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Psalm2-TH1

The incredible blogger Jeff Downs has shared with us several weeks ago of a resource regarding a Biblical Worldview.  Reverend Christian McShaffrey of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) has preached a series titled “A Psalm 2 Worldview.”

The description of this series is given below:

A “worldview” is a philosophy of life which determines how a person sees the world. Everyone has a worldview, but most people simply “catch” their worldview and assume that it is correct.

As Christians, we simply cannot afford to be thoughtless when it comes to understanding the world around us and interpreting the events which occur in it. Rather, we need to allow the light of scripture to illuminate and interpret reality. It is only in this that we will find hope and peace in this world.

Pastor McShaffrey presented the basic principles of a Christian Worldview by explaining and applying Psalm Two during the Fall of 2013.

Here are the audios:

10/20/13  –  The Raging of the Heathen (Psalm 2:1-3)

10/27/13  –  The Disposition of God (Psalm 2:4-6)

11/03/13  –  The Inheritance of Christ (Psalm 2:7-9)

11/10/13  –  The Invitation to Nations (Psalm 2:10-12a)

11/17/13  –  The Blessedness of Christians (Psalm 2:12b)  

Enjoy!

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Here are some links on Presuppositional apologetics gathered between July 15th-21st, 2014!

1.) Biblical Apologetics: Practical and Workable

2.) Book Recommendation: Inerrancy and Worldview by Vern Poythress

3.) Atheist Peter Boghossian Loathes Christians: “Reprogram Them!”

4.) Proving God’s Existence: Would You Believe If He Showed Up at Your Door?

5.) 

6.) Is the mind an emergent property of the physical brain?

7.) Last installment of Presuppositional apologetics’ links

 

INDONESIA QUAKE TIDAL WAVE

 

Why Does God Allow Disasters and Calamities?[1]

INTRODUCTION:

When the water came, I was frightened,” recalled Sanga, 12 of the tsunamis that struck in late December.  “We ran, and our home is gone.”

“From Thailand to Somalia, more than 150,000 people died in the tsunamis.  The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) first estimated children made up one third of the death toll.  But…that percentage, if anything, might be too low.  Children are much less able to run away, fight the water, hold onto or climb a tree…the youngest were simply unable to.  While some children scaled a mango tree, evading the torrent, half the group [from an orphanage]—mostly babies and toddlers—did not make it.~ “The Most Vunerable Victims.”  January 12, 2005, CNN.com. 

When this event occurred, many questions transpired

  • Why did this happened?
  • Why so much destruction?
  • Why is there so much suffering?
  • Why were thousands of people affected?
  • Why were children and babies swept away from the arms of their mother?
  • Was Satan involved?
    • In the Book of Job, we learn that Job’s children were killed by a wind that collapsed the roof of the house & fire from heaven came down and killed Job’s servants and sheep.
      • Scripture states that Satan was involved (Job 1:6-12; 13-22)

PURPOSE:

  • We will cover the wrong views given from non-Christians, the wrong views given by Christians, the biblical response, and the big Why question people have.
  • I am going over the topic concerning natural disaster so that you know the Bible’s explanation concerning it.

Point 1: Wrong Views Given from Non-Christians

  • Atheist—God does not exist.  Therefore disasters in this earth are just forces of nature.
  • Agnostic—This person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God will indicate that the supernatural had nothing to do with this tragedy.
  • Polytheist—Many gods, but one of the gods was involved in this disaster.
  • Scientology—Disaster, evil, and sin are not realities, but illusions.
  • Unitarianism (One who asserts the unity of God, but rejects the trinity).
  • Unbiblical Monotheism—Islam, Judaism.

Point 2: Wrong Answers Often Given by Christians

  • All Calamities are a Complete Mystery
    • Of course there are some things that are mysterious, but I am afraid saying that “all” calamities are a complete mystery is the wrong answer.
    • God has given us answers.  He knows we are beings with a intellect and a conscience.
  • All Good Comes Out of It.  The Bad Justifies the Good
    • We need to be nuanced when explaining this.  Why?
      • For example, after the tsunami, much evil occurred.  Some sold their children for money.
        • Murders were prevalent.
        • The disaster created a breeding ground for religious unity.  Buddhist monk, Hindu priest, and  professing Christians were singing songs of praise together.  The world loves to see this.  This is an appeal to selfish human thinking in the name of co-existence.  You have probably seen some of those bumper stickers too.
          • People saw religious unity as being good and virtuous.
      • I have no doubt at all, that there is some good that comes out from natural disasters, but there is still a problem because those who think they are doing good are saying what God did is bad.  They think they are morally good people in their behavior.  That is wrong thinking.  We need to see it from God’s standards.  Please see Romans 3:23.  Every person is a transgressor before God.  There are no exceptions.
        • Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”[2]
  • God is Not All Powerful (some professing Christians who subscribe to this would embrace onto Open Theism and Deism)
    • Deism:
      • This camp believes in God, but believes He is not involved.  This is the opposite of theism. Theism believes God supernaturally interferes due to His providence.
    • Open Theism:
      • God does not know everything about the future.

