Monthly Archives: October 2013

Strange Fire: Problems in Asia Series

The Domain for Truth

strangefire

In light of the Strange Fire Conference, we just completed our mini series focused on the problem of Charismatic excess/Prosperity Gospel influence in Asia.  The following are the links not only from the past two weeks but also over the years on Veritas Domain.  Lord willing, if we were to write more on this topic we will put the links on here as well.

Foundational

Why will we focus our apologetics on Prosperity Gospel/Charistmatic Excess?

The Prosperity Gospel’s Functional Idol and its fruit

Kong Hee and City Harvest Church

Incorrect: Kong Hee say we love God because of what we can give him

Sun Ho the Pastor’s Wife or the Pastor’s Ho?

Kong Hee: Jesus was not Poor…but does that mean He was rich?

Jaeson Ma

Jaeson Ma’s New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) roots

Jaeson Ma: False Prophet about Los Angeles 2006?

Keeping ‘Prophets’ Accountable: Jaeson Ma on Korea Revival by 2021

Frequent Objections defending Jaeson Ma Answered

A Closer…

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Women and the Reformation: Hope, Silence, and Circumstance

J.W. Wartick -"Always Have a Reason"

Marguerite_d'Angoulême_by_Jean_ClouetIt is Reformation Day and this year we are going to reflect upon a topic that is all-too-often overlooked: women in the Reformation. We shall consider the impact of women on the Reformation and the impact of the Reformation upon women from a theological perspective. I admit that covering such a broad topic within a blog post means I am very short on detail. I encourage readers to check out the sources at the end of this post in order to explore further avenues.

The Impact of the Reformation Upon Women

The Reformation brought about some changes for women both theologically and socially. Theologically, the issue of inequality  between men and women socially and spiritually was more widely discussed. Although the concept had existed before, the Reformers largely held to the notion that men and women were spiritually equal. Spiritual equality led some to wonder whether women could perhaps be…

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95 Theses To The Modern Evangelical Church (re-post)

Reformed Nazarene

The following was originally posted three years ago by Greg Gordon, founder of sermonindex.net.  Thought I would share this again today on Reformation Day.


95 Theses To The Modern Evangelical Church

Greg Gordon (http://95moderntheses.wordpress.com/)

I have revised many of these and also all of them are of a size that will fit on twitter and facebook easily to re-post. Pray about sharing these with others and sharing each theses individually. I believe many need to hear these truths and they are shared in the humility of my weakness and lack in my own Christian Life. May God in His mercy come and revive North American Christianity for His glory alone. “May the Lamb of God receive the reward of His sufferings in our lives today!”  – Greg Gordon (founder of SermonIndex.net)

1. The “church” at large has forgotten that the chief end of man is to glorify God…

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New Post: 9 Things You Should Know about Halloween and Reformation Day

Halloween and Reformation Day, a secular and a religious holiday, exist uncomfortably side-by-side on the calendar. Here are 9 things you should know about the October 31 holidays.

Read More Here: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2013/10/31/9-things-you-should-know-about-halloween-and-reformation-day-2/

New Post: We want again Luthers!

What resonates with me most, though, is Spurgeon’s plea:

We want again Luthers, Calvins, Bunyans, Whitefields, men fit to mark eras, whose names breathe terror in our foemen’s ears. We have dire need of such. Whence will they come to us? They are the gifts of Jesus Christ to the Church, and will come in due time. He has power to give us back again a golden age of preachers, and when the good old truth is once more preached by men whose lips are touched as with a live coal from off the altar, this shall be the instrument in the hand of the Spirit for bringing about a great and thorough revival of religion in the land.…I do not look for any other means of converting men beyond the simple preaching of the gospel and the opening of men’s ears to hear it. The moment the Church of God shall despise the pulpit, God will despise her. It has been through the ministry that the Lord has always been pleased to revive and bless His Churches.1

Men cut from the same cloth as Luther, Calvin, Bunyan, Whitefield, Spurgeon… These are the men the church needs. Men of prayer—and men of the Word. If you want revival, resurgence, reformation, whatever you want to call it, this is what you need.

“Our Word-starved pulpits beg for stalwarts of the faith to bring the Book to their congregations,” Lawson says. “Only God can give such men to the church.” Let’s thank God for the men He’s already brought forward and pray for more to rise up.

