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Thursday, February 22, 2018

If You Deny The Deity Of Christ, Then You Also Undermine God's Sovereignty

  • John 14:6-9 Explicitly Affirms An Inextricable Unity Between The Father And The Son; The Text Shows That Jesus Christ Himself Claimed To Be Almighty God:
          -"Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?" (John 14:6-9)
  • Anybody Who Denies The Son Denies The Father, And So Is A Liar In Their Profession Of The Christian Faith:
          -"Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist--denying the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also." (1 John 2:22-23)

Now this, in my opinion, shows unitarian theology to be all the more dangerous to the preaching of the biblical gospel.

Powerful Support For The Trinity Found In John 6

  • Proof That Jesus Christ Existed Before His Incarnation--He Descended From His Heavenly Throne To Atone For The Sins Of The World:
          -"For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." (John 6:33)
          -"For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me." (John 6:38)
          -"I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” (John 6:51)
          - "Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before!" (John 6:62) 
  • A Statement Of Christ's Deity--His Foreknowledge And Omnipotence:
          -"Yet there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him." (John 6:64)

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

What About The New King James Version?

  • General Points Of Consideration:
          -A fellow blogger who is King James only had sent me a link to an article doing a comparison between the King James Version and the New King James Version, listing various differences between the two in an effort to demonstrate this particular modern translation to be corrupt. Indeed, to accuse scholars (or anybody for that matter) of conspiring to corrupt the Word of God is a very serious charge, and so should never be taken lightly. It is therefore the scope of this paper to address the arguments that have been leveled against the New King James Version in the link provided above.
          -Throughout King James only literature, whether it be written by notorious proponents such as Gail Ripingler, Dr. Hovind, or Jack Chick, we see a commonly set forth proposition that has never been verified, namely that the King James Version (which one?) is the divinely inspired Word of God. These apologists for this movement never really seem to tell us why this particular translation should be treated as the standard by which all others be judged. But how can one build a house without a foundation? This is a textbook example of circular reasoning. Why are we not allowed to judge the King James Version by older translations such as the Geneva Bible? No reason has been given. Thus, we see that the King James Only Movement is based primarily upon inherently fallacious reasoning. Each translation should be judged in accordance to the best available manuscript evidence. What is even more, is that the earliest Christian Fundamentalists were never King James only.
          -There are probably around twenty different Textus Receptus manuscripts, all of which also contain a number of different textual variants, in our hands today. Which ones are accurate? When the Textus Receptus manuscripts and the King James Version conflict with each other, why must we automatically assume the K.J.V. rendering to be correct? Why must we assume that the King James Version is right every time we come across an apparent discrepancy in modern translations? Why must we assume that modern translations add or delete verses of Scripture, instead of accusing the King James translators of adding or taking away from the pages of the Bible? What if I had decided to be N.I.V. or N.A.S.B. only? These are more questions which I believe illustrate the overall level of absurdity among the folks who proclaim all modern translations to be corrupt. Even if we could prove the New King James Version beyond a reasonable doubt to be a corrupt translation, that still does not prove that all translations are corrupt, or even that the King James Version is inerrant.
          -I personally do not have a problem with reading from the King James Version, or even with the people who prefer to read from it to the exclusion of other reputable translations, but they are crossing the boundaries of orthodoxy when they begin shunning brethren for disagreeing on this issue, wrongfully slandering scholars, or proclaiming to receive divine revelations from God (as do folks like Gail Riplinger). Thankfully, this is not at all the case with the blogger whose objections that I intend on answering today to the New King James Version. May God point us to His truth. Now, this is not to suggest that all other translations are accurate and thus reliable. There are certainly counterfeit versions, such as the New World Translation, Joseph Smith Translation, Clear Word Bible, Good News for Modern Man, and the Passion Translation. Of Course, discernment is needed when choosing to read from a specific Bible version. But the King James Version is not by any means the only reliable English translation for people to study.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Criticizing John MacArthur On Predestination

