Archive for November, 2014

Is Open Theism Still a Factor 10 Years after ETS Vote?

November 24, 2014 2 comments

Bible & Theology/
Jeff Robinson

At the 2003 annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) in Atlanta, two words were seemingly on the minds of every attendee: open theism.

That year, a controversy over open theism that had been brewing since the mid-1990s came to a head when members of ETS voted on a recommendation to remove from membership open theist scholars Clark Pinnock and John Sanders. A two-thirds majority is required for removal from ETS, and members voted by a narrow margin to allow both Pinnock and Sanders to remain in the society.

While open theism was embraced by a small number of scholars within ETS, the controversy was large and heated: many scholars believe openness theology, with its rejection of classical theism’s doctrine of God’s exhaustive foreknowledge, represents a re-envisioning of the God of Scripture. Many conservative evangelical scholars contended that open theism necessarily denies the inerrancy of Scripture, since a God who does not know the future cannot guarantee that Old Testament prophecies will come true.

In the wake of the controversy, members adopted the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy in 2006, a move aimed at safeguarding membership from those who hold aberrant theological positions such as open theism. Adoption of the Chicago Statement ended the ETS debate.



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Biblical-Theological Exposition and Hermeneutics

November 24, 2014 1 comment

by Richard Barcellos [PDF available here]

The Bible is a big book. It contains 66 books written by many different human authors over a wide range of time and in diverse geographic, cultural, political, and religious circumstances. There are two main sections to our English Bibles – the Old and the New Testament. There are several different genres of literature in the Bible – e.g., narrative/history, law, poetry, prophecy, gospels (i.e., theological biographies), epistles, and apocalyptic. These factors make interpreting the Bible a difficult task at times. Those who do not view the Bible as the inspired, infallible, and inerrant written Word of God often use these factors to pit one section of Scripture against others. They do not see it as containing a system of doctrine. System, in their thinking, is impossible due to the various human authors and other factors mentioned above. Denying divine inspiration, there is no reason to expect a cohesive story-line and doctrinal continuity.

Those of us who view the Bible as the written Word of God, however, are committed to allow it to speak authoritatively on anything and everything it comments upon. And one the things the Bible comments upon is itself. In other words, texts often pick up on previous texts and further explain their meaning. This happens with words, phrases, verses, passages, persons, events, institutions, places, and concepts. When this occurs, it is the divine use or interpretation of a previous divine revelation. In other words, the Bible sometimes interprets the Bible for us and when it does, the way subsequent revelation interprets and applies antecedent revelation gives us (at least in part) the divinely intended meaning……



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Christ was not of the world in office

November 24, 2014 1 comment

Spurgeon 62. Again: you are not of the world in your office. Christ’s office had nothing to do with worldly things. “Art thou a king then?” Yes; I am a king; but my kingdom is not of this world. “Art thou a priest?” Yes; I am a priest; but my priesthood is not the priesthood which I shall soon lay aside, or which shall be discontinued as that of others has been. “Art thou a teacher?” Yes; but my doctrines are not the doctrines of morality, doctrines that concern earthly dealings between man and man simply; my doctrine cometh down from heaven. So Jesus Christ, we say, is “not of the world.” He had no office that could be termed a worldly one, and he had no aim which was in the least worldly. He did not seek his own applause, his own fame, his own honor; his very office was not of the world. And, O believer! what is thy office? Hast thou none at all? Why, yes, man! Thou art a priest unto the Lord thy God; thy office is to offer a sacrifice of prayer and praise each day. Ask a Christian what he is. Say to him: “What is your official standing? What are you by office?” Well, if he answers you properly, he will not say, “I am a draper, or druggist,” or anything of that sort. No; he will say, “I am a priest unto my God. The office unto which I am called, is to be the salt of the earth. I am a city set on a hill, a light that cannot be hid. That is my office. My office is not a worldly one.” Whether yours be the office of the minister, or the deacon, or the church member, ye are not of this world in your office, even as Christ was not of the world; your occupation is not a worldly one.

