dylan roof is nuts

I’ve been rather busy and have only caught bits and pieces of the news of the church shooting at South Carolina and only been able to read up more details about it today.  Dylan Roof is extremely wicked.

This one video stood out:

I’m wired to want justice when I see unrighteousness. Yet He’s called me to preach grace. But for these family members to say what they said take it to a whole new level, that’s Amazing Grace.


From a biography on Stalin:

In the end, Stalin’s self-education, political experience, and character formed a mind that was in many ways repellant but ideally suited to holding onto power.  His oversimplification of reality, in which phenomena were explained in terms of a historic stand off–between classes, between capitalism and socialism–outlived his system.

A model of the world based on the principle of class struggle permitted him to ignore complexity and despise his victims.  It allowed the regime’s most heinous crimes to be seen as a natural expression of historical laws and innocent mistakes to be seen as crimes.  It allowed criminal intentions and actions to be attributed to people who intended and committed no crimes.  In a relatively uneducated country, simplication was an excellent tool of social manipulation”

There is always the danger of a worldview that simplies things so much it justifies all sorts of evil.

Prosperity Gospel

It is a problem all around the world that the church faces.  The Prosperity Gospel.  The Word of Faith movement.  It’s in Africa.  It’s in Eastern Europe.  It’s in Asia.  It’s in the West and imported overseas.

It is not the Gospel and it feeds our flesh.

It’s from Satan himself because it’s a false gospel.

Jason Vicente spoke against the Word of Faith in this message:



Back in October 2014 there was a lecture series by Professor Brian Rickett on the topic of Presuppositional apologetics for the Forty-Fourth Annual William N. Paschal Memorial Bible Lectures.  It was held on October 14 and October 16, 2014 and hosted by the Baptist Missionary Association (BMA) Theological Seminary.

Here are the videos from the Lectures.




I’ve recently returned from my trip overseas teaching an intensive one week course on Systematic Theology that crammed a semester’s worth of material in five days.  In God’s providence it looks like another opportunity might open up in another country next year in which I might be able to do something similar.  There is definitely a real need outside of the west for theological education.

I thought I share my thoughts concerning teaching theology overseas in a Missions context although some of the points in the beginning of this post could be applied in Western contexts also as well.


The first few thoughts are for those who are young and want to one day be involved with teaching in an academic setting.  I would challenge one to think about teaching overseas not only because there are more opportunities but because there are real needs overseas.  There are too many over-caffeinated seminarians daydreaming about teaching at their Alma Mater where the competition is probably fierce among their other peers who are also pursuing advance degrees from prestigious schools.  Meanwhile the need exists overseas.

1.) Be a Pastor.  In an overseas missions context often those seeking theological education and enrolled in a seminary classroom are pastors.  Even if you have some technical degree and some sort of academic specialization and a PhD, it’s still good to have some kind of pastoral experience before heading out overseas to teach theology.  I think it pays dividends.  Do not lose focus that you are training pastors and spiritual leaders and not necessarily an MA student who is heading to Oxford and University of Aberdeen for advance scholarship.  That is not to say we don’t want to prepare those who might have potential to go on for further studies.  A pastoral background is helpful and one should definitely be shepherding the students even as one is instructing the students.  Examples go along way, and some things are taught while other things are caught.  Don’t forget that even as you teach doctrines you are still pastoring your students as a teacher/instructor.  If you are reading this and you are in Seminary, don’t just see part-time pastoral internship as hoops to jump through; minister all-out even as you go all-out in your studies.  Being a Pastor-Scholar would make you more effective to the people you are training.

2.) Grow Beyond Your Seminary Materials.  By that I don’t mean necessarily to change your beliefs and distinctives that your seminary impart to you.  I mean to encourage you to understand that your seminary education was merely the foundation for a life-long pursuit of studies.  Read deeply and read broadly.  Synthesis what you learned after seminary with what you learned during seminary.  It’s important that you don’t just steal your professor’s syllabus but develop your own materials.  Theology can only advance if students move theology forward from what they have been imparted from their professors.

3.) Work Harder Earlier is Smarter.  You have heard the saying “Work Harder, not Smarter.”  I think we can modify that to say “Work Harder earlier is Smarter.”  I think if one is not faithful in the little then one probably will not be faithful in the big things.  I have wanted to teach in a academic setting since my early days of discovering apologetics and theology.  Rather than just wait, even as I taught in our church systematic theology I tried to teach it to the best of my ability for the Glory of God.  Things are footnoted even for Sunday School handouts.  The materials would be the template and foundation for any future course.  If one is not faithful in the little things, how can one be faithful in the larger things?  Working harder earlier is also smarter.  You can be more ready at a moment notice to teach on something and not necessarily start from scratch if asked suddenly to teach overseas.


