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Archive for the ‘Gary North’ Category

Sorry for the delay in posting this essay in our Calvinistic Dispensational Presuppositionalism’s series.Titanic-redo

In July 2012, the popular Presuppositional Apologetics’ blog “Choosing Hats” had a post titled “The Transcendental Argument Against Dispensationalism: What is Dispensationalism?” It was written by one of their contributors who goes by the handle “Ben W.”  The post was supposed to be the first of a series critiquing Dispensationalism.  The opening paragraph made it clear that Ben was “not planning to make a historical argument against Dispensationalism.”  Instead, Ben stated in the last sentence: “As this series continues, we will explore further the developments which Progressive Dispensationalism has made to these tenets and discuss whether or not a consistent application of these hermeneutical principles can allow us to interpret scripture intelligibly and consistently.”  The angle sounds interesting but unfortunately the series was discontinued before any Transcendental argument against Dispensationalism (hereafter TAAD) materialized.  What makes the idea of TAAD interesting is that Presuppositionalism is big with the Transcendental argument for the existence of God (TAG) and to see another Transcendental argument successfully refute another “ism” further boost Presuppositional apologetics and also advance the thesis advocated by some that Presuppositionalism and Dispensationalism are incompatible.  For those interested, I have written on the topic of hermeneutics, Dispensationalism and Presuppositionalism here but reached an opposite conclusion.

The best argument I’ve seen against Dispensationalism by Presuppositionalists that mimic the Transcendental Argument is offered by those within the Christian Reconstructionist camp.  There are some Christians I know who have an instant knee-jerk reaction to anything Christian Reconstructionism, which is also known as Theonomy, due to a lot of misrepresentations out there (all Theonomists reject salvation by grace alone, they want the Church to persecute non-Christians, etc).  I must say that I have benefited from many Theonomists and what they have to say (see our blog’s tag on the category on Theonomy).  I believe non-Theonomists can benefit from reading Christian Reconstructionists, even if they disagree with them, but that’s another subject for another time.  Here in this post I want to limit the scope to the Theonomists’ “Transcendental” argument against Dispensationalism and whether its argument has any weight.

Christian Reconstructionists are Postmillennial in their eschatology and are critical of Amillennialism and Premillennialism.  In 1990 Gary North published a book titled Millennialism and Social Theory. The inside book flap says “In Millennialism and Social Theory, Dr. Gary North, co-founder of this movement, examines why both pre-millennialism and amillennialism have never developed independent social theories, and why the spokesmen of both positions appeal to the prevailing ethics of contemporary humanism as the only possible way to run society.”  Inside on page 95 North writes

“If there is no cultural alternative to humanism available in history, then the one reasonable Christian response is to pray for either the Rapture (dispensationalism) or the end of history (amillennialism).  (Historic premillennialists and post-tribulational dispensationalists believe that the millennium will come only after Christians have gone through Armageddon and the Great Tribulation.  I have no idea what they pray for.)

Premillennialists and amillennialists share a commitment to a coming cosmic discontinuity as the Church’s great hope in history: deliverance from on high (and in the case of premillennial dispensationalism, deliverance to on high).  Again, citing Norman Geisler: ‘Hence they do not view their present social involvement as directly related to the emergence of the future kingdom of God.  In this respect amillenarians are more like premillennarians and have thereby often escaped some of the extremes of postmillennialism.’  This affirmation of a coming cosmic discontinuity cuts the ground from under the Christian who would seek to discover a uniquely biblical social theory.  It also undercuts the incentive for social action.  Social action becomes a holding action at best and a kamikaze action at worst.”

The result? According to North, “The result is predictable: the absence of Christian social theory” (Page 95).

Here we see an argument where North argues that Christian must have a distinctively Christian social theory (as opposed to that of humanistic and godless social theory); I imagine most Christians who desire to be Biblical would agree.  North argues that amillennialism and premillennialism is a defeater for Christian foundation for Christian social theory because its pessimistic philosophy of history would undermine any social endeavor by the Christian.  As the rest of Gary North’s book argues, Postmillennialism’s philosophy of history is optimistic and is a great foundation for Christian social theory.  We see here the argument is Transcendental in form and hence I think it’s helpful to see it as TAAD.

To simplify the above, think of the following illustration from the Titanic.

