by, and at first they remember Him rightly. An example of this would be the bronze serpent that Moses fashioned in the wilderness, so that anyone who had been bitten by a serpent could look on it in faith and live (Num. 21:8). Jesus said that this serpent was given as an Old Testament type, representing His crucifixion (John 3:14). It was a gift of God—and yet, Hezekiah was right to destroy it (2 Kings 18:4).

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