Daily Archives: March 28, 2019

“God Told Me”: About those whispers to the heart…

The End Time

By Elizabeth Prata

*This essay first appeared in July 2018 on The End Time. I have edited it and updated it. Enjoy.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What is a women to do when it seems like everyone is hearing directly from God…and you’re not? It seems like so many women say they hear audible voices, still small voices, whispers in the heart, voices from the sky…

For example, Joanna Gaines of the popular HGTV television show Fixer Upper said she heard God’s voice clearly. Jennie Allen who founded If:Gathering, said a voice from the sky directly told her to start that organization.

Bill Hybels wrote an entire book teaching how to hear a whisper from God. He wrote:

“On day three of my writing, the Holy Spirit impressed the following message on me: “‘…I am going to release you from the responsibility of leading this youth group so you can start a church…’

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The Only 2016 Campaign That Deliberately Colluded With Russians Was Hillary Clinton’s — The Federalist

There was Russian collusion during the 2016 presidential campaign, but it didn’t come from Donald Trump.

For more than two years, the campaign, presidential transition, and official government administration of Donald Trump operated under a cloud of suspicion that they had engaged in a treasonous conspiracy to steal the 2016 election from former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. Trump and his top associates were accused of collusion and of conspiring with the Russians to subvert American democracy.

The former director of the Central Intelligence Agency publicly declared Trump to be guilty of treason, an offense punishable by death. The former head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the country’s premier law enforcement agency, intimated that the president had illegally obstructed justice.

In the end, none of it was true. After a nearly two-year-long investigation that issued 2,800 subpoenas, interviewed 500 witnesses, and used nearly 300 wiretaps and pen registers, Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded that there was no evidence of collusion by Trump or his associates.

But that doesn’t mean 2016 was free of Russian collusion. To the contrary, there is clear evidence that a 2016 presidential campaign willfully and deliberately colluded with Russians in a bid to interfere with American elections. It wasn’t Trump’s campaign that colluded with shady Russia oligarchs and sketchy Russian sources to subvert American democracy: it was Hillary Clinton’s.

In fact, the entire Russian collusion conspiracy that held the nation hostage for more than two years was the brainchild of a foreign national who was working on behalf of a sanctioned Russian oligarch with close ties to the Kremlin. At the same time he was telling the media that Trump was the undisclosed agent of Russia, that foreign national was lobbying the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to ease up on his Russian benefactor.

As it turns out, the DOJ official being lobbied was the spouse of one of that foreign national’s co-workers at the firm that hired the two of them to foment Russian hysteria on behalf of the Clinton campaign. And in a twist almost too absurd for even the most bizarre Franz Kafka novel, that firm was itself working on behalf of a Russian billionaire’s corporation that had been charged by U.S. federal prosecutors with illegally evading U.S. sanctions.

Concocting a Giant Setup

That foreign spook-turned-international political provocateur was none other than Christopher Steele, the author of the infamous and utterly debunked Steele dossier that ignited a domestic firestorm after it was briefed to president-elect Trump in January 2016 and subsequently published in full by BuzzFeed. His Russian benefactor at the time was Oleg Deripaska. His co-conspirator at DOJ was Bruce Ohr, whose wife Nellie Ohr received more than $40,000 for her work for Fusion GPS, the Clinton campaign-sponsored opposition research firm that just so happened to be working on behalf of Prevezon, a company owned by Russian billionaire Denis Katsyv, during the 2016 campaign.

The curious Clinton campaign collusion connections don’t end there. Somehow it gets worse. The Russian attorney for Prevezon, which later settled charges of laundering money and violating sanctions in exchange for $5.9 million in fines paid to the DOJ, was none other than Natalia Veselnitskaya, who arranged the Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner, a meeting that was alleged to be proof-positive that the Trump campaign had illegally colluded with the Russians during the 2016 campaign.

Unlike the fabulist musings of Steele, who by his own admission colluded with Kremlin officials as he prepared and disseminated his anti-Trump dossier, the Clinton-Russian connections are not the delusions of a deranged conspiracy theorist. They are documented and verified facts which for some reason escaped the attention of the scores of journalists and investigators who purported to root out any and all instances of foreign collusion during the 2016 election.

How It All Went Down

Fusion GPS was hired in April 2016 by the Clinton campaign’s law firm to do opposition research against the Trump campaign after it became clear that Trump would be the Republican presidential nominee. The campaign expenditures to Fusion GPS were never disclosed in campaign finance reports.

At the same time, it was also working on behalf of Prevezon, a company owned by Kremlin-connected Russian oligarch Denis Katsyv, in the company’s battle with U.S. prosecutors over Magnitsky Act sanctions against the company. Shortly after Fusion was hired to work for the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, it retained the services of Steele and directed him to dig up dirt on connections between the Trump campaign and Russia. The series of reports and memoranda prepared and peddled by Steele collectively became known to the public as the so-called Steele dossier.

Nellie Ohr, wife of top DOJ official Bruce Ohr, was also hired by Fusion GPS to assist with its Russia-related anti-Trump research. And it was Ohr who later became the secret conduit between Steele and the FBI after Steele’s status as a confidential human source for the FBI was terminated when the bureau learned he had lied about his contacts with the news media.

Natasha Veselnitskaya, the Russian attorney for Prevezon with whom Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson worked directly, just so happened to be responsible for setting up the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting that was touted as evidence that the Trump campaign was going out of its way to collude with corrupt Russian officials in order to take down Hillary Clinton. Veselnitskaya met with Simpson both before and after the meeting, although both claim that they never discussed that meeting, only the Prevezon matter.

However, information Veselnitskaya provided during the Trump Tower meeting — the “dirt” which was promised to the president’s oldest son — was actually produced by Fusion GPS, raising questions about the claims that Simpson and Veselnitskaya never discussed the Trump Tower meeting with each other. Veselnitskaya was indicted by federal authorities early this year for obstructing justice during the course of the same Prevezon litigation that she and Fusion GPS worked on together.

