Monday, July 27, 2015

Guide to Soulwinning and Personal Evangelism

I have written a "how-to" guide to personal soulwinning with detailed notes on how one can go verse-by-verse through the points of the gospel with a lost person. It is a work that has been in progress for a number of years, but which finally was completed in conjunction with a series we were doing at our church on how to evangelize/preach the gospel to people one-on-one.

Unlike some (unfortunately) popular tools that are available, this soulwinning guide:

1.) Is carefully based on a Biblical evangelistic methodology rather than salesmanship techniques;

2.) Relies on the power of the Holy Spirit for success, rather than manipulation of the lost to produce merely human decisions;

3.) Seeks to bring the lost under deep conviction of sin and then directs them to look directly to Christ in repentance and faith, rather than promising them salvation if they ask Jesus into their heart or repeat a prayer.

4.) Explains Biblical repentance, rather than neglecting that essential aspect of the gospel;

5.) Is geared to seeing the Great Commission fulfilled--the lost saved, baptized, added to the church, and making disciples themselves, rather than simply making a profession and then vanishing, never to be seen again;

6.) Prepares the way for follow-up with an evangelistic Bible study, rather than viewing a one-time presentation as the be-all and end-all of what the lost can hear;

7.) Is built on a Biblical, historic and separatist Baptist doctrine and practice.

The guide is available as a PDF by clicking here.

It is designed to work in conjunction with the video presentation, audio files, and other written helps available by clicking here.

The evangelistic Bible studies available by clicking here are related also, as are the pamphlets for specific false religions available here. The soulwinning guide, the Bible studies, and the pamphlets are available as Word documents for download and personalization by specific churches here, so you can personalize them with your church address and so on.

If you wish to employ any of these resources in training the people of God in evangelism in your church, or wish to use the pamphlets or the evangelistic Bible studies in reaching your community with the gospel, I would be delighted that they were in use.  Feel free also to link to whatever you feel could be beneficial if you wish.  The terms of use for material on my website are available here.  While I do not mind if you engage in minor tweaks of the material, please do not change the doctrinal or practical position advocated therein.  If, for example, you are not in agreement with the seven points listed above, I would respectfully ask you find other material than mine.  Thank you.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Recent James White Videos and the Bible Version Issue, pt. 5

Part One (this one has the videos linked).  Part Two.  Part Three.  Part Four.

After the 18 minute mark, White says that the text handed down by the providence of God and received by His churches "is not just a narrow spectrum of the Byzantine manuscript tradition," referring to the textus receptus of the New Testament.  Part of the doctrine of preservation, as taught in scripture, is general accessibility.  Something unavailable isn't received, and that is another part of a scriptural doctrine of preservation, the reception by the churches.  God preserved His Words for His people to possess, use, apply, and live.  An inaccessible manuscript is not preserved.  Something buried for all of history until the 19th or 20th centuries is a text that God's people have not been using.  There can be numbers of reasons why that didn't happen, but those manuscripts cannot be now a source for altering what God's people have accepted as scripture.

The person with whom White was debating on the social media, and he's answering in this video, asks him a couple of questions.

Upon what basis do you have any confidence that 3 John is canonical, seeing that it was not mentioned until the middle of the third century and was debated up until the fifth. Number two, upon what basis do you accept that the Pentateuch as we now have it, looks anything like the work of Moses?

White says that those questions look like an abandonment of the actual subject.  I would say, how about just answering them?  You expect people to debate your specific examples of textual variation.

Then White says that, second, "it introduces connections and confusions that really worry me, because if I didn't know who this came from, it sounds like it comes from Catholic answers."

This is a non-answer.  It's a strategy.  Again, he's worried.  Stop that. And then stop equating someone with Roman Catholicism.

Rome believes in sola ecclesia, but does that mean that believers have no association with canonicity? The Bible itself doesn't teach a canonicity of books.  It teaches a canonicity of words.  Books are an outgrowth of a canonicity of words.

The Spirit of truth would guide believers into "all truth" (John 16:13). The Westminster Confession says in the first section on scripture:

[O]ur full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.

The church of Thessalonica received Paul's words as the Word of God (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Was the church at Thessalonica a counsel?  Paul's epistles were circulating among the churches even during apostolic times (Colossians 4:16).  This is a means, a methodology, for knowing what scripture is. Peter recognized Paul's writings as inspired by God and equated them with the rest of the Scriptures (2 Peter 3:15-16). Paul quoted the Gospel of Luke and called it scripture (1 Timothy 5:18).  The Words received widespread acceptance.  This is a fundamental principle for reception of God's Words and it is scientific like science was accepted pre-enlightenment, an aspect of total truth, not the bifurcated truth, two book theory, of White.

The work of the Holy Spirit through His people in the acceptance of the Words He inspired is the means by which His people know what His Words are.  This is a method.  This is a means, a supernatural one in fitting with a supernatural book.  If you can't trust this, which is taught in scripture, sola scriptura, then you can't trust the Bible.  I believe this is also the theme behind the questions White was asked, that he mocked.

The sacral nature academia has taken on itself, standing above scripture, is a much better example of Roman Catholic type authority.  God's people are taken out of the equation, and scholars and publishers, using a very subjective, non-biblical means, replace them, holding sway over God's Word.  That's what White sees as a tool of God's providence.  No way.

The means or method we are required to accept is the biblical means or method, and textual criticism doesn't look anything like what the Bible says is the method or the means.  This is not semper reformanda, always reforming.  This is deviation from the path God set for His people.  This is by far a trajectory to Rome than what White says.

Instead of answering the 3 John question, which seems to be a test question to flush out White's thinking on the scriptural method for ascertaining scripture, White asks a question and in his typical suspicious, mocking manner.  He sets off on a few minutes of red herring -- Carthage, Hippo -- answer the question!  If he answers the question based on orthodox canonical thinking, he's trapped. He also attempts to shame the guy (who has now linked to his answer in the comment section of this series).

White then goes off in admiration of the manuscript attestation toward the preservation of the Bible. Everyone is happy about that, but that's not enough for a supernatural book.  It's as if White applauds the existence of variants.  We have even more copies available.  The Bible was never up for question, and textual criticism has made it more so, giving new fodder for Muslim apologists.  If we question our own Bible, why shouldn't they?  And White is one of the biggest questioners out there.  It isn't settled with him.

White says at almost 23 that the strength of Christianity's position is all of the manuscript evidence, which is sacrificed by the ecclesiastical text position.  Those who believe in supernatural preservation have manuscript evidence too.  If they want to rely on modern science, they've got that too.  For someone who doesn't accept divine authority, which it seems White doesn't, there is manuscript evidence, which means something, but it still leaves White and people like him with errors in their Bible.  Muslim apologists wonder rightfully how that a supernatural book written by a God Who created everything could allow it to fall into a degree of error.  That's not what believers should be preaching or believing.  The church has capitulated on that, and now we have a world filled with doubt.

White says it is a completely different world talking about the Old Testament text.  That is an error.  Both Old and New are scripture and they were authenticated and recognized in the same way.  God gave the Pentateuch to the congregation of God in the Old Testament, Israel, and Israel received and kept.  That's not all there was to it, but the basics are identical.  Why does White accept the Pentateuch?  He can't answer the question.  The man asking the question for sure isn't saying that it is by counting manuscripts or else he wouldn't receive the TR.

The last two minutes are a flurry of bombasticity to put down the man he's questioning, so there's nothing there.  What one can see with White is that he doesn't start with a biblical view of this issue.  I would hope he could change. I wish he would.  He should.  I don't expect it.  He'll double down, because he's got too much at stake.  He is doing great damage in the nature that I have related in this series, spreading doubt and uncertainty about God's Word.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Recent James White Videos and the Bible Version Issue, pt. 4

Part One.  Part Two.  Part Three.

