Sunday, November 18, 2018

Editions of the TR Argument and Excellent Preservation Versus Perfect Preservation

Mark Ward says he "won’t argue textual criticism with those who insist on the exclusive use of the King James Version," but he really is arguing with them, against what he says he won't do.  He argues at his blog for what he calls "excellent preservation" versus what he says is "perfect preservation."  If you google "perfect preservation of scripture," the entire first page of links has my name and our book, Thou Shalt Keep Them, in some fashion.

The "perfect preservation" view is a name I gave to the biblical and historical view of the preservation of scripture, coining the terminology.  Ward won't talk to me directly, but that doesn't mean he isn't arguing with me.  I am saying right here and now that I would welcome a public debate with Mark Ward about perfect preservation of scripture.

If Ward is going to debate perfect preservation, he should debate the actual view instead of the strawman, which is what he and others present.  I have to think they know they are doing it, which would be to call them dishonest or they just don't care.  I want to give the benefit of the doubt, but I've answered this over and over.  This is also where the common question from those of the eclectic text view enters, the question of "which TR edition"? (TR = Greek textus receptus New Testament).

Ward ends his post by writing, "Please tone down the rhetoric. And let us know which TR has every jot and tittle, no more and no less."  His strawman is not the perfect preservation view, and this isn't a dodge.  We have written an entire book and I have written here so many posts that answer that question, it's hard to say how many.  People criticize me for having written so much, but it's no wonder, when the same strawmen are repeated so often (here are examples of answering: one, two, three, four, five, six, and many more).

Ward and others conflate the very few differences between the TR editions into an eclectic text position, as if the modern textual critics believe the same as those who wrote the Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF).  This isn't true.  Again, this seems like a knowing or purposeful lie.  The men of the WCF believed in perfect preservation.  Like any and every believer in the perfect preservation of scripture, they also knew there were variations in manuscripts of the New Testament.  Variations in individual manuscripts do not contradict the doctrine of perfect preservation.  The founders of modern textual criticism and the critical or eclectic text did not believe in perfection preservation, did not start with any scriptural presuppositions at all regarding the doctrine of the preservation of scripture.  Leaving this information out is what makes it a dishonest explanation.  At the very end of his Post Reformation Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 2, Holy Scripture: The Cognitive Foundation of Theology (p. 541), Muller makes this very interesting statement that is tell-tale for today:
All too much discussion of the Reformers' methods has attempted to turn them into precursors of the modern critical method, when in fact, the developments of exegesis and hermeneutics in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries both precede and, frequently conflict with (as well as occasionally adumbrate) the methods of the modern era.
Scrivener published an annotated Greek New Testament that showed the differences between TR editions.  This is known and was known.  It's nothing anyone is covering up.  I've owned that New Testament all the time I've been a pastor.  Ward's point is that the scriptural teaching of perfect preservation required a fulfillment in one printed edition of the TR.  He then comes at this in reverse, essentially a naturalistic view.  The lack of homogeneity between TR editions means that perfect preservation didn't happen, necessitating a different view on preservation, what he calls or coins, "excellent preservation."  Excellent preservation veers off what the Bible teaches in favor of the external evidence of textual variants.

Scripture teaches verbal plenary inspiration.  It also teaches verbal, plenary preservation.  What God inspired He preserved.  This is perfect preservation.  Ward says you can believe in preservation of scripture without believing in preservation of scripture and he does this by saying that "excellent preservation" is preservation.  What is "excellent preservation"?  It's hard to put a finger on that, because scripture doesn't teach that position.  It's like trying to argue how many sins one must commit to be a sinner.  One.  One error isn't perfect any more.  Is excellent ten, twenty, a hundred?  It's not the view taught by the Bible, so it is faithless.  Maybe this is the rhetoric Ward says needs to be toned down, but I'm using biblical terminology to describe what I am seeing.  I'm not trying to offend, but to hit at the brunt of the issue.

Ward wants those who do not believe in perfect preservation to be given credit for not denying the preservation of scripture.  He denies the preservation of scripture, based on reasoning of the following two sentences:
[Y]ou’re not going to find a Bible verse or a sufficiently clear act of providence to give you what you demand—or tell you where to find it. The TRs themselves are divided in places.
Ward defies historical biblical exposition and theology.  Christians have believed we do have Bible verses on preservation.  There are actually many more preservation verses that yield the doctrine of preservation more than inspiration.  Men have stopped believing the verses because of "evidence," and now they saying there are none.  It is revisionist history from Ward and those like him.

