Monday, February 26, 2018
Placing Myself in Tyler's Report Card On Baptist Fundamentalism
What I'm going to do here is attempt to put myself in his chart where I fit and see which category I must be of his four categories: fundigelicals, "movement fundamentalists, cultic fundamentalists, and reformed-ish fundamentalists. I have said that I'm not a fundamentalist, but I'm sure most would say that I am. I really am not, but there isn't another category for me by Tyler Robbins. He doesn't have evangelical, fundamentalist, and then whatever. I think I'm whatever, but I'd be happy to hear explained why I'm not. I'll use his descriptors in the left hand column to place me in a category.
Leadership and Style
Here our church is dual elder and collaborative approach, which he has as reformed-ish. We have two pastors and I don't consider the other pastor my assistant. I don't see "assistant pastor" in scripture, but I do see multiple elder. We have two. We work together at this. In a typical month six different men will preach/teach.
Here "movement" fundamentalist and reformed-ish are the same, excellent, systematic doctrine emphasized. I don't think anyone who listens to me preach or our other men, watches our conference, or reads my blog would think we're characterized like the other two categories, fundigelicals or cultic fundamentalists. I know we're not uneven quality, shallow, and indoctrinating.
I would have to understand what the descriptions mean here. I'd be glad to take the scripture, biblical and systematic theology, to any ecclesiology of any of the four categories. Inbred Landmarkism? I have to guess that he means men who have mimicked each other in their view of the church, apparently proceeding from mid-nineteenth century Southern Baptist church leaders, not the Bible or even historic. English separatism isn't cultic? I would debate this any day.
Does parachurch fall in here? What kind of authority do these institutions have? Why are they so powerful in fundamentalism?
On his chart, I have to be "movement" fundamentalist, to be honest. I don't see them fight for the gospel like our church does. They also don't emphasize lordship, that I see. I've been generally attacked by "movement" fundamentalists on the gospel.
Tyler misses it here. I don't see cultic fundamentalists today with a major emphasis on separation, if he's including Paul Chappell, Clarence Sexton, and that crowd. I don't see Detroit as exemplary. Central is better as fundamentalists go. Hobby horses, I would guess, would include music. Central has that hobby horse too, so where does music come into play? I can't find myself in this category.
Does church discipline fall under separation? I was in movement fundamentalism and I never saw it practiced, ever. Ever.
I could only be reformed-ish fundamentalist here. We are building the kingdom through biblical evangelism, making disciples -- no gimmicks. Our concern is glory to God through faithfulness to His Word.
I could only be reformed-ish fundamentalist here, based on his description.
I could only be with his reformed-ish fundamentalist description --- our preaching is 90 percent exposition.
Perhaps two other categories could be added, the so-called cultural issues, which could include complementarianism, or no? You could also include worship. Which of the four categories keep a high view of God in the worship? I wouldn't put all of the reformed-ish in that description. Not all of movement fundamentalism is either. Does that mean nothing? Or is it a hobby horse?
Tyler did the best he could. It's a tough task that will be criticized by others. Everyone has a bias. I think he's open to correct where others point out that bias.
On most of these, Tyler would have me, our church, at reformed-ish fundamentalist. He might feel the necessity to call us cultic. We use and defend the King James Version. We separate over every teaching of scripture. We are local only in ecclesiology. Where do you think we fit? Use your name and give an explanation. Most anonymous comments will be deleted.
Friday, February 23, 2018
John 12:24-25: The Corn / Grain of Wheat Dying in the Ground: A Second Blessing?
