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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Monday, July 11, 2016

Frances Turretin: God Hates Those Appointed to Destruction



I find it strange that the promoters of semi-Arminianism and common grace try to quote Frances Turretin in their favor.  I read him just the opposite.  In his remarks on natural theology Turretin says the following:

VI.  It is one thing to allow some knowledge of God as Creator and preserver however imperfect, corrupt and obscure; another to have a full, entire and clear knowledge of God as Redeemer and of the lawful worship due to him. Natural theology has the former in that which may be known of God (gnosto tou Theou).  Revelation alone has the latter in the faith (to pisto) which is gained only from the word.  Nor (if God has not left himself without witness [amartyron] in nature by doing good to men as to temporal things [ta biotika, Acts 14:17] which he often bestows upon those whom he hates and has devoted to destruction) does it follow that the external calling is objectively sufficient for salvation because it is said "he suffered the nations to walk in their own ways" (Acts 14:16) and it is called that "time of ignorance" (Acts 17:30, referring plainly to a defect in the external calling because he opposes it to the time of the New Testament in which he calls men to repentance by the word).
Frances Turretin.  Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Vol. 1.  George Musgrave Giger, translator.  James T. Dennison, Jr., ed.  (Phillipsburg: Baker, 1997).  Pp. 117-118.

Turretin wrote in Latin so his sentences are often long and convoluted.  The editor put some of the incomplete sentences into parentheses to indicate the sentence fragment or incomplete clause.  In an earlier section Turretin says that natural revelation leads to natural religion because there is an innate knowledge of God in man due to the image of God in all men.  But this innate knowledge is insufficient to lead to saving faith.  Although Turretin does not say this, it follows that even atheists have some knowledge of God though they suppress the truth in unrighteousness.  (Romans 1:18-21).  Getting the atheist to admit this is another matter. 

The reader will also note that Turretin nowhere refers to common grace in this passage.  What he does say is that God's goodness to men is temporal but their final destiny is certain because God hates them and has "devoted" them "to destruction."  In short, providence means that any gifts God gives to mankind through natural revelation is meant to harden them because they are vessels of destruction.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Accommodation to Culture: Liberalism in the Southern Baptist Convention



"Heresy is basically intellectual; but it results in evil conduct just as orthodox belief produces sanctification. The reason deserves emphasis wherever people propose a non-doctrinal Christianity. What a man does is controlled by what he thinks. Lewd conduct is always the result of wrong ideas. Similarly orthodox theology inevitably produces good works."  -- Dr. Gordon H. Clark



First Baptist Church, Greenville, South Carolina to Accept Unrepentant Homosexuals into Membership.


I didn't take the time to research and verify that the story in the above link is accurate in associating First Baptist Church of Greenville, South Carolina with the Southern Baptist Convention.  However, taking the following story at face value, it would appear that some Baptists think that liberty of conscience means that Christians have no obligation to obey God's moral law.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  (Ezekiel 36:26-27).  Liberty of conscience has traditionally been interpreted to mean that no Christian is obligated to believe anything that cannot be demostrated or proved from Scripture.  It has never meant that the Bible means whatever you want it to mean.  Just as the prophets were moved by God to speak the very words of God and their words were not their own private interpretation of the revelation, so we as individuals cannot make the objective and propositional statements in Scripture say something we privately want it to say.  The word of God is perspicuous and clear and plain.  (2 Peter 1:18-21).

However, to be clear about the issues, Jim Dant, the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Greenville, South Carolina is openly rejecting church discipline and the Bible and accepting unrepentant and open homosexuals into membership in his church.  Since the church is under a congregational form of government, it follows that the deacons and elders in the church as well as the congregation are all in full agreement with this outright rejection of God's written Word.  In light of the increasing apostasy of our nation and our Evangelical churches the following remarks of Dr. Gordon H. Clark are indeed prophetic.

Dr. Gordon H. Clark's commentary on 2 Peter 2:2.

2 Peter 2:2 (NKJV)
2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.


"For some unimportant verbal parallels see Romans 2:24, Psalm 119:30, and Acts 16:17, 19:9, 23. Heresy is basically intellectual; but it results in evil conduct just as orthodox belief produces sanctification. The reason deserves emphasis wherever people propose a non-doctrinal Christianity. What a man does is controlled by what he thinks. Lewd conduct is always the result of wrong ideas. Similarly orthodox theology inevitably produces good works. When the Jews attacked Paul's doctrine of justification by faith alone, he replied that justification necessarily produces sanctification. There is no such thing as dead orthodoxy. Right thinking is followed perforce by right living."

It is not enough, however, to condemn false doctrine. The evil conduct of heretics is usually more noticeable than their doctrinal divergences because uneducated Christians are often deceived by poor reasoning. Furthermore, immorality is an immediately pressing problem, and Peter in his situation must deal with it energetically. The verse says that the false teachers will make many disciples and the disciples will bring the Christian community into disrepute. So they did."

Dr. Gordon H. Clark. New Heavens, New Earth: A Commentary on First and Second Peter. 1967. 1972. Second Edition. (Jefferson: Trinity Foundation, 1993). P. 202-203.

Addendum:  Apparently this church and one other Baptist church in South Carolina have been disaffiliated from their association with the SBC over their position on gay marriage:  After Same Sex Wedding, Baptists Sever Ties with Greenville Church.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Quote of the Day: Stephen Charnock on Anthropomorphisms in Scripture



"As God is said to repent, when he changes things according to his counsel beyond the expectation of men, so he is said to forget, when he defers the making good his promise to the godly, or his threatenings to the wicked; this is not a defect of memory belonging to his mind, but an act of his will."  Stephen Charnock

The Puritan writers are extremely detailed and their writing style is often tedious to read because they rehash every point of doctrine from every possible angle of understanding.  But this is also why the Puritans are so important to read and carefully study for theological understanding.  Although these are 17th century writings, the brilliance of these men is immeasurable.  Stephen Charnock makes the following observation in his writings on the knowledge of God:

. . . And though God be said to forget in Scripture, and his people pray to him to remember them, as if he had forgotten them (Psalm 119:49), this is improperly ascribed to God.  As God is said to repent, when he changes things according to his counsel beyond the expectation of men, so he is said to forget, when he defers the making good his promise to the godly, or his threatenings to the wicked; this is not a defect of memory belonging to his mind, but an act of his will.  When he is said to remember his covenant, it is to will grace according to his covenant; when he is said to forget his covenant, it is to intercept the influences of it, whereby to punish the sin of his people; and when he is said not to know his people, it is not an absolute forgetfulness of them, but withdrawing from them the testimonies of his kindness, and clouding the signs of his favor; so God in pardon is said to forget sin, not that he ceaseth to know it, but ceaseth to punish it.  It is not to be meant of a simple forgetfulness, or a lapse of his memory, but of a judicial forgetfulness; so when his people in Scripture pray, Lord remember thy word unto thy servant, no more is to be understood but, Lord, fulfil thy word and promise to thy servant.

Stephen Charnock.  The Existence and Attributes of God.  First edition 1682.  (Baker Books:  Grand Rapids, 1996).  P. 421.

This ought to put to rest any idea that God is like a human being in any respect.  I could post numerous other quotes from Charnock that are equally insightful.  This book is the best information available for rebutting the arguments of Arminians and Open Theists and others who argue against the logic of an infinitely immeasurable God who is equally omniscient and whose knowledge also is without measure.

 33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
 34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
 35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
 36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. (Rom. 11:33-36 KJV)

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