Happy New Year!


Now you’re probably looking at the calendar and wondering if I have lost my mind, however let me explain.  The season of Advent is the beginning of the Church or the Liturgical Year.  The first Sunday in Advent was New Year’s day so to speak just as Rosh Hashanah is the first day of the Jewish New Year and marks the beginning of the high holy days.  So too Advent starts the beginning of the season of the Holy days, or Holidays that mark the Church Year.

Advent, from Latin adventus “a coming, approach, arrival,” marking that time before the Christmas season, the Christmas season lasting twelve days, during this time the church was to focus on the return of Christ, His second coming, as well as preparing to celebrate His first coming.

Typically there were specific readings for Advent corresponding to the readings in the common lectionary.    However I am going to suggest these readings:  Isaiah 9:2. 6-7; Psalm 122; Isaiah 2:2-5; Romans 13:11-14

Each of these readings reflect hope, for that is what this, the first Sunday in Advent represents:  Hope.  For Israel it was the hope of the coming Messiah.  For the Church it is the hope of the Return of Christ. (1 Peter 1:13, 21).  And the important thing to remember is that this hope isn’t like “I hope Uncle Bob comes for Christmas.” or “I hope Aunt Bess makes that whipped dessert for Christmas dinner.”  There is an element of uncertainty in that because Uncle Bob could not come or Aunt Bess not make the dessert.  Not so with us because Christ did come. he fulfilled Israel’s hope, and he will come again fulfilling the Church’s hope.

So today, light a candle, if that is what you do, read the scripture and think on the coming of Christ our hope.

 

Frenetic Good Friday


Well it has been awhile since I have done a Frenetic Friday post but let’s get to it.

In case you’re living under a rock or in denial this is what is referred to as Holy Week. And today is Good Friday, and more on that later. But I hope that you did notice that as is the norm the various “shows” on Christianity has appeared on various streaming services. The newest one that I noticed is Jesus: Countdown to Calvary made in 2018 and starring Hugh Bonneville. This is playing on Netflixs. And yes I watched and as expected the idea that Jesus was the divine Son of God or the fulfillment of prophecy was completely played down or not mentioned at all. What I did notice was how it was claimed that Jesus came proclaiming a message of, wait for it, “social justice”. I am not really surprised at this an neither should you be if you’ve been keeping up with any of the “social justice” debates that have been going on in Twitter and elsewhere. Just be aware that this and other messages of the same sort will be playing this time especially since Easter or the Sunday celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus however you wish to refer to it draws near.

And speaking of heretical things have you heard about PreachersNSneakers? It is an Instagram account that has pictures of various “hipster” preachers and the expensive sneakers they are wearing. I am not talking about some $150 dollar Nikes here. No, how about $3000 for an off white pair of Jordan 1 from Europe. Or $1100 “Gucci” slippers?

I don’t mind a pastor being well dressed but I have to call into question exactly why do they need that expensive foot wear. What do you think where should this money have gone to?

And keeping with the Good Friday theme, as well as heretical notions a female Roman Catholic theologian has written a book called “Creation and the Cross: The Mercy of God for a Planet in Peril” In it Elizabeth Johnson maintains that Anselm‘s satisfaction theory of atonement was completely wrong. Johnson maintains that Anselm based it upon “the political system of the day” and that God’s mercy doesn’t call for a bloody and violent death for our sins. Basically atonement needs to be removed from what Christ did. <source>

Rather than have me bumble through why the atonement is necessary I shall point you to these resources:




And here is a list of resources from Monergism: Penal Substitutionary Atonement

And a list of resources from The Highway: TThe Atonement of Christ

Finally something from Toplady:

Goodnight.

Frenetic Friday


Once again the sound of Liberty Bell peals out and the tatterdemalion stumbles towards you saying:

Ladies and Gentlemen it is a distinct pleasure to once again post a Frenetic Friday.  And we have a good one for you.

So those of you who are living in Portland have probably seen this:  (warning language)

It is nice to see these thugs get a little comeuppance now if Portland’s mayor would just get a backbone and do the same.

Ligioner Ministries has once again gifted us with The State of Theology

I seriously urge you to go to the website and examine what Evangelicals believe about theology and the Bible.

 

 

 

Yes you know what that means the Robotic Over Lords has stepped u[ their world domination case in point:

And with that terrifying video I bid you good night until the next Frenetic Friday.

Catechism


Q. When do we sin against the law as
written in the ten commandments?

A. When you do anything that they forbid, although you
be ignorant of it (Psa 19:12).

Q. How many ways are there to sin against
this law?

A. Three: by sinful thoughts, by sinful words, and also by sinful actions (Rom7:7, 2:6; Matt 5:28, 12:37).

Q. What if we sin but against one of the ten
commandments?

A. Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all; ‘For he that said, Do not commit
adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now, if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law’ (James
2:10,11).

Q. Where will God punish sinners for their
sins?

A. Both in this word and in that which is to come (Gen 3:24, 4:10-12; Job 21:30).

Catechism


Q. What was the due desert of that transgression?

A. Spiritual death in the day he did it, temporal death afterwards, and everlasting death last of all (Gen 2:17, 3:19; Matt 25:46).