Mark 8:34-38 teaches that one who does not become a disciple of Christ will be eternally damned. In v. 34, denial of self and taking up the cross is a representation of the sinner’s coming to the point of saving repentance, with a resultant lifestyle of continued following of Christ. As already indicated above, Christ’s call to sinners to “follow me” (v. 34) was a call to discipleship, since the Lord’s “disciples follow him” (Mark 6:1; Matthew 8:23; Luke 22:39; John 18:15; 21:20). One who was bearing a cross in the land of Israel in Christ’s day was on his way to the shameful and extremely painful death of crucifixion (John 19:17); thus, repentant faith in Christ involved losing one’s life, that is, turning from his own way of living, exaltation of self and comfort, to surrender to Christ as unconditional Lord (Mark 8:35). The person who wishes to continue to live his own way, to “save his life,” will eternally lose “both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28, 39), while one who turns from his own way, denying himself, taking up the cross, and losing his own life for the sake of Christ and the gospel, will save his life or soul (pseuche) by receiving eternal life. “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal” (John 12:25). To encourage the lost to give up their own way and surrender to Christ’s Lordship for salvation, Christ reminds them that it profits them nothing if they would gain the whole world, but lose their souls (Mark 8:36-37). Those who, rather than being ashamed of their sins (Romans 6:21; contrast Romans 1:16; 2 Timothy 1:8, 12, 16) are ashamed to follow Christ and His Words in the evil and adulterous world will have Christ be ashamed of them at His return and be damned—for Christ is “not ashamed to call [true believers] brethren” (Hebrews 2:11), and “God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city” (Hebrews 11:16; Luke 9:26). No text in Scripture indicates that God will be “ashamed” of His people—He is not ashamed of them (Hebrews 11:16). Mark 8:34-38 clearly teaches that all saved people are disciples, and that one who refuses to become Christ’s disciple will face an eternity in hell.
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
What I've Preached on Deuteronomy 24
Jesus says, “Have ye not read…” in Matthew 19. When He uses this phrase, He goes to the Scripture to debunk a wrong understanding of the Old Testament held by the religious leaders. That's what is happening when Jesus uses that language.
In the first century A.D., the schools of Hillel and Shammai differed as to what, in view of Deuteronomy 24:1, constituted legitimate reasons for divorce. Shammai thought that divorce could be granted only for marital unfaithfulness. Hillel, on the other hand, asserted that even such a minor irritation as scorching the food was adequate grounds of divorce.
In Gittin 10, which is from the Talmud, the Hillel view is based upon a loose interpretation of the phrase, some indecency (ervath dabar) in Deuteronomy 24:1, and R. Akiba even inferred from, if then she finds no favor in his eyes, that a man might even divorce his wife if he found a more attractive woman. Whatever one's understanding of Deuteronomy 24:1, it happened that Hillel's interpretation became the rabbinic norm.
The question, then, "Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?" was actually a question as to whether Hillel's interpretation was correct. Obviously, if by eliciting from Jesus a statement as to which side he took in this rabbinic dispute over Deuteronomy 24:1 and the Pharisees could involve him in a controversy, they would be well on their way toward nullifying his influence on the multitudes. In the end, like all other controversies, Jesus doesn't come down on the side of either Pharisaical interpretation, but on God's original intention. What about Deuteronomy 24:1 though?
Deuteronomy 24:1–4 does not institute or allow for divorce with approval, but merely treats divorce as a practice already existing and known.
Grammatically the passage is an example of biblical case law in which certain conditions are stated for which a particular command applies.
The protasis in verses 1–3 specifies the conditions that must apply before the command in the apodosis in verse 4 is followed. In other words 24:1–4 describes a simple “if…then” situation.
The legislation specified in 24:1–4 actually deals with a particular case of remarriage. Grammatically the intent of this law is not to give legal sanction to divorce or to regulate the divorce procedure. The intent of the passage is to prohibit the remarriage of a man to his divorced wife in cases of an intervening marriage by the wife.
The first three verses of Deuteronomy 24 describe the situation of a woman who is twice divorced by different men or once divorced and then widowed. Divorce is neither commanded nor commended. The circumstances leading to divorce are simply described as a part of the case under consideration. The verses do not indicate that divorce is necessarily sanctioned under such circumstances.
In the comment section of the recent post by Thomas Ross on Deuteronomy 24, for the first time I heard a view espoused, which said the exact opposite of the teaching of Deuteronomy 24. Someone (Larry) brought up the valid point of Jesus speaking to the woman at the well in John 4, reminding her of her having had five husbands. Each of them were still called a "husband," and this is helpful in debunking the position of those commenting. I had never heard their position, so I had never thought about the particular point made about the woman's five husbands. If we take Jesus at His Word, which we should, a second marriage is a marriage. Even when we argue against those who believe in remarriage, it is called remarriage.