Titanic orchestra

 

Let’s say you know the ship will sink.  As Theonomists love to quote from Vernon McGee, “Do you polish brass on a sinking ship?”  If you knew that the ship is going to sink at any moment, it seems that polishing brass is relatively unimportant or for that matter anything that doesn’t contribute to survival such as playing music! This illustration originated with McGee but it has been recycled by Theonomists against McGee’s own Dispensationalism ever since Gary North employed it on page 100 of his 1993 book Rapture Fever.  This illustration and argument is really an “internal critique” of Dispensationalism since it attempts to adopt the view of Dispensationalism to show how it is internally problematic.  Again, internal critique is an important Presuppositional apologetics’ motif.

While it’s a powerful and vivid illustration I think it’s an inadequate illustration and argument: In the scenario of the sinking ship, it does not account for the reality of spiritual warfare that will always be the context of constructing any Christian social theory against the prevailing false and unbiblical social theory of the World.  I imagine a better illustration is the following:

There is a big war between the forces of darkness and the forces of light.  You are a warrior in the forces of light.  You know that the eventual outcome would be victory of the side of Light.  However, the outcome of individual battles is not something you know.  Your immediate group of men are surrounded and it seems that as the battle rages on, your sector has all the factors stacked up against you.  Surrounded and having several grounds lost to the enemy, the enemies proposes you surrender and surrender means you must now switch allegiance and fight against the very forces of light.  The other option is futile resistance and you will be anhiliated.  You want to please your King no matter the personal cost.  What will you do?

MarineFallujah

Again, I believe this is a better illustration because it captures the ethical and spiritual warfare dimension of the Christian.  This is also a better illustration because all Christians know that victory is in the Lord and there is a sense of optimism that even Dispensationalists hold on to with the Lord’s victory.  However, where Premillennialists are not as optimistic is the more nearer aspect of End Times events which this illustration captures.  Futhermore, the illustration seems to be more fitting because it stresses the issue is one of faithfulness rather than the pursuit of meaningless activity.

Seen from this angle, one can be dispensational and not have one’s eschatology undermine the meaningfulness of studying and applying a distinctively Christian social theory.  To mix Kuypers’ and Van Til’s illustrations, every square inch is own by God, even those squandered by rebellious renters who do not show respect for the Lord who owns it.  If every sphere belongs to the Lord, we as Christians must be faithful to the Lord in every sphere we are involved with.  It comes down to an issue of being faithful to God despite the opposition and personal costs.  Even if the situation seems very pessimistic, one should continue to be faithful to God in every sphere one is involved in.  We know compromising does not mean peace, but rather that we have now switch sides and at the very least we are enabling the enemy to advance, if not even more, actively fighting God’s Side.

As any good Marine knows, surrender is not an option.  Sometimes it means we lose the battle but we’re not going to be unfaithful to the One who is ALWAYS FAITHFUL.

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I don’t always agree with everything Gary North has to say but there has been many things I have learned from the man and change in terms of beliefs and outlooks on matters.  So I want to share with you his 31 Volume Economic Commentary on the Bible that he has made available until December 31st 2012.  Download them before it’s too late!

This is quite relevant in an election year that’s focus heavily on the economy.