Q. What is it to be spiritually dead?

A. To be alienate from God, and to live without him in the world, through the ignorance that is in man, and through the power of their sins (Eph 4:18,19).

Theology Thursday: What is the Gospel?


So there was some MTV award that Chris Pratt received and gave an acceptance speech.

Now let me state something right now this isn’t about Chris Pratt. It’s not even about what he said or didn’t say rather it is what some people have said that Chris Pratt said.

In an article on the Federalist Rachel Stooltzfoos wrote:

Actor Chris Pratt shared a gospel message in an acceptance speech at the MTV awards Monday, interspersing a serious message about God’s love in a list of “9 Rules for Life” for the younger generation. (source)

Unfortunately, while Chris Pratt spoke about God, having a soul, praying, and grace being paid for by “somebody’s blood”, it wasn’t the Gospel.

So the question is what is the Gospel? R.C.Sproul writes regarding this question:

There is no greater message to be heard than that which we call the gospel. But as important as that is, it is often given to massive distortions or over simplifications. People think they’re preaching the gospel to you when they tell you, ‘you can have a purpose to your life’, or that ‘you can have meaning to your life’, or that ‘you can have a personal relationship with Jesus.’ All of those things are true, and they’re all important, but they don’t get to the heart of the gospel. (source)

So then what is the core essentials of the Gospel? Well I would say that the bible tells us what the core essentials of the Gospel is.

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.~1Corinthians 15:1-4

The Gospel must contain these elements: We are sinners, rebels against a holy and just God, deserving only his wrath and justice. (Rom. 3:23, Ephesians 2:3, 2 Thess. 1:9)

Jesus lived a life of perfect righteousness, of perfect obedience to God, not for His own well being but for His people offering Himself as a perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice and the righteousness of God. (1 Peter 2:24)

God raised Jesus to life for our justification. That we are declared righteous before God based upon what Christ did for His people. (Romans 4:25, Romans 5:16, 18)

Our salvation then comes from placing our trust in what Christ has done, not we have done. This is the Gospel that we have received, which we stand on, and are being saved by holding on to the word of God.

Catechism


Q. Do you understand him by the works of
creation?

A. ‘The heavens declare the glory of
God; and the firmament sheweth his handy work’ (Psa 19:1). ‘For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly
seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead’ (Rom 1:20)

Catechism


Q. Is this God, being a Spirit, to be known?

A. Yes, and that by his works of creation, by
his providences, by the judgments that he
executes, and by his word.

Ligneous Hermeneutics


I fully admit that there are certain things that tend to make me erupt. Certain triggers that makes me bark like that Russell Terrier next door.  One of these happens to be dispensational hermeneutics.  Now a little back story.  I came to Christ during the heyday of Hal Lindsey’s Late Great Planet Earth.  I grew up in what can only be called a liberal protestant church so the first time I was exposed to the concepts of the imminent return of Christ, the rapture,  the tribulation, I was scared spit less.  I didn’t want to be “left behind”.

Later on I went through a series of teaching at the Bible church that I was attending called “God’s plan for the ages”  In it I learned what can only be called “classic dispensationalism”  Seven dispensations or economies,  separation of Israel and the Church and the “grammatical-historic hermeneutic”.

So on twitter I was asked why I didn’t like the “grammatical-historic hermeneutic”  and I replied:

Yes everyone replies with that statement as if that was the problem instead of the wooden literalism they thrust upon it.

Which is a bit snarky I will freely admit and let me apologize for the snark right now. But it is true it isn’t the “grammatical-historic” method or interpreting. In R.C.Sproul’s book Knowing Scripture he lists this method as one of the interpretive methods used to understand the text of scripture.  What I dislike is the presuppositions that are applied to the method that tend to skew the results.

For instance it has been my experience that those that follow the dispensational method of grammatical-historic interpretation (here to be known as DMGH) tend to  down play the genre of the text and the theological implications of the text.  Take the case of Sarah and Hagar.

In Galatians 4 Paul takes the historical narrative regarding Sarah and Hagar and says they are metaphors for two types of covenants.  But that violates completely what you would interpret from that story in Genesis  but Paul adds a theological interpretation that wouldn’t be allowed under the strict literalism of dispensationalist.

And there lies the problem I have with DMGH it must be always the literal meaning even though there are multiple times that isn’t how the text is being interpreted by other writers of the scripture.  Examples  Matt 1:23 ~Isa. 7:14   following DMGH Isa. 7:14 can only be fulfilled in the time of Ahab and in fact according to Isa. 8:1-4 Isaiah’s son actually fulfilled the prophecy.    Yet Matthew says this applies to Jesus.  So there must be something more than just grammar and history regarding this interpretation there is a theological genre that must be added to it.

This wooden hermeneutic which IMHO does more damage to the text  by not considering the total:   Grammatical, historical, genre, and  theological method which is I believe the more fuller method of biblical interpretation.