Archive for June, 2009

I have to say, there is something that strikes me about the Social networking site of Facebook that gives me a bittersweet emotion

Being on facebook, you are once again connected to people from the past…and several things never ceases to suprise me even though I should know better…

1.) It makes me realize time has gone by so fast, and our life is shorter than I thought it can be…when the little girl you taught in VBS suddenly is old enough to have a facebook and requested you to be her friend, when you see pictures of the seven and eight year old boys you use to tutor and help with their homework are now high school graduates, when what was once a troubling young boy has been in the Marines for some time now…my, time is flying and I know it when I’m suprised at people growing up! Then there are other ways you know that time has been ticking away quickly…pictures of people you know, and they have changed physically…the wrinkles kicking in, the weight gained on their tummy and waist, the bald spot, the once young stud now unshaven and beaten down…the motherly stern expression of what was once a young smiling face…and I can’t help but to stop looking at the laptop for a little bit, go outside and help my dad bring in the cans he collected from work because his leg is ailing and I notice the incredible amount of white hair my once strong dad now has…the change is occuring in reality not just online and it’s sobering.  So I can’t help but to grieve and realize that it’s about people’s salvation which is the MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT MANNER…

2.)As I said, facebook also makes me realize so little in life really matter in the long run…or even within the lapse of a few year’s run.  There are some people in high school who was so above you, they were so cool, and now they requested you to be their friend…what happened all those years, I thought I didn’t exist in their book (but not for their facebook apparently)?  Suddenly you get a message of how r u doing? “Dude, your pics of you with the Marines are cool!” Since when did they find a Jesus Freak that they themselves were too cool for, now cool?  You find on facebook, the ones who were living the fast life in the World are now burned out…no more crisp clothes for the club, no more “Too Fast, Too Furious” status…burned out by the world.  You go on facebook and you chuckle at the pictures of guys fronting like their tough.  Some people never grow up.  Yet, where am I in life?  I also need to grow up in the LORD and in my character and living life as a GODLY MAN…

3.) Then facebook breaks your heart.  You learn that people has changed.  The info page now reveals the girl who use to go to your Christian club is now “Very Liberal”.  Apostasy.  He’s now an atheist.  She’s divorce, but the husband is still in Iraq. What happened, he was planning to go to the ministry and she seem like such a supporting wife??? Then there is the guy who become of all things, a Catholic and an OPUS DEI one.  The couple who you thought was going to marry…are no longer together.  Oh, and why is that other guy getting drunk? I’m sure readers can identify with the thoughts going through my head at times, “What was that status all about?”, or “Dude, this guy need to chill with the cussing on my friend’s page, what happen to him?”  And the things that really get to me is when you see people in a relationship that’s not healthy, right or godly…and those pictures needed to deleted…and the people who’s sin goes before them and you ended up having to remove them from facebook.  And I mean guy’s profiles too.

4.) Then there are those amazing facebook moments…the guy from WAY, WAY BACK is now your friend after so many years…people that have a hard time returning your calls, well, they respond faster now on facebook…then there’s the incredible unimaginable joy of encountering those guys you went to Iraq with…or the Marine whom you went through Boot Camp, Marine Combat Training and Radio School with…you wondered what happened to him, whether he’s dead or alive and how many times he might have went to Iraq and when was he in Iraq???  The joy of seeing some of those you use to interact with on Xanga…but now it’s no longer the same as on the heyday of Xanga…the kid whom you have invested in at one time or another, you get to know where they are at in life…the brother in Christ who grew up reading your xanga and is now in the military serving our country and determined to live out the FAITH and see you as a role model…some long lost youngster who use to go to your church, message you apologetics question…seeing the one whom you use to worry about subtle hostility against the faith, is now growing in Christ and concern for things biblical…the message from someone who should know better of how they ought to live, asking you for prayer…seeing young people excited about theology and growing in Christ…

Facebook has a way of reminding you that when people leave your life, that doesn’t mean they no longer exist…they continue on living…continue on walking and talking, tweeting, status updatting and commenting…either on the Wide Road of Destruction or the narrow Road that leads to eternal life…a glimpse of their precious life on the Wide Road of the World Wide Web…

You realize how little you know somebody when they present a front in your presence, or act shy…and you realize that people’s fruit is sometimes shockenly revealed so openly…on facebook.