Steele Brokering Russian Access to U.S. Officials

In addition to funneling unverified allegations from his dossier to the FBI and the media, Steele also repeatedly intervened with Ohr, the DOJ official, on behalf of Oleg Deripaska. Transcripts of Ohr’s congressional testimony show that Steele referred to Deripaska as “our favorite business tycoon” and tried several times to broker a meeting between Deripaska and DOJ.

Although Deripaska was prohibited from traveling to the United States, he used diplomatic cover to enter the United States at least twice in 2016, once in Juneand again in September. Federal agents interviewed him in New York during his September visit, according to Deripaska’s attorney and registered foreign agent Adam Waldman.

The relationship between Steele and Deripaska’s team continued well past the election into 2017, when Waldman offered himself to Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) as the middleman between Steele and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Waldman’s offer to Warner to broker access to Steele came to light when secret, encrypted text messages between Waldman and Warner were published by Fox News in February 2018.

Waldman also previously registered as a foreign agent for former Russian minister Sergey Lavrov. Federal records show that his formal lobbying on behalf of the Russian politician ended on May 31, 2017. Separate federal filings required by the Foreign Agents Registration Act show that Waldman collected nearly $1.1 million from Deripaska in 2016 and 2017.

Project Much, Mrs. Clinton?

It is beyond dispute that the Clinton campaign and the DNC funded an opposition research firm that was working on behalf of a company owned by a Kremlin-connected Russian oligarch. To dig up dirt on alleged connections between the Trump campaign and Russia, that firm then hired a foreign national who was working on behalf of another Russian oligarch. At the same time he was providing his unsubstantiated allegations of Trump campaign malfeasance to federal authorities, that same foreign national was trying to get those same federal officials to allow that sanctioned oligarch entry to the United States.

Meanwhile, the Russian attorney whose presence at a Trump Tower meeting with top Trump campaign officials was taken as proof-positive of collusion was also secretly meeting with the founder of the firm used by the Clinton campaign and DNC to allege that it was the Trump campaign that was improperly communicating with the Russians. And if that weren’t enough, the most salacious allegations in the infamous dossier that was a primary basis for secret federal surveillance of a political campaign were sourced to various anonymous officials with the Kremlin.

So there was absolutely Russian collusion during the 2016 campaign. There was absolutely a presidential campaign eager to deploy Russian information against its opponent. There was absolutely foreign interference in the 2016 election from one of America’s top geopolitical adversaries.

As the Mueller investigation reportedly concluded, though, there was no illegal conspiracy within the Trump campaign to collude with the Russians to subvert our democracy. There was collusion, alright, but it was committed by the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.

via The Only 2016 Campaign That Deliberately Colluded With Russians Was Hillary Clinton’s — The Federalist

28 MARCH 365 Days with Calvin

The Only Way to Live

The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live. Psalm 119:144

suggested further reading: Proverbs 2

People cannot truly live destitute of the light of heavenly wisdom, the psalmist says. Unlike swine or asses, people were not created to stuff their bellies but to exercise themselves in the knowledge and service of God. When they turn away from such endeavors, life becomes worse than a thousand deaths. David stresses that the purpose of life for him was not merely to be fed with meat and drink and to enjoy earthly comforts, but to aspire after a better life, which could only be done under the guidance of faith.

That is a very necessary warning; for though it is universally acknowledged that people exceed the lower animals in intelligence, yet most people, as if deliberately, stifle whatever light God pours into their understanding. I admit that all people want to be sharp-witted. Nonetheless, few aspire to heaven and consider that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. As meditation upon the celestial life is buried by earthly cares, people do nothing else than plunge into the grave. While living to the world, they die to God.

In using the term live, the prophet names his utmost wish. He seems to say, though I am already dead, yet if thou art pleased to illumine my mind with the knowledge of heavenly truth, this grace will be sufficient to revive me.

for meditation: If our great passion in life is to live well, we must not look for fulfillment in earthly pleasures and luxuries, for none of these will truly satisfy. Rather, we must be like David—passionate in seeking righteousness and understanding from God on how to live. That is the only way that leads to heaven.[1]


[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 106). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

Thursday Briefing March 28, 2019 – AlbertMohler.com

The political left wants to pack the Supreme Court: What this threat to Chief Justice John Roberts teaches us about the role the court plays in the societal push to the left

Once a society begins to legislate the invented rights of the LGBTQ revolution, the constitutional protection of the God-given right of religious liberty is jeopardized

Is morality relative or absolute? How a recent headline in the Wall Street Journal reveals that, even in a postmodern world, moral categories like ‘evil’ exist

The post Thursday, March 28, 2019 appeared first on AlbertMohler.com.

Download MP3

— Read on albertmohler.com/2019/03/28/briefing-3-28-19/

March 28, 2019 Morning Verse Of The Day

55:11 — “ … My word … shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

God promises to bless His Word, not ours, so we are wise if we honor that Word and represent it as accurately and effectively as we can whenever we get the opportunity to speak on God’s behalf.[1]


55:11 It shall not return to me without success Yahweh’s word cannot fail to bring about the desired results (compare 40:8). The word of God contains very real power to accomplish His will. Creation happened through divine speech in Gen 1 (compare Psa 33:6, 9), and Yahweh brought life back into lifeless bones through the prophetic words of Ezekiel (Ezek 37:1–14).[2]


55:11 It is the divine origin (or character) of God’s word, and not some magical power, which causes it to accomplish the purpose for which it is sent (cf. Heb. 4:12).[3]


55:11 This verse is the reason for our confidence when we preach an uncompromising gospel message, even if we see no visible results (see also 1 Corinthians 15:58).[4]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Is 55:11). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.

[2] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Is 55:11). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[3] Criswell, W. A., Patterson, P., Clendenen, E. R., Akin, D. L., Chamberlin, M., Patterson, D. K., & Pogue, J. (Eds.). (1991). Believer’s Study Bible (electronic ed., Is 55:11). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[4] Comfort, R. (2003). The Evidence Bible: Irrefutable Evidence for the Thinking Mind, Notes. (K. Cameron, Ed.) (p. 918). Orlando, FL: Bridge-Logos.

