Four words that reveal what his followers really believe.
Michael Horton/ MARCH 16, 2016
I am not a politician, but a minister who teaches theology. As a citizen of this great republic, I have convictions about domestic and foreign policy, but none of that qualifies me to join the fray of political experts and pundits. I am qualified, however, to engage the topic of significant support among self-identified “evangelical voters” for Donald Trump and what this means, not for the country but what it suggests about significant segments of the US church.
While a theological analysis of other candidates would suggest many equally troubling assumptions of their evangelical followers, no candidate is more identified with the word evangelical as is Trump. The loyalty of his self-identified evangelical followers is especially startling to many.
Let me suggest that the slender thread connecting Trump to the church is his occasional holiday appearances at Marble Collegiate Church, made famous by its pastor for 52 years, Norman Vincent Peale. Blending pop-psychology and spirituality, Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking (1952) remained on The New York Times bestsellers list for 186 weeks. Nicknamed “God’s Salesman,” Peale was criticized for . . .
I caught up with Professor R. Scott Clark last week. Professor Clark holds a doctorate from Oxford Univeristy and is an historian and a professor at Westminster Seminary. I wanted to talk about how Christians can think about and participate in politics while respecting the distinct roles of the Church and the State described in Scripture. And we did – but Professor Clark also had some insights into the role of technology and politics. Social media in particular has democratized culture and its effects on political discourse are profound – but poorly understood and applied by most politicians and their legions of highly paid consultants. Professor Clark’s role as an historian combined with his active presence on Twitter, 2 podcasts, and his blog at the Heidelblog.net gives him a uniquely valuable perspective.
But the majority of our discussion revolved around a Scriptural approach to politics. Rather than the transformationalist view generally associated with the Religious Right over the past 3 or 4 decades, Professor Clark hearkens back to an older view. He reminds us that early Christians lived, worked, and served in avowedly pagan regimes. While the state owes all of its citizens freedom of conscience, he explains, the Church does not require an expressly Christian regime to flourish. In fact, he argues . . .
The recent detection of gravitational waves has received a lot of media coverage and rightly so for this is a remarkable finding from both an experimental and theoretical point of view. Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of space-time and were predicted by Albert Einstein 100 years ago. According to his general theory of relativity, accelerating massive object would radiate gravitational energy in the form of gravitational waves. However, since the effect is very weak, a very dramatic event is needed if there is to be any chance of detection. In this case it was the merging of two black holes, an event that took place over a billion years ago. Even so, by the time the waves reach Earth the distortion of space-time is less than the width of an atomic nucleus, which highlights just how astonishing a feat this is experimentally. While there had been indirect evidence for the existence of gravitational waves before, this was the first time they had been detected directly. As a bonus, it is also the first detection of two black holes merging and even the first direct detection of black holes themselves.
Does this have any relevance for belief in God? Of course, some people who think that science and religion are always in . . .
by Theology Mom on January 26, 2016:
Sometimes being an apologist isn’t just about defending the faith to unbelievers; sometimes it also includes explaining our doctrinal positions to other Christians. When I was homeschooling our children, church friends would often express concern over our family’s belief that the earth was billions—not thousands—of years old. Many had heard some fairly alarming assertions about Hugh Ross, my employer, advocating fallacious views of the Bible. I want to help people differentiate between rumors and facts about old-earth creationists’ beliefs. So, instead of avoiding conversations that might spark an old-earth versus young-earth debate, I’ve learned how to offer quick but gracious answers to the questions raised by our Christian friends.
1. Do old-earth creationists teach theistic evolution (supernaturally directed Darwinism)?
Believers frequently conflate old-earth creationism with Darwinian evolution; this is especially evident in the creation-science curricula used by many homeschoolers. I like to make the point that the RTB scholar team has been on the frontiers of making the biblical and scientific case against Darwinism for three decades.
2. Does acceptance of the big bang deny God’s miraculous creation of the universe and its celestial bodies?
There is a widespread misconception among Christians that big bang cosmology is some kind of “kissing cousin” to naturalism and Darwinian evolution. The reality is: teaching that the universe has a beginning—which is precisely what big bang cosmology does—is not only consistent with Scripture, it greatly limits the time window allowed for natural process evolution to operate. Again, RTB’s scholars have, for 30 years, actively communicated the most compelling evidences for God’s miraculous intervention throughout the history of the universe.