  • Defining The Issues:
         -To be honest, I personally believe that John MacArthur is for the most part a solid teacher of Scripture, but I would strongly contest his Calvinist views. In fact, I remember cringing when I heard this statement uttered by this Reformed theologian John on Calvinistic predestination:
          +"Is God unfair in not choosing to save everyone? Fair would send everyone to hell. You don't want fair you want mercy."
  • Consider The Very Words Of John Calvin Himself:
         -I again ask how it is that the fall of Adam involves so many nations with their infant children in eternal death without remedy unless that it so seemed meet to God? Here the most loquacious tongues must be dumb. The decree, I admit, is, dreadful; and yet it is impossible to deny that God foreknew what the end of man was to be before he made him, and foreknew, because he had so ordained by his decree. Should any one here inveigh against the prescience of God, he does it rashly and unadvisedly. For why, pray, should it be made a charge against the heavenly Judge, that he was not ignorant of what was to happen? Thus, if there is any just or plausible complaint, it must be directed against predestination. Nor ought it to seem absurd when I say, that God not only foresaw the fall of the first man, and in him the ruin of his posterity; but also at his own pleasure arranged it.” (The Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, section 7)
  • Biblical Refutation Of Unconditional Election:
         1.) God is no respecter of persons (Romans 10:34).
         2.) God does not will that any perish, but that all be saved (2 Peter 3:9). Whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13). The sacrificial work our Lord Jesus Christ is for all the people who love Him (Romans 5:18).
         3.) God does not lead anybody into temptation (James 1:13-15).
         4.) The Calvinist doctrine of predestination is false, as the doctrine of irresistible grace is also false. Scripture very clearly affirms that God has given us reason and freewill, which also encompasses the ability to refuse the grace of God. Consider texts such as Joshua 24:15, 2 Chronicles 15:2, Psalm 119:30, Proverbs 1:29, Nehemiah 9:30, Isaiah 63:10, Matthew 23:37, and Acts 2:40. Ironically, the Calvinists who (consistently) deny that man has freewill use their so-called nonexistent freewill to deny the existence of their own freewill.
  • Presenting The Scriptural Teaching On Predestination:
          -The Bible teaches a completely different form of predestination than what is taught in Calvinism. Nowhere does Scripture state that God has selected various individuals to spend eternity in predetermined destinies. Nowhere does Scripture ever affirm that God has predestined the unrepentant and unbelieving to enter hell. Man chooses his eternal destiny on the basis of his freewill and is thus accountable for his own stay here on earth (2 Corinthians 5:10). The scriptural view of predestination is that God pre-determined before creation, not the identity of the saved, but the character, purpose, and plan of the saved. He predestined believers to be conformed to the image of His Son Jesus Christ (Romans 8:28-30; Ephesians 1:3-6). This "predestination" involves a yet future date, and not the past. God has foreknowledge of everything, but that is not the same as Him predetermining everything before it happens. Him having foreknowledge is not the same as Him causing something to happen. And if we are going to adhere consistently to the logic of Calvinistic predestination, then would it also be permissible to argue that mankind's knowledge of the past determines what has happened in the past? Those who oppose the Calvinistic doctrine of predestination are not challenging the sovereignty of God (a gross non-sequitur, strawman fallacy used by Calvinists), but rather strive to accurately represent His character and preserve the overall integrity of the Divine Scriptures 
  • Major Philosophical Dilemmas For Calvinistic Predestination:
         -How would it be rational for Calvinists to claim that God desires that all be saved, while at the same time maintaining that He had predetermined that certain individuals would always be excluded from inheriting His kingdom? Why would God even grieve over lost sheep in a theologically deterministic framework? What is the point behind this self-contradictory double-talk?
         -How does God predestining people to be eternally condemned in the literal flames of hell make Him not omnibenevolent, and the author of sin? Why would He predestine people to hell who had no control over their actions in the first place? Why would God hate people before they are born? What kind of love is this? Where is the sense of personal responsibility here?  
         -How do Calvinists know if they are a part of God's elect or reprobate--that their salvation experience is authentic or that they are actually saved? Did God predestine some professing Christians to not be Calvinists?
         -If we are to subscribe to compatibilism, then would not any notion of freewill be confined to man fulfilling only his strongest desires? Would it not be circular, and thus irrational, to claim that the strongest desire is whatever choice the person puts into action (i.e. the desired action put into effect is the desired action put into effect)? 
         -If Calvinistic predestination is true, then why preach repent or perish? Why should we pray for our loved ones? Why should those predestined to hell not start living lives of debauchery?  
         -Is an elect pagan or atheist lost prior to the moment of conversion to Christ Jesus?

Are We Justified By Faith And Works?

