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Archive for March, 2012

The Dangers of Losing our Gospel-Centeredness

March 27, 2012 1 comment

I ran across this good little article by Julian Freeman on the dangers of slipping from our gospel-centered preaching of the gospel. I retitled it on my blog because I felt like the title would fit the article better because of the fact that it has been written to warn us of the dangers of falling from our gospel-centered view of the gospel and Christ.

I agree with both of Julian’s points that we must make the gospel applicable to today’s generation, while at the same time living a gospel-centered life. Anyhow here is Julian’s article.

 The Dangers of Being Gospel-Centered by Julian Freeman

 I love being gospel-centered. The ‘new Calvinists’ did not invent the emphasis on being gospel-centered, but it is a renaissance I’ve been thankful to experience.

Like anything that becomes a movement, we must be wary of the potential drawbacks. As I see it, there are at least two dangers in being gospel-centered, and they are both rooted in this one reality: In the past, whatever the fad, it typically became popular because of the promise it offered. Being Purpose-Driven or Seeker-Sensitive or Emerging or whatever held people’s attention only so long as it could promise power (power to draw numbers, power to help people change, etc.). But when those movements were unable to deliver the promised goods, people flocked away from them as quickly as they had flocked to them.

Read more here.

Concerning Walking Before the World

My brethren, let me say, be like Christ at all times. Imitate him in “public.” Most of us live in some sort of public capacity—many of us are called to work before our fellow-men every day. We are watched; our words are caught; our lives are examined—taken to pieces. The eagle-eyed, argus-eyed world observes everything we do, and sharp critics are upon us. Let us live the life of Christ in public. Let us take care that we exhibit our Master, and not ourselves—so that we can say, “It is no longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me.”

Charles Spurgeon

 

William Lane Craig vs. Frank Zindler

I listened to a debate today between Craig and Zindler on “Atheism vs. Christianity or “Does God Exist”?

William Lane Craig won this debate by a long shot. Frank Zindler offered no evidence whatsoever to prove that God does not exist. It seemed to me that he had problems or questions on whether the Bible was historically reliable, whether it actually means what it says, and with the ethics of the scriptures.

Craig on the other hand took Zindler to task and not only did he offer proofs for God’s existence, but he also countered all the fallacies of his opponent and all the twisting of the scriptures of his opponent.

I recommend that if you have time that you should listen to this debate. You can find the debate  by clicking right here.

 

Answer the Objection: The Bible has Errors

March 26, 2012 2 comments

I ran across a good post, by a man named Jonathan Dodson, on how to counter the objection of skeptics when they claim the Bible has errors. Of course one way to disarm the skeptic is to ask them to show you an error. Most who spout out such nonsense are only repeating what they have heard. Most are not fluent in how the English Bible came to exist and therefore know nothing of manuscript evidence or the science of textual criticism.

Jonathan Dodson takes the opposite approach when encountered by the skeptics arguments of why we can’t trust the Bible. He suggest that we tell the skeptic that the Bible does contain errors and then proceed to show them the few errors of which it contains. Here is several paragraphs from his article.

 

What to Say When Someone Says “The Bible Has Errors” by Jonathan Dodson

 Most people question the reliability of the Bible. You’ve probably been in a conversation with a friend or met someone in a coffeeshop who said: “How can you be a Christian when the Bible has so many errors?” How should we respond? What do you say?

Instead of asking them to name one, I suggest you name one or two of the errors. Does your Bible contain errors? Yes. The Bible that most people possess is a translation of the Greek and Hebrew copies of copies of the original documents of Scripture. As you can imagine, errors have crept in over the centuries of copying. Scribes fall asleep, misspell, take their eyes off the manuscript, and so on. I recommend telling people what kind of errors have crept into the Bible. Starting with the New Testament, Dan Wallace, New Testament scholar and founder the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts, lists four types of errors in Understanding Scripture: An Overview of the Bible’s Origin, Reliability, and Meaning.

 

Read more of Jonathan Dodson’s article here. 

