Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sheryl Crow, Tea Parties and The Shack

Singer Sheryl Crow seems to be getting more known for outrageous statements these days than she is for her music. This is the most recent example. Apparently she thinks the Tea Party is made up of uneducated rubes. Limousine liberals like activist movements as long as they're not of the hard to starboard variety.

Next for your reading pleasure, I offer up this brief article about The Shack, the heretical little tome that seems to have consumed a significant chunk of the evangelical world. James DeYoung gives a pretty clear picture of why Christians ought to have a bit more discernment instead of swallowing the latest pop tome that comes off the presses.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sowell: Breyer is Clueless

Today, the always astute Dr. Thomas Sowell takes on Justice Stephen Breyer of U.S. Supreme Court fame.

The subject is yesterday's court ruling declaring that the Second Amendment protection of the right of the people to keep and bear arms applies nationwide. Gun banners like Mayors Daley and Bloomberg are having a hissy fit, but the court got it right. In my opinion, the court didn't go far enough in its ruling. They should have made it clear that the right also must not be encumbered by undue burdens to its exercise, which will probably be the next trick the gun banners try. It will be legal to keep a firearm, but they'll try to regulate it so heavily as to make it impossible.

That's not what Dr. Sowell got into in his column -- those are my own observations. But Dr. Sowell is right in how Justice Breyer (and much of the media) are clueless on this issue.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Elena Kagan the Book Banner?

Who needs to make stories up when the newsmakers dump them right in your lap? I'm talking about this little clip from would-be Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan.

It seems to be okay with her if the government bans books because the law wouldn't really be enforced. Oh, really? And this is the kind of person Barack H. Obama wants on the Supreme Court?

It was bad enough that Kagan has no judicial experience and seems to be far-left in her persuasions, but this is ridiculous. Even more ridiculous is the fact that the U.S. Senate will confirm her.

Kagan is right on at least one thing, though. Confirmation hearings these days are nothing but dog and pony shows that serve only to show how much hot air windbags can expel out of their pie holes.

Ozark Bear

Time for a little Monday morning frivolity . . . in other words, another of Joel's "I Love Bears" posts.

This black bear photo is from the Arkansas Ozarks. Looks like he's participating in a summit meeting, doesn't it? Come to think of it, I wouldn't mind sending him through the G-20 sessions (or Congress) with a switch.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Proof of Inspiration

This week's installment from The Fundamentals

by Dr. James Gray (Part One)

The inspiration of the Bible is proven by the philosophy, or what may be called the nature of the case.

The proposition may be stated thus: The Bible is the history of the redemption of the race, or from the side of the individual, a supernatural revelation of the will of God to men for their salvation. But it was given to certain men of one age to be conveyed in writing to other men in different ages. Now all men experience difficulty in giving faithful reflection of their thoughts to others because of sin, ignorance, defective memory and the inaccuracy always incident to the use of language.

Therefore, it may be easily deduced that if the revelation is to be communicated precisely as originally received, the same supernatural power is required in the one case as in the other.

It may be proven by the history and character of the Bible.

In other words, all that has been assumed as to its authenticity and credibility. All that goes to prove these things goes to prove its inspiration.

To borrow, in part, the language of the Westminster Confession, "the heavenliness of its matter, the efficacy of its doctrine, the unity of its various parts, the majesty of its style and the scope and completeness of its design" all indicate the divinity of its origin.

The more we think upon it, the more we must be convinced that men unaided by the Spirit of God could neither have conceived, nor put together, nor preserved in its integrity that precious deposit known as the Sacred Oracles.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Paul, You Stop Now. Please.

Like most Americans of my generation, I love Paul McCartney's music. I guess that's why it irritates me all the more when he says stuff like this.

Being a global-warming skeptic is equal to being a Holocaust denier? Oh, puhleeze! Give me a royal break! I can overlook Paul's rather girlish gushing over Barack Obama, but that line was a bit much.

As an aside, when musicians and entertainers make such overtly partisan political statements, I wonder if they realize that they're alienating half their audience, at least in America. Maybe they don't care. At least until it hits them where it hurts. The pocketbook.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Time with Galatians

Recently, I was asked by my church to begin a short series on the Apostle Paul's letter to the Galatians, to begin in August. It seems to be divine timing, because both my radio co-host and myself have recently encountered some examples of the Galatian heresy in the course of our ministry. Here's a brief overview of what I am going to be dealing with.

The letter (book) was written by the Apostle Paul to counter the arguments of the Judaizers, or Jewish Christians who believed that the ceremonial aspects of the Old Testament were still binding on the New Testament church. Paul had preached the Gospel in the region and he had a personal stake in the well-being of this congregation. The Judaizers had come in behind him and were tearing the Gospel to shreds. Eventually, I will take a chapter by chapter, verse by verse approach in the Sunday school study, but I have noted some things that grabbed me in my latest read-through.