Quick Shot Responses to “Christian Hypocrisy Proves Christianity is False” (Cold-Case Christianity S5E5) — Cold Case Christianity

In this episode of the Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast, J. Warner offers a number of brief, rhetorically powerful responses to the objection: “Christian hypocrisy proves Christianity is false.” These responses are designed to help you remove intellectual obstacles when talking about God with your friends and family members. They are also available on the Cold-Case Christianity Phone App so you can access them as you are interacting with others.

Be sure to watch the Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast on NRBtv every Monday and Saturday! In addition, here is the audio podcast (the Cold-Case Christianity Weekly Podcast is located on iTunes or our RSS Feed):

https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/8548064/height/360/theme/legacy/thumbnail/yes/direction/backward/

via Quick Shot Responses to “Christian Hypocrisy Proves Christianity is False” (Cold-Case Christianity S5E5) — Cold Case Christianity

Core Christianity | Are People Who Have Never Heard the Gospel Doomed?

In 2011, atheist neuroscientist Sam Harris and Christian apologist William Lane Craig met at the University of Notre Dame to debate the topic, “Is Good From God?” The purpose of the debate was to interact with the question of whether God is necessary for morality. In an attempt to show Christianity’s teachings on judgment irrational, Harris makes the following claim:

There are 1.2 billion people in India at this moment. Most of them are Hindus, most of them, therefore, polytheists. In Dr. Craig’s universe, no matter how good these people are, they are doomed. If you are praying to the Monkey God Hanuman, you are doomed. You’ll be tortured in hell for eternity.

He brings up an important question: are those people who have never heard the Gospel “doomed” because of their ignorance? While judgment is never an easy topic to deal with, for the Christian, it is vital to understand. 

Who God Judges

In Romans 2, the apostle Paul explicitly deals with the question of judgment and ignorance. In his answer, he describes the differences between the Jews (those who have God’s law) and the Gentiles (those who do not have God’s law): “For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law” (Rom. 2:12).

Paul’s point is that when those who have the law sin, they are judged by the criteria of the law. Conversely, those who are not in God’s covenant community, will not be judged by that law: 

“For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus” (Rom. 2:14-16).

While those who do not have the Mosaic law are not to be judged by it, there is a law written on the heart which will judge them. Paul is explaining that murder, theft, and adultery are universally wrong, whether one hears it by the 10 Commandments or by their conscience. They are “without excuse” (Rom. 1:20). Just as Dr. King famously said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Ultimately, God’s judgment is not a matter of fear-mongering, but a matter of justice. Because God ascribes justice to who he is (Ps. 9:7-8; Ps. 89:14; Prov. 8:15; Micah 6:8), this means that any injustice, no matter where in the world it is committed, it is ultimately against him. David expresses this sentiment after he sinned against Uriah and Bathsheba. He confesses, “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment” (Ps. 51:4). 

Throughout scripture, it is made clear that judgment is received not because of ignorance to the gospel, but because of sin. In the sense that no one can ultimately get away with injustice, this answers part of our question of ignorance and judgment. But what about the “good people” who have never heard the gospel?

How God Judges

Something to note in discussions like this is that the Bible is not primarily a response to the problems and questions of humanity- it’s not a Magic 8-Ball. It is often our habit to approach the Bible with issues that we want sorting out first before we hear what it’s message is. The fact is, the Bible does not answer the question, ‘what is the everlasting destiny of unreached people group x, y, or z?’ However, before we cry foul, we must look at how the Bible does speak of the other nations who do not know his name.

Even in Genesis, we see God promise Abraham that through his people, “all the nations of the earth will be blessed” (22:18). In Isaiah, Jesus is even prophesied as the servant who will bring “justice to the nations” (Is. 42:1). He is the one who commissions his disciples, saying, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19).

The Great Commission is given to the disciples after they ask when Jesus is going to “restore the kingdom of Israel?” Instead of directly answering their question, he says, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:7-8). 

The disciples believe the most important thing they need is their question answered. However, Jesus’ answer reorients them; he shows them who he is, and what he is doing in the world, even now. 

As for every unreached people group’s everlasting destiny, we can say that they will be judged, but not by a vindictive tyrant. Though God judges, he is also merciful: “not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9). What’s more, his judgment is not in conflict with his mercy. Because God is holy and just, he does not, indeed, he cannot judge the way flawed men do (Is. 55:8-9; 2 Tim. 2:13). By taking God’s wrath against sin upon himself, Jesus ensures us that both God’s mercy and God’s justice are never misapplied. They’re not haphazard. When his gavel strikes, we can trust that every one of God’s verdicts is good. 

The natural response to this just, holy, and loving God is not to relegate people groups to this destiny or that. No, the Christian’s response is to carry this gospel to the ends of the earth, proclaiming to the nations, “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price” (Is. 55:1-3; cf. Matt. 11:28).
— Read on corechristianity.com/resource-library/3/1181

40 Days to the Cross: Week Three – Thursday

Confession: Psalm 38:21–22

Do not forsake me, O Yahweh.

O my God, do not be far from me.

Hurry to help me,

O Lord, my salvation.

Reading: Mark 12:28–37

And one of the scribes came up and heard them debating. When he saw that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Listen, Israel! The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God from your whole heart and from your whole soul and from your whole mind and from your whole strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” And the scribe said to him, “That is true, Teacher. You have said correctly that he is one and there is no other except him. And to love him from your whole heart and from your whole understanding and from your whole strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” And Jesus, when he saw that he had answered thoughtfully, said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And no one dared to put a question to him any longer.

And continuing, Jesus said while teaching in the temple courts, “How can the scribes say that the Christ is David’s son? David himself said by the Holy Spirit,

‘The Lord said to my Lord,

“Sit at my right hand,

until I put your enemies

under your feet.” ’

David himself calls him ‘Lord,’ and how is he his son?” And the large crowd was listening to him gladly.

Reflection

Love for God is the first and greatest commandment and the next is love towards our neighbor. The Lord taught that the entire law and the prophets hang upon these two commandments. He did not Himself bring down [from heaven] any other commandment greater than this one, but renewed this very same one to His disciples when He enjoined them to love God with all their heart and others as themselves.

