Collect of the Day
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
The apostle says: "No one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ." 24 The JDDJ has laid a foundation other than Jesus Christ. By defining Justification, grace and faith in contradictory ways, and thereby leaving the door open for human cooperation in and contribution to Justification, the JDDJ obscures the work of Jesus Christ for sinners. If my Justification depends on my moral improvement throughout life, if grace is a power God gives me to cooperate in my salvation, if faith includes my works, then the work of Jesus Christ is insufficient to save me. The Lutheran reformers wrote:
"This teaching about the righteousness of faith dare not be neglected in the church of Christ; without it the work of Christ cannot be understood, and what is left of the doctrine of Justification is nothing more than the teaching of the law." 25
It's this simple: if you get Justification wrong, you get the Gospel wrong. And a wrong Gospel can't save sinners. This was the whole reason for the Reformation.
Friday, August 27, 2010
R. Scott Clark rightly points out that the recently deceased Clark Pinnock should not be remembered as contributing anything useful to Christian theology. Rather Pinnock should be seen as a relativist who shifted with every wind of doctrine, including the Mormon doctrine that God has a body. Clark's eulogy is not approving of Pinnock's legacy and I agree. Particularly heretical was Pinnock's doctrine of Open Theism which essentially anthropomorphized God to the point of making God less than God. Reminds me of the song, "What If God Were One of Us?"
See also: Christianity Today: Clark Pinnock Dies at 73.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Looks like celebrity gimmicks rather than confronting people with the Law of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the focus of the Sydney Anglicans. Amyraldianism, like Arminianism, has more in common with theology from below than with God's revelation of Himself in Jesus Christ and the Holy Scriptures. Why would the church need to resort to celebrity appeal to get sinners interested in the Gospel? (Romans 3:20; Romans 7:7; Romans 3:1-8)
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Of obtaining eternal salvation only by the name of Christ
They also are to be had accursed that presume to say that every man shall be saved by the law or sect which he professeth, so that he be diligent to frame his life according to that law and the light of nature. For Holy Scripture doth set out to us only the name of Jesus Christ, whereby men must be saved.
Of the Church
The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in the which the pure word of God is preached and the sacraments be duly ministered according to Christ's ordinance in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same. As the Church of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch have erred: so also the Church of Rome hath erred, not only in their living and manner of ceremonies, but also in matters of faith.
Collier is a Clarkian in his Reformed theology and apologetics and therefore places less emphasis on faithfulness to the secondary authority of the Westminster Confession of Faith. Gordon H. Clark has been accused of denying the doctrine of the one person of Christ in his final book, The Incarnation. Ironically, Clark's Scripturalism has been misused as a form of anti-intellectualism and irrationalism among his modern day followers, a fact that probably would have appalled Clark himself. While The Trinity Foundation makes many valid criticisms of modern Reformed theology, Trinity itself is promoting a rebellion against the Reformed confessions on the point of the incarnation since all of them uphold the Definition of Chalcedon 451 A.D.
I should add that Collier seems to be ignorant of the Dutch Reformed confession of faith called the Belgic Confession. Article 28, Of the Communion of the Saints in the True Church says:
We believe, since this holy assembly and congregation is the assembly of the redeemed and there is no salvation outside of it, that no one ought to withdraw from it, content to be by himself, no matter what his status or standing may be. But all and everyone are obliged to join it and unite with it, maintaining the unity of the church. They must submit themselves to its instruction and discipline, bend their necks under the yoke of Jesus Christ, and serve the edification of the brothers and sisters, according to the talents which God has given them as members of the same body.To observe this more effectively, it is the duty of all believers, according to the Word of God, to separate from those who do not belong to the church and to join this assembly wherever God has established it. They should do so even though the rulers and edicts of princes were against it, and death or physical punishment might follow.All therefore who draw away from the church or fail to join it act contrary to the ordinance of God. Mt 16:18, 19; Acts 2:47; Gal 4:26; Eph 5:25-27; Heb 2:11, 12; Heb 12:23.  2 Chron 30:8; Jn 17:21; Col 3:15.  Heb 13:17.  Mt 11:28-30.  Eph 4:12.  1 Cor 12:7, 27; Eph 4:16.  Num 16:23-26; Is 52:11, 12; Acts 2:40; Rom 16:17; Rev 18:4.  Ps 122:1; Is 2:3; Heb 10:25.  Acts 4:19, 20.
