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Archive for the ‘Common Grace’ Category

grace-of-god-and-common-grace

The Grace of God is a rich topic.  Here’s a seven part miniseries on the grace of God as an attribute of God and its theological implications that was originally part of a larger series.

After each title of the session I gave links to the MP3 audio and PDF of the outline.

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Common Grace and the Gospel by Cornelius Van Til

Cornelius Van Til. Common Grace and the Gospel.  Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 1972. 233 pp.

This book is a collection of various essays by Reformed apologist and theologian Cornelius Van Til on the topic of common grace.  The writings found in this book spans twenty five years of Van Til’s teaching career.  By common grace we mean God’s unmerited favor shown both towards the believer and nonbeliever.  The subject of common grace has been a topic of no small debate in Reformed circles in the twentieth century (and carries over to the twenty-first century as well).  How the doctrine of common grace is understood or even rejected has implications for other areas of theology beyond the attributes of God such as the area of evangelism, apologetics, and one’s theological view of culture.  Here is Van Til’s contribution to the discussion gathered conveniently in one book.

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Every Good Endeavor Keller

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

This works explore the Gospel implication towards the area of work and career. I wish there were more books on work from a Christian perspective that’s Gospel driven. While Tim Keller doesn’t answer everything concerning a Christian view of work, the book does manage to do a good job of laying down the foundation of a Christian view of work—and as a result this book was better than I originally expected. I appreciated Keller’s consciousness of worldviews—and worldviews as meta-narratives. If one’s foundational presuppositions (what Keller calls “first order beliefs”) is off, then it would definitely lead to practical problems concerning work and employment. The book is divided into three section—God’s plan for work, our problem with work and the Gospel and Work. The conscious reader will noticed this three fold division of the book reflects the Christian Creation, Fall Redemption motif. This is definitely a reflection of Keller’s attempt to address the issue of work from the Gospel. I thought the book was nuance enough to deal with some of the complexity of work in today’s sin-saturated world: Keller is careful enough in his work to make sure a Christian view of work doesn’t make one self-righteous, thinking they are necessarily better than non-believers at work. Bringing the Reformed doctrine of Common Grace, he accounts for why non-Christians can sometimes even do their work better than Christians! And this is true in spite of the destructive world views some people hold to. In addition, Keller pointed out that for the Christian we don’t work to be accepted but the Gospel declares we already accepted by God because our sins are atoned for by Jesus. Therefore, we are free from the shackles of self when we work because we now live to please God—there is no need to seek work and accomplishments at work as a form of salvation. Keller also noted how the reality of sin means our work will be frustrated in this side of eternity and that we should expect it—yet our eternity in heaven means we might finish some of our task that’s our deepest longing then. If one follows Keller’s footnotes you will definitely tell that he’s a man who reads much and quite diversely. I only have two criticisms of the book: The first being in chapter six his approach to the book of Ecclesiastes adopt the outlook and conclusion of theological liberals such as his belief that the book had two narrators, the book was not authored by Solomon and thereby the genre was a “fictional biography,” etc. I was surprised at his omission of any conservative arguments to the contrary. Secondly, in a section of chapter eight in which Keller was talking about the idols of Postmodern cultures, he writes that “ultimately postmodern thought makes an idol out of reality as it is” (145). I would disagree: I think postmodernity’s idol is not reality per se, but “perspectives” and “perceptions” of that reality, in which one can only get a “slice” of what is real, provided if we can know it depending on the particular Postmodernist. Postmodern’s theme that there is no objective knowledge given our participation in the process of knowing things slant it to idolize fragmenting knowledge into tribes such as Asian American, post-colonial, post-Christian, feminists perspective, etc.

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We haven’t been very political lately on Veritas Domain but I want to share some quick thoughts.

Taking Obama at his word, what does this administration’s Bengazi cover-up, the Justice department AP phone record grab, the IRS political targeting and the Gun-running for the Mexican drug cartels have in common? A president that didn’t know his own administration were doing these things.  And that really doesn’t help him either.   If it’s true then this is a sign of leadership failure.  This is true of any area, be it the corporate world, the military, law enforcement, etc.  How much more so is it for the highest office in the land.

I think this picture from Fox News is appropriate with all the scandal in the news the last week or so.

SEEKINGCOVER_20130516_134851Very symbolic.  The political storms are coming and Obama is seeking shelter.  And he’s not going to be responsible for it while others take the fall (and I’m not talking about raindrops).

This was from a White House press conference today with the president of Turkey as you can see from this youtube clip.

You know the Memes are coming so I thought I make some myself.

As a former Marine, I can’t resist making this one:

Obama Semper I

And a theologically appropriate for our blog.

Obama common grace

The last one reminds me of the context of Matthew 5:45 begins with verse 44:

But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may [a]be sons of your Father who is in heaven;

Even if you see Obama as the enemy (seeing his policy alienate and demonize Christian conservatives, even as potential terrorists), we ought to pray for him appropriately that he does the right thing.

For our memes by Veritas Domain, like us on our facebook page.  We just started Twitter too.

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