And you realize that you have no control over it, but you wish for a change, for it to be different and you realize even more what having a Sovereign God means…that you ought to Pray, to the one who can change people’s heart and mind…and you have to live for Jesus,

Even on Facebook.

It surely has made me more compassionate, more loving, more kind to people…even the guy you purchase water from…and perhaps share the GOSPEL WITH…

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In light of all the sexual immorality and high profile infedility, Randy Alcorn shares with us his list that counts the cost of Sexual immorality.

As Christians, this is a timely reminder.

The original link is at http://randyalcorn.blogspot.com/2009/06/counting-cost-of-sexual-immorality.html

Here is the excerpt:

Personalized List of Anticipated Consequences of Immorality

  • Grieving my Lord; displeasing the One whose opinion most matters.
  • Dragging into the mud Christ’s sacred reputation.
  • Loss of reward and commendation from God.
  • Having to one day look Jesus in the face at the judgment seat and give an account of why I did it. Forcing God to discipline me in various ways.
  • Following in the footsteps of men I know of whose immorality forfeited their ministry and caused me to shudder. List of these names:
  • Suffering of innocent people around me who would get hit by my shrapnel (a la Achan).
  • Untold hurt to Nanci, my best friend and loyal wife.
  • Loss of Nanci’s respect and trust.
  • Hurt to and loss of credibility with my beloved daughters, Karina and Angela. (“Why listen to a man who betrayed Mom and us?”)
  • If my blindness should continue or my family be unable to forgive, I could lose my wife and my children forever.
  • Shame to my family. (The cruel comments of others who would invariably find out.)
  • Shame to my church family.
  • Shame and hurt to my fellow pastors and elders. List of names:
  • Shame and hurt to my friends, and especially those I’ve led to Christ and discipled. List of names:
  • Guilt awfully hard to shake—even though God would forgive me, would I forgive myself?
  • Plaguing memories and flashbacks that could taint future intimacy with my wife.
  • Disqualifying myself after having preached to others.
  • Surrender of the things I am called to and love to do—teach and preach and write and minister to others. Forfeiting forever certain opportunities to serve God. Years of training and experience in ministry wasted for a long period of time, maybe permanently.
  • Being haunted by my sin as I look in the eyes of others, and having it all dredged up again wherever I go and whatever I do.
  • Undermining the hard work and prayers of others by saying to our community “this is a hypocrite—who can take seriously anything he and his church have said and done?”
  • Laughter, rejoicing and blasphemous smugness by those who disrespect God and the church (2 Samuel 12:14).
  • Bringing great pleasure to Satan, the Enemy of God.
  • Heaping judgment and endless problems on the person I would have committed adultery with.
  • Possible diseases (pain, constant reminder to me and my wife, possible infection of Nanci, or in the case of AIDS, even causing her death, as well as mine.)
  • Possible pregnancy, with its personal and financial implications.
  • Loss of self-respect, discrediting my own name, and invoking shame and lifelong embarrassment upon myself.

I’m older now, turned 55 a few days ago. My daughters are grown, with children of their own. But the list of consequences of immorality is larger than ever. I have two sons-in-law and four grandsons. Many people have read my books, so the circle of people I would be letting down has grown. (For resources on this subject, see my book The Purity Principle, and my booklet Sexual Temptation: How Christian Workers Can Win the Battle.)

It would still break my heart to let down my Lord Jesus and my wonderful wife. That’s why I’m more careful than ever to avoid the little compromises and indulgences that could lead to moral disaster.

If we would rehearse in advance the ugly and overwhelming consequences of immorality, we would be far more prone to avoid it.

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A brother in Christ emailed me this, and I found it helpful in regards to definitions concerning contextualization.

I really hesitate writing anything on “contextualization” because it’s such a buzz-word that is defined in so many different ways.   BUT, I feel frustrated with how patently “contextualization” is written off.  Thus, I propose a new term to distinguish between “good contextualization” and “bad contextualization”.

Good contextualization= confrontational contextualization- it understands the culture enough to speak to how it is wrong Biblically

Bad contextualization= compromising contextualization- it seeks to be as much like the culture in order to get the message across.

