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Archive for the ‘Reformed’ Category

CarlTrueman

Earlier this month Westminister Theological Seminary has made available for free online on ITunes University their historical theology lecture series on the Reformation.  It is taught by Dr. Carl Trueman.  I am half way through the series and it is pretty good!

Dr. Trueman is a capable scholar and also one who teaches history in a way that is not boring.  He’s conversant with the material at hand, insightful and funny.

One of the things I really got out of the series thus far is the further appreciation for the historical context in which the Reformation took place.  I thought Trueman was also insightful in his observation that Martin Luther was really a Medieval man even as the age of modernity and the Reformation was dawning with Luther as the leader.

You can access the lectures on Itunes by clicking here: The Reformation

Or if you want to access it as an RSS feed click here: RSS

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southern seminary

A doctrine of Scripture that has been under-utilized in apologetics has been the historic belief in the self-attestation of Scripture.  There is a Doctoral Dissertation on the topic: “The Self-Attestation of Scripture as the Proper Ground for Systematic Theology” by Matthew Scott Wireman.  Dr. Wiseman completed this thesis in 2012 through Southern Seminary, best known with its president Al Mohler.

Southern Seminary and Dr. Wireman has made the dissertation available as a PDF.  You can download it by clicking HERE.

Here is the description of the dissertation broken down by chapters:

This dissertation examines the Protestant doctrine of Scripture’s self-witness of divine authority. Chapter 1 examines the current evangelical milieu. The doctrine has become nearly obsolete in the discussion of systematic theology. Consequentially, wherein lies authority has been greatly misunderstood in Protestant circles.

Chapter 2 surveys the doctrine through the history of the church. Particular note is made of Augustine, John Calvin, John Owen, and Herman Bavinck. This chapter evinces the near consensus of the church that the authority for the Church is found preeminently in the Scriptures.

Chapter 3 summarizes post-conservative, Stanley J. Grenz and John R. Franke, attempts to ground theology in Scripture plus culture and tradition. This chapter does not offer a critique as much as it aims to represent post-conservatives in their own words.

Chapter 4 looks at how the Old Testament viewed itself–particularly through the ministries of Moses and the prophets. YHWH chose representatives who would speak to the covenant community and write down the stipulations and history of YHWH’s relationship with Israel for posterity.

Chapter 5 looks at the New Testament, which follows the paradigm instituted by the Old Testament. In the person and work of Jesus Christ, God’s promises find their fulfillment, which foments his commissioning of the Twelve Apostles to be his spokesmen.

Chapter 6 ties together the threads that cohere in the two testaments of Scripture. It makes explicit the claims of Scripture that God is a se, he communicates with his creation, he uses spokesmen, and his written Word is its own witness for its authority.

Chapter 7 defines the doctrine of Scripture’s self-witness and applies it to tradition, culture, and the task of apologetics. The chapter explicates the thesis of the dissertation that Scripture’s self-witness must be the ground of systematic theology.

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lazy lazy

In writing this post, I am in no way attacking Pastors and Seminarians who worked very hard.   I know and have been shaped by men in the ministry and men in Seminary who are incredibly hard working.  But I write this to address the lazy ones.  Especially the ones who get money from churches.  This is for you.

The Apostle Paul’s teaching in the Epistles have somethings to say that is antithetical to the lazy Pastor and Seminarians:

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,” (Colossians 3:23)

“It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.” (2 Timothy 2:6)

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved,[c] a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

“preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” (2 Timothy 4:2)

“Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.” (Titus 2:7-8)

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)

“Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.” (Romans 12:11)

(Note: All verses are from the English Standard Version)

Some of those exhortation are for believers in general but some of them are from the Pastoral Epistles.  In all cases they should have some bearing on the men who are in ministry and those who are in Seminary.

Just so you know: I can’t stand lazy pastors and lazy Seminarians.  

No one respect a lazy cop or firefighter.  Churches that tolerate such nonsense reveal how little they value the Gospel.  Ministry is not a pity case of charity for a religious weirdo.  I would rather be a janitor for the rest of my life and do free full time ministry and die young from being overworked rather than allow God’s name to be slandered when people think ministry is a swindling operation for the lazy whose only calling in life is a calling to do nothing during the week.

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Something lighthearted for this Saturday’s post.

Herman New Tricks

 

On Veritas Domain’s facebook page we have an album of memes dedicated to Hermeneutics.  You can check it out by clicking here.