Point 3: Biblical Response

  • Major Bible passages to consider:
    • Job 9:5-6, “He who removes mountains, and they know it  not, when he overturns them in his anger, who shakes the  earth out of its place, and its pillars tremble.”
    • Psalm 135:6-7, “Whatever the Lord pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.  7He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth, who makes lightnings for the rain and brings forth the wind from his storehouses.
    • Isaiah 45:7, “I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things.
    • Amos 3:6, “Is a trumpet blown in a city, and the people are not afraid? Does disaster come to a city, unless the Lord has done it?”
  • Implications of the passages covered:
    • It defeats some of these unbiblical statements:
      • “Although I believe in God, the supernatural had nothing to do with this tragedy.”
      • “God doesn’t exist; disasters like this are just forces of nature.”
      • “The earthquake and tsunami were sent by God, and there is no the purpose behind it.”
    • Some of the most popular responses that is disconcerting [atheism is small] are this:
      • “Although I believe in God, the supernatural had nothing to do with this tragedy.”
      • “The earthquake and tsunami were sent by God, and there is no purpose behind it.”
        • Isaiah 45:7, “I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things.
        • Amos 3:6, “Is a trumpet blown in a city, and the people are not afraid? Does disaster come to a city, unless the Lord has done it?”
    • God is not surprised by natural disasters.  He is sovereign.
    • Even if Satan had an involvement in some natural disaster like he did with Job—Satan acted with God’s permission and under His sovereign rule.
  • Another Major Bible passage to consider:
    • Daniel 4:35: “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, ‘What have you done?”
      • Major points of this verse:
        • Nothing happens apart from God’s will.
        • Question: What does it mean that, “None can stay God’s hand?”  ANSWER: Nothing can stop Him from doing what He wants or wills.
          • Moreover, even that question alone reveals something unsettling about man. Beneath the tone of that question in Daniel 4:35, man accuses God of doing something wrong.
      • Daniel 4:35 corrects many ignorant and sinful thinking such as:
        • “What have you done God?”
        • “How could you have allowed so much destruction?”
        • “What gives you the right to do this?”
        • “Why did you unfairly target the poor and young?”

Stay tuned for the second part of this series as I plan on covering the big WHY question.

 

 

 

 


[1]Some notes are adapted from David Pawson’s Lecture and from Desiring God Ministries, Your Word is Truth, “Human Suffering—Disasters and Calamities.”

[2]All Scripture is quoted from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), unless otherwise noted.

 

 

Russ Last Friday, I announced at the men’s study that we will take a brief break from our usual study in order to go evangelizing to the masses.  Taking a brief break from our study will give us an opportunity to apply what we learn about Christ by sharing Him with lost sinners.  Living for Jesus is not only learning about Him, but serving as an ambassador of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).  When I think about living for my Lord and Savior, I am reminded of a particular portion of prayer from the Valley of Vision, entitled, “Living for Jesus.”  This is what the prayer states:

O SAVIOUR OF SINNERS,

Thy name is excellent,

thy glory high,

thy compassions unfailing,

thy condescension wonderful,

thy mercy tender.

I bless thee for the discoveries, invitations,

promises of the gospel

for in them is pardon for rebels,

liberty for captives,

health for the sick,

salvation for the lost.

I come to thee in thy beloved name of Jesus;

re-impress thy image upon my soul;

Raise me above the smiles and frowns of the world,

regarding it as a light thing to be judged by men;

May thy approbation be my only aim,

thy Word my one rule.

Make me to abhor that which grieves thy

Holy Spirit,

to suspect consolations of a worldly nature,

to shun a careless way of life,

to reprove evil,

to instruct with meekness those who oppose me,

to be gentle and patient towards all men,

to be not only a professor but an example

of the gospel,

displaying in every relation, office, and condition

its excellency, loveliness and advantages.