4.) Incorporate Biblical Theology in your Systematic Theology.  Sometimes you hear people slight systematic theology from other disciplines.  However, I think if it is done right it is the queen of the theological disciplines.  I think it’s easy to merely give “proof text” to establish certain doctrines while teaching systematic theology.  To avoid the risks of grabbing verses out of context, I strongly believe the more one incorporate Biblical theology into one’s systematic theology, the less one falls into the pit of mere “proof texting.”  When one teach a doctrine, try to trace it’s doctrinal roots from the Old Testament while heading towards the New Testament.  Take into account Progressive Revelation.  The advantage of doing biblical theology even as we teach systematic theology is that it makes people discover that orthodox doctrines are genuinely Biblical.  It reinforce our theological arguments.  It also makes both the instructor and the students go to the source of Scripture rather than a mere syllabus or theology textbook.  It makes them think about how a verse or passage fit in the flow of redemptive history and Scripture as a whole.

5.) Don’t merely cite verses for what you believe; engage in rigorous doctrinal apologetics in defense of your beliefs from key verses.  I think it’s important to present what we believe not just lightly but rather with rigorous arguments from biblical texts that is logically valid.  What might be taken for granted by you might not be to your students in their ecclesiastical and cultural contexts so it is best to present every doctrinal beliefs with good argumentation as if you are presenting it before someone who disagree with you.  When you do discover your students disagree with you, you are prepared to give the best reason why you believe what you believe.  Even with doctrines that the students might already believe, you want to show them that the same rigorous argumentation is also the same argumentation that lead you to believe in doctrines that are new to them or doctrines that they are not sure of.  Furthermore, rigorous reasoning from the Scripture equips them against the cults.  Some of the local cults might not be something you are aware of so it is always good to present your proofs for the doctrines in your course so as to equip them well to defend the faith.

6.) After demonstrating the veracity of a doctrine, be sure to draw out the implication of a doctrine.  If 2 Timothy 3:16 is true then doctrines from Scripture would have implications that equip the man of God for every good work.  I like to end each session with a time for questions followed by the question to the students of “Knowing what we now know, how does this impact our life and our ministry?”  Doing this every session will eventually teach them that doctrines aren’t just for head knoweledge, but to be treasured and trusted and applied in our lives and the lives of our congregation and used to minister and reach the Lost.  Exploring the practicality of doctrines also balance the course from becoming merely lessons on doctrinal apologetics.  You show how doctrines shape our worship, our ministry and our lives.  You train them to be pastoral.

7.) Plan to use illustrations in your teaching.  Illustrations are wonderful to help reinforce explanation and argumentation.  There is the risk that some illustrations don’t apply because of cultural differences.  We must be sensitive to this but I think it’s still worth the risk.  I find rural illustrations to be the most helpful cross-culturally.  The Bible often used illustrations from nature and the agricultural world.  It seems that those who are rural can quickly identify with them.  Those who are more educated and Urban are also “intellectually” capable of picking up on them.  Even when an illustration turns out not to fit in the audience’s contexts, I think often people’s fascination with things American and the West will help give one a “pass” in that they learn more about you and it still build a bridge while it makes them aware of cultural mores–and how much more we need to go to the Scriptures.

8.) Historical Theology Encourages the Students as they struggle to grasp doctrines.  My original lesson plan had nothing of historical theology although I have read a bit of historical theology and doctrinal development prior to my trip.  I mistakenly thought that my students would not be interested in church history and historical theology.  I found historical theology to be most helpful to my students during the trip when they struggled to find the right terminology for certain theological concepts.  I invoked historical theology to show how they are not the first to try to grasp and find the proper terms for difficult theological truths.  Theology is not merely reading the Bible.  It is understanding it and then communicating it in our cultural contexts.  Seeing the early church wrestle with truths such as the Oneness and Threeness of God, the relationship of Christ as God and Christ as man encouraged the believers that others have gone before and thought hard about the proper terms.

