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The Race Set Before Us



This blog is devoted to discussing the pursuit of eternal life. Discussion and participation by readers is desired, but contributions should correlate tothe book, The Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology of Perseverance& Assurance by Thomas R. Schr



Updated: 2017-12-10T21:14:51.543-06:00

 



One More Quack!

2013-12-24T07:06:23.928-06:00

Just in case some folks think that I fail to recognize that the action A&E took against Phil Robertson of "Duck Dynasty" is not a free-speech issue, I will reiterate why I stepped in and spoke up. I reissue this statement from one I posted on one of my friend's pages. I do so here with some additions.The issue is not a matter of free speech, constitutionally defined. Nonetheless, it is a matter of tyranny against the freedom of speech by a large sector of society in the public square. In fact that sector of society, Christians, which is routinely told to shut up, is vastly larger than the homosexual sector of society that screams loudly in the public square with the aid of their obsequious and fawning media advocates who freely give them access to their communication outlets which are protected by the Constitution as free-speech mouthpieces.Why should anyone be outraged over these things? It is because what takes place in the public square shapes the laws of the land. When tyrannical minority groups, such as GLAAD, gain ascendancy in the public square because they have advocates who hold media positions that magnify their voices in vastly disproportionate ways so as to sound like a majority of Americans, they acquire vastly disproportionate influence upon the political and legal realms of our society to shape laws and judicial actions that have already and will increasingly alter the Constitution and the nature of our society and culture. Laws follow the morality of society and the framework of culture. Thus, as our culture deteriorates with moral deviancy defined downward so that vile and sinful behavior are now openly celebrated, having been elevated from "alternative lifestyle" status, those who engage in vile behavior not only are celebrated in the public square but also become increasingly protected by laws until it will become impossible to violate the law of the land when we condemn those vile and wicked behaviors that are already being celebrated in the public square and area already being protected by activist legislators and activist judges.This is why we cannot dismiss what has happened to a backwater elderly hick from the swamps of a Southern state, Louisiana (I write these words with tongue in cheek, of course, for such is the way the Robertsons are viewed by GLAAD and their elitist media advocates.) This is why I raised my voice in open and candid opposition to GLAAD and their media advocates but also to fellow Christians who want Christians such as I to hush up and lay down the weapons of the gospel concerning this latest public square debate. Give GLAAD and their advocates an inch and they will be our rulers. Being salt and light, as Jesus instructs us to be, requires us to condemn evil and to commend good. I prefer to heed the directives of King Jesus than to obey fellow Christians who tell me to hush until a more opportune situation presents itself, which, evidently, they will assess for the rest of us and tell us when we should speak in the public square. No thanks! Since King Jesus is also the one who will judge me in the Last Day, I will heed him and speak out against the celebration of evil wherever, whenever, and against whomever it is being done, including a "hayseed" from the swamps of Louisiana.Also worth reading.Brian Mattson, Duck!Doug Wilson, The Scars on Your ForearmsDoug Wilson, A Warehouse Full of Guile[...]



Why I Give A Quack!

2013-12-23T13:54:12.830-06:00

Someone asked, "What's your point in posting 'This Is Worth Quacking About!'? So, you disagreed with David Mathis, but you didn't offer an alternative prescription for action. What action are you suggesting that Christians should take?"  I offered responses initially on FaceBook.com. Here, I offer a couple of postings, this one and a follow-up, to explain why I offered a response to Mathis's blog entry and what it is that we are called to do and say as Christians. I'm not calling for radical activism. I am calling for well-balanced critical engagement of the culture and of our society that actually challenges and pushes back and refuses to be silent or to bullied into silence by activist elitist leftists and radicals who make their voices very loud because they own the mainstream media. _______________________ Did not the apostle Paul admonish us, as Christians, to be wary of the devil's wily ways, of Satan's devices? It is that wariness that prompted me to write and to publish my piece yesterday concerning the imbroglio of disagreement among Christians that is centered upon the A&E's firing of Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty for expressing his candid beliefs concerning the sinfulness of homosexuality when asked in an interview by GQ magazine. As I said yesterday, the issue is not whether A&E has a right to hire and fire. The issue is the tyranny of wickedness that spreads virally through society by exploiting speech codes imposed by the loudest sector of society, regardless how outnumbered that small sector actually is. Well, today, Brian Mattson provides an excellent and insightful piece that explains the backstory to my piece in his blog entry, Duck!, though he and I did not converse about this matter. Nevertheless, because we both think biblically, he articulates precisely the thoughts that ignited my taking hold of my keyboard to write what I posted on FB and on my blog yesterday. What Brian points out is how the devil schemes to impose his evil will upon all of us. If we do not resist those in the public square who feign offense at an outspoken Christian to accomplish their evil craving to bend our wills to do their will and the will of the devil, we will soon find that their exploitation of the tyranny of political correctness in the public square will become state-sponsored tyranny that will enforce the devil's evil will with the power of the sword. This is why it is not only right but necessary to recognize that it is always seasonable to condemn sin and to uphold righteousness. Is it not? This seems to echo what the apostle Paul said to a young minister of the gospel in his own day. As for being Christian citizens dwelling in the kingdoms of this world, if we wait until legislators and governors and presidents and judges add their full weight of the law to the cause of immorality, we will find ourselves ruing the day that we refused to engage evil when it was not yet in control of those who wield the sword. Have we not learned anything from history? Have we so quickly forgotten Martin Niemöller's famous quote? When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist. When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat. When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist. When they came for the Jews, I remained silent; I wasn't a Jew. When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out. If Christians in the USA wait until legislators and governors and presidents and judges determine what can and cannot be spoken concerning issues and sins that God's Word addresses and obligates us to address with candor and with love, then it will be too late. Will it not? Oh, wait, legislators and governors and presidents and judges already are making those determinations. Aren't they? They're doing it state by state. When the President, who routinely imposes his kingly will upon us citizens by his edicts, speaks out in support of same-sex marriage, as he did in May 2012, w[...]



