Friday, July 31, 2009

Wisconsin Dad's Faith-Healing Death Trial

"If I go to the doctor, I am putting the doctor before God," Neumann said. "I am not believing what he said he would do."


Quote taken from here.

Seems another sad case where a child has died due to perhaps well intentioned but misinformed parents. While it's true that God is ultimately sovereign over all and desires that his people call on his name, that doesn't negate the fact that God also provides and works through means (such as doctors, medicine, etc.) and calls for man to act wisely. The fact is that while some may do things as if to serve God, that doesn't substitute for being transformed in the renewing of one's mind so that one is a ble to test and approve what God's will his, his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Consider such things as:
1. God reveals wisdom not only through Scripture but also general revelation.
2. Luke was a doctor
3. Many passages in Scripture where not only prayer was offered but steps taken, salve and balm applied, etc.

Bottom Line: Divine Provision does not deny Human Responsibility

While unbelieving apologists will capitalize on this case as they have others, it should be pointed out that the error here is found with the individual and not either the truth and practice set forth in Scripture or in the vast majority of those who ascribe to Christian beliefs.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sam Harris' dogmatic Nature

No sooner has Sam Harris established his reputation for intolerance and harassment of religious faith than he has now begun to lash out at those scientists who do show tolerance and respect toward religious folk. He is passionate that, as he titles it, "Scientists should unite against threat from religion." Imagine! The crime of not excluding people from scientific discourse because they are Christians, or even Muslims!
 
Sam won’t stand for it, and in his recent editorial to that massive organ of scientific literature Nature he blasts the scientists for — of all things — being too nice. Nature’s great sin of being "unfailingly tactful" Sam warns — saving us from almost certain peril — whitewashes religion and leaves us with nothing but "obscurantism."



full article here

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Anglican Restructuring Not Schism?

Referencing a biblical curse on heretics, Williams said, "There is no threat of being cast into outer darkness — existing relationships will not be destroyed that easily."

Still, he foresees a future "not in apocalyptic terms of schism and excommunication, but plainly as what they are: "two styles of being Anglican" pursuing their mission "with greater integrity and consistency," even as they work out issues.


Williams has pushed for several years for a "covenant" clarifying that membership in the Communion is for those churches that are "theologically coherent" and agree on how they'll work together, rather than "a loose federation of local bodies with a cultural history in common."


Quotes taken from here.

Wonder how many Anglicans have read the Christ's message to the angel of the church in Thyatira (Rev 2:19-29) where he condemns that church for their toleration (v. 20) of those whose teaching leads his servants into sexual immorality and participation with idolatry?

Christ not only speaks of judgment for those who after some time fail to repent, but calls for believers to hold on to the teaching they possess from the Scripture.

Creation Museum - Smear Campaign by Pharyngula (PZ Myers)

... We'll give them publicity, all right, but it will be the harshest, nastiest, meanest publicity possible — we will do everything we can to make sure that when someone googles their organization or their booklet, all that comes back is a mountain of snarling contempt.

It'll be fun.


The referenced quote is taken from Pharyngula, a blogspot which admits to running a smear campaign (not just presenting their side of the creation vs. non-creation argument) in response to ads by the Creation Museum on the Discovery Channel.

While it may be a few weeks before this campaign begins, readers should note the stated intentions of PZ Myers, the writer of the post and originator of the campaign, and consider this context when weighing their writings.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Atheist Debaptism Ceremonies

Atheists choose 'de-baptism' to renounce childhood faith

While I imagine that "debaptism ceremonies" may be "therapeutic" for some (from their perspective) and perhaps a method of saying "in your face to the religious world" for others, when one considers the nature and application of the covenant sacrament and sign (i.e., baptism) one sees that those to whom the covenant and its sign is extended receive additional grace along with the responsibility to either accept and receive the covenant (and become recipients of its benefits) or to reject the covenant (whereby they not only forfeit the benefits but become accountable for unbelief and rebellion even in light of additional grace). For this reason, while some on the one hand may believe that by participating in a debaptism ceremony they are demonstrating they have nothing to do with the covenant/sacrament, on the other hand they actually demonstrate their participation by giving additional evidence of their rejection of the covenant,... and for this reason, as a Christian I'm not so much offended or taken back by their obstinance and rebellion, but saddened recognizing the gravity and future consequences if they choose not to repent. Recognizing and having experienced myself that God's grace is sufficient and abundant to exceed even our rebellion (Romans 5:10), I won't be surprised one day to hear testimonies of those who now participate in such ceremonies but live to recognize the waywardness and foolishness associated with it and go on to give God praise and glory for his saving them from such twisted thinking and corrupt practices and setting them apart as vessels for holy use.


Romans 5:10 "Romans 5:10 For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!"