Is this distinction helpful to anyone else?

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The Works of Cornelius Van Til, translated to Hungarian, accessible here:


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Obama is like God?

As I posted yesterday, Obama invoke Jesus name more than Bush did

You wouldn’t find that out from the mainstream media

Speaking of mainstream media, here’s an interesting video clip of a journalist saying Obama is like God, and Chris Matthews agreeing with a “Yeah”

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Interesting observation, from Politico


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Whether one agree or disagree with him, Reformed Apologist Cornelius Van Til has made his contribution in the greater landscape of Christian Apologetic with his formulation of Presuppositional Apologetics.  No man is perfect, and a criticism often quoted against him comes from his own words where he stated,

“The lack of detailed scriptural exegesis is a lack in all of my writings.  I have no excuse for this”, and “I wish I could have given better exegetical justification for this position that I have.” (found in Geehan ed., Jerusalem and Athens, 203-204).

Though Van Til was Covenantal in his theology, from the quaters of Dispensationalism, some have appreciated his insight and contributed exegetical justification for Presuppositional Apologetics.

I’ve recently discovered and scanned through two dissertations in this regard.  These works are more technical in their exegetical defense with interaction of the original language and grammatical/syntactical structure of their passages than for the general readership. I hope to get around finish reading them eventually:

George J. Zemek, Jr., Exegetical and Theological Bases for A Consistently Presuppositional Approach to Apologetics, Thd. Dissertation, Grace Theological Seminary, 1982.

R. Brian Rickett, The Implications of Psalms 19 for Presuppositional Apologetics, ThM. Dissertation, The Master’s Seminary, 2003.


Zemek stated that the purpose of his dissertation was to show “the validity of presuppositional apologetics rests solidly upon exegetical and theological bases which premeate the totality of Divine revelation” (Zemek, 3).  The thesis focused heavily on the finite limitation of human minds, and the effect of sin on the mind.  It is interesting to note that Zemek’s advisor included Dr. John C. Whitcomb, which John Frame identified as a Dispensational Van Tillian.

Rickett’s thesis offer syntactical, contextual, lexical and literary analyses of Psalm 19.  He argues from these basis for the conceptual framework of Presuppositional apologetic.  An important aspect of Van Til’s apologetics is the role of general and special revelation, which is discussed as well in light of Psalm 19.  Dr. William Barrick is the advisor, whom I myself have personally benefited from his insight of Psalm 19.  He also devotes a chapter responding to Bruce DeMarest criticism of Van Til.

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This is a hilarious video by some guy from Biola university, some part of this video was kind of iffy for me, but the whole thing is humorous

I struggled so much with undergraduate Attic Greek so I know that God has been gracious to me when it comes to Koine Greek in seminary

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Interacting with people in various college campuses and universities for the purpose of evangelism and apologetics, I’m amazed at how regularly in the beginning of the conversation, some tell us to read things beyond what we believe, assuming that our Christian faith and Conservative views imply our ignorance of “the other side”.

Here’s a summary of two different studies on this topic of reading “the other side”

Originally from Yahoo, “People Choose News that Fits their Views”,


Conservatives buck the trend

Some findings from both researchers suggest that individual confidence and certainty play a role in what people choose to read.

People with stronger party affiliation, conservative political views, and greater interest in politics proved more likely to click on articles with opposing views, according to the Ohio State study.

“It appears that people with these characteristics are more confident in their views and so they’re more inclined to at least take a quick look at the counterarguments,” Knobloch-Westerwick noted.

However, Knobloch-Westerwick added that her latest study was not designed to assess reader motives, and that she hopes to more carefully study the issue in the future.

The Brigham Young University survey found that journalists also tended to read liberal blogs – perhaps a reflection of journalists’ political beliefs, although even conservatives said liberal blogs were often better-written, Davis pointed out.

Among the political blog readers, a similar trend emerged in which “liberals read almost exclusively liberal blogs, but conservatives tend to read both,” Davis said.

Davis offered another possible explanation for this trend among blog readers. Conservative views dominate talk radio, and so conservatives may feel more satisfied by that outlet and are willing to check out opposing views on blogs.