This Is Worth Quacking About

2013-12-23T14:44:00.675-06:00

I've restrained my pen many times over many embarrassing things that others with whom I've associated have said, taught, preached, or done. Today, I'm embarrassed again, and this time I'm not holding back. I am speaking out. My friend Dr. Peter Jones has also spoken out about this. In fact, it was his piece that brought the matter to my attention, including the piece I engage below.Today, on the Desiring God blog (see below), David Mathis posted his response to the firing of Phil Robertson of "Duck Dynasty." See David's piece: "This Is Not Worth Quacking About." Oh, indeed the title is clever and David sprinkles a number of cute little sayings and barbs throughout his blog entry, including division headers: "No Time to Cry Fowl" and "Pass on This Decoy." He ends his piece by stating, "Let’s lay down the weapons on this one. There will be other ducks to shoot. Pass on the decoy. There are so many good avenues for expending our righteous energy. It’s time to change the channel."Well, I don't need to change the channel because I have never watched "Duck Dynasty." I have no interest to watch the show, either. This is not about the cable television show. This is not about commercialism. This is about the truth. "Lay down the weapons on this one"? What? When is the right time to take up the weapons of the gospel, David? I'm quite astonished that you write the following."Here’s a call for sheep in the midst of wolves to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves (Matthew 10:16). Wisdom isn’t picking a fight whenever we can, but picking the right fight. Yes, we must beware: “they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake” (Matthew 10:17–18), but this is not that day. This is not the issue."There will be real battles to fight — real courts and real judges and real presidents, governors, and legislatures that will continue riding the societal wave of the LGBT agenda. As the seemingly unstoppable train barrels down the tracks at us, we will continue to face excruciatingly tough decisions about when and how to hold our ground and when and if to dive out of the way and live to fight another day."Hmmm! Many of us are wondering when the right time to engage the battle will be for many of us desired earnestly in 2012 for our pastors to engage the battle when the real battle was being fought with real legislators and with real voters in Minnesota when we had the opportunity to pass a Constitutional Amendment that would have defined marriage as entailing the union of one man and one woman. Yet obviously the time to take up the weapons of the gospel against the encroachment of the radical homosexual lobby was not then. No! That wasn't the right time to take up the weapons of the gospel, either, so you and John Piper told us and modeled for us by not engaging the battle. Instead of having that Constitutional Amendment endorsed by the citizens of the state, as soon as Leftist Activist Legislators and a Leftist Activist Governor took over the state government in January 2013, they picked up the cause of radical homosexual lobbyists and crammed down our throats their marriage redefinition law, so that now our state embraces their bastardized definition of marriage that includes the bastardized union of same-sex partners. And the fact that it is now the law of the land poses innumerable potential and plausible occasions of state-sponsored persecution of anyone who resists this horrendous law, including our church.In this one matter you're right, David. If this were about the A&E show called "Duck Dynasty," it's not worth quacking about. But it's not about "Duck Dynasty." The issue is truth, truth indelibly imprinted by the Creator upon every male and every female. It's the truth of Romans 1:18-32. It's about the idolatry of our society. It's about the wrath of God upon humanity for their idolatry. It's about homosexuality as testimony of God's wrath against humanity for idolatry. Her[...]



Gentle Reformation Interview on Warnings and Exhortations

2013-10-14T08:23:56.735-05:00

Last week I sat for a podcast interview with Austin Brown and Barry York of Gentle Reformation. “And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.” Col 1:21-23 We are quite comfortable with the above verse, until, of course, we come to that little word “if.”  It jumps out at us like a bugbear, startling us, even disturbing us.  Why say that, Paul?  Why toss in an “if.”  It sounds like you’re positing a condition to salvation?  Isn’t our salvation secure? Even more forceful passages could be gathered from the apostolic letters, exhortations warning us of the dire consequences of committing apostasy.  The book of Hebrews certainly comes to mind.So what are we to do with such statements?  Brush them under the rug?  Explain them away?  Perhaps we should just flip the page quickly? In today’s interview with Dr. Ardel Caneday, co-author of the insightful book The Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology of Perseverance and Assurance, we’ll explore the biblical relationship between promise and warning, assurance and perseverance.Download For myself, I am convinced that Dr. Caneday and Dr. Schreiner have provided the church with an invaluable resource, helping us understand how these two thorny and often polarizing concepts harmonize with one another.  If after listening to the interview, you’re interested in learning more, you can find the book online at Amazon.  Just click the picture below. Purchase The Race Set Before Us.   [...]



Rick Warren and the Apostle Paul

2012-03-09T07:46:48.989-06:00

Recently, reports make it clear, by his own testimony, that Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA, eats Iftar. In 2006 Warren and his wife began eating Iftar meals at the Mission Viejo mosque. What is Iftar. Iftar is the evening religious meal that Muslims eat after fasting all day during the month of Ramadan, the month of fasting.Pastor Rick Warren has been asked about his eating Iftar. Warren explains,It’s called being polite and a good neighbor. For years, we have invited Muslim friends to attend our Easter and Christmas services and they have graciously attended year after year. Some have even celebrated our family’s personal Christmas service in our home. So when they have a potluck when their month of fasting ends, we go to their party. It’s a Jesus thing. The Pharisees criticized him as “the friend of sinners” because Jesus ate dinner with people they disapproved of. By the way, one of my dear friends is a Jewish Rabbi and my family has celebrated Passover at his home, and he attends our Christmas and Easter services. I wish more Christians would reach out in love like Jesus.Pastor Rick Warren receives praise from some outspoken Evangelicals, even concerning his eating Iftar.Is Pastor Warren's eating Iftar permissible by Scripture? Do the apostle Paul's directives to the Corinthians permit a follower of Jesus Christ o eat the Muslim religious meal, Iftar? What does Paul say? Ponder carefully 1 Corinthians 10:14-22.Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf. Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? Do I mean then that food sacrificed to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? Are we stronger than he? Of course, I realize that the Iftar meal does not entail sacrifices offered to idols. Yet, anyone who dismisses applicability of the apostle Paul's instructions to the eating of Iftar because the foods eaten are not actually offered to idols exhibits a kind of "literalism" that the passage does not warrant. To skirt the prohibition by appeal to "literalism" is to violate Paul's instruction. Muslims regard Iftar as a religious meal, a sacred meal, for it is integral to their Ramadan fasting, which is expressly religious. Hence, Paul's apostolic instruction forbids the eating of Iftar by Christians. Does it not?Now, of course, if we love our Muslim neighbors, we will not eat Iftar with them, as Paul's further instructions make it clear, for the sake of their conscience, not for our own conscience. If we truly seek the good of our Muslim neighbors, which is their salvation, then, according to Paul's directives, we must not eat their religious meal. For when a Muslim declares that a particular meal is "Iftar," does this not fall under Paul's instructions when he says, "But if someone says to you, 'This has been offered in sacrifice,' then do not eat it, both for the sake of the one who told you and for the sake of conscience"?I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, for, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything [...]



