19 December 2007

Some Thoughts about Truth

posted by Phil Johnson




ere are a couple more excerpts from The Truth War. These come from the book's introduction, pages xiv-xv and xviii-xx.





Much of the visible church nowadays seems to think Christians are supposed to be at play rather than at war. The idea of actually fighting for doctrinal truth is the furthest thing from most churchgoers' thoughts. Contemporary Christians are determined to get the world to like them—and of course in the process they also want to have as much fun as possible. They are so obsessed with making the church seem "cool" to unbelievers that they can't be bothered with questions about whether another person's doctrine is sound or not. In a climate like that, the thought of even identifying someone else's teaching as false (much less "contending earnestly" for the faith) is a distasteful and dangerously counter-cultural suggestion. Christians have bought into the notion that almost nothing is more "uncool" in the world's eyes than when someone shows a sincere concern about the danger of heresy. After all, the world simply doesn't take spiritual truth that seriously, so they cannot fathom why anyone would.

But Christians of all people ought to be most willing to live and die for the truth. Remember, we know the truth, and the truth has set us free (John 8:32). We should not be ashamed to say so boldly (Psalm 107:2). And if called upon to sacrifice for the truth's sake, we need to be willing and prepared to give our lives. Again, that is exactly what Jesus was speaking about when he called His disciples to take up a cross (Matthew 16:24). Cowardice and authentic faith are antithetical.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[E]very attempt to define truth in non-biblical terms has ultimately failed.

That's because God is the source of all that exists (Romans 11:36). He alone defines and delimits what is true. He is also the ultimate revealer of all truth. Every truth revealed in nature was authored by Him (Psalm 19:1-6); and some of it is His own self-revelation (Romans 1:20). He gave us minds and consciences to perceive the truth and comprehend right from wrong, and He even wired us with a fundamental understanding of His law written on our hearts (Romans 2:14-15). On top of all that, He gave us the perfect, infallible truth of Scripture (Psalm 19:7-11), which is a sufficient revelation of everything that pertains to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3; 2 Timothy 3:15-17), in order to lead us to Him as Savior and Lord. Finally, He sent Christ, the very embodiment of truth itself as the culmination of divine revelation (Hebrews 1:1-3). The whole point and the ultimate reason for all of this was for God to reveal Himself to His creatures (Ezekiel 38:23).

All truth therefore starts with what is true of God: who He is, what His mind knows, what His holiness entails, what His will approves, and so on. In other words, all truth is determined and properly explained by the being of God. Therefore every notion of His non-existence is by definition untrue. That is precisely what the Bible teaches: "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God'" (Psalm 14:1; 53:1).

The ramifications of all truth starting with God are profound. Returning to a point we touched on earlier: Here is the reason why once someone denies God, logical consistency will ultimately force to that person to deny all truth. A denial that God exists instantly removes the whole justification for any kind of knowledge. As Scripture says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge" (Proverbs 1:7).

So the necessary starting point for gaining authentic understanding of the fundamental concept of truth itself is an acknowledgment of the one true God. As Augustine said, we believe in order to understand, and our faith in turn is fed and strengthened as we gain better understanding. Both faith in God as He has revealed Himself and the understanding wrought by faith are therefore essential if we hope to apprehend truth in any serious and meaningful sense.

Scripture describes all authentic Christians as those who know the truth and have been liberated by it (John 8:32). They believe it with a whole heart (2 Thessalonians 2:13). They obey the truth through the Spirit of God (1 Peter 1:22). And they have received a fervent love for the truth through the gracious work of God in their hearts (2 Thessalonians 2:10). According to the Bible, then, you haven't really grasped the truth at all if there's no sense in which you know it, believe it, submit to it, and love it.

Clearly, the existence of absolute truth and its inseparable relationship to the person of God is the most essential tenet of all truly biblical Christianity. Speaking plainly: if you are one of those who questions whether truth is really important, please don't call your belief system "Christianity" because that's not what it is.
John MacArthur's signature


Amen.

Phil's signature

135 comments:

Randy said...

Oh, can I be first this one time?

I think one thing that was great for me when I picked up The Truth War (actually, Grace to You sent it to me for free!) was that I had just recently finished reading Ashamed of the Gospel by John MacArthur.

That book gave MacArthur the (unneeded, really) credentials to accurately represent a contemporary fad and disassemble it biblically. It also was eye-opening good for a youngin' like myself to see that the seeker-sensitive fad that I grew up with is now "the old way of doing church" now that I am 26. I hope The Truth War will prophetically in 10 years be a great read for some current 16 year old when his generation's fad surfaces (which will no doubt be a repercussion against the Emerging conversation) as the new way, and he is uneasy about it.

Will MacArthur still write another zinger about that next fad? How old is he going to be? 80?

I guess I will see when I am 36.

Go get Ashamed of the Gospel if you haven't read it.

pastorbrianculver said...

I am engaged in a truth war of my own with two people. One is an emergent and the other one is a mormon. Wow, I am so glad that I have God's Word to fall back on rather than just opinion and feelings. Thanks Randy for your take on Ashamed of the Gospel. Thank you Pyro for lifting up John MacArthur's The Truth War. I need to update my library!

Andrew and Carolyn said...

Excellent thoughts on truth. I was reading last night in Matthew 7. Its interesting that those who seem almost addicted to (mis)quoting v1
- about not judging in the wrong way (in terms of judgementalism) - forget about vv15-20 which is all about judging in the right sense (i.e. discerning false teachers).

For me John MacArthur is right on the money here. There is a sense in which to identify a wolf is a capital crime. To allow their destructive teaching to maul the flock of God is a high virtue.

I can't figure that one out!!

Also, to pick up on the really helpful comments from Randy - I think that there is a sense in which the tide is already turning against emergent teaching among young people. I know that here in Northern Ireland there is something of a reaction against the pomo teaching of the emerging church. Young people here are becoming discourse hungry, longing for something substantial, real, and certain to believe in. I think that they get enough ephemera in the media and the secular education system!

Recently I was coming through Belfast International Airport and saw a young guy (teenager) sitting with his iPod on, his New Testament in his hand and a copy of 'Desiring God' by John Piper by his side. Perhaps there is more hope for those now in their teens, than the 20 something, 30 something, 40 something set who want to abandon mature teaching in favour of the drivel of pomo discourse.

Just a few of my thoughts on the issues raised by today's quote...

William Dicks said...

I've had The Truth War for some time now, but haven't gotten to actually reading it. My reading this year has been very slow, since it has been an immensely busy year this year with about 20 international (read "Africa") business trips and a host of other responsibilities. On top of that I've had other books that I got before this one, and usually I read the books in the order I buy them.

But, after reading the excerpts provided in the last couple of posts, I think I need to pick up this book and read it with some urgency.

The whole idea of God's truth is very close to my heart, and it irks me when Christians seem to search for fun and excitement, throwing out truth completely.

It is because of this trend that the church is no different from the world. In fact, in most cases it looks just like the world.

The church, therefore, has become a mere alternative to what the world offers. It is like going to the store, and there are 10 different Colas to choose from. The church has become a mere item on the cosmic shelf of ideas. It is an item among other items, with no value that sets it apart from the other items.

The church has forgotten that it is not just an alternative among many other alternatives, but it is the only item in the store! If this item is passed by, people will die. It is the only item that promises life.

What the church has to offer is not just an alternative vitamin among vitamins, it has the message of life itself.

I'll stop babbling!

donsands said...

"But Christians of all people ought to be most willing to live and die for the truth."

Amen. And many have died. And their dying is just the opposite of how Moslems blow themselves up for their false god.
Christians lay down their lives willingly for Christ and His truth, when in fact they could keep their lives, if they would simply acquiesce to their persecutors demands many times.

There's one Christian martyr long ago who was called before Ceasar and a false idol was set before him to acknowledge along with Christ, and if he did so he would be set free.
He reached out and kicked the idol over and would not deny Christ.
They immediately severed his foot and through him into his cell, where he died a couple days later.
I read this in Foxes Book of Martyrs.

Daryl said...

"if you are one of those who questions whether truth is really important, please don't call your belief system "Christianity" because that's not what it is."

It seems to me that we need to hear the church saying things like that more often.

pastorbrianculver said...

or as Mormons might say, what is true today might not be true tomorrow. What was true 100 years ago is not true now. All of the sayings of Joseph Smith have pretty much gone out the window and yet they still follow him!

4given said...

We have a neighborhood Bible study in the book of James. One of the attendees is vehemently emergent. His intensity towards uncertainty is rather disheartening. He wants everyone to just admit that they could possibly be wrong about everything they believe. He confesses proudly that he has spent the last year "unlearning" everything he has ever learned about Christianity.
His latest kick is that since every person is made in the image of God, all man has to do is manage his desires. When my husband brought up the issue of original sin and that we are born into sin he about jumped down Jon's throat.
After the study, he suggested that the men of the group all get together, along with their sons, and teach them what it is to be a man in today's culture.
How can that be taught alongside someone who's truth is relative? What is it to be a man? And how is the culture of today relevant to such a discussion? Isn't God's truth sufficiently relevant to all cultures past, present, and future? If not, why even read the Bible?

centuri0n said...

Lisa --

The next time he jumps down someone's throat over biblical anthropology, you should get him a glass of water and a snack, and suggest to him that he might be wrong -- he should have a little humility.

