Daily Archives: June 10, 2013

Theology: DEFINITION OF TERMS

Presuppositions: To suppose beforehand. Something which you presume to be true before you enter into a study. The evolutionist presupposes that the Biblical account of creation is false, and presumes to know what they believe is truth.

 

In electronics there is a basic presupposition which the whole of television, radio, computer etc. is based. The presupposition is the fact  that there is an electron flow through a substance. In a light bulb you must suppose that the electrons are flowing to explain the whole system of electricity and electronics. Without this supposition you have nothing, for you cannot prove there is an electron flow. For many years they supposed that electricity flowed from negative to positive.

 

We will have some presuppositions before we finish with the Prolegomena that will be used in our study of theology.

 

Dogma: No, this term does not mean your dog’s mother. It means according to Webster, “something held as an established opinion.”

 

Dogmatics: A study of things that can be held with all certainty. Some examples of dogmatics: Christ is God. Christ died, but rose again. These are dogmas of Christianity in general. (This is why the Roman Catholic Church is considered to be within the realm of Christianity.)

 

We don’t use the term much in fundamental circles, probably because it is a term that the Roman Catholic Church and some Lutherans use extensively. Our non-use of the term may relate to the fact there aren’t many things that evangelical Christianity holds as sure and certain. Many of the doctrines of the past have suffered and now are not certainties. Doctrines such as the pretribulational rapture, the premillennial return of Christ, the blood of Christ, and the two natures of man. We might be quick to add that some of these certainties were based on less than adequate study and evidence. There is evidence now that the “two natures of man” doctrine may not be technically correct. For the most part, however the lack of certainty is based on a lack of study rather than the certainty itself. The blood of Christ and His return are quite sure, as is the rapture.

 

 

Theology: This term comes from two terms — “theos” meaning God and “logos” meaning “rational expression” (Reprinted by permission: Ryrie, Charles C.; “Basic Theology”; Wheaton: Victor Books, 1986, p 13) In short, the rational expression of God. The study and expression of God, if you please.

 

Ryrie lists three elements in theology:

 

1. Theology can be understood by the human mind.

 

2. Theology requires explanation; thus one must study and systematize it to verbalize theology.

 

3. Theology is Bible based and thus theology will result from Bible study. “Theology, then, is the discovery, systematizing, and presentation of the truths about God.” (Reprinted by permission: Ryrie, Charles C.; “Basic Theology”; Wheaton: Victor Books, 1986, p 13)

 

Bancroft states,

 

“Its aim is the ascertainment of the facts concerning God and the relations between God and the universe, and the exhibition of these facts in their rational unity, as connected parts of a formulated and organic system of truth.” (Taken from the book, Christian Theology by Emery H. Bancroft. Second revised edition Copyright 1976 by Baptist Bible College. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. p 13)

 

Theology can be classified in many ways: It can be classified by false and true. It can be classified by time frame: Early Church, reformation, modern etc. It can be classified by view: Calvinist, Armenian, liberal, evangelical, fundamental, etc.[1]

 


[1] by Stanley L. Derickson. DERICKSON’S NOTES ON THEOLOGY: A STUDY BOOK IN THEOLOGY.

Explosive Growth In Homeschooling Movement

As dissatisfaction with the U.S. public school system grows, apparently so has the appeal of homeschooling. Educational researchers, in fact, are expecting a surge in the number of students educated at home by their parents over the next ten years, as more parents reject public schools …. Click here for full story

How Has The U.S. Government Has Been Getting User Data From Major Internet Companies?

****IMPORTANT UPDATE**** Apparently the big Internet companies are not as “innocent” in all of this as they originally led us to believe. So this additional information changes some of the conclusions that I reached in my original article. It appears that some of the biggest Internet companies have been cooperating with the government in this data collection effort at least to a certain extent. The following is from an article in the New York Times that describes how the U.S. government has been getting user data from major Internet companies… (Read More….)

10 Hard Truths About the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ

By Joe McKeever

“I will build my church…” (Matthew 16:18)

It’s His church and not mine.

It’s His church and not yours either.

Settle that or nothing else will matter. Get it wrong and everything else you do will be off kilter.

The moment you think it’s your church (you’re in charge) or my church (someone else makes the decisions; you have nothing to do with what happens), we’re all in trouble.

It is indeed the Lord’s Church and He is its sole owner. He takes no one in as a stockholder, franchises no part of His operation out to denominations, and asks advice from no expert of theology. Furthermore, He promised that the gates of hades will not prevail against His church.

And, He has populated His church with frail humans like you and me, and wonder of wonders, assigned some of us to responsibilities within that church. What a risk He was taking!

Because the church is made up of people who are flawed and sometimes malformed and always still in process, the Lord’s church is often in trouble, forever struggling, and frequently an embarrassment.

The church is always vulnerable to the whims of its members, the pressures of its surrounding culture, and the variables of its pastors who come and go.

So, it’s a two-sided coin. The church is divine, yet human. The church belongs to Jesus who has promised to build it and guarantee its success. Yet, it’s fragile and vulnerable.

If, as a disciple of Jesus Christ, you pray for anything in this world, pray for the church.

If you “belong” to anything in this world, belong to the church.

If you give to a single entity on this planet, give to the church.

If you stand up for anything, stand up for the church.

Here are ten basic realities concerning the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. To the faithful, they are wonderful; but we ignore them to our own detriment.

Read More Here: http://m.blogs.christianpost.com/guest-views/10-hard-truths-about-the-church-of-the-lord-jesus-christ-16468/

Ron Paul: Government Spying: Should We Be Shocked?

Last week we saw dramatic new evidence of illegal government surveillance of our telephone calls, and of the National Security Agency’s deep penetration into American companies such as Facebook and Microsoft to spy on us. The media seemed shocked.

Many of us are not so surprised.

Some of us were arguing back in 2001 with the introduction of the so-called PATRIOT Act that it would pave the way for massive US government surveillance—not targeting terrorists but rather aimed against American citizens. We were told we must accept this temporary measure to provide government the tools to catch those responsible for 9/11. That was nearly twelve years and at least four wars ago.

We should know by now that when it comes to government power-grabs, we never go back to the status quo even when the “crisis” has passed. That part of our freedom and civil liberties once lost is never regained. How many times did the PATRIOT Act need renewed? How many times did FISA authority need expanded? Why did we have to pass a law to grant immunity to companies who hand over our personal information to the government?

It was all a build-up of the government’s capacity to monitor us.

The reaction of some in Congress and the Administration to last week’s leak was predictable. Knee-jerk defenders of the police state such as Senator Lindsey Graham declared that he was “glad” the government was collecting Verizon phone records—including his own—because the government needs to know what the enemy is up to. Those who take an oath to defend the Constitution from its enemies both foreign and domestic should worry about such statements.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers tells us of the tremendous benefits of this Big Brother-like program. He promises us that domestic terrorism plots were thwarted, but he cannot tell us about them because they are classified. I am a bit skeptical, however. In April, the New York Times reported that most of these domestic plots were actually elaborate sting operations developed and pushed by the FBI. According to the Times report, “of the 22 most frightening plans for attacks since 9/11 on American soil, 14 were developed in sting operations.”

Even if Chairman Rogers is right, though, and the program caught someone up to no good, we have to ask ourselves whether even such a result justifies trashing the Constitution. Here is what I said on the floor of the House when the PATRIOT Act was up for renewal back in 2011:

“If you want to be perfectly safe from child abuse and wife beating, the government could put a camera in every one of our houses and our bedrooms, and maybe there would be somebody made safer this way, but what would you be giving up? Perfect safety is not the purpose of government. What we want from government is to enforce the law to protect our liberties.”
What most undermines the claims of the Administration and its defenders about this surveillance program is the process itself. First the government listens in on all of our telephone calls without a warrant and then if it finds something it goes to a FISA court and get an illegal approval for what it has already done! This turns the rule of law and due process on its head.

The government does not need to know more about what we are doing. We need to know more about what the government is doing. We need to turn the cameras on the police and on the government, not the other way around. We should be thankful for writers like Glenn Greenwald, who broke last week’s story, for taking risks to let us know what the government is doing. There are calls for the persecution of Greenwald and the other whistle-blowers and reporters. They should be defended, as their work defends our freedom.

Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

http://the-free-foundation.org/tst6-10-2013.html

GUIDE to protect yourself from the NSA and the Government

Here are some things that can be implemented TODAY that will protect you from the NSA and other government entities. Like others, I find myself helpless to change anything in Washington, so it’s time to take action by protecting ourselves.

http://www.reddit.com/r/Libertarian/comments/1fxi2f/guide_to_protect_yourself_from_the_nsa_and_the/

Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations

The 29-year-old source behind the biggest intelligence leak in the NSA’s history explains his motives, his uncertain future and why he never intended on hiding in the shadows

Q&A with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: ‘I do not expect to see home again’

http://m.guardiannews.com/world/2013/jun/09/edward-snowden-nsa-whistleblower-surveillance

Military told not to read Obama-scandal news

Obama has said the outrage over the federal government’s decision to monitor citizens’ phone activity is all “hype.” He might want to share his opinion with the U.S. Air Force, which is ordering members of the service not to look at news stories about it. WND has received an unclassified NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) that warns airmen not to look at news stories related to the data-mining scandal.

http://www.wnd.com/2013/06/military-told-not-to-read-obama-scandal-news/

Boundless Informant: the NSA’s secret tool to track global surveillance data

The National Security Agency has developed a powerful tool for recording and analysing where its intelligence comes from, raising questions about its repeated assurances to Congress that it cannot keep track of all the surveillance it performs on American communications. The Guardian has acquired top-secret documents about the NSA datamining tool, called Boundless Informant, that details and even maps by country the voluminous amount of information it collects from computer and telephone networks.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/08/nsa-boundless-informant-global-datamining

Americans starting to realize their paranoid fantasies about government surveillance have come true

For more than a decade now, Americans have made peace with the uneasy knowledge that someone — government, business or both — might be watching. Now, though, paranoid fantasies have come face to face with modern reality: The government IS collecting our phone records. The technological marvels of our age have opened the door to the National Security Agency’s sweeping surveillance of Americans’ calls.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/06/08/americans-starting-to-realize-their-paranoid-fantasies-about-government-surveillance-have-come-true/

Limbaugh: America in the Midst of a Coup d’Etat

Obama puts people in positions that mirror him. Eric Holder, you name it, they’re doing Obama’s bidding. Everybody. Susan Rice and Samantha Power, they are Obama, and there’s a context for what’s happening. Herbert Meyer, if I may quote him again, asserted that essentially what’s taking place in the United States right now is a coup, not a violent coup, and not a million artistic coup, but nevertheless a takeover of a government, and it’s being done by the Obama administration.

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The Totalitarianism at the Heart of the Obama Scandals

What lies at the heart of these scandals – actually, “scandal,” implying merely naughty behavior, doesn’t adequately describe what these transgressions are: criminal and politically abusive activities – is that they confirm the totalitarian mindset of this supposedly “liberal” administration and reflect the validity of our motto at FrontPage Magazine: “Inside Every Liberal Is A Totalitarian Screaming To Get Out.” The Obama White House is brimming with political bullies who secretly and illegally surveil and target opponents among the media and “average” American citizens. That is the totalitarian way.

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Interview: Valedictorian Roy Costner IV on Ripping Up His Approved Speech, Reciting Lord’s Prayer

“I am a strong Christian, and when I heard about our local school board getting attacked by the ACLU and Freedom From Religion Foundation, I realized it was outside groups pressuring our local officials,” he said in an interview with The Christian Post. “The complaints came from a Wisconsin organization and the ACLU also tried to make things difficult, even though this was not a local problem and no one from our county had complained about public prayer.”

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Questions about Parables: What is the meaning of the Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard?

This lengthy parable is found only in the gospel of Matthew. Jesus tells the parable of the laborers in the vineyard (Matthew 20:1–16) in response to Peter’s question in Matthew 19:27: “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” Peter wanted to know what reward would be given to those who give up everything to follow Jesus. In response, Jesus explains this truth about the kingdom of heaven.

Planting, maintaining and harvesting vineyards in first century Israel was strenuous work requiring hard physical labor in the heat of summer. Often additional laborers were required to get all the work done. The owner of this particular vineyard went to the marketplace at the first hour of the morning (6:00 a.m.) to find workers for the day. His offered wage of one denarius, a Roman’s soldier’s pay for a day, was generous indeed. The workers in the first group were more than happy to work for the generous wage.

As the day progressed and more workers were hired, the specific wage was not mentioned, but the landowner promised to pay “whatever is right.” Apparently, the workers were sufficiently confident of the landowner’s character that they trusted him at his word. Altogether, four groups of workers were hired, the last group just one hour before the end of the day. When the time came for the wages to be paid, the first group of workers saw the last group being paid a denarius and were naturally thinking they would be paid more since they had worked the longest. Their anger against the landowner spilled forth when they saw they would all be paid the same, even though they got exactly what they had agreed upon when they were hired. The landowner was forced to defend his actions to the first group, even though he had dealt them in perfect fairness according to the contract.

The landowner, whose decision to pay all the workers the same was an act of mercy—not injustice—represents God, whose grace and mercy are shed abundantly upon those of His choosing. “For he says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’ It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy” (Romans 9:15–16). In the matter of salvation, His grace and mercy are given to those whose self-righteous works could never obtain it. We are all sinful and “fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), but His grace is sufficient to redeem all who believe. Whether God calls someone early or late in life to partake of His grace, the glory and praise for our salvation is His and His alone and in no way amounts to unfairness. Just as the landowner has a right to do what he wishes with his own money, so does God have the right to have mercy on whom He will have mercy.

The first group of workers in the vineyard resented receiving the same wage as the last group. Their attitude was similar to the Pharisees who were incensed at Jesus’ teaching that others could inherit a heavenly kingdom they thought was reserved for them alone. They despised Jesus for offering the kingdom to poor, oppressed, weak sinners whom He made equal to them. In verse 15, the landowner asks “Is your eye evil because I am good?” The “evil eye” was a Hebrew expression referring to jealousy and envy. God’s goodness and mercy produced in the self-righteous Pharisees the evil eye of envy. The rest of the workers received their wages without complaint or envy of others. In the same way, as Christians we should rejoice when others come to the Savior, as we should rejoice in the service others render to Him. He is faithful to reward us for our service as He has promised, and how He rewards others should be of no consequence to us, nor should it affect our devotion to Him.

The message in verse 16 “the last will be first, and the first last” is that no matter how long or how hard a believer works during his lifetime, the reward of eternal life will be the same given to all—an eternity of bliss in heaven in the presence of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. The thief on the cross (Luke 23:39–43), whose life of service was limited to a moment of repentance and confession of faith in Christ, received the same reward of eternal life as the apostle Paul. Of course, Scripture also teaches that there are different rewards in heaven for different services, but the ultimate reward of eternal life will be achieved by all equally.[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about the Bible: What is the gospel of Philip?

Similar to the gospel of Thomas, the gospel of Philip is a collection of sayings, supposedly of Jesus. The gospel of Philip focuses a great deal on the “sacrament of marriage” as a “sacred mystery.” The gospel of Philip does not claim to have been written by Jesus’ disciple Philip. It is titled “the gospel according to Philip” due to Philip being the only disciple of Jesus who is named in the gospel (73:8).

The most complete manuscript of the gospel of Philip was discovered in the Nag Hammadi library in Egypt in 1945. It is written in the Coptic language and is dated to approximately the 4th century A.D. The gospel of Philip is a Gnostic gospel, presenting a Gnostic viewpoint of Jesus and His teachings. While there are a few verses in the gospel of Philip that resemble the four biblical Gospels, a reading of the gospel of Philip will reveal many irreconcilable differences and a completely different message regarding who Jesus was and what He came to do.

Of most interest in the gospel of Philip is what it has to say about Jesus’ relationship with Mary Magdalene. In his popular book The Da Vinci Code, author Dan Brown points to the gospel of Philip as evidence of Jesus’ marriage / relationship with Mary Magdalene. However, the gospel of Philip nowhere states that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene. It does not even state that Jesus was romantically involved with Mary. The one section that deals with this issue is heavily damaged, with several portions unreadable. Here is what the gospel of Philip states, with “…” representing missing portions: “and the companion of the … Mary Magdalene … more than … the disciples … kiss her … on her … the rest of the disciples … they said to him … why do you love her more than all of us?” Even if we assume that Jesus was kissing Mary Magdalene, the text does not imply anything other than a friendly relationship. A single man kissing a single woman on the cheek, while rare in that culture, is by no means indicative of a romantic relationship.

Whatever the case, even if the gospel of Philip explicitly stated that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, that would not make the idea true. The gospel of Philip was not written by the Apostle Philip or anyone who had ever met Jesus. The original writing of the gospel of Philip is dated to the 3rd century A.D. at the earliest, at least 200 years after Jesus’ death. The only value in studying the gospel of Philip is in learning what heresies existed in the early centuries of the Christian church.[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about Angels and Demons: Are angels male or female?

The Bible does not necessarily support the idea of angels being male or female. Whenever gender is specifically “assigned” to an angel in Scripture, it is male (Genesis 19:10–12; Revelation 7:2; 8:3; 10:7). However, this does not necessarily indicate that angels are male. Matthew 22:30 seems to indicate that angels are “sexless,” without gender: “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.” If angels do not procreate, there is no need for gender, at least not in the sense of human gender distinctions.

In a similar manner, God always refers to Himself in masculine language, although God is neither male nor female. God uses masculine language when He speaks of Himself because it more adequately describes who He is and what He does, especially in the patriarchal cultures in which the Bible was written. If angels do have a gender in some form, Scripture would indicate that they are predominately or universally male. It is more likely that angels are genderless, just as God is, and that masculine language is used to describe them and their role in serving God.[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Battle Lines Drawn

Lines are being drawn spiritually and in our physical world, as the lives of Bible-professing Christians are slowly but surely being scrutinized by the world, by the government, by the visible Church.

As Christians, we want to unite around the truth and love of Jesus Christ. But there are so many divisions. And it’s not the folks telling you about the divisions that is doing the dividing. Remember last week we talked about the Titus definition of division: False Teaching.

So what divides?  From the inside, we are unraveling in different movements, from contemplative spiritual formation to the business church growth movement.  Over the next few days on our program, we’re looking at two sides of those dividing lines:

  • Growth Driven vs. Gospel Driven
  • Doctrinal Truth vs. Experiential Feelings
  • Inclusive Universalism vs. Exclusive Christianity

That’s the battle line in the visible Church, but at the same time we are now seeing dividing lines in our world being drawn. For example, the role of government increasing in the lives of our citizens, and not for the better.

How do we respond to all of these things? Do we fight it, prepare for it, or something else?

Joining us in our first segment by phone is national security expert Ryan Mauro, founder of The Clarion Project.org, WorldThreats.com, and RadicalIslam.org. and an intelligence analyst with the Asymmetric Warfare and Intelligence Center. Ryan has done extensive research for the Reform Party of Syria, a group dedicated to bringing democracy to that country. In 2005, he published his first book, Death to America: The Unreported Battle of Iraq, about the conflict in the Middle East.

Ryan has provided our listeners with a free DVD of the movie, Obsession. Just go to THIS LINK and type in the password “LeMay.”

Ryan has appeared on dozens of radio and TV shows, including the Left’s Al Franken Show and the Right’s Laura Ingraham Show. He’s a frequent guest speaker at venues such as the prestigious Intelligence Summit, has broken front-page stories on Internet news Web sites, and has had articles widely published in media outlets such as Pajamas Media, FrontPage Magazine, and the peer-reviewed journal, Middle East Quarterly. Check out Ryan’s Blog.

http://standupforthetruth.com/2013/06/battle-lines-drawn/

How Do I Know When it’s Time to Leave a Church?

Editor’s Note: Pastor Roger Barrier’s “Ask Roger” column regularly appears at Preach It, Teach It. Every week at Crosswalk, Dr. Barrier puts nearly 40 years of experience in the pastorate to work answering questions of doctrine or practice for laypeople, or giving advice on church leadership issues. Email him your questions at roger@preachitteachit.org.

Dear Roger,

I am in a quandary that has me in a bit of a desert…. My family and I attend church, and lately, we feel that we may not belong. Really has been a struggle, and a spiritual connectedness is absent. I go through the motions, and feel that things are going on around me without my being involved…

There has recently arose a situation in which there have been some actions by two members that are less than Christ-like, and there is no way to address it, because it is the pastor’s family that has committed the acts….

I love so many of the church members, but I almost feel that God is moving me and my family somewhere else. Does it work like this? I am not a church hopper, and have often been confused by people that go from one church to another, I guess maybe I’ve passed judgment. And now here I am.

What do I do? … I feel that I am attached to this church, but knowing the ugly underbelly, makes me feel that some things may not be as they seem.

I guess overall my question to you would be this; If God is moving my family and I to another church, how would we know?

Thanks in advance! Melinda C.

Dear Melinda,

I am not at all surprised that you and your family are considering moving on to another church. If I were a member of your church I would think strongly, as you are, about getting out of there as soon as possible.

“Pulling up the tent stakes” is what I call your current situation. This a time in your spiritual life when God is making you dissatisfied with where you are in order to prepare you to go somewhere else. Tent stakes usually loosen slowly. Changing churches seldom occurs quickly, but when it is time to leave, it is time to leave.

Leaving a church is difficult for a number of reasons, not the least of which is leaving behind all the friends and relationships you have developed. Plus, you probably have many good remembrances and spiritual experience that make it difficult.

You say that you have an aversion to “church hoppers.” Let’s make one thing clear. God intends for us to settle down with a group of Christian friends who become our source of strength, help, support, compassion, comfort, service and who journey through the Bible with you as you develop strong spiritual muscles. We call this our Fellowship or “Koinonia” group. Church hoppers, by definition, seldom settle down and invest their lives with a Christian group of brothers and sisters.

You are not church hopping when you are seeking to find a new church home. It is obvious to me that when you find the “right” church, you will settle down and involve yourself in fellowship there. It may take a while to find the right church. Until you find one you are not hopping. You are searching. The difference between the two is significant.

How do you know when it is time to leave? Let me give you some things to consider:

Read More Here: http://www.crosswalk.com/church/pastors-or-leadership/ask-roger/how-do-i-know-when-it-s-time-to-leave-a-church.html