Read More Here: http://www.bloggingtheologically.com/2013/10/31/we-want-again-luthers/

New Post: Unwitting Revolutionary

Martin Luther was a Roman Catholic monk who taught in Wittenburg, Germany in the early 16th century. For years, the guilt of his sin overwhelmed him, and the means the church provided for penance didn’t relieve him of his guilt. Reading the library Bible one day (Bibles weren’t widely available at the time), he came across Romans 1:16-17 and he understood the Gospel as he never had before. “The just shall live by faith.”  Reconciliation with God was by grace alone through faith alone.

This sparked Luther to examine a number of practices of the church he thought should be discussed and reformed. He developed a list of 95 points, gave them to his bishop, and nailed them to the church door on October 31, 1517, which was the common way of calling for a community discussion. But the debate wasn’t welcomed by the church and, instead, Luther and others who agreed with him ended up separating from the church.

The Reformation was significant for a number of reasons. Luther translated the Bible into German, and because the printing press was coming into use at the same time, individuals were able to have the Bible and read it themselves for the first time. This affected literacy – many communities taught their children to read so they could read the Bible.

The theology taught by the Reformers placed authority in the Bible not the church, so this elevated the individual. This, in turn, was the worldview that was fertile ground for democracy and human rights. And it eventually was the motivation for Pilgrims to look for a place to practice their religion in peace. The Reformation was signficant theologically but also socially.

You can read more about Martin Luther here. And more about the significance of the Reformation here. And I recommend the movie Luther.

– See more at: http://str.typepad.com/weblog/2013/10/unwitting-revolutionary.html

New Post: Luther and the Reformation: Free today from Ligonier Ministries

To celebrate Reformation Day, Ligonier Ministries is offering an audio-video download of R.C. Sproul’s 10-part teaching series, Luther and the Reformation, free.

Centuries after his death, Martin Luther is celebrated as an intellectual giant, a brave opponent of corruption, a shaper of culture, indeed, as one of the most significant figures in Western history. Many people, however, are unaware of the events of Luther’s life that led him to make a courageous stand for the gospel in the sixteenth century. In this series, R.C. Sproul provides a thorough introduction to the life and thought of Martin Luther. With an eye to the lessons we can learn today, Dr. Sproul traces the major events of Luther’s life and explores the gospel recovered by Luther and the other Protestant Reformers.

Read More Here: http://www.ligonier.org/store/luther-and-the-reformation-download/

New Post: An Interview with Carl Trueman on Luther’s 95 Theses

Today is Halloween. But more importantly, it’s Reformation Day. It was on this day in 1517 (a Saturday) that a 33-year-old theology professor at Wittenberg University walked over to the Castle Church in Wittenberg and nailed a paper of 95 theses to the door, hoping to spark an academic discussion about their contents. In God’s providence and unbeknownst to anyone else that day, it would become a key event in igniting the Reformation.

I thought it might be helpful to ask a few questions of Carl Trueman, Professor of Historical Theology and Church History, and Academic Dean, at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. Dr. Trueman wrote his dissertation on Luther’s Legacy, teaches on Luther’s life and theology, and is writing the volume on Luther for the Theologians on the Christian Life series, forthcoming from Crossway, edited by Steve Nichols and me.

Read More Here: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2013/10/31/an-interview-with-carl-trueman-on-luthers-95-theses/

New Post: The Glory of the Reformation: A Clean Conscience

Reformation Day commemorates Martin Luther’s action in nailing the Ninety-Five Theses to the church door at Wittenberg on October 31, 1517.

Just as consequential were the events that transpired a little over three years later.

In January 1521, Pope Leo X excommunicated Luther and called upon him to defend his beliefs before the Holy Roman Emperor at an Imperial Diet in Worms. When the Diet took place that April Luther, did not stroll into Worms a confident man. On the first day he was so intimidated his statements could hardly be understood. Luther had reason to be afraid, for there were plans to banish Luther from the empire (or worse) if he did not recant his books.

The interrogation was no short affair, but by the end Luther had summoned his courage, concluding with these famous words: “My conscience is captive to the Word of God. Thus I cannot and will not recant, for going against my conscience is neither safe nor salutary. I can do no other, here I stand, God help me. Amen.”

On May 26, 1521, the emperor rendered his decision. Luther was to be placed under “ban and double ban.” The Edict of Worms enjoined the men and women of the empire “not to take the aforementioned Martin Luther into your houses, not to receive him at court, to give him neither food nor drink, not to hide him, to afford him no help, following, support, or encouragement, either clandestinely or publicly, through words or works. Where you can get him, seize him and overpower him, you should capture him and send him to us under tightest security.”