It is Ward's opinion that there is no "sufficiently clear act of providence" to get perfect preservation.  This speaks to the basis of his position, his opinion.  What "sufficiently clear act of providence" is there for 66 books?  Really.  How do we know James is in the Bible?  Galatians?  If it's in the Bible, it's got to be true.  The providence comes in many different ways, and this has been acknowledged by Christians through church history.

God preserved every word.  The few differences between TR editions doesn't void that.  The words of the TR were preserved and available for hundreds of years before the critical text.  I dealt with Ward's argument about TR editions at the many links I provided above.

What are the boundaries of "excellent preservation"?  Versus "perfect preservation"?  The 'beauty' of excellent preservation is the ambiguity.  Over the years, I have often mentioned driving the mack truck through the gap that is created by the ambiguity.  How messed up does an orthodox view of scripture become?  It's the right thing to do and for sure the best thing to do to deal with messiness after one has established he believes in perfect preservation.  God preserved every Word.  He said it.  We should acknowledge it.

Okay, so what's so serious about this?  Ward talks like it shouldn't be a big deal.  I want him and others like him to understand, so I'm going to enumerate the list of why it is serious.  I think they already know, but I want to make sure.
  1. God said He would preserve every one of His Words and we should believe Him, because He doesn't lie.
  2. When God says He would preserve every one of His Words and we teach and spread that He didn't, that attacks and diminishes faith, which affects the faith necessary to be saved.
  3. Verbal plenary inspiration loses its value if we don't have what was inspired.
  4. Doubt about the words affects certainty, which affects authority and then obedience -- we don't want to lessen certainty, authority, or obedience.
  5. The church has believed in the perfect preservation of scripture and not believing it overturns historic, orthodox church doctrine -- through the history of Christian doctrine, this has been the definition of heresy.
  6. When scripture is changed, doctrines change, since doctrine comes from the Words.
  7. All of the above affects churches, which makes them less effective at all of what they do.
  8. The doctrine of preservation itself is attacked and then not kept, which churches are to keep.
Here is the Word of God, which is the essence of purity.  The standard is Words.  It is essentially the measure that people have for purity on about anything.  I took a bite into some cake last week and had only one hair in it.  That isn't pure.  That isn't excellent.  Who are we to call something excellent that isn't perfect, if God is the One Who said He would preserve it?

Saturday, November 17, 2018

The Trip to Europe Continued (Nineteenth Post In Total)

One   Two   Three   Four   Five   Six   Seven   Eight   Nine   Ten   Eleven   Twelve   Thirteen   Fourteen   Fifteen   Sixteen   Seventeen   Eighteen

My wife, two youngest daughters, and I did a Rome walk on June 13, 2018, the late afternoon and evening we arrived in Rome, Italy.  The idea was the heart of Rome walk of travel expert, Rick Steves.  After eating supper, as I reported in our last post, we started at Campo de’ Fiori with the statue of Giordano Bruno, who died here, burnt at the stake.

I would call Camp de' Fiori a trashy outdoor market.  We were introduced here to street sellers we did not see in Venice.  A big African-Italian man confronted us in a friendly way to tie little woven strings around our wrists as we said, "No, I don't want one." He smiled and kept tying the string, engaging in happy, broken English with a hint of violence.  You would want him to stay happy, so you let him keep tying.  He wants money.  I gave him something worth the peacefulness.

The fact that there are regular armed police and soldiers everywhere seems to avoid the worst of the hoi polloi.  Lots of grungy looking people are sitting around all over, and especially all around the statue of Bruno, who Steves says represents the spirit of Campo de' Fiori.  He died at the hands of Roman Catholicism for bucking the system.  All those bucking the system gather there in happiness to be free thinkers.  I would say its not going well for them.

Steves says that at the spot of the building right to the left behind the statue (in the picture) is where Julius Caesar was killed, the site atop the ancient Theater of Pompey.

Next in the walk is Piazza Navona.  The streets are narrow leading there, something like those in Venice.  What's amazing about this piazza is the three fountains and then the architecture of the buildings around the square, especially  Sant'Agnese in Agone, the work of the Italian architect, Francesco Borromini.