1. Paul's change in demeanor from previous epistles. Why would this issue upset Paul so much? Later in 4:20, he talks about being perplexed and wishing to change his tone. Even in both letters to the church at Corinth -- where there were also serious sin issues -- he generally begins with a lengthy invocation or greeting, but not here. Just to get an idea, imagine a faithful church-planting missionary going in and laboring for months, if not years, to get a new congregation off to a solid start, only to find out later that it’s being torn apart by heresy.

2. In chapter 2, Paul gets into the showdown between himself and the Apostle Peter. To set the stage, let’s look at Acts 11, where Peter gets sent to the Gentiles (and this predates Paul). Peter is told not to consider the Gentiles unclean. The Gospel is open to them as well. Later, his famous incident with Paul takes place. Peter knows better, yet he (and even Barnabas, who spent so much time with Paul) “feared the party of the circumcision." Interesting that these people are described as “certain men from James,” yet James had signed off on the encouraging letter to Gentile believers in Acts 15, where Gentile believers were not put under the burden of following the Law of Moses. We see that Jewish believers who were not part of the “circumcision party” were swayed and influenced enough to fall into the trap. So Paul is incensed. Again, the very nature of the Gospel is being threatened.

3. Another issue we find (and this is being renewed today in some circles) is that the Judaizers were attacking Paul and dismissing his authority as an Apostle. They are “red letter” Christians who insist that Jesus’ words are authoritative, but also insist that the Apostle Paul’s writings do not carry the same authority. This denies the plenary inspiration of Scripture by the Holy Spirit. Paul again shares his testimony with the Galatian believers in chapter 1:11 through the Jerusalem Council. James, Peter and the rest of the Apostles (and the Jerusalem church) gave Paul the nod as the Apostle to the Gentiles, along with Barnabas. 2 Peter 3:15 shows Peter recognizing that Paul’s writings were inspired Scripture.

As an aside, I had to think of the Apostle Paul's basic integrity in making a distinction between his own opinions and the actual word from the Lord. The example of this is in 1 Corinthians 7, where Paul takes pains to make a distinction in instructions he received from the Lord, and his own private judgment.

4. In chapter 3, Paul drives the point home, making a sharp distinction between Law and grace. In verse 6, Abraham believed God, verses 10 and 11, whoever is under the works of the Law is under a curse, and no one is justified by the Law before God. The righteous shall live by faith – the same phrase that so captivated Martin Luther in the Roman Catholic system of works righteousness. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us. Roman 10:4, Christ is the END of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

This promises to be an exciting, invigorating study, and a timely one. We dare not compromise the Gospel. We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, by Christ alone, and to God alone be the glory.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Black Christians Rebuke Obama

I think stories such as this one are the great unreported stories of the day.

The linked article reports on how African-American Christian groups are expressing outrage over President Obama's zealous support for homosexual "rights." Funny how you only hear of liberal theologians supporting Obama these days, and anyone else who opposes him on theological/moral grounds are closet racists and bigots.

They'll have a hard time pulling that stunt with this group. Maybe that's why they get ignored by the lamestream media.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Philosophy Vs. Revelation

This week's installment from "The Fundamentals

By Philip Mauro

It follows of necessity that philosophy and divine revelation are utterly irreconcilable. The very existence of philosophy as an occupation of the human mind depends upon the rigid exclusion of every explanation of the universe which is not reached by a speculative process.

If a philosophy admits the existence of a God (as the philosophies just now in favor do), it is a god who either is dumb, or else is not permitted to tell anything about himself, or how he made and sustains the universe. Should the philosopher's god break through these restrictions, there would be straightway an end of his philosophy. For it is not the pursuit of truth that makes one a philosopher.

The pursuit of truth, in order to be philosophical, must be conducted in directions in which truth cannot possibly be found. For the discovery of what philosophers pretend to be seeking would bring their philosophies to an end, and such a calamity must, of course, be avoided. Therefore, the moment one receives an explanation of the universe as coming from the God who made it, he can have no further use for philosophy.

One who has obtained the truth is no longer a seeker. The value of philosophy, therefore, lies not in its results, for there are none, but solely in the employment which its unverifiable speculations afford to those whose tastes and intellectual endowments qualify them to engage in it.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Don Feder on "Crescent Kissing"

I've always enjoyed Don Feder's columns over the years although I might not always agree with every jot and tittle. In this column today, Mr. Feder takes President Obama to task over throwing Israel under the bus and kowtowing to Israel's enemies.