I left off this series, evaluating two new James White videos, at the ten minute mark of the second video.  Why should I do this?  It's a good opportunity because you can sit and watch James White, and then get my analysis, which is a good learning circumstance.  It's coming right out of his mouth from his face, right there in front of you, and then you read my comments.

If James White speaks the truth, I gladly agree with him, but he doesn't here.  To me, he seems delusional on this issue.  He can't even grasp the biblical position and he goes wholesale for the new and unscriptural one.  He's not just against the right view, but he's angry and insulting.  It's odd, but let's pick up where we ended the last post, where he assaults what has been called the Ecclesiastical Text view.

For about a minute, after 10 minutes, White lists off what he considers important knowledge to get this issue right.  As I hear each one, I don't see anything there that deals with the issue.  He mentions the Westminster Confession and the London Baptist Confession and says sarcastically, "God bless every single one of them," adding "but none of them were infallible."  Let me mark this down.  None of them were infallible.  OK.  What's the point?  The implication is that they were wrong here.  Sure, these men could be wrong, but it was a lot of people who wrote these, a lot who agreed with them, followed what they wrote, and they defended their confessions with scripture. If you are going to disrespect their conclusions, you should overturn it with more than just disdaining tones.

Then White asserts that John Calvin wasn't ecclesiastical text, because he judged certain readings to be better than others.  That just shows that White doesn't understand what he's talking about.  It is true that the editions of the TR vary slightly.  That's not enough to reject a scriptural position.  What did these men write about that?  What was a position of perfect preservation, a settled text, that knew that errors came into the hand copies?  I've answered that again and again here with the exact quotes of the men.  Something like the Ecclesiastical Text position is what people believed at that time.  It is the only historical and biblical defensible position.  I know that people want answers on specific texts, but there really are not that many and for a person of faith it should not be enough to push the eject button on biblical doctrine. I know it does with White and others, but to a destructive end.

No one is saying that the single state church leader, Calvin, represents historical theology.  I recognize how important he is to these reformed people.  However, saying that at that juncture in history he preferred one TR reading over another does not do anything to this position.  White says "not a one" believed the Ecclesiastical Text position, when in fact everyone did.  Perhaps a few didn't, but so small a number did not (I don't know of any) that it is accurate to say that everyone believed it.  It is the position that was written down that they believed.  White either doesn't know what people thought and believed at that time about preservation of scripture, or he just ignores it so as not to undermine his own position.  White says "they didn't seem to have that idea."  No, that's what they thought.

White then calls this "the infallibility of reformed scholasticism."  The kindest thing I could call this is a "red herring."  Their position wasn't a scholastic position.  And they didn't prove their position, like White, by talking like their mere support made it divine edict.  No.  This was historic, biblical belief.  This is what they saw scripture teach.  This is where the unity of the spirit comes in.  Could they all have been deceived at once?  Was this a total bibliological apostasy?  This is White's position.  He doesn't call it that, but it is what he is saying.  If you are going to upend established doctrine, you've got to go to the Bible, not naturalistic forensics, new archaeological finds.

Toward the end of the 11 minute mark, White says he believes in sola scriptura, but, but, "some of our forefathers didn't have all the information."  What doctrine is this?  Because I think it deserves a name.  It's the didn't-have-all-the-information doctrine.  Scripture is sufficient and they had scripture, but they didn't have all the information.  In addition to scripture, you need information.  Does that contradict sola scriptura?  I'd say so.

You hear the typical postmodern quips from White.  "That very much concerns me."  "That troubles me."  Who cares?  What concerns you has no authority, more so than what Calvin wrote has no authority.  Your being troubled doesn't give me the evidence necessary to show that my beliefs are wrong.  I need better than that.  All the facial twistings and squirming in the seat and the eye rolls -- none of those persuade me.  They actually do the opposite to me.

At 12:20 and following, he says that the Ecclesiastical Text position sounds good in an online chat, but it "can't answer questions about specific readings."  This is how the debate goes.  You show the biblical doctrine, the historical doctrine, but that is overturned in White's mind by textual criticism, which isn't scripture.  The other side doesn't have to show you a doctrine.  They don't have one.  They don't start with doctrine, and this coming from someone who says don't be persuaded by scholasticism.  This is also coming from someone, when the textual criticism goes off the rails, returns to doctrine, as seen in his debate with Ehrman.  White likes to say, "I'm sorry, but," when he's not sorry.  I'm sorry, but you don't get to pull the doctrine card, when you're the ones who say that presuppositions don't come into the equation.

White's specific reading, which he had already mentioned twice in his video, is Revelation 16:5.  A text like that is the crack through which he can drive his Mack Truck of textual criticism.  White knows what Revelation 16:5 said in all the Greek manuscripts.  He knows that.  Does he?  Has White seen every manuscript available to every translator before printed editions came, and the printed English translations came?  You can't prove a universal negative, which is why human discovery lacks as a basis for faith.

White then brings in Luke 2:22 as another specific reading and one that he asked Douglas Wilson about, which also indicated to me that he does think this is Douglas Wilson's position.  This is the typical argumentation of the critical text person.  It is a textual variant gotcha game.  There aren't very many of these, very few.  It's like the exceptions for pro-abortionists -- they want to know about incest and rape.  These exceptions become the basis of the belief instead of sola scriptura.  That's how Christians should operate.  Elevating science above the theology was the rationalism and liberalism of the 19th century, and now we can't say what marriage is.  The Bible is the truth.  What it says about itself is the final authority.

After 14 minutes, White says if you don't have textual criticism, you can't answer questions, which is what damages apologetics.  White has lived in his own mind of textual criticism, only answering questions with his view of the world.  Living in my own mind, I'm saying that you can answer the questions, except they have real authority unlike his.  He spouts off three verses where he says the TR reading is indefensible.  When he says indefensible, he intends for you to see it his way.  It is defensible, but he means that you can't defend it with the rules of textual criticism, which were invented by men and essentially unbelievers.

At the 15 minute mark, he says someone has counted 1800 differences between the TR and the majority text.  The majority text, you may not know, is a recent invention also part of textual criticism.  When you say "the majority text," you're already wrong, because there is no "the majority text."  Not every manuscript has been collated, so we still can't say what's the majority.  I call this "the math view," and it isn't a biblical position.  White himself says "the majority text," which is either ignorant or misleading.

He spends 16-17 philosophizing about this, and lands on 1 John 5:7, which he says indicates that we don't have the original text of the New Testament.  Anyone who defends 1 John 5:7 he says, despite it's inclusion in the confessions, is an unhelpful zealot for this age in which we live.  I have no comment.

At 17:30, around there, White says he saw a very "troubling" combination of canon issues and text issues.  That sparked my interest, because that was one of my chapters in Thou Shalt Keep Them.  It also makes me wonder if this guy he's arguing with has read that chapter.  White says that confusing canon and text leads back to the arguments of Rome and the more conservative forms of Islam.  So there, swatted that away with ease.

White attacks the idea of a received text, coming to the church by the providence of God.  He asks if the very recent finds of the papyri are not the providence of God.  That, of course, isn't the point.  He either doesn't get the point or he's acting like he doesn't get it.  I could say it's the providence of God that I stuck my hand with a screwdriver two days ago, but there is no doctrine to derive from it.  Believers didn't have the papyri for hundreds of years, so if you believe in providential preservation, you don't believe that should "correct" what God did preserve.  That isn't a belief in preservation.  It's a denial.  It doesn't surprise me that people find new manuscripts.  There are regular archaelogical finds that people, who operate like White, think should be used to correct standing doctrine.  They shouldn't.  They should be interpreted in light of what we already know.  Christianity and the church are not in flux, not a flexible, meandering thing, changing based upon what new discovery might come about (18:40).