Paul, in like manner, declares that “love is the fulfilling of the law.” (Rom 13:10 nrsv) And [he declares] that when all other things have been destroyed, “faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor 13:13 nrsv). Apart from the love of God, knowledge avails nothing—nor the understanding of mysteries, nor faith, nor prophecy.… For we do never cease from loving God; but in proportion as we continue to contemplate Him, so much the more do we love Him.

—Irenaeus of Lyons

Irenaeus Against Heresies

Response

In Mark 12:28–37, Jesus references two commandments given to the Israelites immediately following the Ten Commandments of Deuteronomy 5. How does the commandment to love the Lord your God with all your heart sum up the other Ten Commandments? Does your life demonstrate this love?[1]


[1] Van Noord, R., & Strong, J. (Eds.). (2014). 40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Time to Rethink Hell? | SHARPER IRON

This is a formal statement from an organization called “Rethinking Hell!” This organization explains “our position in the Evangelical debate on Hell is that of Conditional Immortality, which holds that believers will receive the reward of immortality, while others will finally be destroyed (annihilated).” Below, you can read the group’s formal statement (also available to view on its website and to download in PDF format): 

Conditionalism is the view that life is the Creator’s provisional gift to all, which will ultimately be granted forever to the saved and revoked forever from the unsaved.

Evangelical conditionalists believe that the saved in Christ will receive glory, honor and immortality, being raised with an incorruptible body to inherit eternal life (Romans 2:7).

The unsaved will be raised in shame and dishonor, to face God and receive the just condemnation for their sins. When the penalty is carried out, they will be permanently excluded from eternal life by means of a final death, implicating the whole person in a destruction of human life and being (Matthew 10:28).

1. We Affirm the Essentials of Evangelical Christianity

Evangelical conditionalists readily affirm statements of faith that are characteristically evangelical, such as that of the World Evangelical Alliance ..

Many prominent evangelical leaders have held to the view of conditionalism without compromising their core theological commitments, and groups such as the Evangelical Alliance UK explicitly include conditionalism as an acceptable view. We call for unity among evangelicals on the essentials we all affirm, and for charity where diversity is not any cause for division.

2. We Believe in Hell

Evangelical conditionalists take the biblical language describing hell and final punishment quite seriously. While many of us recognize that Scripture often uses highly symbolic imagery to describe final judgment, we also believe that we interpret the biblical language overall much more straightforwardly than those who hold to ECT: the analogy of weeds being completely burned up in fire; the comparison of the fate of the unsaved to those who perished in the flood and in Sodom and Gomorrah; the biblical emphasis on the final death and destruction of the unsaved; and more. We don’t reject the existence of hell; we simply disagree concerning its nature and duration.

3. We Represent a Broad Range of Evangelical Backgrounds

Evangelical conditionalists are uniform in our belief that the unsaved will not live forever, and yet we are as theologically varied as evangelicals holding to the majority view of hell, concerning various in-house debates over the nonessentials of Christian doctrine.

We belong to many diverse denominations and faith communities: non-denominationalist, Baptist, Churches of Christ, Episcopalian/Anglican, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, and to many evangelical organizations. We are scholars and laypeople, pastors, teachers, overseers, missionaries and ministry workers.

4. Scripture, Not Emotion, Ultimately Determines Our Convictions

Evangelical conditionalists hold to a view of hell that results from a firm commitment to the truthfulness and perennial relevance of the Bible, and not from a desire to have its message be more palatable to our own culture.  We are not seeking to construct a more tolerable version of hell, as though primarily motivated by an emotional aversion to the idea of eternal torment. Neither do we assume, however, that the correct view of Hell must be whichever is perceived to be the harshest and most intolerable.

However we might feel emotionally about any view of the fate of the unsaved, we do not subject Scripture to our emotions. We have been convinced primarily by direct statements of Scripture that the penalty God has outlined for those who reject his offer of life is clearly the eternal punishment of the “second death,” rather than endless torment.

We believe that the punishment of annihilation as the permanent loss of life is a terrible fate, analogous to the most extreme form of human justice: capital punishment. The conditionalist view does not allow a Christian to escape from emotional anguish at the fate of the unsaved.  Imagining a person under judgement coming to the realization that they are bereft of hope, devoid of the gift of eternal life, and facing the end of their existence should produce a profound sadness at the present plight of the lost. It should kindle in us a deep desire to share the gospel of God’s forgiveness and the offer of eternal life, found only through Christ’s work on our behalf.

5. We Believe the Unsaved Will Be Raised from the Dead for Final Judgment

Evangelical conditionalists affirm the future, bodily resurrection of both the saved and the unsaved: those who are saved, to the resurrection of eternal life with God; those who are unsaved, to face final punishment, consisting ultimately in the destruction of body and soul, a permanent end to life and conscious existence.

6. We Believe Eternal Life Is Found Only In Christ

Evangelical conditionalists reject the unbiblical notion that all human beings are naturally immortal (which many holding the mainstream view accept), and affirm that it is only through receiving the benefits of Christ’s victory over death that any person can be made alive forever, which Scripture only describes as being given to those who are saved. Therefore, since immortality will not be granted to unsaved human beings, we see no way for them to have ongoing life or conscious existence. Though they will be raised from the dead to face judgment, their rejection of God’s free gift of eternal life in Christ will mean that they will have to face death a second time, from which there can be no return to life.

7. We Believe Final Death is the Just Penalty for The Unsaved

Evangelical conditionalists do not elevate the love and mercy of God above his holiness and justice. In principle, we do not conceive of the final destruction of the lost as an act of mercy, or form of “divine euthanasia.” The lost are not rescued from the serious implications of a “cosmic death penalty,” which is truly deserved as an expression of God’s perfect justice. God has shown mercy to the unsaved throughout their lives, but final punishment requires that with their very lives they must pay the price of rejecting God’s forgiveness and grace. (Note: the question of how death is experienced is addressed in 8.2.)