Worth pondering, in my humble opinion.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Charlie, We Never Knew Ye . . .

It must be the Arlen Specter virus.

I'm talking about politicians cynically switching parties and/or flopping all over the place in their public positions. Outgoing Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter began his political career as a Democrat back in the 1960s, only to become a RINO Republican who maddened GOP conservatives more than anything else. When he saw that Republican voters were going to fire him, he arrogantly switched back to being a Democrat, and promptly lost his seat. Hip, hip hooray.

Now we have the Charlie Crist situation in Florida. Previously Republican, the governor was seen by Republican voters as too chummy with Barack Obama, and Marco Rubio looked well on his way to trouncing Crist in the primary. What did Charlie do? He bailed on the GOP and went "Independent." And that's not all.

The governor ran on a pro-life platform back in 2006, although he had described himself as "pro-choice" on abortion prior to that. According to this article in the Christian Post, Gov. Crist has gone back to his pro-abortion rights stance. He vetoed a strongly pro-life bill passed by the Florida legislature.

I think most of us conservatives are getting tired of the Specters and Crists in our midst. But it's not enough that we expunge them out of the GOP. We need to make sure they get bounced out of elective office entirely.

You just can't trust them.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Inspiration is Not Human Genius

This week's installment from The Fundamentals

by Dr. James M. Gray

The latter is simply a natural qualification, however exalted it may be in some cases, but inspiration in the sense now spoken of is supernatural throughout. It is an enduement coming upon the writers of the Old and New Testaments directing and enabling them to write those books, and on no other men, and at no other time, and for no other purpose. No human genius of whom we ever heard introduced his writings with the formula, "Thus saith the Lord," or words to that effect, and yet such is the common utterance of the Bible authors. No human genius ever yet agreed with any other human genius as to the things it most concerns men to know, and, therefore, however exalted his equipment, it differs not merely in degree but in kind from the inspiration of the Scriptures.

In its mode the divine agency is inscrutable, though its effects are knowable. We do not undertake to say just how the Holy Spirit operated on the minds of these authors to produce these books any more than we undertake to say how He operates on the human heart to produce conversion, but we accept the one as we do the other on the testimony that appeals to faith.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Emergent Update

Now and then someone forwards me an email with a new website or blog to add to my list of things to check out. Today, I received this 2008 article on the Emergent Church written by Eric Barger.

The article is archived on the website of a ministry called Sharing Biblical Truth. While I haven't had time to go through the whole site, it looks interesting and worthy of bookmarking. I certainly share the concerns about the Emergent Church movement, which some are saying is crumbling. I don't think it's really crumbling at all, it's just morphing into another form. The same errors will be there and will be until Jesus returns for His own.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Notice on Comment Moderation

To long-time readers of this blog,

I have had to enable comment moderation for the time being. I am not happy about it, but have no choice. This blog, along with some other Christian blogs, has apparently been targeted by some individuals involved in pornographic or sexually suggestive websites. They post comments in Oriental alphabet, with hyperlinks back to very racy websites. It doesn't seem to be the typical spam, because I have word verification enabled and they get past that safeguard.

I am aware that there are IP-banning features available, according to a reader of this blog, but I haven't had time to put it into practice yet. That may become an option as soon as I can focus on it.

It's sad that nonsense like this has to go on. Now that comment moderation has been enabled, the idiots doing this must understand that their perverted little posts will not see the light of day on The Seventh Sola. But apparently they are really, really dense. So be it. I can keep hitting the delete key with pleasure.

In the meantime, everyone who wishes to post a normal comment here, please continue to do so and rest assured that I will review and post it as soon as possible. And yes, even those who disagree with me (civilly, of course). Just don't post links to porn sites.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Divorce and the Boomers

Last week, there was a story in USA Today that I found a bit disturbing. The split of Al and Tipper Gore apparently sparked the story.

The subject was the growing number of divorces among those who have been married for a long time. This quote in particular stood out to me . . .

"It's the whole phenomenon of living longer, of having sex longer, of being healthier, oftentimes of being wealthier and feeling that they can easily pursue a no-fault divorce," says divorce lawyer John Mayoue of Atlanta. "I think we're seeing persons in long marriages questioning whether in fact there's a better life out there."

Mayoue says he has seen an increase in such splits over the past five years.

"Baby Boomers are part of the 'Me Generation' — what's better for 'me.' I think we're going to see more late-stage divorce in this country."

