Posted in Apologetic Links, biblical worldview, christian apologetics, Christianity, Debate, Homeosexual Agenda, Julie Roys, Michael Brown, Moody Radio, Theology on July 20, 2015 |
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On Saturday, June 28, 2014 Moody Radio’s “Up For Debate” hosted a debate between Evangelical apologist Dr. Michael Brown and gay apologist Matthew Vines concerning the topic “Can you be Gay and Christian?” Julie Roys hosted the radio debate. It was a 42 minutes discussion.
There is a Youtube video format available of that debate which can be seen below.
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Purpose: In this series will see three analogies that God’s Word use to describe the importance of the Church with today specifically being that God sees the Church as His Building, that is, the Temple so that we too will see the importance of Church in our life.
God sees the church as the Building of God, the Temple
- The Jews believe in the importance of the Temple in Jerusalem for their faith and piety with God. It was the center of their religious life.
- Yet Jesus taught that “an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father” (John 4:21)
- Christians don’t need to go to Jerusalem and rebuild a Temple there to Worship God.
- But that does not take away the concept of the church is one sense a temple as we shall see below.
- Ephesians 2:19-22= “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the [p]saints, and are of God’s household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy [q]temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.”
- Church here (Jews and Gentiles) are described in verse 19 as being part of “God’s household” (19)
- Notice the cornerstone is Christ in verse 20.
- Then the foundation upon Christ is “apostles and prophets” (20)
- Church members are then described as part of the building (21)
- That building is “a holy [q]temple in the Lord” (21)
- That is because believers “together” experiences the “dwelling of God in the Spirit” (22)
- Church members are part of living stones and not dead (1 Peter 2:5)
- Christians are all involved with the “building up” of the Church according to 1 Corinthians 3:9-15.
- What is built upon it will be tested by the Lord one day (12-15)
- This should lead believers to be careful with how they build as 12 warns us.
- Picture: The Jews would fight all out in defense of their Temple from invaders. Do we see the importance of the Church like that given it’s motif as a Temple?
- Like how the Jews saw the Temple as important in following God, do you see the importance of the Church when you follow Christ?
- Sometimes people struggle with being a part of something that is of significance that is greater than themselves: They join the military, etc. If you are a Christian saved by Jesus Christ do you realize you are in an organization that is eternally significant for God and humanity?
- Look again at Ephesian 2:22: is the Spirit residing in your life? How about as a church?
- How are you building the church? Will your input last for eternity? Or will Christ have to remove your contribution?
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This is part 4 of our look at Matthew Vines’ pre-commitment or starting points that prejudice him towards rejecting the Bible’s rejection of same-sex relationship even before he began researching for his book God and the Gay Christian. Here in this post I want to address a paragraph in the book in which he thinks it would be hard for Christians to embrace the traditional interpretation of the Bible’s rejection of homosexuality.
Matthew Vines In His Own Words
On page 28 of the book Vines stated the following:
If you are like me, you grew up in a community that embraced this view of human sexuality without controversy. But increasingly, even for Christians who affirm the Bible’s full authority, the traditional understanding has become harder to accept. Especially for young believers, the trouble starts when we put names, faces, and outcomes to what the traditional interpretation means in practice”
In other words, for younger Christians who personally know homosexuals and what they go through, Vines believes that this would make them bent towards rejecting the traditional interpretation of the Bible that homosexuality is a sin. Note here that Vines has said nothing about any consideration for what does the Bible objectively have to say about same-sex relations; just the mere knowledge of a homosexual makes it hard to accept that homosexuality is a sin according to Vines. But is this without it’s problem?
The Problem with Vines’ view
- Matthew Vines’ line of reasoning here does not logically follow. Just because one personally knows a homosexual it does not logically follow that the desire and behavior of homosexuality itself is not sinful. Vines commits a categorical fallacy since knowing a person with a certain desire and/or behavior is not the same thing as knowing the ethical value of a desire and behavior.
- The error of Vines’ reasoning is best illustrated when it is applied to other sins. Vines himself believes that adultery is a sin because he believes that Christians must be in committed monogamous relationships. Yet is Vines willing to say that his “traditional understanding” about the sinfulness of adultery “has become harder to accept” once he can put names and faces to adulterers? There are some “nice,” “kind” and “loving” adulterers out there. Does Vines know of any? Does knowing adulterers as persons somehow make the act of adultery somehow less heinous?
- Again, being able to “put names and faces” of individuals associated with certain pet sins doesn’t mean that it must be harder to accept those sins as sins. Think of all those who work intimately counseling alcoholics, drug addicts and felons as their calling. Their familiarity with those who practice sinful behavior and struggle with sinful desires doesn’t make them necessarily less inclined to see sins as sins.
- Make no mistake that Romans 1:26-27 does not speak highly of same-sex relationship: “26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.” This passage is situated in Romans chapter one that talks about the sinfulness of man and God’s judgement.
- What are we to make of those who personally know homosexuals and suddenly approve of homosexual desires and acts? After identifying same-sex relationship as sinful and part of God’s judgment Paul goes on to say in Romans 1:32 that “although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.” God does not approve of those who call what is sinful as “good.”
- This problematic pre-commitment is a symptom of Matthew Vines’ misplaced role of experience over Scripture which we have documented and refuted in part 2.
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Posted in biblical worldview, Chattanooga Shooting, Christianity, Marine Corp, Marines, Military, Reformed, Sin, Terrorism, total depravity on July 17, 2015 |
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My heart goes out to the loved ones of the four Marines who were killed yesterday during the Chattanooga Shooting. I imagine Liberals and Democrats would want to take advantage of this unfortunate incident to cry for more gun control such as restriction on more weapons that could be purchased and also more areas that are legally gun free zone.
While I do think most gun-control activists are sincere I think many are mistaken at a fundamental level of understanding human nature. One wonders if they understand the extent of man’s depravity. I think “Gun Free Zone” that is not enforced with people who are armed is quite a naive concept; in fact it is dangerous and irresponsible on the part of lawmakers and bureaucrats who come up with such a thing. The biggest problem I think is that it neglect to account for the reality of human depravity, that those who are wicked and sinful and want to carry out sinful terrorist acts are not going to stop when you merely have a sticker that says “No guns.”
Sadly yesterday’s shooting is a case in point:
Original picture SOURCE
Having a picture and a sign that says no guns is just as persuasive to a depraved gunman as an “Obama ’08” bumper sticker is for a Republican in 2015. It’s “irrelevant” to a simple criminal let alone a committed Muslim extremist. Actually it is relevant for such gunman: it allows them to face lesser resistance to their wicked schemes.
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Posted in Apologetic Links, Christianity, Reformed, Theology, Presuppositional Apologetics, Gordon Clark, Van Til, presuppositionalism, christian apologetics, Cornelius Van Til, Matt Slick on July 16, 2015 |
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Posted in Apologetics, Bible, christian apologetics, Christianity, hermeneutics, interpretation of the bible, Leviticus, old testament, old testament law, Old Testament Laws, Reformed, Theology on July 15, 2015 |
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This is our third installment in which we look at the problematic precommitments that Matthew Vines has accepted prior to his research for his book God and the Gay Christian in which he argues that “Christians who affirm the full authority of Scripture can also affirm committed, monogamous same-sex relationship” (Page 3). Here in this post I want to address Vines’ problematic pre-commitment concerning Old Testament laws.
Matthew Vines In His Own Words
On page 11-12 Vines said:
But while I’d once agreed with my parents’ view on homosexuality, I didn’t anymore. Even before coming to terms with my sexual orientation, I had been studying the Bible’s references to same-sex behavior and discussing the issue with Christian friends. Some of what I learned seemed to undermine the traditional interpretation of those passages. For instance, Leviticus prohibits male same-sex relations, but it uses similar language to prohibit the eating of shellfish. And while Paul did describe same-sex relations as ‘unnatural,’ he also wrote that for men to wear their hair long was contrary to ‘nature.’ Yet Christians no longer regard eating shellfish or men having long hair as sinful. A more comprehensive exploration of Scripture was in order.”
Note in the above quote that even before Vines came out of the closet as being a homosexual or even before he began researching to write his book, Vines’ own view of the Old Testament has already led him to question whether the Bible prohibit same sex relations. Although Vines admit that a “more comprehensive exploration of Scripture was in order,” already what he thinks he knows has “undermine the traditional interpretation of those passages”
Then on page 78 Vines gives us some more details of how he started to question the Old Testament laws found in Leviticus (18:22 and 20:13) that prohibits same-sex relationship:
When I was fourteen, I used that verse to ‘prove’ to a friend that gay marriage ws wrong. Today, I realize I hardly knew anything about what I was saying–the context of that verse in Scripture, for instance, or the place of the Old Testament law for Christians.
It’s no surprise that I was at a loss when my friend responded to me with verses from Leviticus banning the eating of shellfish and wearing mixed fabrics.
Sad to say, though, that’s been the extent of many debates about the BIble and homosexuality in recent years. One side starts by quoting Leviticus 18:22 (or 20:13, which prescribes the death penalty for males who engage in same-sex relations), and the other side counters with verses about dietary laws and bans on certain combinations of clothing. We really need to go deeper”
Thus his interaction at the age of 14 with friends on the topic of Old Testament laws has already slanted him towards the view that the Bible does not prohibit same-sex marriage. We definitely need to go deeper in our refutation of his pre-commitment that slants him towards affirming same-sex relationships.
The Problem with Vines’ view of Old Testament Laws
- Vines lamented the state of debate between the two sides: “One side starts by quoting Leviticus 18:22 (or 20:13, which prescribes the death penalty for males who engage in same-sex relations), and the other side counters with verses about dietary laws and bans on certain combinations of clothing.” Ironically this is what Vines himself does when he invokes dietary laws as a defeater to the non-affirming Christians’ interpretation of Leviticus. He didn’t “go deeper” as he promised in the book but presented the typical gay apologists’ arguments about Old Testament laws.
- Matthew Vines’ hermeneutics is definitely problematic. Recall the principle that led him to think same-sex relationship is okay: “Leviticus prohibits male same-sex relations, but it uses similar language to prohibit the eating of shellfish.” In essence, this is his hermenutical principle: “Since X from Leviticus is not applicable for us today, therefore Y should not be either.”
- But just because Leviticus has laws that prohibit things that later in the New Testament it allows, does that means same-sex relationship fall under the same category of things permissible?
- Homosexual sins is not in the same category as dietary laws.
- Also the New Testament did not reverse the teaching of Leviticus against homosexuality, pronouncing that it is now permitted for a man to lie with another man, etc.
- Matthew Vines’ hermentical principle that “Since X from Leviticus is not applicable for us today, therefore Y should not be either” is dangerous.
- Taking Vines’ hermeneutical principle towards Leviticus to its logical conclusion, is it now permitted to see the nudity of family and relatives members? The same argument Vines use against the prohibition against homosexuality can be used by perverts to argue against Leviticus 18:6-17 (same chapter with the prohibition on male homosexual acts). Leviticus might prohibit unclothing family members and relatives, but to use Vines’ own words Leviticus also “uses similar language to prohibit the eating of shellfish.” Thus shellfishes “undermine the traditional interpretation of those passages” and somehow with Vines leap of logic in the structure of his argument it must mean incestuous uncovering of nakedness is allowed today.
- Vines’ form of argument can be used to say it is permissible to commit children sacrifices, bestiality and incest by employing his erroneous hermeneutical principle to dismiss Leviticus 18:21, 18:22, 20:11-12 respectively. We can go on but readers should get the point with his hermeneutics.
- Matthew Vines is also inconsistent with his hermeneutical principle that “Since X from Leviticus is not applicable for us today, therefore Y should not be either.”
- Again Vines believes in “committed, monogamous same-sex relationship” (Page 3).
- Part of that commitment means there must not be adultery, which by definition is the violation of a committed monogamous relationship.
- If Vines is consistent with his interpretative approach it undermines the prohibition of adultery.
- But Vines won’t go there and probably won’t accept someone who uses his argumentation to allow for adultery. Thus, he is inconsistent with his own method.
- Matthew Vines and others might argue that the points above does not apply in light of the New Testament relationship to the Old Testament. This is our reply:
- While the New Testament still prohibit adultery, etc., remember the New Testament continue to prohibit homosexual relations as well. Of course, Vines and company will dispute that, but the Christian response can be found elsewhere in our blog and is beyond the scope of this post.
- Going to the New Testament does not resolve Vines’ problematic hermeneutics. That is because he himself applies this kind of argumentation to the New Testament; recall above how Vines was quoted as saying: “And while Paul did describe same-sex relations as ‘unnatural,’ he also wrote that for men to wear their hair long was contrary to ‘nature.'” Now the problem is further compounded by bringing this interpretative strategy to the New Testament.
- Ultimately, Vines’ basis of ethics is not the Bible if he can judge which prohibition in Scripture (Old and New Testament) should still stand and which should not. His standard of ethics needs to be exposed and refuted. This we have already done in part 1 of this series in which we documented and refuted his humanistic consequentialist’s ethics.
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The late Christian apologist Greg Bahnsen has written a little known book on a biblical view of homosexuality. The Evangelical Christian Library has hosted this book for free online here.
Here is the table of Content:
Back Cover of the Book
Preface … 5
1. Basic Commitments … 13
The Foundational Question of Scripture … 14
The Law as an Expression of God’s Will … 19
2. Homosexuality as a Sin … 27
The Creation Account … 28
The Story of Sodom … 31
God’s Law … 35
Romans 1 … 47
3. The Act / Orientation Distinction and Causes of Homosexuality … 63
4. The Response of the Church : Hope for Homosexuals … 85
5. The Response of Society : Homosexual Acts as Criminal … 99
6. Conclusion … 125
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