Countering Casuistry

The following was taken from http://bibleframework.com/course/part2/ I’d urge anyone interested to go and take a look there at Biblical Framework Course, its free.

Right Suppositions Right Theology

…. (Book by) Dr. Tozer is The Knowledge of the Holy in which is an excellent text on the attributes of God, a very good devotional approach to the attributes of God. Tozer was more than a devotional writer; he was also a theologian. In the beginning of that book he makes the point that every time the church, in its 2,000 year history, has gotten screwed up it’s always been over the same problem—it’s got the wrong answer to the questions of who is God and what is God like. Every time we get a wrong answer to those questions we’re in deep spiritual trouble, which catapults down through area after area.

…in Rev. 4:11, “Worthy art Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they existed, and were created.” See the emphasis? This is at the end of history, and it’s remarkable that the content of the praise of God reverberates with the beginning of history, and that sets God off. That’s why He is praised and not the archangels; that is why He is praised and not people, because God and God alone is the One who created, and that is remembered forever and ever and ever, through the halls of eternity, that God created.

Biblcal Symmetry

When we get into Genesis you’ll see there’s a river that comes out of Eden and flows east, and apparently it came out of the then-throne of God. So the new heavens and the new universe are structured very similarly to the present universe. Notice a careful reference in verse 3, “And there shall no longer be any curse,” so it is an uncursed, really uncursable universe. It’s remarkable that the Bible has this symmetry to it. That’s something we want to come back to again and again as Christians…

Making People Very Angry

Before we’re through with Genesis we’re going to have geologists, astronomers, physicists, and biologists agitated, the feminists will be agitated, there are not too many people left unagitated by the time you get to Genesis 3. It literally goes against the grain of every area of thought, and because it does I’m warning you that people react to this.

Show me a person’s view of origins and I will show you the person’s view of God, they are that closely related.

The Importance of Language

(It’s important)…it controls everything else, that’s why. Let me illustrate. You cannot talk about any subject, I don’t care what the subject is, pick any subject you want to, you cannot discuss that subject, talk about it, think about it or act on the basis of your thoughts about it unless you have already established basically a view of the universe, a view of yourself, a view of truth, and a view of language. You can’t start without presupposing things.

Classification

There’s a category there. There is built into all of us a need to classify. We classify again and again; we can’t talk without classifying.

…notice that the Bible has a philosophy of language, it does not permit any view of language. The Bible has a very restrictive idea of what language is all about, and that’s what we’re looking at. Gen. 1:5, the creation story.

As God creates the universe He begins to name. In verse 3 “God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. [4] God saw that the light was good;” etc., God is moving on the surface of the waters, verse 2, etc. He does all this and then in verse 5 is the first naming in history.

What was the first thing ever named? Light. Who named it? God did. In other words, the universe from the very start was structured to be describable by language. Verse 5, “God called…,” verse 8, “And God called the expanse heaven.” Verse 10, “And God called the dry land earth.” God is naming.

If you were to study this chapter carefully and observe, you would see He stops naming. He only starts naming a few things. Then when it’s all over, Gen. 2:19, notice the assignment He gave man and notice the way He gave man the assignment. He said “And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to see what he [the man] would call them;” so now the man is given this task of naming.

Why do I keep going back to language?

Because when you are getting into a conflict with a non-Christian, the non-Christian likes to think that he can sit in his house of language and fire at you. What I’m going to show you is a little tool to handle things when it gets that way. What we’re going to show you is that he can’t sit impermeable in his house of language because he has got to justify the language that he’s using to attack Scripture with…

Everyone comes into contact with God’s structure every time they speak a word, every time they think, because language presupposes an orderly environment

So the second thing that we have to have to make things work in language is context. How do you define a word in the dictionary? You have to define it with other words, so meaning comes from context.