8. We Accept Diversity on Particular Details

8.1. We differ on whether final punishment is finite in duration

Conditionalists sometimes put forward the idea that the biblical word translated “eternal” means “age-lasting” rather than “everlasting” when describing final punishment, or that it refers to punishment in or of the everlasting age to come. However, many of us wholeheartedly affirm that “eternal punishment” is an apt phrase to refer to the fate of the unsaved. In these terms, the punishment of death involves an everlasting deprivation of life. We can therefore agree with proponents of ECT that the punishment is eternal in scope, even though we disagree about its nature.

8.2. We differ on the timing, nature, degrees and relative duration of suffering

All conditionalists agree that there will at least be mental anguish experienced by the unsaved, in terms of abject shame, dread, anger and bitter regret.

Those who describe final punishment as basically finite in duration do so by locating punishment in the experience of conscious suffering (whether mental or physical), which culminates in death. Since suffering is seen as the thing which exhausts God’s punishment, those who hold to this view tend to see this as relatively protracted, and varying by degrees among individuals. As a further difference, some might see here a more passive death, as God ceases to sustain life.

Those who instead locate final punishment primarily in death’s significance as the means of exclusion from eternal life, tend to emphasize that any suffering is part of the process of a person being destroyed. If they do hold to suffering (whether mental or physical) in addition to the generally accepted anguish prior to punishment, as many do, they tend to see it as relatively brief in duration, comparable to the experience of Christ on the cross. This may include varying degrees, with the caveat that these exhaust an aspect of God’s justice, while preserving death as the ultimate, universal penalty.

8.3. We differ on whether Satan and demons will be destroyed

Evangelical conditionalists, though uniform in their shared belief that unsaved human beings will not live forever, do not all agree when it comes to the eternal fate of the devil and demons. According to many conditionalists, these beings will be destroyed forever, sharing the fate of unsaved human beings. Others disagree, believing that demonic beings will be tormented for eternity. While this is an interesting question, it has no impact on our central concern about human beings.

8.4. We differ on anthropology and the intermediate state

Evangelical conditionalists also differ in terms of what we believe the Bible says about the constitution of human beings, and also about whether people are conscious in the intermediate state between death and resurrection. Some are anthropological physicalists or materialists who believe human beings are physical creatures, the functioning of whose minds is dependent upon their living bodies. Others are substance dualists who believe human beings have immaterial souls, but that they lack consciousness between death and resurrection. Still others embrace a traditional body/soul dualism and contend that the immaterial souls of human beings live on consciously after death, until a resurrection of the body. The same diversity of perspectives exists within evangelicalism more broadly, and therefore is not a logical requirement or consequence of CI.

— Read on sharperiron.org/article/time-to-rethink-hell

LIFE AFTER COLLUSION HOAX: The Real Collusion Story That Doesn’t Involved Trump And The Marching Orders Nancy Pelosi Told The Liberal Media Must Do — These Christian Times

And just like that the Liberal Media has switched from Collusion to healthcare. Do you want to know why the sudden switch? That answer consists of collusion between the laughable fakenews media and Nancy Pelosi. Everything has changed in a blink of an eye and now the liberal media has received their marching order on the next hit piece to attack President Trump. It is sickening to see what has become of journalism.

via LIFE AFTER COLLUSION HOAX: The Real Collusion Story That Doesn’t Involved Trump And The Marching Orders Nancy Pelosi Told The Liberal Media Must Do — These Christian Times

Atheists can’t explain evil — Reformed Perspective

 

Given an atheistic or even an agnostic starting point, how can someone be outraged by evil? Without God, being outraged over the presence of evil is a subjective notion borrowed from the Christian worldview. “If God is nothing,” according to Russian novelist Feodor Dostoyevsky (1821–1881), “everything is permitted; if God is nothing, everything is a matter of indifference.”1 Greg Bahnsen stated it this way:

“The question, logically speaking, is how the unbeliever can make sense of taking evil seriously – not simply as something inconvenient, or unpleasant, or contrary to his desires…. On the unbeliever’s worldview, there is no good reason for saying that anything is evil in nature, but only by personal choice or feeling.”2

This type of thinking has trickled down to the law where legal positivism rules the courts.

“Legal positivism holds that there is no necessary connection between law and morality and that the question of what is and is not law can be identified by reference to social facts and need not involve moral assumptions.”3

How could there be, given the operating premise that those standing before the court are animals whose origin is a chance one, and whose evolution is a violent struggle for survival?

How can the world condemn even terrorists?

The person who murdered 50 Muslims in New Zealand this past month was committed for the survival of his species. He’s made this point clear in his manifesto. In a sick but logical way he was attempting to justify his actions. What outside transcendental source of ethics can be used against his thinking and actions that hasn’t first been borrowed from a biblical view of morality but officially barred from consideration?

Thomas H. Huxley, “Darwin’s Bulldog,” said as much in 1893, writing that “Cosmic evolution may teach us how the good and the evil tendencies of many have come about; but, in itself, it is incompetent to furnish any better reason why what we call good is preferable to what we call evil than we had before” Darwinism came on the scene. He goes to write that one day we may  “arrive at an understanding of the aesthetic faculty; but all that understanding in the world will neither increase nor diminish the forces of the intuition that this is beautiful and that is ugly.”4

If our ethics evolved, why would we have to listen to them?

And little has changed since 1859 when Darwin’s On the Origin of Species was published.

“If ethics is simply an adaptation that evolved over by natural selection, then we acquire another reason to think it has no compelling justification. Ethics had no being, no ontology beyond what whatever our genes and brains and environment generated to keep the social world functioning. Darwinian metaethics thus further weakened the case for an objective foundation for ethics.”5

What philosophy of value or morality can the atheist offer which will render it meaningful to condemn some atrocity as objectively evil? If according to Feuerbach, “Man is man’s only God” – Homo homini Deus – then Hobbes’s dictum, “Man is a wolf to his fellow man” – Homo homini lupus – eventually becomes the law of a society.