Nevertheless Luther would live to see another day. . . .and another. . . .and another. . . .and another, managing escape from the imperial snare, sometimes quite dramatically. But Luther didn’t know any of that when he took his famous stand at Worms. What he did know was that he was willing to endure expulsion and face the gravest bodily harm for the sake of his conscience.

Read More Here: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2013/10/31/the-glory-of-the-reformation-a-clean-conscience/

New Post: What Is Reformation Day All About?

Robert Rothwell:

At the time, few would have suspected that the sound of a hammer striking the castle church door in Wittenberg, Germany, would soon be heard around the world and lead ultimately to the greatest transformation of Western society since the apostles first preached the Gospel throughout the Roman empire. Martin Luther’s nailing of his ninety-five theses to the church door on October 31, 1517, provoked a debate that culminated finally in what we now call the Protestant Reformation.

Read More Here: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/what-reformation-day-all-about/

New Post: Celebrating Reformation Day

Reformation Day is not only celebrated here in the United States by a number of evangelical denominations, it is also an official holiday in parts of Germany and a couple other countries around the world.

Farel_Calvin_Beza_Knox

In today’s post, I’d like to focus on a theme that particularly relates to the Protestant Reformation. That theme is captured by the Latin phrase, sola Scriptura. It is expressed in the familiar words of Hebrews 4:12.

Hebrews 4:12 – “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

Because it is empowered by the Holy Spirit, the Word of God is a living Book. It actively convicts the human heart, as it pierces to the innermost depths of who we are. It is like a sword—the “sword of the Spirit” as Paul calls it in Ephesians 6:17 — a precise implement in the hands of its divine Author. And when it goes forth it will not return void, for God Himself energizes and empowers it.

The truth of that verse was vividly put on display during the Protestant Reformation — that seismic eruption of spiritual revival that shook Roman Catholicism to its core, causing the collapse of a corrupt religious system and permanently altering the course of Western church history.

We are familiar with the great heroes of the Reformation. Names like Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, and William Tyndale. And if space permitted, we could review some of the amazing stories from the lives of each of those men — like Luther meeting his wife Katie by smuggling her out of a nunnery in a fish barrel; or Calvin nearly getting run through with a sword on a Sunday morning because he refused to let an excommunicated man partake in the Lord’s Table; or Knox serving for two years as a slave on a French galley ship; or Tyndale being burnt at the stake by Henry VIII after translating the New Testament into English.

In fact, one of the reasons I love teaching church history is that I essentially get paid to tell stories — great stories, powerful accounts about the lives of courageous and faithful men and women who were mightily used by God to accomplish incredible things.

But, as I remind my students, it is important for us to recognize that the ultimate credit for the Reformation does not belong to those men. It was not their courage, cleverness, or creativity that brought revival to Western Europe in the sixteenth century. The Reformation was not the result of any church growth strategies, ingenious marketing schemes, or seeker-driven fads. Not at all.

So what caused the Reformation?

Read More Here: http://thecripplegate.com/celebrating-reformation-day/

New Post: What Christians Should Know About Halloween

Halloween has become the second highest-grossing commercial holiday after Christmas. But this festive day also carries a lot of baggage. Scholars Ralph and Adelin Linton write:

Among all the festivals which we celebrate today, few have histories stranger than that of Halloween. It is the eve of All Hallows—or Hallowmas or All Saints’ Day—and as such it is one of the most solemn festivals of the church. At the same time, it commemorates beings and rites with which the church has always been at war. It is the night when ghosts walk and fairies and goblins are abroad. . . . We cannot understand this curious mixture unless we go back into history and unravel the threads from which the present holiday pattern has been woven.

The brief account seeks to vindicate Halloween from its “Satanic” and barbaric origins. While the dark side of Halloween may have been overemphasized, Christians must still acknowledge that the holiday originated (at least) in pagan and mythical practices. The extent to which such practices can be categories as “Satanic” is a debate of semantics. Is Roman mythology “Satanic”? Perhaps, or perhaps not.

Regardless, the origin of Halloween is certainly in the realm of non-Christian spiritualism. As such, Christians should be careful in their approach to Halloween.

Halloween for Christians

Christians haven’t always been sure what to do with this holiday of apparently pagan origins. Is it unredeemable, such that any Christian participating in the holiday will necessarily compromise their faith? Is it something Christians can participate in as a cultural celebration with no religious ramifications? Or is there the opportunity for Christians to emphasize certain aspects of our own faith within the holiday?

Read More Here: http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2013/10/31/what-christians-should-know-about-halloween/