Monday, November 29, 2010

Worship and Truth

As you'll notice on my sidebar, Pyromaniacs is a favorite must-see blog stop for me. Phil Johnson, Dan Phillips, Frank Turk, and occasionally Phil's son "Pecadillo" do a stellar job contending for the faith once and for all delivered to the saints.

Today, Phil takes up the subject of worship and truth. How often do we focus on the mechanics of song and ritual, forgetting that the truth behind the songs etc. is supposed to be the real object. And God Himself is truth personified.

Read Phil's post today and be edified!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Neglect of Prophecy Pt 2

This week's installment from The Fundamentals

by Arno C. Gabelein

The prophecies of the Bible must be first of all divided into three classes:

1. Prophecies which have found already their fulfillment.

2. Prophecies which are now in process of fulfillment.

Many predictions written several thousand years ago are now being accomplished before our eyes. We mention those which relate to the national and spiritual condition of the Jewish people and the predictions concerning the moral and religious condition of the present age.

3. Prophecies which are still unfulfilled.

We have reference to those which predict the second, glorious and visible coming of our Lord, the re-gathering of Israel and their restoration to the land of promise, the judgments which will fall on the nations of the earth, the establishment of the Kingdom, the conversion of the world, universal peace and righteousness, the deliverance of groaning creation, and others.

These great prophecies of future things are often robbed of their literal and solemn meaning by a process of spiritualization. The visions of the prophets concerning Israel and Jerusalem, and the glories to come in a future age, are almost generally explained as having their fulfillment in the Church during the present age. However, our object is not to follow the unfulfilled prophecies, but prophecies fulfilled and in process of fulfillment. At the close of our treatise, we shall point out briefly that in the light of fulfilled prophecies, the literal fulfillment of prophecies still future is perfectly assured.

Editor's Note: I will try to post in future installments clips out of this essay by Mr. Gaebelein, however it is too lengthy and detailed to post the whole thing verbatim. If you don't have a copy of The Fundamentals, I highly recommend it. A very affordable version can be found at Christian Book Distributor's website.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors Me; And to him who orders his way aright I shall show the salvation of God (Psalm 50:23)

The Seventh Sola wishes everyone a most joyous Thanksgiving. And may we indeed be thankful for God's abundant blessings.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Calling Admiral Mullen!

A story from this weekend has caused me to once again defer "From the Fundamentals." Namely, I'm talking about Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen's statement about gays in the military.

If you go to the bottom of the Puffington Host article, you'll see that Mullen makes the claim that asking servicemen and women to "lie about themselves" goes against military ethics.

What a load of hogwash. In the first place, look again at the current policy. It's called "don't ask, don't tell." In other words, the military won't ask, and expects those in the service not to go around yapping about their sexual predilections. I don't see where the current policy asks people to lie. It doesn't. It just says to shut up.

Of, of course someone will say that if someone gets caught in flagrante delicto or gets asked point blank, they'll have to lie if they want to stay in the service. That might be true, but no one asked them to lie. They chose to do it themselves. And they're the ones who went into the military knowing full well what the regulations and standards are. Instead, we get a media-driven false guilt trip and pity party.

Maddening, isn't it?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Blatant Apostate

Hold on to your hats and get ready. I'm about to show you some of the most blatant apostasy I've ever seen, at least in terms of a news story carried by Christian media.

Get a load of the "Reverend" Jim Swilley, a "pastor" in Georgia. According to this Christian Post article, the good bishop is not only homosexual and proud of it, he also openly demonstrates that he doesn't care what God's Word has to say on the subject.

I could go line by line and rip his statements to shreds, but I don't think it's really necessary. He does a fantastic job of condemning himself out of his own mouth. He doesn't want to argue Scripture because Scripture is abundantly clear about what God thinks of homosexual behavior.

As a final observation, Bishop Swilley says he is "at peace" with God. Not quite. Instead, this false "peace" can be more likely traced to the Holy Spirit stopping His conviction on a rebelling heart. Scripture says that God will not strive with man forever. The Lord Jesus also makes it pretty clear that if the Holy Spirit doesn't draw you, you're not coming to saving faith. You won't even want to. Bishop Swilley is a good example of what we're in for in the days ahead in terms of the spiritual condition of the planet. It's just what we expect prior to Christ's return.