How little have I illustrated my principles

and improved my privileges!

How seldom I served my generation!

How often have I injured and not recommended

my Redeemer!

How few are those blessed through me!

In many things I have offended,

in all come short of thy glory;

Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.

This prayer has many wonderful facets for the Christian life.  It basks in a combination of learning and living for Him.  It is a great reminder of the Gospel being preached and how we are to conduct our life before our holy God.  That is what we did this past Friday evening.  Before we evangelized, a few men and myself got together and discussed some important notions concerning man.  I echoed that we are in an environment that is perhaps filled with different sinners that may consist of murderers, rapist, gangsters, etc.  That is where the beauty of open-air preaching comes into play.  It provides the channel or instrument that can cover a vast landscape.  It means that a multitude of people will be exposed to the Gospel quickly.  After we finished praying, we made our way to the pier and set-up our things near the entrance of the walkway of the pier that is shaped as a circle, where many people congregate in order to fish and hangout.  To be honest,  I felt a little rusty because I have not done open-air preaching for a long time.  I really needed to depend upon God for wisdom.  As I looked  and scanned at the multitude of people before me, a great compassion for them resided in my heart.  I understood that to glorify God in this moment, I must be a broken hearted evangelist.  I must love them by speaking the truth with conviction and truth.

There was no turning away.  As I stepped on the foot stool and prepared my PA and headset, I knew that I was about to enter into spiritual warfare.  As a result, I needed to, by God’s grace, devote myself wholly to Him.

There I was.  I opened my mouth by first introducing myself.  And here are a few important truths I shared to the masses: “What is God?” and the “sayings of Jesus.”  Those points are great and sobering truths that man must hear.  I wanted the Son of God to be uneclipsed so they can savor Him.

  • What is God?: God is a Spirit (Deuteronomy 4:15-19; Luke 24:39; John 1:18; John 4:24; Acts 17:29), eternal (Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 90:2; Psalm 102:12, 24-27, Revelation 1:4, 8),  holy (Hebrews 1:13; 1 Peter 1:15-16; 1 John 3:3, 5; Revelation 15:4), just (Genesis 18:25; Exodus 34:6-7; Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 96:13; Romans 3:5, 26),  loving (John 3:16; Romans 5:8-9).
  • The sayings of Christ: John 4:25-26 (the Messiah), John 17:5; John 8:58-59 (eternal), John 6:38 (from Heaven), Matthew 11:27 (possessed knowledge of God), John 10:27-28; Luke 23:43 (power to grant eternal life), John 6:35; John 8:12; John 11:25 (the answer to man’s souls), Matthew 10:37 (demands to be worshipped).

While open-air preaching, it appeared that there were  those who listened attentively and some who mocked the Gospel and committed some unwholesome and unholy acts next to me; and there were those who expressed their anger and hatred towards the Gospel of God because the message was preventing them from generating a profit from their musical performances.  But even in the midst of hostility, there were some who thanked us for the message and seemed to be in hearty agreement.  I was also thankful that I did not preach alone, because another brother from my church preached alongside me.  It was a tremendous blessing.  A blessing not only because we get the privilege to be His ambassadors, but also a blessing because we do not have the power to save people.  Thus, salvation is not in our strength, but salvation is founded in God’s Gospel.  We rely upon the sovereign God.

This event was also a great reminder to us concerning the heart of man: he is depraved and only the sovereign  God can awaken him from his stupor!  You can not manipulate people into the kingdom of salvation.  You must be faithful and not succumb to pragmatism.  To be faithful is to be sensitive to God.  And being sensitive to God is understanding the true spiritual condition of man, as documented in Scripture.    

Please pray for those who heard the message.  Pray that they will come into saving knowledge of Christ and then be plugged into a biblical local church.

Note: I’m in a church retreat this weekend and will be delayed in responding.

We have spent several months going through an exposition of the book of Jonah.  Last week we finally finished our ten part series of outlines!  My prayers are that they edify God’s people and evangelize the Lost.

Here’s the table of content to the series:

Introduction to Book of Jonah

Part 1: Do you think you can run away from God?

Part 2: Are You running from God and Evangelism?

Part 3: Don’t Just Say You Believe

Part 4: A prayer responding to God’s Grace Part 1

Part 5: A prayer responding to God’s Grace Part 2

Part 6: Did Jonah Repented?