ETS Paper Available

2011-11-29T10:28:26.444-06:00

The following is from Credo blog. To start off this week we would like to highlight the ETS paper of A. B. Caneday, who is also a weekly contributor to the Credo blog as well as a contributor to the January issue of Credo Magazine, “In Christ Alone.” Caneday’s paper is titled: “The Advent of God’s Son as Judgment in John’s Gospel-Justification and Condemnation Already.” Ardel Caneday (Ph.D., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is Professor of New Testament Studies and Biblical Studies at Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota. He has served churches in various pastoral roles, including senior pastor. He has authored numerous journal articles, many essays in books, and has co-authored with Thomas Schreiner the book The Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology of Perseverance and Assurance (Inter-Varsity, 2001). Caneday begins his paper: Despite mistakenly construing John’s Gospel against the backdrop of second-century Gnosticism, skewing his interpretation of the Gospel, Rudolf Bultmann correctly identifies divine judgment as an important aspect of Johannine theology. He observes that Jesus’ activity as “Revealer of God,” whose unitary advent (John 3:19; 9:39) and departure (12:31), is the eschatological event, “the judgment of the world.” According to Bultmann, Jesus’ coming cast the whole κόσμος into κρίσις. Yet, this eschatological judgment “is no dramatic cosmic event, but takes place in the response of men to the word of Jesus.” He contends, “Thus the judgement is not a specially contrived sequel to the coming and the departure of the Son. It is not a dramatic cosmic event which is yet to come and which we must still await. Rather the mission of the Son, complete as it is in his descent and exaltation, is the judgement.” Despite holding significant disagreements with Bultmann, New Testament exegetes do not miss the fact that divine judgment figures prominently in John’s Gospel. So, for example, Köstenberger observes, “in an important sense, God’s judgment was already brought about by the light’s coming into the world in the incarnation of the Son (1:14). This coming of the light into the world, in turn, confronts people everywhere with the decision of whether to embrace the light or to go into hiding and persist in darkness.” All who reject God’s Son incur divine judgment, but all who believe in him “escape judgment already in the here and now (5:24), though the final judgment awaits the end of time (5:28-29).” True as this is, arguments to counter or to qualify Bultmann’s insistence that John’s Gospel contends for a “realized eschatology” versus the traditional Jewish end-time eschatology tend to overlook important ramifications of the Last Day’s advance arrival with the advent of the Son of God. The exclusive claim of Peter’s proclamation that “there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12) finds expanded expression in the Fourth Gospel. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their works were evil. The life of the Age to Come is resident in and mediated through God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Hence, eternal life, which properly belongs to the coming age, is already present with the incarnation of the Word and is now being imparted to all who believe in God’s Son. Noteworthy as is the advance installment of eternal life, signaling resurrection’s encroachment into [...]



Five Mottos from the Reformation

2011-11-04T15:35:29.435-05:00

By A. B. Caneday Deriving from the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century five Latin phrases— sola scripture, sola gratia, sola fide, solus Christus, and soli Deo gloria—have summarized the principal Christian teachings that the Reformers proclaimed in their endeavors to bring reform to the church. What do these five Latin phrases mean? Sola Scriptura (“by Scripture alone”) The English translation of the Latin indicates that the phrase is to be understood to mean the instrument by which God discloses himself gracious to redeem humanity is solely Scripture. The Bible is the Word of God, given through the Holy Spirit, the only authoritative source for teachings concerning Christian faith and practice. The Reformers used this expression, sola scriptura, to distill their firm conviction against the prevailing teaching of the church at that time. The phrase captures their affirmation that the Bible alone is the ultimate and final authority concerning God’s redeeming will. Neither the pope, nor the church, nor the traditions of the church, nor even the councils of the church are privileged to hold final sway over Christ’s church concerning what is to be believed and practiced as Christians. Scripture alone holds final authority concerning faith and the nurturing of faith. Whatever other authorities that God has established in this world—whether church, state, family, or any other—they are to be subject to Scripture. To whatever degree other authorities teach or practice contrary to the Scriptures, they are to be judged by the Bible and reproved accordingly. Sola gratia (“by grace alone”) Again, the English translation of the Latin, with the word “by,” shows that this phrase indicates that grace is God’s appointed instrumentality by which he saves sinners. Because salvation comes “by grace alone,” humans are powerless to lay any claim upon God’s gift of salvation. God is not moved to be gracious to sinners by their foolish and futile notions that they have power to accrue merited favor with him. Indeed, God does save sinners, but he does so as it pleases him. God is not moved to save anyone by anything external to his own gracious will. God alone acts to save sinners by grace alone. To confess that God’s salvation is received “by grace alone” is to deny that human stratagems, devices, methods, and techniques are, in themselves, powerless to give birth to faith or to bring about salvation. Grace alone brought to bear upon us through the Holy Spirit who brings us to Christ is God’s way of showing himself glorious in our salvation. Thus, by grace alone God calls forth from their spiritual tombs utterly helpless sinners who are as dead and senseless in their sins as was Lazarus’s stinking corpse in the tomb. By grace alone God breathes into sinners the breath of eternal life. Sola Fide (“by faith alone”) Of the five Latin catchphrases, perhaps the most misunderstood and disputed is sola fide. For the Reformers it was not sufficient to affirm that salvation is sola gratia, by grace alone, for many of their Roman Catholic contemporaries agreed. Martin Luther’s published debate with Desiderius Erasmus makes clear the Reformers’ insistence upon affirming sola fide. Erasmus contended against Luther by arguing that God’s offered “rewards” are merited, that the reward of eternal life is earned. He insisted that salvation is received not “by grace alone,” but because of “free choice,” human merit attaches to faith with the result that human worthiness in addition to faith receives the reward of eternal life. Against Erasmus, Luther reasoned from Scripture (sola scriptura) that eternal life as promised reward to everyone whose obedient faith in Christ perseveres indicates God’s gracious ordered sequence of salvation, not the merited cause of salvation. Luther contended that God established that be[...]