I'll leave aside any puns on the Bishop's last name. But you can put two and two together.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Airport Security? Do It Like Israel!

By now, I'm sure even non-flyers have heard of the growing outrage over what I call federally-paid group groping. In other words, the very, very invasive "pat downs" and nude body scans in the name of stopping terrorism on planes.

Columnist Franklin Naff has some cogent advice for us. In fact, it echoes something I've said on my radio program many times. If we're really interested in airline security, we ought to emulate the Israelis in how they do it. They're better than anyone else in the world.

Sadly, our government would rather be politically correct and try to coerce everyone like cattle in the name of "equality." In my more cynical moments, I could almost see the government relenting to the public outrage, then letting a terrorist bombing slip through so they can say, "See! See! We told you so!" Then they'd put through even more draconian measures.

Hopefully enough of the public is waking up to this stuff to the point Big Sis and allies are going to be slapped down a little.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Close Washington's "Open Bar"

I've always liked Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, but have questioned whether he has national standing enough to mount a viable presidential campaign.

In a special op-ed piece written for the Union Leader, Governor Pawlenty rightly whacks the "open bar" in Washington D.C. He reminds us that "nothing is free."

As an aside, that's part of why my blood pressure goes up every time I see actor Andy Griffith's folksy puffery in favor of Obamacare. "Free checkups, free screenings." No, they're NOT free. Someone is paying for them, namely me.

Here's another aside to pop the left's bubble. I am not a millionaire. Not even close. In fact, my salary is only five figures. I'll bet you think I'm envious of those who make in excess of $250,000 and am demanding that they "pay their faire share."

Nope. I'll leave ginning up class warfare and envy to the left. I happen to know what creates jobs and what causes jobs to go elsewhere. And if little ol' me can understand it, I wish Washington would get it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pray for the Persecuted Church

Today is the official Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. As you'll see from this Christian Post article, more violence against believers is on the horizon.

Jesus said that His people would have tribulation in this world. He also said that believers would be hated for His name's sake. Here in North America, we don't really know what persecution for the Christian faith is like outside of some occasional name calling. That could change in the future. Are we ready for it?

Note: Our weekly installment from The Fundamentals will resume next weekend.

Friday, November 12, 2010

I'm Really Getting Tired of This Stuff!

No doubt, many of you have seen this story about a new flag flap. Seems a patriotic 13-year-old named Cody has been proudly flying a flag on his bike for the past couple of months. Now, right at Veterans Day, Cody's school ordered him to take the flag off of his bike. The reason? A couple of students complained. And the school authorities said they were worried about "unrest."

This is a bunch of cockamamie nonsense. I am glad the school relented, and pledged afterward to focus their efforts on the students causing "unrest." Good idea. Follow it through with a good sound crack of a paddle on their backsides.

I'd be interested to know which students were complaining about the American flag, and more than that, where they got their notions about the American flag being so offensive. I'm beginning to wish we'd begin deportations of people who hate this country so much. I have a hunch that after a while of living in Haiti or Burma, they might be thankful for what they had here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dr. MacArthur on Social Networking

I'm very pressed for time this week, so in lieu of a post, I recommend this little column by Dr. John MacArthur on social networking -- the pros and the cons.

Worth considering as these little devices called computers and smart phones consume more and more of our time.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Yanking the Judges' Chains

Another columnist I often like to read is Dr. Thomas Sowell. In this column posted today, Dr. Sowell applauds the voters of Iowa for reminding their Supreme Court who is ultimately in charge.

Now, if we could only do that at the federal level.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Warriors for Doctrine

In lieu of my usual weekend post from The Fundamentals, I am going to take a brief detour and put up a clip from Philip Schaff's "History of the Christian Church."

Born in Switzerland, Schaff eventually came to the United States and was a professor at Union Theological Seminary until his death in 1893. In Volume 3 of his church history, he takes up the issue of the early church and the battles over doctrine. It's worth reading.

