Did Adam and Eve Really Exist? Covenant Seminary And Non-dirty Old Men

Collins might respond that he himself is not arguing for these different scenarios. In fact, he argues in his book Science and Faith that dust in Genesis 2:7 refers to soil out of which God fashioned the first man. If that is Collins view, then what is the problem? The problem is that not just the views which a person affirms are important, but also the views which a person is willing to accept are also very important. For example, what if a person affirms that he believes that Scripture teaches the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, but then he is also willing to receive as acceptable, or within the parameters of what Scripture teaches, the view that Christ only arose in a spiritual sense? Such a stance would cause major problems because it would allow the possibility for unacceptable views to be considered as acceptable. This has implications for what should be considered as acceptable views for ministers of the gospel within our churches and presbyteries. Should presbyteries accept candidates for ordination who do not hold to the view that God created the first man Adam from the dust of the ground?

via Did Adam and Eve Really Exist? By C. John Collins; A Review.

Professor Belcher is free to prefer a church setting in which people like Francis Schaeffer and Benjamin Warfield would be unwelcome to minister; but let him come out and say that this is his preference. I myself cannot imagine what good would come of such an arrangement.

…I wonder whether we can conduct such disagreements without insinuating that the other party has somehow undermined the authority of Scripture. Be that as it may, I do think that we owe it to one another, and to the Church, to give an accurate representation of the views we find displeasing. I find that Professor Belcher has done neither of these. Reviews, including severely negative ones, are of course part of a fair game. But I am left wondering why, if someone comes to suspect that a brother minister in the same denomination has articulated things that seem to have compromised his ordination vows, the first thought isn’t, “That can’t be right! Let me call that guy and see if I understood him correctly before I get us into the process of public warning which calls forth a public reply.” It would sure save a lot of time.

via C. John Collins Replies to Richard Belcher, Jr. – Reformation21 Blog.

I think he has confessed. Ambiguity is the word mush of the postmodern. Why wouldn’t a person just say, “I believe in fiat creation of Adam out of the ground.” Or, “I reject any other mediate creation of Adam?” We care less of BB or of Schaeffer, they are not the authority of Scripture. It seems clear that by authority what the professor means is what icons of the faith have said, rather than what the Scripture says. At least that is the most that one can take from his closing paragraphs.

The SBC Presidential Race

I cannot overstate how excited I am about what’s going to happen in New Orleans in June. It has been a long time coming, and I am eager to raise my ballot for the first ever African American President of our denomination. -Denny Burk

Honesty And Sincerity Cannot Win The Presidency?

Finally, Rick Santorum attracts protests on college campuses because people believe him when he speaks. William McGurn of The Wall Street Journal pointed out recently that, even as Rick Santorum opposes same-sex marriage, so did Barack Obama when he ran for the White House in 2008 (and, at least in terms of official statements, even now). But Santorum gets jeered and Obama gets a pass. Why? McGurn understands: “There’s no mystery why. Mr. Santorum is attacked because everyone understands that he means what he says.”

That may be the real bottom line when it comes to the Santorum predicament. Saying such things might not be a problem, but saying them when everyone understands that you mean them . . . that is another thing altogether.

via AlbertMohler.com – The Santorum Predicament: A Sign of the Times.

Obama: Heretic In Chief

President Obama’s Christianity | Denny Burk.

Yes, I know, some will say that calling Obama a heretic is an absurd statement. Yet, the fact is, you can’t be a Christian at all, even a liberal one, if you deny the essentials of the Christian faith. To do so makes you a heretic.

Now, we shouldn’t be surprised that Franklin Graham cannot tell the difference. After all, the fruit in that family hasn’t fallen far from the tree.

What is a Christian? | Denny Burk.

But that brings up another point. Billy Graham has said essentially just what Obama has said, just what Franklin said (which strangely enough, son of another former Southern Baptist, Joel Osteen said. It makes one think that there is something in the baptismal waters of the SBC). But, you won’t find Denny Burk padding the deck in reference to the heretic idolized by the SBC by saying his universalism is merely liberal Christianity. It isn’t merely liberal Christianity, BG is a heretic. On the other hand, he is SBC, so it doesn’t matter what he believes, they have autonomous soul competency, and no one can tell them what they must believe, after all, the Scripture is wide open for personal interpretation. So, Billy Graham is well within his rights as a Southern Baptist to deny the faith, but not within the bounds of Christianity to do so.

