Tuesday, June 26, 2007

What Did Charles Spurgeon and H. A. Ironside Say About the Tertiary or Primary Doctrine View?

Most people know who Charles Spurgeon is. One site has accumulated several quotes dealing with this exact topic of the essential and non-essential, tertiary versus primary doctrine issue. One particular blog likes to claim that it is all things Spurgeon. In an article written by the administrator of that blog, Phil Johnson, recently wrote at another location this statement:
It would seem that the only way to be faithful to all the above commands is to have a sound and biblical understanding of how to distinguish between core doctrines and peripheral ones.
Yet, here is just one statement from Spurgeon among many on this subject that absolutely contradicts that quote:
That idea about "non-essentials" is wicked and rebellious. Cast it from you; go without the camp. Be particular in every point. To the tiniest jot and tittle seek to obey your Master's will, and seek his grace that you may walk in the way of his commandments with a perfect heart.
Harry Ironside (1876-1951) was an American Bible teacher, pastor, and author. He authored more than 60 volumes as well as many pamphlets and articles on Bible subjects. For 18 of his 50 years of ministry (1930-1948), he was pastor of the Moody Memorial Church in Chicago. In 1926 Dallas Theological Seminary asked him to come for seven months a year as a full-time faculty member, but it had to be turned down, although he was visiting lecturer from 1925 to 1943.

Ironside wrote this in his commentary on Daniel (read at Way of Life):
I have heard Christians refer to certain precepts in the Scriptures as non-essentials. But we may rest assured there are no non-essentials in our Bibles. ‘The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.’ When people talk of non-essentials in regard to anything concerning which God has revealed His mind, it is well to ask, ‘Essential or non-essential to what?’ If it be a question of the soul’s salvation, undoubtedly the one great essential is faith in His blessed Son, whose finished work alone avails to put away sin and procure peace with God. But if it be a question of what is essential to the enjoyment of communion with God--essential to obtaining the Lord’s approval at the judgment-seat of Christ--then it is well to remember that in everything the believer is sanctified to the obedience of Christ.
What do these quotes say about the historicity of this tertiary/primary doctrine view? Come on. Let's be honest.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Creationist

I walked into my local library, pictured at the left. I can literally walk there in two minutes---up some stairs, cross the street, and I've arrived. They just finished building about 5 months ago. Before that, no library in Hercules, CA where I live. Anyway, when I go the library, I walk straight to the new books. I looked at non-fiction and found The Creationist by Ronald L. Numbers, 606 pages, originally published by Harvard University Press and now Random House. He teaches at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and he writes concerning the history of the creationist movement. He writes somewhat sympathetically to the creationists, albeit a self-proclaimed agnostic, because his dad lectured on creation as a Seventh-Day Adventist. Many would call him objective about his observations. He is no friend of those who see Scripture grammatically and historically, i. e. literally. However, he wants to enlighten those of his type who may not understand "us."

I don't think he gets the history right, in part because of his unbelief. He sees creationism historically as a relatively new phenomena. That's bogus, of course, since the founders of modern science were creationists. However, that doesn't totally ruin his credibility because he seems to be trying to be fair---really. I'm going to include some quotes from his book in days hence that I think you'll find of interest. Remember that he doesn't come at this with an axe to grind against humanists. He isn't going to give them a short shrift. And he writes this:

The likely source of this practice was his (George Frederick Wright) growing obsession with higher criticism, which he feared would leave ministers of the gospel unemployed, turn the Bible into a collection of fables, undermine modern civilization, and, certainly not least, make a mockery of his life work. Ironically, textual criticism had provided him in the 1860s with the intellectual freedom he needed to accept a baptized version of Darwinism; when he turned his back on the findings of modern biblical scholarship, he considerably reduced his intellectual options.
There is quote number one. What do you think?

I'll be gone from tomorrow Friday to late Tuesday night, but I'll try to check in on the road.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Lord Jesus Christ Will Catch Up the Saints Before the Tribulation Begins (part one)

God will pour out His wrath on earth for seven years of tribulation. Genuine believers will be gone before then. 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17 describes this.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Christians call this event the rapture, which essentially means, "catching up." It isn't a word in the Bible, but one used to represent this. Much controversy has arisen over the timing of the rapture. Eschatalogical (study of last things) books have exploded in the last fifty years. In more recent times, Christian authors have contradicted the pre-tribulational timing of the catching up of the saints. This series will provide mainly a positive defense of a pretribulational rapture. A grammatical-historical interpretation will lead to a pretribulational view.


I'm saying this is the strongest argument for pre-tribulationalism---the any moment return of Jesus Christ. The New Testament repeatedly exhorts the saints to watch for His return.
2 Timothy 4:8, "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."

Titus 2:13, "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ."

Romans 8:18-23, " 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body."

James 5:7-9, "7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. 8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. 9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door."

1 Peter 4:7, "But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer."

Hebrews 10:24, 25, 37, " 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. 37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry."

It's as simple as this. If there are preliminary events to be expected, then we don't need to look or watch or expect. All any believer would need to do is wait for that event to occur and then begin the countdown. This is not how the New Testament reads at all.

I believe the denial of imminence is a very serious issue. For me it is a separating issue. Why? Destroying imminence takes away important motivation for holy living in the New Testament.

1 John 3:3, "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."

Romans 13:11-14, " 11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying."

Mark 13:35, 36, "Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: 36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping."

The New Testament contains so much teaching like this, and there is more than what is listed above, that one is denying the New Testament and contradicting the Lord Jesus Christ when someone denies imminence. I can't stand for it. I can't agree to disagree. I can't associate with that false doctrine. Denying imminence will have a cooling affect on Christians that no one can afford. More than that, it disrespects God and His Word.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Do You Evangelize?

How many bloggers evangelize? I don't mean in their blogs, if that could even be considered evangelization. I don't think that a blog could fulfill what the Bible tells us about evangelism. Something I read recently was the last verse of Acts 8. You may understand that chapter as Philip's evangelization of the Ethiopean, but that wasn't all. Most of us would have gone home for an iced tea or comfort beverage and a soft recliner. A computer screen is easy to confront. Have you proclaimed the gospel to anyone this week? Why not?

The model in Scripture is going and preaching. We work our way out concentrically from our place of assembling and talk to everyone, skillfully wielding God's Word as our spiritual weapon. Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.