And you would have an advantage: he wants you to have humility toward his at-best fallible opinion, and you're asking him to have humility toward (in the worst case) what the disciples of messengers of Jesus wrote, which is (in the best case) the very word of God.

The latter demands a little humility; the former (his position) is simply bullying. Don't be bullied by the humility police.

Chris Hemmelman said...

4Given,

I once had a friend, who is "Emergent," get so angry at me he said he wanted to punch the wall. What did I tell him? That Scripture is understandable! It was crazy too, he went from calm to angry in about half a second.


MacArthur writes: "Here is the reason why once someone denies God, logical consistency will ultimately force that person to deny all truth." This is a point that Emergents fail to understand, Postmodernism at its core is the deconstruction of truth (denial of God) in order to throw off authority.

It's philosophical heart is rebellion. Why should, or would, the church embrace such a mindset?

Emergents can spin this all they want, but the bottom line is that they are either willfully ignorant or too intellectually immature to see the heart of the philosophy they are embracing (unless ofcourse they are a a disciple of McLaren, then you have to factor in the Marxism :).

pastorbrianculver said...

excellent advice centuri0n!

donsands said...

"He confesses proudly that he has spent the last year "unlearning" everything he has ever learned about Christianity."

I had a couple thoughts when I read this.

That's not the Holy Spirit of truth and love.

Not every spirit is of God.

"Beloved, trust not every spirit, but prove the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1

"If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed". 2 John 10

Sometimes we need to ask people to leave. It should perhaps be rare, and perhaps not in this case, but it's something we need to consider.

steve said...

One of the attendees is vehemently emergent. His intensity towards uncertainty is rather disheartening. He wants everyone to just admit that they could possibly be wrong about everything they believe. He confesses proudly that he has spent the last year "unlearning" everything he has ever learned about Christianity.

Given the way ECers extol uncertainty and doubt, you would never know they follow the One who declared, without equivocation, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."

Nor would you know they profess to represent a faith that unashamedly proclaims it alone has the answers to life's problems, it alone offers hope in a world filled with despair, it alone is a rock upon which one can stand secure while everything else is sinking sand, and it alone is truth because God Himself is truth.

We can only hope that unbelievers who are considering Christianity will not be misled by these so-called missional purveyors of doubt and will take the time to read the Bible and get to know its claims regarding truth and certainty.

4given said...

Jon and I have come to see firsthand through this Bible study even more of the reality of the truth war. It has been rather painful. My husband does well, by the grace of God, to speak the truth in love. He has exemplified the Word of God in this matter, especially in light of 2 Timothy 2:24-26.
I have come to respect my husband more deeply in the midst of this truth war. I find myself, instead of speaking up with my husband, praying that the Lord will continue to give him the words to speak and the strength to speak them. He is a quiet man, but the Lord has given Him a heart for God's truth that he speaks with a heartbroken love when it is twisted.
We both have much to learn and I appreciate your insight. We would even more appreciate your prayers.
An older man in the study spoke up that night. He said, "You two men appear to come from opposite ends of the spectrum. Both cannot be true." He then spoke graciously about why he agreed with my husband.
So much to think about here because we deeply care for this family.

marc said...

What,
The emergent church is still here? I've been away for a year and I was sure it would be gone by now.

DJP said...

Is that you, Heinrich, you punk?

stratagem said...

I am always struck that Emer***s want to be the ones to determine what is truth. They sure don't want God to do it, because then their rebellion would have to come to an end.

The natural result of 1960s rebellion, visited to the third and fourth generations.

SolaMeanie said...

"Having a form of godliness, but denying the power . . . "

The more and more I see, I tend to think that the worst of the Emergent Church is just an attempt to dress up agnosticism in spiritual garb. It's also very much a sign of the times.

donsands said...

"We would even more appreciate your prayers."

That's when the love, power, and sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7) seize our souls, when we pray, and have others praying for us. (Heb. 4:16)(James 5:16)(Eph. 6:18-19)

Keep on.

Justin Walker said...

Just a thought...

After reading 1 Timothy and Paul's identification of himself in 1 Timothy 2:7 as a "...a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth," why would anyone want to "preach" if there wasn't such a thing as truth. How many times does the scripture make refernece to faith as being that which unites the child of God to the Saviour? How can a person then have faith (believe) if they have no sure foundation of truth? No truth-No faith-no possible foundation for salvation. This emergent philosophy seems so contrary to logic. I can not, for the life of me, understand the appeal. There is no attraction to my mind in the unknowable. I greatly enjoyed Truth War and pray that it would be used by God to restore a desire for knowing truth to those who are wavering on these issues so that "we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life."

Daniel Portela said...

Chris Hemmelman quoted and wrote:

MacArthur writes: "Here is the reason why once someone denies God, logical consistency will ultimately force that person to deny all truth." This is a point that Emergents fail to understand, Postmodernism at its core is the deconstruction of truth (denial of God) in order to throw off authority.

Regarding MacArthur´s remark about logic: what if those people who denied God had chucked out regular logic altogether? They could still deny God´s authority revealed in Scripture but still say that truth exists in some way or another.

I think that is why we reformed folk have such a hard time dialoguing with Emergents. We use logic stemming from the Word of God. They attempt to use logic stemming from uncertainty (which in fact shouldn´t even be called logic).

Anyways, reformed greetings from Brazil, where the Emergents have not yet settled down (at present our greatest battles are still against Open Theism).

Daniel Portela

The Seeking Disciple said...

THE TRUTH WAR is one of the best books that I have read in some time. Dr. MacArthur hits a real nerve for those of us committed to the authority and inerrancy of Scripture. If one holds to this foundation then I don't see how one would not want to defend the truth of God. It is worth dying for and many have.

Sadly, as the book points out, too many are not willing to stand for the truth of Scripture nor are many even embracing such a notion. The emergent church wants to destroy this foundation but we must guard the truth (2 Timothy 4:1-6).

My prayer is that the true Church of God will stand firm for the Word of God against the errors of so many around us.

Daniel Portela said...

In my previous comment I mentioned that we here in Brazil are not yet engaged full tilt with battling the Emergent Church, or trying to dialogue with it as it is not yet come to Brazil. But this is only a matter of time, as evangelical thinking in Brazil is heavily influenced by the trends in American Theology. So, in my prediction, we will be having this battle in a couple of months/years in Brazil .

That said, it would be extremely helpful to have the Brazilian church leaders already prepared for this, and for them to have their churches instructed already on the core issues. How can this be done (and I leave this open if anyone has any more pointers)? Here are a couple of suggestions:

1) Well, for starters, we need to get the good reformed materials published in the local language - portuguese (Perhaps Phil can help us out on that one.) What usually happens is that good books (especially of the reformed kind) take more than 3 or 4 years to be translated and published in Brazil. The majority of folk do not know english well enough to read the books as they are. This is not only for pastors and church members, but especially for the seminary students who will probably face this stuff as well.

2) It would also be good to have some conferences and gatherings here in Brazil about the subject. Would the Pyros have any breaks in their agenda for a quick trip to Brazil? :-)

In reality this applies to most other countries where the Emergents have not yet landed. If truth is so important we should fight for it, then we should also start thinking of ways to win the fight before it starts.

Hope I am not too off topic here. :-)

Regards,

Daniel Portela

chicagolandmark said...

Clearly, the existence of absolute truth and its inseparable relationship to the person of God is the most essential tenet of all truly biblical Christianity. Speaking plainly: if you are one of those who questions whether truth is really important, please don't call your belief system "Christianity" because that's not what it is.

I couldn't agree more. I would, however, up the ante. It is long overdue that believers stop referring to such people as Christians. With all due respect to charity, and with unapologetic rejection of political correctness, there is nothing wrong with calling an apostate an apostate, or an unbeliever an unbeliever. I think that our corporate unwillingness to do so has damaged the Church and greatly benefitted our adversaries.

S.J. Walker said...

seeking disciple,

good day Bro, haven't seen you in awhile at the lion's den.

keep it up Brother,

so long

Drew isn't here yet, so I'm leaving now.

Gid bless all here

4given said...

It has been so good to read through this "conversation"

My teen boys are taking an intense logic class at their classical christian academy. They have a tendency now to point out the syllogisms within a sermon and within Scripture. This has helped them articulate truth as they study the principles of correct reasoning. Especially when they are faced with defending their faith, sharpening their critical thinking.
The emergents logic concerning truth is inconsistent, invalid, incomplete and unsound. What is true for one person cannot be true for another if the truth they hold is opposite from the other truth. Therefore, relative truth is invalid. Logically speaking, there MUST be an absolute truth from which to gage all claims of truth. Truth, logically speaking, MUST be knowable and applicable and revealed to truly BE truth.

"...for the sake of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever..." 2 John 1:2

S.J. Walker said...

I meant "GOD" bless all here.

So sorry.

stratagem said...

Daniel: Well, you really are taking my "pre-emergent herbicide" photo to heart, in heading these guys off at the pass. :-)

Seriously, I'm surprised that Emerg*** would be able to exist in a culture that isn't pampered-silly, such as we are in the USA.

SolaMeanie said...

4given,

Good to see you posting again.

It seems that pomos get a huge endorphin rush whenever they say the words "unknowable" or "uncertain." It's really hard for logic to compete with an endorphin rush. In some circles, I wouldn't be surprised if peyote was being used.