The short of it is that Monty Collier seems to be ignorant of Reformed theology in the bigger picture. The Westminster Confession of Faith says the same thing as the Belgic Confession:
The visible Church, which is also catholic or universal under the Gospel (not confined to one nation, as before under the law), consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion; and of their children: and is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, the house and family of God, out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation. (WCF 25:2 WCS)
May the peace of God be with all who confess faith in Jesus Christ as He is revealed in Holy Scripture.
The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. (Romans 16:20 ESV)
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
It would be foolhardy for anyone to pick up a letter not written to them and walk away thinking that every reference in that letter to ‘you’ is speaking about them. If John wrote a letter to Jim, would it not plumb the depths of utter stupidity and ignorance for Joe to come along, read the letter, and presume that every ‘you’ in the letter is referring to him! However silly this may sound, it is precisely what occurs when so many read 2 Peter 3 and presume that the ‘us’ and ‘any’ referred to in verse 9 is speaking of every individual ever born and that it is they whom God does not want to perish. The first thing we need to look at and confirm, if we are to be fair to ourselves and in order to arrive at a proper biblical understanding of what this verse is saying, is to ask ourselves to whom is it written. This will go a long way to finding out just who it is that God does not want to perish, and will leave the reader without room for doubt or uncertainty as to who it is Peter is referring to by his use of the word ‘us’. Open your Bibles and take a look at 2 Peter 3. Read verse 9 and then cast your eyes back to verse 1 and you will quickly discover to whom the letter has been specifically written and who is being spoken about in verse 9. Peter writes: "This second epistle, BELOVED, I now write unto YOU..." The term beloved here is a reference to fellow believers. Whenever beloved is used in the New Testament it is either referring to Christ as loved by God (see Matt. 3:17, 12:18, 17:5; Mk. 1:11, 9:7; Lk. 3:22, 9:35; 2 Pet. 1:17) or of believers (Rom. 1:7)—often as a form of address "wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry" (1 Cor. 10:14). The term ‘Dearly beloved’ is also used in Rom. 12:19; 2 Cor. 7:1, 12:19; Phil. 4:1; 2 Tim. 1:2; Philemon 1; 1 Pet. 2:11. In John’s first Letter he refers to fellow believers as "little children", "brethren", "beloved" (see 1 Jn. 2:1,7,12). In 1 John 3:2 one quickly discovers who the beloved are: "BELOVED, now ARE we THE SONS OF GOD..." In the New Testament the term beloved is used when describing those who love the Lord, meaning faithful disciples or followers of the True God, or those loved by the person using the word ‘beloved’ (see Eph. 6:24; Js. 1:12, 2:5). The term is "Spoken only of Christians as united with God or with each other in the bonds of holy love" (see 1 Cor. 15:58; Eph. 6:21; Phil. 4:1; Col. 4:7). The beloved of God are those chosen by Him to salvation (Rom. 1:7, 11:28; Eph. 5:1).
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Although Jack Iker and St. Vincent's Cathedral does not have a doctrinal statement posted online, they at least did take a stand against a lesbian couple who wanted their daughter to attend the religious school called St. Vincent's Episcopal School. Apparently the two ladies confused the Anglican Church in North America with The Episcopal Church, the morally and theologically liberal side of Anglicanism in the United States. Judging from the bishop's mitre and other regalia, St. Vincent's is also high church Anglo-Catholic. This would present a theological problem for Bible believing Evangelicals, confessing Evangelicals, Reformed Anglicans and various other Protestants who uphold the five solas of the Protestant Reformation. For the life of me I cannot understand why Anglo-Catholics do not simply join up with the Roman Catholic Church. Maybe it is because they have invalid orders of ordination?
In case the reader is unaware, conservative Anglo-Catholics split from the liberal Anglo-Catholics and started their own competing "province" in North America called the Anglican Church in North America. The morally and theologically liberal Anglo-Catholics are The Episcopal Church. Ironically both deny the Protestant Reformation and "claim" to be "catholic". In my opinion, however, any church which denies the five solas of the Protestant Reformation is in fact a false church, including the Anglican Church in North America. The five solas or "five onlies" of the Reformation are 1) Scripture alone, 2) Christ alone, 3) Grace alone, 4) Faith alone, 5) To God alone be all the glory. (Sola Scriptura, Solus Christus, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Soli gloria Deo).