Charles H. Spurgeon-The Character of Christ’s People-Delivered on Sabbath Morning,
November 22, 1855

Definitions of Doctrine-Volume 1-Contents

November 21, 2014 2 comments

Volume 1 Table of Contents



I. The Being of God

II. God’s Mode of Being

III. The Names of God

IV. The Decrees of God

V. The Word of God

VI. The Attributes of God (Introductory)

VII. The Infinity of God

VIII. The Independency of God

IX. The Immutability of God

X. The Knowledge of God

XI. The Foreknowledge of God

XII. The Power of God

XIII. The Grace of God

XIV. The Grace of God (Continued)

XV. The Grace of God (Concluded)

XVI. The Mercy of God

XVII. The Faithfulness of God

XVIII. The Wisdom of God

XIX. The Love of God

XX. The Will of God

XXI. The Sovereignty of God

XXII. The Longsuffering of God

XXIII. The Holiness of God

XXIV. The Providence of God

XXV. The Providence of God (Concluded)

XXVI. The Silence of God


C. D. Cole-Definitions of Doctrine-Volume 1

C. H. Spurgeon’s Prayers-Prayer 14

November 20, 2014 1 comment


LORD, we are longing to draw near; may Thy Spirit draw us near. We come by the way of Christ our Mediator. We could not approach Thee, O our God, if it were not for Him, but in Him we come boldly to the throne of heavenly grace. Nor can we come without thanksgiving — thanksgiving from the heart, such as the tongue can never express. Thou hast chosen us from before the foundation of the world, and this well-head of mercy sends forth streams of loving-kindness never ceasing. Because we were chosen we have been redeemed with precious blood. Bless the Lord! And we have been called by the Holy Spirit out of the world, and we have been led to obey that wondrous call which hath quickened us and renewed us, and made us the people of God, given us adoption into the Divine Family. Bless the Lord!

Our hearts would pause as we remember the greatness of each one of Thy favors, and we would say, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.” When we consider our utter unworthiness before conversion, and our great faultiness since, we can but admire the riches of abounding grace which God has manifested to us unworthy ones. Bless the Lord! And when we think of all that Thou hast promised to give, which our faith embraces as being really ours, since the covenant makes it sure, we know not how abundantly enough to utter the memory of Thy great goodness. We would make our praises equal to our expectations, and our expectations equal to Thy promises. We can never rise so high. We give to Thee, however, the praise of our entire being; unto Jehovah, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the Creator of the world, the redeemed of men, unto Jehovah be glory for ever and ever, and let all His people praise Him. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy.

O Lord, Thy works praise Thee, but Thy saints bless Thee; and this shall be our heaven; yea, our heaven of heavens eternally, to praise and magnify the great and ever blessed God. May many a maiden this day, may many a man break forth and say, with the virgin of old, “My soul doth magnify the Lord and my spirit doth rejoice in God my Savior.” May there be going up this day sweet incense, of praise laid by holy hands, privately upon the altar of God. May the place be filled with the smoke thereof, not perhaps to the consciousness of every one, but to the acceptance of God who shall smell a sweet savor of rest in Christ, and then in the praises of His people in Him.

But, Lord, when we have praised Thee we have to fold the wing; yea, we have to cover the face and cover the feet and stand before Thee to worship in another fashion, for we confess that we are evil, evil in our original, and though renewed by sovereign grace Thy people cannot speak of being clean, rid of sin. There is sin which dwelleth in us which is our daily plague. O God, we humble ourselves before Thee. We ask that our faith may clearly perceive the blood of the atonement and the covering of the perfect righteousness of Christ; and may we come afresh, depending alone on Jesus. “I, the chief of sinners am, but Jesus died for me.” May this be our one hope, that Jesus died and rose again, and that for His sake we are accepted in the Beloved.

May every child of Thine have his conscience purged from dead works to serve the true and living God. May there be no cloud between us and our Heavenly Father; nay, not even a mist, not even the morning mist that soon is gone. May we walk in the light as God is in the light. May our fellowship with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ, be unquestionable; may it be fuel; may it fill us with joy; may it be a most real fact this day; may we enjoy it to the full, knowing whom we have believed, knowing who is our Father, knowing who it is that dwells in us, even the Holy Spirit.

Take away from us every thing which now might hinder our delighting ourselves in God. May we come to God this day with a supreme joy; may we speak of Him as “God my exceeding joy; yea, mine own God is He.” O God give us a sense of property in Thyself. May we come near to Thee, having no doubt and nothing whatsoever that shall spoil the beautiful simplicity of a childlike faith which looks up into the great face of God and saith, “Our Father, which art in heaven.”

There are those who never repented of sin and never believed in Christ, and consequently the wrath of God abideth on them. They are living without God, they are living in darkness. O God in Thy great mercy look upon them. They do not look at Thee, but do Thou look at them. May the sinner see his sin and mourn it; see His Savior and accept Him; see himself saved, and go on his way rejoicing. Father, do grant us this.

