Saturday, December 28, 2019

Apologetics Dissertation: How Language, Beauty, and Literature Point Toward the Existence of God

Haven't read this yet. Plan to do so in 2020.

From The Domain for Truth (Thanks, Jim) - Click Here

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Friday, December 20, 2019

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Is Episunago a Rapture Term?

Is episunago a rapture term? Get into any discussion about Matt 24:31 with a non-pretribulationist and you’re bound to see the Greek term episunago (gather) used. It (and other Greek terms) occurs in almost every statement of beliefs. You’ll be directed to 2 Thess 2:1 and referred to Paul’s rapture language (gathering-episunagoge)...keep reading

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Apocalyptic & Prophetic Genre?

An apologist has pointed out the inconsistencies and errors in an atheist's book touching on church history and the gospels. One of the "problems" the atheist must have raised was Christ's allegedly unfulfilled prophecies in Matthew 24 - Bertrand Russell anyone? Even notable Christians have supposedly seen problems with "literalism" in these passages (C. S. Lewis, William Lane Craig etc). The apologist dropped the magic word "genre." I skipped over the shots fired at popular futuristic premillennialism as I was more interested in the next segment.

No, futuristic premils don't have problems with "unfulfilled" prophecy in the Olivet Discourse. Invoking "genre" and name-dropping Gary DeMar and R. C. Sproul, along with the fallibility of popular-prophecy teachers (often true) doesn't cut it. If you want to fairly critique or refute a system, engage its best presenters and arguments.

Futuristic premillennialists understand apocalyptic-prophetic genre very well. But I rather suspect that genre is a useful tool used by amillennialists and postmillennialists (Covenant Theology) in order to get around troublesome passages which don't comply with the church-is-new-spiritual-Israel narrative in all its stripes. I know...that was a mouthful of a sentence! 

Some links addressing aspects of this subject (by no means exhaustive)...

Tony Garland:

The Genre of the Book of Revelation

Interpreting Symbols

Systems of Interpretation

Paul Henebury:

The Apocalyptic Wrong Turn (Part 1) 

The Apocalyptic Wrong Turn (Part 2) 

The Apocalyptic Wrong Turn (Part 3) 

The Apocalyptic Wrong Turn (Part 4) 

The Apocalyptic Wrong Turn (Part 5)

Falling Through the Porch (1)

Falling Through the Porch (2)

Falling Through the Porch (3)

Falling Through the Porch (4)

Zeteo 3:16:

Preterism and Prophetic Scripture

Dan Phillips (always a favorite):

25 Stupid Reasons for Dissing Dispensationalism

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Can the Old Testament be Understood Without the New Testament?

Another great presentation by Tony Garland.

Doug Wilson – That Hideous Strength

By accident, or more likely providence, I recently came across several presentations by Doug Wilson on YouTube – one of them was on C. S. Lewis’ largely dystopian novel, That Hideous Strength.

The book is the final installment of a trilogy, most often referred to as Lewis’ Space Trilogy. Wilson prefers to call it The Ransom Trilogy, and I agree. Ransom is the central character of the first two books, and is also one of the central characters (there are many) of the third book. But that isn’t Wilson’s only reasoning – for that you have to watch his introductory presentation Ransom Trilogy: The Silent Planet. Yes, he also has one on Perelandra...keep reading

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Christmas Devotionals

If you're looking for devotionals - perhaps for Christmas gifts or personal use - here are a few suggestions (shameless plugs ahead)...

Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon: the one edited by Alistair Begg is excellent. See the pic below.

Spurgeon's Own Hymn Book

The Valley of Vision

Voices From The Past

Piercing Heaven - Prayers of the Puritans

Friday, December 6, 2019

Rise of the Witch Hunters... & Wilson on Mohler

Okay, I wasn't sure what to call this post. So it is what it is.

I have a love-hate relationship towards some "discernment ministries" - mostly the latter, which is why I used scary quotes. Many are - by their very nature - witch hunters scouring other ministries and pastors for any missteps and questionable associations.

They'll tell you they're serving by warning the sheep. It's true in some cases. Some are fair and necessary. Others I'm rather more cynical about. I may say more later on - not that I'm the best or right person to comment on these things.

In my ground-level, popular, social-media experience I find that we often uncritically attach ourselves to certain discernment ministries. Notice that I said "we." We become eager to find the latest gossip-scandal and then post it on social media to "warn others."

Do we relish hearing juicy gossip on some formerly honorable pastor so we can nod our heads and mutter, "apostasy"? Do we check sources? Are we always familiar with the circumstances behind the scenes? Are we OK with throwing a good ministry in the danger-apostasy-dumpster based on questionable information?

On James White's advice I watched the Crosspolitic video link posted below. It features Doug Wilson along with other men I'm not familiar with. White recommends listening to Wilson's comments regarding the beleaguered Al Mohler during the closing stages. It's a worthwhile watch.

Click HERE

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Is the God of the Bible a Genocidal Maniac?

From Michael Kruger...

Armenia. Cambodia. Rawanda. Bosnia. Darfur. All well-known modern examples of genocide where entire people groups were wiped out (or almost wiped out). These are awful tragedies, worthy of our sorrow and grief. 

And yet, ask the critics, is the God of the Bible really any different? When the Israelites entered the land of Canaan, was it not God that commanded them to wipe out all the indigenous people (Deut 20:17)? Is God not guilty of genocide? It makes me think of the famous bumper-sticker quote, “The only difference between God and Adolf Hitler is that God is more proficient at genocide.”...keep reading


... God uses a variety of instruments to accomplish his judgment. Sure, God could just miraculously take all the lives of the Canaanites in a single instance. But, he has a history of using various means to bring judgment. Throughout Scripture, such means have included natural disasters, disease and pestilence, drought, economic collapse, and yes, even human armies. At numerous points throughout biblical history God “raises up” a human army to accomplish his purposes. And in the Canaanite conquest, God used the nation of Israel as his instrument of judgment.

An Unholy Tribulation Temple?

Is the future Tribulation Temple unholy? On a fairly regular basis, I see comments by futuristic premillennialists of all stripes calling the tribulation temple "unholy" or even a "fake" temple.

Incidentally, I regularly spot "fake modern Israel" tags from some premils. These folk observe that modern Israel is in a state of unbelief. They'll cite Paul's comments regarding what constitutes a true Jew (true Israel). The same folk do it regularly enough that I suspect in some cases there's an underlying animus driving it. But that's another story for a future axe to grind.

Is the future tribulation temple unholy? What does Scripture say?

Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains Matt 24:15-16 (see also Dan 9:27; 11:31; 12:11)

....who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.  2 Thess 2:4

Given the above verses, how can an Abomination of Desolation occur in a fake temple? How can something unholy stand in a holy place, in a fake temple? Can the temple of God be a fake temple? Can a fake temple be desecrated?

I infer from certain verses that unbelieving Israel will be brought to final salvation through a process. This will occur during a future tribulation. Perhaps the temple is a marker of that process.

BUT, please note that I'm not claiming the 70th week sacrifices in a tribulation temple contribute to Israel's salvation. Salvation is always by grace through faith in Christ.