The Rick Steves walking tour includes an app for your phone that gives a description of the main points along the walk, and we paused at each fountain to listen to his explanations before moving on through the narrow walkways.  Along the route to the next major site is the actual Italian Senate building at the Palazzo Madama.  We stopped there long enough for a picture, but it is a site to behold as one turns the next corner, because there is one of the most astounding buildings in all of Rome, the Roman Pantheon, which was completed in 126AD.  It was built as a temple to Roman gods and it stands right in the middle of the city as one of the best preserved pieces of ancient Rome.  We couldn't go in that evening -- it was already closed -- but it was breathtaking from the outside.  We went inside two days later, and I'll tell you about it then.
Coffee was the most excellent in Italy and especially in Rome.  On the path away from the Pantheon to the next main stop was the La Casa Del Caffè Tazza D'oro.  This coffee shop apparently was the. model for the Starbucks, as the New Yorker explains:
Howard Schultz, who created Starbucks after a revelatory trip to Italy in 1983 convinced him that the Italian coffee cultured could be transplanted to Seattle.
Our last two stops, close together, for the evening, because it was getting late, was the front of the Italian Parliament building at Palazzo Montecitorio.  In front of it is the Obelisk of Montecitorio, which might be the oldest thing in Rome.  The obelisk was brought to Rome in 10BC by Caesar Augustus from a conquest in Egypt, and it dates to close to 600BC.  Then around the corner is another impressive column, the thirty meter high Marcus Aurelius Column,
Colonna di Marco Aurelio.  On the column is a relief that tells the story of Aurelius's successful Danubian wars.  Once on the top was Aurelius, which was replaced by a statue of the Apostle Paul in 1589 after Christian saturation of Rome.  A lot of pagan Roman sites were Christianized after Roman Catholicism took over.

We caught the bus home and saw the Colosseum at night, which they keep all lit up.  It was spectacular.  We hadn't seen the Colosseum yet, and it was so amazing that we weren't even sure it was the Colosseum.  We would visit there the next day.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Evan Roberts & Ecumenical Feminism, Part 19 of 22

In addition to his central role in the rise of Pentecostalism, Roberts also influenced Christendom to adopt the practice of women leading men in public congregational prayer[1]—something without example in Scripture,[2] although encouraged by Roberts’s Keswick forefather, Robert Pearsall Smith[3] in line with Quaker opposition to Biblical and complementarian gender roles.  Furthermore, the holiness revival played a significant role in “chang[ing] attitudes towards the public role to be fulfilled by women” as women led in “speaking . . . giving testimony . . . and, occasionally, preaching” in the holiness revival meetings.[4]  Furthermore, the holiness revival broke down denominational walls for an ecumenical setting aside of doctrinal differences.[5]  Anglicans, with their false sacramental gospel, and many independent congregations of a tremendous variety of doctrinal persuasions, were united[6] in leading meetings in State-church facilities and free church chapels alike, teaching that there must be a united one-world church in preparation for the return of Christ.[7]  Unlike the 1859 revival in Wales where Baptists in general, along with various other nonconformists, rejected ecumenicalism for separatism,[8] in 1904 all denominations celebrated united prayer meetings[9] and “sectarianism [was] almost annihilated.”[10]  Evan Roberts’s teaching led the many Biblical commands about ecclesiastical separation to be ignored.  Rather, a common teaching was that “the Holy Ghost is no respecter of denominations.”[11]  “Mr. Roberts said:  ‘Don’t talk about denominations these days,’” pounding the pulpit as he spoke—“Away with all that.”[12]  Evan Roberts and his revivalism taught Anglicans that they did not need “a new . . . Prayer Book, Creed, or Church,”[13] although Anglicanism taught baptismal regeneration.  As the sayings of the Druids were acceptable at the Broadlands Conferences,[14] so one of Roberts’s “finer sermons” was “based upon the Archdruid’s call . . . [for] peace and unity at every level of life.”[15]  Thus, “Evan Roberts preached about the power of Pentecost to sweep away divisions of . . . denomination,”[16] as the spirit powers behind his preaching did not lead people to separate from false religion and join true churches, but to unite the false and true in one ecumenical unity.  Consequently, not only Pentecostalism and charismatic phenomena, but also feminism and ecumenicalism, were products of Roberts’s work.