Once more we pray Thee bless Thy Church. Lord quicken the spiritual life of believers. Thou hast given to Thy Church great activity, for which we thank Thee. May that activity be supported by a corresponding inner life. Let us not get to be busy here and there with Martha, and forget to sit at Thy feet with Mary. Lord, restore to Thy Church the love of strong doctrine. May Thy truth yet prevail. Purge out from among Thy Church those who would lead others away from the truth as it is in Jesus, and give back the old power and something more. Give us Pentecost; yea, many Pentecosts in one, and may we live to see Thy Church shine forth clear as the sun and fair as the moon, and terrible as an army with banners.

God grant that we may live to see better days. But if perilous times should come in these last days make us faithful. Raise up in England, raise up in Scotland, men that shall hold the truth firmly as their fathers did. Raise up in every country where there has been a faithful church men that will not let the vessel drift upon the rocks. O God of the Judges, Thou who didst raise up first one and then another when the people went astray from God; raise up for us still (our Joshuas are dead) our Deborahs, our Baraks, our Gideons and Jephthahs, and Samuels, that shall maintain for God His truth, and worst the enemies of Israel. Lord look upon Thy Church in these days. Lord revive us. Lord restore us. Lord give power to Thy Word again that Thy name may be glorified.

Remember the Church of God in this land in all its various phases and portions, and pour out Thy Spirit upon it. Remember the multitude of Thy people across the sea in America, prosper them, bless them with the increase of God. And wherever Thou hast a people may Jesus dwell with them and reveal Himself to His own, for Christ’s sake, to whom be glory with the Father and with the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever. Amen

C. H. Spurgeon’s Prayers

The Wednesday Word: Who is this man Jesus? Part 3

November 19, 2014 2 comments

Jesus is the Creator: What a beautiful view of County Sligo!

But not only is the Lord Jesus the Creator, He is the Christ.

By the time Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the people had long held the hope of a coming deliverer to route their enemies. In fact, this expectation of an emancipator began way back in Genesis 3:15 with the promise of the coming seed. This coming one would be a champion of their cause. He would crush the enemy’s head. This anticipated one was their hope. He would overcome all oppressors. Generation after generation added to this expectation as the seers gave prophesy after prophesy concerning Him and His arrival.

This champion would be descended from Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David. He was to be the anointed one (Psalm 2:2: Daniel 9:26). He would be born of a virgin in Bethlehem (Isaiah 7:14; Micah 5:2). Indeed, so numerous are the prophesies, types and shadows concerning Him, we can sum up the Old Testament with three words, “Behold He Comes.”

Who is this man Jesus?

He is the Christ!

This is what Peter confessed. The Lord asked, “Who do you say that I the Son of man am?” Peter replied, “Thou art the Christ the Son of the living God.” The woman at the well left her water pot and went back to the town, saying, “Come see a man that has told me everything I have done. Is not this the Christ” (John 4:29)? The apostle John asks in 1 John 2:22; “Who is a liar?” Then he informs us that “he that denies that Jesus is the Christ. The same is both a liar and an antichrist.”

When we confess Jesus as the Christ, we are declaring that He is the anointed one. We are affirming that He is the appointed one, chosen to deliver His people from the penalty and power of sin (Luke 4:18; Matthew 1:21).

As the Christ, Jesus fulfills the role of Prophet, Priest and King. He is the prophet, because He spoke the final word of God to man (John 1:1–18; 14:24; Luke 24:19; Hebrews 1:1-3). He is the priest, because His death atones for our sins and reconciles us to the Father (Hebrews 2:17; 4:14). He is the King because all authority is given unto Him (John 18:36; Ephesians 1:20–23; Revelation 19:16).

Who is this man Jesus Christ? He is pictured throughout the Old Testament. Here are but a few of the portraits.

Genesis: The Seed of the Woman

Exodus: The Passover Lamb

Leviticus: The High Priest

Numbers: The Pillar of Cloud and The Pillar of Fire by night Deuteronomy: The Prophet like Moses and the Great Rock

Joshua: The Captain of the Lord of Hosts

Judges: The Judge and Lawgiver

Ruth: The Kinsman Redeemer

1 & 2 Samuel: The Trusted Prophet

1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles: The Reigning King

Ezra: The Lord of Heaven and Earth

Nehemiah: The Rebuilder of the Broken Walls

Esther: Mordecai

Job: The Daysman Mediator

Psalms: The crucified one of Psalm 22

Proverbs & Ecclesiastes: The Wisdom of God

The Song of Solomon: The Lover & Bridegroom and the Chief among 10,000

Isaiah: The Suffering Servant, the Mighty God and the Prince of Peace

Jeremiah & Lamentations: The LORD our Righteousness and the Weeping Prophet

Ezekiel: The Wheel Turning and The Four faced man.

