Your analysis of essay in NY Times Magazine ('This Is a Religious War') hits the mark. This essay and your critique speak volumes. We must understand the times. Thank you for illuminating this deadly serious matter. -- T.O., NY
Don't get upset with me over the title. You can read the word 'end' as 'goal.' That's the way St. Paul used the word in Romans 10:4: Christ is the end, i.e., the goal of the Law. In speaking of the end of homeschooling we are speaking firstly of its goal.
Greetings in our Messiah. I know, I know. “Didn’t you just get through telling us that you learn all you really need to know in the Old Testament? So how can you now say the same thing about the New?” I apologize if I did not make my position clear. Perhaps this will: The New Testament is the Old Testament– come into its own.
You’ve heard it said, “The Jews have the Old Testament and Gentiles have the New Testament.” Not so. The meaning of the Old is today inaccessible apart from the New and the New is utterly incomprehensible without the Old.
We’ve been trying to prove that thinking of our one Bible as if it were really twain– an “Old Testament” bound with a very different “New Testament”– is not at all helpful, nor is it true to the Bible’s own testimony concerning itself. The Bible is a unified revelation diagnosing the universal problem of man, setting forth God’s unique solution, variously administered.
Modern Christians narrow the gospel. It's just four spiritual laws, isn't it? Well, no; it's a great deal more. But shrunken conceptions of the gospel yield shrunken notions of what it means to be a witness to it. If preaching the gospel means just getting people to assent to four propositions and a prayer, then it is no wonder that witnessing has lost its connection to life and has become a matter of mere salesmanship and devices.
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Is Proverbs 22:6 (above) a promise or a warning? The phrase, in the way he should go, is not translated in a manner true to the Hebrew. It should be according to his (own) way. Thus, you have in 22:6 a proverbial prediction that a child brought up and trained to follow his own road at the beginning will be fixed in that path for life.
All of life is inescapably religious and in all of life we are confronted by the true God revealed in Scripture. To know Him, to be reconciled to Him and to draw close to Him, is life: personally and culturally. To deny Him, to flee from Him, to rebel against Him, is death: personally and culturally. When we fill the inescapable categories of life with God’s answers, we prosper. When we fill them with other– equally religious but unBiblical and therefore wrong– answers, we court judgment.
Greetings in our Messiah. This month's edition of Messiah's WebDate is a sermon delivered April 29 of this year at Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho, where Douglas Wilson serves as Senior Minister. The subject was the Feast of Tabernacles, an important Jewish holiday of abiding interest to Christians. Listen to this sermon titled, Succoth: Covenant Community in Your Face.
For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you...was not “Yes” and “No,” but in Him it has always been “Yes.” For as many as may be the promises of God, in Him they are “Yes.” And so through Him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. (2 Cor. 1:19,20)
It is not to be wondered at that many are discussing and implementing alternative methods of preparing young men for ministry, often with the local church, rather than an off-site seminary, assuming the responsibility. We hear frequent complaints today about the generally sad product being turned out by seminaries (even Reformed ones). I have my own share of stories I could tell. A few years ago, for example, I was at the examination of a ministerial candidate, a graduate of Westminster Seminary of Philadelphia. The young man was fresh and eager, but no fit candidate for ministry in a Reformed church. He was completely unable to articulate anything about the apologetic of Cornelius Van Til. When asked about the Antithesis, he answered, “I’ve heard of it, but I don’t know what it is.” Various other responses indicated an abysmal lack of Reformed knowledge, yet he had graduated with a better than “B” average.
Monday, December 11, marked the fifth anniversary of the death of Greg Bahnsen, who succumbed to complications following open-heart surgery in 1995. For those of us who knew and loved Greg, and were close enough to the hospital in Orange County where he was receiving treatment, the seven-day vigil was one of the longest of our lives. The surgery seemed to go so well, expectations were high, and then a few days later Greg lapsed into unconsciousness, and by the beginning of the following week he was removed from life-support and slipped into eternity.
The report on the radio said a husband in Coney Island became enraged when he found his wife with another man. He stabbed his wife, his two daughters, seven and three years of age, then stabbed himself and set his apartment on fire, further injuring himself. No one died; all were hospitalized in stable condition. I wondered if I would meet any of them on my rounds as a volunteer Protestant chaplain at the local municipal hospital. Later that week, I did.
Greetings in our Messiah. This town isn't big enough for the both of us, is not only a good line for a western movie, it's an accurate axiom describing the religion of the Public Square. Two hostile religions cannot receive equal treatment. At most, one will be accommodated in terms defined by the other. Today, anti-Christianity has won the battle for presence in the Public Square.
The laws in our nation– indeed, in Western civilization– will increasingly favor and reward those who practice and/or advocate homosexuality and other loathsome behaviors. What too many remain blithely unaware of is that the same laws which favor revolting behavior must disfavor righteous behavior. As homosexuals emerge from the closet Christians will be stuffed in.