The fact that St. Vincent's Cathedral nowhere posts a doctrinal statement of any kind, most especially the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, proves that doctrine is not a high priority for congregations and ministers in the ACNA. The Anglican doctrinal formularies are the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, and the Ordinal included in the 1662 BCP. Most likely St. Vincent's Cathedral continues to use the 1979 revised book of services which is Anglo-Catholic and extremely liberal, particularly in the catechism which is outright pelagian.
As the above photo demonstrates, wolves can be deceptive in appearance. (2 Corinthians 11:13-15; Acts 20:29-31).
[I borrowed the photo of Iker from The Deacon. See also Texas School Rejects Lesbian Couple's Daughter].
Reasonable Christian Blog Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost; Answer. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen. 1662 Book of Common Prayer
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
There seems to be a cadre of biblicist, evangelicals, who don't know much about the medieval church (and who think it might even be cool to get back there in some ways), who don't know much about the Reformation (except that it had an uncool, legal, fictional doctrine of justification), and who don't know much about earlier versions of evangelicalism (an "evangelical" is someone who loves Jesus, right?), who like the doctrine of predestination (God is sovereign, so why does it matter what one says about justification, it comes out in the wash, right?), who have no real connection to Reformed churches ("Dude! We like couches, coffee, and candles"), who are tempted by N T Wright's ("Man! He is so cool!) revision of Paul. It's grounded in the first century, and that has to be good, right? It's different. It's hip and it's socially relevant (after all, NTW has a plan to transform society and that has to be good, right?).
This society of fairly uncritical supporters seem to be quite unaware that there are serious, even fatal, flaws in NTW's revision of Paul (and of Reformed theology), beginning with his redefinition of Paul's doctrine of justification and carrying through his entire program of "God's faithfulness." There are good reasons not to be persuaded by NTW's revisionism. Those reasons are not just mere knee-jerk conservatism of the past but are grounded in the text of Holy Scripture, in biblical exegesis that takes account of the Judaic setting of the NT, in a coherent account of the history of redemption, grounded in faithful attempts to correlate passages with one another, including their implications (what we used to call "theology"), and in an attempt to relate our contemporary reading of the Holy Scriptures to that of the church before us (historical theology and the history of exegesis, something that NTW freely admits and regularly demonstrates he little cares about or understands). The pastoral consequences of NTW's program might also be mentioned as reasons for doubting.
Here are some critical resources you should read before inviting Tom Wright into your heart:
- Guy Waters, Justification and the New Perspectives on Paul.
- Michael Horton, Covenant and Salvation
- R. Scott Clark, ed. Covenant, Justification, and Pastoral Ministry.
- Don Carson et al, ed. Justification and Variegated Nomism (2 vols)
- Stephen Westerholm, Perspectives Old and New on Paul
- Seyoon Kim, Paul and the New Perspective: Second Thoughts on the Origin of Paul's Gospel.
- Peter Stulmacher and Donald Hagner, Revisiting Paul's Doctrine of Justification: A Challenge to the New Perspective
- Chuck Hill on NTW's definition of justification
- Questions about the whole business of re-interpreting "works of the law" as mere ethnic boundary markers
- N. T. Wright's Revision of Paul's doctrine of Christ's Obedience
- Guy Waters on NTW's reply to Piper
- Yes, confessionalists (and non-confessionalists) have actually read NTW and still disagree with him!
- The Old Perspective on Paul
- Who is N. T. Wright and Why Should I Care?
- Dan Wallace Raises Questions About NTW's Account of the Dikaisune tou Theou
- Paul Helm on NTW and the Reformation (or when does Semper Reformanda = Going Back to the Middle Ages?)
- Paul Helm: The Problem with Covenantal Faithfulness
- Helm on Wright and Baxter
- The White Horse Inn on NTW
- Horton Reviews Wright (PDF)
- Audio: Gerald Bray Critiques NTW
- Text: Gerald Bray Takes NTW to Task
- Guy Waters Reviews Daniel Kirk on Unlocking Romans
- Brief Tabletalk Essays on NTW
- More Resources on the NPP and Related Movements (including the Federal Vision)
Sunday, August 15, 2010
American Spirituality. Dr. Michael Horton comments, "My greatest concern today is not that Evangelicalism is becoming theologically liberal. I think that is happening, too. But my broader concern is that Evangelicalism is becoming theologically vacuous. You don't need to actually preach heresy from the pulpit. You just don't preach truth."