Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

out of the frying pan...

"If you could hie to Kolob in the twinkling of an eye, and then continue onward with that same speed to fly, Do you think that you could ever, through all eternity, find out the generation where Gods began to be?"(From the Mormon hymn: "If You Could Hie to Kolob.")

"Orthodoxy" is a term indicating "right belief" and "true theology," and this term (or group of terms) is distinguishable from (though never to be separated from) "orthopraxy," meaning "right action." Right action flows out of right belief for it is by faith alone in Christ alone that we are made pure by God and "to the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled" (Titus 1:5 NASB).

Usually when we think of "sin," we think of sinful actions that we perform: words and deeds that are obviously wrong and thus contrary to the character of God. But these sinful actions are, in the final analysis, the fruit of wrong belief. Wrong belief is, in biblical terms, equal to unbelief, for belief in God as revealed by His Word is the only belief that counts. And the root of all sin is unbelief, as Martin Luther noted in his lectures on Genesis (LW 1:162; WA 42:121):

"Therefore the root and source of sin is unbelief and turning away from God, just as, on the other hand, the source and root of righteousness is faith."

Each Christian has been granted true belief by God (see Ephesians 2:8-10), but even our true belief will always be mixed with unbelief in this life.

And so this is why the development of right theology is crucial: and not only in our own lives, but for the lives of those we impact each day.

For unbelief is sin, and sin is never satisfied, but always seeks to lead us into greater error. As John Owen wrote in his great work on sanctification, The Mortification of Sin:

"Sin will not only be striving, acting, rebelling, troubling, disquieting, but if let alone, if not continually mortified, it will bring forth great, cursed, scandalous, soul-destroying sins. The apostle tells us what the works and fruits of it are, Gal. 5:19-21, "The works of the flesh are manifest, which are, adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like." You know what it did in David and sundry others. Sin aims always at the utmost; every time it rises up to tempt or entice, might it have its own course, it would go out to the utmost sin in that kind. Every unclean thought or glance would be adultery if it could; every covetous desire would be oppression, every thought of unbelief would be atheism, might it grow to its head. Men may come to that, that sin may not be heard speaking a scandalous word in their hearts, -- that is, provoking to any great sin with scandal in its mouth; but yet every rise of lust, might it have its course, would come to the height of villainy: it is like the grave, that is never satisfied. And herein lies no small share of the deceitfulness of sin, by which it prevails to the hardening of men, and so to their ruin, Heb. 3:13, -- it is modest, as it were, in its first motions and proposals, but having once got footing in the heart by them, it constantly makes good its ground, and presseth on to some farther degrees in the same kind. This new acting and pressing forward makes the soul take little notice of what an entrance to a falling off from God is already made; it thinks all is indifferent well if there be no farther progress; and so far as the gospel requireth, -- so far it is hardened: but sin is still pressing forward, and that because it hath no bounds but utter relinquishment of God and opposition to him; that it proceeds towards its height by degrees, making good the ground it hath got by hardness, is not from its nature, but its deceitfulness. Now nothing can prevent this but mortification; that withers the root and strikes at the head of sin every hour, so that whatever it aims at it is crossed in. There is not the best saint in the world but, if he should give over this duty, would fall into as many cursed sins as ever any did of his kind." [Emphases added.]

And so it is a principle that wrong belief if left unchecked will lead to greater unbelief. This is true for individuals and for groups. Jesus points to this fact when confronting the Pharisees, saying,

"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves" (Matthew 23:15 NASB)

And also the Apostle Paul:

But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. (2 Timothy 3:13 NASB)

We see this principle at work in the issue of the idol of 'free-will' as mentioned before, for it is this wrong belief that is so seemingly harmless but has played a major part in errors such as:

1. The Roman Catholic notion of sacerdotalism (that salvation is linked to the free-will choice to partake in the sacraments), which undermines the Bible teaching of salvation by grace alone through faith alone.

2. The American church-growth seeker-sensitive movement, which undermines the Bible teaching of radical depravity (the utter sinfulness of fallen Man) and undermines the sufficiency of God's Word so that Man can exercise his 'free-will' to create a business-like model on which to organize a particular Church congregation in order to provoke 'free-will' decisions of others.