[1]              “Throughout the nineteenth century women were banned from any public role in church life, but now they were set free to pray and praise openly,” because of Evan Roberts’s misinterpretation of Joel 2:29 (Pgs. 37-38, An Instrument of Revival, Jones; cf. pg. 43).  At times he would have church services run by the women who helped him (pg. 80, Ibid.).  His practice of having little children likewise direct in prayer, song, and testimony (cf. pg. 79, Ibid) has not been as widely adopted.  Compare pgs. 82-83, Psychological Aspects of the Welsh Revival, A. T. Fryer.   Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, Vol. 19 (December 1905); pgs. 163-165, The Welsh Religious Revival, Morgan; pg. 32, Rent Heavens:  The Welsh Revival of 1904, R. B. Jones, 3rd. ed.  Asheville, NC:  Revival Literature, 1950.  The New Measures propagated by Charles Finney had likewise included women leading mixed congregations in prayer.
[2]              Of course, the Bible does record prayer meetings where both men and women were present, but it is noteworthy that in such passages the grammar of the texts does not affirm that women led the congregation in prayer; e. g., Acts 1:13-14 states that “these” (v. 14)—the male leaders of v. 13—“continued . . . in prayer and supplication,” while “the women” were simply “with” them, so that the natural interpretation of the passage is that the men, and in this case, the male spiritual leadership, led in prayer, while the rest of the church, including the women, prayed silently in agreement with the words addressed to God by the ministers.  That is, the ou∞toi pa¿nteß h™san proskarterouvnteß of v. 14 are Pe÷troß kai« ∆Ia¿kwboß kai« ∆Iwa¿nnhß kai« ∆Andre÷aß, Fi÷lippoß kai« Qwma◊ß, Barqolomai√oß kai« Matqai√oß, ∆Ia¿kwboß ∆Alfai÷ou kai« Si÷mwn oJ Zhlwth/ß, kai« ∆Iou/daß ∆Iakw¿bou of v. 13, while these male spiritual leaders were simply su\n gunaixi« kai« Mari÷aˆ thØv mhtri« touv ∆Ihsouv, kai« su\n toi√ß aÓdelfoi√ß aujtouv.
[3]              In Robert P. Smith’s “meetings everyone who felt inwardly moved to it, led in prayer. Even women were permitted to do so,” because of the “baptism of the Spirit,” as Smith “longed for the return of the Apostolic age” with its signs and wonders.  It is noteworthy that while Smith was preaching, “by his side in the pulpit there stood or sat men who interrupted the discourse with prayers and songs,” a matter also comparable to the disorder found in Evan Roberts’s meetings, although not to the same extent (“Die Heiligungsbewegung,” Chapter 6, Perfectionism, B. B. Warfield, Vol. 1).  Compare the record of Smith praying a single sentence, followed by people praying single sentences throughout the gathered assembly, sometimes in various languages, on pg. 291, Record of the Convention for the Promotion of Scriptural Holiness Held at Brighton, May 29th to June 7th, 1875. Brighton: W. J. Smith, 1875.
[4]              Pg. 533, “Demythologizing the Evan Roberts Revival,” Pope.
[5]              Cf. pg. 63, The Awakening in Wales, Jessie Penn-Lewis.  Pentecostals such as Donald Gee, George Jeffries, Alexander Boddy, and Frank Bartleman, who were products of the Welsh holiness revival, continued this emphasis upon ecumenicalism (cf. pgs. 198, 206-213, The Pentecostals, Hollenweger & pgs. 167-173, Azusa Street: The Roots of Modern-Day Pentecost, Frank Bartleman, ed. Synan).  It is not surprising that, following its Higher Life antecedents, “the first beginnings of classical pentecostalism were decidedly ecumenical,” and the “neo-pentecostal movement, since its beginnings . . . has been de facto ecumenical” (pgs. 33-34, Aspects of Pentecostal-Charismatic Origins, ed. Synan).  Parham’s belief about how ecumenism is to be achieved is described on pg. 84, Vision of the Disinherited:  The Making of American Pentecostalism, Robert Anderson.
[6]              One Anglican minister testified:
No one dependent for information on the newspapers can have any idea of the extent to which the [Anglican] Church has participated in the movement. . . . [In a] typical . . . instance . . . [the] Vicar . . . atten[ded] revival services under Evan Roberts[.] . . . [He then] began to hold . . . meetings . . . himself. . . . Dissenters proposed to continue the meetings and to invite [Anglican] Churchmen to attend their buildings . . . The meetings . . . dr[ew] us all together in a wonderful way, and we have come to know each other and trust each other more thoroughly than would otherwise have been possible in many years. . . . The better spirit between [State] Church and Dissent is not confined to one or two localities. . . . Baptist preacher[s] sent . . . to the priest of th[eir] district . . . the names of . . . people . . . who had given their names for Confirmation at his Revival services. . . . In a well-known town a Baptist preacher holding services in the streets . . . urged any [State] Church listeners who had not been confirmed to give in their names to the clergy. . . . [A] man . . . applied at once to his Vicar in consequence of this appeal. . . . [T]he [Anglican] Church’s mission services have been attended by hundreds, and probably thousands, of Dissenters. . . . Compare Evan Roberts’ teaching and questioning with that of some of the [Anglican] Church missioners and the difference is barely discoverable, so far as the general line is concerned. Where Roberts stops short, on the sacramental life, the [Anglican] missioners were, of course, strong, [since] in the sacramental life lies the way of preservation[.] (pgs. 183-185, “The Revival in Wales,” A. T. Fryer.  The East and the West:  A Quarterly Review for the Study of Missions. [1905] 174-188)
Shame on the Baptist preachers who rejected Christ’s command for separation from all false religion, including sacramentalism (2 Corinthians 6:14-18), and joined with Evan Roberts in promoting a false and unbiblical unity between truth and error.
[7]              Pgs. 61, 67, 127, 142-143, 197-198, 207, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.  There will, indeed, be a united one-world “church” before the revelation of Christ at the end of the Tribulation period, but God calls it “the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth” (Revelation 17:5), so it is not a little unwise to prepare the way for it.
[8]              Pg. 61, Rent Heavens:  The Welsh Revival of 1904, R. B. Jones, 3rd. ed.  Asheville, NC:  Revival Publications, 1950.
[9]              Pg. 126, Voices From the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.
[10]            Pg. 119, Voices From the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.
[11]            Pg. 62, The Awakening in Wales, Jessie Penn-Lewis.
[12]            Pg. 75, The Great Revival in Wales:  Also an Account of the Great Revival in Ireland in 1859, S. B. Shaw.  Chicago, IL:  S. B. Shaw, 1905.
[13]            Pg. 161, Voices From the Welsh Revival, 1904-1905, Jones.
[14]            E. g., pgs. 88-89, The Life that is Life Indeed:  Reminiscences of the Broadlands Conferences, Edna V. Jackson.  London:  James Nisbet & Co, 1910.
[15]            Pg. 61, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.
[16]            Pg. 80, An Instrument of Revival, Jones.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