More on the process...

I will return again to My place till they acknowledge their offense. Then they will seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me. Hos 5:15

….so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn. Zech 12:10

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say,`Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD! Matt 23:37-39

Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, Mat 24:30

What do you think?

For more on this topic see Randall Price's book "The Temple and Bible Prophecy." Chapter 23 "Blasphemy or Blessing - Sacrifices in the Last Days Temple" is helpful. See also his website and this article.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Does Israel have Continued Significance in God's Plan...

"A response to believers who assert there is no continuing significance for Israel in the plan of God or relevance to Jewish evangelism in light of evangelizing the nations."

Q346 - Does Israel have Continued Significance in God's Plan and in Relation to Evangelization?

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Who is the Overcomer?

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world - our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:4-5

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Scots Worthies - John Howie (Project Gutenberg)

I enjoy reading the Puritans and books about them - e.g., Meet the Puritans - With a Guide to Modern Reprints. Another good source is John Howie's Scots Worthies. It is available to be read for free by The Project Gutenberg HERE

Sunday, November 24, 2019

New Creation Eschatology and the Land - Book Review

Dr. Paul Henebury wrote a brief review of Steven L. James' New Creation Eschatology and the Land. You can read it HERE. And thanks to Mike Vlach for the tip on the book.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Dispensationalism, Social Justice & Race

Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics 2019 Conference papers available HERE

Share the Gospel with Atheists: Sye Ten Bruggencate

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Banner of Truth 2019 Christmas Specials

For those interested Click Here. Flyer HERE

Friday, November 15, 2019

Sovereignty of God

Some resources on God's Sovereignty provided by the Monergism Website.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Martyn Lloyd-Jones and Revival

In 1947, writing a foreword for his friend Philip Hughes, Martyn Lloyd-Jones wrote, “There is no subject which is of greater importance to the Christian church at the present time than that of revival. It should be the theme of our constant meditation, preaching and prayers.”[1] He described his daily prayer for revival as “an unusual and single manifestation of God’s power through the Holy Spirit.”[2]

Throughout Lloyd-Jones’ life and ministry, his conviction regarding the crucial importance of revival––and of preaching about it––never wavered.[3] He recognized that the only source of authentic and enduring hope for the church, in experiencing the reality of revival, was deeply rooted in the model and method of the New Testament church...keep reading

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Freely By His Grace - Review by Gary Gilley

Freely By His Grace - Classical Free Grace Theology is one of my primary sources from the non-Lordship Salvation Camp. It's a 600 page book and monster of a subject, often over my head. I picked it up a few years ago and plodded along for a while. The problem with these Big Subjects is that you have to look at the other side as well. It takes an enormous amount of time to do the topic justice. It is very easy to drown in complexity of details and fact-checking accusations. I eventually ran out of steam and set the books aside.

However, I did come away with certain impressions which have since been vindicated in a review of FBHG by Gary Gilley. He singles out Bing, Lybrand and Stallard, and I agree with his comments. My impression is that Mike Stallard tried to bring some balance to FBHG.

My interest was re-ignited some time ago when friends began sharing anti-LS video presentations. So I posted an article HERE and updated it recently. Presentations like these are often the only source of information they access. I'm not convinced that videos and podcasts, on their own, are the best information resources. And I know that many people won't fact-check because they trust the source.

Of course there are always good points made by the non-LS people. There are also some canards. Anyway, I think Gary Gilley's review of FBHG is helpful. I find him balanced in his approach. Read it HERE.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Ryle and the Essentials of Dispensationalism

J. C. Ryle's "Are You Ready for the End of Time?" was one of the first books on prophecy I ever bought. I share the thoughts below re Banner of Truth. In a perfect world the Banner folk would include Ryle's prophetic books and reconsider their millennial eschatology, especially their supersessionism.

In the last few decades, there has been a resurgence of interest in the writings of Bishop J.C. Ryle. Particularly his book, Holiness is widely known and beloved by many Christians, and rightly so. Much of this renewed interest has been greatly advanced by Banner of Truth, the main publishing house that has made Ryle’s writings available to a new generation of believers. In fact, almost all the major works by Ryle have indeed been republished by Banner of Truth, except for one book, Coming Events and Present Duties: Being Plain Papers on Prophecy which is the only one dealing specifically with his views regarding eschatology. Ryle himself described this book as a compact manual on his views regarding future prophecy...keep reading

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Justin Peters - The Real Reason I Left Twitter

On the Kanye West controversy...

Saturday, October 26, 2019

The Moody Handbook of Messianic Prophecy

New book from Moody...

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Mike Reeves on John Owen

Dr. Reeves testifies to England’s historical inability to produce theologians. He also mentions that perhaps the most famous British theologian ever was Pelagius, though he is hardly someone to emulate. However, one of the best candidates for the greatest theologian is certainly John Owen, who was once dubbed the Calvin of England. The emergence of this champion of Reformed orthodoxy from his anti-Puritan Laudian context at Oxford is surely a testimony to the sovereign grace of God. This lesson opens up the life and theology of Owen, while the next lesson provides a more in-depth look at his doctrinal here

A Thought about Prophecy

I often hear the complaint that churches don't teach enough prophecy. "Eschatology is neglected," they say. After all, isn't the Bible 25% prophecy (estimates differ)?

Some people want to find a church which not only teaches eschatology, but their particular brand as well. For example, we premillennialists want to find a premil church which teaches the rapture view we subscribe to.

The church I attend is Parkside in Cleveland Ohio. Its head pastor is Alistair Begg. Eschatology isn't a focus. In fact I think it's deliberately avoided. I get the feeling Begg understands how divisive and a distraction prophecy can be. Parkside has a Christological, Trinitarian gospel-commission focus in the tradition of the Puritans. And this is what I need. I can do the prophecy thing in my own time.

I love prophecy - it's a passion. It is important! But here's the thing; while prophecy may account for 25% (or whatever) of Scripture, let's not give it the larger part of our focus. I'm afraid this may be too often the case with those of us who love to study it.

I'm aware that Dr. Alan Kurschner of Eschatos Ministries took issue with the above. A  response is forthcoming...when I eventually get around to it.

Epic addendum: According to Eschatos Ministries- Those Who Avoid Biblical Prophecy Do Not Love God Rightly.

My original post was a result of introspection about how I spend my time. Secondly, how my online pretrib prophecy friends spend their time. Thirdly, I wanted to say something about recent comments from (pretrib) conference speakers bemoaning churches which don't get into prophecy. Finally, I've seen comments from people looking to find churches which teach their particular view of prophecy. Some even aspire to convert their churches to their brand!

The downgrading of biblical prophecy will continue as we approach the arrival of the Antichrist. This includes the false dichotomy between the gospel and eschatology, as if they can be compartmentalized. ~ Alan Kurschner.

Read carefully - for me it wasn't about avoiding prophecy; it was a matter of proportion. A thing may be important but wrong in too large measure. This should include all areas of our lives. The people I referred to aren't "downgrading biblical prophecy." Unless one intends that this downgrading involves taking the wrong rapture position.