9.) When you refer to the Original Languages, it is okay to show how you got your interpretation.  Often in a missions theological education context, the students might not have the tools and skill of the original languages of Scriptures.  But they are curious and asks questions about the original languages.  I found it still helpful to show them the original languages and why I interpret things the way I do.  There is a limitation on merely citing a lexicon and saying the lexicon says so.  Context always demand how verbal aspects and lexical meanings are understood so I found it helpful to even show how certain terms are used in other contexts and also in the immediate contexts.  It would make them hunger more deeply for God’s Word.  More importantly, I felt it was important to show how I got things with the original languages to de-mystify the original language scholar and also to avoid looking like Joseph Prince who always talk about the Hebrew but one isn’t sure where he’s getting it but can only rely on his own authority.

These are my thoughts.  I have more but I think this will do for now for this post.


Since I was away I didn’t get to post the usual round up of links related to Presuppositional apologetics.  Here they are, gathered between June 1st-14th, 2015.

1.) Twenty Ways to Answer a Fool [17]

2.) Important Falsehoods of Mormonism: Its Foundation

3.) Guest Post: Abortion – a Worldview Approach

4.) Another Failure of Empiricism: The Mind is Never “Blank”

5.) Debugging atheism


Missed the last round up?  Check out the re-blogged post from a friend


Would I attend a gay wedding?  This could be answered in a few different ways depending on how the question is tailored. First, I would not attend a gay wedding in token of support of a sinful union.  Why? because marriage is a monogamous relationship that is between one man and one woman (Gen. 1:27-28; 2:22-24).  That is how God constituted marriage.  No matter how hard the LGBT community fights to change the law concerning marriage, God’s definition of marriage will never change. It is a grievous attack against God when sinners try to assault this institute that is one of the cradles of human civilization.  So to attend a wedding in support/recognize the sinful homosexual union as a marriage is a direct contradiction to Christianity.  Calling yourself a Christian and at the same time approve of a gay wedding is a oxymoron.  Paul states in Romans 1:32, “And 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” (NASB). Wow, Paul said those who practice such things are worthy of death.   Clearly Paul warns against one practicing sin and approving of sin. Although sin is sin and any sin can take one to Hell without Christ, not every sin is viewed in the same manner.  Some sins were deemed enough for capital punishment in OT times.  Hence, certain sins were considered abominations (Deut. 22:5).

Can I attend a gay wedding by not supporting the homosexual lifestyle?  Some Christians would have no problem with this.  Even though there is no explicit verse and chapter concerning this scenario, it does not mean that there are no principles in Scripture whereby we are unable to extract from.  We can, it is there.  For example, Scripture does not have a chapter or verse prohibiting internet pornography, abortion procedures, or human cloning, but we can extract biblical principles that are embedded in Scripture in order to make a clarion call against those sinful activities. To ignore biblical principles, because there is no direct chapter and verse that speaks specifically about the particular matter is faulty and dangerous hermeneutics.  Those who attend a gay wedding in this case and; believe they can attend a gay wedding without any repercussions;  have no qualms about it, and treat it as a light matter, justify their attendance as a symbol of relationship building so that they can win the homosexual to the Lord.  They will quote passages from Scripture which I think is taken out of context.  One passage in particular is from 1 Cor. 5:9-13 (see also Matt. 9:11; to name a few).  Although both passages do not prohibit interaction with rank and file unbelievers, it does not mean one can use it as a justification to attend an event that celebrates sin.  To do so, is to go beyond the author’s intention. Interacting with sinners does not mean to be subjected to the terms and conditions of the expectations of unbelievers.  Yes, Jesus spent time with sinners, but He was not subject to their terms nor approved their love of their sinful condition. Nor did He stood quiet or remained neutral about their sins. And He did not substitute relationship building in place of the Gospel.  He came to preach repentance and hope for the lost (Mk 1:14-15).  That was His way of relationship building. There are many ways to reach out to a gay person rather than taking the route of attending a gay wedding.  Logically speaking, a gay wedding has a purpose.  It’s purpose is to invite guests to celebrate their immoral and abominable lifestyle.  Attending their wedding propagates their lifestyle.  I use abominable, because Scripture refers to that particular sin as abominable, immoral, and an unnatural (Lev. 20:13; Rom. 1:26-27) lifestyle.

In addition, Scripture commands all to honor marriage (Hebrews 13:4).  Homosexuals who want others to recognize their union do not honor marriage. Marriage is only between a man and women.  Even if a believer marries a unbeliever, they are married, but not so in a gay wedding.  Do you think you are honoring marriage by attending an event that attacks the institute of marriage? God’s anger and wrath is directed against fornicators and adulterers.

