Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

I currently have many friends who are at roughly the same place in their biblical thinking. They have been challenging several teachings that are, as I see it, basic to Christianity. It is hard, however, to know how to reach out and begin dialogue with them because in many senses we have different worldviews.

I believe that we must begin any discussion with the scriptures. They are axiomatic.  We do not reach the conclusion of the truth of Christianity based on a long series of arguments. We must start with the truth of the scriptures and then begin to think from that point.

For several reasons this has become my conviction. I cant go deep right now, so here is a flyover.

1. God repeatedly says in His word that all wisdom and knowledge begin with the fear of the Lord.
2.  All other attempts to ground our thought (existentialism, empiricism, rationalism) have been shown clearly to be bankrupt.
3.  Internal consistency now becomes crucial in analyzing worldviews and only the Christian worldview, founded on the scriptures, passes that test.

These buddies of mine, while strongly asserting their Christianity, in my opinion have moved to other foundations which don’t allow for the strong assertion of Christian truth. Instead these other foundations basically hamstring any attempt to defend the faith.

Inerrancy

Inerrancy is the belief that in the original manuscripts God so moved as to give us a text that was free from human errors.  Not in the sense that they could not have misspelled a word, or that they could not have written their letters in a misshapen way.  But that the content that they wrote under the inspiration of God’s Spirit was faithful to what God wanted them to write and wholly true.

And upon this point those of us who believe in inerrancy are often charged with a problem.  It is said that the only way for God to accomplish this is by dictation, as if God pushed the little button on the back of our heads that turns us into robots and we just wrote out the bible for him as he pulled our strings.  They say that dictation doesn’t account for all the humanness we see in the bible, with each author revealing their own style etc.

The problem with dictation, from my point of view, is not that it is too controlling, but that it is not controlling enough. From the doctrine of divine sovereignty we can see that God so controls all things in this world that He can adequately shape the heart and nature of a man so that that man will write exactly what God wants him to (yet in his own verbage).  God is in control and man is using his own language.

My friends, coming from different, and i would say non christian, presuppositions, have several issues with inerrancy.

1.  That they cant find a legitimate argument for inerrancy.

2.  They believe there are textual problems in the original text that are unresolvable.

I cant deal with 2 right now but I will address 1.

There is no legitimate argument for inerrancy. True. If by that argument you mean that from the basis of non Christian axioms that there is no way to legitimately argue to an error free text then you are absolutely right.

The problem is that the truth of the Christian scriptures and the existence of the Triune God is not something you can reach at the end of a long syllogism that is rooted in non Christian premises. Classical Christian apologetics has tried to do this and has failed terribly. These truths are axiomatic to true Christianity. They aren’t the end conclusion.  They are the beginning presupposition.

These buddies of mine, upon denying inerrancy and moving to errancy, (the belief that there were errors, to a more or less extent, in the original manuscripts) have found themselves in the same morass as all the liberals that they would so firmly decry. What do I mean?

Once inerrancy falls, and we no longer believe that God preserved His text, the question now becomes, what is a human addition and what is genuinely resulting from God’s Holy Spirit? In the original text, what was genuinely from God? How do we know John 3:16 was God breathed?

We can talk all day about the trustworthiness of God and His intent to preserve His Word etc.Yet all that is is irrelevant to this point. Once we deny that God acted in such a way as to preserve a text without error, the debate shifts to one about the trustworthiness of people, in this case, the people who God inspired. Not sure about you, but I for one don’t trust people to do anything perfectly.

So, what is our basis that John 3:16 is actually God breathed and not a human addition? Pretty much diddlely-squat. We have no mechanism to determine the origin of the words, whether ultimately divine or purely human and thus we have no arguments that can differentiate between the two.  All we have is a text.

The liberals of our day have followed the path of logic my brothers are following, realized there is no real solid standard, and have invented their own standards. The ethic of love.  The hermuenutic of the person of Christ, etc.  Even so, these standards are subjective and not derived from scripture.  If they have indeed lost the confidence to say that scripture is preserved inerrant in the autographs, then the very hermenuetic they have offered could be the result of those danged human verses in the bible. The liberals have arbitrarily invented hermenuetics that seem cool to themselves and are now holding everyone hostage to their personal “super cool” dreams. That is what they are. Dreams! They have entered the dream world and their Christian ethic has lost its connection with reality.

Yet my friends still say that they believe that the original autographs were mostly divine, perhaps 99.5% divine. That’s a lot to work with there!  We can build a Christian worldview with a large degree of certainty.

NO.

If I were to say that I actually think that the scriptures were 58.3% divine and that all the verses about Jesus were human additions, upon what basis would you argue for the divinity of those verses? There could be no basis.