They will appear in reverse order: newest posting at the top.
On Completing Phase 2 of My Lifetime Calling
Gary North
This took 52 years. The grunt work is over. Now the creative work begins . . . and the marketing. . . . keep reading
Free Weekly Book: The Epistles
Gary North
The episltes to the early churches are filled with economic rules and advice. . . . keep reading
Free Weekly Book: First Timothy
Gary North
Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth emphasizes the issue of hierarchy: in family, church, and state. . . . keep reading
Free Weekly Book: First Corinthians
Gary North
This book deals with that crucial ability, making good judgments. . . . keep reading
Free Weekly Book: Romans
Gary North
The first of Paul’s epistles sets forth some fundamental economic principles. . . . keep reading
Free Weekly Book: Acts
Gary North
This is the book on “communism in the early church.” You may need an answer. Here it is. . . . keep reading
Free Weekly Book: Luke
Gary North
This is by far the most anti-wealth book in the Bible. This is why it is cited by pro-welfare state Christians. . . . keep reading
Free Weekly Book: Mark
Gary North
This is the shortest of the four Gospels. . . . keep reading
Free Weekly Book: Matthew
Gary North
At last! We have reached the New Testament. In writing time, this took me 27 years (1973-2000). . . . keep reading
Free Weekly Book: Prophets
Gary North
Old Testament prophets are invoked by Social Gospel promoters who cannot find anything that Moses wrote to justify theft by the ballot box. But the prophets sided with Moses. . . . keep reading
Free Weekly Book: Ecclesiastes
Gary North
This book baffles commentators. That’s because they don’t understand the author’s strategy. . . . keep reading
Free Weekly Book: Proverbs
Gary North
This is God’s success manual. . . . keep reading
Free Weekly Book: Psalms
Gary North
The Psalms have a lot of economic information in them. They boil down to this: there are winners and losers in life. Join the winners. . . . keep reading
Free Weekly Book: Job
Gary North
The Book of Job raises the question: Why does God let bad things happen to good people? Then it answers it. . . . keep reading
Free Weekly Book: Historical Books: Joshua to Nehemiah
Gary North
From Joshua to Nehemiah, the Israelites rebelled. This is the account of that rebellion and its consequences. . . . keep reading
Free Weekly Book: Deuteronomy, Volume 3
Gary North
This concludes the exegesis of Deuteronomy. There are a total of 76 chapters. . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Book: Deuteronomy, Volume 3
Gary North
This concludes the exegesis of Deuteronomy. There are a total of 76 chapters. . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Books: Deuteronomy, Vol. 2
Gary North
Here is the second of three volumes of exegesis. . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Book: Deuteronomy, Volume 1
Gary North
Deuteronomy marked the transition of power to the generation of the conquest. . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Book: Deuteronomy, Vol. 4
Gary North
This is the volume of appendixes. . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Book: Numbers
Gary North
This is the only book in the Pentateuch for which I wrote only one volume. It’s simple. . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Book: Leviticus, Vol. 3
Gary North
This volume extends the economic laws of Leviticus. . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Book: Leviticus, Vol. 2
Gary North
This . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Book: Leviticus, Vol. 1
Gary North
This is the book that derails people’s attempt to read the Bible from start to finish. . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Book: Leviticus, Vol. 4
Gary North
Volume 4 contains the appendixes. There are some highly controversial ones. . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Book: Exodus, Vol. 4
Gary North
This is the final volume of Part 3 of Exodus. . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Book: Exodus, Vol. 3
Gary North
This begins my commentary on the case laws of Exodus: applications of the Ten Commandments. . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Book: Exodus, Vol. 2.
Gary North
The Ten Commandments remain the foundation of liberty. This includes economic liberty. . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Book: Exodus, Vol. 1
Gary North
This is the story of a confrontation: Moses vs. Pharaoh. It is the story of the greatest bureaucracy in the ancient world, and how it was laid low. . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Book: Exodus, Vol. 6: Appendixes
Gary North
Exodus Vol. 6 contains the remainder of the appendixes. . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Book: Exodus, Vol. 5: Appendixes
Gary North
This volume contains my appendix on social cost, one of the Big 3 articles in my career. . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Book: Genesis, Vol. 2: Appendixes
Gary North
Two of these appendixes are among the best academic essays I have ever written. . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Book: Genesis, Vol. 1
Gary North
Genesis lays the foundations for all thought. Economic theory is no exception. Genesis establishes origins. This is the starting point. . . . keep reading

A

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This work was an unofficial festschrift for Cornelius Van Til, edited by Gary North.  The story behind this second Festchrift for Van Til is an interesting story in it’s own right.  The work attempts to put forth the foundation for a Christian approach towards various academic disciplines that is informed from a Christian worldview.  I thought Rushdoony’s chapter on Psychology was worth while.  John Frame contribution to the chapter in theology was also good, as he explores the issue of theology as a system, while also it being more than a system, paradoxes in theology, the inter-relationship of doctrines, etc.  Van Til’s disciple Greg Bahnsen also contributed to this volume, with a wonderful chapter on apologetics and another on philosophy.  His chapter on philosophy discusses the issue and refutes pragmaticism, and Wiggenstein’s language game theory of language.  Vern Poythress’ contribution with the chapter on math is also another excellent chapter in the book, and probably is the beginning work done concerning a distinctively Van Tillian flavor Christian worldview approach towards mathematics.  I highly recommend this work, and I think it is a tragedy that this work is out of print.  Perhaps an update or a new book that is in the same spirit would be excellent in the near future!

