Total Vindication

Romans 1:1-4 1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord

1. The Gospel of God – the Greek word for “of” here speaks of possession – in other words, it is the Gospel belonging to God. It is God’s gospel – God owns exclusive rights to the message and we are called to proclaim it, not adjust it or modify it.

2. The Gospel is the fulfillment of Old Testament promises (God keeps His promises)

3. The Scripture is holy – the Holy Bible – the sole infallible rule of faith for the people of God. The Bible alone is the word of God.

4. “Concerning His Son” – The Gospel is about Jesus Christ – His Person and work – who He is and what He has done Continue reading

Starbucks, Saving Babies and Calvinism

In today’s broadcast, the folk at Apologia Radio speak out from a Christian perspective on some vital current cultural issues in a no-nonsense, hard hitting, but I believe, loving way.

I commend the Apologia radio ministry for both your prayers and support. I am interviewed in the final half of the show, answering questions concerning Calvinism. The program can be found here.

Foreknowledge and the Grace of God

Here’s the 5th video in the series of talks I conducted as a supplement to the “Twelve What Abouts” book. Here the focus is on a biblical understanding of foreknowledge and the grace of God:

Twelve What Abouts – Session Five from Runway Productions on Vimeo.

The other four videos can be found here.

Good Friday Round Up

(1) I am not at all sure about the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin but it was certainly interesting to read this. New research suggests Shroud dates to Jesus’ era:

(2) This article tends to be quite academic, but its still worth getting the gist of – the bottom line is that its more than ok to use the term “Easter” and we are not worshipping pagan gods when we do so.

(3) If you would like to watch something online, this was put together a year or so ago, but obviously still relevant regarding the evidence for the resurrection of Christ:

(4) The resources in this week’s Friday Ligonier $5 sale are very well worth considering, found here.

I am praying that this is the most blessed Easter weekend in your life so far!

Four Videos

As a supplement to the “Twelve What Abouts – Answering Common Objections Concerning God’s Sovereignty in Election” book, here’s some video teaching I put together.

(1) The first session is on John chapter 6, verse 35 and following:

Session One-for Web from Runway Productions on Vimeo.

(2) Covering Scriptures in Matthew 11 and Romans 8:28-30, here’s a 27 minute teaching I did on Divine election and how it relates to evangelism, as well as what is referred to as the Golden Chain of Redemption.

Twelve What Abouts – Session Two from Runway Productions on Vimeo.

(3) Romans 9 stands like Mount Everest – a majestic, spectacular, lofty and immutable testimony to God’s supremacy and sovereignty in salvation. Here’s a 36 minute video teaching I did on the chapter:

Twelve What Abouts – Session Three from Runway Productions on Vimeo.

(4) Many Christians reject the biblical doctrine of God’s sovereignty in election because of traditions associated with the love of God and what amounts to a pagan concept of the human will, as I seek to explain in this 20 minute video teaching:

Twelve What Abouts – Session Four from Runway Productions on Vimeo.

Time Management

Non Christians often have great insights about many different things. We are foolish if we have the idea that only Bible believing Christians can teach us anything. Jesus once said, “For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.” (Luke 16:8) How true this is.

Stephen Covey (who died at the age of 79 last year) was a Mormon. I would therefore have strong disagreement with him on spiritual and theological matters. Yet there is no doubting the fact that he had tremendous insight in the arena of business and leadership. He was the author of numerous books including the best seller, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” as well as “First Things First,” “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families,” “Principle-Centered Leadership” and “The 8th Habit.”

Here he is giving the most powerful illustration I have ever seen concerning time management.

The Parable of the Four Soils

Over at the reformationtheology.com site (where I am one of the writers) John Hendryx responds to a visitor regarding his understanding of Jesus’ parable of the four soils:

First the visitor writes:

The Scripture is excessively clear that apostasy from authentic salvation is real. The texts are far too many to express here. However, I will mention one that I wrote my masters thesis on (my masters degree is in New Testament with an emphasis in Greek – I went to both a reformed and baptist seminary). In the parable of the soils, a parable that is the first of Jesus’ parables in each of the synoptics and explained by Jesus, he says satan comes to take the seed from the first heart SO THAT the person will not have faith (pistos) and be saved (sozo) – obviously faith would have resulted in salvation. The second soil, Jesus uses the exact words to describe a person who believed (pistos = which equals salvation) …who believed for a while, but the apostatizes (aphistemi). This is a person who was saved for a time, but CHOSE to apostatize when trials came. Similar language is used for the next soil. Only the fourth soil is indicative of someone who is saved, and the onus is clearly on the one being saved to persevere. Obviously, so much more could be said…but not now. Peace friends. Thanks.

John Hendryx’s Response:

First of all there is PLENTLY of spurious faith out there among so-called Christians. I have an essay here on the visible vs. invisible church which discusses this topic.

I wish to also say this with respect but the interpretation of the four soils offered above is appalling. What it appears you are in fact teaching is salvation by works. Some people just happened to be born good (or have made their own “soil” good) while others are not. Is this really what makes people to differ? Those with naturally good hearts (good soil) believe and are fruitful and persevere; those who are wicked are unfruitful and fall away. But who do you think makes the soil good to begin with? The farmer! He plows up the fallow ground that it would be good a receive the seed and be fruitful. Anyone from an agrarian society would have known this. The bad soil is the soil which the farmer left to ITSELF.

This parable is not about showing that some people have natively good soil, as you contend. Or that the soil somehow magically made itself “good”. No one has good “soil” apart from God granting it (John 6:65). Did someone simply will themselves to be “good soil” and so bore fruit? Such teaching is, in fact, rank heresy and honestly has no place in the Christian faith. Where is Christ in all this? The emphasis on the parable is not where you are placing it.

Next, if one can lose his salvation, as you contend, then you implicitly believe there are some of your sins for which Christ did not die. That your faithfulness somehow makes up for where Jesus’ work falls short. So do we maintain our own just standing before God then. Thank the Lord for Jesus who provides EVERYTHING we need for salvation including a new heart to believe (1 Pet 1:3) and persevere. Left to myself (even partly) I would fail to persevere. Thank the Lord that He preserves us as well, or we would have no hope to do so. Our right standing before God is based on HIS FAITHFULNESS, not ours.

“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.” 1 Thess 5:23, 24