Kidding aside, The EC keeps talking about our finite minds, but they really insult the Holy Spirit by implying that He is incapable of revealing truth to His people. It's sad.

BTW, is it just me or is there a graphic problem with this post? The red box containing John's excerpt from "The Truth War" is running underneath the sidebar on the right.

David said...

"Clearly, the existence of absolute truth and its inseparable relationship to the person of God is the most essential tenet of all truly biblical Christianity."

In essence, those that do not seek absolute truth that is bonded in the person of God is setting up an idol for themselves and breaking the 2nd commandment. To deny truth because you claim to not fully comprehend or understand what it means is to deny the God of the bible. If you do that you are setting up a god in your mind based on finite intellect. My friend you have a very small god.

I love this quote from Augistine: " we believe in order to understand, and our faith in turn is fed and strengthened as we gain better understanding. Both faith in God as He has revealed Himself and the understanding wrought by faith are therefore essential if we hope to apprehend truth in any serious and meaningful sense."

Daniel Portela said...

stratagem,

Can we import the Pre-Emergent Herbicide? :-)

Brazilian Culture is very much a copy-cat of american culture (of course with some different elements, but being pampered is surely a reality here as well).

Daniel

Phil Johnson said...

Stratagem: "Seriously, I'm surprised that Emerg*** would be able to exist in a culture that isn't pampered-silly, such as we are in the USA."

Don't kid yourself. Remember that the prosperity gospel of Benny Hinn is wildly popular in undeveloped African countries. It makes little sense in such a culture, but there you have it.

And the first time I ever saw the emerging-postmodern twist on evangelicalism up close was in India, almost 15 years ago. A group of seminarians were holding a "youth rally" in which the music was a Smashing Pumpkins song replete with foul language, and the message and testimonies were full of sanctimonious postmodern uncertainties.

If you think about it, postmodernism makes no sense (from a biblical perspective) in any culture. But it feeds on the spirit of rebellion in the fallen human heart, and it's taking advantage of the fact that for nearly a century (or more), the gospel has been systematically toned-down, dumbed-down, and muted even in the best of churches. So churches are jammed with people who come to be entertained but have never really surrendered to the lordship of Christ.

Unleash the illusion of postmodern "Christianity" in an environment like that and you will have no end of takers.

Daniel:

I've actually talked with Rich Denham about coming to Brasil. Editorial Fiel have published several of JFM's books in Portuguese, and I'm hoping we can get a Portuguese translation of the study Bible going. So perhaps one of these days. . .

pastorbrianculver said...

There is a girl who comes to my blog and she is from Taiwan. She said it amazes her how much Rick Warren, Bill Hybels and McClaren (sp?) have infiltrated the culture over there. She said she goes out into the streets to talk about Jesus and the people take it all in. They want to hear about Jesus and they are not offended when you present God's Law to them!

S.J. Walker said...

While we're on the subject.

I would highly reccomend Vaudie Baucham's (sp?) book "The ever Loving Truth". I bought while at the True Church Conference in AL last summer.

Good read.

S.J. Walker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Puritan said...

It’s so hard witnessing to an emergent as it’s as if they’re inoculated to the Gospel. At first I see emergent’s claiming to be Christians but openly and proudly walking in sin. But when I open my Bible to show them their error, it’s no use as they clearly reject the authority of Scripture.

SolaMeanie said...

I normally don't post things out of my own "comments" section on other blogs, but I am going to post below the comment I received today from an Emergent-friendly 19-year-old in Ireland. It is yet another illustration of emoting taking the place of reasoned Scriptural discourse. It is posted verbatim with no editing:

I don't understand why your wirting has to be so divisve to the body of Christ. The church. You are constantly creating an "us and them" mentality...It begs me to ask can the eye do the job of the ear? Does the body not need to be complete. I don't understand why you are constantly drawing out the flaws of the emergent movement, when the fundamentalists and conservative christians have just as many faults of there own surely?

Perhaps not...


How many times have we seen rejoinders like this? How many times have we answered objections such as these with clear biblical responses? And yet the same old hairballs keep coming up the tube no matter how much mineral oil we spoon out. It's enough to drive one perfectly frantic.

stratagem said...

Phil: I always assumed that it was because Westerners are accustomed to be catered to in all areas of life. But, perhaps you are right and it's just the spirit of the age, everywhere.

jason said...

great blog. keep it up

Father of Eleven said...

stratagem,

I think it is not anything that new. Was it not the serpent that said "Did God actually say?" Questioning God's word has been around for a long time.

David said...

It is not just the emergents that suffer from having a right view of truth.

Many catholics suffer from the god is love and works righteousness gospel, or that since the Bible is written by men it can not be true theory, methodists that hold views of theistic evolution, Jehovah Witness's and Mormon's and their cultic doctrines, the seeker sensitive types and the universalist espousing everyone is going to heaven. There are even doctrinally sound ON PAPER reformed type churches that are more concerned with church growth strategies than pointing hearts and lost souls to the saviour.

The battle for truth crosses all denominations, all cultures and all beliefs.

stratagem said...

'Padre de Once': I suppose that is true. Sure seems like an epidemic these days, though. I lived in various branches of the evangelical church for decades and never encountered anything as "out there" as Emerg*** is, even once. Then, 2003 came and suddenly Christians around me were falling off the wagon, right and left. I read "Above All Earthly Pow'rs" to try to understand it. Now I understand what Emerg*** is, but still don't understand it, if you know what I mean.

Joe Holstein (I mean, Joel Olsteen)'s appeal is easier for me to understand because he promises white trash a new Beemer if they rub their Jesus Genie just right. (As long as one sets aside the fact that Joel's message assumes God is a guy who is so dumb that he's easily manipulated by us).

The only thing I can figure about Emerg***'s appeal is: Some people just have a hard time being in tension with others, and Emerg*** allows them to agree with everyone and be everyone's buddy. No angst, hakuna matata. I am no theological genius like Phil, so that's all I can figure about it. Adios.

Puritan said...

David. The Catholic church is not another denomination. It's another religion. As is the emergent.

Drew said...

Please explain why I am a different religion than Christianity.

Lance Roberts said...

Because Emergent doesn't accept the authority of scripture, which is what proclaims Jesus Christ.

Deny scripture, deny Christ.

Drew said...

So that is why Catholics aren't Christian, either?

Drew said...

So when thousands were baptized in acts, what religion were they baptized into? They didn't hold most the the New Testament (which hadn't been written) as authoritative.

Do you believe that they were baptized into the emerging church? the Catholic church?

Or did they supernaturally know ahead of time what scripture would be, and believe it before it was written?

Or have the rules about who is and who isn't a Christian changed?

Lance Roberts said...

The Catholic belief is that there is more than scripture, they also add works to grace as necessary. Christianity isn't defined as believing scripture, but not believing scripture is one of the indicators that separates the wheat from the chaff.

The apostles had the special revelation for their unique time, after that revelation comes from scripture, revealed by the Holy Spirit.

Drew said...

Did the converts of the apostles get special revelation, too?

Drew said...

And where, from scripture, did you get this information? Or did you get it from another authority?

Phil Johnson said...

To all:

Please don't get sucked into silly repartee with issues that are only obliquely connected to the post topic. Remember the rule about staying on topic.

And to those who cannot resist answering taunting-style questions, please answer them with substance and not in kind. Our friend Drew has managed to derail several comment-threads over the past two weeks. If we're going to have a legitimate conversation, let's have it, and enough of this tit-for-tat "so's your old man"-style rebuttals.

Drew said...

there have been about 45 comments dog piling on emergents. Perhaps my questions were a bit "taunting," but stating that I am not a Christian was (as well as that I am inconsistent, reject biblical authority, rebellious, and walking in sin).

Rather than simply say back, "no, you are inconsistent and reject scripture," I asked some questions, and in doing so, am allowing you to demonstrate that the ones making these accusations have many of the same problems they perceive in me.

Drew said...

whoops. didn't finish a sentence. please insert "plainly insulting" after my parenthesis.

Phil Johnson said...

Drew:

I didn't see anyone state that you personally are not a Christian. I'm certainly not in a position to judge the state of your soul, nor would I hazard a guess if asked. But you do seem to have some seriously unbiblical ideas in your thinking.

However, I think the point being made here, explained by the above post, is that the Emergent/postmodern ambivalence about truth and certainty is a fruit of secular and anti-christian (rather than Christian and biblical) beliefs about what truth is, how we know it, and who determines it.

Which is not necessarily the same thing as saying everyone affiliated with Emergent is hellbound.

But it is most definitely to say that the trajectory of the movement is a serious concern, and I frankly cannot understand why anyone who professes to believe the Bible is true and Jesus is Lord would be the least bit sympathetic to the glorification of uncertainty we see in that movement--especially when it comes to core Christian doctrines such as the authority and infallibility of Scripture, the exclusivity of Christ, the reality of eternal punishment, and a host of other truths clearly taught in Scripture.

Drew said...

Nobody stated that I personally was not a Christian, but it was stated that the emerging church is a different religion than Christianity.

If one believes this, and the exclusivity of Christ, than it does, in fact, imply that I (and many of my friends) are hell bound.

Now, if I was, in fact, hell bound, than the best thing that you could do would be to demonstrate to me that I am.