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Who is George Bryson and what does it matter what he teaches?

Sometimes researching theological disagreement can further clarify and further strengthen one’s position, as one is pressed to scrutinize the Biblical case more accurately and precisely.  From the quarters of Calvary Chapel churches, one of their leading figures attempting to refute the doctrines of Sovereign Grace[1] has been George Bryson, who is also the director of Calvary Chapel Church Planting Mission.  He has debated James White on this issue in print and open debate, and has also authored two books on this subject, The Five Points of Calvinism- Weighed and Found Wanting, and his latest, The Dark Side of Calvinism.  The endorsement that Bryson receive from Calvary Chapel comes from as high up as even the founder and father figure of the Calvary Chapel movement, Chuck Smith, who wrote the forward to The Dark Side of Calvinism.  Since doctrines in theology are interdependent, the position one adopts concerning salvation will have an impact on other doctrines, such as perseverance of the saints and sanctification.  Practically what is at stake is the ground for the believer’s assurance of their salvation and the basis of sanctification.  In attempting to refute Sovereign Grace, Bryson’s teaching will have implication in these areas.


The scope of this paper will narrow its focus to Bryson’s objection to a Reformed understanding of perseverance of the saints, as he articulated in his most recent full length work, The Dark Side of Calvinism.  The first step in this paper will be correcting Bryson’s misunderstanding of the Reformed position of the perseverance of the saints.  Perseverance of the Saint will then be scrutinized in light of Philippians 2:12-13.


Bryson’s view concerning perseverance of the saints is colored by his rejection of irresistible grace.  For Bryson, there is no such thing as the irresistible grace of God, since grace can always be resisted and rejected by sinners.  Yet interestingly enough, Bryson who wrote a chapter titled “Perseverance of the Saints Scripturally Refuted”, has himself stated that he does believe in the perseverance of the saints, although it is not the Reformed understanding of the perseverance of the saints!  In this particular area, Bryson’s view does not necessarily represent all of Calvary Chapel, where many hold to the position hat one can lose their salvation.  Bryson goes on to say that unlike the Reformed perseverance of the saints, his view does not confuses sanctification with justification (Bryson, 263).  Unlike salvation, perseverance of the saints is not a “forgone conclusion” in which believers will always continue to walk in Christ (Bryson, 273).  While Bryson states that he believe in the perseverance of the saints (but not the Reformed articulation of it), an assessment of his position reveal that it is best to call his position “once saved, always saved”, to distinguish it from the doctrine of perseverance of the saints.  In other words, Bryson believes that a believer’s justification in Christ is secured for eternity, although a believer might possibly not experience sanctification for most of the believer’s Christian life (Bryson, 263-266).  He even found it appalling that some Christians would reject the idea of the ‘carnal’ Christian (Bryson, 266).  Here is a good case which demonstrates how doctrines in theology are interdependent, for Bryson’s major contention with the perseverance of the saints is ultimately with the Reformed understanding of the sanctification of the saints.

The gist of Bryson’s objection in The Dark Side of Calvinism is stated compactly with this question: “At the risk of belaboring the point, however, if all true saints persevere through to the end, why does Scripture so often encourage the saints to persevere and just as often warn them of the consequences of not persevering” (Bryson, 269)?  Bryson cites various passages from Scripture, where there are warnings and exhortation to be sanctified.  He believes that these warnings would then be totally meaningless and unnecessary if the Calvinist position on perseverance is correct (Bryson, 281).

The root of the problem to Bryson’s objection is a misunderstanding of God’s sovereignty in sanctification.  While Bryson has correctly cited contemporary Reformed teacher such as Sproul and MacArthur to demonstrate the Reformed position holds to the believer’s inevitable sanctification as the result of God, Bryson has failed to provide any citation of adherents of Sovereign Grace concerning their position on the means in which God sovereignly sanctifies the believer.  God in His sovereignty sanctifies the believer through the means of warning believers from the Scripture itself.  A believer ought to test to see if they are in the faith, and admonition from the Scripture is legitimately the means in which God has decided to keep those who are elect, in the faith (MacArthur, 212-215).  There is an element of human responsibility in sanctification, according to the doctrines of Sovereign Grace, and warning from Scripture appealing to the believer’s responsibility is how God intends to sovereignly preserve the saints.