Eighth Printing

2011-09-29T08:40:52.378-05:00

 The Race Set Before Us is now in its 8th printing. Thanks to all our friends who have purchased, read, and promoted the book.

Click here for a succinct review.



Victor Victorious.

2011-09-11T11:54:31.173-05:00

Here is a touching story of quite a brief race run well: Victor Lost His Life, But His Love Will Last. Victor's adoptive parents and family are members of Bethlehem Baptist Church.DEATH be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so, For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow, Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me. From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,         Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow, And soonest our best men with thee doe goe, Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie. Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men, And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,  And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well, And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then; One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally, And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.[...]



A Review of The Race Set Before Us on Amazon.com

2011-08-03T09:13:16.210-05:00

Here is the most recent review on Amazon.com. I cannot take time to interact with it now. I may do so later. By Samuel Kilada "Sam" (OR, USA) - See all my reviews (REAL NAME) Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?) This review is from: The Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology of Perseverance & Assurance (Paperback) The Race Set Before Us is a book which, after reading the introduction, I was excited to dive into. I had strongly agreed with Schreiner in his defense of the penal substitution view in The Nature of the Atonement (though with slight modification, which I will not go into here). Unfortunately, I was greatly disappointed in reading his and Caneday's argument here. Though there were a couple of shining moments, there were three major problems in this work that, as a result, have prevented their argument from convincing me: 1) Logical fallacies, 2) a considerable amount of hypocrisy, and 3) the redundant nature of their argumentation. 1) Unfortunately, the fallacy the authors made concerns their main argument. It was the authors' primary concern to establish the fact that warnings in the Bible are not a sign that a person could possibly fall away: "Paying heed to the admonitions does not...threaten assurance but is the pathway by which assurance is maintained" (308). The logical problem here is obvious. Essentially, this makes the warnings in the Bible from God comparable to a father saying to a child, "Don't touch the sun; it will burn you!" To say that the warning to not touch the sun prevents the child from touching it is not simply superfluous; it is ridiculous. Since the author's say that the warnings prevent believers from falling away, they would have to contend that, should a regenerate believer happen to never read those specific warning verses, such a person could fall away. 2) The hypocrisy the authors commit relates to their point that we should not try to impose the warnings in scripture over the promises in scripture, so that we lose our assurance of salvation (205). This is a valid claim, but is not the issue. The problem is that the authors do the same thing, only in the opposite way. They impose the promises of scripture on the warnings, so that the warnings become exactly how I described them above: nonsensical and superfluous. For the authors, promise overrides warning, but they deny any attempt to claim the opposite, saying instead that "the two stand compatibly together" (205). 3) Even in those beginning portions when my optimism toward the book was high, I was still bogged down by the method the authors used in writing the work, for three reasons. First, they were highly redundant; they seemed to make each of their points several times, and then even came back to them again later. The argumentation could have been made more effectively in half the space. Secondly, the amount of details and side-arguments seemed way over the top, making it difficult to follow their line of thought. Finally, the book has a negative tone because they spend so much space refuting other views. While it is important to do this in moderation, they were often guilty of creating straw-man arguments. Sometimes they refuted other views by means of their own feelings, saying something to the effect that the opposing view did not offer a true sense of assurance to them. But we should use logic and not emotion to argue our points. Even with these problems, the authors did make some good points. The here and not-yet aspects of salvation were generally very well presented, and they took the right position that it is not up to us to determine the salvation of other people (309-310). At least in the first chapter, they did a good job at presenting the opposing four views fairly. It is not as if I learned nothing from readi[...]



Horatius Bonar and the Apostle Paul on the Saving of the Minister of the Gospel

2011-07-18T11:13:31.835-05:00

Scottish pastor, Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)"...if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’ ... I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me." Ezekiel 33:6-7"Some one, then, must undertake the ungracious task of probing and laying bare the evils of the age; for men must not be allowed to congratulate themselves that all is well. If others will not, he will. If others shrink from the obloquy of such a work, he will not.... He loves his fellow-men too well. They may upbraid him; they may call him a misanthropist, or a prophet of evil; they may ascribe his warnings to the worst of motives, such as pride, or arrogance, or self-esteem, or malice, or envy; but he will give no heed to these unjust insinuations. He will prefer being thus misunderstood and maligned, to allowing men to precipitate themselves upon a ruin which they see not. Rather than that they should perish, he will allow his own good name to be spoken against. He will risk every thing, even the hatred of brethren, rather than withhold the warning. If they give no heed to it, he has, at least, saved his own soul. If they do, he has saved both his own soul and theirs.He would rather take up the glad tidings of peace, and tell men of Him who came the first time for shame and death, and who is coming the second time for glory and dominion; but he feels as one who has a special and personal message to deliver, which cannot be postponed. He must remember that he is a watchman; and, having seen danger pressing on, he must not hesitate to make it known. He must speak his message of forewarning and rebuke, sparing no arrows, and neither smoothing down nor hiding any form of sin, but laying his finger upon every sore, and beseeching men to turn from their ungodliness. The evils around him press upon him sadly; the coming evils are foreshadowed upon his spirit, and, therefore, he lifts up his voice like a trumpet.Satan has many snares which need to be detected; the world has many spells and lures which must be disenchanted; religion has many guises which must be unmasked, many devious paths of inconsistency which must be pointed out, many cherished errors which must be condemned, many carnal taints which must be abhorred and shunned. All these he must protest against without fear or favour." ______________________Bonar understood and took to heart the apostle Paul's admonition to Timothy when he writes, "Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers" (1 Tim. 4:15-16).The salvation of the minister of the gospel is bound up with how the minister discharges the duties of the ministry.For quote click here.[...]



