Archive for March, 2011

This outline is one of a series on Basic Hermenutics.

PURPOSE OF SERIES:  To lay the foundation of good interpretation of the Bible.


I.                    Definition

a.       “How to read the Bible”

b.      “How to properly interpret the bible”

c.       “The method one has of Biblical interpretation”

II.                 Why is hermeneutic important?

a.       With a proper interpretation, you can know what the Scripture says

b.      You can have the right method to protect you from misinterpretation

i.      Be sober with this instruction: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2Timothy 2:15)

III.               Course Overview

a.       Hermeneutic in the context of Systematic Theology

i.      When one learns how to read the Bible, they desire to know what the Bible really teaches

1.      In this sense, there is a relationship between theology and hermeneutics

2.      This presupposes that the Bible should be the source and authority to be read.

a.       How should we study theology? This is the topic of Session Two

b.      Foundational Biblical Doctrines for Hermeneutics

i.      The Bible as God’s special written revelation

This is the topic of Session Three

ii.      Is the Bible the authoritative source for theology?

1.      Does the Bible teaches that the Bible is authoritative for theological truths?

This is the topic of Session Four

2.      Does that mean that the Bible is without error?

Ramification of this doctrine in the areas of Hermeneutics is explored in Session Five

iii.      Is their clarity in the Bible to even interpret it?

This is the topic of Session Six

c.       Principles in interpreting Scripture

i.      Principles of personal and ethical criteria of studying theology is the topic in session seven

ii.      A critical pivotal point for hermeneutics is the issue of the importance of words and grammar

1.      This is the topic of session eight

iii.      Interpretation in light of Context

1.      Immediate context- this is the topic in session nine

2.      Chapter and Book context- this is the topic in session ten

3.      Entirety of the Bible context- this is the topic in session eleven

d.      Hermeneutics and the relationship with other discipline

i.      Hermeneutics has a relationship with Systematic Theology

ii.      Hermeneutics has a relationship with other disciplines involving natural revelation

This is explored in the session twelve

iii.      Hermeneutics has a relationship with Apologetics

This is explored in session thirteen


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Westminster Bookstore is offering Thriving at College by Alex Chediak with a promotion of 50% off for the first copy of this book, 40% off for additional copies. Sale ends April 5.

The publisher’s description:

Going to college can be exciting, anxiety inducing, and expensive! You want your child to get the most out of their college experience—what advice do you give? Thriving at College by Alex Chediak is the perfect gift for a college student or a soon-to-be college student.

Filled with wisdom and practical advice from a seasoned college professor and student mentor, Thriving at College covers the ten most common mistakes that college students make—and how to avoid them! Alex leaves no stone unturned—he discusses everything from choosing a major and discerning one’s vocation to balancing academics and fun, from cultivating relationships with peers and professors to helping students figure out what to do with their summers. Most importantly, this book will help students not only keep their faith but build a vibrant faith and become the person God created them to be.

From the book,

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Before I comment on Libya, I want to make the observation that American laws are strict against those who support, aid and abet Radical Islam and terrorism.  I was reminded of this today when I read the news about Kamal Said Hassan recent request to be released pending sentencing. He was a Somali man who was arrested in 2008 for his connection with being in a Radical Islamic violent training camps and following orders with an Islamic insurgency group that want to bring an Islamic regime to Somalia after his return to America.  Obviously, America means business when it comes to those who support terror.

Would Obama, America’s own president be willing to aid and support Islamic jihad?  Who is the US supporting in Libya?

It’s too simple to say that the Libyan government is killing civilians (no doubt civilians are getting killed).  There’s also rebels who are fighting against him.

What I find saddening in Western media is the fact that the headlines are more about what our planes and bombs are doing instead of asking an important question of why they are bombing and fighting in the first place: Who are the insurgents we are protecting with our bombs and planes?

A good question.  Who are the Libyan rebels?

The London Telegraph has reported on March 25th, 2011 with the following headline, “Libyan rebel commander admits his fighters have Al Qaeda link.”