God Has Set Eternity in Their Hearts

Ecclesiastes is a fascinating book to read because Solomon tried every false pathway you could think of and he’s done it. He has done about everything a person can do, he had a lot of wealth so he could afford to do experiments, and basically he came up with a conclusion that the world doesn’t satisfy, only a relationship with God satisfies.

Part of his explanation of this is in Eccl. 3:11, a key passage in the Bible. Something is asserted in this passage that is a puzzle, a powerful puzzle.

Notice what it says: God “has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart,” whose heart? Men’s hearts. What has God set there? Not eternal life, that’s knowing Christ. He has “set eternity in their heart.” There is a sense of eternity in every human being, whether the person is an atheist or a Christian. Where does it come from? From the fact that God has placed His image in our hearts and if you want to think in terms of context here’s what happens.

The first part of the mystery is that God has put eternity in our heart, but then look at what He does in the next clause, “yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done,” that is something we’ll get into called the doctrine of the incomprehensibility of God, a very important idea of Scripture. We didn’t say we couldn’t know Him in a personal way, but to fathom His being is an impossibility.

The Modern Theologian

The modern theologian and the modern church have washed themselves clean of an authoritative Scripture and in so doing they have cut themselves off from ever comprehending God, because God is incomprehensible.

Think of the physicist. First it was the atom, then it was the electron and the proton, then subatomic particles, now it’s going to be the grand theory of the strong force and the weak force in the nucleus, so we go on and on and on, it never stops.

Loaded Questions

When we’re trying to communicate the gospel don’t accept the agenda of the other side. It is so easy to do this, because someone will ask you a question and you want to present a good testimony for the Lord, so you try to think how do I answer this, what’s the best way to say this, and all the while you’ve just bought the question.

What you did in your head was to accept the question at face value, you went ahead and started to answer that question, but what we should learn to do is to say, wait a minute, is that the right question I should even be answering?

It gets back to the old joke, how many times last week did you beat your wife? How do you answer that without incriminating yourself? It’s a loaded question.

The Apostle Paul’s Approach to Aargumentation

In Acts 17 it’s the same approach. What does Paul do at Athens? He comes back, and notice, he doesn’t argue the case.

Watch how Paul did that. This is one of the central passages in the New Testament about how evangelism worked on the mission field, and this was in the heart of the educational center of the ancient world.

Paul said in verse 22-23 something that I would never have thought of this. Imagine, here you are in Athens, what is the Greek culture in Athens known for? What’s the educational prestigious feeling about Athens, who were the great guys that worked in Athens centuries before, but surely set up the Greek culture? Plato and Aristotle.

You had all these little sub schools of philosophy there. Notice what Paul says, this is the “Reader’s Digest version” of probably what really went on. “Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all aspects.”

Now you can just about hear them say “What?” The Epicureans? The Epicureans were atheists at the time.

They basically believed in sensation; they had completely discarded the idea of a religion in the sense that we’re talking about. Paul, what do you mean we’re religious? Why do you suppose Paul labeled the so-called secular philosophers as religious?

Because he was dealing with a point that they have profoundly religious beliefs about the universe around them. They go back to origins. Anytime you talk about origins you’re showing your ultimate belief system, your ultimate presuppositions and every person has them, so every person is religious.

It gripes me when I hear stuff about how we have to be religiously neutral. How can you be religiously neutral? What they really mean is we have to keep you religious people off the boat, the only people allowed on this trolley are the atheists, or the naturalists, they don’t bring God in here, but that doesn’t make you less religious, it doesn’t make you have known ultimate presuppositions.

He goes on, he says you guys, you’re agnostics, you worship an unknown God, and then in verse 24 he confronts them with creation. He did the same thing in Acts 14, he does the same thing in Acts 17, “The God who made the world and all things in it,” bang, right there, does he start with Jesus, or the Gospel of Mark? No, he starts with creation. Why does he start with creation? Because he’s got to get at the guts of ultimate presuppositions, what is it that defines your highest belief?