"How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!" (Rom. 10:15)

2011-06-21T16:15:07.676-05:00

Dear Friends &  Readers,If the Lord wills, I shall be ministering the gospel in Bangalore, India, in early to mid-August. P. J. Mathai, President of Maranatha Baptist Bible College & Seminary, has invited me to speak at the pastors’ conference to be held August 15-18 at the college and seminary. As I have done in the past (in 2002, 2004, & 2007), I will be ministering with Rev. John Hoeldtke of FLAME MINISTRIES of Everett, Washington. John has made numerous ministry trips to India as well as to several other countries. In 2002 and 2007 we ministered together at Maranatha Baptist Bible College & Seminary from where we traveled to Kathmandu, Nepal, where we ministered to village pastors for a week at another pastors’ conference.I will be speaking six times during the three day conference. My messages will be shaped thematically on the chapters contained in The Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology of Perseverance & Assurance, a book I co-authored with Tom Schreiner. During my sabbatical I have been writing a shortened version of the book with eight corresponding chapters. The working title of the book is Let Us Run With Perseverance: A Training Manual for Endurance unto Eternal Life. So, my six messages will derive from my writing during my sabbatical throughout the past academic year.Costs for this mission trip are considerable. My travel expenses, including airline tickets, will be at least $2500, which does not include various expenses while in India. In late July others will be traveling with John Hoeldtke to India ahead of me. They will be ministering in other cities and villages prior to arriving in Bangalore where I will join them. The policy of FLAME MINISTRIES is to cover costs of all meetings and conferences in India so as not to be a burden on the indigenous churches and Christian leaders. In fact, FLAME MINISTRIES covers all the costs entailed in hosting conferences, thus alleviating the burden that our Indian hosts would otherwise bear. Total costs for FLAME MINISTRIES to carry out this mission to India in July and August will exceed $17,000.If you believe the Lord would have you help with the costs of this mission trip, either for my part or for the larger mission or both, please send your contribution to:FLAME MINISTRIES PO Box 3333 Everett, WA 98213Funds are needed by July 18. If you would like to assist with my personal expenses, please make your check payable to FLAME MINISTRIES and indicate on an accompanying slip of paper that it is for “A. B. Caneday Mission Trip.” FLAME MINISTRIES is an approved non-profit corporation. So, a receipt for your tax-deductible gift will be sent to you. For members of Bethlehem Baptist Church, you may make contributions to help allay my expenses by making a contribution through BBC. If you desire to make a contribution through BBC, please send me a note at abcaneday@gmail.com. I will send you a form that will direct you how to submit your gift.All of us who will travel to India to minister will greatly appreciate both your contributions that will assist us on our way and your prayers for our health, our safety, and our spiritual effectiveness throughout this mission endeavor.Thank you for considering this invitation to participate in my ministry in India with your monetary gifts and your prayers.Blessings in Christ!Ardel B. Caneday[...]



Essay on Historicity of Adam in Paul's Gospel Is Now Published

2011-06-21T20:47:16.901-05:00

My absence from the virtual world has been due to the importance of projects in the real world. This entry does not necessarily signal greater frequenting of the blogosphere. I do, however, want to let you know that my essay, "The Language of God and Adam's Genesis & Historicity in Paul’s Gospel" has been published and is the featured essay in the latest issue of The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology. You may want to download it and read it later, since it is fairly lengthy.

I do hope and pray that this essay will be effective and useful for the strengthening of the faith of Christians everywhere. For anyone who may not have yet noticed, when I write essays for publication, I do so with pastoral concerns in mind. I do so for the establishment of Christian faith.



Book of the Year 2010

2011-04-26T22:34:05.132-05:00

Mit Ausharren laufen (The Race Set Before Us) was name Betanien-Buch des Jahres 2010 (Book of the Year 2010).

See here.



Know German? Enjoy!

2011-04-27T19:08:43.874-05:00



Peter Voth has been blogging concerning The Race Set Before Us, or actually, Mit Ausharren Laufen. Thus far, Peter has posted four blog entries. Enjoy!

 
It's heartening to see that Thabiti Anyabwile has nicely recommended The Race Set Before Us here.



Martin Luther on Why the word 'reward' is used so frequently in Scripture

2011-04-16T13:27:40.883-05:00

Many Christians have developed an entire doctrine that isolates salvation from "reward," eternal life from "crown," or entrance into the kingdom of God from "inheritance" of the kingdom on the premise that if these pairs are comingled, merit intrudes into grace, costliness of earning merges with God's free gift. Folks who have fabricated this doctrine, which I have addressed numerous times elsewhere on this blog and in published works, style themselves as the true adherents to the teachings of the Reformers, John Calvin and Martin Luther. They do this, of course, contrary to the facts, for anyone who has actually taken time to read what these Reformers affirm in their works realize that they teach that eternal life is the crown, that salvation is the reward to be received in the Last Day.In fact, those who insist that Scripture's use of "reward," of "crown," of "inheritance," and similar imagery proves that merit is involved in human obedience and perseverance actually join ranks with those folks Martin Luther called the Papists. This is precisely the argument that Luther is countering in his response to Erasmus in the portion I excerpt below.Yesterday, during my writing on the issue, I had occasion to be reminded of the following excerpt from Luther's response to Erasmus in The Bondage of the Will (183-184) which I accessed. When I first read the book more than thirty years ago I underlined and marked this portion and others as highly significant.What then is the meaning of all those Scriptrues which promise the kingdom and threaten hell? Why is the word 'reward' repeated so often in the Scriptures? 'There is a reward for thy work' (2 Chron. 15.7). 'I am thy exceeding great reward' (Gen. 15.1). Again: 'Who rendereth to every man according to his work' (cf. Job 34.11). And Paul says in Rom. 2: 'To those who by patient continuance in well-doing seek eternal life' (v. 7); and there are many similar statements. The answer is that what is established by all these passages is simply a consequence of reward, not in any way a worthiness of merit; inasmuch as those who do good do not do so in a servile, mercenary spirit, whith a view to gaining eternal life--although they seek eternal life in the sense that they are in the way by which they will find and attain eternal life; so that their 'seeking' is an earnest striving and diligent endeavour after that which regularly follows upon a good life. The reason why the future consequences of a good and bad life are declared in the Scriptures is that men might be instructed, disturbed, awakened and terrified. As 'by the law is the knowledge of sin,' and instruction concerning our impotence--by which, however, it is not implied that we ourselves can do anything; so by these promises and threats comes a warning of what follows upon the sin and impotence which the law has pointed out--but they do not ascribe any worthiness to our merit. Wherefore, as the words of the law serve their turn by instruction and illumination, to teach us both what we ought to do and what we cannot do, so the words of reward, signifying what is to be, serve their turn by exhorting and threatening, and animate, comfort and uphold the godly to press on, persevere and triumph indoing good and enduring evil, lest they should be wearied, or their spirit broken. So Paul exhorts his Corinthian converts, saying: 'Quit you like men, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord' (cf. 1 Cor. 16.13, 15.58). So also God upholds Abraham, saying: 'I am thy exceeding great reward' (Gen. 15.1). It is just as if you were to comfort someone by intimating to him that his works certainly [...]