3. Open Theism (the teaching that God limits His knowledge in order to give place for Man's 'free-will'), which exalts the will of fallen Man and belittles the God of the Bible by undermining the omniscience and omnipotence of God.

4. Mormonism too holds 'free-will' as a foundational doctrine, teaching that by making right choices, men can not only gain salvation, but attain the status of gods: hence the reason for the citation of the Mormon hymn at the head of this post.

In answer to this YOU must practice the Reformation principle of "semper reformanda"- YOU MUST ALWAYS be checking your beliefs by God's Word and YOU MUST CHANGE your beliefs when you discover your error-- as must we all-- following the example of the Apostle, who declared,

We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, (2 Corinthians 10:5 NASB).

[This article is edited from a blogpost originally published on 7/1/05.]

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Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Stefan Lindblad on *Ad Intra/Ad Extra*

[I originally posted the following one year ago today, and I'm still pondering this teaching from Stefan Lindblad.]

The following notes are from the Southern California Reformed Baptist Pastors Conference, Session 3, "The Knowledge and Will of God: One or Three?"

"I want to consider... what we might call an architectonic motif in Reformed Theology: namely, an ad intra/ad extra distinction. Richard Muller writes that the ad intra/ad extra pattern is arguably a fundamental, architectonic device in the older Reformed Theology that offers considerable insight into the nature and character of the older Reformed approach to the questions of divine absoluteness and divine relationality. Hence, the significance of the division of the subject of Theology into 'God' and 'the works of God' needs to be noted. Again, citing Muller: the implication of this division is that Theology must define God as He is (insofar as that has been revealed) and then go on to define God in relation to all else (namely, His works)....

"The Reformed theologians wanted to understand something of God considered absolutely (that is, in Himself) and God relatively (that is, God in His relation to the created order)....

"A consideration of ad intra/ad extra does not make God, in His ad intra nature, separate and utterly unknowable... but it actually places God in a relation to His creatures. Now, this pattern of ad intra/ad extra appears consistently throughout the Reformed doctrine of God, and it is intended to indicate an essential foundation in God that provides an absolute, and therefore constant, dependable ground for all that God brings about in the work of creation and salvation, according to Muller.

"Concerning the divine mind, God is then said to have a necessary knowledge ad intra, and a free or voluntary knowledge ad extra (that is, with respect to creatures). Concerning the divine will, God is said to have a 'will of good pleasure' or a 'secret will' ad intra, and a 'will of the sign' or a 'revealed will' or 'perceptive will' ad extra....

"Notice this: the pairs do not indicate a distinction in God Himself, as if God were a composite of multiple intellects or multiple wills. The distinction here is in our apprehension. This is not an ascription of different attributes to God, as Muller notes, but it is the same attribute considered first ad intra and then ad extra....

So what? "With respect to God [this ad intra/ad extra distinction] underlines His independence from creation, but it also underlines the freedom of God: indeed, the freedom of God to create or not to create or to create even a different world than the one which he did create. It underlines the fact, then, that God was under no absolute necessity to create or even to redeem. At the same time, the distinction underlines the way in which the divine absoluteness serves not to exclude but rather to define the nature of the way in which God relates to all things external to Him. It actually assures the constancy of God's relation; indeed, it under-girds God's relation to the world as one of radical freedom. God is not contained by the world, compelled by the world, or constrained by the created order to be or to act in any way. And so the ad intra/ad extra model of God and His works tells us that all of the works of God have a foundation in God and an 'ending point' or 'term' in the created order.

"And thus all of the essential works of the Godhead are acts of the three Persons operating just as the one God. But these works, if you will, 'terminate' on one Person or another (in the incarnation, for example). In other words: the eternal decree needs to be understood as absolute. It is determinate and certain. It is not suspended on the desires of Man nor determined by anything outside of God. There is no preceding condition upon which the decree is suspended, and it cannot be impeded; it cannot be altered.

"And yet the decree is relative also. Relative in two ways: first in relation to the divine willing, which is actually capable of actualizing alternative possibilities in the created order and in relation to its execution in time with respect to its objects and the means by which those objects are realized.

"Here, then, we are seeing that there needs to be in our conception a basic distinction between the decree and its execution, between eternal providence and actual providence. Here, this basic Reformed motif of ad intra and ad extra has significant implications, then, for the way we understand the [divine] decree: not the least of which is a consideration of the will of God in particular..."