No One is Ever Neutral

I want you to master this. Don’t ever let people sell you on the idea that you can be neutral. If we don’t get anything else out of this course it’s going to be this point, no one is ever neutral, it’s an illusion, and here’s why. Look at the paragraph on page 4 that begins “The religious neutrality theory.”

When I first did this series a Christian lady who got all A’s through her PhD in English literature taught me the power of setting up a sentence and using a little word here and there.

And one of the devices you can use, I used it in the first line, I brand their thing as a theory, “The religious neutrality theory says….” What have I done when I did that? What happens immediately when I call the other person’s belief system a theory? Now all of a sudden we’ve isolated this thing, we’ve pulled it out of the woodwork so it doesn’t become something that everybody accepts. All of a sudden it’s a theory.

We’ve got to look at this, we don’t accept it as a fact, we bring it out as a theory. They do it to us all the time, you Christians and your theory, your Bible theory. Turn the language around and say what about your beliefs that you keep insisting on shoving down my throat all the time you talk, two can play the game of language. Just do it graciously, you can be very gracious about it, but you don’t compromise the truth. It’s a battle for language.

I want to show you three truths in that paragraph on page 4 about why you cannot be neutral and nobody can answer this…

…Everybody kites around it or ignores it but they never have disproved it. Those of you who have dealt with logic know that if you have a premise, let’s call it “P”, if something is true, then something else is true.

If P then Q, everybody knows this.

If it is a clear day outside, then it is not raining, says the implication.

Now there’s a little sneaky thing that goes on here, you can reverse this logic and write it this way. Put that little wriggle sign before Q and little wriggle sign before P it means, if it is not, then this is not. If I disprove this, I’ve automatically refuted P, because if this Q can’t be true, then P can’t be right, because P always implies it. So if it isn’t there, then P must be false. Watch how this applies. First, the neutrality theory denies that God could have any fundamental role in structuring the universe. Here’s what the argument is. Here’s our argument from Genesis, if God is there as Creator, then He is important for every subject.

Paganism and Their Ancient Books

Modern paganism does the same thing. Here’s the irony. You go to school and they tell you you’ve got this ancient book, full of old ancient beliefs. But isn’t it funny that when I compare this book of ancient beliefs with a pagan book of ancient beliefs, I come out with a sense of differences that modern pagans still believe.

Modern cosmic evolution believes the same premises and the same central propositions that Enuma Elish does. So now who’s related to the ancient books? Now who’s related to the ancient text? We’re going to make that flypaper stick to the other guy’s feet. We’re going to look at how God teaches this truth and why there’s an insidious spiritual power behind the pagan mind that wants to put a twist on Genesis, always the same twist. We want to get a handle about why is it that there’s always the same twist that happens in the pagan mind.

Posted in Creation, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why does your interpretation of prophecy matter – to God and to you?

Posted in Prophesy, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The World’s Prosecutor

20:00 minute mark elegcho is a legal word, means to indict by evidence. The word can be translated to prosecute and to prove guilty. The word envelopes both the role of judge and prosecutor and for one to be measured against the law and proven guilty in a final verdict.

Some of the usages of Word include verses in Luke 3:19 when John the Baptist rebuked or reprimanded (in some biblical translations) Herod the tetrarch but According to John MacArthur the word is better translated as convicted, in other words, John the Baptist didn’t merely rebuke Herod, he convicted him.

Used again in 1Timothy 5:20, James 2:8 Revelation 3:19, John 16:8

It’s about the Holy Spirit convicting people of their sin. He does this through preaching the scripture, testifying from the scripture.

1 Corinthians 14:23-24 …“But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all”. The word prophecy comes from the Greek verb, προφημι (prophemi), which means “to say beforehand, foretell”; it is a combination of the Greek words, προ and φημι. – Source

When they are convicted its doesn’t mean they feel bad, it means that they have been measured against the law of God and found guilty and a final verdict is rendered.