Let's also not link the gospel with any particular view of eschatology in order to justify the latter. The gospel may be linked to eschatology within the bounds of the amil-postmil positions (Personal Eschatology and Cosmic); though they think it occurs within a different context. The love of Christ's appearing (and glorifyng God) may undergird everything we do. But everything we do ought not to be centered on prophecy.

How much more prophecy do people need? Prophetic resources are almost limitless. What happens if your church teaches a position you disagree with? Do you jump ship? There's far more to church than prophecy. Until the Lord returns there will always be differences, imbalances and protective stances on eschatology.

Parkside Church pastors (predominantly amil?) clearly realize that membership comprises of people of varying eschatological positions. When Alistair Begg ventures into Daniel or Revelation, I've appreciated his admission that there are differing views. He encourages people to study for themselves. Begg understands that there are historical and futuristic aspects to Daniel and doesn't impose himself onto the latter. He, like Spurgeon, finds lessons for the church in Daniel's living conditions in a godless culture. What is being avoided at Parkside (wisely I think) is a focus on prophetic (end times) matters.

Yet by "biblical prophecy" I infer that Dr. Kurschner means his brand. He has a vested interest in prophecy. Eschatos Ministries is set up to promote the premillennial prewrath rapture system. He aims to convert others. A considerable - even major - part of this involves polemics against pretribulationism. I'm taking the opportunity to address this.

Practically every proponent I've met believes pretribulationists are unprepared for Antichrist. Rosenthal called pretribulationism a satanically inspired deception. One Eschatos article invokes Corrie ten Boom and miraculous interventions. Kurschner applies the lesson to the Great Tribulation. He writes that the faithful can rely on God's providence. However he draws a contrast:
...I believe it will be the faithful who will be blessed by such miraculous deeds of God. Those believers who have been taught all their life that they will be raptured before this awful time, will be the very ones who will be fretting over their faith. At a time when they should be edifying the church, they will be confused and vulnerable to Antichrist’s schemes.
Another person has stated that pastors who aren't preparing their flocks for potentially facing the Antichrist are failing in their roles as shepherds. How does one prepare, exactly - by changing rapture positions? What myopic self-elevating statements! While one can always find a bad example to use as a stick (I've seen them too), most sober pretribbers understand we're not spared tribulation.

Logically, then, if pastors such as James White, Mike Reeves, Sinclair Ferguson, Ian Hamilton, Paul Washer, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spurgeon etc avoid "biblical prophecy" or don't warn about the Antichrist, they also don't love God rightly and are failing in their roles as pastors - right? I wonder what their responses might be.

If you want to prep people for Antichrist, teach them to love Christ more than their lives. That's what I get from Parkside Church and the folk mentioned above. The Puritans may not have taught "biblical prophecy" but they loved Christ over all other things and taught others to do so. According to John Murray:
If we prize our life (that is our natural life) more than Christ’s honor and will compromise his truth and glory rather than part with life, then we are not Christ’s. ~ O Death, Where is Thy Sting? (p 181)
These people do far more for preparedness than anything I've read in contemporary pious warnings of an incoming Antichrist.

See also Paul Henebury's Some Mud that Sticks...

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Voddie Baucham on racial reconciliation

An important talk... (Truth Matters 2019 Conference)

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Barry Horner: Territorial Supercessionism

This funny sounding bloke...

Notes HERE

Monday, October 14, 2019

The Trojan Horse Ep. 3: Critical Race Theory

If you listen to all this (I did at 1.5 speed) you'll hear the phrase "cooking the books" a fair bit. Scary stuff if this is allowed to follow its natural course.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

AD Robles on that Court Room Scene

Rather gritty, emotional video by AD Robles engaging two professing Christians who did not like the Gospel Court Room presentation mentioned in my previous post. I may not totally agree with every sentiment, and some of the language. It's pretty tough. And perhaps needs to be. I share the concern and frustration.

For more on the "woke" issues, regularly check out James White's Alpha & Omega YouTube Channel.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Gospel Grace in a Courtroom....

Tom Ascol: Gospel Grace in a Courtroom and the False-Gospel Resentment it Provoked 

Paul draws out a further implication our new life in Christ when he writes, “From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer” (16). Being joined to Christ, who shed His blood to reconcile us to God, transforms the way that we regard people—how we think about and relate to them. We no longer look at people through lenses supplied by this fallen world. Rather, we view them with new, spiritual eyes that are supplied by our crucified and risen Lord.
This is what enables Paul to write in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” What Christians share in Christ trumps everything and anything that they may not have in common. What this means is that a middle-aged black Christian who is a husband and father has more in common with a teen-aged white Christian single mother than he does with other middle-aged black husbands and fathers. Oneness in Christ forbids Christians from participating in the tribalism that intersectional ideologies promote so strongly today.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Mike Reeves on Suffering, Death & Joy

The Lordship Salvation Issue

This is surely one of those many topics where the less I say the better. Nevertheless, I do want to say something (with some sense of trepidation).

Most of my friends are non-LS. Many are far more informed than I am. In many ways I'm over my head, and would rather avoid division. If for nothing else, not to embarrass myself. So in the few discussions I've had, I've tended not to say much. Let every person do their own study and come to their own conclusion.

I once posted a Cripplegate article in a group and was promptly informed that it wasn't representative of the LS teaching. It shouldn't be surprising that there are nuances and differences among proponents of the camps. A non-LS fellow chimed in that LS is an even more dangerous doctrine than pretribulationism! I found that remark astonishing. Why am I not seeing this?

My two main references (I have others) on the LS issue are MacArthur's "The Gospel According to Jesus" and "Freely By His Grace" edited by Hixson, Whitmire and Zuck. The latter is 600 pages. It would be accurate to say that I haven't plumbed it all, and likely never will.

That said, I do have some concerns re the non-LS groups. First is the following statement by one of the FBHG contributors:
The label of easy-believism can come across as pejorative; it implies that those who reject the Reformed notion of saving faith have somehow compromised the gospel and opened the gates of heaven to anyone for any reason. Of course this is not at all the case. Opponents of the Reformed notion of saving faith simply contend that the Bible conditions eternal salvation solely on simple faith alone, and to express that faith in Jesus is to be convinced that He has given eternal life to the one who simply believes in Him for it. No act of obedience, preceding or following faith in Jesus Christ, such as a promise to obey, repentance of sin, pledge of obedience or surrendering to the Lordship of Christ, may be added to, or considered part of, faith as a condition for receiving eternal life. (Emphasis mine, Page 159)
I've also been pointed to Charles Bing's works. Bing has an article in FBHG. As I'm slowly digesting what he writes, some statements (at least in my opinion) aren't helpful. For example he states that Lordship Salvation arises from the Amil Reformed tendency to blur theological lines between law, grace, the church, Israel, the kingdom etc, etc. That's quite a lot of asserting to parse through. For a balanced Reformed approach to matters touching this, read Sinclair Ferguson's The Whole Christ.