But they are Christians. They still follow His Word.  Some of them are very vocal in their denunciations of liberal Christianity along with all the perversions of the secular culture we live in. I praise God for this but wonder why?  They obviously have faith in His Word. They believe that John 3:16 is God breathed and inspired.  Why?  The only conclusion I can reach is just that they have assumed it to be so.  They have assumed the divine origin of most of the Bible, yet disagree with me for the assumption of inerrancy. We are both making assumptions here brothers, let’s get that much straight. The question now is, whose worldview can sustain those assumptions and whose cannot?

I would really appreciate some feedback on this post friends. I recognize my youth and the fact that with these words I am challenging the beliefs of some of those who have served and taught me, and walked with me in my own struggles. I love you guys.

Read Full Post »

In this post I will be articulating several things that I think the first 3 commandments to be teaching.  I want to preface this by saying that many of the things I say I know to be foundational biblical truth.  However a few of them I am still working thru and may not be very solid.  Critiques are, as always, desired.  Even more so on this post, as I am learning this and desire to hear the thoughts of the saints.

Exodus 20:1-7

And God spoke all these words, saying:

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

“You shall have no other gods before Me.

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

The first three of the ten commandments.  When I first heard these, as a young child, the whole list just seemed to be a series of do’s and dont’s.  I did not see the differences that I saw later, between the ones that are directed Godward, the first four, and the ones that are between men, the last six.  But as time went on I learned this.  Later still I learned that there is a greater depth to the concept of the name of God than I previously understood, but that I will articulate further below.

Just today, while mulling over the word, some things began to click together in my head and I want to lay them out here for the saints to be edified if they are correct, but also so that if I am wrong in this, God, via His church, can rein me back in.

What I am going to put forward is that these three commandments  are not just intended to give three do’s and dont’s.  They are intended to establish the boundaries of a worldview.  They are intended to address all of life.

#1  I am God, you shall have no other.

The ten commandments were not just random, because our God is not random.  All that He does He does with purpose originating in the only perfect mind there is.  So, God, in His perfect will chose to start His law with a declaration of His own deity and His exclusive rights to that title.  This command is a proclamation to humanity that God is God.  There is no attempt at any justification of this statement, or any reasoning up to it.  Just a simple declaration of Deity.  God does not at any point thru scripture stoop down and try to prove to fallen man that He is God.  He states it clearly, and His creatures are under obligation to believe and act accordingly.

“You shall have no other gods before me”, is a claim of the exclusive rights of God.  There are no others so you are not to live as if there are.  He alone is God and commands that we are to acknowledge this in our thoughts and lives.

#2 You shall not make an image for worship. Not a likeness of anything in …heaven ….earth… or… water.

This condemns the constructing of any images of any sort to any created thing with the intent of worship.  Idolatry in its most obvious form is here explained and forbidden.  The creating of a physical idol is making outward an internal act of idolatry.  God has already been deposed and a created thing placed on that throne.

Now, of course every act of idolatry outwardly directed toward something outside of the person has its origin in an act of idolatry within the person.  Already the person has exalted Himself in His own mind to sit and judge over God.  He, the person, has determined that God is not to be worshipped as God, thus exalting His own mind to the idolatrous position of being in judgement over God.  Romans 1 is clear that fallen man knows of “His eternal power and Godhead so that they are without excuse”.  Even those within false religions have been clearly shown the truth… but… “because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”  They may not necessarily at the present time be conscious of the fact that what we proclaim to them is true.  Still, their idolatry is without excuse.

There is another point to be made out of this command.  God phrases this command in such a way as to make the Creator/creature distinction very clear.  He went thru the list of things in heaven, earth and water to make a point.  Everything here, everything on this earth, everything not God, is NOT to be worshipped.  Why?  Because it is not God.  It is created.  It is distinct and different from its creator and it would be idolatrous for us to worship anything this side of the Creator/creature distinction.

#3 You shall not take God’s name in vain.

Men with far greater wisdom than I have written very well on this command.  I recommend you go and read some of them.  But still, I need to address it as well.

Very often we read this and assume that it merely means we are not to use God’s name as a curse word.  This misses most of the point.

When a Hebrew thought of someone’s name, it was not limited to the vocal or written construct that signified that person.  It identified all that that person was. Their worth, reputation, and honor were all tied up in their name.  Furthermore, there was a sense in which when wrongdoing was done by a member of a particular family or tribe, it brought dishonor on the name of that family or tribe.  If a jew were to commit a terrible crime that would bring dishonor to the name of His tribe and family.  It would entail a deep lack of respect for the dignity of those dishonored.  It was to diminish them in the eyes of others, to pronounce them as unworthy of respect, honor and obedience.

When God says not to take His name in vain, there is nothing there in to indicate that this is speaking of something merely verbal.  It is saying that if we are taking on the name of God, proclaiming we are His servants, we are to behave in a way befitting that claim of allegiance.  We are to honor God, and not take up His name in a trite, or vain manner.  We are to be serious about the fact that we, as followers of the one true God, have taken up His name and His honor in the eyes of the world is in a sense tied to the way that we behave.  We represent Him.  In essence, do not think of God as trivial when you claim to be His, but live according to His ways and thus glorify Him.