A Great Parody of Rob Bell

2011-04-15T13:06:35.160-05:00

Have you seen this parody produced by Doug Wilson? Compare the two videos. Take note of the text, filming, and music. For example, the parody speaker is a kind of converse of Bell--big with bushy hair, not a small-framed guy with shaved head. Both have similar glasses. (via Doug Huffman)

frameborder="0" height="225" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/21895447?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0&color=ffffff" width="500">
Robbed Hell - C.A.S.T. Pearls Presents from Canon Wired on Vimeo.



“Already” but “Not Yet,” Not Contrary to the Law of Non-Contradiction

2011-03-02T07:30:17.741-06:00

It occurred to me that my response to a comment here would be instructive for readers of this blog, given recent postings here and here. The portion of my response, which I post here with some additional material, concerns a quote attributed to F. Scott Fitzgerald who wrote, The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function (The Crack-Up, 1936).I regard Fitzgerald’s statement a classic example of denying the law of non-contradiction. Therefore, it hardly describes what I affirm concerning justification [eternal life, redemption, salvation, et al.], both already and not yet, in the blog entry to which the comment is attached. I do not "hold two opposed ideas in [my] mind at the same time" in any of what I posted in my blog entries linked above.I firmly believe in the law of non-contradiction. I also believe that Jesus believes in the law of non-contradiction. I still believe that two antithetical propositions cannot both be true at the same time and in the same sense. I still believe that Y cannot be non-Y. This is crucial for understanding what I am affirming in my blog entry.As I state in my entry here, Christ’s first advent sweeps forward two correlated acts of God from the Last Day—resurrection and judgment.Therefore, all the biblical imageries that portray salvation in Christ, whether salvation, eternal life, resurrection, judgment, justification, et al., have their framework of already come but not yet consummated fully oriented to the two-phase coming of God’s Son. Thus, his coming with two distinguishable phases locates, determines, and defines the already and the not yet aspects of salvation, of eternal life, of resurrection, of judgment, of justification, et al.Christ Jesus is come already; not yet come is Jesus Christ. It is self-evident that in order for these two statements, arranged in a chiasm, to be truthful, the second affirmation cannot mean that Jesus Christ is “not yet come” in precisely the same way and in the same sense that the first statement asserts that he “is come already.” Such an assertion would be irrational. The Scriptures are not irrational but they do present Christ’s two-phase coming in riddle-like form that beckons understanding that requires belief.Jesus presents such a riddle when he announces, “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live” (John 5:25).” Because, Jesus has “life in himself” and authoritatively claims, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 5:26; 11:25), he issues his riddle: Resurrection is come already; not yet come is resurrection. It is a riddle, but it is not contradictory. It is not contradictory because Jesus' second affirmation does not mean that resurrection is not yet come in the same way and in the same sense that his first affirmation declares that resurrection is come already. Jesus' riddle does not violate the law of non-contradiction. Contradiction is only in the mind of the one who accuses the riddle of contradiction. The mind that imputes contradiction to Jesus' riddle fails both to believe and to understand.Jesus’ riddle calls for belief. Understanding comes through faith. Yet, many Christians find it difficult to hold in proper balance this biblical tension that Christ’s two-phase coming gives to the salvation that he has already inaugurated but has not yet consummated. Instead of reconciling their beliefs and thinking to Scripture’s portraya[...]



A Portion Excised from an Already Too Long Essay

2011-02-25T07:26:06.647-06:00

Christ’s first advent sweeps forward two correlated acts of God from the Last Day—resurrection and judgment.[1] Paul’s gospel orients everyone to Christ’s cross, as the display of God’s wrath against sin (Rom. 3:21-31), and his resurrection, as God’s vindication of his Son (Rom. 1:4; 4:25; 1 Tim. 3:16), both indivisibly as the advance visitation of God’s courtroom of the Great Assize at the end of the age. The gospel message does not transport humans into the future courtroom of heaven to hear God’s verdict of condemnation or justification. Rather, the gospel announces that with the coming of Christ, God has revealed the verdict of his Last Day courtroom in advance in the crucifixion and resurrection of his Son: wrath and justification. So, believers, in union with Christ in his death and resurrection, enter the new creation, ahead of time, by way of mutual crucifixion in Christ—the world to believers and believers to the world (Gal. 6:14-15). In the gospel, God announces that he has already thrust his verdict—condemned or justified—forward from the Day of Judgment, which has not yet come, into the present with the advent of his Son (cf. John 3:16-21).[2]So, according to Paul’s gospel, each of the diverse and rich imageries he employs—whether salvation or eternal life or resurrection or justification—portrays God’s saving power in Christ as piercing the darkness of this present evil age as revealed light emanating from the Last Day back into time, featuring Christ Jesus whose crucifixion is God’s demonstration of his righteousness by subjecting him to wrath in order to judge sin in advance of the final judgment and in order that all who are in him might be justified (Rom. 3:21-31). His death is God’s judgment of sin for all who believe. His resurrection is life for the same ones (Rom. 4:25), for his resurrection is God’s justifying declaration of Jesus Christ to be the Powerful Son of God (Rom. 1:4; cf. 1 Tim. 3:16; Acts 13:33), securing God’s justifying verdict for his people, already being proclaimed in the gospel in advance of the Last Day.For Paul, justification is singular with discernible but indivisible aspects or phases, both now and not yet. He agrees with other New Testament writers that salvation, the kingdom of God, redemption, eternal life, resurrection, adoption, forgiveness of sins, justification, et al., are terms that depict two inseparable but distinguishable phases of both already and not yet. No more division exists between present and future aspects of justification than between first quarter and last quarter phases of the moon. It is the same and singular moon with distinguishable and discernible phases or aspects. Likewise, whether Paul speaks of justification now or not yet, it is the same and singular justification with distinguishable aspects, one present, the other future.[1] See especially Vos, The Pauline Eschatology, 73ff, 261ff.[2] N. T. Wright is at his best when he makes this same argument: “The bringing of the future verdict forward into the present world is rooted, grounded, rock-bottom established on the brining of the Messiah forward into the-present, more specifically, on the extraordinary, unprecedented and unimagined fact of the resurrection itself coming forward into the present. The Messiah is not simply a figure who will emerge at the very end. Resurrection is no longer simply a last-day event in which God will raise all his people. Messiah and resurrection are middle-of-history events in which God has come to inaugurate his kingdom, his sovereign, saving r[...]