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Monday, January 01, 2018

Shane and Shane: "I Want It All"

This song by Shane and Shane is a perfect complement to the theme verse of this blog.

This song of worship is also a perfect reminder/challenge going into the new year.

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Richard Barcellos on Marriage and the Sabbath

[The following is an excerpt from Dr. Richard Barcellos' new book Getting the Garden Right: Adam's Work and God's Rest in Light of Christ, page 178.]

"[M]arriage, from the beginning, was designed by God to be a type of Christ and His church. Marriage, as a divine creational institution, continues until Christ returns. It is not abrogated by His first coming. So, just as the creational ordinance of marriage is an age-long divine institution pointing to Christ and His church, so similarly with the Creator's rest and a Sabbath day rest for man. A Sabbath day for man is a creational ordinance pointing to eschatological rest. As a type of the ultimate rest to be enjoyed in Christ, the earthly symbol remains as a Sabbath rest, or a Sabbath-keeping [now taking place on the Lord's Day], for the people of God."

MY NOTES:

1. Regarding marriage: Christ in His redemptive work secured the Church as His bride, and yet marriages, which point to this spiritual reality, continue until the spiritual reality is consummated in the "marriage supper of the Lamb" (Rev 19:9), after which there will be no more marrying or giving in marriage (Matt 22:20).

2. Regarding Sabbath-keeping: Christ in His redemptive work secured the believers' rest, and yet Sabbath-keeping (Heb 4:9, rightly translated), which points to this spiritual reality, continues until the spiritual reality is consummated when we are brought into the ultimate Promised Land of the New Heaven and New Earth, free from sin, temptation, and all misery (Rev 21).

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Form of God Assuming the Form of a Slave: The Humiliation and Exaltation of the Incarnate Word (Philippians 2:5-11)

[The following blogpost is re-edited from a post published on 7/27/14. After prayerful consideration of the text itself, the first commentaries that I looked to were John Chrysostom and John CalvinAdditionally, my understanding of this passage has been sharpened by comments in Simon Gathercole's book The Preexistent Son, James White's book The Forgotten Trinity (Chapter 8), and class notes from Dr. Stephen Wellum.]

Text

Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who–existing in the form of God–did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead, He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men, and–when He had come as man in His external form–He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even to death on a cross. For this reason, God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, so that–at the name of Jesus–every knee will bow (of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth), and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (HCSB)

Observations

In Philippians 2:5-11, the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul commands us to humility. This passage calls us to follow Christ as our example for humility. It also, implicitly, holds out a promise to us. God the Father exalted Christ Jesus due to His humble obedience. We who have been united to Christ by faith (1 Cor 6:17) will share in His exaltation as we follow His example.

John Calvin
Paul gives an argument from the greater to the less. Christ exercised humility, as Calvin notes, “[B]y abasing Himself from the highest pinnacle of glory to the lowest ignominy.” We, on the other hand, exercise humility simply by not thinking higher of ourselves than we ought.

In this argument from the greater, Paul presents the highest Christology: a proclamation of Jesus as God. The high Christology of Philippians 2:5-11 is seen in at least two ways: 1) in Philippians 2:6, Christ Jesus is declared to be “in the form of God;” 2) the language of Philippians 2:10-11 directly parallels that of the statement about the LORD God in Isaiah 45:23. The remainder of this article will explore the first of these two ways.

Christ Jesus was “in the form of God.” “Form” in Philippians 2:6-8 is equivalent to “nature.” Christ emptied Himself by taking on a human nature. The Word became flesh (John 1:14). The Word—who “was God” (John 1:1)—was called a man (1 Tim 2:5). Christ forever retains His bodily form (Col 2:9). So both forms—the divine form, which is eternal, existing before His incarnation, and the human form, assumed in time—now remain everlasting.
John Chrysostom

Of these concepts, while commenting on Philippians 2:5-11, John Chrysostom helpfully remarks: “Let us not then confound nor divide the natures. There is one God, there is one Christ, the Son of God; when I say ‘One,’ I mean a union, not a confusion; the one Nature did not degenerate into the other, but was united with it.”