Who are we to object or be outraged when accidents of nature (what we call human beings) maim and kill other accidents of nature in a world governed (if such a word can be used) by chance?6 For example, although atheists are “morally outraged” by slavery, “If we are all biological accidents, why shouldn’t the white accidents own and sell the black accidents?”7

Sadly, the worst crimes are natural

Sam Harris, writes in his Letter to a Christian Nation, the sequel to his bestseller The End of Faith:

“While we do not have anything like a final, scientific understanding of human morality, it seems safe to say that raping and killing our neighbors is not one of its primary constituents.”8

Mr. Harris ought to take up his unsupported conclusion with Randy Thornhill’s and Craig T. Palmer’s thesis and their book A Natural History of Rape published by MIT Press (2000). He might also want to establish a dialog with David Buss, author of The Murderer Next Door: Why the Mind is Designed to Kill (2005). Why object to the worldview of the man who murdered 50 Muslims in New Zealand, or to the worldview below of one of Charles Manson’s followers, if God does not exist?

“Whatever is necessary, you do it. When somebody needs to be killed, there’s no wrong. You do it, and then you move on. And you pick up a child and you move him to the desert. You pick up as many children as you can and you kill whoever gets in your way. That is us.”9

On what grounds can the unbeliever object?

Only theists – and inconsistent atheists – can condemn evil

Atheists must assume something of God’s moral character to make a case against God in light of the existence of evil. “The unbeliever,” Bahnsen writes, “must secretly rely upon the Christian worldview in order to make sense of his argument from the existence of evil which is urged against the Christian worldview!”10 In the end, the unbeliever uses stolen credentials (Christian presuppositions), establishes himself as the defense attorney, prosecutor, and judge, and then takes his seat in the jury box to render a verdict against God.

None of this is designed to demean atheists who claim they are just as good as anyone else. That’s not the issue. It’s being able to account for goodness and evilness given certain underlying presuppositions. But we are justified in putting their arguments on trial since they’ve seen fit to put God’s existence on trial. In an interview, Vincent Bugliosi, author of the books Helter Skelter and Outrage,when he was asked whether he believed in God, stated, “If we were in court, I’d object on the ground that the question assumes a fact not in evidence.”11 The evidence is there, but Mr. Bugliosi has set the ground rules for what he will accept as evidence. If the evidence does not fit his operating presuppositions, then for him it is not evidence. John Frame answers such flirtations with wholesale autonomy in an unbending manner:

“Unbelievers must surely not be allowed to take their own autonomy for granted in defining moral concepts. They must not be allowed to assume that they are the ultimate judges of what is right and wrong. Indeed, they should be warned that that sort of assumption rules out the biblical God from the outset and thus allows its character as a faith-presupposition. The unbeliever must know that we reject his presupposition altogether and insist upon subjecting our moral standards to God’s. And if the unbeliever insists on his autonomy, we may get nasty and require him to show how an autonomous self can come to moral conclusions in a godless universe.”12

Mr. Bugliosi consistently criticized the prosecutors in the O. J. Simpson trial for not raising crucial points of evidence. One wonders why he nowhere deals with the argument that if there is no God then there is no morality or a call for outrage when personal sentiments (like his own) are offended.

The world is in crisis. Presidents and Prime Ministers have long ago abandoned a biblical view of the world claiming that it’s archaic. As a result, its rejection has released the worldview of Cain (Gen. 4:8) on this world with no moral brake to rebuke it.

This article first appeared on AmericanVision.org and is reprinted here with permission. Below you can see Dennis Prager, as a Jew, making a similar point. 

Endnotes

  1. Feodor Dostoyevsky, The Devils (The Possessed), trans. David Magarshark (Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1953), 126. Quoted in Vincent P. Miceli, The Gods of Atheism (New Rochelle, New York: Arlington House, 1971), 141.
  2. Greg L. Bahnsen, Always Ready: Directions for Defending the Faith(Atlanta, GA: American Vision, 1996), 169–170.
  3. Jonathan Burnside, God, Justice, and Society: Aspects of Law and Legality in the Bible(New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 68.
  4. Thomas H. Huxley, “Evolution and Ethics,” Evolution and Ethics and Other Essays(New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1899), 80.
  5. James Davidson Hunter and Paul Nedelisky, Science and the Good: The Tragic Quest for the Foundations of Morality (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2018), 78.
  6. See Barbara Reynolds, “If your kids go ape in school, you’ll know why,” USA Today(August 27, 1993), 11A.
  7. James Scott Bell, The Darwin Conspiracy (Gresham, OR: Vision House, 1995), 64.
  8. Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006), 24.
  9. Sandra Good quoted in Vincent Bugliosi, with Curt Gentry, Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders (New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1974), 462.
  10. Bahnsen, Always Ready, 170.
  11. Quoted in Bugliosi, Outrage, 247.
  12. Frame, Apologetics to the Glory of God, 169.

via Atheists can’t explain evil — Reformed Perspective

March 28 For the love of God (Vol. 2)

Exodus 39; John 18; Proverbs 15; Philippians 2

 

few passages have as much theology and ethics in them as Philippians 2. We can pick up on only a few of its wonderful themes:

(1) Scholars have translated 2:5–11 in all kinds of creative ways. In large measure the NIV has it right. Christ Jesus, we are told, “did not consider equality with God something to be grasped [or possibly “exploited”], but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness” (2:6–7). All that is quite wonderful, a glorious description of the incarnation that prepares the way for the cross. I might reword the translation in the first line of verse 6: “Who, being in very nature God.” At the level of raw literalism, that is a perfectly acceptable translation. But Greek uses participles far more frequently than does English, and Greek adverbial participles, such as the word being in this line, have various logical relations with their context—relations that must be determined by the context. Probably most English readers mentally paraphrase this passage as, “Who, although he was in very nature God …” Certainly that makes sense and may even be right. But there are good contextual reasons for thinking that the participle is causal: “Who, because he was in very nature God.” In other words, because he was in very nature God, not only did he not consider equality with God something to be exploited, but he made himself a nobody: it was divine to show that kind of self-emptying, that kind of grace.

(2) “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus” (2:5), who did not regard his rights as something to be exploited, but who humbled himself and died a death of odious ignominy so that we might be saved—and was ultimately vindicated (2:6–11). The exhortation of 2:5 thus supports the string of exhortations in 2:1–4. Reflect on how this is so.