But I do not see that happening. What I have seen, for the past week is that emergents hate truth and love uncertainty. While this may be true of a few on the fringes (although, to be honest, I can't think of anybody like this), it is not true for the vast majority of us.

More than anything else, we come out of an evangelical background (this is not true of all of us, but it is true of me). I was taught to love truth, and seek truth, and that truth is found in God. We found that evangelicalism grasped a part of God's truth, but didn't work as a whole, coherent system. When we looked at other ways of understanding God's truth (and I'm using we loosely here, its not like we were a team moving from one things to another en masse), we also found them to be lacking. In fact, we found that nobody--especially not us, could totally grasp God's truth.

We don't LOVE uncertainty, we admit it. We know somethings, but one of things that I know personally is that I've been wrong before (at least I think I know that . . ., hehe) so we speak carefully.

Does the Spirit show us truth? Absolutely, but he doesn't work with me one on one, and we certainly haven't identified one institution that has an exclusive deal. So we value conversation, and community. Does conversation guarantee truth? No! But it is an important corrective.

I guess I've been snarky because I don't get how you all can't see the problems in your system that I have seen. Please forgive me if I have been uncharitable. I do not want to be. It's not that I don't like you--I don't even know you. I am dealing with my own roots. Ones that I struggle with, yes, but also ones that I love very much--I met Jesus through evangelicalism, and for that I am forever in debt.

My wife has already told me, "whatever you are typing is too long," and she is right. That's all for now.

ezekiel said...

Drew,

"So when thousands were baptized in acts, what religion were they baptized into? They didn't hold most the the New Testament (which hadn't been written) as authoritative."

Acts 10:44 While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. 45 And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. 46 For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, 47 Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have? 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.

Do you believe that they were baptized into the emerging church? the Catholic church?

THE CHURCH. The Bride.

Or did they supernaturally know ahead of time what scripture would be, and believe it before it was written?

All scripture testifies of The Christ. So does the Holy Spirit. I know you don't like 1 John 5 but...

This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. 9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. 11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Or have the rules about who is and who isn't a Christian changed?

No, the rules haven't changed no matter how much folks want to change them. If one is indwelled with the Holy Spirit and Christ, the WORD abides in him and he abides in the WORD he is a Christian.

That is what is so damnable about all this doubt. He is Risen and His spirit is in us and we are in Him or we are not. No question. No debate. No doubt. Truth. Certain Truth.

ezekiel said...

Drew,

Then you pop up and tell us you are not a christian. If the Spirit doesn't work with you one on one, how can you claim to be a christian? You tell us The Church is not an institution with an exclusive deal. And then tell us you like conversation, and community. You can get community and conversation at Starbucks.

Does the Spirit show us truth? Absolutely, but he doesn't work with me one on one, and we certainly haven't identified one institution that has an exclusive deal. So we value conversation, and community. Does conversation guarantee truth? No! But it is an important corrective.

ezekiel said...

Drew,

"I am dealing with my own roots."

You would do well to return to them.

This sounds personal and one on one to me....

Romans 8:8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

anon said...

Drew,

Please read 1 John 2:27. You say that the Spirit doesn't work with you one on one. How can that be when scripture clearly and lucidly says that He (the Spirit) does. A genuine believer does has reason to wonder if you are authentically saved. That is the most wonderful part of being a Christian......the Holy Spirit living inside you.

The whole foundation of the Christian faith is in the person of Jesus Christ resulting in a personal, intimate relationship with Him through fellowship with the Holy Spirit who comes to indwell you when you repent of your sins and confess with your mouth Jesus Christ as Lord. He is intrinsic to your being as the Apostle Paul said....."It is no longer I who live, but Christ liveth in me".....Galatians 2:20

I know you are up there in Buffalo and you are from Pittsburg and I know it's cold up there for I am somewhere in between. But I sure hope and pray that you would desire to know God as the Apostle Paul did when he said in Phillipians 3:10......"that I may know Him"........until then one truly "neglets so great a salvation"......Hebrews 2:3

Drew said...


Then you pop up and tell us you are not a christian. If the Spirit doesn't work with you one on one, how can you claim to be a christian? You tell us The Church is not an institution with an exclusive deal. And then tell us you like conversation, and community. You can get community and conversation at Starbucks.

What I mean to say is, "me exclusively." The Spirit does work on me "one on one," but I don't know its the Spirit until I examine it with scripture and other Christians.

I should have also clarified what I meant by institution. The church is not contained in any visible institution. Of course, I don't think the church has an exclusive deal with the Spirit, either--it blows where it will, and works in those outside the church to draw them in, but it certainly has a special deal.

My own roots require me to assent to things that I know not to be true to be apart of their community. Because I care about truth, I cannot go back.

And Ezekiel, I agree with the first question that you answered--I was responding to somebody who implied that one had to submit to an authority other than the WORD to be a Christian.

SolaMeanie said...

For my pomo-Christians out there. Come, let us reason together.

Scripture itself defines what constitutes a Christian, and what one must do to be saved. In fact, the references are all over the place. It's not like reading the blueprints to Three Mile Island, no matter how complicated some would have you believe it is. Jesus said even a child could understand it.

Those who have been truly born again have the seal and the witness of the Holy Spirit. The Apostle John also had this to say. Pay close attention:

"I write these things that you may KNOW you have eternal life."

Was John lying when he said we could know we have eternal life? I think not. But if you doubt the testimony of Scripture, what does that tell you about the state of your own faith?

Next, what is said about those who doubt? James, the Lord's brother, said "one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord."

How about the writer of Hebrews? And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).

Can you not see why postmodern epistemology does such violence to the truths of Scripture? Doubt and unbelief are not things to be celebrated. When you doubt God's Word, you call Him a liar. That's unpleasant to write, and probably unpleasant for you to hear, but so it is.

It is one thing for us as Christians to understand that we must communicate with a postmodern culture. It is quite another thing to adopt postmodern ideas ourselves and think that's a biblical witness. It is not. We are to conform ourselves to a biblical worldview, not conform the church or the Bible to the world's prevailing winds. We are to confront the culture, not parrot it.

I don't think it is possible for me to be any clearer. I would write it in Sesame Street lingo if I thought it would work. It's really not that hard.

Think about this as an aside. Some like to argue that objective truth is a modern concept. Silly and beyond silly. Objective truth was around long before some philosophy class got around to trying to label and date it.

wordsmith said...

Drew,

None of us are saying that evangelicalism has it all together, or that our churches are without problems. What we are saying is that the emerg**** cure is worse than the disease. McLaren, Pagitt, et al., hurt the body of Christ more than any help they might happen to give.

The only solution to be found is in Scripture - and whenever anyone (Roman Catholicism, emerg****, whatever) cuts themselves loose from Scripture, they've cut themselves loose from any hope.

Phil Johnson said...

Drew: "and we certainly haven't identified one institution that has an exclusive deal. So we value conversation, and community. Does conversation guarantee truth? No! But it is an important corrective."

Jesus said His Word is truth. If you believed that, you'd see the serious problems with the postmodern "conversation," which is no "corrective" at all but a serious impediment to the truth, because of its admitted inability to separate truth from falsehood.

ezekiel said...

Drew,

I think you put way too much emphasis on community. The community of your roots, you now find to have some untruths....and so what do you do but seek another community where you can find refuge. A community where there are no absolutes, no error, no need for correction and no one really doing anything wrong...because the community is defined as having no rules. No absolutes.

Rather than take a stand on the WORD and show them where they are wrong. Teach them. Contend for the faith. Show them where they are practicing religion and worshipping idols, the work of man's hands. Make them throw you out....dust off your shoes...

Man has been building churches forever. Shortly afte Noah, it was the tower of Babel, In Israel's days they were called high places....and they have been wrought with error and idols ever since. All because we seek "community" and "conversation" and we are willing to tolerate dumbing down, poor doctrine and falsehood for the sake of maintaining unity in the same.

What we as Christians are called to be are Disciples of Christ. And He came as a sword to divide (Matt 10:34.) Not unlike Elijah. Ever wonder why Jesus met with Elijah and Moses on the mountain? (Mark 9:4).

I would venture to say that if you can find a community that is seemingly at peace and everyone appears to be in total unity, you will find they are either worshipping the pastor, the building, both, or they have so dumbed down the doctrine, the teaching, that nothing offends anyone anymore.

I challenge you to show me a church (one with believers and unbelievers and everyone spiritually matured to the same level). Until you can get that, there has to be disagreement, and discussion centered around the WORD and reproof, correction and training will be the buzz words.(2 Tim 3:16) Not what we are hearing from the emergents these days.

Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Don't make the mistake that seems easy to make. When you start getting into the WORD, abiding in Him and Him abiding in you, the "religion" you grew up with, you call them "untruths", begins to reveal itself to you. That is spiritual discernment the way it is intended. You start questioning man's tradition and start seeing how the legalists and the folks practicing religion without reading the WORD have missed it.

The answer is to get deeper into the WORD and start contending for the faith. Show, teach, rebuke, correct and train up...not abandon the community so desperately in need of these things to join a community where most anything goes all in the name of Christ.

You can't reprove, rebuke or correct if there is no rules requiring them. That is where the accuser would want us to be. Creating our own doctrine, our own religion and denying the power....At that point one has seriously lost his way. Rather than contending for the faith he has abandoned it. Now he doesn't know what he believes and is willing to change even that if anyone gets offended...