You can read it for yourself in full by clicking HERE

However, even that headline is not totally accurate as it paints the picture of rebel leader Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi just having to happen to have a few figthers here and there who have links to Al Qaeda.

When one read the entire newspiece about Al-Hasidi (some journalists call him Al-Hasadi instead), one will discover that he has fought in Afghanistan and was captured in Pakistan in 2002.  What a thought; the headline shouldn’t be some Al Qaeda linked insurgents are in Al-Hasadi’s rebel forces, but that the leader himself was involved with pro-Al Qaeda activity in Afghanistan!

It is ironic to think that in one part of the world (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq) the United States drop bombs on any who have miniscule ties to Al Qaeda, while under this current administration with President Obama, in another part of the world (Libya) we drop bombs on the enemies of those with ties to Al Qaeda instead. Remember that the Al-Qaeda linked insurgents based around the Libyan town of Derna has supplied suicide bombers in Iraq and figthers for Al Qaeda in Afghanistan in the past.

The U.S. have had a history within the intelligence and covert operations community of assuming that men whom we support to overthrow another regime will be our “agents” our “lackeys” but if the names like Ho-Chi-Minh, Saddam Hussein don’t ring in a bell in terms of lesson from history, we need to realize that these men who are depraved enough to murder many innocent lives and risk their own mortality is probably too depraved and vicious to be a listening “agent” of America’s agenda–whatever that agenda is.  Sadly in the current crisis with Libya, the West has yet to figure what their objective is.

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Christian apologist Cornelius Van Til, who’s disciple included Greg Bahnsen and John Frame, has once written a little pamphlet/essay titled, “Why I believe”

Over at Reformed Audio, there is an audio reading of this work!

You can listen to the MP3 by clicking HERE

Or you can download it by clicking HERE

It’s about 55 minutes long. Enjoy.

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This Movieology thing by American Vision seems like a good idea.

I know there are websites out there reviewing the content of movies for Christian concerns such as sexual immorality and language.

But there needs to be a review in terms of worldview analysis as well.

Here’s one they did concerning the movie, “Battle: Los Angeles”

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R. Scott Clark has written a recent piece titled, “Why one should read before writing or the difference between is and must be” over at his blog on March 23rd, 2011.  It basically responds to TurretinFan, and TurretinFan’s response can be found HERE.  Paul Manata at his blog has also offered his thoughts on the same post made by Clark, in his entry titled, “How not to argue against a position Part III” and I think Clark should really read what Manata has to say and learn something there.

I have nothing to offer in terms of the same caliber compare to what these men have said.  Nor do I have the time presently.

But I wanted to point out one point, which Clark complained about TurretinFan:

why don’t Christian bloggers take personal responsibility for the things they write? My name is on every post. I’m held to account for every syllable. I don’t understand the ethos of anonymous Christian blogging. Doesn’t the 9th commandment entail taking such accountability?

My first thought at reading this was whether the 9th commandment entailed an “accountability” that goes against the idea of Christians blogging anonymously.  But I took the advice of an older man, and did not wanted to write anything until I read the ninth commandment first.

I looked over at the ninth commandment in my Bible and it states this in the NASB:

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

I just don’t know how the prohibition not to bear false witness against one’s neighbor would “entail” that one should not blog anonymously.  I scratched my head with that one.  Exodus 20:16 seems to be speaking about the truth claim of what one asserts about others instead of the protection of one’s identity.  It seems that it is possible that one can be anonymous to SOME people and yet obey this commandment and not bear false witness against someone.  I think of those in the business of law enforcement, such as my boss who was a former undercover officer, who can testify in a trial and not bear false witness concerning a suspect by speaking only the truth of the matter.  Yet, in some sense the witness he bears is anonymous to MOST people (for obvious reason because of the nature of his work).

In either case, I find it ironic that TurretinFan has said more than once he was willing to email R. Scott Clark his personal information (names, etc) provided that he agree to keep that information from being revealed publicly, for the sake of keeping him accountable to his church leadership if the need arise.  Clark’s blog post fail to acknowledge this.  But I digress.