(3) The verses following the “Christ hymn” (as it is often called) of 2:6–11 emphasize perseverance. “Therefore” at the beginning of verse 12 establishes the connection. Christ made himself a nobody and died a shameful death but was finally and gloriously vindicated, and therefore we too should take the long view and “work out” our salvation “with fear and trembling” (2:12). Of course, there is all the more incentive when we recall that “it is God who works in [us] to will and to act according to his good purpose” (2:13). We reject utter passivity, “letting go and letting God”; rather, we work out our salvation. Yet at the same time we joyfully acknowledge that both our willing and our doing are evidence of God’s working in us. And he will vindicate us.[1]


[1] Carson, D. A. (1998). For the love of God: a daily companion for discovering the riches of God’s Word. (Vol. 2, p. 25). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

03/28/19 His Possession — ChuckLawless.com

READING: Deuteronomy 25-27; Luke 3

I fear we often take for granted our relationship with the Lord. It becomes normal, routine, even mundane if we’re not careful – and we forget the miracle and the grace involved in our being the people of God. When I read the covenant summary between God and the Hebrews in Deuteronomy 26, I recall again this gift:

The Lord your God is commanding you this day to follow these statutes and ordinances. Follow them carefully with all your heart and all your soul. Today you have affirmed that the Lord is your God and that you will walk in his ways, keep his statutes, commands, and ordinances, and obey him.And today the Lord has affirmed that you are his own possession as he promised you, that you are to keep all his commands, that he will elevate you to praise, fame, and glory above all the nations he has made, and that you will be a holy people to the Lord your God as he promised.” (Deut 26:16-19)

God demanded that His people follow His commands with all their being, and they affirmed that they would live up to that standard. They would obey Him. At the same time, the Lord affirmed His commitment to them—He was the “Lord your God” who viewed His people as His own possession, and they would be His holy people. Together, God and His people affirmed their commitment to each other.

Today, I commit myself to follow Him fully—and I’m deeply grateful for His allowing me to be His possession.

PRAYER: “God, I can only thank You and praise You today.”

TOMORROW’S READING: Deuteronomy 28; Luke 4:1-30

via 03/28/19 His Possession — ChuckLawless.com

Judicial Watch goes after CNN, John Brennan, James Clapper – WND

Ex-CIA Director John Brennan

Obama administration appointees James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence at the time, and John Brennan, the former CIA director, are in the bull’s-eye of a new Judicial Watch Freedom of Information lawsuit.

The government watchdog is demanding access to communications between them, and between them and CNN “around the time the Clinton-Democrat National Committee Trump dossier was being pitched to key media outlets,” Judicial Watch announced on Wednesday.

“A House report detailed that Clapper leaked information regarding the dossier to CNN in January 2017,” Judicial Watch said, noting he signed on as an analyst for CNN in August 2017. “Judicial Watch is also seeking records of communications between Clapper and Obama CIA Director John Brennan regarding the dossier , which was authored by former British spy and FBI payee Christopher Steele.”

“Judicial Watch is again in court trying to get the truth about the Obama gang illegal leaks and conspiracy targeting President Trump,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “Clapper and Brennan were key proponents of the big lie, exposed by the Mueller report, that President Trump colluded with the Russians. Judicial Watch FOIA litigation is the best hope for getting full accountability on this attack on our constitutional republic.”

The organization filed the legal action in federal court in Washington.

It is asking for, “All records of communication, including emails (whether on .gov or non-.gov email accounts), text messages and instant chats, between officials in the office of the Director of National Intelligence, including but not limited to James Clapper, and employees, representatives and contractors of CNN.”

It also seeks the communications between Brennan and CNN, Brennan and Clapper and between Brennan and Clapper about CNN, the organization revealed.

It is focusing on the “Steele dossier,” that unverified and salacious document created by Steele with funding from the Clinton campaign and the DNC.

So the records it seeks relate to Clapper’s and Brennan’s communications about that dossier, and between them about CNN.

Explained Judicial Watch, “In a March 2018, report, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee said, ‘Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, now a CNN national security analyst, provided inconsistent testimony to the committee about his contacts with the media, including CNN.’ And, ‘when questioned by the committee … Clapper admitted that he confirmed the existence of the dossier to the media.’”

Clapper later admitted he had discussed the Steele dossier with CNN’s Jake Tapper and other journalists in early 2017, “shortly before President Donald Trump’s inauguration,” the watchdog group said.

It was in a January 10, 2017, report that carried bylines by Tapper and several others that CNN first revealed that then-FBI Director James Comey had briefed then-President-elect Trump on the dossier’s claims, which Comey later described as “salacious and unverified.”

The Intelligence Committee’s report said that “Clapper subsequently acknowledged discussing the ‘dossier with CNN journalist Jake Tapper,’ and admitted that he might have spoken with other journalists about the same topic. Clapper’s discussion with Tapper took place in ‘early January 2017,’ around the time [intelligence officials] briefed President Obama and President-elect Trump, on ‘the Christopher Steele information.’”

But Brennan, in an interview with NBC News on February 4, 2018, insisted that the Steele dossier “did not play any role whatsoever” in early intelligence assessments on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, a claim that was undermined by subsequent reports.

In fact, Victor Davis Hanson later in National Review explained Brennan was the “stealthy conduit” to make certain the dossier was distributed widely.
— Read on www.wnd.com/2019/03/judicial-watch-goes-after-cnn-john-brennan-james-clapper/

Chicago PD Quickly Dump Smollett Hate-Hoax Docs Before Case Sealed By Judge | Zero Hedge

“Investigation revealed that a plan was formulated and put into play by SMOLLETT to conduct a staged incident”

A last minute FOIA records request in the Jussie Smollett hate-hoax investigation was fulfilled by the Chicago Police Department on Wednesday – shortly before the case was sealed by a Cook County judge. 