I would suggest simply reading the WORD, front to back again and again until you start to develop context and most of all, assurance. Blessed assurance. Free of any doubt. How else can one "abide in the WORD"? Abide in Him?

S.J. Walker said...

Phil,

Does the name Drew mean "monopoly"?

Just wondering.

Drew, I'm not going to post a dissertation here, you can go to my own blog to contend whatever it is you contend with me there. I wrote some thoughts today on this very subject. One suggestion. Instead of coming here, or there, and saying you piece in your inimitable way, I have a challenge for you.

If you want to prove me wrong in my claim and belief that you deny the sufficiency of Scripture, show me what it can do through you.

I will not allow a single comment that does not have correlative Biblical text, preferably more than one verse for safety's sake. Sound good?

If I don't hear from you at all, I will assume my presumptions correct.

If you cannot cite Biblical, contextual(in the good way) text to support any and every claim, I will assume my presumptions correct.

If you cannot cite Scripture at all even out of Biblical context, you get the idea.

If I/we are indeed wrong, I challenge, no, I beg you to prove it. Because everything said thus far contradicts what you would deny.

Impacted Wisdom Truth said...

Genesis 3:1

Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Indeed, has God said, 'You shall not eat from any tree of the garden'?"

That is the thing that bugs me most about the "Emergent" church movement. It seems that all they have done is to raise "Indeed, has God said" to the level of a theological (?) system, with tragic results.

polycarp said...

Drew,

Can you say: R E B E L L I O N ?

That's what the EC is all about. Please stop kidding yourself, and please stop creating minutia-centered "derailments" of the discussions, as Phil appropriately called your annoying and silly little attempts to distract from the big issues under discussion posed by solid and mature men of God like Dr. MacArthur, in order for you to look closely at the major forms of incompatability--from logical to theological to philosophical--that exist between the pagan-originated EC/postmodern rebellion and the Christianity of the Bible.

You folks can try to dress it up in Christian garb, but the spirit that drives the Emergent Church Movement is the same that drove so many other destructive movements in Berkley and SF during the late 1960's: R E B E L L I O N.

However, it should be noted that perhaps the ONLY difference between many of those liberals on the Berkley campus back then and you EC liberals today is a significant difference in IQ, as they may have been poorly mistaken about most of what they believed (as ECer's are), but in a worldly sort of way they were rather brainy...which, sadly, I cannot say is the same for most among your set my friend. Just silly, immature, and rebellious children who know absolutely nothing of God's soveriegnty, true wisdom, or or the value of Truth.

NOTE: my refusal to recognize and/or respect the silly "ing/ent" suffix distinctions you ECer's so often demand of people is entirely intentional, so there is no need to correct me. I say emering or emergent whenever I please, because they are both the same, as they both refer to the same rebellious apostacy.

In short: when you EC'ers stop being "rebels without a cause" and submit to the authority of God and His Word, you'll have no need to continue your immature game that is the emergent church.

Drew said...

Sola: I agree with you that scripture tells who a Christian is. My argument was with somebody who said that A Christian is somebody who holds scripture as authoritative. Ironically, this is not found in scripture.

Because I hold scripture as authoritative, I cannot accept that definition.

wordsmith. You wrote:


The only solution to be found is in Scripture - and whenever anyone (Roman Catholicism, emerg****, whatever) cuts themselves loose from Scripture, they've cut themselves loose from any hope.


Thankfully, I have not done so, and neither has anybody that I know in the EC.


PJ. You wrote:

Jesus said His Word is truth. If you believed that, you'd see the serious problems with the postmodern "conversation," which is no "corrective" at all but a serious impediment to the truth, because of its admitted inability to separate truth from falsehood.


Again, I do not believe that we have admitted such inability. I certainly haven't. I am driven by convictions of truth, scriptural truth.

That, by the way, is part of what I do every week. My church is split about 50/50 between conservatives and liberals. I cannot share with them what I think or what some movement thinks. Everything must be rooted in scripture--that way, when I preach a "hard word" (and I do) and people get upset (which they do), I can point back to scripture as what they are struggling with, not me.

Ezekiel. You wrote that I want to be a part of . . .

A community where there are no absolutes, no error, no need for correction and no one really doing anything wrong...because the community is defined as having no rules. No absolutes.


I have no idea how you got this. I am a Presbyterian, and our book of confession/book of order is full of absolutes, shalls, and musts, that we all deal with. There is PLENTY of correction. All we ever do is argue with one another. I am not saying that this is a good thing, but I am saying that whatever community you thought I was in, I am not.


And the community I grew up in is Evangelicalism. My participation here on the board is part of the "reproving, etc." that you recommend that I do.

S.J. Thanks for the assignment. You are good at that. I will read your blog if I have time. As you can see, I have many people to answer here, and I have other, "real life" things to do as well.

Polycarp. Yes, I can say that. Some things are worth rebelling against.

You wrote:

when you EC'ers stop being "rebels without a cause" and submit to the authority of God and His Word, you'll have no need to continue your immature game that is the emergent church.


We have a cause, it's the mission of God as revealed in the person of Jesus Christ and in scripture. We are seeking to submit to God's authority, as revealed in his word.

Have I said that already?

I'll be back tongiht.

ezekiel said...

Drew,

I got the two community idea from your post. The first community is the one you came out of and the "WE" is the community that you went into. The community that says "nobody...especially not us, could totally grasp God's truth"

"More than anything else, we come out of an evangelical background (this is not true of all of us, but it is true of me). I was taught to love truth, and seek truth, and that truth is found in God. We found that evangelicalism grasped a part of God's truth, but didn't work as a whole, coherent system. When we looked at other ways of understanding God's truth (and I'm using we loosely here, its not like we were a team moving from one things to another en masse), we also found them to be lacking. In fact, we found that nobody--especially not us, could totally grasp God's truth."

John 8:31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.


Do you also have trouble totally "grasping" grace?

John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

How does a community "grasp" grace and not truth?

I can see by your reply that your problem is the fence you are sitting on. 50% conservative and 50% liberal. You are still halting between 2 opinions. Now wonder you are confused. Creating a doctrine to allow you to appease both is just what we are talking about, a double minded man.

pastorbrianculver said...

Good point Ezekiel!

stratagem said...

Drew: Leaving the EC out of it for a moment, do you personally believe that it is possible for one to obtain the gift of eternal life through any means other than Jesus Christ?

Drew said...

Ezekiel. I am of one mind, and it is seeking to please neither party, but God, as revealed in Jesus Christ and scripture.

And God's grace, like God's truth, is way to big for me to grasp. I can experience it, but it is incomprehensible that God would love and choose such a person as me (or you, for that matter!)

Stratagem: I will appeal to the reformed confessional word of "ordinarily." Ordinarily, God gives eternal life through Jesus Christ. Which is to say, that is the way that we understand God to act, and that we believe God acts, but we believe that God is free to act however God wills.

Chris Hemmelman said...

"Ordinarily, God gives eternal life through Jesus Christ. Which is to say, that is the way that we understand God to act, and that we believe God acts, but we believe that God is free to act however God wills."


Yes, yes, the pious, God is so big he can save anyone he wants and do it however he wants. It sounds so faith-filled.

C'mon Drew, statements like that are only masks for those who wish to explore Salvation outside of Christ. I'm not accusing you of doing this (and I hope you are not) but I am calling you on using the terminology.

When has anyone ever made a statement like that and at the same time proclaimed, without equivocation, the exclusivity of Christ?

Lance Roberts said...

do you personally believe that it is possible for one to obtain the gift of eternal life through any means other than Jesus Christ?


I will appeal to the reformed confessional word of "ordinarily." Ordinarily, God gives eternal life through Jesus Christ. Which is to say, that is the way that we understand God to act, and that we believe God acts, but we believe that God is free to act however God wills.

So do you not believe the scripture where God has told us the constraint on salvation: John 14:6 - Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Drew said...

I proclaim Christ, without equivocation, like many reformed Christians before me, even while I respect God's freedom to do as God pleases.

Again, I believe that it is God's pleasure to save all who are saved through Christ, and that God does, in fact, do just that, but at the same time, God is free to do as God chooses.

Chris Hemmelman said...

"Again, I believe that it is God's pleasure to save all who are saved through Christ, and that God does, in fact, do just that, but at the same time, God is free to do as God chooses."


Drew, do you recognize that you equivocated in this statement?

Question for you, in all seriousness, do you believe that a person can be saved apart from Christ. Even more, do you believe God can/does save anyone apart from Christ

Mike Riccardi said...

God is free to do as God chooses.

So what of the fact that God has already decisively declared how He will always choose in this regard; that being that salvation is in Christ alone?

Chris Hemmelman said...

Man, I left out the question marks in my questions. Forgive my grammar mistakes. :)

Daryl said...

Chris,

I'd clarify that even further. EC'ers have been heard to say that no one can be saved apart from Christ, even if they're not aware of him.

Perhaps the question could be:

Do you believe that anyone can be saved apart from the knowledge (there's that word) of Christ and his work done on behalf of his people.

Chris Hemmelman said...

Darly,

Excellent point, I completely concur.

Chris Hemmelman said...

Man, I misspelled Daryl. I am having a rough day with the keyboard.