In this particular case the wife lost favor with her husband because of “some uncleanness in her” (literally, “nakedness of a thing” or “a naked matter”). The precise meaning of the phrase is uncertain. Consequently it became the subject of heated rabbinic debates on divorce. The Septuagint’s translation, (“some unbecoming thing”), is equally obscure. The phrase may refer to some physical deficiency—such as the inability to bear children. The expression appears only once elsewhere in the Hebrew Scriptures, where it serves as a euphemism for excrement (Deut 23:14). This suggests that the “uncleanness” in Deuteronomy 24:1 may refer to some shameful or repulsive act. In the first century conservative Rabbi Shammai interpreted the phrase as referring to marital unchastity, while Rabbi Hillel interpreted it more broadly to refer to anything unpleasant. Jesus, of course, was teaching a no divorce position, again going back to original intention, and the point of the Deuteronomy passage was not to teach divorce or remarriage, but to look at one particular case for case law. It shouldn't be used to justify divorce or remarriage, even as Jesus taught.
Understanding case law and the case law format is important. Deuteronomy 12–26 contains 31 examples of case law. In 19 of these examples the protasis contains a situation that is either immoral or has some negative connotation. The other 12 present situations that appear morally neutral.
Deuteronomy 25:11–12 is an example of case law in which the protasis contains a situation that is immoral or has negative connotations. A woman who seizes the genitals of a male opponent to help her husband in a struggle shall have her hand cut off. No one would dare suggest that the case being described is presented with approval. Many other similar examples could be cited.
The main point of this example of biblical case law in Deuteronomy 24:1-4 appears in the apodosis (the “then” clause) of v. 4 . Here it is clear that the law relates not to the matter of divorce as such, but to a particular case of remarriage. Moses declared that a man may not remarry his former wife if she has in the meantime been married to another man. Even though her second husband should divorce her or die, she must not return to her first husband. The prohibition is supported by an explanation, a reason, and a command. In the Hebrew, verse 4 is the only regulative statement in this passage.
These verses should be read as one continuous sentence, of which the protasis is in vv. 1-3 and the apodosis in v. 4, like the following: "If a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she doth not find favour in his eyes, because of some uncleanness in her, and he hath written her a bill of divorcement, and given it in her hand, and sent her out of his house; and if she hath departed out of his house, and hath gone and become another man's; and if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house; or if the latter husband who took her to be his wife, die: her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife." The actual ruling on the case is that "her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife."
While divorce is taken for granted in Deuteronomy 24:1-4, the woman who is divorced becomes "defiled" by her remarriage (v. 4), so it may well be that when the Pharisees asked Jesus if divorce was legitimate, He based his negative answer not only on God's intention expressed in Genesis 1:27 and 2:24, but also on the implication of Deuteronomy 24:4 that remarriage after divorce defiles a person. There are sufficient clues in the Mosaic law that the divorce concession was on the basis of the hardness of man's heart and really did not make divorce and remarriage legitimate. The prohibition of a wife returning to her first husband even after her second husband dies (because it is an abomination) says that no second marriage should be broken up in order to restore a first one.
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Two Big Observations on America's News: First, Trump's Lies
Saturday, February 17, 2018
For the Rest of This Season, I'm Giving Up NBA Basketball
I like basketball. I grew up in Indiana. I played organized basketball from 5th grade to my senior year in college. I coached a few years our school team here. As an adult, I played to keep in shape. Our local team is one of the best teams in NBA history and play a fun style to watch.
These players have a right to speak in public. They can say what they want. They don't have to, as one person put it, "shut up and dribble." They can speak. They have that right. I understand that the reasoning behind "shut up and dribble" is "stop talking if you don't know what you are talking about." People can still talk even if they don't know what they are talking about. I've not heard one player or coach who knows what he's talking about. Maybe they do, but they don't say anything that sounds like they do. They all say the same thing, not one says something different, complete lockstep, same message. If one of them did, he would have to shut up and dribble, because he would be shunned and castigated for speaking a different position. You hear zero conservative commentary coming from the NBA. Right now the NBA refuses to separate inane and destructive speech from its product. You have to take both. I refuse to do that.
As of today, I'm done with the NBA for the foreseeable future. I might give it up for the rest of my life. It wouldn't hurt me to do that. It would help me. Maybe you could join me. You don't have to do that, but I think it would help. I'm done watching them, checking on their scores, and reading about them. I'm sure I'll see scores and hear about them, but I refuse to click on one more NBA related article, story, or video. I'm done with them.
Friday, February 16, 2018
The Sinful Snooze Button Mortified: The Sheet on Sleep
The Bible says: "As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed" (Proverbs 26:14). The large majority of the time, hitting the snooze button is a lack of temperance rather than something Biblically justifiable that can be done for the glory of God. Furthermore, just as hitting the snooze button is bad for your soul, taking time away that you could spend with God and giving in to the flesh, so hitting the snooze button is actually not good for your body, either.