Livid Chicago law enforcement officials were beside themselves on Tuesday after all 16 felony charges were dismissed against Smollett for allegedly staging his own hate crime with two Nigerian-born brothers

“The Chicago Police Department is not happy. Our Superintendent expressed his displeasure about the charges being dropped,” one CPD officer told Fox News. “The Department exhausted manpower and numerous hours investigating this case to make sure it was handled properly.”

“The police department worked super hard on this. They put a ton of manpower on it because they knew it sounded wrong from the beginning,” another Chicago law enforcement source told Fox

“What’s interesting is that the former chief-of-staff of Michelle Obama called the state’s attorney about the case, saying the (Smollett) family was concerned. Shortly after, the state’s attorney recused herself and now the charges are dropped and the court has sealed the record.” 

Except – they didn’t seal the record fast enough, as CPD responded to a Freedom of Information Act request by CWB Chicago and other outlets – delivering investigative files on Smollett

While the details are compelling, perhaps the most damning statement is found at the beginning of the report, which states “Investigation revealed that a plan was formulated and put into play by SMOLLETT to conduct a staged incident where SMOLLETT was beaten by [redacted] and [redacted] posing as persons other than themselves. 

The Redacted names are undoubtedly the Osundario brothers – who claim Smollett paid them $3,500 to stage the attack. 

More highlights: 

‘Get out of Syria first’: Moscow to Trump’s demand to leave Venezuela — RT World News

The Trump administration should make good on its own promise to pull troops out of Syria before telling others where they should or shouldn’t be, the Russian Foreign Ministry replied to Washington’s threat regarding Venezuela.
— Read on www.rt.com/news/454938-syria-venezuela-withdrawl-russia/

Atheism at UGA — Wretched

Episode 2470

Atheism at UGA

Segment 1 (00:00) – In this Witness Wednesday, Todd introduces a few sermon illustrations. He then shows a conversation he had with some atheist UGA students. They discuss the issue of God’s punishment and why He created us.

Segment 2 (10:30) – Debate between Todd and UGA students continues. They argue about God’s reasoning, and Todd introduces the significance of Jesus’ sacrifice to them.

Segment 3 (18:09) – One of the UGA students introduces his own “sermon illustration” to prove that our moral decisions are based in evolution. Todd combats his point. They also argue on faith in science vs. faith in God.

Wretched Surprise! (26:00) – Bible Verse: John 1:1

via Atheism at UGA — Wretched

President Trump Lengthy Interview With Sean Hannity… — The Last Refuge

Tonight President Trump called-in to Fox News host Sean Hannity for an unusually lengthy interview.  The interview ran almost 45 minutes without commercial interruption.

There are multiple breaking news aspects to this interview including President Trump affirming his intention to declassify all of the material previously discussed [See Here]. As CTH noted last year, President Trump stated his lawyers directly advised him against declassification because such action would be construed as obstruction.  WATCH:

.

I’ll be breaking down this interview for continued discussion.

via President Trump Lengthy Interview With Sean Hannity… — The Last Refuge

Video: Candace Owens Vs. Hawk Newsome — Frontpage Mag

On this new episode of The Candace Owens Show, Hawk Newsome, the Chairman of Black Lives Matter NY joins Candace Owens for an in-depth conversation discussing the issues facing the black community, Voter ID laws, police brutality, Donald Trump and much more!

via Video: Candace Owens Vs. Hawk Newsome — Frontpage Mag

The Bible, Politics, and the Gospel — The Aquila Report

Everything else being equal, Christians–because we have had our hearts and minds opened to God’s Word by the Holy Spirit–will have a better understanding of these things than atheists. Again, common grace allows atheists to understand a lot about these things. But their knowledge will be lacking wisdom that only Christians can find in Scripture.

 

We have a fair amount of discussion in my church over what the Bible teaches when it comes to government and how to apply God’s Word to particular areas of public policy.

During one of those discussions, a friend recently commented, “I reject the notion that someone needs to be a small government conservative to be in a reformed church.”

With that I am in 100% agreement. In fact, you don’t even have to be reformed to be in a reformed church, at least in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).

When I came to my reformed PCA church, I was an avid history buff yet was basically ignorant about Luther, Calvin, and the Reformation. I was also an Armenian who believed that the earth was billions of years old and had some vague notion that the world was heading to hell in a hand basket, having been fed dispensationalist dogma throughout my years in Baptist school; I had no clue what post (or even pre) millennialism was.

But shortly after my arrival I attended a Sunday school class called Calvinism 101. Then I asked a friend why he believed in six literal days of creation; he suggested you can’t properly account for death under the old earth scenario. And I also sat under some amazing teaching that showed me how God’s word points to Jesus’ ongoing and effectual victory over Satan and sin and the world in history–imagine that! And here I am today; a reformed, eschatologically optimistic, young earther.

I will admit, though, that I did bring my small government conservatism with me to my church. But that wasn’t what got me or the rest of us in. We just have to confess Christ as our Lord, be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and answer a few questions in the affirmative–including submitting to the discipline of and studying the peace and purity of the church.

I do believe, though, we need to talk through my friend’s other comment, “I think that associating small government conservatism and the reformed church publicly risks driving people away over issues that don’t relate to the Gospel.”

My first response to this would be to say that EVERYTHING relates to the Gospel. The “whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now” and there is nothing or no one or no activity that is not in need of the redemption and renewal that the Gospel brings. Grocery stores, public schools, the military, physics, law–everything, all need the redemption and renewal proclaimed in the Gospel. So it is a good thing that the Gospel–and all of God’s Word–provides all that we need for this:

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16–17 – ESV)

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence … (2 Peter 1:3 – ESV)

With some things, like science, observation is needed to make sense of the world. But you are much better off if you are grounded in Scripture when you get started. For instance, did you know that recent secular linguists estimate that the oldest language in India is only 4,500 years old? And that secular scientists are now suggesting all humans descended from two people thousands (not millions) of years ago? They miss the time frame a bit–they suggest one hundred thousand years, but just think of all the time and money–mostly ours–scientists could have saved coming to these conclusions if they had just started with Scripture instead of Darwin.

Read More

via The Bible, Politics, and the Gospel — The Aquila Report