Michael Horton, though, brings some necessary balance. It simply doesn’t matter that there is or is not a Christian in the White House. There has rarely, and perhaps has not ever, been one there. It does matter what one’s world view is. For that is what will dictate the President’s leadership for the common good:

Yet believers also must stop expecting politicians to double as high priests of a false religion, an idolatrous religion, that substitutes real confessional communities for a generic moralism. Even where a candidate’s confession differs from our own, we have to ask what we’re looking for in our political leaders. Are we seeking an icon who will reassure us that even in a wildly pluralistic and relativistic society we are the ones in the right, safely ensconced in the walls of absolute truth? Or do we have the more modest goal of electing presidents who will eschew any messianic mantle and pursue policies that we believe are more likely to do more good than harm to the republic’s common good and the Constitution that they swear to uphold?

On Electing a Shepherd of the National Soul – White Horse Inn Blog.

On all points Obama fails. He won’t take a stand one way or the other, really. And in that he is postmodern, without any foundation for decision-making. That is why he fails in the pursuit of good and right for the republic. He has no right, nor any good, that is inviolable.

We, in a republic, elect not a person who will do the will of the people, or even his own will, that is either a bare democracy or a dictatorship. We elect those who will, hopefully, govern in such a way that what is in view is the right and good of the people despite what they think is in their best interests, or what is in the best interests of the office holder. The reason that we have disagreements as to the best course our country can take is based upon this very thing, that not all people agree as to what is the right and good. It is far easier to determine when the candidate is patronizing or self-aggrandizing, than to know that they are pursuing the right and good. Regardless, we elect, though blindly with such hopes, based upon what can be known about the absolute unwillingness of the candidate to compromise his own ethos.

Pigeon-holing a President by applying a religious test is the furthest thing from the considerations of those who established the free exercise clause and exempted the faith of the individuals for public office from any religious qualifications for office. And as Michael says, it is simply idolatry. Still, we must consider what they believe, and establish as far as is possible that they are sincere in those beliefs.

Too often, as Horton explains, Christians fall for the trap that a person’s particular belief system is the qualifier. And while all Christians would like it if a Christian was elected, those who would run for office on their faith are usually the furthest from it. Obama needs to be tested in other ways. One of those is his claim to be a Christian. That is a lie. But it is not the fact that he is not, but the fact that he lies about it. The same can be said of Romney. He is a liar, and that is the liability that disqualifies him. Indeed, it is the integrity of the individual, his “best” effort to toe the line on his world view’s out working in policy making that is what we should look for in a candidate. When a candidate cannot hold consistently in their testimony before the people about what they believe, then we have every reason to suspect they will be untrustworthy in discharging the duties of the office.

Examine what a person believes. But let it evaluate itself. If it is self-contradictory, then that person is a contradiction of truth and not the person who can be trusted to carry out the mandates of the pursuit of what is the right and the good for we the people.

John MacArthur: The NIV2011 Is A Capitulation To Culture Take Two Of My Study Notes And Call Phil Johnson In The Morning

Some bible translations aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. That said, if you’re going to put poison on the shelves for children to imbibe, the least you can do is put a warning label on it. That is apparently what the marriage of the odious and the orthodox is all about in the new MacArthur Study Bible-NIV. Read the text and quickly take the antidote by reading J Mac’s commentary. But do hurry, the quick acting poison of what J Mac acknowledges is deadly is unforgiving… spiritually speaking.

Now, for those who are used to taking poisonous drugs to salve their consciences, this will be a lot like methadone treatments. On the one hand you’ll have something that makes you not care a bit about the truth and on the other, you’ll have the prophylactic. And that is not a homophonic slam on Phil Johnson, though one might truly say that he has put a condom on the whole mess in hopes of staving off the spread of nasty BTD’s (Blog Transmitted Disambiguations).

There are already signs of growing infection rates.

Lest some think that I agree with one and disagree with the other. I happen to agree with both, it was a bad idea with good motives. I do think that some will come away with a brighter future, on the one hand. On the other, there will be those who justify the translation as something harmless by association. Even in Phil’s piece he disagrees with J Mac in the above video. And that is going to leave the bar doors a swinging for any who want to join the brawl. It is not a poor translation, it is a wrong translation, not just ambiguous, egregious, according to J Mac. So who is to say? It is a horrible translation, but balancing a thousand pounds of ordure in one hand and a thousand pounds of gold in the other, a man/woman/person might just navigate their way across the razors edge to the God who doesn’t need  translating.