My main point is this:  This incident is another example that when it comes to the Scriptures,

one should read before writing.

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Dr. Michael Vlach, Assistant Professor of Theology at The Master’s Seminary who among other things, teaches the apologetics course has a message delivered titled, “Making Sense of Evil and Suffering” available through SermonAudio.com

You can listen to the 55 minutes message directly by clicking HERE or Download it for latter by clicking HERE

Here’s a little information about Dr. Vlach from The Master’s Seminary website:

Associate Professor of Theology

  • B.S., University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • M.Div., The Master’s Seminary
  • Ph.D., Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

    Before joining The Master’s Seminary faculty in 2006, Dr. Vlach functioned as a Professor of Humanities at Southeast Community College in Lincoln, Nebraska. He also taught Bible, Theology, and Hermeneutics for Grace University in Omaha, Nebraska. While working on his doctorate, Dr. Vlach was the Senior Researcher/Writer at Church Initiative, a church-equipping ministry in Wake Forest, North Carolina. An ordained minister, Dr. Vlach served as an assistant pastor in Lincoln, Nebraska for five years where he headed up a church-based Bible training institute. Michael speaks regularly at churches and conferences and has appeared on several national radio broadcasts. He has also published numerous articles in Christian magazines and scholarly journals. Dr. Vlach began his tenure at TMS in 2006.

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    The guys over at Choosinghats.com, a blog by Van Tillian Christian apologists such as Chris Bolt and RazorsKiss, have announced today that they are starting up an online apologetics journal titled “Starting Point.”  It seems like something to stay tune to.

    Here’s their description:

    Choosing Hats is beginning work on an online journal called Starting Point. The journal will include articles that pertain to the Presuppositional/ Covenantal/Van Tilian variety of apologetics. Our readers are strongly encouraged to contribute toward this project.

    Contributors must be believers in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and must be members of a local church. Other qualifications will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

    Submissions should evidence critical thought on some topic or topics related to P/C/VT apologetics. Articles may be critical of this particular method of apologetics; however the larger purpose of progress or development of this method should be kept in mind.

    Submission of an article does not guarantee its appearance in Starting Point. Final decisions regarding contributors, submissions, and the journal will be made by Choosing Hats.

    If you are interested in submitting an article then please submit your first and last name using the Contact page and provide a 1-2 sentence description of what you would like to write about. You will be contacted shortly thereafter with more details. Feel free to contact us with any other comments or questions in the Comment Box here or through the Contact page.

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    Even before Rob Bell’s book was released on March 15th, 2011 there has been an unleash of a storm concerning his theology.

    Over at Southern Seminary, a ninety minute panel discussion with their President Al Mohler, Justin Taylor, Russell Moore and Denny Burk was uploaded online on Saint Patrick’s day.

    For the link, click HERE

    NOTE: Some of the defenders of Rob Bell raised the issue that his critics should read the book before criticizing him.  I’ve pre-ordered “LOVE WINS” and just got it on Saturday and though I was reluctant to support his book sales, I wanted to be fair to the guy.  After I finish reading it I plan in a few weeks from now to write a critique of it and have it on here.  With the various reviews coming forth, I wish that my critique to be a little different, focusing specifically on his theological method behind his soteriology as I think it is important to be conscious of how Bell comes to the conclusions he comes to.

    Stay tune.

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    I was a Political Science major back in UCLA and I was rather surprised by this youtube video done by this Political Science major student Alexandra Wallace from my Alma Mater

    (NOTE: The above is not the actual original video)

    What stuck out to me was the fact that (1) her comments about relatives in the Tsunami was quite inconsiderate (2) and her comments that Powell library at UCLA was disturbed by noisy asians when my experience was that it is a very quiet library to study in.

    However, it’s not so much of Alexandra Wallace’s foolishness that disturbs me the most, it’s the response I see under the comments of the video or what people posts on their facebook status updates and the fact that people have gone online to post her private information, class schedules and threatened her life and her family.