There Are Two Sides, You Have To Choose One, Not Straddle Both, And This Has To Do With Everything

The Lord Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:24:
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.
Related to this is something the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 7:22-23:
For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant.  Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.
Furthermore from Paul comes Romans 6:16:
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
From these three passages or verses we get some basic, simple truths for all of life.

To put everything above together, every person has one master or lord, just one, and he is a slave to one or the other.  He cannot love them both.  He loves only one of the two and then hates the other.  If the master is Christ, then He is owner, based on the reality that he bought the person.  The slave obeys His master, whichever one it is.  Obedience will occur one way or the other.  This obedience to the master is yielding to the particular master, whichever one.

A person chooses his master or lord.  If he chooses Jesus as his Lord, this is faith.  He believes in Jesus.  The belief is a belief in reward or goodness (Rom 2:4; Heb 11:6).  If someone doesn't think he will be better off, he will not choose that master.  For Jesus, it is a matter of faith, based on evidence (Heb 11:1-3).  God's Word is true, so someone can trust what it says about his present and future.  He turns from the other direction, what would be an idol, to Jesus Christ.

Satan and the world system interacts with someone's flesh to persuade him to take a different master than Jesus Christ.  The world offers someone things that seem like a lot to a person, feigning competition with God.  Paul calls it dung, whether it be possessions, positions, passions, or popularity (Philip 3:8).  The trade is nothing for everything, which is why Jesus said (Mark 8:36):
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
A person loses everything the world offers.  It is short term only.  Even then it doesn't satisfy, which is why Solomon said it was all vanity.  It is about volume.  More and more.  Enough is never enough.

The choice is stark and plain.  You go one way or the other.  There is no middle ground.  That is reality.

A different picture is depicted than reality.  The false portrayal, that the god of this world and his world system present, is that both sides can be straddled.  You really don't have to choose.  Many, if not most, churches participate.  People want the world, because of the short term benefits it offers, and because they don't want what Jesus might offer in and for the short term, so churches turn the world into a church, so they'll want the church.  The problem, of course, is that it isn't exactly the church anymore, but it is a way of straddling the two masters.

In the end, there is still one Master.  It is Jesus.  It's all true all the way to the end, that Jesus is Master.  Those who reject Him do not get the other way.  The world doesn't have anything to offer.

The problem with blending the two Masters is that it confuses the world and the church about the One, True Master.  It's true that no man can serve two Masters.  The people fooled aren't serving Jesus.  They just think they are.  They are even being told they are with explanations that they are and how they are.