Sadly, Bryson has not only misunderstood the Reformed position of the perseverance of the saints, Bryson should have known better, if he has read the context of some of his citation carefully.  For instance, according to Bryson, Sproul admittedly concede the problem that Sovereign Grace would make warnings totally meaningless and unnecessary.  He quotes Sproul saying “It seems frivolous to exhort people to avoid the impossible” (Bryson, 281).   A more complete reading of Sproul would indicate that Sproul does not admit a problem and left it at that.  In the very next sentence Sproul addresses the issue further, saying that perseverance is both God’s grace and a believer’s duty (Sproul, 186).  In the larger context that Bryson lifted his quote from, Sproul went on explaining how humanly speaking it is possible for a believer to fall away but ultimately why that will not happen is because God is the who is preserving a believer from falling away (Sproul, 186).  Scriptural warning and admonition is the human side to the perseverance of the saints.  This is the Reformed position which Bryson failed to accurately understand or represent. The next part of this paper will see if the Reformed position is also the Biblical position.


Philippians 2:12-13 is important in the discussion of perseverance of the saints in light of the paradoxical tension of the believer’s responsibility and divine sovereignty in salvation expressed in these two verses (Silva, 118).

Contextually, Philippians 2:12-13 begins a section of exhortation, which goes up to verse eighteen (Lightner, 848).  In the previous section, Paul has given a hymn concerning the humble attitude in which believers ought to share with Christ.  As a result of the truth in the previous section, Paul applies the truth of the hymn by addressing the believer’s response and responsibility in salvation.  It is clear that Paul is addressing believers, since he called them brethren.

The topic of salvation is explicitly clear, since the word “salvation” itself is mentioned in verse twelve.  Attempts has been made to interpret “salvation” here in non-theological sense, such as seeing salvation a reference to health, but health and well being is not suggested within the verse nor the context.  The use of “salvation” elsewhere in the epistle (1:19, 28) is clearly about spiritual salvation (O’Brien, 278-279).  Furthermore, in the corpus of Paul’s epistles, there is no evidence where “salvation” is used in a non-theological sense for health (Silva, 119-120).  Salvation must be understood as all of God’s work on behalf of the believer, from election to glorification (MacArthur, 211; cf. Silva, 121).  Salvation understood as such, is attested by Scripture where salvation is seen as what has already been done (Ephesians 2:5, 8) and what is still yet to come (Romans 5:9-10, 2nd Timothy 4:18).

In this discussion about salvation, Paul talks about obedience, which is in the realm of human responsibility.  The Philippians’ readers are described as always obeying, or for interpretation purposes, as obeying previously, and the Greek aorist tense for “obeying” is looking back to the old days (Moule, 44).  Paul exhort his readers, now that he was no longer with them (“now much more in my absence”) to continue having that same obedience which Paul has witnessed previously.

Paul commanded the Philippians to show their obedience by working out their salvation.  “Work out” (kataergazesthe) is the main verb of verse twelve (O’ Brien, 281).  While later in verse thirteen Paul would talk about God’s role in salvation, commentator Silva correctly observes that Paul’s first concern was with human activity (Silvia, 122).

Paul even described further details in verse twelve of how the believer was to work out their salvation.  Connecting to the main verb “kataergazesthe”, is the modifying phrase “with fear and trembling” (O’ Brien, 282).  This phrase carries more of the thought of reverent and full conscience of God’s presence rather than the idea of tormenting misgiving attitude (Moule, 44).  If readers read this verse in isolation from verse thirteen or if readers presupposes that a believer can work out their own salvation without the need of grace from God (as verse thirteen teaches), then the phase “with fear and trembling” is virtually unintelligible.  Fear and trembling is the proper response, because salvation has everything to do with God, and something done by God, as verse thirteen teaches.  While there is a human factor, there is also the factor of God in salvation.

Turning to verse thirteen, the presence of the Greek word “gar”, which is translated in English as “for”, should be understood as “because”.  This word is introducing the ground and the reason of why there should be fear and trembling (O’ Brien, 284).  There should be a reverential fear because God is the one working in the Philippians.  In the Greek, there is a particular emphasis in this verse on God (“Theos”), since “Theos” is placed first in this verse (O’ Brien, 286).  The presence of “gar” also demonstrates a causal relationship of God to a believer’s working out their salvation (Silva, 122).