Drew said...


Question for you, in all seriousness, do you believe that a person can be saved apart from Christ. Even more, do you believe God can/does save anyone apart from Christ

Yes to the first question. As for your second question: Can, yes, Does, no.

Daryl asked:
Do you believe that anyone can be saved apart from the knowledge (there's that word) of Christ and his work done on behalf of his people.

Yes. Not only can, but does. I believe that God predestines unborn people, disabled people, and other people that through no fault of their own, do not get the chance to know Christ and what Christ did. Do you believe that there is an intellectual requirement for salvation?

Mike, you asked:


So what of the fact that God has already decisively declared how He will always choose in this regard; that being that salvation is in Christ alone?


I take it seriously, and proclaim Christ as the way.

But God had proclaimed just judgment on Nineveh, and then showed mercy. Jonah got upset at God for not following the system that Jonah thought he should. But God is free to show mercy as he pleases, and I do not want to repeat Jonah's mistake.

I will act on what I know of God, and proclaim Christ as the way. If God wants to prove me wrong, who am I to complain?

Mike Riccardi said...

Drew,

You're hung up on the whole "God-can-do-anything" kick, even if it violates His own Word and character. When asked if God could create a rock so big that He can't pick it up, I imagine you'd say yes. That would be consistent with your comments, at least.

Let me ask you this then. If God wanted to, can He sin?

I'll assume you'd say no. If that's so, I believe your reason for saying no would be because God is bound to act within His own holiness. It's that same principle, though, that permits me to speak with absolute confidence and certainty that no one will be saved apart from Christ, because that's how God has decisively, definitively, and unmistakably declared He acts. To act differently then violates His own character and makes Him a liar.

I'm not forcing God to honor my theological system. I'm declaring that God Himself honors His own holiness.

And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved. -- Acts 4:12

Daryl said...

"I believe that God predestines unborn people, disabled people, and other people that through no fault of their own, do not get the chance to know Christ and what Christ did."

I won't argue the baby/disabled thing because Scripture is silent on that issue, I'll only say that God will do what is right and that encompasses either heaven of hell as a possible answer, neither of real concern to you and I as the right answer is clearly beyond our scope of information.

On the "and other people" thing, it sounds like you're making a bee-line for the poor tribesman in Africa line, which of course would ignore God's sovereignty in locating peoples birth-place in order that his people would hear the gospel.

I also would take issue with the line "through no fault of their own". Adam's sin, via imputation, is the fault of all of us so that category simply does not exist. *(Not to mentioned our own willful sin from day one). A reformed Christian like you have claimed to be should know that.

As well, as far as intellectual assent. No one can repent without some sort of intellectual assent to their own sinfulness, so yes,I do believe it is a requirement, although not the only one by any means (the trembling demons and all that).

Drew said...

Actually, I would say no because it would not be God invalidating his own holiness, but because when God did it, it would not be sin. Sin is a category for human actions. If I were to destroy the world with a flood, it would be sin. But it isn't when God does it.

I am hung up on the God can do what God wants to, because God's freedom is as much a part (from where I sit, at least) of his godliness and his holiness.

Besides that, you are assuming that when scripture is inconsistent. That God is inconsistent.

One only has to read the resurrection accounts to know that scripture gives different accounts of exactly what happened. Does this make God a liar? I don't think so. But I can't tell you for sure who was at the tomb and who wasn't. Do I think God resurrected Christ 4 different ways, changing his mind and making himself a liar? Of course not! God did it one way, and provided four different accounts, which agree on the most important point, (and quite a few others) that Christ rose from the dead.

Whether or not you are forcing God to honor your system, you are forcing scripture to do so, and that square peg does not fit into your round hole.

wordsmith said...

But God had proclaimed just judgment on Nineveh, and then showed mercy. Jonah got upset at God for not following the system that Jonah thought he should. But God is free to show mercy as he pleases, and I do not want to repeat Jonah's mistake.

Where do you come up with this stuff? Jonah preached the message God had given him; the people repented, and God relented of the judgment that He was going to send. How is this "not following the system"?

Do you realize that when you say stuff like "Well, God says XYZ in Scripture, but who am I to say that He might do something totally different?", it comes across that you're painting a rather capricious deity? Is that really the impression you wish to convey?

Daryl said...

Drew,

You can't honestly be saying the the gospels contradict each other can you? And then follow that up day saying you trust God to be true?

That doesn't follow, not even remotely.

Drew said...

Jonah 3:10
10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.

Does it really matter what kind of God I want to communicate? What matters is what kind of God he is.

But no, I don't really push these questions when I am sharing my faith. I stick to the Gospel. Most of what I am saying on this blog is in response to a post or comment.

Drew said...

Daryl, I don't think I have to outline the different accounts, I trust that you are a student of scripture.

Because of the difference in the accounts, I do not read any of the gospels as history as we define it. But the gospels are different than the Gospel. The Gospel is true. God is true.

Daryl said...

Different and Contradictory are not synonyms Drew.

I don't expect you to outline the accounts, however it is still true that a clear contradiction is a lie and one lie calls the whole Bible into question. You may never question the gospel over that, but the people you teach surely will.

Mike Riccardi said...

And how do you mean to separate God from Scripture?

Saying that if Scripture contradicts itself God does not necessarily contradict Himself deposes God as the author of Scripture, denies that it's His own Word, and violates a host of Scripture's own testimony of itself.

Drew said...

In the tomb, where Christ's body had been, there was either an angel, a man, two men, or just cloths.

Whichever one it is has no effect on the Gospel. I can either create a system to make sense of the discrepancy, or admit that I don't know EXACTLY what happened. Many have chosen the former, but it seem dishonest and unnecessary. I choose the latter.

Drew said...

Christ is the living Word, 100% human and 100% devine, the perfect unity of both.

Scripture, the living word, is of divine inspiration, recorded and interpreted. It is not divine or perfect unto itself. It is distinct from the living Word, but testifies to it.

Daryl said...

So either God flat out lied, or you aren't willing to do the math required to put different bits of information together into a coherent whole.
Is that rightly dividing the word or is it calling God deceptive or is it calling his words unnecessary?

It's gotta be one of those.

Daryl said...

"It is not divine or perfect unto itself."

So now we know what we long suspected. Scripture is, in fact, not God-breathed.

You're a pastor, right?

Drew said...

Does "God breathed" equal perfect? God breathed life into Adam, and yet Adam sinned.

I believe in rightly dividing the word, not calling God deceptive, or God's Word unnecessary.

And yes, I am a pastor.

Drew said...

Not to mention that much of the NT was not written when Paul wrote those words

S.J. Walker said...

Brothers,

I am not one to encourage another monopoly, but you may want to check out the conversation that is going on over at my blog on the post from yesterday.

Daryl said...

So, Drew, I really don't get this. On what basis do you preach? What is the authority backing up what you say? It sounds like you've opened wide the door to saying "well we can overlook THAT verse, it doesn't jive with my sermon". I'm not saying you say that, I just don't get WHY you don't say that.

The whole thing is sounding more and more subjective to me.

Help me out here.

Drew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daryl said...

"This post has been removed by the author."

Sewing (Stefan), is that you?

Drew said...

I base my preaching on the fact that it is inspired by God and points us to Christ, the living word.

And I never throw any of it out, either, but I consider it carefully, in light of the rest of scripture, and the understanding of the church, its context, and ours.

and I deleted a post that I meant to put on s.j.'s blog

Steve Lamm said...

Drew,

It's been a facinating conversation over the last couple of days. Your most recent posts have interested me the most. By the way, I respect your willingness to discuss these issues.

You wrote: "Because of the difference in the accounts, I do not read any of the gospels as history as we define it. But the gospels are different than the Gospel. The Gospel is true. God is true."

Drew, considering your rejection of inerrancy and your belief that the human authors of Scripture recorded errors along with divine truth, how do you know what the Gospel is?

Perhaps what the NT writers claim is the Gospel is also in error.

I submit that once you abandon belief in the inerrancy of Scripture, you have jettisoned the only trustworthy source of authority (the Bible), and substituted human judgment as the arbiter of divine truth.

S.J. Walker said...

Amen Steve.

When one jumps off the wagon, it is hop, skip and jump to the ditch, while the entire time he might be saying "I trust the wagon, my own feet will carry me better".

Drew said...


Drew, considering your rejection of inerrancy and your belief that the human authors of Scripture recorded errors along with divine truth, how do you know what the Gospel is?

Perhaps what the NT writers claim is the Gospel is also in error.


I know what the Gospel is because scripture, while not without error in regard to detail, is remarkably consistent about the really important things.


I submit that once you abandon belief in the inerrancy of Scripture, you have jettisoned the only trustworthy source of authority (the Bible), and substituted human judgment as the arbiter of divine truth.

You can do that if you want, but do you really believe that cultures that do not have scripture have no way of apprehending truth? Abraham didn't have scripture, but he seemed to apprehend truth when he saw it.

Johnny Dialectic said...

"I know what the Gospel is because scripture, while not without error in regard to detail, is remarkably consistent about the really important things."

Unfortunately, this puts man in the position of defining what is "important." A rejection of inerrency puts a fallible human in charge of defining "the canon within the canon."