At one point Bing contrasts LS with Roman Catholicism where the latter teaches that faith plus works obtains salvation. He then claims LS just frames it differently: Faith that works obtains salvation. That is a misrepresentation of just about everything I've read from the LS camp. No doubt one will find some problem LS statements here and there. But this is not the LS position I'm familiar with.

Elsewhere Bing addresses the LS appeal to James 2:19. He responds by noting that it fails because, while the demons have a head knowledge of God, they do not change their evil ways. Have I missed something again? How do we reconcile this response with the statement underlined above?

Now some of the non-LS people may be saying that at the point of salvation, where only faith is applied initially, there is no repentance of sin required. However, I've seen other non-LS statements which take this position further into the Christian walk.

I fail to see how anyone can arrive at the point of coming to Christ, and understanding the need to place faith in Him because of sin, without the need for repentance. This is not to say that salvation is based on any visibly measurable amount of works.

I agree with Paul Washer:
There is something of a logical progression in the salvation of men. They must know that they are lost before they can be saved. However, they must know that they are sinners before they realize that they are truly lost. And finally, they must understand that God is holy before they can fully comprehend the grievous nature of their sin! (The Gospel's Power and Message, Page 88)
And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. 1 John 3:3

Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. 1 John 3:6-10

John Barnett - What is Lordship Salvation?

Note that Barnett's account of the Dallas incident somewhat differs to that found in MacArthur's book. But it essentially raises the same problem.


I wrote a slightly edited and expanded version of this post HERE

Since then I've managed to read more of Dr. Bing's article in FBHG. Note that I read the book some years ago. So this is a refresher. Bing seems to be the go-to person for dispensationalists who reject Lordship Salvation. I've been asked, "Have you read Dr Bing?" Yet the more I read of him the more I'm convinced that he's not helpful.

Though I haven't fully studied Lybrand's "Distinction between Salvation and Disclipeship", I'm both skeptical and cautious. Sure, read Lybrand, but also consider James Montgomery Boice's "Christ's Call to Discipleship."

Out of the whole book, I enjoyed Mike Stallard's chapter the best. I feel somewhat vindicated by Gary Gilley's review of the book. Gilley takes a central view. He singles out Bing and Lybrand (take note of what he writes) and states that Stallard's chapter is the most balanced.

More recently I see non-LS friends share videos produced by a popular prophecy teacher who is vocally non-Lordship. This individual targets MacArthur and Piper. The few quotes I've seen come from books I don't have. So I can't comment on context or isolated quotes other than to affirm that these gentlemen do not teach salvation by works, as seems to be implied. MacArthur has gone out of his way to point that out in the works I own.

The next time I'm asked if I've read Bing, I'll ask if they've actually read MacArthur, or just watched a video, read a quote etc. I find that many of my friends lean closer to LS than they'd admit. Many of their comments regarding, for example, the apostasy of celebrities seems to move them in that direction. Yet LS remains the boogy man doctrine.

The LS controversy seems somewhat reminiscent of the controversy between Horatius Bonar, Moody and John Kennedy. Iain Murray's "A Scottish Christian Heritage" provides some helpful insights in the Controversies subheading of "Bonar and the Love of God in Evangelism."

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Monday, September 16, 2019

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Identity & Attributes of God

In the video I linked to in my previous post Paul Washer advises that to grow in love for God one ought to learn more about His identity and attributes. Well, this is a good excuse to plug Terry L. Johnson's new book "The Identity and Attributes of God."

If it had a sub-title it should be something like: "And How the Christian Ought to Live as a Consequence." In fact I wrote this under the title of my own copy. The reason being that the book is pastoral, practical and devotional, as well as theological.

Johnson dedicated it to Stephen Charnock, George Swinnock and William Gurnall. This is a great hint as to the quality of the book. Aside from Scripture, he draws from these three as well as other Puritans. I'm a lousy reviewer - plus reviewing this type of book is way over my pay grade. That said, I agree with Matt Covers' review of it HERE

If you're interested you can obtain a copy from Banner of Truth, or Reformation Heritage Books. Note that RHB always tries to provide books at discounted prices.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Answering Atheists with Dr. Jason Lisle (Interview)

Go to The Domain for Truth HERE

Spurgeon on Imminence

Some time ago in a Facebook group a fellow claimed - among other things - that pretribbers worship the "Golden Calf of Imminence."

I've even read an article desperately trying to make a case for imminence being a bad thing. The idea was that, because of human nature, belief in imminence doesn't really generate urgency. This ties in with the charge that those of us who believe the church is raptured before "Antichrist's Great Tribulation" will struggle with our faith once we're in it. These are nothing short of broad-brush conceited assumptions, intended to push a rapture timing view.

I've noted before how some of my pretrib friends are ex military and ex police officers. Many of those who aren't have exhibited remarkable examples of deep faith in Christ while experiencing personal affliction. The faith of these people has often been uplifting to me.

Frankly, the only "golden calf" I see possibly being worshiped is that particular posttrib rapture position. There's also personal pride at work in assuming "human nature" somehow doesn't apply to the so-called "prepared" non-pretribber. 

Anyway, what's good for Spurgeon should be good for me and just about everyone else,

Oh, Beloved, let us try, every morning, to get up as if that were the morning in which Christ would come! And when we go up to bed at night, may we lie down with this thought, “Perhaps I shall be awakened by the ringing out of the silver trumpets heralding His coming. Before the sun arises, I may be startled from my dreams by the greatest of all cries, ‘The Lord is come! The Lord is come!'” What a check, what an incentive, what a bridle, what a spur such thoughts as these would be to us! Take this for a guide of your whole life – act as if Jesus would come during the act in which you are engaged – and if you would not wish to be caught in that act by the Coming of the Lord, let it not be your act. ~ Charles Spurgeon

P.S. Spurgeon's advice holds true whether one applies it to the rapture, second coming, or death.

A lengthy Addendum...

The goal of this post wasn't to defend the doctrine of imminence. This isn't about whether belief in an imminent rapture is biblical or not - it's about bias. Some posttribbers aren't just satisfied with disproving imminence. They go to lengths to question whether living with an imminent-coming attitude can be a "sanctifying" process.

I cited Spurgeon (though he was Historicist Premil) because he saw the value in continuous "imminent" living. I could have listed other examples.

First of all any sanctifying process necessarily involves the work of the Holy Spirit. The Christian either co-operates with or hinders this process. Secondly, the fact that living under conditions of imminent death should spur a Christian to live for the Lord (the Puritans were great examples) validates Spurgeon's point. If one is convinced that Christ can come back suddenly, or of imminent death, one ought to live in a godly manner (See Sermons of Robert Murray M'Cheyne page 70).

Years ago I worked for a boss who would often tell us he was going out for a given amount of hours. He would invariably return much sooner than he'd indicated. Given that my desk was in front of the entrance and with my back to it, I learned to expect him at any time. It encouraged diligence. There wasn't the same sense of watchfulness when we knew he was on an inter-State business trip, because he couldn't walk through that door at any time (Matt 24:48-50; Luke 12:35-38). 

As for Gentile and Jewish Christians in the tribulation - once they see tribulation events occurring in real time, it should spur them to be alert. The issue is that this is still future. We've seen about two thousand years of church history with the Lord's return still pending. What ought to maintain the church's vigilance?

The ‘when’ - the day and the hour of His [Christ's] Coming - was to remain hidden from men and Angels. Nay, even the Son Himself - as they viewed Him and as He spake to them - knew it not. It formed no part of His present Messianic Mission, nor subject for His Messianic Teaching. Had it done so, all the teaching that follows concerning the need of constant watchfulness, and the pressing duty of working for Christ in faith, hope, and love - with purity, self-denial, and endurance - would have been lost. The peculiar attitude of the Church: with loins girt for work, since the time was short, and the Lord might come at any moment; with her hands busy; her mind faithful; her face upturned towards the Sun that was so soon to rise; and her ear straining to catch the first notes of heaven’s song of triumph - all this would have been lost! What has sustained the Church during the night of sorrow these many centuries; what has nerved her courage for the battle, with steadfastness to bear, with love to work, with patience and joy in disappointments - would all have been lost! The Church would not have been that of the New Testament, had she known the mystery of that day and hour, and not ever waited as for the immediate Coming of her Lord and Bridegroom. ~ Alfred Edersheim

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Trojan Horse - Ep. 1: Deconstructing Communities

This is an important video. Unfortunately most people won't bother watching. I ran it at a higher speed to save time. The two people on the right aren't Christian yet they understand and are concerned about where the social-justice-woke-critical-theory narratives are heading. This isn't just affecting churches; it is also widespread in academia.

James White and A. D. Robles (and others) have been sounding the alarm for some time.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Scofield - Multiple Ways of Salvation?

Did Scofield really teach multiple ways of salvation? Micah Martin addresses this in a link I provide below. You'll notice that someone took umbrage over the article in the comments section. It spilled over to Twitter with the person blocking Micah, yet still tweeting responses. The person then trolled a friend's blog. He obviously had an ax to grind. I see this sort of thing all the time.

You can read Micah's article HERE

In fact that same person left a comment on another of Micah's articles Is the Church an expansion of Israel? It isn't as if his talking points haven't been responded to. In my experience, these people never, ever listen. They are fixed in their beliefs and traditions and seem to live to debate. I had 18 months of frustrating experience on Amazon forums. Here's the thing - the Replacement Theologian (of all stripes) must consistently rejig numerous texts in order to get them to say what they are plainly not saying.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

The Unseen Realm: Book Review

I read Mike Heiser's book The Unseen Realm largely based on a recommendation from Darrel Bock. I was aware of some of Dr. Heiser's thinking prior to reading his book. While I disagree with many of his conclusions in other areas, I became intrigued enough to read Unseen Realm. You can read my review HERE

Heiser is very popular in the evangelical world. My issues with the book had almost nothing to do with the idea of a "Divine Council" or the "supernatural stuff," though I think he sometimes stretches the texts to back up his theories. Heiser's take on certain texts, and especially Genesis, make him problematic in my opinion. Yet he gets a big thumbs up from most reviewers. Ironically, one review which gushed about the book, came from someone who was associated with Answers in Genesis!

More recently, Paul Miles has expressed the same concerns regarding The Unseen Realm. I'm glad I'm not alone. You can read his review HERE

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

National Israel is the Key

Thomas V. Moore wrote a commentary on Zechariah. He said that symbolic language characterized the whole book. Commenting on Moore's Zechariah, an Editor of The Banner of Truth: Magazine Issues 1-16 affirms:
Similarly, Zechariah - accommodating his language to the understanding of his times - uses Jewish conceptions to express New Testament truths, e.g., the conversion of the Gentiles (8: 20-23) is signified by the coming of the nations to Jerusalem, and the joy of the Church in her final perfection (14: 16) is figuratively represented by the keeping of the feast of tabernacles.  
Banner of Truth notes:
The closing chapters of Zechariah, containing references to events which are evidently not yet accomplished, are notoriously difficult. The principles of interpretation which Moore adopts in his cautious expositions of these profound portions of Scripture are most helpful and his conclusions provide much food for thought.
May I suggest that these closing chapters are, indeed, awaiting fulfillment. The only true difficulty occurs when attempting to make sense of them while assuming that the Church is True Israel. They mean what they say.

Horatius Bonar got it right when he stated: 
The Prophecies regarding Israel are the key to all the rest. True principles of interpretation, in regard to them, will aid us in disentangling and illustrating all prophecy together. False principles as to them will most thoroughly perplex and overcloud the whole Word of God. ~ Prophetical Landmarks
I believe that God’s purpose regarding our world can only be understood by understanding God’s purpose as to Israel. ~ “The Jew,” The Quarterly Journal of Prophecy

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Acts 1:6-7 and the Restoration of Israel

Does the Bible teach that the nation of Israel has a distinct role in the future plan of God?

Many Christians deny that it does. According to Bruce K. Waltke, “no clear passage [of Scripture] teaches the restoration of national Israel” because “the Jewish nation no longer has a place as the special people of God.” In the words of Herman Ridderbos, “The church . . . as the people of the New Covenant has taken the place of Israel, and national Israel is nothing other than the empty shell from which the pearl has been removed and which has lost its function in the history of redemption.” The words of Waltke and Ridderbos represent well the belief of many—no future for Israel...keep reading

See also Paul Henebury's A Disingenuous God? and his series on Replacement Theology.

In 2013 I picked up P. W. L. Walker's book "Jesus and The Holy City." One review stated:

"Walker’s book is a healthy antidote to the earth bound and materialistic theology of much Christian Zionism, preoccupied as it is with the rebuilding of an earthly Temple, with supporting Jewish sovereignty over Jerusalem and their conquest of most of the Middle East to fulfill the Abrahamic promise."

I commented on it at the time. See HERE. Note that some of the links in that article are now defunct.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Rapture in Revelation 3:10?

Rev 3:10 is one of those hot-button issues which will never go away. Years ago I read a cautious discussion on it by a prewrath proponent. See also Dave Bussard's article HERE for a somewhat different take.

Pretribbers are typically more convinced that this verse speaks of a removal from the Hour of Trial. I happen to be one of them. See Jeffrey Townsend's article on Rev 3:10.

More recently leading proponents of the prewrath position have embraced Rev 3:10 as a rapture passage. Many PW proponents still reject it. In 2012 Dr. Charles Cooper wrote a small booklet called "Revelation 3:10 A Bombshell." He later expanded on it and followed up with a video titled "The Pretrib rapture is Dead."

He (and others) arrive at this conclusion by imposing a number of PW assumptions onto the verse. They reason that Rev 3:10 is a rapture passage, but that prewrath is also true - therefore, pretrib has been refuted. I discuss some of this "Bombshell" reasoning HERE.

Friday, July 26, 2019

J. I. Packer: Losing Sight but Seeing Christ


“Over Christmas macular degeneration struck so that I can no longer read or write.” 

For many who have appreciated and benefited from James Innell Packer’s writing ministry—the author of more than 300 books, journal articles, book reviews, dictionary entries, and innumerable forewords—this will come as especially saddening news. 

Packer, 89, will no longer be able to write as he has before or travel or do any regular preaching. Macular degeneration is an incurable eye disease that causes the loss of vision. While for now Packer still retains peripheral vision, it’s doubtful he will ever regain the ability to read...keep reading

Sunday, July 21, 2019

On Typology

I was skimming through a response to Michael Vlach's position on Israel in Rom 9-11. The responder is an amillennialist. To be fair, I didn't have time to read the full rebuttal - it's located in a book (Three Views on Israel and the Church) which I don't own.

It seemed to me that the author's responses to Vlach relied somewhat on an appeal to typology. In fact my first thought (perhaps unfairly) was, "He's defending his doctrine on Israel via typology."

As Dr. Paul Henebury writes, we can't cast out typology. However, we ought to be careful about using it to prove doctrine. See HERE and note the links to more articles at the end of the answer.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Importance of Christ's Second Coming

Thought this was balanced and sober...

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Seminary Confidential

Thanks to James White for sharing on Facebook. Following is an insider's perspective on what is going on in seminaries.

Critical theory (CT) “in the narrow sense designates several generations of German philosophers and social theorists in the Western European Marxist tradition known as the Frankfurt School. According to these theorists, a “critical” theory may be distinguished from a “traditional” theory according to a specific practical purpose: a theory is critical to the extent that it seeks human “emancipation from slavery”, acts as a “liberating…influence” … (Horkheimer 1972, 246).” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
CT identifies the primary dichotomy in life as oppressor and oppressed. It has been applied to gender, to sexuality, to race, even to colonialism. It has given us the fields of Queer Theory, Postcolonialism, and Whiteness Studies, among others. These are not just fields of study at secular universities – they are the latest and greatest in the world of Christian theology.
You can see how nicely CT dovetails with autonomous individualism: you are morally excellent if you embrace all your identities and liberate yourself and others from the shackles of the oppressors (systemic white, capitalistic, patriarchal heteronormativity).
Technically, critical theory is a form of academic analysis. Practically, it functions as a rival religion to Christianity. Instead of life’s main problem/solution being sin/grace, it is now oppression/liberation. It creates a new system of sinners (oppressors) and saints (the “woke” or “allies”) and all the requisite devotional duties.
Read the article HERE

Friday, June 21, 2019

God on Israel

"Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah--

 "not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD.

 "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

  "No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, `Know the LORD,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."

 Thus says the LORD, Who gives the sun for a light by day, The ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night, Who disturbs the sea, And its waves roar (The LORD of hosts is His name):

 "If those ordinances depart From before Me, says the LORD, Then the seed of Israel shall also cease From being a nation before Me forever."

  Thus says the LORD: "If heaven above can be measured, And the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel For all that they have done, says the LORD.

Jer 31:31-37

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Warning on Steven Anderson

Back in 2012 Alan Kurschner of Eschatos Ministries warned about using Anderson's materials. Not only because he claimed to hold to a prewrath position (which was dubious) but because of other troublesome behavior. Read it HERE

Sadly, I've seen PW proponents still pushing his materials, especially the "After the Tribulation" video. But not only that video, also others with a distinct anti-Semitic and anti-Israel bias. I'm surprised that futuristic premillennialists would do this. Recently, I even saw a comment praising Anderson's position on gays, as if he was the only one with the fortitude to speak out. In fact others are doing so without the viral hatred Anderson spews.

Steven Anderson should be avoided. Please read the Eschatos Ministries article linked above. And also watch Mike Winger's video response to Anderson HERE.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Islamic Mahdi Antichrist?

In the video below, Tony Garland respectfully critiques John MacArthur's Mahdi-Antichrist theory. I have a great regard for MacArthur but appreciate the way Tony approached this review. He echoes similar concerns I've had about this position. The Mahdi-AC theory is also held by others.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

The Day of the Lord in the OT - Dr Reluctant

Dr Paul Henebury briefly discusses features of the Day of the Lord in the Old Testament HERE

Saturday, June 8, 2019

The Qur’an’s Turn to Violence

Dr. Mark Durie examines the problem of peace and violence in the Qur'an:

It is widely recognized that, on the topic of violence, the Qur’an speaks with more than one voice. Some verses speak for peace, and others for war. The conventional explanation is that the difference hinges on the migration of the early Muslim community from Mecca to Medina: in Mecca Muslims were persecuted while Muhammad and the Qur’an preached non-violence and tolerance, but in Medina an Islamic state was established, and Muhammad gathered an army, leading it to triumph in battle against non-believers...keep reading

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Europe: Deep Spiritual Crisis

Some very good thoughts here...

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Charles Spurgeon's Eschatology

Over the years I've seen a lot of claims regarding Charles Spurgeon's eschatology. One rapture timing book cites him as indirectly supporting that particular view. Another person has questioned whether he was really premillennial at all. Alistair Begg once stated that people think they know what Spurgeon believed but that he kept his eschatology largely guarded. Spurgeon didn't present a developed eschatology. However, he did make some statements. Dennis Swanson discusses them HERE 

Monday, May 20, 2019

Progressively Pseudo “Christianity”

There's nothing new or progressive about "Progressive Christianity". 
I often hear those in the Progressive “Christianity” crowd say they are Christian. In fact, John Pavlovitz said this: “My new friend, the Reverend Vince Anderson took the mic and said, “Let’s be clear: Progressive Christianity is just Christianity. We are Christians -and we are progressing in our knowledge and understanding.”
That is the stance they champion, but is it true? Are they truly Christian? To find out, I decided to pick a few Christian doctrines and compare answers. We will see what Progressive “Christianity” says versus what true Christianity says...keep reading

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Rapture Deception

A while ago someone asked to friend me on Facebook. This individual had a reputation for social media outbursts against dispensationalism and pretribulationism. Still, I accepted the "friend request." It lasted a whole 24 hours. This person posted multiple times a day and took a scorched-earth view of pretribulationism - apparently "a dangerous heresy which needed to be stamped out."

Incidentally, I've been Facebook "un-friended" on occasion because I'm taking more of a blunt stand on these matters. My intention isn't to deliberately offend. Perhaps those who choose to go out on eschatological trolling crusades ought to develop tougher hides. Mind you, I accept that I can get pretty ornery at times. I guess I'm still a work-in-progress.

Now, I've met pretribbers with a take-no-prisoner mentality - "anything other than pretrib is a heresy." We recently evicted one from a pretrib Facebook group. I'm happy to report that most of my pretrib friends don't think that way. No one should. It isn't an essential doctrine.

Unfortunately, individuals who evoke the pretrib-dangerous-deception canard flourish in non-pretrib communities. People like my ex Facebook friend don't get corrected within their echo-chambers. This is because rapture timing for non-pretribbers is almost an essential doctrine. It's overwhelmingly assumed by these non-pretrib folk that the employment of a proper "biblical-exegetical" study of Scripture should lead one to the view they hold.

