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 Second Sunday in Lent.

The Collect

ALMIGHTY God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Collect from the First Day of Lent is to be read every day in Lent after the Collect appointed for the Day.

Daily Bible Verse

Monday, January 18, 2010

Quote of the Day: John Robbins on Justification by Faith Alone

"What we call Western civilization arose because of the widespread preaching and believing of the Gospel of justification by faith alone. Theologies that deny this doctrine are fatal to both souls and societies."

The late John Robbins of The Trinity Foundation.  The Trinity Review:  The Religious Wars of the 21st Century


あじ said...

Talk about an idolatrous ideology. Our way of life exists because we got the Gospel right? Capitalism and industrialism are Biblical? Sorry, I'm against all prosperity gospels.

Charlie J. Ray said...

I think you're confusing the argument about the foundations of western civilization and democracy with soteriology. The two are not the same thing. However, the fact that you do not know that the doctrine of Scripture by which the church stands or falls is justification by faith alone shows that you value semi-pelagianism or pelagianism rather than true Christianity.

Idolatry is trying to usurp God's way of salvation and replacing it with man-made traditions and self-righteousness. (Romans 10:1-5; Galatians 1:6-8; Galatians 2:15-16).

It is a sad day when so-called Christians do not understand that the Gospel IS the doctrine of justification by faith alone--that is works/merits play no part in our justification and salvation.


あじ said...

I wasn't commenting on the merits of Sola Fide per-se, but rather the covetous and therefore idolatrous understanding of its implications. Of course there is tremendous irony in such a perversion, and yet it is so common to turn even an understanding of God into an idol.

Charlie J. Ray said...

The article, if you read the entire piece, does not in any way promote the prosperity gospel or any such thing. The article argues that modern democracy, religious freedom, freedom of speech, academic freedom, and the right to private property, etc., are all products of western civilization. Western civilization would have been impossible without the doctrine of sola scriptura and sola fide. The argument of the article is that where the theonomist/postmillenial view takes hold, what you have is a Roman Catholic view of world domination by military force, theonomic laws, etc.

Robbins is arguing against the political power of the church and for a spiritual principle of separation of church and state.

Sincerely in Christ,


あじ said...

Your link to the article doesn't work, which is why I hadn't read it. Having read it, I will say it is a superbly bad example of historiography (topped off with awful prose). It's far too dull for me to touch on every detail (the author does not even know what constitutes a "mortal wound") but I'll hit you with some highlights:

Western economic prosperity was built on slavery and colonialism, with some capitalism thrown in for good measure. Throughout the Americas you find genocide and near-genocide. The United States added to those sins outright fraud and treaty violations, theft of land and forcible relocations. Add on a pretty brutal civil war to bring an end to slavery, and the history of the country is anything but exemplary.

Capitalism is not inherently Christian. Go read Ben Witherington III's book on the subject if you don't believe me. The fruits of believing the gospel are not measured in "rights," "moral economic systems," private property, or even "civilization." Those things are are all wealth: the author is promoting a prosperity gospel, plain and simple. You may be thinking of a prosperity gospel in purely individualistic terms, but in this case we're talking about ideology and socioeconomic development, and confusing that with the gospel.

The gospel is a cross, and it calls us to take up our own cross.

Charlie J. Ray said...

Ken Ong,

I agree that the United States has committed many atrocities in its history. Nations commit sins as well as individuals. Second of all, the United States is not a Christian nation and the author, John Robbins is not arguing that it is because Robbins is not a theonomist or a reconstructionist.

In fact, Robbins is arguing for western civilization in general. That would include the European continent, not just the New World. Robbins is dead now but he held and earned doctorate in philosophy of political science. He was not a theologian.

I don't agree with all of his political views. He was from Pennsylvania and shares the view that the War of Northern Aggression was justified on the part of the North. I disagree but obviously in God's eternal decrees and providence the South was meant to lose the war.

It seems to me that you are buying into the anti-American rhetoric that goes on in the Asian and Middle East. What you should realize is the knife cuts both ways. Your country is not a Christian nation either.

My citizenship is in heaven, not here on earth. But that does not mean that I do not have an opinion in secular matters. First of all, Christianity, according to most historiographers, laid the foundation for modern democracy. You seem to be confusing the issue of "prosperity gospel" with the political issue of "democracy."

Secondly, I am one of the few to say openly that the United States is not as "free" as the national propaganda line pretends. Yes, our "free press" is really just a form of propaganda because the press or media persuades people to believe one way or another way. Our religious freedom is being eroded every year and people do not realize it.

Also, the United States has a liberal propaganda line that is pushing atheism. Atheism means there are no moral restraints so abortion, free sex, and pornography all become equal with religious values.

Atheistic materialism is a greater evil than misguided religion. Adolf Hitler and the Nazi extermination or genocide of the Jews is proof enough of that.

You should watch Ben Stein's documentary, "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed." He makes the point very well, even though he is Jewish and not Christian.

Sincerely yours in Christ


Charlie J. Ray said...

Ah, you're an Arminian. Ben Witherington III teaches at Asbury. Well, that explains why you think John Robbins is wrong. Arminianism has confidence in human ability. Calvinism emphasizes God's absolute sovereignty. (Isaiah 45:7)

Charlie J. Ray said...

The social gospel is basically atheism pretending to be Christian.

Charlie J. Ray said...

If that's not idolatrous ideology, I don't know what is. BTW, I'm not into civil religion. I don't identify the Republican party with Christianity. Likewise, the social gospel is civil religion because it identifies Christianity with the Democratic party. And what does the Democratic party stand for? Abortion, homosexuality, pornography, atheistic materialism posing as a concern for the poor, socialism, and a host of other ungodly idolatries.

If you read John Robbins' article, he was criticizing the Bush policy of world wide intervention in political and religious affairs. It is not our responsibility to police the world.

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