The people that make their way through to the kingdom relinquish themselves to Jesus Christ.  They choose Him as Goodness.  Jesus is the Master, but they are saved because they believe He is.  That is Who He is and they are acknowledging it and acquiescing to Him.  They gain everything.  Those who don't, lose everything.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Virtue of Nationalism

Wikipedia says concerning Yoram Hazony:
Yoram Hazony is an Israeli philosopher, Bible scholar and political theorist. He is President of The Herzl Institute in Jerusalem. Hazony is known for founding The Shalem Center in Jerusalem in 1994, and leading it through its accreditation in 2013 as Shalem College, Israel's first liberal arts college.
Hazony's book, The Virtue of Nationalism, released on September 4, 2018, a few months before French President Macron used the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I to bash nationalism in contrast to the views of President Donald Trump.  He said:
Nationalism is rising across Europe, the nationalism that demands the closing of frontiers, which preaches rejection of the other.  It is playing on fears, everywhere. Europe is increasingly fractured.
I wrote the following for our bulletin for Veteran's Day, Sunday, November 11:
Scripture shows stable and cohesive national  identities are the will of God.  This is one means God has used to preserve the truth and His way of living in this world.  There is no unifying factor in the whole world and there never will be until the Antichrist takes it by force, and then more preferably, Jesus rules over the entire world according to His will.  Our soldiers fought for our nation and for principles that Americans had in common, which were worth dying for.  We can be thankful for them and those men and what privileges we still hold dear, that allow us to meet in freedom to worship God today as a church.
Christians should never be "country first," but also should support nationalism.  God separated men into distinct lands at the Tower of Babel in response to something close to globalism.  Genesis 11:8-9:
So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.  Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
The founding fathers of the United States saw wisdom in separation reflected in God's divisions into nations.  Hazony in an October 19 interview said:
Nationalism is a principled standpoint that sees the world as governed best when nations are given their independence and freedom to chart their own course on the basis of their own unique national, religious, and constitutional traditions.
I believe that nationalism is one of the most fundamental conservative ideals.  It is foundational to the protection of life, liberty, and property.  Conservation of ideals occurs within the borders of a nation.  I call on all professing Christians to support nationalism and reject globalism.


I noticed at RCP today an article with the exact same name as this on The Atlantic, which isn't a review of Hazony's book, just making the same point with the same title.  Interesting.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Historic Fundamentalism: What is it?

Do you claim to be a Christian fundamentalist?  If, by this term, you mean that you seek to militantly defend all the truths of the Christian faith, and militantly stand against and separate from all error, well and good—you will then, if your confession is true, be a servant of Christ in a historic Baptist church.  Do you think that such a line is too strict, for “historic fundamentalism” was a para-church movement that only recognized a handful of “fundamentals” that were worthy of separation?  If that is truly “historic fundamentalism,” then you should reject such fundamentalism for the God-honoring true separatism only possible within a Biblical Baptist church that is unaffiliated with denominationalism, associationism, and all other humanly devised denominational structures. 

However, was there actually ever a unified “historic fundamentalism” in the first place?  The classic series The Fundamentals, for example, printed an essay by George Sales Bishop, who believed in the dictation of the original manuscripts and in Scripture’s perfect preservation—including the perfect preservation of not the Hebrew consonants alone, but also the vowels that were originally given by inspiration—in the Hebrew and Greek Textus Receptus.[1] So is “historic fundamentalism” opposed to the Greek critical text—is it King James Only?  Why or why not?

However, The Fundamentals also reprinted articles by Edwin J. Orr, who “was unconcerned to defend a literal interpretation of the early chapters of Genesis, and [who] took the view that an insistence on biblical inerrancy was actually ‘suicidal.’”[2]

So who represents “historic fundamentalism”—Bishop or Orr?  Does “historic fundamentalism” defend an inerrant autographa, an inerrant autographa that is perfectly preserved in the Textus Receptus, or errant autographs and apographs?

Indeed, while cessationists are amply represented in early fundamentalism, the writings of Jessie Penn-Lewis appear also in The Fundamentals.[3]  So does “historic fundamentalism” follow Scriptural cessationism and the sole authority of Scripture, or Mrs.Penn-Lewis’s fanaticism, radical demonology, Quakerism, date-setting for Christ’s return, and allegedly “inspired” extra-Biblical writings—one of which is condensed in The Fundamentals?

So which portion of the authors in The Fundamentals represent “historic fundamentalism”?  Is it the “Inner Light” that is allegedly equal to Scripture, as taught by the Quaker Jessie Penn-Lewis?  Is it the inerrant original manuscripts perfectly preserved in the Textus Receptus as affirmed by George Sayles Bishop?  Is it the recognition that verbal, plenary inspiration is a false and indeed a “suicidal” position, as affirmed by Orr?

