Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Christian Feminism, Christian Misogyny, or None of the Above?

Photo Credit: Capital Hill Baptist Church
"We've been betrayed" is the constant refrain in Aimee Byrd's recent Mortification of Spin blog post.  Are her concerns warranted?  Has the Complementarian movement been taken over by "fringe" teachers?  Have our Christian sisters "been betrayed by the packaging and the mass selling of hyper-authoritative teaching under the guise of complementarity?"  Does CBMW "owe a lot of women an apology?"  In what ways is Biblical Manhood and Womanhood under fire today?  Are Christian female authors ignored simply because of their gender?  Has the Biblical text been more influenced by 1950's patriarchal traditions or by 21st century feminism?  What does God's Word teach concerning gender roles; plus some practical counsel for husbands (against being a domineering tyrant or passive wimp).

And per her request, I provide a initial male response to "Mortification of Spin's" Aimee Byrd. "You did not learn Complementarianism this way! Christian Feminism, Christian Misogyny, or None of the Above?"  Today's video podcast addresses these issues and much more- click here or you can visit my YouTube channel here.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Dr. Mohler Echoes My Concerns Re: the Trinitarian Civil War

The Council of Nicea
Many evangelicals have been waiting for Dr. Al Mohler to share his theological perspective concerning the current Trinitarian Civil War.  In an article published this week Dr. Mohler defended Drs. Grudem/Ware/Burk's orthodoxy and integrity in no uncertain terms!

In Heresy and Humility: Lessons From a Current Controversy Dr. Mohler echoed the main concerns I raised in three videos over the past few weeks. In my video blogs I suggested that Dr. Trueman and Dr. Goligher were right in doctrine but off base in application/practice. Dr. William Varner (of the Master's College) and I also suggested that these attacks were another example of "Machen's Warrior Children." Sadly, my comments were blown off by a few well known bloggers (whom I respect).  I insisted that tone was not the only thing lacking in the initial hit pieces posted by the Mortification of Spin and the Housewife Theologian.

In my last video blog I encouraged the team at Mortification of Spin to make a public apology to Drs. Ware/Grudem. Because I am not a celebrity pastor my concerns were largely ignored.  As a first rate theologian and as a Seminary President Dr. Mohler's article has successfully reached a broad audience.  Thankfully, when Dr. Mohler speaks evangelical Christians listen.  

Dr. Mohler did not mince any words,

11 Reasons WHY I Am Not a Amillennialist (John MacArthur)

11 Reasons Why I Am Not a Amillennialist
By John MacArthur

1. Amillennialist employ a historical grammatical hermeneutic but when they get to prophetic sections they substitute some other hermeneutic. In essence, they have a double hermeneutic.

2. They often eliminate a future for ethnic Israel.

3. They often confuse national Israel with the Church.

4. They often deny God’s promise to restore God’s people to the land even though the Abrahamic Covenant was unconditional and unilateral.

5. They deny Christ’s Davidic kingdom as promised in the Old Testament (see 2 Sam. 7; Psalm 89).

6. They believe wrongly that Satan is presently bound (in the Church age; See Rev 20:2; 1 Peter 5:8).

7. They artificially impose “continuity” on Scripture and do not allow ample room for “discontinuity.”

Our Covenantal friends build their system on three covenants that are not found in the Bible: The covenant of redemption; The covenant of grace; and the covenant of works.  As an aside John MacArthur does see a covenant of redemption in Scripture (note his sermon on Titus 1).

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Why John MacArthur Is Not an Amillennialist (part 1)

Today's post is from a chapel address John MacArthur gave at the Master’s College when I was a student (way back when).  I hope to capture Dr. MacArthur's major points but I also want to bring his lecture into modern times with various editorial additions.

Let me say up front this is not an issue that should divide true believers.  This debate is not a mark of orthodoxy.  This explains why R. C. Sproul, Ligon Duncan, and I are such close friends.  The Together for the Gospel conference is a perfect example of how we should interact with those who disagree with us over secondary matters (see this video on theological triage and/or read Mohler's helpful article).

Let me make five points right off the bat:  1) Eschatology is a “secondary” biblical issue because the heart of the gospel is not at stake. Having said that, 2) This is an important issue because the Bible contains so many prophetic end times passages. You cannot proclaim the full counsel of God and ignore eschatology and/or biblical prophesy.  3) As with all things our doctrinal convictions need to be interpreted through the grid of Scripture. "What sayeth the Scriptures" must be our frequent refrain.  4) All of us must strive to do faithful biblical exegesis in effort to have a truly biblical theology. We must not impose a theological system upon any passage of Scripture. 5) Spiritualizing prophetic literature will lead to a wrong eschatology.

One thing is absolutely certain: the Bible can not teach both Premillennialism and Amillennialism. We should realize upfront that there are some mistaken notions as to what Dispensationalists and Covenant theologians believe.  We should work hard so as to not build straw man arguments when trying to defend our own theological positions and our own personal convictions.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Not So Fast (Before You Become an Amillennialist)!

Sometimes the value of a good book is found in one sentence, one paragraph, one chapter, or in the case of Dr. Barry Horner’s Future Israel, in a nine page personal introduction.  The testimony of Dr. Horner will no doubt resonate with many Text-driven Christians.  It will also challenge some of you as you desire to understand what the sacred Scriptures teach concerning the "end times."  But before I share Horner’s eschatological journey allow me to quickly highlight mine.

I was a student at The Master’s College when I came to fully embrace and to appreciate the "doctrines of grace" for myself.  Through the expository preaching ministry of John MacArthur and other gifted teachers at my home church (Grace Community) I began to appreciate more deeply the ministry of the Reformers and the Puritans.  During this same time I began to question if my convictions concerning eschatology needed to be refined.  After all, so many of my favorite theologians were Presbyterian and Reformed.  I remember reading Gerstner’s, Wrongly Dividing the Word of Truth as well as Mathison’s Dispensationalism: Rightly Dividing the People of God?  From a theological perspective the argumentation in these books was convincing.  At the same time however many of the Text-driven (exegetical) conclusions were lacking. 

I decided to go back to the Scriptures in order to determine whether my end times positions needed to be modified or overhauled.  As I made my way through the Old Testament Minor Prophets I found Charles Feinberg and Jim Boice’s commentaries to be faithful to the Text and to the point.  Both scholars embraced premillennialism.  By the time I went verse by verse through Romans 9-11 I was thoroughly convinced that the Word of God not only supports the doctrines of grace they also promote biblical premillennialism.  In view of this I was not surprised when John MacArthur titled his  plenary address at Shepherds Conference, Why Every Calvinist Should Be a Premillennialist.  Well enough about me.  Let’s give the floor now to Dr. Horner.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Applying Theological Triage to the Current Evangelical 'Civil War'

Today's video highlights the practical and pastoral implications of the current Trinitarian Civil War.

In this discussion I will apply Dr. Mohler's theological triage to the current evangelical firestorm. I will also demonstrate what happens when you are "right in doctrine but wrong in practice."  Yes, I am referring to a couple of the posts written by Carl Trueman and Liam Goligher.  This has been, and continues to be, my primary concern. I will then suggest a better way forward.

These principles can be applied to whatever doctrinal controversy you are involved in so I think this will be of value to you (pastors and members alike).   I believe the issues highlighted in today's video are a neglected part of this ongoing "civil war" conversation.  Grace to you!

Video podcast link (click on link above or go here

Friday, June 17, 2016

Finding Dory: To See or Not to See

Finding Dory: To See or Not to See that is the question. Today's video discusses parenting, shepherding, discernment, Dory rumors, evangelism, Christ & culture, and the world of entertainment.

How should believers respond to the indoctrination efforts within the LGBTQ movement? Should Christian's support "Finding Dory?" 

 A few suggestions and a couple of ideas on today's video blog; (By the way this is not a Boycott Disney video). 

 I imagine our church members are talking about this "controversy" far more then the eternal subordination of the eternal Son of God.

Helpful resources referenced in today's video blog: Plugged In movie review of Finding Dory and every other major motion picture.  

Is their a transgender sting ray and/or a lesbian couple in Pixar's summer blockbuster film?  If not, it is only a matter of time.  Are we prepared?

A related article.  

Jesus' warning in Mark 9:42.  

Post Script: After reading the review at Pluggedin we decided it was safe to take our children to see this film.  The movie actually portrayed a "traditional family" as the whole movie centers around Dory's effort to find her mom and dad.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Evaluating the Trinitarian Civil War (video)

Evaluating the Trinitarian Civil War between Trueman/Goligher versus Wayne Grudem/Ware.  Is this recent attack yet another sad example of "Machen's Warrior Children?" Are these serious criticisms warranted; (is Dr. Ware "reinventing God")? If Trueman's position is theologically correct are his implications also valid?  Does Dr. Goligher owe Drs Grudem and Ware an apology?  Insights and links from John MacArthur and Will Varner.  Is Trueman swallowing a theological gnat here?  Should evangelicals continue to use Grudem's systematic theology text book?

I have summarized the debate and have sought to answer some of these questions in today's video blog (click here to watch/listen).  

Dr. Varner recommends, Dr. John Frame's Article on Machen's Warrior Children.  This is a Presbyterian critique of Presbyterianism.

See John MacArthur's,  Reexamining the Eternal Sonship of Christ.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Muslim Friendships in the Midst of an Unholy War? (video)

Muslim friendships in the midst of an unholy war? Yes!  Today's short video blog highlights a few personal relationships I have enjoyed with various Muslims. I want to share with you some of the witnessing lessons I have learned since 9-11 and encourage you to not lose sight of Luke 10:2; Acts 1:8.  The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  The recent attacks in Orlando provide us with a great opportunity for gospel-centered ministry.

In view of the recent attacks in Orlando, Paris, and Iraq- how can we love our (Muslim) neighbors as faithful Christians? 

I also present a simple Luke 11:23 solution to a complicated problem- global Jihad.

I think this short video will encourage and challenge you. Please let me know what you think of this video and how you have responded to the Muslim crisis. 

Friday, June 10, 2016

Building Your Own Personal Ministry Resource Library (video)

We have more Christian resources available today than in any other time in church history. Poor preaching, laziness in the study (contra 2 Tim. 2:15) and nonexistent Pastor-Theologians have led to theological-church anemia (Heb. 5:12-14; Eph. 4:11-16).

Sound study tools are tremendous helps as God's people seek to rightly interpret and faithfully apply the whole counsel of God (2 Tim. 2:15; 4:13).

In this 15 minute video I try and provide some practical tips on the how/why of building a personal theological library. I also address what to do when you run out of shelf space, where to begin, where to find inexpensive jewels, etc.

As I was taught in Seminary, "Sell a shirt/buy a book." Seriously.  Solid resources can help you be a more faithful friend, parent, discipler, counselor, SS teacher, pastor, etc to the glory of Christ (Col. 1:28-29).

I also offer a word of caution to those who own many books but who remain tadpole Christians (those believers with big heads and small bodies).  You can today's video blog here.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Trump or Hillary? How Can a Christian Vote? Remembering Where We Live (Dr. Fred Zaspel)

Photo Credit:
Trump or Hillary? How Can a Christian Vote? Remembering Where We Live (Fred G. Zaspel)

In my estimation neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton deserves to be president of the United States. Judged on character and behavior – matters such as morality, truth, and personal integrity – they both fail. I think one is worse than the other, but they both fail. Quite simply, their candidacies reflect the low tide of contemporary American politics. And it surely says something about us as a nation that these two – for the moment, at least – look to be our candidates. Neither deserves such a high office.

That raises another question: What kind of president does America deserve?

Well, I’ll leave that discussion for another time, but perhaps this question will remind us of where we live. I have often been surprised that so many Christians are surprised when the world behaves like the world. It seems many are still under the delusion of a “Christian America” and are in need of a reality check – if ever there was such a time, it certainly isn’t now.

Friday, June 3, 2016

#NeverTrump- Enough Already

Photo Credit:
The Gospel Coalition posted two more political articles this week. One arguing that Christians should vote for Hillary Clinton; (simply because she is a known quantity- even if she is a far left Progressive who will continue to advance the Rom. 1:18-32 liberal agenda). Forget that the Democratic platform supports militant LGBT legislation, abortion on demand, the censorship of opposing viewpoints, and the persecution of Bible-believing American citizens.

Concerning Secretary Clinton's record one author writes,   "The things she's said about the women who have accused her husband, Bill, of sexual harrassment -- Hillary called those women trailer park trash and all kinds of other names, and said 'no one's ever going to believe them.' Do you remember that she dismissed their accusations as being a right-wing conspiracy? Of one of those women, Hillary said, 'She is the war on women.' She says that women who speak up about harassment should be listened to, unless, apparently, it's about her husband.

Hillary has received millions in campaign donations from Saudi Arabia, Oman, Algeria, and the United Arab Emirates -- countries with horrid records concerning women's rights.

She has made fun of stay-at-home moms: 'I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was to fulfill my profession which I entered before my husband was in public life.'

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Bad Boys of Scripture and the Infamous Pontius Pilate: A Character Study

Photo Credit:
The Bad Boys of Scripture and the Infamous Pontius Pilate. If anyone is looking for an overview message that highlights the main bad boys of Scripture (Pilate, the Herods, Annas, Caiaphas, etc) in order to enhance your own study of the four Gospels you may find this sermon to be helpful. (or click here).  During this series I also want to show you what we can learn from these infamous characters.

*Annas: the unofficial High Priest of Israel (AKA- the Jewish Godfather). Annas was the most powerful Jewish leader in Israel. In many ways Annas continued to pull the strings in relation to the Sanhedrin (the Jewish Supreme Court) even after he was "deposed by the procurator Gratus. Yet while having been officially removed from office, he remained as one of the nation's most influential political and social individuals, aided greatly by the use of his five sons and his son-in-law as puppet High Priests." Annas was powerful, corrupt, wealthy and ambitious (see John 18:12-23 and my related sermon, A Miscarriage of Justice of Unparalleled Proportions).

*Caiaphas: the current High Priest and son in-law to Annas.  Caiaphas oversaw the Jewish portion of the trial of Jesus of Nazareth (see Matthew 26:57-27:10). After the resurrection of Lazarus, Caiaphas prophesied (unknowingly) that it is better for one man to die than for the entire nation to perish (note John 11:47-57). Caiaphas was respected, ruthless, powerful, and rich.

*The Sanhedrin- Made up the supreme religious, political, and judicial court of the Jews. Prior to AD 70 the Sanhedrin was comprised of 70 members plus the High Priest. They were known for enacting strict rules, for their magnificent beards, and for wearing lengthy robs. The chief priests (Mt. 27:41), the scribes (Acts 5:34), and the lead men of Jerusalem (elders) made up the Sanhedrin.  The Sanhedrin was envious of Jesus' popularity with the masses and wanted to eliminate him once and for all.  This council used false witnesses during their kangaroo court in order to wrongly convict Jesus of blasphemy and sedition (against Caesar and Rome).