It's a terrible slide, Drew. Many great men of God, and giant intellects, have been in your position and accepted inerrancy by faith. If you do that, your power in preaching will grow by divine fiat.

But if you remain where you are, there will be no power.

If you choose to remain where you are, think on these things in a year or two.

donsands said...

"Abraham didn't have scripture,"

"God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in TIME PAST to the fathers by the prophets, has in these LAST DAYS spoken to US by His Son" Heb. 1:1-2

The people of God have His written Word now.
If God were to show up today and speak, then it would be no different than His Scriptures.

The devil hates the Bible, God's truth, and he will pull out all the stops to water it down, and even say it is mistaken, and not true.

Peter who saw Christ transfigured, and heard the voice of God the Father, says there is a more sure word that is testified to by this, and that is the Scriptures.

All Scripture is truth. Scripture itself proves this.

I believe this is Satan's most fervant deception and scheme, to eliminate the Bible from the Church, or at least make it just another book.

Drew said...


It's a terrible slide, Drew. Many great men of God, and giant intellects, have been in your position and accepted inerrancy by faith. If you do that, your power in preaching will grow by divine fiat.

But if you remain where you are, there will be no power.

So I should proclaim inerrancy, even when it appears not to be true, because (a) of a slippery slope, and (b) because my preaching will have power.

These don't seem like good reasons, to me.

Ultimately, humans always have to decide what is important to them, regardless of how they feel about scripture. I do not set myself in the position of defining what is important, I will let God to do that. And God's revelation (as has been stated already) is sufficient.


All Scripture is truth. Scripture itself proves this.

Well why didn't you say so earlier? Show us where this proof, and save us our time!

Steve Lamm said...

Drew,

You said: "I know what the Gospel is because scripture, while not without error in regard to detail, is remarkably consistent about the really important things."

With all due respect, you have made my point! You have decided in your own mind what the "really important things" are. Obviously, one of the assertions of Scripture is that it is without error! You have decided not to accept that, and thus you have become the arbiter of what is truth and what is not in Scripture.

You also wrote: "do you really believe that cultures that do not have scripture have no way of apprehending truth? Abraham didn't have scripture, but he seemed to apprehend truth when he saw it."

I assume you're speaking of spirtiual truth, not mathematics or physics. Ps 19 says the heavens declare God's glory. Romans 1 says that men suppress whatever truth about God they perceive.

Romans 2:12ff says that the Gentiles have God's law written on their hearts, but still reject that truth and are under judgment because of it.

Therefore, it is impossible for any man to know the truth that saves unless God reveals that truth as He has done through Scripture.

Regarding Abraham, God spoke directly to Abraham, so I fail to see your point unless yor claiming that God speaks to you directly and informs you what parts of Scripture are really true. If that's the case, then we can have another discussion altogether!

Drew said...


Romans 2:12ff says that the Gentiles have God's law written on their hearts, but still reject that truth and are under judgment because of it.

Therefore, it is impossible for any man to know the truth that saves unless God reveals that truth as He has done through Scripture.

which is it? God's law is written on the hearts of those without scripture, or it is impossible for anyone to know truth unless God reveals it to them through scripture?

Obviously, one of the assertions of Scripture is that it is without error!


Obviously. Of course, not one of the human authors of scripture even knew of all of the other books that would later be called scripture, so they could not have possibly made this claim about the entire canon, nor would they feel the need, since the audience that they wrote for was not aware of such a canon. Maybe this is why you did not include a verse for this "obvious" assertion of scripture?

wordsmith said...

Not to mention that much of the NT was not written when Paul wrote those words

But what says the Scripture?

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God....

Hmmm...doesn't say "only OT writings are inspired by God". And Peter recognized Paul's letters as Scripture (II Pet 3:15f). It's a smokescreen to claim that II Tim 3:16f applies only to the OT.

Drew said...

First of all, I don't consider it a "smokescreen" to read a scripture in its context.

Secondly, even if it did apply to all scripture, "God-breathed" does not necessarily mean "inerrant." Adam was "God-breathed," and he messed up!

wordsmith said...

"All Scripture" is the context. You're the one importing your own bias by insisting that it does not apply to NT writings.

Adam was created posse non peccare et posse peccare ; the same cannot be said of Scripture. You're confusing categories.

Drew said...

two words = context, but time and place and intended audience are not. If you are smart enough to quote in latin (which is odd for a protestant), than you should be smart enough to know that that won't hold up.

And yes, scripture was not created with the ability to sin. It still hasn't sinned. The inspiration was perfect. That doesn't mean that the response to the inspiration was, does it?

Johnny Dialectic said...

"These don't seem like good reasons, to me."

Precisely. You place your reason above God's revelation. Your ministry will atrophy. You're fighting God. The odds aren't good.

donsands said...

"Show us where this proof, and save us our time!"

Hey, I feel that sarcasm. That's alright, I do the same many times.

The Bible has be proven over and over and over.

I'm no scholar. But there surely are those who can answer your question.

But honestly Drew, I don't believe you would agree and acknowledge that the Bible is God's truth, even if you were shown undeniable proof.

But it's out there. Scholars like RC Sproul, James White, and many, many others have the proof for you, if you really long for it.
But I don't think you long for it.

I hope I'm wrong.

I always encourage people to check into the Bible and dig as deep as you like, and try to discredit it if you like, for it is God's Holy Writ, and we can be confident in it's sufficiency, and finality for authority to us, God's people.

wordsmith said...

If you are smart enough to quote in latin (which is odd for a protestant), than you should be smart enough to know that that won't hold up.

No need to resort to the personal comments about intelligence and affiliation - unless, of course, you're grasping at straws.

It seems like everyone except yourself sees the problems inherent in your position(s). I've had enough beating my head against the wall for now. Someone else can carry on, if he so desires.

Drew said...

"it's there, it's clearly in the Bible, but I won't tell you what it is," because I don't think you want to know.

ok. Thanks, Donsends.

Johnny, are you saying that those two reasons (the danger of a slippery slope, and greater power) ARE good reasons to do something? Good reasons to deny what I see to be plain and reasonable? Is that what you are saying?

And in grasping for power and/or living in fear I put myself on God's side? Is that what you are saying to me? 'cause that's what it looks like you are saying.

Mike Riccardi said...

Scripture, the living word, is of divine inspiration, recorded and interpreted. It is not divine or perfect unto itself.

The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether. -- Psalm 19:7-9

All Your commandments are faithful. -- Psalm 119:86

Righteous are You, O LORD, And upright are Your judgments. ... Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, And Your law is truth. -- Psalm 119:137, 142 (You see plainly how the integrity of God is linked with the integrity of His Word.)

You are near, O LORD, And all Your commandments are truth. -- Psalm 119:151

The sum of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting. -- Psalm 119:160 (There it is. The sum total of the word of God as a body of revelation is truth itself. And not only is it all true together, but every individual word is eternally righteous.)

Drew said...

so you keep kosher, then?

and your wife keeps her head covered, remaining silent when gathered for worship?

Every last scripture reference you provided was from psalms. Now, I love the psalms, but most psalms are clearly poetry, and given to hyperbole, like "“Happy shall they be who take your little ones and dash them against the rock!” (ps 137)

Now, maybe you take Babylonian baby smashing to be joy, but I don't (I know, there I go again, placing my own values over those of scripture).

Psalms are beautiful, and they carry rich emotion, and deep truth, but not precise truth. Hymns and prayers should flow from theology, not vis versa. The psalter is the prayerbook/song book. It ought not be foundational to our theology.

But if you really think it should be foundational, go smash a Babylonian kid, and then we will talk.


(I shouldn't have to say this, but yes, I am using hyperbole. I do not want anybody to smash babies)

Mike Riccardi said...

So all Scripture is legitimate, except for the parts that say that all of God's Word is perfect and inerrant.

Funny... that's the part that you disagree with. I think I'm catching on as to what's important.

All Scripture -- except those overexaggerated, but lovely, Psalms, and the New Testament -- is God-breathed and full of errors, but gets the important things (i.e., what I deem important) right enough ... -- 2Tim 3:16, Drew Fuller Version

I don't see how any of this can be helpful to you at all Drew. All you do day in and day out is divert attention from real issues, and when people try to instruct and correct you, you mock them, erecting straw man after straw man at a mind-blowing rate, and abandoning all reasonable approaches to interpreting any text, let alone Scripture. This isn't corrective conversation. This isn't iron-sharpening dialogue. This is you holding your ears and going "La la la la la la la la."

This next part is not rhetoric; it's as sincere as I can get on the computer.

I think you need to give up the charade, fall on your face before God, confess your sin of mocking and unbelief, and pray that God will be so merciful as to forgive your brazen distrust and suspicion of His Word. I'd like to put it to your conscience in all seriousness that by not doing so you're storing up wrath for yourself and have a terrifying expectation of judgment. Please, man, forsake the pride and the skepticism and the false, arrogant "humility," and flee to the Christ revealed by the Father in His own Word.

donsands said...

"Let us believe that not only every book of the Bible, but every chapter,--and not only every chapter, but every verse,--and not only every verse, but every word, was originally given by inspiration of God."
-JC Ryle

Drew said...


So all Scripture is legitimate, except for the parts that say that all of God's Word is perfect and inerrant.


Not what I'm saying at all. They are all legitimate, they are all great. They just can't be used in the way that you are using them. You are taking scripture out of context and using it to do what you want it to do.

