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Archive for August, 2011

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The first edition of this book was published in 1993, and the latest edition was published in 2010. Sometimes the benefit of a book that is warning the threat posed to Evangelical Christianity is best seen from the passage of time. From the perspective that “time will tell..” I think this book is a must read for those who are concern about the state of American Christianity departing from Biblical mooring. The message is not out of date, but has been proven to be more relevant today. The author John MacArthur is a preacher who has the reputation of being one who preaches the Bible faithfully. In the preface to the second edition, MacArthur has made it clear that he intended to leave the original content of the first edition intact. While much of the discussion in the book first tackled the seeker sensitive movement, the book in the update discusses the Emergent church movement. It is important that one does not discuss about the Emergent church movement in a vaccuum and MacArthur proposes that there is a link between the Seeker Sensitive church movement and the Emergents: both are heavily driven by “pragmaticism” of getting people in the church without regard or downplaying faithfulness to the Bible’s own principle of ministry. MacArthur does acknowledge that the foundations of both are different (one being quite modernistic and the other post-modern) but his assessment of how the leaders and the leading Seeker Sensitive Church movement going the direction of the Emergents is rather saddening. From this book, the readers will be reminded that there is nothing new under the sun, that everything has been tried before. MacArthur talks a lot of Spurgeon’s down grade controversy and the new edition of the work features an appendix of Spurgeon quotes complied by the editor Phil Johnson (as a side note, Johnson has become an authority on anything Spurgeon and this work by MacArthur was the one that first introduced him to this Victorian preacher!). When one read Spurgeon’s own words and his description of the ecclesiastical climate of his day, one is struck at how similiar things are. It is a treat to evaluate a book years down the road and see if the message rings true or if it was exaggerated…and for the readers who read the second edition nearly twenty years later, one can say that John MacArthur’s warning cannot be exaggerated and that conditions are even worst than he can make up in 1993. The book however is not just a doom and gloom message of negativity, MacArthur is calling the readers to being repentance and renewed commitment to the gospel and doing ministry Biblically. This work demonstrates that John MacArthur’ message is prophetic–in a cessasionist’ way of course.

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I post this for the record for those who think that William Lane Craig has never debated AC Graying.

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This is from David Wood over at Answering Muslims.  I thought this hit it on the nail:

The conversation would be hilarious if it weren’t so frightening.

MUSLIM AMERICANS: “You non-Muslim Americans have nothing to worry about. We Muslims would never even think about imposing Sharia in the U.S.”

NON-MUSLIM AMERICANS: “Well then, you wouldn’t mind if we pass a law that will ban Sharia from being used in U.S. courts.”

MUSLIM AMERICANS: “What??? You only want American law in American courts? No Sharia? How dare you! You’re Islamophobes! You’re bigoted hate-mongers!”

NON-MUSLIM AMERICANS: “If you had no intention of bringing Sharia to the U.S., why are you opposed to us banning it?”

MUSLIM AMERICANS: “Racists! We’ll sue (to keep you from getting in the way of Sharia)!”

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This year, our Friday’s  Introduction to Hermeneutics series has been completed.  The next level hermeneutics series will be on genres of the Bible.  Stay tune!

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session One: Introduction

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Two: How Should We Study Theology? Issues of Sources and Authority

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Three: Doctrine of Special Revelation

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Four: The Doctrine of the Self-Attesting Word of God

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Five: Doctrine of Inerrancy and Ramifications for Hermeneutics

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Six: Doctrine of Biblical Clarity

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Seven: The importance of Words and Grammars

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Eight: Context Part I: The Immediate Context

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Nine: Context Part II: The Chapter and Book Context

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Ten: Context Part III: The Entirety of Scripture

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Eleven: The Aid of Natural Revelation in Hermeneutics

Introduction to Hermeneutics Series: Session Twelve: Hermeneutics and Apologetics

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I thought this quote was so…true, whether it’s Prayer of Jabez or Purpose Driven Life.

“At the start of each surge, younwould think (from the level of breathless anticipation) that the craftsmen of contextualization have finally identified something that will revolutionize just about everything. At the peak of each dad’s popularity, it will be practically the only thing anyone in the evangelical community wants to talk about. Then suddenly one day it will be gone because something newer is in the horizon. At that point, the dead fad becomes fodder for ridicule. Like yesterday’s Precious Moments figurines and Thomas Kinkade paintings, they become objects of scorn for today’s more sophisticated holy hipsters. But be forewarned: criticism of any fad is deemed intolerable and uncharitable while the dad is still hot. On the other hand, to defend an old fad is to declare one’s own irrelevance. So timing is everything, and it is a lot of work to keep up with what’s hot and what’s not.” (John MacArthur, Ashamed of the Gospel, 207).

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In the past on Veritas Domain, I have talked about the small and steady stream of Dispensationalists who are Presuppositional.  Paul Martin Henebury, the president of Veritas Seminary (no relations to this blog), also known as Dr. Reluctant on his blog, has a three part series introducing Presuppositional Apologetics back two years ago:

Presuppositional Apologetics: An Introduction Part I

Presuppositional Apologetics: An Introduction Part II

Presuppositional Apologetics: An Introduction Part III

 

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Chapter 1 was excellent! In that chapter, the author R.J. Rushdoony summarizes the biblical implication of a Christian worldview towards a philosophy of history. Rushdoony is not shy about applying His Christian belief towards the issue of the foundation of history, and bringing along his Calvinism to bear. He even discussed how God’s eternal decree is important in one’s philosophy of history and gave an important insight: “When man therefore denies the divine predestination, he denies God’s eternal decree only to replace it with another decree.” (45). This explains much about secular approach to history such as that of the Marxist who see history as determined by modes of production and offer that as an important motif in their outlook. The inevitable result of a non-personal determinism is an irrational Fatalism. Rushdoony’s critique of other worldview and religion were not limited to Western thought but Eastern thought as well. Readers should not miss his discussion of Indian’s doctrine of Maya in terms of it as monism which brings out the age old philosophical dilemma of the one and the many (22-23), karma and the desire to escape “cyclical history” by ceasing existence (40-41), Tibetan polyandry and the inability to maintain the “static” state of permanence that result in the sacrifice of the individual (58-59) and Ancestral worship idolizing and imprisoned by the past (59-60). Each of these beliefs carry devastating implications towards a philosophy of history. Rushdoony’s work is worth the time and he clearly expands beyond what Van Til’s snippets on a Christian view of philosophy of history. Readers should probably be aware that Rushdoony is Covenantal in his theology and Postmillennial in his eschatological outlook. I am aware that Rushdoony is a controversial figure (he has issue with the Holocaust, people are taken aback by his Theonomy) but so much of this has colored people’s preception of his larger corpus and contribution towards a Christian scholarship.

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