 

These three commands seem to me now to be so much more than just a few do’s and dont’s.  They provide the foundation for all of life.

#1 God and God alone is Deity.  Only recognize Him as Divine.

#2 No created being is Deity. You may worship none of them. 

#3 Do not defame the character of this God.  Do not take up His cause lightly.

 

These truths are absolutely foundational.  Bank on them.

I would greatly appreciate feedback, especially from those older and wiser than I.  Am I accurately bringing up the underlying points to these commands?  Am I taking some too far?  Am I not taking some far enough?

God bless!

Read Full Post »

Christian Audio is giving away the book “Knowing God” by J. I. Packer for the month of January.  This is a great book, a definite classic.  I would highly recommend it, and you cant find a better price than free.

Read Full Post »

TOOOO LOOONNG!

I must apologize for totally dropping the ball on keeping up this blog.  I intend on doing so a bit more consistently in the coming days.

The past couple weeks I have been in Mexico and Ohio and all places in between assisting the Rameys, my “girlfriend’s” family make the move back up here after three years of working down there in a home for children.

So the past little bit has been pretty interesting in many ways.  Hard, but God is ever faithful to walk with and to keep His people safe and on the path that He designs for them.

I will be posting more soon, but must get off now as in fifteen minutes we are leaving Zanesville ohio to head to akron ohio to preach there all day on a college campus.

May Christ be glorified!!!

Read Full Post »

As a preface to this post I do want to say that these rules are not reflective of our courtship.  I am very, very thankful for the loving leadership of bnoth sets of parents here in this courtship.  These rules are the result of a few minds just being goofy so some credit for this is due to the parents of my dear little lady who thru their joking inspired me.  Hope you enjoy them.  🙂

1.  ABSOLUTELY NO physical contact (if this rule is even accidentally violated the offender is tarred and feathered quicker than you can blink).

2.  It is often said to leave room for Jesus when sitting next to each other.  But we prefer you to leave room for Fred, who is a five hundred pound middle-aged balding man with body odor and a bad case of the measles.

3.  Emotional intimacy is to be always carefully measured via the intimeter.  If the couple leave the safe ‘stoic zone’ and enter the danger zone the young woman is to be confined in her room for a year on bread and water and the young man is to brought to a remote frozen river and dumped thru a small hole in the ice.

4.  There is to be no direct eye contact.  Upon the first violation of this rule the left eye of both will be plucked out.  Upon the second violation… we will need to teach you braille so don’t do it again.

5.  Chaperoning.  Imagine a five foot bubble zone around every member of the family the couple happens to be with at the time.  If the courting couple steps outside of this five foot bubble zone the entire family must grab a stick and beat them.  Yardsticks for the girl; four by fours for the guy.  Also every family member must be equipped with a tape measure to monitor for violations.

6.  The following is a list of words prohibited til marriage.  Love, beautiful, marriage, children, handsome, care, how, are, you, doing, kids, pretty, etc.  If any synonyms of these words are even thought immediate recompensation for your error will be made.

And beware, young courtiers, this is only a partial list.  Many, many, many more rules are soon forthcoming.

Read Full Post »

Guys, if you are a young man dealing with porn or if you have dealt with it in the past, then you need to read this article.  This is serious stuff.  If God is going to entrust us with His daughters some day then we need to deal with our hearts to prepare them to love a woman as God calls us to.

http://www.challies.com/christian-living/sexual-detox-i-pornifying-the-marriage-bed

Read Full Post »

Courtship!

No, this is not thoughts on courtship.  This is an announcement to the blogosphere that I am courting.

Yes, I understand that is a shocker to all of my three readers who thought that I would surely grow old as a crusty bachelor.  But it is true.  I have finally found a woman who is willing to work thru the trials of a relationship with me with the end goal being marriage.  I applaud her selflessness in consenting to this relationship.  🙂

But no, seriously, I am now in a courtship with a young lady.  Her name is Gennavieve Ramey.  She is a very godly, beautiful young woman and I do indeed consider myself privileged to be where I am.

Genna and I

A little background on her.  She is originally from Ohio.  A northern state, but we are willing to tolerate that and have already moved to grant her honorary southern citizenship.  She lived there with her family (Father, Tod; Mother, Kristi; Sisters, Jossie and Annie) til roughly three years ago when they moved down to mexico to run a house for abandoned children.  Since then ten little munchkins have been added to their household.

We have known each other for roughly two years.  Originally it was only a facebook friendship but upon spending a few days together doing some ministry a year and a half ago we exchanged phone numbers and there was a bit of texting back and forth.  Then a bit back I approached her Father for permission to court her.  We began courting one month ago.

This is just a brief synopsis of everything.  I am more than happy to give details if asked.

Hoping you are all blessed.  Keep pressing into Christ.  Never let up.  Our perseverance in the faith here is the evidence that we are indeed partakers of Christ. Heb. 3:14

For the King,

Caleb

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »