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)

My Photo
Name:

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

Monday, May 07, 2018

Van Til's Summary of His Apologetic Principles

From Van Til’s Apologetic (1998), page 610:

We contend:

A. That in apologetics we must use the same principle that we use in theology: namely, the principle of the self-attesting Scripture and of the analogical system of truth which it contains.

B. That therefore we must not make our appeal to the “common notions” of unbelievers and believers but to the “common notions” that, by virtue of creation in God’s image, men as men all have in common.

C. That when appeal us thus to be made to man as man, this can be done only as we set the principle of Christianity squarely in opposition to the principle of the unbeliever. Only when the principle of autonomy, with its irrationalist-rationalist principles of identity and contradiction, is rejected in the name of the principle of analogy, is appeal really made to those common notions which men have as men.

D. That therefore the claims must be made that Christianity alone is reasonable for men to hold. And it is utterly reasonable. It is wholly irrational to hold to any other position than that of Christianity. Christianity alone does not crucify reason itself. Without it reason would operate in a total vacuum.

E. That the argument for Christianity must therefore be that of presupposition. With Augustine it must be maintained that God’s revelation is the sun from which all other light derives. The best, the only, the absolute certain proof of the truth of Christianity is that unless its truth be presupposed there is no proof of anything. Christianity is proved as being the very foundation of the idea of proof itself.

F. That acceptance of the Christian position on the part of sinners who are in principle alienated from God, who seek to flee his face, comes when, challenged by the inescapably clear evidence, the Holy Spirit opens their eyes so that they truly see things for what they are. Intellectually sinners can readily follow the presentation of the evidence that is placed before them. If the difference between the Christian and the non-Christian position is only made plain to them, as alone it can be on a Reformed basis, the natural man can, for argument’s sake, place himself upon the position of the Christian. But though in this sense he then knows God more clearly than otherwise, though he already knew him by virtue of his sense of deity, yet it is only when by the grace of God the Holy Spirit removes the scales from men’s eyes that they know the truth existentially. Then they know him, whom to know is life eternal.

G. That therefore the remnants of the traditional method of apologetics that have been taken over from Romanism and Evangelicalism, in greater measure by old Princeton, in lesser measure by Amsterdam, must no longer be retained.

Labels:

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Argument from Silence? On the pre-Law Patriarchs and the Sabbath

Some Bible commentators have argued that the Lord's "rest" on the seventh day, recorded in Genesis 2:1-3, was not immediately intended to set forth a pattern for people to follow and that Sabbath observance begins with Israel's wilderness experience, recorded in Exodus 16.

Dr. Thomas Schreiner of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is one example of a scholar who argues against viewing Sabbath rest as a creation ordinance. In "Good-bye and Hello: The Sabbath Command for New Covenant Believers" from Progressive Covenantalism: Charting a Course Between Dispensational and Covenant Theologies, Schreiner notes that the word "Sabbath" is first used in Exodus 16 and that the record of the patriarchs' lives prior to the time of Moses (as detailed in Genesis-Exodus) makes no mention of Sabbath-day rest.

At first glance, the lack of material in the biblical account concerning the pre-Law patriarchs and the Sabbath might seem greatly significant. Under closer inspection, however, the evidential value of this argument from silence entirely falls apart. Consider: 1. marriage [defined biblically in terms of a monogamous, life-long relation between a man and a woman]; 2. Sabbath-keeping after the Law was given.

1. Concerning marriage, Dr. Richard Barcellos notes:
...the relative silence concerning monogamy as the will of God from creation in the early chapters of Genesis onward does not prove that monogamous marriage was not a creational institution. Schreiner is correct when he says, "Jesus argues from creation for the notion that marriage must be between one man and one woman..."
Following Genesis 2, God gives no explicit commands to the patriarchs concerning marriage involving only one man and one woman for life. Among the patriarchs, we even see counter-examples that may make it seem that polygamy was approved. Yet God's creative activity is seen [by Jesus, no less] as setting forth a pattern that people should have followed.

2. Concerning Sabbath-keeping after the Law was given, notice that (as Francis Turretin notes) there is no mention in the biblical record of Sabbath-keeping during the times recorded in Judges and Samuel. Yet we do not take this to mean that no-one kept the Sabbath. It certainly cannot be the case that silence concerning the keeping (or breaking) of the Sabbath indicates that Sabbath observance was not required for Israel during this time.

For more on the argument above, and on the Sabbath as a creation ordinance (beginning when God "rested" on the seventh day and sanctified it, as recorded in Genesis 2), I highly recommend the book Getting the Garden Right: Adam's Work and God's Rest in Light of Christ by Richard Barcellos.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Persecuted

Jesus said to His apostles: "Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you" (John 15:20a ESV).

And these words from Jesus do not just apply to the apostles. As Paul instructed Timothy: "Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" (2 Timothy 3:12).

If you are a servant of Jesus, if you are following your Master, if you desire to live a godly life in Him, then you WILL face persecution.

Persecution does not always take the same form. Jesus said: "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in Heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you" (Matthew 5:11-12 NIV 1984). Jesus grouped being insulted and slandered in with physical persecution, speaking of His disciples' acceptance of these hardships as being approved by God. (Certainly, followers of Jesus must be sure that when we are insulted, slandered, or even beaten, that the reason behind this mistreatment is due to our testimony for Christ: our proclamation of who He is and what He has done for sinners. If a Christian faces hardship due to his or her own obnoxiousness or other character flaws, there is no reward in that, see: 1 Peter 2:20.)

From the verses above, it is clear that every Christian should live for Christ in such a way that hardship from the unbelieving world will inevitably follow (see also James 4:4). A good question to ask yourself, dear Christian reader, is: "When have I faced persecution [of any kind] for the sake of Christ?" Also: "Am I willing to live for Jesus in such a way as to endure persecution for His name?"

Labels: ,

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Martin Luther Chapter 12


Audio for Chapter 12 of The Life, Teaching, and Legacy of Martin Luther.

Purchase the book HERE.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Martin Luther Chapter 11


Audio for Chapter 11 of The Life, Teaching, and Legacy of Martin Luther.

Purchase the book HERE.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Martin Luther Chapter 10


Audio for Chapter 10 of The Life, Teaching, and Legacy of Martin Luther.

Purchase the book HERE.

Labels: ,

Monday, April 23, 2018

Martin Luther Chapter 9


Audio for Chapter 9 of The Life, Teaching, and Legacy of Martin Luther.

Purchase the book HERE.

Labels: ,

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Martin Luther Chapter 8


Audio for Chapter 8 of The Life, Teaching, and Legacy of Martin Luther.

Purchase the book HERE.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Martin Luther Chapter 7

Audio for Chapter 7 of The Life, Teaching, and Legacy of Martin Luther.

Purchase the book HERE.

Labels: ,

Monday, April 09, 2018

Martin Luther Chapter 6

Audio for Chapter 6 of The Life, Teaching, and Legacy of Martin Luther.

Purchase the book HERE.

Labels: ,