The next post will be the last.

Recent James White Videos and the Bible Version Issue, pt. 3

Part One.  Part Two.

I do get how that certain bibliological error needs exposing and some of it is King James only.  A big swath of King James supporters don't believe in the preservation of scripture.  They've invented double inspiration or a kind of edition of double inspiration that I call English preservation, that God preserved His word in the English, not in the original languages.  Then you have the liberals, the Bart Ehrman types, attacks on inspiration, and the now regular appearances of new, innovative perversions that diminish scripture, numerous of these.  False religions assault the Bible.  Continuationists often claim extra-scriptural revelation.  Everything I've written so far in this first paragraph could keep someone very busy without getting to the doctrine of perfect preservation and general accessibility of scripture to every generation of believers.

James White, however, dedicates himself to battle certainty in scripture.  He and others like him take the odd position that you are a danger if you believe there is a settled text.  Unless you are committed to some dilution of the biblical text, you are in trouble with them.   Anything that rises above preference for the text behind the King James Version must be eradicated by White and others.  If it really is fine with them, then it shouldn't matter, but it does.  It does.  It's very, very serious to them as seen in the time they dedicate to it.  White and others say so.  There are so many alternative Bible interpretations and positions that White tolerates. He doesn't do repeated exposes and write books about those things like premillennialism or amillennialism.  Those don't get on his radar.

Someone who believes there are already errors in scripture shouldn't have a problem with someone having certainty in a Bible of which he himself approves.  On the other hand, I think that James White is dangerous, because he rejects the biblical teaching of preservation of scripture and spreads it to others, causing doubt.  I can't believe in biblical and historical preservation and tolerate White's position.  I can't believe in more than one Bible, which itself isn't even a Christian worldview.  He is in error, based on the teaching of the Bible itself.

As I've said, I'm sure there are those with a lower view of the Bible than White who are buoyed by his conservative evangelicalism.  I think I should rejoice when he's true.  Hopefully I will, but he isn't right here, so we continue with his two recent videos.  In the last paragraph I quoted in part two, White said this:

[W]e live in a day where the world is so opposed to our faith, that the days of my grandparent's generation where you didn't have to worry where you got the Bible and you didn't have to worry about textual criticism and you didn't have to worry about sexual ethics and marriage and everything else.  That day's gone.

White speaks of a day when you didn't have to worry about where you got the Bible and you didn't have to worry about textual criticism.  Those were the days before James White and men like him, who say they're doing such a great service to the church.  People assumed they had the Word of God in the King James Version.  Now they have doubts, and James White contributes to that.

At 15:15, when White is answering a question by Eric Hovind about people who say that the Bible was written only by men, he says this:

Of course, if you come to the issue of the Bible, um, I don't want to ground the authority of the Bible in any example or story that I give to somebody else, because if I, if I put my hand on something and say I swear by this, I'm saying this has a higher authority.  The same way, we can point to evidences of the truthfulness and consistency of the Bible, but we have to be very careful that we don't communicate to people that history, or manuscripts, or anything else, is a superior authority to the Bible.  Well, then the authority of scripture comes from the fact that it is theopneustos, it is God breathed, it is God speaking.  When you put your hand in front of your mouth and you speak, you cannot but help but feel breath.  That's the intimacy of what the Word of God actually is.  Jesus believed that. . . . As a pastor, as an elder in a church, when I encounter someone who can in a flippant and easy way question the authority of scripture, I am immediately concerned about this person's welfare, I really am.

I agree with everything that White said here.  He should not ground the authority of the Bible on a story about Erasmus or in the next manuscript that someone digs up or finds in a cave.  If God says He would preserve every Word and that every one would be available, that discounts anything that is different than what believers used for hundreds of years and many generations.  There should be no flippant or easy way for that to be dismissed, and yet is all the time, including by White, who places a higher degree of authority on the existence of textual variants in manuscripts than the testimony of God's people.

White's 27 Minute Video, Entitled, My Concerns With the Ecclesiastical Text Position

I am familiar with the terminology, the Ecclesiastical Text.  The first I heard it was over 20 years ago from the late Theodore Letis.  It was his position on the preservation of scripture.  As I consider what he wrote now, he was just representing the historical, biblical position on the preservation of the Bible.  This does not count as an endorsement of Letis, just that I think what he was saying on this was true.  In the past at least, what I heard espoused by Douglas Wilson sounds like this Ecclesiastical Text view.  Some today have hijacked Letis terminology, who don't even believe his view.  Somebody must be careful not to argue a straw man on this position, if he's going to oppose it.

White says he opposes the Ecclesiastical Text position, has "serious problems" with it, and in the above linked video, he speaks about it.  He says it is a subject that is very important to him, and he did the video, he explains, in response to a conversation someone had with him in a social network. At the very beginning White says that this position is the end of meaningful apologetic defense.  Big words.  One would think it's got to be very bad with that kind of blasting.

White says in the second minute that the Ecclesiastical Text position is thoroughly inconsistent with reformed presuppositions, even though it's the reformed that take it.  He says it is also inconsistent with "sola scriptura and things like that."  In the third minute, White explains that he was motivated by statements that were very offensive and that he was shocked or at least disappointed by what a fellow reformed Baptist elder said to him.  The man said about White that the Muslims want White to debate in their mosques for a different reason than White thinks, that is, because they use again and again White's defense of the critical text.

At about 3:25, White does a very typical for him type of mockery of this man and his audacity. You've got to be kidding White if you think that Muslims know what the Ecclesiastical Text is.  That is a red herring.  Muslims think the Bible is corrupted, something James White agrees with.  It is true that they don't hear very often a position in defense of a settled, perfect text of the Bible.  It is probably also true that someone who took that position would not get into a mosque to debate, like White can.  That position, the historic and biblical position, contradicts the chief Muslim attack on Christianity.  They like a guy that plays right into their hands.

A little after the four minute mark, White says Ecclesiastical Text advocates must admit textual variants, just like he does, White ticking off the various editions of the textus receptus (TR).  He says Muslim scholars pounce on any admission of textual variants and both he and TR proponents must admit variants.  When I talk to Muslims, I don't admit variants.  I go to scripture and show them verse after verse that teaches the perfect preservation of God's Words, and that we trust what God said, that we have a perfect Bible, because God said so.  That is doing spiritual warfare, depending on theopneustos, the breath of God, to pull down strongholds, not getting into acceptable percentages. White can't do that, because he doesn't believe it.

Who are meaningful Moslem apologists?  I find that every Moslem I talk to, wants to talk, and is ready to talk.  They have various degrees of readiness, but more than any other pagan religion, Moslems will engage on their religion.  They want to persuade you.  Scripture is sufficient for whatever Moslem apologist you want to confront.

White says that's the problem with the ecclesiastical text position.  He says it exists in the backwaters of reform-dom.  This is very typical type of speech of White, who says he was shocked and disappointed with how someone treated him, said, as normal, right up front.  Of course, he's tooting his own horn, implying that he's way down stream with the top Moslem scholars, and these guys are in their little reformed fiefdoms, away from the big time, like him.  It's laughable.  He really does get me laughing out loud, all of his antics.