In the last WebDate we began to explain why we believe that pedophilia will soon become acceptable. We offered as our first reason the one which is truly decisive: as Bavinck predicted in 1901, we have, as a culture, undertaken the gigantic effort of interpreting the whole world, and all things that are therein,…scientifically, that is, without reference to God,…simply and alone from the pure data of matter and force. One result of this methodology is that, contrary to reality, atheism is treated as objective while religion (particularly Christianity) is regarded as subjective.
Following Van Til, we have sought repeatedly to make this point: he who defines wins. The fundamental question (emphasis on the, the definite article) is this: Who has the original and ultimate right to define? Does God, the Creator of heaven and earth, have the right and authority to pre-define and re-define for all creatures the what, why and wherefore of all things, or do creatures have an independent right and authority to define things for themselves? This question is never innocently bypassed. Because God has revealed Himself to all, rebellion against God occurs first in the epistemological (knowledge) sphere, wherein sinners try to suppress or neutralize God’s definitions and superimpose their own.
Transcribed by Melanie Long and edited by Ryan Vest, from a 1990 sermon by Steve M. Schlissel
Hebrews 2:1-4 Therefore we must pay the closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For if the message declared by angels was valid and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution [its just punishment—NIV], how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard him, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to His own will.
You have probably read Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman of NYU. If you haven’t, you really ought to. I recently finished another book by Postman: Technopoly. My thinking was greatly stimulated by Postman’s insights into how personal and social patterns of thought are influenced, even shaped, by technologies (though his bag is empty when it comes to suggesting a cure for the ailments he so accurately diagnoses).
Founded in 1869, the mission of the American Museum of Natural History is to discover, interpret, and disseminate knowledge about human cultures, the natural world, and the universe.
So begins the Floor Plan pamphlet for the American Museum of Natural History (henceforth, AMNH). As will become clear, this mission is enforced with an evangelistic zeal. Visitors to the AMNH are generally unaware of what they are actually encountering when they enter these sacred halls. I use the terms sacred halls quite intentionally. The American Museum of Natural History is a modern-day temple, complete with priests and prophets, relics, patriarchal histories, even sacred scriptures.
The Christian’s view of life and reality affirms that the God of the Bible is the Creator of all and Ruler of all, through Jesus Christ. As such, He is to be obeyed. Since He made all things, He is to be obeyed in all spheres of life. Those in positions of authority—husbands, fathers, teachers, bosses, and civil rulers—rather than being exempt from, or outside of His dominion, are more responsible to Him than those under their authority. Lesser rulers must and will give an account to The Ruler.
Calvin in the Institutes fittingly addresses the Trinity only after first showing, in prior chapters, that knowledge of God must be based on scripture, not natural reason. Scripture reveals one God, who is manifest in three Persons—who are each fully God, yet distinguished by peculiar qualities. The living triune God is set apart from polytheistic idols by His oneness, and from non-Christian monotheistic idols by His threeness. The Trinity is a transcendent mystery that man cannot discover through reason or reconcile with logic. All attempts to demystify the Trinity deny God’s transcendence and lead to heresy.
Reflections on some of Neal Postman’s Amusing Ourselves To Death, The Disappearance of Childhood, Technopoly, and Building Bridges To The Eighteenth Century
Some things are so big most folks do not notice them any more than fish notice the ocean. Neil Postman, an NYU sociology professor and author of some twenty books, has noticed a development so huge it is mistaken for normality by smaller-minded observers and goes unremarked by most Christian commentators, yet which is of great significance to the church. Postman points out that a sea-change has occurred in our information environment. After the Fifteenth Century invention of the printing press, Western society became centered around communication that flowed through books, newspapers and other printed texts. During the late Twentieth Century, however, our information environment changed: our communication is no longer dominated by print media but by graphic means such as television, movies, video and pictures of all kinds.
There is a little book written by Victor Buksbazen with the same title as this article. In the preface he states: “Only the believer in the Lord Jesus can fathom the full import of the Jewish feasts, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.... Seen from the New Testament perspective, the Bible Feasts present a symbolic enactment of the divine drama of salvation.”
A Discussion Of General Revelation And Apologetics
Calvin’s description of the way men know God through the creation is incompatible with Thomistic-type apologetics, which offer arguments for God and His word designed to convince supposedly impartial audiences. Calvin claims there are no unconvinced or impartial audiences. Calvin insists that by virtue of creation all men know God already, regardless of what they may say to the contrary. In Calvin’s view, men do not receive God’s revelation as impartial jurors; they flee from it like guilty fugitives. Calvin’s view has dramatic implications for apologetics. Calvinist apologists will not construct arguments on behalf of God like lawyers appealing to a jury, hoping the arguments will be entertained as proof of the client’s cause. Rather, consistent Calvinists will conduct apologetics the way state police pursue bank robbers: closing off escape routes until the culprit is caught red-handed in the headlights.