The following examples come from individuals in leadership positions. Perhaps this is why some people behave the way they do:

The pretrib position has “impossible-to-resolve problems” (p.197) and “insurmountable exegetical” difficulties (p.147). Worse, pretribulationalism leads to “calamitous” consequences and “a spiritual catastrophe” which is in reality “a satanically planned sneak attack” (p. 281-282). ~ Marv Rosenthal (The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church)

In The Rapture Question Answered, Van Kampen suggested a link between Darby and the "heretical" Edward Irving. He then wrote that at the time of the development of pretribulationism, new cults also emerged: e.g., Mormonism, Christian Science, Unitarianism and the Jehovah’s Witnesses. There just has to be a clear connection, right?

In Shadows of the Beast, Jacob Prasch warns about “dangers in the Pre-Tribulation position.” He asserts that the rapture-resurrection can’t occur until believers identify the two Beasts of Revelation, and ominously warns: "The popular myth asserting the contrary as if it were an exegetical fact is a dangerous myth which must be debunked as a deception perpetrated against the Elect."

One has to wonder how much hand-wringing and outrage we'd see if these comments were directed at a particular non-pretrib view. Pass the boxes of tissues around?

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Truth Matters | Vishal Mangalwadi

Hat tip Mark Durie...

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Doug Wilson on Rachel Held Evans' Passing

Predictably, I've seen some crass comments spun out on the same day RHE died. I'm not going to go into details, though I'm tempted to. I've already expressed my feelings about some "discernment ministries" who are, presumably, the only bastions of truth. I often wonder what would happen if these were pitted against each other - Godzilla v Mothra etc?

Yet some nasty comments have also come from people I know on social media. These types have a scorched earth, take no prisoner mentality. Either you think their way or you're fair game for the most inane conspiratorial reasons. I'll have more to whine about this later...

I appreciated Doug Wilson's article on RHE's passing HERE 

So the best thing we can do in a circumstance like this is to stand by the gospel we profess, walking none of it back, extend genuine condolence to the Evans family, hope for the best with regard to RHE, and put all our disputes, whether weighty or insignificant, into a context of a momentous and everlasting glory and joy. ~ Doug Wilson

Saturday, May 4, 2019

The Passing of Rachel Held Evans

In previous posts I've mentioned Rachel Held Evans' book "Inspired."

RHE had been recently placed in an induced coma because of seizures. Tragically, she passed away today, Saturday May 4th 2019. Click Here.

Please pray for her family.

Answer Anyone - John Barros Full Interview

Sye Ten Bruggencate interviews John Barros, who regularly witnesses to people outside abortion clinics. Interesting conversation!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Dr. Renald Showers (1935-2019)

Dr. Showers has gone home to be with the Lord. The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry has provided a link to his resources HERE

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

How To Answer Matt Walsh Part 1 (Sye Ten Bruggencate)

Powerful stuff - especially STB's analysis of Walsh's evidential approach to abortion compared to the presuppositional approach. STB has a great snippet of Voddie Baucham some time after the 37 min mark. Todd Friel also provides it HERE. Baucham's full presentation can be found HERE

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Rules of Affinity (Part 2)

Great series by Paul Henebury. Rapture timing is a C3 doctrine.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Cripplegate on the Notre-Dame Tragedy

What is the real tragedy? Well balanced and right to the heart of the issue...

I’ll never forget the first time I saw Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. It was the late ‘80s and my first trip to France. My French grandfather, Georges Lycan, had just picked us up from Orly and was giving us a flyby tour of Paris on our way to his country home in the Loire Valley. It was a stunning site of both intimidating grandeur and breathtaking beauty...keep reading

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

"Watch and Pray": The Spirit's help in Temptation

Ian Hamilton's sermon begins just after the 13 min mark.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Is Your Church Heading Towards Progressive Christianity?

There's nothing really "progressive" about Progressive Christianity. It's old material- started in Eden by the Ultimate Progressive. The other expression I sometimes see is "Free-thinking Christianity." But it isn't like they've simply applied their free-thinking minds to Scripture and come up with a biblically viable non-Orthodox interpretation. They attach themselves to past and modern writers and thinkers they prefer, in order to set the Bible on a lower shelf.

Paul was right:

I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 2 Tim 4:1-4

The following 2017 article by Alisa Childers hits a lot of targets...

5 Signs Your Church Might be Heading Toward Progressive Christianity

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Sometimes there are no easy answers

From Triablogue:

I'll be quoting from John S. Feinberg, When There are No Easy Answers (Kregel 2016). He's an evangelical philosopher and messianic Jew. His mother suffered from chronic pain. His father developed dementia. His brother died of complications from diabetes. His wife has Huntington's disease, which, in turn, carries a 50/50 chance that it will be transmitted to their children...keep reading 

Cage-Stage Calvinist?

I don't read a lot of Tim Challies' stuff. But I thought his article 7 Signs You're a Cage-Stage Calvinist was pretty good. Mind you, I've come across Cage-Stage Anti-Calvinists. The Cage-Stage idea might also be more broadly applied (e.g., eschatology). I saw a bit of myself in there.

You can read it HERE

See also Recommended Books for Studying Calvinism.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

MacArthur and Jesus' Blood

Moriel Ministries seems determined to perpetuate this falsehood. Phil Johnson addressed the matter nearly twenty years ago HERE. Apparently John MacArthur is persona non grata in the Prasch camp.

Adding this: Towards the end Friel refers to Servus Christi and his associate Jacob Prasch. BTW I'm aware that Moriel has responded. Frankly I'm tired of the mud being thrown at other ministries by these two men at various times (attacks against Paul Washer, James White, Alistair Begg, Justin Peters etc). So are many others.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Consider Your Mortality

Below is a sobering talk on death by Alan Kurschner.

Death has been part of my life since my teens, when my youngest brother took his life. Later, as a young adult, I found my father dead in his house. Death has taken friends I've trained with in the gym. The years eventually caught up to some who seemed invincible. Others died as otherwise healthy young men via sudden tragic circumstances.

These days, I drive past two cemeteries on my weekly visit to Half Price Books. One is on a hill and quite beautiful. I've often thought about taking photos of it. In the other direction, a tiny one is located near my local Heinens store, and could easily be missed. I wonder how many people notice and think about mortality.