After spending a minute insulting his opponents, White lectures us that Moslems don't know their own textual history, even outside of the backwaters, where White paddles, except for some of them.  And he means by that, of course, that he does know, because, ahem, he's studied the history of their text, and can give them textual variants of the Koran.  This is White's idea of being on an even playing field -- the Bible and the Koran have variants.  They both have errors!  Neither know what the original text was!!  This is "meaningful" interaction, "meaningful" an important qualifier to White.

At 6 minutes, White asks, "What are we supposed to do?"  If he was serious, this is a very good question.  Men should know what to do.  He asks what the Ecclesiastical Text view will add to this.

Right before 7 minutes, White equates the Ecclesiastical Text view with the Moslem view of the Koran.  He says they take a theological position, and not a historical one, just like the Ecclesiastical Text.  This is another iteration of a typical critical text argument.  They use that same one with the Roman Catholic tradition of Jerome's Vulgate, except that it's not the same, because the Vulgate was a translation, and the Ecclesiastical Text view defends original language preservation.  The preservation of the Koran is not the same as the preservation of the Bible, because the Bible is in fact the Word of God.  It's true that someone might not take the Bible, the actual breath of God, as an authority, but it is powerful to pull down strongholds, unlike White's naturalistic arguments, meant to get debate points away from the backwater.

White says that there is no historical argument for an ecclesiastical text.  There is one.  And it's better than White's historical arguments, because it is true.  White says there is no means for an ecclesiastical text person for accomplishing anything in a conversation with a Moslem.  I haven't found that to be the case.  If you know the Bible, you can show what's different about the Bible from any other book.  The Koran can't compare.  You can talk about the means of preservation, the biblical means, and accessibility, something that White doesn't have in his naturalistic toolbox.  Those are powerful, because they are biblical, and the problem for a Moslem, like any other lost person, isn't intellectual, but volitional.

An Ecclesiastical Text person will explain textual attack and how that we know what the Words of God are, just like we know we have 66 books.  That is all historical, but mainly it is biblical.  We don't say the same thing as the Moslems.  That's just a lie by White, and one to which he adds a lot of attitude with it.

White says after 8 minutes that he's never seen the official ET, Ecclesiastical Text, rolling his eyes again and again, as he often does.  He said at the beginning of his video, that he had seen it.  He should become more educated then. He should perhaps go into the backwaters a little.  Or he could just read the Westminster divines, John Owen, Turretin, or Richard Muller's volume on the history of bibliology after the printing press.  He could perhaps get out of the 19th century and get into the 17th and 18th centuries, before the enlightenment.

Right before the 9 minute mark, he's got to do 20 seconds of "meaningless" ridicule, his face getting red, twitching and stroking his beard.  I get to the 9 minute mark, and can I believe it?  Yes.  He brings in the traditional Latin text of Rome. It's like talking to an evolutionist, the same three or four same stories again and again.  He sees a subjugation of the text to an ecclesiastical authority, mocking "ET" again briefly, an obvious reference to extra-terrestrial. (You tell me what White looks like when he talks like this -- be honest.  If he was in my church, I'd tell him to stop.)  White should read the Westminster Confession and the London Baptist Confession to get an explanation for what he mocks earlier as a "vibe" and here with the "church authority" argument.

Just an aside here.  The critical text people, including White, defy their own reasoning with their support of the Septuagint, a non original language text (and a corrupt one).  The big debate with Roman Catholicism was the superiority of the original language text above the Latin.  There is a biblical argument there.

Notice at the end of the 9th minute and into the 10th how that White argues for his position.  None of it is scriptural.  It's 100% humanism and naturalism.  You hear him say "the Byzantine platform" as if those forensics are vital to believers.  They're not.  He acts like they had no basis for their text in the 16th and 17th centuries.  He doesn't know what he's talking about, and it would be more sad, if he wasn't so laughable.

More to Come.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Recent James White Videos and the Bible Version Issue, pt. 2

As we continue analysis of James White's Bible version videos, Eric Hovind asks again about folks who try to correct the original language text with an English translation.  Maybe he didn't think White had answered that.  For his second round, White says the King James translators didn't know the Granville Sharp rule, so modern translators are better equipped with this new rule to do a better translation, a way to disparage the translation used and trusted by most Christians for 400 years.   According to White, people had missed the meaning of Titus 2:13 until the arrival of Granville Sharp. White then channels the translators, speculating that if they were alive, they would support a revision utilizing new grammatical discoveries.  Of course, the bigger issue is the underlying text, since God inspired and preserved His Words in the original language.

Even though White's reply didn't answer Hovind's question, everyone should agree that the KJV translators wanted as accurate a translation as possible.  Other factors exist though in deciding to change a translation.  There is a nonchalance about revising the Bible to "evangelical scholarship," like the Bible is its personal plaything.  People think and should think of their Bible as settled and established, as heavenly, as divinely provided, the domain of God, not a work in progress. Men change to fit the Bible.  They don't hold sway over the Bible.  The Bible isn't a changing item.  It is finished, done, available.

As I evaluate White's answers to Hovind, I want people to know that there is a silliness, a lack of seriousness, about the tone of the interview.  I would do better with something less reality show, that would elevate the subject matter, instead of attempting to make it more casual.  Regular exclamations of "wow" are over the top.  They too diminish the doctrines represented.

Beginning at about 5:15, Hovind asks White why there are so many translations?  This seems to relate to the question Hovind just asked.  White gives a good answer here. He says there are too many and that there are so many mainly for financial reasons. Publishers don't want to pay to use another translation, so they do their own to save money.  White has a problem with the simplified translations too.  He says some very good things here.  He gives an excellent explanation of the various levels of Greek that should be seen in a good translation.  The books with the most complex Greek should reflect that in their translation instead of dumbing all the books down to the same level.  A translation of the New Testament should be at the level of the New Testament.  The funding used for new English translations should go to languages that have no Bible. This was good.

White finishes the second question at about the 9 minute mark, and then Hovind asks him about textual criticism, whether we've "beat this horse to death" so that 'the Bible is dismantled to the degree that we don't know what it's saying'?  White says,

There's two different kinds of textual criticism.  You have.  We need to differentiate them.  Uh, what I engage in is called lower textual criticism, where you actually have factual material to deal with.  So we're talking about manuscript based textual criticism.  We're actually talking about trying to reconstruct the original text, based upon having more manuscripts of the New Testament than any other work of antiquity, earlier manuscripts than any other work of antiquity, better manuscripts than any other work of antiquity.  OK.  So we have an embarrassment of riches.
And you've got people like Dan Wallace running around the world right now, running himself ragged, uh, with the center for the study of New Testament manuscripts, trying to digitize the entire world's collection of Greek manuscripts and there's a reason for that. Have you heard about what's happening in the Middle East? Libraries being destroyed, things like that, if, and those manuscripts are gone, if they were not digitized, if they're only on, on microfilm and that microfilm is next to impossible to read, uum, this has to happen.  And that, that, is the area of textual criticism that believers can engage in, because we are confident that in those currently 5771 catalogued manuscripts of the New Testament, uum, which that number is always changing all the time, that within all of those manuscripts, every original reading is still there.  It's like having a 10,000 piece jigsaw puzzle.  And what we have, thank God, is 10,100 pieces, not 9,900 pieces.  You see, we have, we have to go through and examine those variants and see what has been added later, but we can have absolute confidence that we have the original readings. That's, that's a wonderful thing.
Now there is a quote-unquote textual criticism or form criticism that doesn't depend upon having manuscripts to examine, where your trying to go, uh, into the construction of the original text, and, and uh, could it be that, that John wrote, uh, part of his gospel and then went back and edited and then there's someone that edited that and it's all hypothetical.  It's all based on, 'well, I sort of think that John initially would have thought this or initially believed that,' and it's, it's, it's pure, it's pure theory, it's not real and it's all based upon the idea that whatever the Bible originally was, it can't be what Christians thought it was.  And so that's a completely different thing.
And I went to a, my first master's degree was from a very even more today liberal seminary and I wondered why the Lord let me go through that.  Now I know why.  Now I know exactly why it was.  Now I can look at liberalism and say, 'been there done that and got the t-shirt, and the degree for that matter,' but that kind of criticism is not believing, it's not believing criticism, but is based upon the idea that we simply cannot, uh, believe what the Bible, uh, says about itself.  We have to start with the assumption that Paul contradicted Peter and Matthew is off on his own thing over here someplace. And what it produces is always, always self-contradictory.  It can never give you any foundation for truth whatsoever.
But unfortunately that's what you're going to find in the most dangerous place for a Christian.  It's called a Christian book store.  You've got to be, you've got to understand when you're walking down the aisles of a Christian book store, you might as well think that there are vipers and pythons coiled on each side of you.  Because, for example, when you look commentaries of the Old Testament today, with a few glowing, thank-you-God exceptions, we gave the Old Testament to liberals a long time ago.  And so, people say, what, what commentary series should I, should I buy.  And I go, I can't tell you, because in a commentary series, you might find one book that is just great, and the one sitting next to it might be just absolute poison to your faith, so we have to have discernment. 
I, I, I mean, we live in a day where the world is so opposed to our faith, that the days of my grandparent's generation where you didn't have to worry where you got the Bible and you didn't have to worry about textual criticism and you didn't have to worry about sexual ethics and marriage and everything else.  That day's gone.  If we want to be salt and light today, then, uh, we have got to know these things.  It's a tough calling, but if we want to be salt and light, we've got to do it (13:41).