Did you catch that? "What's better for me." The "me" generation continues to reap the bad fruit of the unbiblical worldview in which they grew up, or worse yet, having a "me" message communicated by churches intent on trying to attract people by appealing in marketing fashion to their "felt needs" rather than proclamation of the Gospel and unapologetic preaching of God's Word. It's not about us. It's all about God, and for His glory. Or at least it should be.

Note: My apologies for the missing post from "The Fundamentals" over the weekend. Blogger was down for quite some time, and I wasn't able to access it all day yesterday. We'll try to pick it up again this weekend with the next installment.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

A Godless Righteousness in a Brave New World

by Bill Randles
Believers in Grace Ministries

Do you remember the social and moral revolution of the 1960s? The youth movement of the left was destined to break all the rules and liberate society from the dreary bondage of the past. They were going to show us how to do it the right way! As an anthem from that day proclaimed, “All the world over so easy to see, that people everywhere just want to be free.”

Isn’t it ironic that those same revolutionaries, now come of age, have created a society that is vastly more restricted than the one they worked so hard to undermine? We now live in a “brave new world” in which every aspect of daily life is hyper-regulated, speech is scrutinized to the point of absurdity, and even thought is criminalized (hate crimes laws)!

Although they have, in large part cast, off the shackles of any fear of God, they have a rigid concept of “righteousness”: they are very religious about global warming, population control , a woman’s right to choose (abortion), tolerance of all religions (except of course evangelical Christianity), woman’s liberation, transgender acceptance, and multi-culturalistic dogmas.

My theory is that they are so religious, although godless, because people are made in the image of God and must have some kind of religion. Furthermore, they are raised in America, where once a vast Christian consensus permeated our society and its institutions. It is for this reason that there has developed among the secular elite a “godless righteousness.”

The idea of any accountability for the sins enumerated in the ten commandments has been cast off, but they have their own tablets of stone. “Thou shalt not, ever, ever, make a moral judgment,” “Thou shalt not smoke (in public or private),” “Thou shalt support all forms of abortion,” “Thou shalt not claim any absolute truth,” “Thou shalt not think western civilization is any better than any other culture,” and so on and so forth.

It has often been pointed out that as long as these pieties are observed, it doesn’t really matter what a person does as an individual. All personal indiscretions are excused as long as these positions are held.

The real sins, which have proliferated and intensified as a result of the sexual revolution of the sixties (i.e. the rampant fornication, the destruction of marriages, homosexuality, adultery, abortion and pornography) affect the consciences of those who practice and promote them whether they believe in God or not. One cannot escape the psychological trauma of these evils by just dismissing the concept of a God or a binding personal morality.

That’s part of the reason why the Left has developed an alternative morality, to try to feel good about themselves, to assuage their conscience. They have to assure themselves over and over again that they are all right, because they support Cause x, and wear the ribbon in solidarity of Cause Y. They are good people, on the good side regardless of their personal immorality.

In short, godless righteousness isn’t individual – it is collective. As long as you hold to the positions of the Left Wing, you are “in right standing” regardless of your personal failings. This is why the counter culture has always shamelessly championed people like Che Guevarra, a mass murderer, Albert Kinsey a known fraud and pervert, and other personally sordid fellow travelers. As long as they hold to the dogma, it doesn’t matter.

The tragedy is that this righteousness is a sham and will be found to be as helpful as Adam and Eve’s fig leaves on the day of Judgment. It may feel good to “be in the right” with the culture – there is no doubt a certain satisfaction in it. But there is no way that “godless righteousness” can heal the troubled conscience. Is this why this generation needs so much valium? There is no possibility that “godless righteousness” can take away the shame of sin, and it certainly will not reconcile anyone to the true and Holy God.

There is a true righteousness, a right standing that can be obtained before God, but only as a gift to be received from Him. The good news is that what God demands, perfect righteousness, God provides for us, as Scripture says, “For he [God] hath made him [Jesus] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

Used with permission. You can also check out Bill Randles' blog by clicking here.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

The EU Hears of the Bilderbergers

Recently, I heard about the book "The True Story of the Bilderberg Group" by Daniel Estulin. This WorldNetDaily article is about Mr. Estulin having the opportunity to speak to the European Parliament on this subject.

Now this is interesting. Usually, when anyone brings up the Bilderbergers, the Club of Rome, the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations etc, they get quickly derided as kooky wing nuts and conspiracy theorists. So did you hear much in the news about such a subject coming up before the EU parliament? I certainly didn't until coming across the WND story.

There are certainly conspiracy wing nuts out there, but some of it isn't nutty. There has long been a push for a global governance system, and those advocating the idea are quite open about it. If it's a conspiracy, it has to be the most open conspiracy I've ever seen. Above all, it's prophesied.

It will be interesting to see if this story catches fire.