If you haven’t done so already, you should like our page for more memes uploaded in the future and also other updates on your Facebook feed!

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Spong vs White

With all that is going on in the news with the direction of our society, this debate between Christian apologist James White and liberal Episcopalian Bishop John Shelby Spong would be important.  Both men debated on the topic “Is Homosexuality Compatible with Christianity?” in Orlando, FL back in November 2006.  The video of this debate has been made available online for free in its entirety less than a week ago.

Here’s the video:

Enjoy!

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05e095d0-4da3-11e4-9890-7783c6550b32_house-ext-patio-furniture

Here are Presuppositional apologetics’ links between October 15-21st, 2014.

Which links edified you?

1.) Twenty Ways to Answer A Fool [8]

2.) The Fabrications of Scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson

3.) The Darwinian Bourne Legacy

4.) Your Character Is Just As Important to Your Apologetics As Your Logic

5.) Toward a Few Conclusory Thoughts on “Evil and the Vindication of Divine Goodness”

6.) If Evolution is True, then Truth Doesn’t Matter [An Excerpt]

7.) K. Scott Oliphint Teaches Covenantal Apologetics for Logos Mobile Ed

Last installment: Mid-October 2014 Presuppositional Apologetics’ Links Round Up

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GO TO PART 24

ambulance-man-1

Point:  When we evangelize it is important to make the point that the listener have sinned against a Holy God.  Even during an apologetic dialogue, a Christian apologist must not forget this; instead he or she must press the point that one who goes against God is rebelling against Him and is trying to run away from God with the very resources that God has given to help man; this sin is even more grievous in light of God’s goodness, help and mercy towards unbelievers (what in theology we call God’s common grace).  How can we further drive this point home?

Picture: On the news a few days ago there was this headline: “Man steals L.A. Fire Department ambulance sent to help him” with this story:

A man being treated by paramedics stole a Los Angeles Fire Department ambulance and led police on a chase that ended in a traffic collision, sending two women to the hospital Sunday night.

Paramedics responded to a medical call in the 200 block of North San Pedro street in downtown L.A. about 6:30 p.m., and then the man drove off in the ambulance, according to the LAFD’s Katherine Main.

The paramedics were not in the ambulance at the time, Main said.

A fire engine also responding to the original call reported the stolen ambulance, Los Angeles police said.

Officers then began a pursuit that ended when the ambulance crashed into a vehicle at the intersection of Beverly Boulevard and  Union Avenue about 7:15,  according to Sgt. Gia Rueda of the LAPD.

Two women in the car were taken to a hospital with minor injuries, Rueda said.

The suspect, whose name was not released, was taken into custody at the Rampart Station.

Here is a story of the suspecttaking advantage of what was meant to be help for the suspect.  Then there is the added irony of the man getting an accident after the chase–only to have the paramedics again help him and put him in another ambulence.  That’s like man’s sinful attempt to run away from Him by hijacking God’s resources as a means of running away from Him–but we inevitably crash and even then with our self-destructiveness we can’t fully avoid God.

POSSIBLE SCENARIO FOR EMPLOYING THIS ILLUSTRATION DURING APOLOGETIC EVANGELISM

<Much apologetic dialogue takes place; now discussion is winding down>

CHRISTIAN: We have touched on a lot of philosophy and worldview issues.  I don’t want you to miss my thesis that you are in sin and that your sin is even evident in our intellectual discussion because you are trying to use intellectual resources that God has provided to help us as His creatures to be resources for you to try to escape God.

OPPONENT: What do you mean?  You are putting moralistic tones to this intellectually stimulating discussion.

CHRISTIAN: Let me explain perhaps by ways of a story of how I see it within my worldview.  Have you heard of this story: <Insert New story>.

OPPONENT: Wow!

CHRISTIAN: Here’s the image of the actual guy after the accident.  Do you see any irony in the picture?

OPPONENT: Yes!  The paramedics that he wronged are now the ones he have to rely on to help him after the attempted getaway.

CHRISTIAN: Exactly!  I love this picture because despite his attempt to get away from the paramedics, he ends up facing the paramedics anyways–and still needed their help and he’s back to square one.  In the same way, when someone tries to use God’s resources that was meant to help us such as the laws of logic, morality, etc., as a means of trying to run away from God, we end up colliding with God’s reality and yet we still rely on Him afterwards despite our rebellion.  This man is more like us than we realize!

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