White talks about "lower textual criticism" like it is an assumed, biblical activity.  If people could just stop and listen to what he's saying, he's telling us that we're still recovering the original text of scripture, that is, we don't have it.  The way we recover it, White says, is through this lower textual criticism.  White supposes errors in the present text of scripture.  How does he know that?

Do these men go to churches, their churches, and say, "The Bible has errors we're still correcting." That's what they believe.  They don't want people thinking that way, so instead they say, as White essentially does here, "We have an embarrassment of manuscript evidence and all the words of the originals are in there somewhere."  The good news according to White is that we have far more words than what are in the originals, so it really is a matter of whittling those down to the actual number, and this textual criticism is the God prescribed method for that.  'Meanwhile, folks, live what you've got while we spend time at the drawing board to get this thing right.'

Does White believe that all the words of the originals in their proper order are found in the available manuscript evidence for the Bible?  Why?  He never says.  Is there some kind of scriptural presupposition for saying that all the right words are even in there somewhere?  What I have read and know is that these men say these things and they don't really believe them.  They aren't saying that we know we have 100% of the words in the manuscripts.  Twice White says we have all of them.  All.  I don't think he means 100%.  What I've read and know is that most evangelicals don't believe we have an accurate manuscript available with the actual text of 1 Samuel 13:1 in it.  They hope we'll find one some time, but they believe there is an error there in search of the original reading.  So the most sure thing that they have to say, that all the words are all in available manuscripts, they say with fingers crossed or a bit of a wink.

I could say that all the right words in the Bible are available on planet earth.  Those words exist somewhere.  Is that the biblical doctrine of preservation?  I call it the buried text view.  They won't say this, but many take the tack that God has preserved His Words, and He has preserved them both in heaven and then somewhere on earth possible still buried somewhere, ready to be unearthed in some future century perhaps.  That does not represent what scripture says about preservation.  Neither is it the historic view of preservation.

You don't hear a biblical answer from White.  You hear his take on the condition of the biblical text, not that much different than Bart Ehrman's. I watched the White-Ehrman debate and the two do differ, but not on most aspects of textual criticism, not on the nuts and bolts of it.  Really, the only difference between the two is their interpretation of the so-called evidence.  In both cases, their evidence is man-centered human discovery.  Both sides say that you can't let biblical presuppositions effect your textual criticism, and Ehrman doesn't at all.  White would say that Ehrman is dishonest with his interpretation, that if he applied the same scholarship to other books of antiquity, he would conclude to a high enough percentage what was in the original manuscripts of the Bible.  Ehrman, on the other hand, would say that we have something far different than what we should expect from a divine book that promises its own preservation.

The difference between Ehrman and White, even though neither will say it, is their presuppositions. White doesn't take his presuppositions from scripture, but he also doesn't abandon his faith in scripture even though he doesn't believe we know what all the words are.  What I'm saying is that White relies on a kind of presupposition without saying he's relying on it.  Ehrman knows he's relying on it.  You can't rely on scriptural presuppositions and stay in the textual critic club, so you just rely on them to the degree necessary not to eject from the faith and say that you are letting the evidence lead you to the truth.

Do we trust in the Bible as a supernatural book, as divine, because we can get a high degree of certainty based on manuscript evidence?  What is our basis for believing that?  If that isn't it, we should at least hear from White and others like him what is the biblical basis for trusting what we do have, even though according to them, we know there are errors in it.  I understand if that doesn't teach very well.  It's a tough sell.  Nevertheless, despite evangelical admonitions not to trust in scriptural presuppositions for textual criticism, White relies on modified ones to preserve his faith in a Bible that he thinks has errors in it.  White calls that "providence" in the tradition of Benjamin Warfield, who read textual criticism into the Westminster Confession of faith.  It's very similar to evangelical scholarship calling the evolution of a day-age theory, "creation."  They redefine terms to fit human discovery.

Evangelical scholars should just be honest.  They've already caused tremendous damage, because young people are abandoning Christianity in great numbers in part because they can't muster faith from a Bible with only a percentage, albeit a high one, of reliability.  They can't stand in a world hostile to the truth on an unsure foundation.   Bart Ehrman will win most times, if we are left with a shade of certitude.

More to Come.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Recent James White Videos and the Bible Version Issue, pt. 1

In the last couple of weeks, James White has shown up in a video and made one himself about the Bible version issue.  It's important to consider, because the Bible is God's Word and our sole authority for faith and practice.  James White purports to disabuse Christians of a very harmful position, and professes in doing so to be a significant defender of the Christian faith.  He has written a book about the Bible version issue, The King James Only Controversy, and he talks about it all the time, most recently in two videos he has posted on his website, the first he entitled, An Interview with Eric Hovind on the Transmission of the Text of the Bible, and the second, My Concerns with the Ecclesiastical Text Position.  It would be nice if White could be challenged in a fair setting.  I have never seen him in a legitimate debate on the Bible Version issue, where what he says could be challenged in an impartial way.

I'm going to use whatever number of posts necessary to deal with everything he says in the above two videos, starting with the Eric Hovind interview.  It is not an interview on the transmission of the text of the Bible, so that title, made at White's website, misleads right away.  Hovind himself calls it, Eric Hovind Discusses Bible Translations with Dr. James White, and describes it with the following caption:

Did God re-inspire the writing of Scripture with the King James Version? Why do we have so many English translations? What is textual criticism and what should we know about it? Gain much-needed discernment as Eric Hovind and James White discuss standing on the authority of Theópneustos Scriptures.

Hovind first questions White about the double inspiration error of certain King James Version advocates, a doctrinal offense the equivalent of a high lob to swat down by a Bible expert, by someone who depends on the Bible as his authority for his beliefs.

White:  Well, (loud exhaling sigh), ya know, uh, the funny thing is, uh, the King James translators themselves really would have had a hard time with anyone using their work in that way.  I mean...

Hovind:  Wow!