Daniel: The 4th Man in the Fiery Furnace

Hosea: The Faithful Husband

Joel: The One Who Pours out His Spirit

Amos: The Restored Tabernacle of David

Obadiah: Deliverance

Jonah: The God of a Second Chance

Micah: The One who will be ruler in Israel

Nahum: The Publisher of Peace

Habakkuk: The Minister of God crying out For Revival

Zephaniah: The Restorer of God’s Lost Heritage

Haggai: The Glory of the Latter House

Zechariah: The Fountain opened up for Sin and uncleanness

Malachi: The Son of Righteousness rising with healing in His wings

He is the Christ, the prophesied One. He is the One who conquered death and is alive forevermore. You can trust Him with your soul and be safe.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!


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Christ is the Eternal God

November 19, 2014 1 comment

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015Christ, by his own inherent power, wrought miracles, and bestowed the power of working them on others. Out of the Eternal God there is no salvation, no righteousness, no life. All these are in Christ. Christ, consequently, is the Eternal God. He in whom we believe and hope, to whom we pray, whom the Church acknowledges as the Savior of the faithful, whom to know is life eternal, in whom the pious glory, and through whom eternal blessings are communicated, is the Eternal God. All these Christ is, and, therefore, he is God.

13. How clearly and transparently does this appear in his miracles? I admit that similar and equal miracles were performed by the prophets and apostles; but there is this very essential difference, that they dispensed the gifts of God as his ministers, whereas he exerted his own inherent might. Sometimes, indeed, he used prayer, that he might ascribe glory to the Father, but we see that for the most part his own proper power is displayed. And how should not he be the true author of miracles, who, of his own authority, commissions others to perform them? For the Evangelist relates that he gave power to the apostles to cast out devils, cure the lepers, raise the dead, etc. And they, by the mode in which they performed this ministry, showed plainly that their whole power was derived from Christ. “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,” says Peter, (Acts 3:6,) “rise up and walk.” It is not surprising, then, that Christ appealed to his miracles in order to subdue the unbelief of the Jews, inasmuch as these were performed by his own energy, and therefore bore the most ample testimony to his divinity.

Again, if out of God there is no salvation, no righteousness, no life, Christ, having all these in himself, is certainly God. Let no one object that life or salvation is transfused into him by God. For it is said not that he received, but that he himself is salvation. And if there is none good but God, how could a mere man be pure, how could he be, I say not good and just, but goodness and justice? Then what shall we say to the testimony of the Evangelist, that from the very beginning of the creation “in him was life, and this life was the light of men?” Trusting to such proofs, we can boldly put our hope and faith in him, though we know it is blasphemous impiety to confide in any creature. 94 “Ye believe in God,” 95 says he, “believe also in me,” (John 14:1.) And so Paul (Romans 10:11, and 15:12) interprets two passages of Isaiah “Whose believeth in him shall not be confounded,” (Isaiah 28:16;) and, “In that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek,” (Isaiah 11:10.) But why adduce more passages of Scripture on this head, when we so often meet with the expression, “He that believeth in me has eternal life?”

Again, the prayer of faith is addressed to him — prayer, which specially belongs to the divine majesty, if anything so belongs. For the Prophet Joel says, “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord (Jehovah) shall be delivered” (Joel 2:32.) And another says, “The name of the Lord (Jehovah) is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it and is safe,” (Proverbs 18:10.) But the name of Christ is invoked for salvation, and therefore it follows that he is Jehovah. Moreover, we have an example of invocation in Stephen, when he said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit;” and thereafter in the whole Church, when Ananias says in the same book, “Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he has done to thy saints at Jerusalem; and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name,” (Acts 9:13, 14.) And to make it more clearly understood that in Christ dwelt the whole fullness of the Godhead bodily, the Apostle declares that the only doctrine which he professed to the Corinthians, the only doctrine which he taught, was the knowledge of Christ, (1 Corinthians 2:2.) Consider what kind of thing it is, and how great, that the name of the Son alone is preached to us, though God command us to glory only in the knowledge of himself, (Jeremiah 9:24.) Who will dare to maintain that he, whom to know forms our only ground of glorying, is a mere creature? To this we may add, that the salutations prefixed to the Epistles of Paul pray for the same blessings from the Son as from the Father. By this we are taught, not only that the blessings which our heavenly Father bestows come to us through his intercession, but that by a partnership in power, the Son himself is their author. This practical knowledge is doubtless surer and more solid than any idle speculation. For the pious soul has the best view of God, and may almost be said to handle him, when it feels that it is quickened, enlightened, saved, justified, and sanctified by him.

John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 13-Henry Beveridge Translation