    Alexandra Wallace has since written a public letter of apology that she submitted to “THE DAILY BRUIN,” UCLA’s newspaper.  I quote in full:

    In an attempt to produce a humorous YouTube video, I have offended the UCLA community and the entire Asian culture. I am truly sorry for the hurtful words I said and the pain it caused to anyone who watched the video. Especially in the wake of the ongoing disaster in Japan, I would do anything to take back my insensitive words. I could write apology letters all day and night, but I know they wouldn’t erase the video from your memory, nor would they act to reverse my inappropriate action.

    I made a mistake. My mistake, however, has lead to the harassment of my family, the publishing of my personal information, death threats, and being ostracized from an entire community. Accordingly, for personal safety reasons, I have chosen to no longer attend classes at UCLA.

    Alexandra Wallace


    As much as she was insensitive with her comments and her portrayal of Asians in the library at UCLA,what she said does not deserve death threats from other human being.  It is ironic that in the climate of the Left’s “Tolerance,” “Diversity” and anti-racism that exists in many universities and colleges (UCLA being no exception) there can be a lack of tolerance, as it is evident from the inverted racist/sexual derogatory comments and threats  based upon her gender and race.  It is a tragedy.

    I think this illustrates that every social/political theory (be it today’s multiculturalism, etc)  is unavoidably “religious” to some extent, in that some behavior or ideas are deem to be so repulsive against the foundation of their particular view of the state/society that the followers believe it should never be permitted to be “blasphemed” against, and if a transgression does occur the violators are deemed worthy of being socially ostracized, subject to derogatory humiliation, having  their  means of living terminated, and even deserving of threats of death and death itself.  At times it doesn’t just end with the transgressor but it extends to others such as family or those who have any association with that individual (employers, supporters, etc).  So when the critic of the Bible points to the stoning of adulterers as horrendous, remember that even modern social/political theory in the guise of political correctness have their own blasphemy codes in their value judgment.  Alexandra Wallace’s folly and tragedy should give us the insight that whenever a critic complains about the Bible and think that modern progressive social/political theory lack their own blasphemy codes, this unfortunate incident (Wallace’s disparaging remarks, the responses to her) illustrates otherwise.

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    James White has had over sixty debates ranging from all sorts of people from Secularists to cultists on all sorts of issues from the King James Controversy, Calvinism to Isalm.

    Here he talks about how to debate for the Glory of God!


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    You attacked us first, ………………. !

    Messed with the wrong politician.

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    The interviewer does a good job pressing on issues that Rob Bell is evasive on. Has American clergymen become like politicians with their double talk?

    One of Steve Hays satire from Triablogue,

    Bashir: You ate your mother for breakfast. That’s true, isn’t it?
    Bell: I begin with the belief that when we eat our mother, God eats our mother. I begin with a divine being who is profoundly empathetic, compassionate and stands in solidarity with cannibals.
    Bashir: I get that. But did you eat your mother for breakfast?
    Bell: Eating your mother for breakfast is one culinary perspective within the stream of Christian cannibalism. There’s been within the Christian tradition a number of people who eat their mother for breakfast, but others eat her for lunch, or save her for dinner. Then there’s postmortem cannibalism. One of the things in the book I’m clear on and want people to see is that this tradition has all of these different opinions on the right time to eat your mother.
    Bashir: So did you eat or not?
    Bell: It’s a beautiful hope. We ought to keep that front and center.
    Bashir: You’re trying to have it both ways. That doesn’t make sense. Yes or no: did you or didn’t you eat your mother for breakfast?
    Bell: I think that’s a paradox at the heart of Christian cannibalism.

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    Unlike the previous years, you don’t have to register to download it!

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    The Palestinian Muslims came out to celebrate the massacre of the Fogel family which includes a 3-month-old baby.

    The family of the Fogel family released the pictures of the murdered family and asked to publish it.

    Udi and his 3-month old daughter.

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