White:  ...If we just read the fff, the fff, preface to the readers that the King James Translators themselves wrote, uuuuh, we'd get a really good idea where they were coming from, and they in no way thought that their work was a reinspiration.  They recognized their dependence upon previous translations, upon Wycliffe, and Tyndale, and, and the Geneva, and so on and so forth, and they also recognized that there would be need for revision of their work in the future, uuum, and so what has happened since then in the discovery of sooo many manuscripts that have, that have shed sooo much light upon the earlier history of the text, both the dead sea scrolls as well as the, eh, historical, uh, light upon the early manuscripts of the New Testament. The, the King James translators themselves would have welcomed, uh, that, uhm, providential blessing from God, they really would have.  Unfortunately what has happened, and this is a rel, relatively new movement, this kind of, uh, radical perspective, because there are some others who will say, 'well, for certain reasons we believe that the text upon which the King James is, was translated is better than the modern texts.'

Hovind:  Right!

White:  Ya know, I can understand those arguments, uuum, and, and, and, and have explained those arguments to people and I engage those types of arguments.  I can understand that, and I can even understand someone saying that they prefer, uh, the style and majesty of the King James translation.  I can understand preferences, but when it comes to a point where you're basically saying to people, 'if you use anything other than this, you're not really getting what God would have you to get,' and if you dare promote that, now you're not even, uh, in the will of God, you're rebelling against God, that type of thing, that's when it becomes extremely dangerous, and, uh, unfortunately there are still those folks out there that say that, but it's interesting, I never find them taking that argument out into the places where I go with the people like the Bart Ehrmans of the world or into mosques around the world, um, because the fact of the matter is that kind of claim is indefensible against the people that know anything about the history of the, of the New Testament whatsoever.  And so we want, we want, what we say in the church to be consistent with what we say in the market place of ideas...

Hovind:  Wow.

White:  ...If we don't have that kind of consistency, uum, we really can't claim, uh, that we're, we're ff following He who is the truth, and so for me that's why it becomes an important issue.

White is asked by Hovind if someone should use the English translation to correct the Hebrew and the Greek, and White's answer is, first, the King James translators would not have liked that position. He then proceeds to bounce all over the place without referring to scripture itself to debunk that false doctrine, but instead to the preface of the King James translators.  He does not speak as the oracles of God (1 Pet 4:11).  Double inspiration and correcting the original language with English -- those are unbiblical and can be repudiated from scripture itself.  God completed inspiration in the first century (Jude 1:3; Rev 22:18) and then preserved the words He inspired (Is 59:21; Matt 4:4; 5:18; 24:35), Hebrew and Greek ones, so that there was no need for re-inspiration of an English Bible.  In common with White, these with this "radical perspective" do not believe in the perfect preservation of scripture, so they compensate for their faithlessness with an unscriptural and novel doctrine of second inspiration.

Contrary to White, the KJV translators did not rely upon Wycliffe, who translated from the Latin. Their preface doesn't mention his name.  They did believe in a future revision of their work, but we have no basis that they would have accepted other original language texts than those from which they translated.  They say nothing about that in their preface.  Assuming a revision of their translation doesn't assume a revision from a different original language text.

White speculates that the translators would have welcomed the Dead Sea scrolls and older Greek manuscripts to correct the text they translated. He uses the terminology "providential blessing," pointing directly to the language of Benjamin Warfield's spin on the wording of the Westminster Confession, equating textual criticism with the providence of God.  That isn't what the Westminster divines meant when they wrote, "by his singular care and providence kept pure in all ages." Warfield also believed in the science of evolution and accepted Darwin as a providential enlightenment of the first three chapters of Genesis.  We could just as easily speculate that the KJV translators rejected older manuscripts as inferior to the text received by the churches.  That would by far conform more to the bibliology of the church and fit the evidence of  historical theology.

When White says "modern texts," he means "older texts," confusing it with "modern translations."

Why would a doctrine of perfect preservation and general accessibility be dangerous?  How could trust in providential preservation, the language of the Westminster Confession and the London Baptist Confession, be dangerous?  Why would the doubt produced by never-ending criticism not be what is really dangerous?  How could certainty in the Word of God be dangerous?  Why is textual criticism not the radical perspective?  It is the historically new perspective on the doctrine of scripture, the post-enlightenment take on bibliology.  Only preference is tolerable to White.  What is the biblical basis for preference being the only acceptable view?

White's only stated reason against certainty in a single text of scripture, instead of choosing preference, is that he himself has not witnessed any non-preferential people taking that position out into the world against the Bart Ehrmans and into the mosques like he does.  The setting of a formal debate isn't the only or even the best place to confront the world in the "market place of ideas."  In the San Francisco Bay Area, I talk to the liberals, the atheists, and the Muslims all.  The Muslims use the White position as a crucial component in their argument against Christianity.  I've heard it again and again.  They reject the preservation of scripture, and White would agree.

We're not and neither should we be attempting to defeat the world in a market place of ideas.  We're preaching the truth, and I've noticed that the Bart Ehrmans' problem isn't that our ideas aren't defeating theirs.  The problem is a volitional one, not an intellectual one, and their strongholds will be defeated with scriptural arguments, not ones that point back to a preface by a translator.  What is indefensible are the natural arguments that White brings against unbelievers, and that coming from someone who says he advocates presuppositional apologetics.  A true presuppositionalist assumes what scripture teaches as true, authoritative, and powerful.  What I hear from White here treats discovery as neutral, even elevating his opinion to a higher level than divine revelation.  You can hear White's thinking when he says, "the, eh, historical, uh, light upon the early manuscripts of the New Testament" and "the fact of the matter is that kind of claim is indefensible against the people that know anything about the history of the, of the New Testament."  Historical light?

The only consistent position is one derived from the only supernatural source, the Word of God.  The only accurate view of history must adapt to scripture and not vice-versa.  He Who is the truth said His sheep hear His voice, live by every Word, and that not a jot or tittle will pass from the law until all be fulfilled.  If we love Him we will keep what He says.  A two book approach to Bible doctrine, man's observations and divine revelation, will never be consistent.

More to Come.  This series may come faster than the usual two posts per week by me.  I'll keep writing as I get the time to do so.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Robert Pearsall Smith and the Keswick / Higher Life Preaching of Post-Conversion Sexual Baptism: part 20 of 21 in Hannah W. Smith: Keswick Founder, Higher Life Preacher, Quaker Quietist and Universalist Heretic

This entire 21-part study appears on the website in a study entitled “Hannah Whitall Smith: Higher Life Writer, Speaker on Sanctification, Developer of the Keswick Theology, Quaker Quietist and Universalist Heretic.” Click here to read the entire study.

Search for:

“While Mr. Smith most clearly spread Foster’s filthy doctrine in private to a variety of his followers, usually women, he did publicly proclaim with clarity the necessity of a post-conversion Spirit baptism as the climax of the Higher Life, while pointing publicly to its sexual nature only in a guarded way.”

to read the section that was in the blog post below.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

I Happen to Know How the Earth Is Going to End

Not zombies.  Not another ice age.  Not rising oceans.  Not a pandemic.  Not global warming.  Not a cooling sun.  Not an asteroid.  Not an alien attack.  Not nuclear war.

Earth is going to end with the judgment of God.  He's real, He's angry, and He won't put up with sin forever.

At the same time the entire creation (known also as the universe) will roll up as a scroll, so an escape to Mars or anywhere else on a space ship will be futile.

This prediction is more sure than anything else that anyone is saying who is being paid six or seven figures for that opinion.