Is it whatever the person speaking about “historic fundamentalism” wants it to be?

A unified “historic fundamentalism” is a chimera, and even if it had existed, it would possess no independent authority—the Christian’s sole authority is the Bible alone, and the Bible teaches that every religious organization on earth in this dispensation, if it wants to have the special presence of Jesus Christ, must be under the authority of one of His churches.  Fundamentalist para-church institutions are not churches.  Do you value the Lord’s church in the way that One does who bought her with His blood (Ephesians 5:25)? If you do not, but are following some movement, whether evangelical, fundamental, or by any other name, your organization does not possess the promises Christ makes to His church alone.  Beware lest Christ say to you, and to your organization, “cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?” (Luke 13:7).

The Bible teaches that the church is the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15)—the church, the local, visible, Baptist congregation, is the place of God’s special presence, His special protection from Satan and his kingdom, and His promises of perpetuity and blessing until the return of Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:18).  No promises of Christ’s special presence or protection are made to the mythical universal, invisible church, parachurch institutions, human denominations, or inter-denominational movements such as evangelicalism.

There never was a unified “historic fundamentalism,” and, even if it had existed, it would have no authority whatever to determine what are Biblical doctrine and practice for the Lord’s churches.

[1]           See the “Inspiration of the Hebrew Letters and Vowel Points,” pgs. 43-59 of The Doctrines of Grace and Kindred Themes, George Sayles Bishop (New York, NY:  Gospel Publishing House, 1919;  note as well his “Relative Value of the Old Testament” (pgs. 88-100) and “The Testimony of Scripture To Itself,” pgs. 19-42).  The KJV-only, Landmark Baptist periodical The Plains Baptist Challenger, a ministry of Tabernacle Baptist Church of Lubbock, TX, on pgs. 3-8 of its July 1991 edition, reprinted George Sayles Bishop’s defense, based on Matthew 5:18, of the coevality of the vowel points and the consonants.  Bishop was a contributor to the epoch-making volumes The Fundamentals (“The Testimony of the Scriptures to Themselves,” pgs. 80-97, vol. 2, The Fundamentals, eds. R. A. Torrey, A. C. Dixon, etc., Grand Rapids, MI:  Baker Books, 1970, reprint of the original 1917 ed. of the Bible Institute of Los Angeles), writing:  “We take the ground that on the original parchment . . . every sentence, word, line, mark, point, pen-stroke, jot, tittle was put there by God” (pg. 92, The Fundamentals, vol 2.).
[2]            Pg. 492, Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals, “Orr, James,” ed. Timothy Larsen, referencing Orr’s Revelation and Inspiration [1910], p. 198.  See, e. g.,  “The Holy Scriptures and Modern Negations,” “The Early Narratives of Genesis” (Chapters 5 & 11 The Fundamentals, ed. Torrey, vol. 1;  Orr wrote other articles also).
[3]           Pgs. 183-199, Chapter 13, “Satan and his Kingdom,” The Fundamentals, ed. Torrey, vol. 4.  Her chapter is condensed from The Warfare with Satan and the Way of Victory.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Audio and Video of 2018 Word of Truth Conference -- The Gospel (Part Four)

At THIS LINK you can listen to what is downloaded in audio at the Word of Truth Conference for 2018.  This is our fourth year and last on The Gospel.

When video arrives for the sessions, it will be at THIS LINK and music will be at THIS LINK.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

The War Against Biblical, God-Ordained Child Discipline

How many "social scientists" do you think would be allowed in state schools who support spanking children as a form of child discipline?  The Bible without doubt teaches spanking as a method, a required one, for child discipline, so for successful child discipline.  Parents, who would obey God, are required to do it this way.

Elizabeth T. Gershoff is a professor of human development and family sciences at The University of Texas at Austin and CNN published just yesterday, November 6, 2018, an article she authored against spanking children, entitled, "The era of spanking is finally over."  Gershoff gave her opinion, but was also reporting that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended in a new policy statement published in the journal Pediatrics on Monday, November 1, 2018, that "parents not spank, hit or slap their children."

I believe the Bible is the Word of God and what Gershoff wrote clashes with scripture.  It also contradicts what I see with my own eyes with years of experience.  As spanking has diminished good behavior in children and adults has also decreased.  She says, however, in her first line that "years of research have shown that spanking children is ineffective and potentially harmful," and later that "spanking does not make children better behaved in the long run, and in fact makes their behavior worse."  My instant thought is, "what planet is she living on?"