The Nicene and Chalcedonian age is the period of the formation and ecclesiastical settlement of the ecumenical orthodoxy; that is, the doctrines of the holy trinity and of the incarnation and the divine-human person of Christ, in which the Greek, Latin and evangelical churches to this day in their symbolical books agree, in opposition to the heresies of Arianism and Appolinarianism, Nestorianism and Eutychianism. Besides these trinitarian and christological doctrines, anthropology also, and soteriology, particularly the doctrines of sin and grace, in opposition to Pelagianism and Semi-Pelagianism, were developed and brought to a relative settlement; only, however, in the Latin church, for the Greek took very little part in the Pelagian controversy.

The fundamental nature of these doctrines, the greatness of the church fathers who were occupied with them, and the importance of the result, give this period the first place after the apostolic in the history of theology. In no period, excepting the Reformation of the sixteenth century, have there been so momentous and earnest controversies in doctrine, and so lively an interest in them. The church was now in possession of the ancient philosophy and learning of the Roman empire, and applied them to the unfolding and vindication of the Christian truth. In the lead of these controversies stood church teachers of imposing talents and energetic piety, not mere book men, but venerable theological characters, men all of a piece, as great in acting and suffering as in thinking. To them, theology was a sacred business of heart and life, and upon them we may pass the judgment of Eusebius respecting Origen; "Their life was as their word, and their word was as their life."

The theological controversies absorbed the intellectual activity of that time, and shook the formation of the church and the empire. With the purest zeal for truth were mingled much of the
odium and rabies theologorum, and the whole host of theological passions; which are the deepest and most bitter of passions, because religion is concerned with eternal interests.

That last line really arrested me. "Religion is concerned with eternal interests." When I consider how loosely some in today's evangelical church throw doctrine around, I have to wonder whether they really have eternity in view at all.

On another note, I think we can also see that theological controversies never go away. That's because we have an enemy of our souls whose zeal to deceive has never relented. All the more so in these last days, and that makes it all the more important to hold on to biblical truth.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Post Election Doldrums

I imagine most of my regular readers will know that I've sort of been in the doldrums for the past few months. When I began this blog back in 2005, it was a new and novel opportunity to express myself. However, it seems the bloom has worn off. I trust that's only temporary, but right now it's reality.

Of course, I could attribute it to lots of things. Being way too busy in my off-line life, difficult family issues i.e. lots of deaths and illness, being tired. All of that's probably true. I think some of it also has to do with seeing the predicament our country is in, and knowing that there's precious little I can do about it outside of praying. When you have a good half or more of the nation ready to chuck our founding principles out the window in favor of the nanny state on steroids, it is depressing.

I voted, of course, in the most recent election. Generally Republican, although I voted for the Libertarian in the race for the U.S. Senate in Illinois because I couldn't stomach the liberal Republican running. And how in the world the state could have given the Governor's office to Pat Quinn (Rod Blagojevich's Lieutenant Governor) is beyond me. Oh, well. We'll have to reap the whirlwind.

And what about the national situation? Yes, the GOP won big in the House of Representatives, but failed to take the Senate, although they did increase their numbers enough to deny Democrats the 60 votes they need to pass major legislation. The Republicans have big goals, beginning with repealing and replacing the health care monstrosity inflicted on the country by the Democrats. Unfortunately, President Obama will veto any such attempt, and there is not a 2/3 majority in either house to override a veto. Sounds like a recipe for gridlock until 2012, which might not be a bad thing unless it backfires on the Republicans like it did in 1996, helping Bill Clinton win re-election.

All in all, the same old fun and games. But the stakes are a bit higher this time around. And who knows what the end game will be.

The long and short of it is . . . I'm tired.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Recovering our Republic

I've always liked Indiana's Mike Pence. In this issue of Imprimis (Hillsdale College's newsletter), Congressman Pence underscores the importance of today's election and the need to recapture the constitutional basis of our Republic.

Here's hoping and praying for a good, conservative victory today. But the battle will just be beginning.