J Mac’s own non-denomination denomination’s resolution on the NIV2011, (The SBC Resolution on the NIV | Denny Burk), supports what J Mac originally held (there is virtually no difference between the TNIV and the 2011). So it would seem that what it means to be part of the SBC is to be in agreement with it in such a way that to disagreeably act is still in agreement with it disagreeably and if you don’t agree it is because you don’t understand that to be SBC is to agree to disagree agreeably even when you disagree disagreeably. Oh the wonders of autonomous congregational governance. How can two walk together unless they agree? Well, if what you mean by agree is to disagree, join the SBC.

Update: I am adding a couple of videos for the sake of clarity. John MacArthur authored a book and featured this topic at conferences. Listen carefully. It is John MacArthur’s considered opinion that poor translations are a part of the attack on the Truth in The Truth War.

McArthur is wiley. Hear what he says? He wrote the book because it would stir up controversy. Now, that is a motive well suited to signing a book deal that includes his study notes in a translation that he hates.

Stephen Garrett Makes John Owen Testify Against Himself

This working of Christ upon and with the grace we have received is called enabling of us; but with persons unregenerate, and as to the first act of faith, it is not so.

via “The Nature, Causes and Means of Regeneration” by John Owen.

As Owens would say, belief is the act of believing, or, faith is the act of having faith and its first act is to believe. Which he is clear, is impossible in those who are not regenerate. In other words, unless one is born again, he cannot believe, that is, have faith. Faith, Owens says and rightly so, is a gift worked in and operated by the Spirit of God who in regeneration makes alive those born dead in sin so that their unbelief is removed and a new principle given so that they will believe the Gospel preached to them.

John Owen wasn’t just clear but exactingly so when speaking of regeneration antecedent to any act of faith. To him, faith could not exist in the unregenerate.

Garrett’s error in interpreting Owen is to not recognize that the confirmation of the prior work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration, and the knowledge of it by the individual in which the Holy Spirit affirms that he has taken up residency in the individual, do not rule out that prior work. That it is the very conveyance of the Holy Spirit which is the very assurance of salvation should not surprise us. It is God the Holy Spirit in us, after all, who works all things, including faith. And when we look to 1 Corinthians 2 we must take note that it is the conveyance of the Holy Spirit which has been given that enables us to know that the things of God have been given to us. That the Holy Spirit seals us with this knowledge logically cannot come prior to the existence of the knowledge and that that knowledge is in us by his work. That he seals us in the knowledge of the very conveyance of the Holy Spirit having given us the mind of Christ so that we know, only makes sense, for it is the Word of God which testifies to his abiding presence in us so that we might know that we have eternal life. We have the Holy Spirit as he who operates faith in us, otherwise we would not believe the Words spoken.

Not so according to Stephen Garrett who not only makes John Owen refute himself but has on occasion done the same to Luther and Calvin. Calvin is most explicit in his Institutes. Luther cannot be confused by anyone who has read the Bondage Of The Will. As Luther makes clear in discussing John 1:12-13 that unless one is born of God he cannot receive. And further, in quoting Paul that no one who is a believer has anything that he has not received, including faith. So with all, Calvin, Luther, and Owen, regeneration comes prior to faith.

One must wonder at the audacity required to completely deny the clear and unequivocal teaching of these men and of Scripture. And then to claim that one is a Calvinist.

Entitlements Mentality Disease

I’m entitled to Hell. That’s the only entitlement I have. That’s all I deserve, because of my sin. Anything else is grace, an unmerited bonus from the God of all grace. I don’t deserve a breath of life, a crumb of food, a drop of water, a stitch of clothing, a cent in my wallet, or an hour of education. I’m not entitled to one friend, one vacation, one verse of Scripture, or even one sermon. I’m certainly not entitled to salvation and heaven. I’m entitled to damnation and Hell.

via Entitlement | Challies Dot Com.

Submit Your Applications To The Gospel

The formulaic “application” section at the end has the danger of ending God’s speech to his people on a note of uncertainty. The pastor’s “application” question, “Does this describe you?”, cannot be the last word. By all means, use the first use of the law to draw hypocrisy and unfaithfulness out of the shadows, but then remind even believers that they cannot find peace with God by redoubling their efforts. In assuring their trembling conscience, they have to throw their whole confidence on the gospel, without any appeal to the law. By all means, press home the exhortations of the text (i.e., the third use). In any case, though, the gospel must have the last word. The problem is not application coming at the end, but application of the law coming at the end, especially in such a way as to revert back to the first use without then actually holding up Christ as the believer’s only hope.

via White Horse Inn Blog – Know what you believe and why you believe it.