3. Do old-earth creationists believe that God made Adam by breathing “spirit” into a preexisting hominid?
In spite of my colleagues’ pioneering work to discredit this idea, it remains a common misconception that old-earth creationists do not believe Adam and Eve were … <<< Read MORE at the sources page >>>
4. Doesn’t a belief that Earth is billions of years old exalt science over the Bible?
::: <<< Read MORE at the sources page >>>
5. Doesn’t acceptance of a billions-of-years-old universe contradict a literal interpretation of the Bible?
::: <<< Read MORE at the sources page >>>
6. Does plant and animal death before the fall of Adam contradict Romans 5:12?
::: <<< Read MORE at the sources page >>>
7. Don’t old-earth creationists promote the use of unreliable, secular dating methods?
:: <<< Read MORE at the sources page >>>
“So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27 | ESV)
WITH THE RECENT Supreme Court ruling that legalized “gay” marriage, which there is no such thing, I think of the riddle; “If you call the tale on a dog a leg, then how many legs does a dog have?” The answer is FOUR, because a leg is a leg and a tail is a tail.
Just because you call a tail a leg doesn’t make it so. A man is man and woman is a woman. If you call a man a woman doesn’t make it so, even if the man have his penis and testicles surgically removed, pumped up with female hormones, and have breast implants it will NOT make a man into a woman.
A father can’t be a mother and a mother can’t be a father, and a husband can’t be a wife and a wife can’t be a husband. It is REALITY! AND our postmodern, narcissistic culture thinks that reality should reshape just because some in our narcissistic culture wishes it.
What worse, we Christians (who have accepted the reality that God has created) are the ones who are accused of having beliefs that will NOT conforms to reality, or we are the ones who are accused of being non-scientific with our belief system!
Now that our supreme court has ruled, what’s next? Well for the left in the United States I see home schoolers harassed because teaching that marriage is only with a man and a woman as child abusers, ministers sued for not performing a “gay” weddings, employees fired or disciplined for posts on the social media, churches being taxed (and punished) for not allowing “gay” marriage on their property, and day for those who are NOT thinking with the new reality are forced to attend re-education camps (like sensitivity training, or in my case Race and Gender classes in college) to get you mind re-programmed “right” by the leftist elites’ standards.
“… they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, …” (Romans 1:25 | ESV)
The title of this blog post is “Are Americans Getting Too Comfortable With Thought Control?,” which is a taken from another blog that I think everybody should read. The New Totalitarians Are Here by Tom Nichols at the Federalist.
Below is a introduction to this fantastic blog post:
The New Totalitarians Are Here
Totalitarians want their rule, and their belief system, to be accepted and self-sustaining – even if it takes bludgeoning every last citizen who disagrees.
There’s a basic difference in the traditions of political science between “authoritarians” and “totalitaritarians.” People throw both of these words around, but as is so often the case, they’re using words they may not always understand. They have real meaning, however, and the difference between them is important.
Simply put, authoritarians merely want obedience, while totalitarians, whose rule is rooted in an ideology, want obedience and conversion. Authoritarians are a dime a dozen; totalitarians are rare. The authoritarians are the guys in charge who want to stay in charge, and don’t much care about you, or what you’re doing, so long as you stay out of their way. They are the jefe and his thugs in a brutal regime that want you to shut up, go to work, and look the other way when your loudmouthed neighbor gets his lights punched out by goons in black jackets. Live or die. It’s all the same to the regime.
Totalitarians are a different breed. These are the people who have a plan, who think they see the future more clearly than you or who are convinced they grasp reality in a way that you do not. They don’t serve themselves—or, they don’t serve themselves exclusively—they serve History, or The People, or The Idea, or some other ideological totem that justifies their actions.
They want obedience, of course. But even more, they want their rule, and their belief system, to be accepted and self-sustaining. And the only way to achieve that is to create a new society of people who share those beliefs, even if it means …
Amen! And Amen!
Christians have a ready-made response to the question, “Why did Jesus die?” The answers are usually something along these lines: “Jesus died to save me from my sins.” Often when I get answers like these, I feel like asking, “And. . . ?” I don’t ask follow-up questions just to be annoying. I do it because many professing believers genuinely have never thought through the reasons for, and the implications of, Jesus’ death on the cross. Unfortunately, many Christians, if really pressed for a logical argument for the atoning death of Christ, won’t have a good answer.
And because of the lack of clarity regarding Jesus’ death, deceitful doctrines have crept into our churches. The Scriptures have been twisted into cultural clichés and false teachings about why Christ died, and what was accomplished by his death.
Here are four things Jesus didn’t die for.