 

Christians and Carnal Men Marvel at one Another

The Christian and the carnal man are most wonderful to each other. The one wonders to see the other walk so strictly, and deny himself to those carnal liberties that the most take…. And the Christian thinks it strange that men should be so bewitched, and still remain children in the vanity of their turmoil, wearying and humouring themselves from morning to night, running after stories and fancies, and ever busy doing nothing; wonders that the delights of earth and sin can so long entertain and please men, and persuade them to give Jesus Christ so many refusals—to turn from their life and happiness, and choose to be miserable, yea, and take much pains to make themselves miserable.

Robert Leighton

Shaking the Branches of Scripture

For some years now I have read through the Bible twice every year. If you picture the Bible to be a mighty tree and every word a little branch, I have shaken every one of these branches because I wanted to know what it was and what it meant.

Luther’s Tabletalk No.1877

Dispensationalism Obscures the Gospel

March 22, 2012 3 comments

Does dispensational theology obscure the gospel. Does it cloud our minds from seeing the true intent of God’s salvation plan towards one people of God united in Christ? If you think otherwise, I challenge you to read this book.

Dispensationalism and the Everlasting Gospel by Bernie L. Gillespie

Before I understood the true nature of the Gospel and the significance of justification by faith, Bible prophecy was not at the heart of my interests. The subject always seemed fraught with tenuous speculation and conflicting opinions. It was not until God opened my heart to understand His Gospel that I began to see the teaching of my heritage from a new perspective. I was raised a dispensationalist and really didn’t know its significance. I don’t mean that I didn’t understand the basic teaching that made up dispensationalism. I mean that I didn’t realize how much all my understanding of the Bible was under the control of a dispensational grid or worldview. Until the last year, I was not aware how my view of the biblical truth of God’s plan in history and eschatology were throttled by the dispensational view. As I began to study it, vis-a-vis the Gospel, I came to realize that dispensational thought is a significant problem for many of my friends and colleagues in my former faith. I realize now that my former view of the plan of salvation was largely determined by specific assumptions passed on to me by dispensationalist teaching. I write this paper in hopes that it will provoke some to examine and discover just how much their view of God’s redemptive plan is directed, clouded or obscured by dispensationalism.

Download Pdf book here.

I to was once held under the sway of dispensational theology. It seemed so coherent and had an answer for everything that would happen in the end times. It captivated me and forced my mind to draw wrong interpretations of scriptures because I interpreted in light of the system laid out by this errant theology. Thank God I am free and can interpret according to context.

 

Do Not Try to save Yourself

If you think about it, God’s value of heaven and yours are very different things. His salvation, when he set a price upon it, was to be brought to men only through the death of his Son. But you think that your good works can win the heaven which Jesus Christ, the Son of God, procured at the cost of his own blood! Do you dare to put your miserable life in comparison with the life of God’s obedient Son, who gave himself even to death? Does it not strike you that you are insulting God? If there is a way to heaven by works, why did he put his dear Son to all that pain and grief? Why the scenes ofGethsemane? Why the tragedy onGolgotha, when the thing could be done so easily another way? You insult the wisdom of God and the love of God.

Charles Spurgeon-Advice for Seekers

Chapter XVI : Of Good Works-Point 7

7. Works done by unregenerate men although for the matter of them they may be things which God commands, and of good use, both to themselves and (t) others; yet because they proceed not from a heart purified by (u) faith, nor are done in a right manner according to the (w) word, nor to a right end the (x) glory of God; they are therefore sinful and cannot please God; nor make a man meet to receive grace from (y) God; and yet their neglect of them is more sinful and (z) displeasing to God.

t 2 King. 10.30. 1 King. 21.27,29

u Gen. 4.5. Heb. 11 4.6.

w 1 Cor. 13.1.

x Mat. 6.2.5.

y Amos 5 21,22.Rom. 9.16 Tit. 3.5.

z Job 21.14,15. Mat. 25.41,42,43.

The 1677/89LondonBaptist Confession

Hearken to God in order to Worship Rightly

Let us remember therefore this lesson: That to worship our God sincerely we must evermore begin by hearkening to His voice, and by giving ear to what He commands us. For if every man goes after his own way, we shall wander. We may well run, but we shall never be a whit nearer to the right way, but rather farther away from it.

John Calvin, Sermon 155: Deu 28:9-14, “Separation unto Blessing”, Thursday, March 12, 1556