There are two things described in verse thirteen of how God works in the lives of believers.  First, God is the one who works in the believer to will.  The Greek verb “to will” is “thelein”, which carries the idea of purposeful determination and the fact that it is in the Greek present tense means this will is an ongoing process (O’ Brien, 287).  God is the source of the believer’s continuous desire to work out their salvation.  Secondly, God’s work is also behind the believer’s actual work for God’s pleasure.  It is a great awesome truth, one that believers should laud thanksgiving and joy to the Lord, that God is behind one’s desire for working out our salvation and actual sanctification.  A believer should be in fear and awe of this great truth.

If God is the source of the believer’s determination and actual work which pleases God, and this is what He does as part of God’s sanctification in salvation, then it follows that godliness is inevitable for a true believer.  Bryson finds this idea abhorring, and teaching this will have contrary effect (Bryson, 269).  This is rather a shallow understanding of Scripture, especially when the epistles openly juxtapose the indicatives of God and the imperatives of God.  In fact, O’ Brien stated it well, that “Philippians 2:12-13 gives clear expression to this relationship of the ‘indicative’ and the ‘imperative’, the theological foundation and the accompanying exhortation” (O’ Brien, 285).

In conclusion, Philippians 2:12-13 attest to the teaching that there is human responsibility in salvation, a salvation which is God’s work, in which God himself is the source of the believer’s will and actual result of perseverance and godliness.  Yet, with these great truths, Scripture itself issue warnings to believers without a hint that is conflicting with the truths above.  Thus, the believer is not only promised that he will be “once saved, always saved”, but also actual perseverance as a true saint of God, because of God’s sovereign grace in his progressively sanctifying life.


Bryson, George.  The Dark Side of Calvinism: The Calvinist Caste System. Santa Ana, California: Calvary Chapel Publishing, 2004.

Bryson, George. “The Divine Sovereignty Human Responsibility Debate Part 2.” Christian Research Journal 24 no. 1 (2001): 22-25, 41-47.

Demarest, Bruce and Gordon Lewis.  Integrative Theology. Volume 2. Grand Rapids: Academic Books, 1987.

Erikson, Millard.  Christian Theology.. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1998.

Lightner, Robert P. “Philippians.” In The Bible Knowledge Commentary. 2 Volumes, Edited by John Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, 2:647-666. Colorado Springs: Victor, 1983.

MacArthur, John.  The Gospel According to Jesus: What is Authentic Faith? Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008.

Moule, H.C.G.  The Epistle of Paul the apostle to the Philippians: With  Introduction and Notes. Cambridge, England: University Press, 1936.

O’ Brien, Peter T.  The Epistle to the Philippians: A Commentary on the Greek Text.  The New International Greek New Testament Commentary. Cambridge, Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1991.

Silva, Moises.  Philippians. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 2005.

Sproul, R.C.  Chosen by God. Wheaton: Tyndale House, 1986.

White, James. “The Divine Sovereignty Human Responsibility Debate Part 1” Christian Research Journal 23 no. 4 (2001): 32-41.

[1] Sovereign Grace refers to the teaching that God’s work for a believer’s salvation began from eternity, when God elected and choose the believers to come to a saving knowledge of himself through faith in Jesus Christ.  This term is used interchangeably with Reformed theology and Calvinism for the purpose of this paper.

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George Bryson, the director of Calvary Chapel Church Planting Mission, wrote a book several years back against Calvinism called “The Dark Side of Calvinism”. I thought it was funny, that turning to the back of the book, there is an endorsement quote from Doug Wilson of the work. The quote is as follows:

“George Bryson is a very unusual non-Calvinist…His descriptions are fair and accurate, and he clearly knows his subject.”

I started wondering about  what might be missing in the context of the quote, as Doug Wilson himself claims to be a Calvinist.

The original source of Wilson’s comment can be found here: http://credenda.org/issues/10-3meander.php

It turns out that the quote was originally a brief comment by Doug Wilson not about this book (“The Dark Side of Calvinism“), but Bryson’s earlier work, The Five Points of Calvinism: Weighed and Found Wanting.  This quote then is not necessarily an endorsement of The Dark Side of Calvinism itself.