Perseverance and Child Rearing

2011-02-13T12:55:36.399-06:00

Do you have dealings with adults who are cruel to others where they have power and sulky where they have none? Do you encounter men and women who are are overbearing, rude, manipulating, and untruthful? It is likely that you have encountered an adult whose parents exercised hate instead of love in their haphazard and unprincipled discipline of their children. Many of the great difficulties that we run into with our adult peers are directly due to the fact that so many of these peers were reared by their parents to become brats in the workplace, in the home, on the highways, in fact, wherever they may be. Why? Their parents did not love them but hated them. What? What a shocking thing to say! Really? Do we believe God or do we not? Do we believe that God's Word is truthful or not? Do we really believe God's Word when it says, "Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him" (Prov. 13:24)? Disciplining children is much more difficult than many parents would have others believe, given their hatred for their children which they mistake for love. Disciplining children is much easier than most parents believe or realize, if only they would embrace the wisdom of Scripture and consistently and lovingly apply it.When my wife and I became parents for the first time we were determined not to discipline our son as we observed other parents doing, which entailed endless threats but never followed by punishment. Likewise, we were committed to rear our son without the tendency toward austerity which characterized how many parents disciplined when the two of us were children. We were entirely convinced that we were obligated, as Christian parents, to adhere to and to practice the principles of child rearing that Scripture teaches. So, of course, all of Scripture, but especially the Proverbs, regulated our parenting. We read Bruce Ray's Withhold Not Correction which was instructional for us, guiding us, correcting us, and encouraging us.Because we wanted our children to be able to distinguish and to recognize the difference between punishment and affection, from the beginning, we decided that we would never directly use our hands to inflict punishment. We did not want our children to be terrorized by the sight of our hands. We wanted the direct touch of our hands to be reserved for show of affection that should be welcomed. Therefore, I crafted a paddle from a select piece of pine that I deemed sturdy enough to sustain spanking buttocks but soft enough to receive wood burning of a couple of verses from the Proverbs, one on each side.On one side, as a visual exhortation for my wife and for me, I burned Proverbs 23:13-14--"Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol."On the other side, as a visual reminder for our children, I burned Proverbs 13:24--"Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him."Thus, each time we would use the paddle to spank for disobedience, whether by way of sinful deed or demeanor, we would use the verses on the paddle to explain why we spanked. In other words, in our home, spanking our sons was evangelistic, administered to save them from God's coming wrath. We expressly told them that we spanked them because we loved them enough to inflict minor temporal pain upon their posteriors in order that we might spare them from the[...]



Eternal Life, Both God’s Gift and Reward

2011-02-25T07:52:48.851-06:00

I am working on a writing project associated with The Race Set Before Us. As I was working on it something dawned upon me as I wrote the following segment. It concerns how Zane Hodges, and others who follow him, destroy their own case when they appeal to Romans 6:23 as Hodges does when he attempts to expound Galatians 6:8._____________________Two interpretive keys govern how advocates of the loss-of-eternal-rewards view interpret Scripture: (1) salvation is past; rewards are future; and (2) salvation is free; rewards are earned. Therefore, understandably those who hold this view are concerned to separate biblical admonitions and warnings against loss from the grace of salvation because otherwise, as they view the matter, the grace of salvation and of eternal life would be earned by works. Popularity of this view owes much to the notes of The New Scofield Reference Bible, especially the note attached to 1 Corinthians 3:14.God in the N.T. Scriptures offers to the lost, salvation; and for the faithful service of the saved, He offers rewards. The passages are easily distinguished by remembering that salvation is invariably spoken of as a free gift (e.g. Jn. 4:10; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:8-9), whereas rewards are earned by works (Mt. 10:42; Lk. 19:17; 1 Cor. 9:24-25; 2 Tim 4:7-8; Rev. 2:10; 22:12). A further distinction is that salvation is a present possession (Lk. 7:50; Jn. 3:36; 5:24; 6:47), whereas rewards are a future attainment, to be given at the rapture (2 Tim. 4:8; Rev. 22:12).[1]The tone of authoritative finality and clarity concerning their interpretive keys—salvation is past; rewards are future; and salvation is free; rewards are earned—suggests that a sharp cleavage exists between the two classes of passages. So, one would expect that Scripture would never use words such as “salvation” or “eternal life” with future reference nor as the reward to be received. Yet, what do we find? In Galatians 6:7-10, which advocates of the loss-of-eternal-rewards view insist is about “rewards” not “salvation,” Paul admonishes, Do not be deceive; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow. If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith (emphasis added).Paul’s imagery of sowing and reaping mingles inseparably what loss-of-eternal-rewards view advocates separate. To them, even though Paul presents “eternal life” as the future consummation of the life of the age to come, the life we have not yet harvested, poses no obstacle as Zane Hodges explains. Nothing is plainer than that the “everlasting life” of which Paul speaks is not free, but based on the moral merits of those who reap it. . . . Naturally Paul knew that eternal life was freely given (Rom. 6:23; see also Rom. 5:15-18), just as the Apostle John knew this. But Paul is not speaking about what the Galatians already have, but about what they may yet receive. Herein lies the key to this text.[2]What is the key? To explain the passage Hodges uses the same interpretive key that one can find in The New Scofield Reference Bible.Here it should be stated clearly that in the New Testament eternal life is presented both as a free gift and as a reward merited by those who earn it. But one impo[...]



Still More on the Charge of Antinomianism as a Badge of Honor

2011-02-01T14:19:39.255-06:00

Concerning the issues spinning out of discussions following Jason Hood's CT article on antinomianism as a badge of honor, I commend John Frame's essay, "Law and Gospel."



