Wednesday, April 30

Around the Blogosphere: A Couple Must-Reads

A number of people continue to ask if the Calvinism/Arminianism debate is necessary. Are the differences that great? Is the Bible really that clear? Isn't it much easier (and even more biblical) to choose neither option?

Although Dr. Bauder does not argue for either side (something I hope he will do in the near future) I believe he does a great job at laying out the importance of taking a side. There are real, biblical questions that demand real, biblical answers. And as Bauder lays it out if you reject one side it automatically puts you on the other side. There is no epistemologically humble middle ground. You might be a "three-point Arminian" or a "four-point Calvinist" but in such a case you would also be a "two-point Calvinist" and a "one-point Arminian."

Some fundamentalist leaders have recently and publicly registered their objections to Calvinism, but they prefer not to be called Arminians. They believe that both Calvinism and Arminianism are man-made systems that predetermine one’s interpretation of Scripture. These leaders wish to start at the other end, with Scripture, and to arrive at a conclusion on the basis of the study of the text. Consequently, they prefer to be called Biblicists.

Fortunately, these recent pronouncements are irenic in tone. This is a token that fundamentalist theology is maturing. Not long ago, it was difficult to find criticism of Calvinism that did not end in a rant. If these recent publications are an example, however, we are now able to discuss Arminianism and Calvinism in a deliberate and thoughtful manner.

Nevertheless, the term Biblicist seems to have only limited usefulness in this debate. Which of us does not try to start with Scripture and to draw conclusions by studying the text? Which of us wishes to set aside any of the Bible in favor of a human system? No, we are all Biblicists here.

Since we are conversing as Biblicists, I would like to raise a question. Which problems do we Biblicists have to solve in order to be entitled to say that we have a biblical answer to the debate between Calvinism and Arminianism? I would like to suggest four specific problems for which we must find biblical solutions.
Continue reading HERE.

Another article that demands your attention is by Jay Younts. This article is quite possibly his best post to date. He combines parenting and apologetics in a masterful way. A reader named Kyle asks Jay about his response to the National Day of Silence (a day to support the GLBT [gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender] kids who are being targeted with violence at school).

Kyle, my question to you is, “Does God have the right to determine how people should relate to each other sexually?” If you answer “No,” then you have made God out to be just another person with an opinion, with no more authority than you or I have. He is no God at all. But if you believe that there is no God, then on what basis do you say that violence against others is wrong? Why is your opinion right and mine wrong? If you want to condemn bigotry and prejudice, then you must have some standard that defines bigotry and prejudice. This standard must be based upon something other than just a personal preference if you want to regulate the actions of others. Otherwise, you are attempting to force your will on other people simply because it is your will.

I am glad to denounce discriminatory violence based upon biblical standards. However, because of that same standard I must also urge you to consider whether gay, lesbian, and bisexual behaviors are appropriate. My belief that this activity is wrong is not a personal preference but is consistent with biblical teaching.

You make an appeal for peace, but even peace is something that has no meaning unless it can be rooted in something larger than our own personal beliefs. I know this answer may not be satisfying to you, but biblical Christianity does give a basis from which to speak against discriminatory violence. At the same time, the God who gives this standard also has things to say about sexual behavior. I appeal to you to embrace God’s standard—not only in condemning discriminatory violence, but also for sexual conduct.
Continue reading HERE.

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Monday, April 28

Some History on Amazing Grace

This brought some fresh perspective on a familiar and universally loved hymn.



[HT: James White]

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Tuesday, April 22

Parental Encouragement

Parents, if you are not regularly reading Jay Younts at The Shepherd Press Blog, than you need to start. Today! He gives some great instruction on the importance of giving instruction to your children when they are young.

Parents, you must see this vital connection between how you give instruction to your young children and how they will respond to temptation as teenagers. The young people depicted in the Linkin Park lyrics in the previous post have no regard for their parent's instruction. Because of this they are vulnerable. This dynamic is essential to grasp, especially in dealing with young children and toddlers. Your focus must go beyond behavior. If your instruction is primarily about stopping squabbles, then what you will achieve is a temporary stalemate. Your children may stop squabbling, but their hearts are unprepared for the attacks that will come. They will not be obeying because God must be obeyed; they will be obeying because it is in their best interest to obey. The use of these same criteria of decision making will not offer protection for them as teenagers, but entrapment. The earlier stalemates may yield devastating defeats later on.
Continue reading HERE.

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Friday, April 18

I Blame This Morning's Earthquake On John Piper ...

This morning's earthquake was quite the experience.

The now-downgraded 5.2 quake's epicenter was 100 miles east of our home. The quake lasted 45 seconds and was severe enough to startle Joanna and me awake at 4:36 this morning to the sound of windows rattling and an eerie rumbling.

Although we Midwesterners rarely feel the effects of the tectonic plates moving, this is the second quake we've experienced in the past three years.

I blame John Piper for interrupting my much-needed good night's sleep (after 48 hours of Together For The Gospel), and here's why: in the introduction of his address to the 5,000 T4G attendees, John stated that his aim for us was that we "rock" and "shake" the world.

I never imagined so many Covenant theologians would take John so literally!!!!!

There will be more forthcoming on the T4G Conference ... so stay tuned!

Until then, let each of us stand in awe of the God who causes the earth to tremble:

"May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice
in his works, who looks on the earth and it trembles, who
touches the mountains and they smoke!"

Psalm 104:31-32 (ESV)

UPDATE: It's 10:15 AM, and we just had a brief 30-second aftershock.


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Saturday, April 5

This Weekend's Must-Hear Hymn

It's available HERE (you've gotta make your way through a bit of Jayhawk rap-opaganda before you get to the really good stuff ... but the whole thing is worth a listen).

ROCK, CHALK, JAYHAWK!!!

Sorry Roy Williams ... tonight you watched a real college basketball team ... and they weren't wearing Carolina pansy blue!

Bill Self ... thanks for making us forget Roy Williams. Monday you will do what Roy couldn't do in 15 years of KU Basketball!!!!!!!!!!


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Thursday, April 3

The Church of Oprah Exposed

It congregates daily in the middle of the afternoon, and millions of Christians faithfully attend. Is that a problem? Consider this:



So what is this? It's the new face of Eastern Mysticism and Existentialism.

HT: CE

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