Part 7: Parallel of Jonah and Peter

Part 8: How do you respond to God’s mercy?

Part 9: Compassion in Evangelism

Part 10: Jonah and the Rest of the Bible

 

Jonah and the Whale Carlo Antonio Tavella

Paul1_001

Over the last few weeks I have been focusing on the deity and eternality of Christ.  I went over four main verses: John 1:1; John 8:58; Hebrews 1:8; and Colossians 1:17.  Here is an index of all the posts I made concerning this series on the deity and eternality of Christ:

  1. Christology: Deity and Eternality, Part 1
    • John 1:1, ““In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with   God, and the Word was God.”
  2. Christology: Deity and Eternality, Part 2
    • John 1:1, ““In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with   God, and the Word was God.”
      • Discussion concerning NWT (JW) interpretation of John 1:1, etc.
  3. Christology: Deity and Eternality, Part 3
    • John 8:58, “Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.”
  4. Christology: Deity and Eternality, Part 4
    • John 8:58
      • YHWH; Tetragrammaton
  5. Christology: Deity and Eternality, Part 5
    • Introduction: “But of the Son He says, ‘YOUR THRONE, O GOD IS FOREVER AND EVER, AND THE RIGHTEOUS SCEPTER OF HIS KINGDOM.’”
  6. Christology: Deity and Eternality, Part 6
    • Hebrews 1:8, “But of the Son He says, ‘YOUR THRONE, O GOD IS FOREVER AND EVER, AND THE RIGHTEOUS SCEPTER OF HIS KINGDOM.’”
      • Textual, syntactical, contextual, and apologetical areas.
  7. Christology: Deity and Eternality, Part 7
    • Colossians 1:17, “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
  8. Christology: Deity and Eternality, Part 8
    • Colossians 1:17, “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
      • Providence of God: preservation, concurrence, government, and revelation.

Chance_comps.indd

Earlier this year Crossway published a 368 page book by Dr. Vern Poythress titled Chance and the Sovereignty of God: A God-Centered Approach to Probabiliy and Random Events.  I appreciate how Dr. Poythress has made many of his books  available to the public for free as a PDF.  This new book is now among them!

You can download the PDF by clicking HERE.

The description of the book on the publisher Crossway’s website is as follows:

What if all events—big and small, good and bad—are governed by more than just blind chance? What if they are governed by God?

In this theologically informed and philosophically nuanced introduction to the study of probability and chance, Vern Poythress argues that all events—including the seemingly random or accidental—fall under God’s watchful gaze as part of his eternal plan. Comprehensive in its scope, this book lays the theistic foundation for our scientific assumptions about the world while addressing personal questions about the meaning and significance of everyday events.

Here’s the table of content:

Table of Contents

Introduction: Experiences with Unpredictable Events
Part 1: The Sovereignty of God
1.  The Bible as a Source for Knowledge
2.  God’s Sovereignty
3.  Unpredictable Events
4.  Disasters and Suffering
5.  Human Choice
6.  Small Random Events
7.  Reflecting on Creation and Providence
8.  God’s Sovereignty and Modern Physics
9.  What Is Chance?
Part 2: God as the Foundation for Chance
10. Regularities and Unpredictabilities
11. Trinitarian Foundations for Chance
12. Responding to Chance
13. Chance in Evolutionary Naturalism
14. Chance and Idolatry
Part 3: Probability
15. What is Probability?
16. Predictions and Outcomes
17. Theistic Foundations for Probability
18. Views of Probability
19. Subjectivity and Probability
20. Entanglement of Probabilities
21. Probabilistic Independence
22. Independence and Human Nature
23. Is God Probable?
Part 4: Probability and Mathematics
24. Pictures of Probability
25. Mathematical Postulates for Probability
26. Theistic Foundations for Some Properties of Probability
27. Limitations in Human Thinking about Events and Probabilities
28. Conclusion
Appendices
Appendix A: Why Gambling Systems Fail
Appendix B: The Real Problem with Gambling
Appendix C: A Puzzle in Probability
Appendix D: Interacting with Secular Philosophical Views of Probability
Appendix E: Permutations and Combinations
Appendix F: The Birthday Problem
Appendix G: Diseases and Other Causes
Appendix H: Proofs for Probability
Appendix I: Statistics
Appendix J: The Law of Large Numbers versus Gamblers

Enjoy!

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