I have a problem when a Christian attends a gay wedding and acts nonchalant or have no qualms about it.  Perhaps one needs to meditate on Scripture more in order to have these heavy truths of the true nature of marriage simmer in one’s mind.  How can one attend a gay wedding which God considers immoral? How can one lift up the toast that is used as a token of recognizing their union?  If you lift up your toast, you are one who gives approval of the sin ( Romans 1:26-27).

What if I attend the gay wedding and let people know clearly my position?  Even though you attend a gay wedding, it is still mainly and significantly an event that celebrates sin.  Plus, how clear you make your position known will depend how many people you share with.  It is safe to say that not everyone will know your Christian position and most will still probably treat you as an advocate of the gay wedding. If one invites me to a gay wedding, it would be to preach the Gospel, but it will not be beautiful.  It will be ugly.  Why?  Because the message I preach, although loving, will be very offensive to the hearers, because as a Gospel minister, I am obligated to expose the sin that is before me.  But I highly doubt one will invite me.  If one was invited to preach, you better make sure you are one that is not ashamed of the Gospel (Rom. 1:16) and one who preaches with boldness, passion, and conviction.  Moreover, I do not believe that attending a gay wedding is helping the person.  It is not helping, because it is magnifying and emboldening their sin that is being celebrated.  If you want to help a friend, there are others ways to do it.  If you want to help a person enslaved to pornography, you are not going to take him to a strip club or the Playboy Mansion.  Or if you want to help one who has trouble with drugs, you are not going to bring his old friends who are drug dealers with you near him. Attending their wedding only permeates their rebellion. I think you get my point.

I admire Christians who desire to seek for opportunities in order to reach out to sinners, but I think that some of the ways that it is being done is actually doing much more harm.  The motive to help a friend by attending a gay wedding is misguided.  We must stand up for truth–even if it means there will be division (Luke 12:51-53; John 15:18) and serious backlash.  We must be holy in our endeavors.  We must be distinct and separate from the world because Jesus is different. That was a biblical truth seen in the Book of Leviticus.  It’s major theme was on the holiness of God and how His people were to maintain a holy relationship with Him.  He was clear because He made categorical distinctions between the clean and the unclean.  His people’s lives that spans from what they eat, said, and wore, were all governed by God.  It was done in such a way that the nations saw a difference between them and Israel.  Their difference reflected the holiness of God.  May we too, apply those biblical principles when we discuss the LGBT movement.

What are the dangerous implications of attending a gay wedding?

  • First off I would like to reiterate that Jesus did hang out with sinners, but He never associated with their sin or condoned their sin.  Attending a homosexual wedding is tantamount to associating and condoning their sin.  Unless you protest against the wedding, then I think that would absolve you from associating and condoning their sin.  But I highly doubt they will invite you for that purpose.  One antidote, I like to remind myself so that I can mortify the temptation from being a people pleaser, is to approach evangelism and the Gospel through Jesus’ example.  I can’t see Jesus attending a gay wedding and keeping quiet about their sin (See 2 Kings 10).
  • My friend brought up a good point concerning the dangerous implications of attending a gay wedding for the sake of relationship building: “I think a similar question would be, ‘If my Hindu friend invites me to celebrate a festival in celebration of his gods, should I attend and participate?’ I think we all know the answer to that.”  Or “Why not pay money that goes towards the facility whereby babies are murdered so that you could build a relationship with the abortion doctors?”  As you can see, it opens up the flood gates of logical incoherence and inconsistency. You are bound to have a plethora of problems if you exalt relationship building above the Gospel. The Gospel is about repentance and faith in Christ.  As important as relationship building is, that is not what the Gospel is about.  The Gospel is about His glory and about saving sinners from their sin and Hell.
  • I believe that using 1 Cor. 5:9-13 for the purpose of justifying the right to attend a gay wedding is an example of twisting the Scripture.  The passage in 1 Cor. 5:9-13 is giving procedures in how to deal with hypocrites.  It is not a passage that is intended to teach how to deal with the reprobate.  This passage must be read carefully in its context.
  • Will attending the gay wedding violate your conscience (Rom. 14:13-22, 23) or stumble others (Rom. 14:23)?  If so, you are sinning against God.
  • Will it rob God of His glory that is revealed through His holiness?
  • Will it cause you to compromise the Gospel?
  • Will it cause others to view you as a supporter of this celebration of sin?

What are your thoughts readers?