Doug Wilson also wrote:

The first portion of the book, the place where he does all this, is very good. The second, where he turns to refutation, falls in another category.

It does not seem fully honest to use a selected quote from Wilson as an endorsement, when Wilson did not think HALF the book was good, and then that being of another book instead of the one that seem to be “endorsed”.

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Twenty years later, the clip of the “Tank Man” is still amazing and riveting

Today is the anniversary of China’s Tienanmen Square massacre

The man and his bag of groceries, seeing a row of tank advancing after days of violence, is fustrated, walks out to go on stopping a column of tanks advancing at the risk of his own life, probably not knowing he was filmed, not caring about what is going to happen in his life

A concidence or providence that four reporters captured this historic moment?

Who was that man?  Whatever happen to him? What was going through his mind?

The question doesn’t get asked often, but whatever happen to the Tank commander and driver?  This is communist China we are talking about…are they still alive?

Remember that even this day, those of Tianamen are still punished and in prison for that episode

What was your impression when you saw this clip for the first time?

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An offshoot of what I posted from last week, I thought this post  might interests some.
While this is several weeks ago, Dr. MacArthur has some general comment about the role of reason in reading the Scripture, as a direction for me to further think about this subject.
It can be read originally here.
I believe that a good grasp of logic aid in one’s Bible study and understanding of Scripture, perhaps in the near future I can flesh this out some more.
Scripture and Plain Reason
Monday, May 18, 2009

(By John MacArthur)

When Martin Luther was summoned to the Diet of Worms in 1521 and asked to recant his teaching, he replied, “Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience would be neither right nor safe. God help me. Here I stand, I can do no other.”

Luther’s well-known formulation, “Scripture and plain reason,” is the only basis on which we can properly ground true spiritual discernment.

Scripture isn’t antithetical to sound, rational wisdom, though many today imagine otherwise. Reason is no substitute for Scripture, of course, but when good reason and sound logic are kept subject to the authority of Scripture, they are in no way a threat to the truth. On the contrary, the application of sound, logical thinking to the truth of Scripture is a key aspect of the formula for discernment.

Contrary to what a lot of people these days assume, discernment is not a mystical or intuitive ability to know the truth as if by magic. It is the skill of understanding, interpreting, and applying truth accurately. Discernment is a cognitive act. Therefore no one who spurns right doctrine or sound reason can be truly discerning.

Authentic spiritual discernment must begin with Scripture-revealed truth. Without a firm grounding in divine revelation, human reason always degenerates into skepticism (a denial that anything can be known for certain), rationalism (the theory that reason is a source of truth), secularism (an approach to life that purposely excludes God), or any number of other anti-Christian philosophies.

When Scripture condemns human wisdom (1 Cor. 3:19), it is not denouncing logic and reason per se, but humanistic ideology divorced from the divinely-revealed truth of God’s Word. In other words, reason apart from the Word of God leads inevitably to unsound ideas, but reason subjected to the Word of God is at the heart of wise spiritual discernment.

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OPENING NOTE: I do not condone violence against abortion doctors. I say this and put this in the beginning to avoid tangent hecklers who don’t read clearly and assume things not there.

Frank Schaeffar, the son of the famed Francis Schaeffar, has written a piece attacking once again his father’s legacy and taking a swipe against Conservative Christians in general.

There is something morbid and stale of an aging man who resorts his claim to fame by constantly attacking his own father’s legacy and promoting his autobiographical memoir. Sometime in your life, you got to be your own man, and not be famous for just talking bad about daddy.

This time, he takes the oppourtunity from the murder of Tiller to drum against his father and Christian conservatives over at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frank-schaeffer/how-i-and-other-pro-life_b_209747.html

The piece is titled, “How I (and other “Pro-life” leaders) Contributed to Dr. Tiller’s Murder”

It is sad that with a title about “How I contributed to Dr. Tiller’s Murder”, even when he say he contributed to Tiller’s murder, he does not miss the oppourtunity to drag his dad’s legacy down into the discussion, with his opening sentence:

My late father and I share the blame (with many others) for the murder of Dr. George Tiller the abortion doctor gunned down on Sunday.