The incarnation and crucifixion were due to a voluntary act of the divine will as expressed through the subsistence within the Trinity known as the Word (as in John 1) or Son, and identified in the text under present consideration (Phil 2:5-6) as Christ Jesus. As Simon Gathercole notes, "[Christ's] act of emptying himself in the incarnation is paralleled with his act of humbling himself to the point of death." As Christ chose to go to the Cross (John 10:18), He had previously chosen to be born of the Virgin Mary. No one chooses the manner of his own birth: no one save Christ, "emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men." Notice the human existence the Christ chose: not a life of fame and fortune, but one that (for most of His time on this earth) was characterized by obscurity and poverty.

In Philippians 2:7, "assuming" and "taking on" modify the ‘emptying’ that is mentioned. Contrary to the kenotic theory, which teaches that Christ lost or set aside aspects of His divinity in the incarnation, the ‘emptying’ is not a losing but a gaining. The Son does not lose anything of His divinity, but he adds a human nature to His divine nature. This is an ‘emptying’ because it temporarily masks His divine glory and becomes the opportunity for His suffering on behalf of others

As Calvin notes, “[T]he abasement of [Christ's] flesh was… like a veil, by which His divine majesty was concealed. On this account, He did not wish that His transfiguration should be made public until after His resurrection” (Matt 17:9; Mark 9:9; Luke 9:36). The incarnate Christ was publicly manifested as the Son of God by means of His resurrection (Rom 1:4)

Prior to His resurrection, Christ suffered humiliation in the manner of His death: “cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree” (Deut 21:23; Gal 3:13). Christ was hanged between two robbers, sharing in their ill repute, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, “And He was numbered with the transgressors” (Isa 53:12). Christ crucified is a stumbling block and considered foolishness by those who are proud in their religious or philosophical endeavors (1 Cor 1:24)

Once the incarnate Christ was exalted, following His resurrection, the Word was returned to the glory that He had with the Father from “before the world began” (John 17:5). Nothing was added to the Son’s divinity (for it is impossible that the all-glorious One could increase in glory), but now His humanity, which was previously a vehicle for humiliation, has become glorified, manifestly partaking in the divine nature, allowing everyone who is united to Christ by faith (1 Cor 6:17) to become a partaker in the divine nature as well (2 Pet 1:4).

The above thoughts are key to rightly understanding the term "emptied" as it is used in Philippians 2:7 and help indicate how Christians must obey the command to 'make our own attitude that of Christ Jesus' in the way indicated by this passage (see Phil 2:5). Humility, as James White has observed, consists of: "having privileges, and laying them aside in service of others." As Martin Luther noted in On the Freedom of a Christian, whereas a Christian is "a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none" (due to the privileges we have in Christ through faith, John 8:36; Eph 2:6), a Christian is also "a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all" (due to the fact that the Holy Spirit has commanded us to practice humility). We cannot empty ourselves of divine attributes (as those holding to the kenotic theory would wrongly suggest is indicated by "emptied" in Phil 2:7), but we can empty ourselves of privileges though self-sacrificial service to others.

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

“The just shall live by faith”


The central Bible teaching of the Reformation
[In addition to being recognized as "Halloween," October 31st is the anniversary of Martin Luther nailing the 95 Theses to the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, which is traditionally viewed as the symbolic beginning of the Protestant Reformation. In celebrating the 500th anniversary of Luther's nailing of the 95 Theses, the following is a reflection on the core gospel emphasis of the Reformation.]
In the life of Martin Luther (1483-1546), we see the struggles of a man who wanted to know for sure that God loved him and that he would be accepted into heaven when he died.

Most people, when asked how they can know that God loves them, reply that they have to be good in order to know his love. For them, the good things that we do are the key to experiencing God’s love and obtaining eternal life in Heaven.

Early in his life, Luther was of this same opinion. But Luther came to understand something that deeply troubled him. In order to gain the love and acceptance of a perfect God through good works, a person’s works must be completely perfect: without the slightest flaw. Most people, when realizing this truth, decide to ignore it and just hope that God will overlook their many imperfections. Luther was far too serious a thinker to just pretend that God would forget the wrong things that he had done and continued to do, so he was tortured by the thought that God was not happy with the good things that he tried to do: he realized that life was very short compared to eternity and he had to know for certain that he would not be sent to Hell forever.
Luther tried to do many good things to make God happy with him. He would pray for days at a time, going without food so that he could focus more on his prayers. He took a vow of poverty so that gaining money would not become something that distracted him from thinking about God. And he spent hours confessing all of his sins. Still, Luther realized that he was far from perfect and he had no confidence that God loved him or that he could have eternal life in Heaven.