It is easy to see that Gershoff is spewing her own propaganda for whatever reason, especially evidenced by both this statement,
[W]e need to stop hitting our children in the name of discipline. And yes -- spanking is just a euphemism for "hitting children." We do not allow adults to hit each other, but for some reason American society has decided it should be legal and even desirable for adults to hit children. We need to end this double standard and provide children with the same protection from hitting that is given to all adults.
and these ones,
We consistently find that the more a child is spanked, the more aggressive he or she will be in the future. 
Spanking also teaches children that it is acceptable to use physical force to get what you want. It is thus no surprise that the more children are spanked, the more likely they are to be aggressive or to engage in delinquent behaviors like stealing.
These are false statements.  Calling spanking, "hitting children," and comparing adults hitting each other, are atrocious, abhorrent lies.  It is a serious attack on God, the Bible, the Christian faith, Christian parents, and religious freedom.  Spanking is not hitting children.  It does not encourage or cause violent behavior.  It is just the opposite.  Children, who are not spanked, are far more greatly out of control, and more likely to get violent with others.

I don't trust the studies.  They are disputing scripture, flying in the face of God.  I do. not. think or believe that children, who are not spanked as a form of child discipline, are better behaved.  A lot of the "studies" or "research" of psychiatrists and in the social scientists are junk science.  I'm saying they are not science.  They are fake.  This has been proven many times.  Very often the "studies" or "research" contradicts each other.  There are many examples, but even the Smithsonian in a massive project proves that more than half of psychological studies, when replicated, got different results.

It's actually worse than "they're wrong."  When they've been wrong, people have moved to follow their "science."  They've been given the respect of science.  People have to change now, because their studies show.  They don't, and they can be proven wrong.  Most of the time, their false results proceed from their own presuppositions.  They want to find a result, so they do.  People don't want a God, so they use "science" to prove He doesn't exist.  Studies show.  Studies showed that self-esteem was important and we entered the self-esteem era, ruining children and people, and now they say, we were wrong, so we live in a narcissistic society.  Ooops.  A generation of parents did it wrong, telling their children how great they were, speculating about every possible problem due to low self esteem.  Meanwhile, horrific damage.  No children think they are as great and wonderful as American children.

"Studies" have to be done.  People have to prove they are studious and students.  It helps if someone can come up with something new that no one has heard before.  It proves how smart the student is.  He found this.  No one else had.  It doesn't make you look smarter to say, this is something people have known for centuries and it works, so keep doing it.

Gershoff is a progressive.  This is the curse of progressivism, where people think that they will progess, in their own depraved, proud thinking.  They think we're evolving and we need to progress to evolve further.  It is also at the base of Marxism and almost entirely of these "social sciences."  They have been given the elevated status of "science," what scripture calls "science false so called" or how we would put today, "so-called science" (1 Timothy 6:20-21).  Observations of men are not superior to revelation of God.

I do believe that parents abuse their children in the name of spanking and religion.  They don't follow the biblical pattern.  I believe far more unbelievers, who don't believe in spanking, actually abuse their children and do not get in trouble for it.  Their children become criminals and murderers and they take no responsibility, because they did the favored thing of not spanking and trusting the government institutions for the behavior of their children, "taking a village," code language for "not taking responsibility."  They're fools.

Enemies of the biblical way latch a hold of any parent who does a bad job of parenting, that uses spanking as one of the methods as proof that it's a bad way.  No, it's one bad parent, who really isn't following the biblical way.  Abusive methods abound, even abuses of spanking.  Yes, parents can "beat" their children and "hit" them, but this is not related to biblical spanking.

Something Gershoff is very happy about is that there is less spanking today, giving her encouragement that the world can be rid of spanking totally, even as the title of the article explains.  She seems to be encouraging the forces against spanking to keep up their good work, their war against spanking.  There is less of it.  Governing regions and institutions have done away with it, made it illegal.  She celebrates that and is calling for more regulation against.  She wants to stop it.  She wants to take away the right, criminalize it.

Why is there less spanking?  It's not because the state has done a good job of persuading.  It hasn't.  There is less of it, because there is less obedience to God, less Christianity.  It's hard to be a good parent.  It takes discipline of the parent to discipline of children.  There is more laziness.  In general, there is more sin, and that's why there is less spanking.  I foresee more sinning and less good parenting, less spanking.  It is a symptom of more falsehood, turning away from God, more apostasy.  It does not portend for anything good in the future, only evil.