Steve Lamm said...

Drew,

You failed to address the statement I actually made. I was careful in my selection of words. You were not as careful in reading them.

Since you seem very secure in your view that Scripture is errant, I do not feel compelled to spend my precious time listing for you all the texts which claim otherwise. It would likely be a fruitless exercise. Anyway, Mike Riccardi listed enough texts to prove my point.

I urge you to remember James 3:1 - "Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness." (ESV)

Mike Riccardi said...

Ok, let's review.

Psalm 19:7 says the law of the Lord is perfect. Somehow, you come up with a way for that to mean it's not perfect. And I'm taking Scripture out of context?

You know that the civil and ceremonial laws are fulfilled in Christ and so one does not need to keep kosher. Read Galatians if you don't want to take my word for it.

You also know that the head coverings thing refers to a principle of male-female distinction in society that is applied in different times throughout history.

It's also taking Ps. 137:9 out of context and twisting it beyond recognition to say that if we don't kill Babylonian babies we're disobeying Scripture... or the Psalms or inconsistent and unreliable. Psalm 137:9 is a declarative statement about the evil of Babylon, not a prescription to carry such things out.

That is, so oppressive hast thou been to all under thy domination, as to become universally hated and detested; so that those who may have the last hand in thy destruction, and the total extermination of thy inhabitants, shall be reputed “happy” - shall be celebrated and extolled as those who have rid the world of a curse so grievous. These prophetic declarations contain no excitement to any person or persons to commit acts of cruelty and barbarity; but are simply declarative of what would take place in the order of the retributive providence and justice of God, and the general opinion that should in consequence be expressed on the subject. -- Spurgeon, Treasury of David

So there. I've played your game. Using the whole of Scripture, I've used one method of interpretation consistently, taking context into account in all situations. Now you have nowhere to go.

You're a bold guy, Drew. I'm starting to think you've got more personally invested in this than is healthy, and it's clearly becoming an issue of saving face rather than honestly seeking truth.

I urge you to read the last paragraph of my last post again.

I'm going to bed. You're on the east coast too, and so you should go to bed too.

ezekiel said...

Drew,

"You can do that if you want, but do you really believe that cultures that do not have scripture have no way of apprehending truth? Abraham didn't have scripture, but he seemed to apprehend truth when he saw it.

ESV
Galatians 3:8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, In you shall all the nations be blessed.

AMPLIFIED
8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify (declare righteous, put in right standing with Himself) the Gentiles in consequence of faith, proclaimed the Gospel [foretelling the glad tidings of a Savior long beforehand] to Abraham in the promise, saying, In you shall all the nations [of the earth] be blessed.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God.

You preacher dudes may be able to state it better or simplify it but the Lord (the WORD) (Scripture)was present and preaching to Abraham in Gen 12. His message was the same then as it is now. The Gospel, the good news, salvation through faith in
Christ. Faith in the WORD. Faith in Scripture.

As far as cultures without scripture...there really are none. Scripture is with them, just as He was with Abraham according to Romans 1:18

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (See John 1:3)

ezekiel said...

Drew,

Romans 917 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.

Just one more time we are shown where Scripture is talking and preaching...warning.

Johnny Dialectic said...

"And in grasping for power and/or living in fear I put myself on God's side? Is that what you are saying to me? 'cause that's what it looks like you are saying."

No, I did not say anything about "grasping for power." I was offering a word to you about the power of your ministry.

"Good reasons to deny what I see to be plain and reasonable? Is that what you are saying?"

Yes. Some of the greatest ministers of the past were where you are. G. Campbell Morgan is a prime example. He finally realized that he had to give up his doubts about God's Word by FAITH, and guess what happened? Power. God blessed his ministry mightily.

Think upon this. At least, in a year or two, look at where your ministry is and go to the Lord with your doubts.

Drew said...

Johnny, I really cannot believe that a brother, especially on this board, is making such a blatant appeal to pragmatism. The post was about truth--we are supposed to go after truth, not what works.

Ezekiel. There is a difference between "The Word" and "the word," and we all know it. God's wisdom, God's Son, the second person of the Trinity, is eternal, and can be found in many places where the word (scripture) cannot.

Steve, I didn't respond to your post directly, for two reasons. 1. I didn't quite follow it, and 2. I thought I addressed what I perceived you to be talking about in my answers to others. But if you ask me a question, I will answer it.

Mike, I guess you have given up, but I will respond anyway, since I have come this far.

You are taking scripture out of context by reading poetry as theology.

Apparently, you recognize context regarding Paul's laws about women (well, maybe not all of them, but that's another discussion), but not here.

But if the psalms are theological laws, written by God, then ps 119:160, which you quoted to me earlier, would be problematic:

The sum of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.

Do you treat every ordinance as everlasting?

I don't, because I know that this is poetic hyperbole. But if I did, I would not be free to ignore the purity laws of the old testament. I would have to make sure that my roof had parapets on it. I would have to wear scripture. I would have to stone a disobedient child.

That's what it says, literally. Every. ordinance. everlasting.


You're a bold guy, Drew. I'm starting to think you've got more personally invested in this than is healthy, and it's clearly becoming an issue of saving face rather than honestly seeking truth.

Yes, I have spent too much time on this (but not enough time for you to see your errors, apparently). I don't think its about saving face, but it could be. Like almost every other human, I hate to be wrong. Still, this is fun for me. I promise I will stop when this is no longer fun.

Paul said...

Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.
Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things.

Luke 24:44-48

Johnny Dialectic said...

I think you misunderstand, Drew. It's not "whatever works is true." It's that Truth WORKS. God set it up that way, not me. This is the very opposite of pragmatism.

I'm merely recommending to you an act of faith. Many great preachers did exactly this at crucial times in their ministries. Right now, you seem to be resisting even a consideration of this. My advice is that you reconsider and remain open.

ezekiel said...

Drew,

"Ezekiel. There is a difference between "The Word" and "the word," and we all know it. God's wisdom, God's Son, the second person of the Trinity, is eternal, and can be found in many places where the word (scripture) cannot."

Really? Have you ever wondered why it is capitalized when you see it? We put a lot of impoortance on the difference between lord and Lord don't we?

Let's look at Romans 9:17

For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.

Then let's look at Ex 9

13 Then the Lord said to Moses, Rise up early in the morning and present yourself before Pharaoh and say to him, Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me. 14 For this time I will send all my plagues on you yourself, and on your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is none like me in all the earth. 15 For by now I could have put out my hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth. 16 But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. 17 You are still exalting yourself against my people and will not let them go.

Now ask yourself why Paul tells us that Scripture says to Pharoah. Why didn't he tell us Moses was talking to Pharoah? Why didn't he tell us that scripture says God told Moses to tell Pharoah...And holding to your original arguement, the scripture wasn't written in Pharoah's day just as it wasn't written in Abraham's day. But here He is...talking to them...

I think if you will study it, you will find that the answer is the the same for Gal 3:8 and Gen 12:1-5.

Scripture, the Word of God, the WORD, was there talking and teaching.

So when you say there is a difference in the word and the WORD I think you err. That is the manipulation that you have to go through to justify your lack of belief in Him. As long as you can claim a difference you can justify your position as saying the word in not innerant but the WORD is.

What we do all know is that the ink and paper the WORD is written on is just that. Ink and paper. But the WORD is a person. It lives and breaths. And if we find a place where God's Son is, we find a place where Scripture is.

Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Chris Hemmelman said...

I love how Drew gets on here accusing people of not handling Scripture correctly but when repeatedly shown he is in error refuses to acknowledge his mistakes.

I think someone should catelog all the times Drew has contradicted himself or tried to fit two incompatible ideas together. Then we can cateloge all the times someone has pinned him down on his errors only to watch him squirm free with strawmans, willful ignorance, and denials.

I will give you this much Drew, you come here day after day and pretty much feed yourself to the lions (no offense to the faithful). Most people would have left a long time ago never to return.

However, most who have stayed this long would probably have learned something by now, being smacked in the face with the truth so many times you would think you would eventually get it.

Drew said...


I think someone should catelog all the times Drew has contradicted himself or tried to fit two incompatible ideas together. Then we can cateloge all the times someone has pinned him down on his errors only to watch him squirm free with strawmans, willful ignorance, and denials.

I think this is a good idea, too. Much better than just saying that I do this, without backing it up, as you just did.

wordsmith said...

It’s the same old canard that gets trotted out constantly:

You [reformevangefundies] worship the word [emergentspeak for “Scripture”] whereas we [ECers] worship the Word [emergentspeak for “Jesus”]. You therefore are guilty of having a low view of God/putting God in a box, since you are bibliolaters. We, on the other hand, worship God and are true followers of Jesus. You limit God to the pages of a humanly written book, and you therefore deny the fullness of God. Oh, sure, scripture is “God-breathed,” but that doesn’t mean that it’s inerrant or captures completely the fullness of God, anymore than Adam was inerrant or completely conveyed to us God’s fullness. Like you, the Pharisees knew the scripture better than anyone else, yet Jesus saved his harshest rebukes for them. You are denying the power of God through your idolatry, because you substitute the limited written word for the living Word that was made flesh.

Anyone want to play spot the fallacies in that viewpoint? Sadly, it’s not a caricature – go check out the comments at SolaMeanie’s recent post .