Luther came to understand the love, forgiveness, and acceptance of God after a serious, in-depth study of the New Testament book of Romans. What did Luther read in Romans that made such a huge change in his life? From history we know the answer; while studying Romans, Luther was thinking about Jesus’ death on the Cross when he came upon this verse: “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written. The just shall live by faith.”(Romans 1:17) As he studied more he found this same thought expressed again in the book of Galatians: “But that no man is justified by the Law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.”(Galatians 3:11) Luther continued to study the teaching of justification in the New Testament. (“Justification” means “to be declared completely innocent of any wrongdoing by God.”) Justification is the way by which sinners gain righteousness. (“Righteousness,” in this sense, means “brought into a right relationship with God.[1]”) Luther realized that he, like everyone else, had done things that he knew were wrong and against God’s commands, and he had proven himself to be as sinner, as the Bible says: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). So how could he gain justification? How could he be declared innocent of sin before God? The answer, according to the verses mentioned above, was that sinner must be justified by faith. As Luther continued to think about the Cross-- and about justification by faith-- he realized the meaning of the whole New Testament: indeed, the whole Bible. He saw that the Laws were given to show us that we could never do enough good things to earn the love and forgiveness of God. We always fall short and deserve nothing but punishment in Hell. But the Good News is: Jesus took that punishment for us in order to give us life in Him.

Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, took on human nature as God the Father Almighty sent the Holy Spirit to the Virgin Mary. Jesus lived the only absolutely perfect human life, perfectly keeping all of God’s commands that we have failed to keep.

Jesus was arrested and He was condemned to be crucified on false charges during the government of Pontius Pilate. On the cross, Jesus died as a substitute for sinful people, taking all of the suffering, death and punishment in Hell that sinners deserve.

Jesus was buried, and on the third day after His death, He rose again from the grave, proving Himself to be the champion over death and Hell, offering you life and freedom from sin if you will believe in Him.

Jesus ascended into heaven and now is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, freely offering new, eternal life to anyone who believes in Him.

Luther saw these truths in a new light when he realized that he could have perfect peace with God simply through faith in Jesus Christ. When Luther came to understand this, he wrote, “I felt myself reborn and to have gone into open doors through paradise. The whole of Scripture took on a new meaning…This passage of Paul [Romans 1:17] became to me a gate to heaven…”[2]

After he truly placed his faith in Jesus, trusting in Him alone to make him right in God’s sight and save his soul, Luther knew that justification by faith in Jesus was the Truth of God’s Word, and he was willing to risk death for that truth, even defying the Pope and the Emperor in order to continue preaching God’s forgiveness.

You too can know the love, acceptance, and forgiveness of God through faith in Jesus Christ. Simply confess to God that you are a sinner and that you can do no good works that will earn His love. Then, call out to Jesus in faith.
Faith is complete trust in the Lord Jesus Christ to save you from sin, death, and Hell and to give you eternal life.

I urge you, dear reader: place your faith in Him today!

[1] See W.E. Vine, An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words (Oliphants Ltd., 1952).
[2] Quoted in Roland H. Bainton, Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther (Pierce and Smith, 1950; reprint, Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1978), 49-50.

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Monday, October 30, 2017

Ryle on the Remedy for Spiritual Poverty [= Spiritual Reformation]

[The following was originally posted on September 22, 2007. The subject-matter of the below post, focused on the continuing need for spiritual reform, is especially appropriate now, as tomorrow is the 500th anniversary for the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.]

Over a hundred and thirty years ago, J.C. Ryle, the first Anglican bishop of Liverpool from 1880-1900, wrote the following in his classic work on Holiness:

It has long been my sorrowful conviction that the standard of daily life among professing Christians in this country has been gradually falling. I am afraid that Christ-like charity, kindness, good-temper, unselfishness, meekness, gentleness, good-nature, self-denial, zeal to do good, and separation from the world, are far less appreciated than they ought to be, and than they used to be in the days of our fathers.