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Last year I put together a list of Christmas recommended books for gifts on Presuppositional Apologetics that can still be accessed here.

I thought I also put out another list of books that I recommend when it comes to area of Christian worldview and not just presuppositional apologetics or apologetics per se.  It is also important to have the right biblical and Christian view on any given subject or area.

Here’s my 10 recommendation and my short summary why I think it’s important for a Christian worldview to have these work.

Bookmark this page, since the next few weeks I’ll be loading up book reviews for these books!

I think these books are also wonderful for one on one discipleship in developing Christian’s thought in their life and worldview.

1.) World Tilting Gospel

Why? It’s important that Christians get the gospel down and correct–if one has parts of a worldview correct and yet misses the gospel as it’s foundation, how tragic that would be.  My review of it is found HERE.

2.) God Has A Wonderful Plan for Your Life: The Myth of Modern Evangelism

After a true understanding of the gospel, it is important to have the Bible direct Christians in how they share their faith–the way the Master did, using the Law of God to show people their need of a Savior.  My review of this book can be found here.

3.) Foundations of Christian Scholarship

An unofficial Festschrift for Cornelius Van Til, this book attempts to lay the foundation of Christian worldview in various academic disciplines from psychology, history,  economics, education, political science, sociology, math, apologetics, philosophy and theology.  Too bad there has not been new editions of this work in print.  It is good even though it is old! My review of this book can be found HERE.

4.) Honest Money

Especially with the upcoming 2012 election, the issue of a Christian worldview of economics would be important.  My review of this book can be found here.

5.) Money, Posessions and Eternity

It’s important to not just have a theorethical side of economics down, but the Christian worldview does spell out what it means practically how one sees money and possessions in the Christian life.  This book good is the best for that and I reviewed it here.

6.) The Biblical Philosophy of History

A lot of apologetics discussion is concern with the historicity of Christianity and it is important to realize that there are a lot of presuppositions behind one’s philosophy of history that shapes how one interpret or understand “facts” of history.  Rushdoony’s short work lays a Christian foundation of history and critiques of other’s worldview when it comes to philosophy of history.  You can read my review of this work here.

7.) A God of Many Understandings

With the big thing about Rob Bell this year, I think it is important to discuss the issue not just only as an issue of universalism vs. exclusivism, but also from the framework of what is a Christian worldview towards a theology of religion?  I review this book here.

8.) Case for Life

This work presents a good defense of the pro-life cause.  One can read my review HERE.

9.) Redeeming Sociology

Christian view of Sociology.  I shall review this work in the future.

10.) Future Men

After arriving at a Christian worldview, it is important to impart that knowledge to the next generation and hence the topic of parenting is important.  Today, there is many problem with the issue of raising boys to become men, I review this book here.

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I write this review during a time in the United States where Occupy Wall Street and protests against banks is on the front page news. In light of the attention on economics and banking, this book is one that would serve as a Christian introduction to the concept of money, and banking. I thoroughly recommend this book, since North’s argument follows and is presented clearly. Here I can only highlight a few points from the work: North makes the argument that historically money is valuable socially (and not when someone is alone on abandoned island) and not the invention of the state, since it was around even before state monopoly of money. Bringing his theology to bear, North states that the only one who can have absolute monopoly of anything is God, given our corrupt human nature and therefore government standardized money is not going to be a good thing, and has been the result of much ill (such as printing more money bills which leads to inflation that then affects the prices and quality of products, etc). North also explains in his book the difference between banking and lending to the poor with no interests, nothing that the Bible does not condemn the former (and passages even supporting it) while condemning the latter. North’s argument against the Federal Reserve is filled with interesting historical facts and paints a picture of the irrationality and danger of the system. I have always heard rumors that North was all for the gold standard backing the dollar, but I thought it was good to finally read in his own words that he was for the competition of gold, silver, dollars or yen as money and hence not an arbitrary position that gold must necessarily be the standard. This is important to note, and he even argues that one must not forget gold has no intrinstic value, though it does have historical power as currency and stable since more gold are rarely mined for given geological limitation and the costs of mining for them. Again, excellent work. I have also enjoyed his summary after every chapter, that capture each point made with a sentence. This is useful for readers to go back afterward and consult the summary without necessarily reading the whole chapter again.