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

reprove ἔλεγξον elenxon 1651 to expose, convict, reprove

Titus 1:9 He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

30:20 minute mark: John illustrates that those who preach the word of God are the world’s prosecutors.

Posted in Holy Ghost, John, The Bible, The law | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Singleness: Blessing or Burden and the Sex Myth

The above video is a great sermon on singleness and relationships within the context of marriage. I guess for a lot of Christians who are single, myself included, it can be a hard road but there is food for thought here. Some people might be in love with the idea of being in love and its possible that the fantasy is what they’re chasing as opposed to the reality.  There’s a book I’d give mention to here The Sex Myth in which the author, Rachel Hills, argues that much of what is bandied about in public discourse is largely myth and not reality. Another article that might be worth your time and that I was pointed to from my subscription to Al Mohler’s The Briefing Newletters is Why the Game is Rigged – Why sex that’s consensual can still be bad and why we’re not talking about it. At any rate, these matters important and hopefully all the singletons out there might be able to garner something from it.

Posted in Issues | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Purpose of Parables

As a side note, some (I say some because few people read this blog) might wonder why I haven’t been adding content as often as in the past.  I’ve actually been listening to Martyn Lloyd Jones’ sermons over the MLJ Trust working my way through Ephesians.  Really, a great deal of this kind of material from MLJ and Grace to you can’t be broken down too much without losing the necessary aspects of the sermons and therefore the overall message.  I’m yet to decide or determine, what, if anything, I can add here in the future that will be of benefit to the Christian Church.

However, the above sermon on Parables is certainly worth watching. Parables are a judgement and at the same time a mercy to unbelievers. If you don’t understand what I’m talking about you will after hearing John MacArthur explain it.

Posted in Parables, The Bible | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Births Pains or Not?

Posted in Prophesy | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Difference between The Rapture & The Second Coming

There’s recently been a great series of videos on the John Ankerberg youtube channel dealing with the rapture, the second coming and the circumstances in the world leading up to these events as prophesied in scripture.

Posted in Prophesy | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Spirit of a Prophet

“Prophets are a strange breed of men, they’re God’s emergency men for crisis hours”

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Such Were Some of You

Jeremiah 8:12 – Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the LORD.

The secular world cannot even blush for their conscience is seared 1 Timothy 4:2. Within Christian circles its common knowledge that the flesh cannot restrain the flesh. There is nothing redeemable within ourselves Psalm 53:3, we have no strength of our own Romans 5:6. Only the indwelling of the Holy Spirit can give a hopeless sinner hope Romans 15:13 Sanctification takes time, sometimes a lifetime. Its the same for all of us. We all have sins that must be put away, but it’s only the power of the spirit that can achieve this end.  As cautioned by Spurgeon:

“Beware of mixing even a little of self with the mortar with which you build, or you will make it untempered mortar, and the stones will not hold together. If you look to Christ for your beginnings, beware of looking to yourself for your endings. He is Alpha. See to it that you make Him Omega also. If you begin in the Spirit you must not hope to be made perfect by the flesh. Begin as you mean to go on, and go on as you began, and let the Lord be all in all in you.”

You could read all the books in the entire world, studying day and night and you would still not come to the knowledge of the truth without God.

Pray for the lost and those in darkness that they may too be called by the grace of God into the light to show ‘those who think they see that they are blind’ – John 9:39

Posted in God, Holy Ghost, Postmodernism, Satan, The World | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God

In Martyn Lloyd Jones sermon ‘Chosen in Him’ and preaching from Ephesians, he urges that whenever you’re confronted with a difficulty in interpreting scripture it’s a good idea to look back on how it was dealt with by the church in the past. Some of those individuals and institutions that have gone before us and that he mentions in chronological order include;

Taking one of these men out of the list Jonathan Edwards is known as probably the greatest Christian philosopher’s in the history of America. Probably his most famous sermon is one called Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God and is certainly worth a listen. He used the text from scripture Deuteronomy 32:35 ~ ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them’.

Posted in Church, God, History | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment