Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Kinder, Gentler, More Logical

Penal Substitutionary Atonement is a good thing. Is it the most important facet of Christ's self-sacrifice on the Cross? I don't know, but it's essential to what He did, and it seems to be always under attack.

Everybody's trying to invent a kinder, gentler, more logical hermeneutic. They recoil from the penal substitutionary explanation of Christ's death on the cross, calling it divine child abuse. They call it a cold piece of business, or a legal fiction. So they have to invent something that makes sense to their framework.

They also conveniently forget the fact that we were all vile rebel sinners before God got to us. "No one does good, not even one" (see Romans 3:9-18).

"Christ crucified" is a stumbling block to earthy Jews, foolishness to heady Gentiles (1Co 1:23).

How else do you explain Romans 4:3 along with Romans 5:9-10?

These people make the strawman objection to a position of a wrathful vindictive God whose attitude must be changed by Jesus, whereas the best Reformed or Dispensational theologians will be quick to tell you that "For God so loved the world, F18 that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16) or "But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:10). This last verse is right on the heels of being saved from the wrath of God. And Romans 5:1 makes a big deal of now having peace with God.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Justification, Regeneration, Perseverance

I just listened to Dr. James White's debate with Mitchell Pacwa, SJ, on Justification. Very informative and clear contrast between two systems of thought. More and more I'm seeing the systematic corruption of the Roman Catholic doctrine of justification. Thanks, Dr. White.

Then I listened to Dr. James White's debate with Dr. Robert Wilkins, on Regeneration and Perseverance and Lordship Salvation. Dr. White did a fine job of presenting his positive case, with some amount of addressing and dismantling the other side. In contrast, all Dr. Wilkins did was parasitically attack Dr. White, and made no case of his own, other than what he could say in the process of trying to tear down Dr. White. He didn't understand Dr. White's position, and gave some bizarre arguments against it (like, how could Cornelius be drawn by the Holy Spirit before he was regerated?  Huh?).  I was disappointed.

I agree that those who are saved with show forth fruits, and that faith is not just mere intellectual assent. Faith is saying 'Amen', i.e., the settled inner witness of the biblical heart, which includes the mind but also the affections. My only problems with Lordship Salvation is that it can tend to say that coming to the Lord in justifying faith means you have to commit to change your ways, and it can tend to harp on people too much to produce [a certain culturally acceptable kind of ] fruit. No, justifying faith runs to the Lord, saying with all the heart, "I am undone, I have offended a holy God, please save me from my sins." Of course there must be a change of attitude about sin. But there's nothing in the text about making commitments, changing your ways, and I think Lordship Salvation advocates can tend to say you do have to change your ways to get in the door.

Having said all this, when you respond with true faith, your ways will change (some instantly, and some progressively). God gives his elect ones new desires and they work these out with fear and trembling (Greek colloquialism for awe and respect). I agree with Dr. White when he says there's no such thing as salvation without discipleship, justfication without sanctification.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Gene Scott on the Necessity of Faith

Been listening to Dr. Gene Scott lately, on the warfare of the Christian. "Finally, brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the craftiness of the Devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, authorities, world-rulers of this present darkness, and spiritual forces of wickedness in the air around us." (Eph. 6:10-12) This is serious. This wrestling, Dr. Scott kept saying, is a one-on-one fight until one or the other combatant has his foot on the neck of the other. And we wrestle by faith, which takes a promise of God and believes it and acts on it.

I would disagree with the Dr., and say that Faith does not include action, but is the settled inner confidence that something is true. It then, if it is true, will produce action. Also, it is something given by God.

So walk by the faith you have. Know that this is a life or death struggle, but the outcome is predestined (God wins).

Sunday, June 03, 2012

More of George Mueller, on Faith

"Impressions have neither one thing nor the other to do with faith. Faith has to do with the Word of God. It is not impressions, strong or weak, which will make the difference. We have to do with the Written Word and not ourselves or our impressions."