  • Following Is Perhaps The Most Commonly Cited Proof-text By Advocates Of A Works-Based Gospel Message: 
         -"You see then how a man is justified by works, and not by faith only." (James 2:24)
  • Answering The Objection:
         -The Scriptures, which are inspired by God, emphatically declare that works cannot justify us in the sight of God (Romans 4:2-8; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7; 2 Timothy 1:9). So the text of James 2:24 cannot possibly be teaching us that salvation is merited on the basis of human efforts.
         -In context, James clearly occupies the word justify to mean vindication, or proven. He does not argue against justification by faith alone, but rather, a salvation that stands without any good works to accompany it. In other words, he is warning against living a Christian life that is devoid of good deeds. What James is really saying is that we demonstrate the reality of our faith by good works (v. 18). Are we going to merely talk the spiritual talk or actually going to walk the spiritual walk (v. 14-17)? Are we only going to be hearers of the Word or doers of the Word (James 1:21-22)? Faith and works must accompany each other because our works are the evidence (not the cause) of our genuine saving faith in the Lord (v. 19-20). Works are the product or result of a genuinely saving faith. A converted heart by definition will result in a changed life of righteousness. The inspired writer James then provides two biblical examples to illustrate his point on the relation between faith and works (v. 21-26). While the Apostle Paul repeatedly uses the word justify in the sense of salvation (i.e Romans 3-5), James uses the term in the sense of vindication, which is employed  in the same manner elsewhere in Scripture (i.e. Matthew 11:19; Luke 7:29; 10:29; 16:15).

Monday, February 19, 2018

Making Independent, Educated Decisions

"Privacy is harder than ever when everyone is invited to be linked in, connected and transparent to others (including hackers and the government), but it matters.  Reading books is time consuming, but it matters. Reflection is easily drowned out when life is fired at us point-blank, but it matters. Independent thinking is hard when the social media reinforce groupthink, but it matters. Thinking for ourselves is difficult when it is so much easier to download an expert opinion, but it is essential to the freedom of our own agency, so it matters. Conversations with an iron-sharpens-iron quality are rarer when minds seek carbon-copy approval from others in their own bubble, but they matter. History is more crucial than ever when the relentless modern focus is on the present and the future, but it matters. The courage to hold unfashionable convictions is more difficult when social media mobs give their thumbs-up or thumbs-down like a Roman emperor, but it matters.

And so it goes.  Having the right information is vital, but achieving genuine knowledge is better, and mastering both and then attaining true wisdom is better still."

Os Guinness, Impossible People, pg.201-202

The Major Intolerance Of The LBGTQ Community

"If you don’t believe that Caitlyn Jenner is a woman, you’re the worst kind of hateful. If you think a child deserves a mother and a father, you are a bigot. If you think a gender-dysphoric boy should not be treated as a girl, you’re evil. If you think a man should use the men’s restroom, regardless of what sex he thinks he is, you are discriminatory. If you think parents’ desire to get their children counseling help for their same-sex attraction is okay, you’re very dangerous. If your church teaches that homosexual sexual activity is wrong, your church is bigoted. You must agree with every part of LGBT values or be slimed. This dictatorial absolutism is not sitting well with many Americans.

The crown jewel of the gay movement’s efforts—the Supreme Court’s degendering of marriage—was sold to the heterosexual world on the question, “How does someone else’s gay marriage affect me?” Most people unquestioningly accepted that it wouldn’t.

But they are learning through real-life events that gay marriage does indeed affect them—or, at least, people very much like them. A great many Americans figured they don’t have to like gay marriage, but why should they stand in the way of Jim and Frank across the street marrying? You live your life, they reasoned, and I’ll live mine. But the equation has turned out to be much more complicated. Jim and Frank needed “marriage equality” to feel like full citizens, we were told. Who doesn’t want Jim and Frank to feel like full citizens? I do. But now they are learning that “marriage equality” is not enough. They must also agree to any and all demands from the LGBT powers, regardless of their personal religious or moral beliefs—or be branded with a Scarlet B.
 . . .
The average American who was asked to back same-sex marriage on the principle of justice and tolerance is seeing that those who requested their support are not living by their own rules. They are finding that “marriage equality” is not enough. They are finding the deal has been unilaterally renegotiated: “You will not only support our right to marry, but you will also support our marriages in every way that we ask. If you do not, we will take you to court, ruin your business, take your money, slime your good name, and even threaten your life.” The remarkable examples of these injustices are surprising and alarming many good citizens.

When winners overplay their hand, demanding everything from their opponents by threat of devastating penalty, those who cheered their victory tend to be turned off by their abuse of power."

Glenn T. Stanton, Is America Running Out of Patience with LGBT Activism?

America Was Founded On Judeo-Christian Principles

“From the beginning, Judeo-Christian principles have been the foundation for American public dialogue and government policy. They serve as the solid basis for political activism in support of a better socioeconomic environment. Found in American homes, truth from the Hebrew Christian Bible has enabled individual liberty to prevail over secular empires because it is a practical message about reality from man’s Creator.

In their quest for liberty, Americans focused upon the conspicuously self-evident “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” It is the governing character of these principles (laws), such as humility, the Golden Rule, and the Ten Commandments, that leads to success. This is the sure foundation upon which man’s right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” rests. Called “virtue” by America’s Founding Fathers, the impartial and divine element frees man to do what is right. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).”