Jimmy Carter and Position on Women

Jimmy Carter fails to distinguish between the EQUALITY of women and men (in Christ) with the distinct ROLES of women and men (in Christ). Galatians 3:28 is a passage which speaks to the equality, while many other passages (Eph 5:22, Gen 3:16, Col 3:18, Titus 2:5, etc.) speak to difference in roles. A passage which speaks to both the dignity of women and difference in role is 1 Peter 3:5-7.

Carter's own words show his failure to distinguish between these differences when he states: "The justification of discrimination against women and girls on grounds of religion or tradition, as if it were prescribed by a Higher Authority, is unacceptable." Surely, while we are to recognize the equality of women and girls when it comes to their being created in the image of God, does not his own statement suggest there are differences, and should we not recognize difference in roles (even while recognizing equality as persons)?

Carter's own statement - "Although not having training in religion or theology..." explains alot.

Cal Thomas's article "Theological Makeovers" in World Magazine is worth the read.

Also worth the read is the blog post by Al Mohler where he states:
All this fits a pattern for which Mr. Carter is now well known. He simply rejects the texts in the Bible that clearly establish different roles for men and women in the church and the home. He dismisses these verses for the simple reason that he also rejects the inerrancy of the Bible.


(See below for verses)


Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.

Genesis 3:16 o the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you."

Colossians 3:18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

Titus 2:5 o be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

1 Peter 3:5-7 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear. 7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

... Interesting, isn't it, that Jimmy Carter doesn't mention or deal with any of these verses!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Turkish TV gameshow looks to convert atheists

Just when you thought that Reality TV had hit an all time low in regards to creativity…

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - What happens when you put a Muslim imam, a Christian priest, a rabbi and a Buddhist monk in a room with 10 atheists?

Turkish television station Kanal T hopes the answer is a ratings success as it prepares to launch a gameshow where spiritual guides from the four faiths will seek to convert a group of non-believers.

The prize for converts will be a pilgrimage to a holy site of their chosen religion -- Mecca for Muslims, the Vatican for Christians, Jerusalem for Jews and Tibet for Buddhists.

Read More…

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Inevitable reprobation

Matthew 26:24

The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born."

John 6:70

Jesus answered them, " Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?"

Unlimited/Limited Atonement

1 Timothy 4:10 (English Standard Version)

10For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.


Chrysostom (349-407) on Hebrews 9:28. "So Christ was once offered.": By whom offered? evidently by Himself. Here he says that He is not Priest only, but Victim also, and what is sacrificed. On this account are [the words] "was offered." "Was once offered" (he says) "to bear the sins of many." Why "of many," and not "of all"? Because not all believed, For He died indeed for all, that is His part: for that death was a counterbalance against the destruction of all men. But He did not bear the sins of all men, because they were not willing. NPNF1: Vol. XIV, Epistle to the Hebrews, Homly 17.


This is not a contradiction in terms, it is a proposition that fits into God's redemptive plan - that is:

1) Christ's death was of general benefit to all Mankind, in that the guarantee of His sacrifice was the source of our just God extending grace to Adam and not immediately and utterly destroying Man at the Fall or allowing Man, in his own total depravity and slavery to sin, destroy himself- thus Unlimited in application in that sense. "who is the Savior of all people" - this is foundational to the Reformed principle of Common Grace.

2) Christ's death was of specific benefit to the Elect, in whom He, by His grace, has given the gift of faith through the Holy Spirit, resulting in true spiritual and saving belief in Christ, thus Limited in this sense. "especially of those who believe" - this principle is also known as Special Grace - “God is good to all in some ways but good to some in all ways” (JI Packer, Knowing God).

Unlimited/Limited Atonement

Unlimited/Limited Atonement

1 Timothy 4:10 (English Standard Version)



10For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.


Chrysostom (349-407) on Hebrews 9:28. "So
Christ was once offered.": By whom offered? evidently by Himself. Here
he says that He is not Priest only, but Victim also, and what is
sacrificed. On this account are [the words] "was offered." "Was once
offered" (he says) "to bear the sins of many." Why "of many," and not
"of all"? Because not all believed, For He died indeed for all, that is
His part: for that death was a counterbalance against the destruction
of all men
. But He did not bear the sins of all men, because they were
not willing. NPNF1: Vol. XIV, Epistle to the Hebrews, Homly 17.


This is not a contradiction in terms, it is a proposition that fits into God's redemptive plan - that is:

1) Christ's death was of general benefit to all Mankind, in that the guarantee of His sacrifice was the source of our just God extending grace to Adam and not immediately and utterly destroying Man at the Fall or allowing Man, in his own total depravity and slavery to sin, destroy himself- thus Unlimited in application in that sense. "who is the Savior of all people"

2) Christ's death was of specific benefit to the Elect, in whom He, by His grace, has given the gift of faith through the Holy Spirit, resulting in true spiritual and saving belief in Christ. "especially of those who believe"

Why I believe in baptizing babies (condensed version)

I grew up with the traditional Baptist view, typically referred to as " believers baptism ". It is theologically known as credobap...