More on the Charge of Antinomianism as a Badge of Honor

2011-02-01T11:21:36.239-06:00

With my previous entry, Have You Been Charged with Antinomianism?, I offered no comment or commentary. I will not post a response or commentary, but I will post some instructive material that is necessary to understand what stands behind the recent discussion on several blogs.Particularly instructive concerning how many Reformed folks read the Scriptures through their interpretive lens of "the law and the gospel," is the Open Letter to Michael Horton by Frank Turk. The following brief excerpt from a White Horse Inn broadcast of January 2, 2011 is instructive.Mike Horton (MH): The Gospel can't be lived. It's the Law that's lived. We obey the commands that we find in Scripture, we do not—the Gospel is not anything for us to do. The Gospel is an announcement for us to take to the world, and on the basis of that Gospel we do live differently in the world, but that isn't itself the content of the Gospel: it is the effect of the Gospel.Kim Riddlebarger (KR): I think you made a brilliant point. I know there will be a number of people who will hear us, who are familiar with us, and they'll say to themselves, "well, there they go, they've been on the air two minutes talking about the Great Commission, and they're back to Law and Gospel again!" But your point is absolutely spot-on: we believe the Gospel, we obey the Law—and if you are not clear about that, then you're going to go off on a mission and as you risk, as Jesus warned, making people more fit for Hell than they were before. If you're telling people that the Gospel is doing certain things, acting certain way, behaving in a certain way, then you're just accelerating their demise and decline.Michael Horton, Kim Riddlebarger, R. Scott Clark and many others believe that we should regard all the commands of Scripture, including those in the New Testament, other than those that command faith, to be of the law not of the gospel. This is what some identify as "the Lutheran view." Of course, it is not strictly "Lutheran," since many who are not Lutheran but Reformed embrace the view.In order to understand what is going on, one needs to recognize that there are two series of "threes" that stand behind the view.First, we need to understand that "the Lutheran view" of the law entails the notion that the law of Moses consists of three distinct parts, what theologians call the "tripartite division of the law."The ceremonial law consisting of all that elements that concern worship, sacrifice, the prieshood, etc.The civil law consisting of all the elements that concern Israel distinctly as the covenant nation, such as regulations concerning crime and punishment, clothing, foods--clean and unclean, and the like.The moral law consisting of all the elements that concern moral and ethical behavior before humans and before God, such as those identified in the Ten Commandments.Those who hold "the Lutheran view" or the "tripartite division of the law" regard the first two parts of the law as rendered null and void. Hence, Christians are not bound by by either the ceremonial or the civil law. We rightly no longer have concern about mixing fabrics in the clothing we wear, and we offer no animals in sacrificial ceremony. However, adherents believe that the third part, the moral law, is binding in perpetuity. And when the New Testament commands, exhorts, or warns without specifically calling for faith, those commands, exhortations, or warnings all of these belong to the law  in th[...]



Have You Been Charged with Antinomianism?

2011-01-31T11:53:10.362-06:00

Need some engaging long winter day reading?At this time I cannot take the necessary time to offer any commentary, so I post this simply for your reading with one question. Are New Testament exhortations and warnings to be equated with the law? See Michael Bird's entry here, where he essentially poses the same issue.____________________Heresy Is Heresy, Not the Litmus Test of Gospel PreachingIt's time to put aside this abused "badge of honor."Jason B. HoodAccording to Paul, the charge of antinomianism is not an understandable misunderstanding, but an utterly undeserved, undesirable, and slanderous charge that is ironically accurate of Paul's loveless, lawless opponents (Rom 3:8; Gal 2:11-12, 5:9-10; Matt 23), and grossly inaccurate for Paul, Jesus, and the entire early Christian movement. The charge is thoroughly incorrect and unwelcome, on a par with the slanderous accusations the early church endured of atheism, cannibalism, incest, and evil-doing (cf. 1 Pet 2:12).Adopting accusations as a badge of honor or litmus test represents a failure to understand the rhetorical function of the antinomian accusation in the literary context of Romans and in Paul's social context: It was neither a fair and honest assessment nor a reasonable response to Paul's preaching, but a weapon employed against Paul's honor in the court of public opinion. Taking the charge of antinomianism as a positive sign is as anachronistic as suggesting that the charge of drunkenness is a good test of our ministry in light of Matthew 11:19 and Luke 7:34. Moreover, Paul uses similar rhetorical questions in Romans. Should we strive to speak about redemptive history in such a way that our listeners sometimes charge God with unfaithfulness and injustice in rejecting Israel outright (Rom 3:3, 9:14, 11:1)?Read the whole article.You may want to read some responses.The Fear of Antinomianism by Michael HortonThe Radical Gospel, Defiant and Free by Dane OrtlundTwo Ways To Realize Radical Obedience: My Indirect Response To Jason Hood by Tullian TchividjianJason Hood, Frank Turk, Dane Ortlund, Mike Horton, and Antinomianism (UPDATED) by R. Scott ClarkAnd a partial response: We Who Have the Spirit Have the Power to Change by Jason HoodOpen Letter to Michael Horton by Frank Turk [Bonus] Open Letter to R. Scott Clark by Frank TurkHT: MB[...]



The End of the World Is Coming!!!!!

2011-01-03T16:12:13.040-06:00

Harold Camping, President of Family Radio, has been walking in his own alternative universe for several years. Now he is predicting that Christ will come for his believers on May 21, 2011 and that on October 21, 2011 the Lord will destroy this world. If interested, you may read more here.Camping has troubled Christians, especially on the West Coast, for years with his bizarre teachings and anti-church rhetoric. Not everyone who‘s heard Camping’s message is taking such a dramatic step. They’re remaining in their day-to-day lives, but helping publicize the prophecy in other ways. Allison Warden, of Raleigh, has been helping organize a campaign using billboards, post cards and other media in cities across the U.S. through a website, We Can Know.The 29-year-old payroll clerk laughs when asked about reactions to the message, which is plastered all over her car.“It’s definitely against the grain, I know that,” she said. “We‘re hoping people won’t take our word for it, or Harold Camping’s word for it. We’re hoping that people will search the scriptures for themselves.”Camping, 89, believes the Bible essentially functions as a cosmic calendar explaining exactly when various prophecies will be fulfilled.“Beyond the shadow of a doubt, May 21 will be the date of the Rapture and the day of judgment,” he said.The doctrine known as the Rapture teaches that believers will be taken up to heaven, while everyone else will remain on earth for a period of torment, concluding with the end of time. Camping believes that will happen in October.“If May 21 passes and I’m still here, that means I wasn’t saved. Does that mean God’s word is inaccurate or untrue? Not at all,” Warden said.Only God knows how much injury and damage Camping and his followers will wreak upon immature and ingenuous folks who become duped into believing their message.At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time (Mark 13:21-23).[...]