 

OH AND YOU CAN READ THE WHOLE WORK ON PDF BY CLICKING HERE or EPUB VERSION HERE

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In 1983, there was published a four views book on wealth and poverty concerning a Christian view of economics, which has among the contributor Gary North.

It was unfortunate that it never got republished, but it is now online for free in PDF by clicking HERE.

Election season will soon be upon us, it would be great to consider what is a Biblical view of Economics.

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I thought this was worthwhile.  It is important that for a blog that is concern with apologetics and worldview to tackle the subject of education as well.

Gary North had some wise words to think about and paradigm in thinking about education.  Given how so much of higher education can be antithetical to the Christian worldview, North’s discussion is especially illuminating.

1.) Covenantal Structure of College Education

2.) Voice of Authority in College Education

3.) Content of College Education

4.) Putting Your Degree to Kingdom Use

5.) Winners and Losers in College

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For those of you who have been hearing left wing liberals rhethorics that the responsibility of the tragic shooting at Tuscon lies with Conservative political rhetorics, it’s a sad cheap shot ploy to learn that a suspect can be innocent before proven guilty and yet some can make a leap in their conclusion to blame those on the other side of the political paradigm for being responsible for the shooting.  Never mind that the guy Jared Lee Lougner is a Statist (definitely not a Conservative value) whose list of favorite book includes the Communist Manifesto.  For the record, I don’t blame any Democrats, I think the guy is just a nut.

Over at the Christian worldview ministry of American Vision, there has been an interesting turn of events.

On January 14th, one of their writers wrote a piece responding to the slanderous lies of the left leaning Mother Jones, which has published an erroneous piece against their organization.

What I thought was ironic was how the Left gives rhetoric that the promotion of fears and lies by Conservatives are evil but don’t reprimand their own for doing it.

This hypocrisy and the problem of the Leftist argument was then pointed out in a piece by Gary DeMar on January 17th.

The next day, January 18th, American Vision got in the mail a letter with a threat and white powder.

Using the same line of reasoning that the Left use against the Right, is the Left’s rhetoric of fear and lies now make them responsible for their spew of hate?

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Gary North wrote this article that I hope Governor Palin reads…of how she can start her 2012 campaign

http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north664.html

Very interesting

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The link below is from American Vision’s website, where they featured Gary North’s commentary on July 4th.  Something to have your mind chew on, for those who love liberty and believe in what the Founding Father’s stood for.

http://74.255.56.30/blog/?p=123

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I came across a ICE’s website, discovering a large amount of free books available (90 to be exact) in HTML or PDF format. As reminder you can get more free books by clicking above on E-books. Here’s the list: (more…)

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The book will be out later in the fall and is critical against the Evangelical Right.

Its like the trend always to bash Christianity or Evangelical Christians.

What is interesting is that the author is Frank Schaeffer, son of the famous Francis Schaeffer.

Gary DeMar wrote a review of it here:

http://www.americanvision.org/articlearchive2007/07-30-07.asp

FOr more background about Frank, Gary North wrote an interesting polemical piece back in 1992 at

http://s155777461.onlinehome.us/docs/a_pdfs/newslet/position/9203.PDF

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Do you know a skill, or have a way of doing something, or can teach some subject real well?

shirt11.jpg

Gary North, has an excellent piece on making money; before anyone comment about the motive and whether this post is ‘selfish’ and promoting people to sin,

Do note that the point of the entry is to be wise stewards of what God has given you.

I quote in part, in hope that you read this short article in its entirety.

Think of teachers in the public schools. The things they know! Yet they sell this information year by year, class by class, to one school district. What if they sold this information to the general public?

If you can teach math, or auto repair, or cooking, or almost anything else, you can find buyers. You can create a side business that will support you in your retirement, so called. Do it in your spare time.

One of the ways to do this is to start producing home-made, low-budget or no-budget videos.

If you doubt the marketing power of homemade videos, consider the investment YouTube.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north494.html

Anyone interested in short internet video clips on Presuppositional Apologetics, examples of dialogues in action, etc???

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