What was true in England so long ago is no less true in the United States today. But what is the remedy? Ryle gives the following answer:
As to the best remedy for the state of things I have mentioned, I shall venture to give an opinion. Other schools of thought in the Churches must judge for themselves. The cure for Evangelical Churchmen, I am convinced, is to be found in a clearer apprehension of the nature and sinfulness of sin.

He then adds:
We need not go back to Egypt, and borrow semi-Romish practices in order to revive our spiritual life.

Of these "semi-Romish practices," Ryle had previously written:
Music, and flowers, and candles, and incense, and banners, and processions, and beautiful vestments, and confessionals, and man-made ceremonies of a semi-Romish character, may do well enough for him under certain conditions. But once let [a man] “awake and arise from the dead,” and he will not rest content with these things. They will seem to him mere solemn triflings, and a waste of time. Once let him see his sin, and he must see his Saviour. He feels stricken with a deadly disease, and nothing will satisfy him but the great Physician. He hungers and thirsts, and he must have nothing less than the bread of life. I may seem bold in what I am about to say; but I fearlessly venture the assertion, that four-fifths of the semi-Romanism of the last quarter of a century would never have existed if English people had been taught more fully and clearly the nature, vileness, and sinfulness of sin.

It is my concern as well that many today, rightly discerning the impoverished condition of the Church in America, nevertheless turn to the wrong means by which to combat the situation. Turning to unscriptural means such as praying through icons, prayer labyrinths, ringing of bells and other man-made practices and ceremonies may invoke religious feelings within a person, but these have nothing to do with biblical holiness. Instead, let us turn to what the Bible concerning sin and sanctification. Let us study the Scriptures and receive wisdom from older teachers who faithfully expound God's Word.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

On "the Scientific Explanation of the Origin of Life" and the Self-Contradictory Worldview of Anti-Theism


Sir James Jeans

Sir James Jeans [in The Mysterious Universe (NY, 1931), p.3] tells us that some millions of years ago certain stars wandered blindly through space, and: “In the course of time, we know not how, when, or why, one of these cooling fragments gave birth to life.”

The quote above is representative of the kind of “scientific explanation of the origin of life” that can be found daily from multiple sources in educational institutions, public broadcasting, and the mainstream media throughout our nation and beyond. These days, of course, those offering this kind of “scientific explanation” say “billions of years ago” instead of “millions,” in order to give more time for chance working upon natural processes to produce orderliness, intricate systems, and life. But what are we really reading/hearing when we are exposed to supposedly neutral “scientific explanations” like the one above?
Cornelius Van Til

Responding to the quote by Sir Jeans, Cornelius Van Til writes: “Thus, in the same breath we have an assertion of agnosticism [through Jeans’ statement: ‘we know not how...’], a denial of Christianity [through proposing an explanation for the origin of life that is diametrically opposed to the Christian explanation], and the assurance that Chance rules the world.”

Greg Bahnsen
Concerning Van Til’s response to Jeans, Greg Bahnsen notes: “This is a brief but blistering example of Van Til’s internal critique of an unbeliever’s rationalism (a scientific explanation of the origin of life… [emphasis added]) allied with irrationalism (‘agnosticism:’ ‘we know not how…’) for the purpose of precluding Christianity (this much is clear about any possible explanation [for the origin of life by scientists such as Jeans]: it was not religious).

In Romans Chapter 1, the Holy Spirit declares by the Apostle Paul that unbelievers “suppress the truth” “by their unrighteousness” (verse 18), and “claiming to be wise, they became fools” (verse 22). This foolish suppressing of the truth, though sometimes clothed in educated language, is demonstrated through their implicit embracing of contradictory philosophical pre-commitments and impulses, like: irrationalism and rationalism; agnosticism and assurance. The presuppositional critique of anti-Christian systems demonstrates that denials of the gospel are not what they often claim to be: they are NOT due to a philosophically neutral pursuit of facts, NOR are they due to lack of information [as in: ‘if you would only show me more convincing proof, then I would believe’]. Rather, denials of the gospel are a moral issue. People do not believe in the gospel because they do not want to believe. And in willfully rejecting belief in God, who created the universe in a way that is consistent with the truth of who He is, unbelievers necessarily devolve into self-contradictory positions: not just falling short of the principles that they espouse (as we all do, through weakness), but through clinging tenaciously to self-defeating principles.

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