Both free range or caged hens could care less.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Christians Not Impressed with Christianity

If you look up the lists of either overused phrases or pretentious or annoying or useless ones, you'll find, "it is what it is."  How did it become overused if it was so worthless?  I say that because Christianity actually is what it is.  It isn't what we want it to be.  It isn't what the world will be impressed with. It is what it is.  And what it is, is true.  It is the true account of everything.  What we found out about what it is, is that it is absolutely wonderful.  Everything else is insignificant in comparison.

What Christianity is though doesn't seem to be good enough for many Christians anymore.  What is impressive to the world is something different than Christianity, but that doesn't mean that Christians should treat Christianity like it is less than impressive.  The world isn't going to like Christianity, but it might like a program for kids, a promise of safety, some friends, a boyfriend or girlfriend, pop music, amusement, or games.  In John 6, the world wanted bread.  Bread would be good enough, as far as that crowd who followed Jesus was concerned.  Jesus -- Christianity -- wasn't sufficiently impressive.

Christians are to be offering Christianity, that is, Christians are to be giving people Christ.  They are to be so impressed with Christianity, and like it so much, yea, love it, that they will talk about it all the time and to everyone.  That's not the latest for Christians.  Christians are sort of ashamed of Christianity, and to save Christianity from itself, they present something else with the idea that at some point in the future, they will spring it on the unreceptive.

Nothing is more impressive than Christianity, which is to say that Jesus is the most precious Person, topic, theme, solution -- whatever word that applies here -- in all of earth and in all of heaven.  Christians aren't impressed and they give the world that impression by starting with many number of things before they ever get to Jesus.  Many of them are what people are seeking, and they plan on using those things, the things people in the world are interested in, to lure people into Christianity.  At that point, Christianity has taken on a different nature, a nature that is diminished, that is lesser than other things.  Christianity should be kept Christianity, because nothing is better.

Christians should preach Christianity like they like it.  This is a mindset.  It should be easy for an actual Christian.  It's hard for the impostor, really impossible.  Why would someone in the world though like it better than everything else, if Christians don't like it better than everything else?  What is pathetic, even despicable, about this lessening of Christianity, and prioritizing things above it, is that Christian leaders, even pastors, train their people and other leaders or potential leaders to do the same thing.

This is what pastors should be saying.  Preach Christ.  Talk about Jesus.  Give the good news.   Treat the gospel like it is the most wonderful thing.  Don't apologize for it.  Don't start with other things.  Get right to the gospel.  Instead, professing Christians are still constantly brainstorming to concoct a better way.

The leaders say people will get discouraged from talking about Jesus, because people won't like that.  They counsel to start with something people will like.  They train to target people in a certain demographic with something they'll relate with, that they will like, that they are seeking for.  That will succeed, they say, and then when it does, people will want to do this work more.  They won't quit so easily.  It will be easier, so they'll not give up the work.  Just think, these men came up with this idea too.  They've helped and edified these people into better Christian workers with this strategy.  They often say too that God gave this to them, almost like it were supernaturally revealed.

Some of you readers probably have a certain critique of this post.  You're maybe saying or thinking, these leaders, pastors, and the ones who take up the above tact, the bait and switch really, actually are very impressed with Christianity. They just know the world won't be.  A few things here.  Even if the world isn't, it still is the only way for them to be saved.  If you don't present it then you are less impressed with what Christianity itself will do.  Christianity, Christ, is the only way to be saved.  It can change someone.  Preaching Christ also is how God is glorified, because that strategy doesn't make sense that it will work.  The ones constantly at the drawing board or cooking up a new recipe are not impressed with the changing power of Christianity.

Those who say to start with something the world is seeking will often also prove that their techniques are best with some stats they have in the short term.   However, they can't figure in the long term destructive effects, and even how that in the short term, what they are using isn't actually, actually, working.  You don't get to find out what is working in the short term until the long term.  By then it's too late.  This is why the just live by faith.  They just believe what God said and do it.

Professing Christian leaders don't think Christianity will work as it is.  That is also not to be impressed with it.  It is to say that as it is, Christianity isn't powerful.  It doesn't work as is.  The special sauce, originated by men, must be added.  They are also not impressed with it to talk about it first.  They are saying they are impressed with it, but they aren't, and you can see that by how that Christianity comes later in their strategy.  This is not how Jesus operated.  Ever.

There's no wonder the world won't be impressed.  Christians can't talk about Christianity like they are impressed with it.  If they were, they would.  They would, because they are impressed, and they would, because they can.  People who are impressed can talk about it like they are.  The more they dig into it, the more they'll be impressed too.

Much of the problem in Christianity is that Christians don't like Christianity.  They want to go to heaven.  They like what Christianity will give them if they have it, but they aren't really that impressed with Christianity, not to talk about it like it's the best thing in the world.  Christianity is what it is and that should be good enough for Christians, but for so many, it isn't.  A different Christianity, one more palatable to others, is what is presented, not something that would be done by someone who is impressed with what it is.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Repent of Original Sin? Yes!

Regrettably, in today’s world where theology is downplayed and sin is watered down, the fact that both the unconverted and the people of God need to repent of Adam’s sin is downplayed.  Very few sermons are preached on the imputation of Adam’s sin, and even fewer mention the need for men to repent of it.  Despite this neglect, the fact mentioned is clearly taught in Scripture.  Rather than re-inventing the wheel, the following excerpt from the works of David Clarkson expresses the point well.  For further study of the Biblical need for repentance over original sin beyond the quotation reproduced from Clarkson below, see pgs. 267-285, Sermons to the Natural Man, William G. T. Shedd (New York: Charles Scribner & Co., 1871); pgs. 39-42, The Works of David Clarkson, David Clarkson, vol. 1 (Edinburgh: James Nichol, 1864) & pgs. 292-313, vol. 3, ibid; pgs. 324-376, The Works of Thomas Goodwin, Thomas Goodwin, vol. 10 (Edinburgh: James Nichol, 1865).
      In light of the Biblical fact that you ought to lament, hate, and repent of your original sin, when was the last time that you confessed it as sin to God?