- For Your American Dream …
- To Be the Poster Boy for Your Cause …
- So You Wouldn’t Have to Change …
- To Merely Raise Your Moral Standard …
Brilliant article by Michael J. Kruger, professor at Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, NC.
I think what we are seeing is postmodernity rebelling against true, truths (as Frances Schaeffer would say) that God has ordained.
And there is a reason for such (obvious) inconsistency. No person could really live as if reality were entirely determined by ourselves. Such individuals will always, and inevitably, keep bumping into the real world. And the real world has an irritating habit of not getting out of the way.
Can the Ethiopan change his skin or a leopard his spots? How Postmodernity Has Led to a Culture of Hypocrisy
There has been a lot of chatter the last few weeks about Rachel Dolezal, civil rights activist and the former head of the NAACP in Spokane, WA. Although she presented herself as African American–a bit of a prerequisite for heading up a chapter of the NAACP–it turns out that she is not black after all. Indeed she was a blonde, freckle-faced white girl born to two white parents. She has merely changed her outward appearance.
Of course, objective facts regarding biology, genetics, and ethnicity have not proven to be a deterrent to Dolezal’s insistence that she is black. “I identify as black,” she told Matt Lauer. In other words, I get to decide what is true. Reality is what I make it.
Many have pointed out the similarities between Dolezal’s case and that of Bruce Jenner and his declarations that he is now a woman. And the comparison has been (rightly) used to expose how intellectually vacuous the transgender cause really is. One cannot determine their own gender any more than a person can determine their own race. “Can the Ethiopan change his skin or a leopard his spots?” (Jer 13:23).
But, there is more going on here. And we have to be careful not to miss it. What is happening with Dolezal should not be viewed as . . .
BEEN THERE, DONE that, bought the T-Shirt, and still wearing the the T-Shirt:
5 Things I Wish Every Congregation Knew
I know a fellow pastor who is going through some real trials with his church. Apparently, preaching the full-counsel of God does not sit well with many in his congregation. Now, before you go and say that I’m just saying this, realize that I have downloaded quite a few of his sermons and listened to them. Others in his presbytery have done the same, and had the same sentiments. He is preaching the full counsel of God, faithfully.
Basically, what my friend is going through is the beginning of the end of that particular church. The more carnal people in the congregation have realized how much power they yield by going to the elders and demanding that my friend be forced to resign. The elders, being the staunch spiritual leaders that they are, caved so quickly that I have to question their leadership ability. The church is becoming subject to mob rule. And when mobs rule in the church, the church dies. I’ve seen it firsthand and understand how sad it is.
The reason mobs are so successful is because they are usually the loudest portion of the church. They are given over to their fleshly desires and their fleshly desires are the gauge by which the judge everything, not Scripture. The more godly, and humble, tend to stand quietly by while the mobs rule. Then… the godly leave, giving the mob more power than before. It is a vicious cycle and eventually the church becomes filled with the tares who kill off the remaining wheat.
Where mobs rule, Christ does not. This is why the elders need to stand against the mobs. No matter how many times the mob threatens to leave or quit giving to the church, the elders need to rebuke them in their carnality. Sadly, too many elders fail to do so, and thus fail in shepherding. This is why so many churches are small and dysfunctional. At some point, the elders are faced with following Scripture and the Spirit in the midst of a conflict, or following the loudest voices. When the loudest voices rule, the congregation suffers.
It is in view of all this that there are a few things I wish every congregation would realize. I know that the more carnal congregations will not give heed to my words because they feel they are always right to begin with. In their mind, they think they are doing God a great service by sending a pastor packing when that pastor fails to tickle their ears. Unless the more . . .
Humans are complicated, problematic creatures. We’re capable of occasionally performing amazing feats of goodness, yet we’re more likely to deal out harm and injustice. Considering all the wickedness humanity has brought to this planet, we should question whether we deserve life at all. These are some of the concepts raised, amid the humor and action and super-heroism, of the new film Avengers: Age of Ultron.
In Age of Ultron, Captain America and his team of unlikely superheroes have banded together once more against a brand new villain, Ultron. A sentient robot unwittingly created by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner, Ultron, in true Pinocchio fashion, wants to break free from his creator. But unlike the wooden boy, Ultron seeks not just to be rid of his creator, but to be rid of the entire human race.
Peace on Earth Through Extermination
Ultron is the child of Tony Stark’s fears. Afraid that he would not be able to protect his home planet forever, Stark designed Ultron as an artificial intelligence program to bring peace to Earth. However, it doesn’t take Ultron long to conclude that the cause of war, trouble, and suffering lies not outside humanity, but within.
As God used a . . .