If you hit the snooze button two times a day, and snooze for ten minutes each time, you will lose 7,300 minutes a year that you could have spent seeking the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Do you really think this is the most God-glorifying way to use the short time you have to live? Should you change the time that you rationally determined you needed to get up the night before to do what your flesh says in the morning instead?
By the way, in addition to the Sheet on Sleep below, one would do very well to avoid entering into temptation and setting oneself up for failure through things like being able to turn off the alarm clock without getting out of bed, having no backup alarm, etc. (A loud alarm is the Sonic Bomb Alarm Clock, which we use as a backup--the normal clock radio has nice Christian music to wake up to, but woe to the person who is still in bed a very small number of minutes later and hears the Sonic Bomb go off.) Parents should also train their children not to turn like the slothful man upon his bed by enforcing a no-snooze button policy, giving their children more time to spend with God, possibly saving them from losing future employment by being late to work, and by, overall, delivering them from this bad habit by not allowing it to begin early in life. Of course, going to bed early enough to get well rested also helps. God "giveth his beloved sleep" (Psalm 127:2), but it is planned sleep, not sleep determined by the flesh's desires gaining the mastery.
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Personal Motivation to Evangelize
I said it makes sense and doesn't make sense that I'm not motivated to evangelize. It doesn't make sense because of all of the above. It makes sense because of the nature of the flesh, the devil, the world system, persecution, hatred, and weakness. People don't listen. They make it difficult. They show hatred for God and the truth. I get the worst treatment voluntarily when I attempt to evangelize people. Why go through that? Jesus died. It can't get more harsh than that, and He said they would hate us for doing this. We know that, so it should be expected.
In two places, Paul asks churches to pray that he would be bold in evangelism. Two. The Apostle Paul. He struggled with getting himself going. He wanted people to pray that He would. We should pray for each other for boldness. I pray for boldness all the time. I know I need it.
Monday, February 12, 2018
The Bible As Scientific Challenge to Climate Change Speculation
Hollywood star Robert De Niro took aim at the Trump administration's stance on climate change, telling a packed audience in the Middle East that he was visiting from a "backward" country suffering from "temporary insanity."De Niro said:
I am talking about my own country, the United States of America. We don’t like to say we are a ‘backward’ country so let’s just say we are suffering from a case of temporary insanity.I would be confident in saying that De Niro doesn't know what he's talking about. I suspect "backward countries" to him include people who believe the Bible. It is an ignorant view to say the world is threatened by climate change. Scripture is verified as true and it says the world will end by direct divine intervention. God started everything and He will end everything.
The Bible speaks again and again about the end. The planet won't survive, because God did not design it to be permanent. It has a built-in stopping point that doesn't relate at all to fossil fuels and carbon dioxide. Man offends God and He puts up with the offense only so long.
The earth isn't stable because of anything that man has done. The world is stable because of what God does. The prophet Haggai brings a message from God to Zerubbabel to end his prophecy in Haggai 2:21-22:
I will shake the heavens and the earth; And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother.He delivered this to say that Zerubbabel needed to trust God and go ahead and return Israel back to the worship God intended. He should not have considered man to be a threat to his work. You can read the same types of accounts in several other places in the Old Testament about the future of the earth according to God.
2 Samuel 22:8, "Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because he was wroth."
Psalm 68:8, "The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God: even Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel."
Isaiah 13:13, "Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger."
Isaiah 29:6, "Thou shalt be visited of the LORD of hosts with thunder, and with earthquake, and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring fire."
Jeremiah 10:10, "But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation."
Ezekiel 38:20, "So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground."
Joel 2:10, "The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining."
Joel 3:16, "The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel."
Nahum 1:5, "The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein."
Haggai 2:6-7, "For thus saith the LORD of hosts;; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts."
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Friday, February 09, 2018
Abiding in Christ: What Does it Mean? part 9 of 9: Miscellaneous Notes & Conclusion
Tuesday, February 06, 2018
Prayer Versus a Wish
10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith? 11 Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you. 12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: 13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
Prayer must be in the will of God. Prayer must be of faith, so we believe that we will receive. Jesus said (Mark 11:24), "Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." What you believe that you will receive is reality.