Quest. Whether must we repent of original sin?
That this may be more clearly propounded and resolved, observe a distinction, the non-observance of which occasions much darkness, both in men’s apprehensions and discourses of this subject.
Original sin is, 1. Imputed, 2. Inherent.
1. Imputed, is Adam’s sin, that which he actually committed in eating the forbidden fruit. Called original, because it was the first sin, and committed at the beginning of the world, when the first foundations of man’s original were laid. Imputed, because Adam representing us and all mankind, what he did, we did in God’s account, he looks upon us as sinning by him, Rom. 5:19, 20.
2. Inherent, is that natural corruption which cleaves to us, dwells in us, consisting in the privation of original righteousness, and propensity to all unrighteousness; the sad issue and effect of the former sin. Adam receiving this original holiness for himself and his posterity, lost it for himself and them; and holiness being gone, a proneness to all sin necessarily followed. It is called sin, because it is a state opposite to the will and law of God; the absence of that which it requires, the presence of that which it forbids. Original, because we have it from our birth, from our original. Inherent, because it is not only accounted ours, but is really in us. Of this Gen. 6:5, and 8:21, Job 4:5, Ps. 51:7.
Quest. Whether must we repent of Adam’s sin, that which is but imputed to us, that which was committed so many years before we were born?
Ans. This must be repented of with such acts of repentance as it is capable of, confessed, bewailed, hated. As to avoiding, forsaking of it, we need not be solicitous, because there is no danger it should be recommitted. But we must acknowledge, aggravate, mourn for it, abhor it, hate the memory of it. So I conceive (though I meet not with any that determine this), on this ground.
1. We are bound to repent and mourn for the sins of others, much more for those that are any ways our own. This à fortiori. This has been the practice of holy men formerly: David, Ps. 119:158, so Jer. 13:17. Sins of fathers, Jer. 14:10, many hundred years committed before. It is prophesied of the Jews, that when the Lord shall convert them, they shall mourn for the sin of their forefathers who pierced him; so Dan. 9; and Moses’s ordinary practice. If repentance prevent judgment, then it might prevent those that are inflicted for sins of others, progenitors. The Lord often punishes for their sins; if we would not suffer for them, we should repent of them. And if of others’ sins, then of that which is ours; and this is ours by imputation. And justly is it imputed to us. For by all human laws, children are charged with their fathers’ debts, the father’s treason taints his posterity.
2. We are bound to rejoice in imputed righteousness, and therefore to mourn for imputed sin. Adam’s sin is ours, the same way as Christ’s righteousness, viz., by imputation, Rom. 5:19, and contrariorum contraria sunt consequentia. If we must rejoice in Christ’s righteousness, we should bewail Adam’s sin. And indeed great cause of joy in that it is the marrow, the quintessence of the gospel; the most gladsome part of those υαγγέλια, those glad tidings which are published in the gospel; the sweetest strain of that message, which, the angel says, was ‘good tidings of great joy to all people,’ Luke 2:10. Imputed righteousness is that blessed design which the Father from eternity contrived, which Christ published and performed, into which the angels desire to pry, that lost man, who could not be saved without righteousness, who had no righteousness of his own to save him, should have a righteousness provided for him, whereby he is freed from wrath, and entitled to heaven. Sure this is, this will be, an occasion of eternal joy; and if so, imputed sin is a just ground of sorrow.
3. As long as the Lord manifests his displeasure against any sin, so long we are called to mourn for it The Lord is highly provoked, if, when his hand is stretched out against any place or person for sin, they will not see it, so as to repent of it, and be humbled under it. He interprets this to be a contempt, and this highly exasperates. It has been the practice of holy men, when wrath was either executed, or threatened, to mourn for the sins that occasioned it, though committed by others, and long before. See it in Josiah, 2 Chron. 34:31. There he takes notice of forefathers’ sins; and see how he is affected therewith: ver. 27, ‘his heart was tender, he humbled himself.’
We are called to mourn for sin, whenever wrath is manifested against it; but the wrath of God is still revealed from heaven against that first unrighteousness; his displeasure is still legible in the effects of this sin, the dreadfullest effects that ever any act produced, no less than all sin, and all misery. That threatening, Gen. 2:17, is still in execution, and the execution is terrible; every stroke is death, spiritual, personal, temporal, eternal, take it in the most extensive sense. Adam’s soul was struck dead immediately; and by virtue of that sentence, all his posterity are dead men, born dead in trespasses and sins. Personal death, death of afflictions; all the sorrows and sufferings of this woeful life, they flow from this cursed spring. Temporal, in Adam all died; it he had not sinned, all had been immortal. Eternal, all must die for ever that repent not. Great cause then to repent of this sin.
Quest. Whether must we repent of that original sin, which is inherent; that natural corruption, the loss of original holiness; and that innate propensity to evil? It may seem not to be any just occasion of sorrow, because it is not voluntary, but natural; having, without our consent, seized upon us unavoidably.
Ans. This is principally to be repented of, as that which is the mother sin, the cause of all actual sins. Nor should the supposed involuntariness of it hinder us from making it the object of our sorrow.
For, 1, every sin is to be repented of. But this is a sin exceeding sinful, indeed, all sins in one. For, what is sin, who can better determine than the Lord himself? And he in Scripture determines, that whatever is a transgression of the law is sin, whether it be voluntary or no; not only that which we actually consent to, but that which he peremptorily forbids. The apostle’s definition of sin is unquestionable, 1 John 3:4, μαρτία στιν νομία; but no greater transgression than this, since it transgresses all at once. We are commanded to be holy; so the want of holiness is forbidden, which is the privative part of this sin. We are commanded to love the Lord with all our hearts; so the heart’s inclination to hate God is forbidden, which is the positive part. Was not the apostle Paul more able to judge what is sin, than any papist, Socinian, &c.? He calls it sin five times, Rom. 6, six times, Rom. 7, three times, Rom. 8, yea and his sin, though he then consented not to it.
2. Suppose (that which is false) no evil is to be repented of, but what is consented to, this should not hinder any from repenting of this sin; for all that are capable of repentance have actually consented to their natural corruption, have been pleased with it, have cherished it by occasions of sin, have strengthened it by acts of sin, have resisted the means whereby it should be mortified and subdued, which are all infallible evidences of actual consent. That which was only natural, is to us become voluntary; and so, by consent of all, sinful; and therefore necessarily to be repented of.
3. The necessity of it is grounded upon unquestionable examples of saints, both in the Old and New Testament. Instance in two of the holiest men that the Scripture mentions. David, in that psalm, which is left as a public testimony of his repentance, to the world, he bewails, acknowledges this, Ps. 51:5. Paul does acknowledge, aggravate, bewail it, as one heavily afflicted with it, Rom. 7. His description of it is very observable: as that which is not good, ver. 18; in me, i. e., in the unregenerate part, that which is not good, that which is evil, ver. 20, sin, six times; the greatest evil, a condemned forbidden evil, ver. 7; a sinful evil, ver. 13, καθʼ περβολν μαρτωλς; a private evil, ver. 20, hinders him from doing good; a positive evil, ver. 17, no more I that do it, but sin; perverse evil, grows worse by that which should make it better, ver. 8; debasing evil, made and denominates him carnal, ver. 14; intimate, inherent evil, sin in him, ver. 17, in his members; a permanent evil, οκοσα ν μο, ver. 17; a fruitful evil, ver. 8, all manner of lust; a deceitful evil, ver. 11, ξηπάτησέ; an imperious evil, a law, ver. 23, gives law, commands as by authority; a tyrannical evil, αχμαλωτίζοντά, ver. 23; sold, ver. 14; a rebellious conflicting, war-like evil, ντιστρατευόμενον, ver. 23; an importunate, unreasonable evil, ver. 15, forces him to do that which he hates; a watchful evil, ver. 21, is present, παράκειται; a powerful evil, ver. 24, ‘who shall deliver?’ &c.; a complete evil, ver. 24, a body furnished with all members of unrighteousness; a deadly evil, ver. 24, body of death, θανατώδες, ver. 11; slew me, ver. 9, I died; a miserable evil, ver. 24, above all things made him wretched.
Paul suffered as many calamities in the world, as any we read of in it; see a catalogue, 2 Cor. 11:23–28. But all these sufferings could never extort such a passonate complaint from him, as this corruption. He could glory in those; but sighs, complains, exclaims, in the sense of this. You see how large he is in aggravating this. Here is above twenty aggravations of this. His sorrow was proportionable. No sin, no suffering, for which he expressed so much soul-affliction. And if he saw so much reason to bewail it, it is our blindness if we see it not. The more holy any man is, the more sensible of natural corruption. The more they get out of this corrupt element, the more heavy it is. Those who feel it not, are drowned in it. Elementum non gravitat in proprio loco. Sin is their proper element, who are not burdened with natural sinfulness.
If it was such an intolerable evil in him who was regenerate, how much more in the unregenerate! If it made him account himself wretched who was so happy, how much more miserable does it make those who have no title to happiness! If it was such an impetuous evil in him who had extraordinary powers of grace to weaken it, how prevailing in us, in whom grace is so weak! If he had cause to complain, bewail, repent of it, much more we! (David Clarkson, The Works of David Clarkson, vol. 1 [Edinburgh: James Nichol, 1864], 39–42.)