Franky loves to tout that he has left the conservative moment,

Until I got out of the religious right (in the mid-1980s) and repented of my former hate-filled rhetoric I was both a leader of the so-called pro-life movement and a part of a Republican Party hate machine masquerading as the moral conscience of America.

But sometimes he gives himself too much credit.  He asserts that he was a leader of the Republican Party machine, but what important post or gate-keeping position did he ever hold within the party? Anyone familar with the genesis of the Christian right realizes that around the highest point where Frank was most well known among Evangelicals, the Republican Party has not welcomed the Christian Conservatives into their midst yet, and when Christian Conservatives were beginning to gain grounds into the party during the mid-80s, Frank has admitted above that he was already “out” and repenting from his former ways.  Dr. Cohen, formerly of UCLA political Science Department who have concentrated his expertise on the Christian right, description of the first and second wave of the Christian Right doesn’t even register Frank’s name up.  Even among those who knew of the name Frank Jr. during those years, knew Frank because he was  tied in with his dad, as the son who produce the documentary for his father.  All this to say, he’s not the leader as he like to portray himself to be.  He was being a sexual busybody outside of his filming project, as his Crazy for God book admits.

Frank believes in his own culpability for Tiller’s death,

He compared America and its legalized abortion to Hitler’s Germany and said that whatever tactics would have been morally justified in removing Hitler would be justified in trying to stop abortion. I said the same thing in a book I wrote (A Time For Anger) that right wing evangelicals made into a best seller

But admits that he would have been shocked if people took up his word,

Like many writers of moral/political/religious theories my father and I would have been shocked that someone took us at our word, walked into a Lutheran Church and pulled the trigger on an abortionist.

Fundamentally disturbing in Frank Jr.’s reasoning is the slippery slope logical fallacy that he tends to commit in this piece and others.  For instance, he states:

When evangelicals on the right call President Obama a socialist, a racist, anti-American, an abortionist, not a real American, and, echoing the former Vice President, someone who is weakening America’s defenses and making us less safe, the logical conclusion is violence.

He believes that “the logical conclusion” of the concern of Conservatives on Obama will lead to violence, but logically this argument is invalid.  The logical conclusion is not necessarily violence, but political participation (voting in the re-election, gathering to express your views on his policy, freedom of speech, calling your congressman, writing, etc).  Furthermore, just because  violence might occur by some fringe who chooses not to engage in peaceful lawful process, doesn’t mean that one cannot express their concern of someone being a “socialist”, a “racist”, “abortionists”, weakening America, etc.  If there was a Racist republican president, why not call him out for what he is?  Or a politician who is a socialist (or liberterian)? Or observing that a president’s policy is pro-abortion rather than prolife?

But what about the current rhetoric that Frank Junior now use to demonize the Christian right, throughout his writing?  Does he believe that the “logical conclusion” of his speech will result in violence?

It’s also sad reading this article to see Frank has also embrace the legalization of abortion:

As I say in my book today I believe that abortion should be legal but more regulated than Roe allows.

But ultimately, the most disturbing words by Frank is the conclusion of his essay,

The same hate machine I was part of is still attacking all abortionists as “murderers.” And today once again the “pro-life” leaders are busy ducking their personal responsibility for people acting on their words. The people who stir up the fringe never take responsibility. But I’d like to say on this day after a man was murdered in cold blood for preforming abortions that I — and the people I worked with in the religious right, the Republican Party, the pro-life movement and the Roman Catholic Church, all contributed to this killing by our foolish and incendiary words.

I am very sorry.

He asserts that pro-life leaders are busy ducking away from personal responsibility for people acting on their words, and he doesn’t like how they never take responsibility.  He himself by his own admission stated that his words called for tactics that would justify ending abortion.  If he really does see he was responsible being the “leader” of the prolife movement who was so powerful that in this essay he wrote that he “personally also got people like Jerry Falwell, Ronald Reagan and countless Republican leaders involved in the ‘issue'”, I like to see someone take Frankie Junior to the task in the court and sue Frank Jr for “his responsibility”, using his own words, to reveal how dangerous and sloppy his current rhetoric is.

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