As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children's children, Psalm 103:15-17

My mother died well. As she was waiting for the Lord to call her home she preached to me and my brother. There was no fear of death for her, she was ready to be with her Lord. The Puritans and people like Andrew Bonar were well-acquainted with death. Yet they had heavenly hope...
It was this week fifty-two years ago that I was set apart for the ministry in Collace, and now I have arrived at a new stage of my journey, the last stage of it. O what a comfort to me that, if I be soon called away, my successor will be a man of God, most earnest to do faithfully the whole work of the ministry, and holding fast the old truth, the everlasting gospel. Many prayers have been answered, and many more prayers are going up, here and elsewhere, for me and my beloved people. Lord hear! Yesterday and today I have had some glimpses within the veil, as if to prepare me more for what may now soon come. It is very solemn to find myself near the threshold of Eternity, my ministry nearly done, and my long life coming to a close. Never was Christ more precious to me than He is now. ~ Andrew Bonar

Thursday, March 14, 2019

CMI - The Lost World of John Walton

John H. Walton taught theology at Moody Bible Institute for 20 years, and is now Professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College, Illinois, USA. Recently, he has been busy publishing a string of paperback books, titled The Lost World series. To date, Walton has published The Lost World of Genesis One (2009); The Lost World of Scripture (2014); The Lost World of Adam and Eve (2015); The Lost World of the Israelite Conquest (2017); The Lost World of the Flood (2018); and most recently The Lost World of the Torah (2019). Walton is suggesting, by his series titles, something has been ‘lost’, but what exactly?...keep reading

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Jesus our Servant (Ian Hamilton)

Over the years I've gained an immense appreciation for certain pastors. I may not agree with their eschatology, positions on baptism and Replacement Theology etc, but they've ministered to me.

On the other hand there are fairly prominent pastors around who (I think) should prayerfully re-think their attitudes-ministries. One was recently fired after years of controversy. Another one - who has a large prophetic following - needs a quick reality check regarding personal pride and grace.

This last one, sadly, churns out cookie-cutter versions of himself. He's attacked just about everyone from James White, John MacArthur, Paul Washer and Todd Friel etc, and habitually calls his targets apostates, crackpots and heretics. I've touched upon some of these issues HERE and HERE.

That said, Ian Hamilton is a breath of fresh air...

Friday, March 1, 2019

Cosmic Temple & Spiritualized Eschatology

Excellent four-part series by Dr Reluctant:

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Mike Reeves on Thomas Goodwin

Really needed to hear the intro to this message...Click Here

Saturday, February 23, 2019

The Anti-Israel Religion

From the Besa Center...

Anti-Israelism is the modern face of anti-Semitism and just as toxic. Anti-Israelism is a modern-day religion in that it demands unquestioning adherence to a dogmatic doctrine and rejects non-believers as morally inferior...keep reading

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Rules of Affinity - Intro Part 1

Paul Henebury

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Rapture in the Gospels?

Pretribbers are criticized for their belief that Matt 24:31 isn't the rapture, while simultaneously regarding v 36 as being the rapture. It's further noted that they insist Matthew was written to the Jews, especially the Olivet Discourse. I've covered this in the past and won't do so here. See R. Thomas' article.

On the other hand, many non-pretribbers want to make the Olivet Discourse primarily church-focused:
…it is my firm conviction that the Olivet Discourse is written for the church, and that its application is to believers and not to unsaved Israel which, by definition, has no interest whatsoever in the New Testament or its warnings concerning the unbelieving nation of Israel. (The Sign p 487, Revised Edition 1993) 
I find that statement problematic. Anyway, I've been reading Jim McClarty's stuff for a few years now. I may not agree with all he writes but in my opinion he's a clear thinker and deals very well with the texts. In The Rapture and the Gospels he answers a reader's question regarding Matt 24, the rapture and the tribulation. Read it HERE

Monday, February 11, 2019

A Page from Hell's Playbook: Subterranean Origins of Certain Equality & Justice Doctrines

Hat tip James White. Shades of Screwtape:

If I were the devil—which some of you may believe after reading on—if my sworn mission was to devour the Christian faith from the inside out, then here is what I would NOT do. I would not slither into a Sunday service, breathing blasphemy and dragon fire, bragging about my triumphs at Auschwitz, commanding the congregation, “Deny that God is God!” I would not be an idiot...keep reading

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Friday, February 8, 2019

The Eschatology of Covenant Theology

An article from Dr Reluctant...

The aim of this paper is to give a survey of the eschatologies generated from within the school of Reformed Covenant Theology. Particular attention will be paid to the so-called “Covenant of Grace” as it functions as the main hermeneutical lens through which covenant thinkers interpret their Bibles...keep reading

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Hohn Cho on the MacArthur Attacks

I've already mentioned my concern regarding certain Discernment Ministries. Less said by me is better. This articulate Pyromaniacs article lays some of the issues out far more clearly than I ever could. Read it HERE

PS ....and this!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

James White Examines the Woke Church Movement

I once wore a Bowtie - just once. James White pulls it off far better. This talk (same conference) dovetails with Phil Johnson's in the previous post.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Virtue Signaling: The New Evangelistic Strategy

Phil Johnson

Ranting about the Cold

Alan Kurschner sounds like my dad. My parents were born in the Italian Alps. I was three when we moved to Australia but I do remember their living conditions. And mum (or mom) and dad constantly reminded me if ever I forgot. Heck, they didn't even have Facebook. Anyhow, this rant is worth a read. Click Here.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Discerners & Rapture Wars

I recently wrote an article called Discernment Ministry Bullies. There was a lot more which could have been said. But, because of its inflammatory nature, I couldn't use a lot of the material I came across. We do need discernment ministries, though I worry that the nature of such a ministry lends itself to witch hunts. I see a bit of that. That said there are decent discernment ministries around. Justin Peters comes to mind.

Anyway, the process of researching led me down some dark alleys. One person came under attack over a variety of reasons, justifiably so in some cases. Yet some of the beefs people had with this fellow bordered on the cultic. One reason he was being vilified was for having a slightly different slant on the traditional pre-wrath rapture position.

It explained a lot. I saw names of people who commented on my blog over the years. I've deleted most if not all of them. They weren't real comments - just suggestions to Google Tommy Ice, Rapture Dishonesty etc, etc. I'd previously assumed they all came from preterists or posttribulationists. Nope! I traced some of it back to a viral UK blog where the main heresy contender is pretribulationism. But apparently the above-mentioned deviation from the accepted PW view runs a close second. It has been labeled a deception and an attack on the gospel.

Seriously! No wonder our more sober Reformed friends generally run away from discussions about eschatology. They see us as crackpots.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Insider Criticism of Dispensationalism

This excerpt is from an older article by Dr. Reluctant (Paul Henebury):
Because dispensationalists are often concerned with matters such as the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the Antichrist, the accusation is that they attract a certain kind of crowd; one that is drawn to speculation and away from more pressing Christian concerns like, for example, the Person of Christ, or the impact of a creational outlook on Christian living. This is undoubtedly true as a limited proposition. But it is no more true than the fact that many of a sacramentalist disposition are drawn to episcopacy or that many of high brow inclination are attracted by Presbyterianism. Still, dispensationalist theologians must be careful not to scratch the speculators where they’re itching for fear of working against the broader work of the Holy Spirit in conforming people to Christ. There has always been and will always be a subset of futurists who can speak nothing of the Bible unless it is about the End Times.[5] But this party is not the clientele of the movement. At least it should not be!  If we have fully explicated the eschaton but have failed to explain it in relation to the Doctrine of God and His Plan. Too often we have not been faithful in presenting “the whole counsel of God.”[6] Dispensationalism as a movement has clearly made important contributions to the study of eschatology, but if these contributions are thought of by dispensationalists themselves as defining the movement, it is inevitable that it cannot survive as a vibrant theology in its own right.
Read the full article HERE