Thursday, December 31, 2009

King and Servant Show 9

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Jonathan and Bryan discuss how to best study the Bible in personal devotional time. Particularly how to not negate any passages, while at the same time recognizing the covenantal structure of the Bible, which allows for a contextual understanding of both the Old and New Testaments of Scripture.

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New Year's Resolutions

As we approach the next decade, many bloggers are commenting about resolutions. Of the many posts I have read, the best is by Burk Parsons over at the Ligonier blog called "Resolved by the Grace of God." This article is great because of its simple and brief yet profound approach to this issue. Here is the concluding paragraph before the resolves.
These are the sorts of questions I have always considered when it comes to this whole business of making resolutions, and I have a hunch that many of my fellow biblically-informed skeptics also ponder such questions. Nevertheless, the Word of God gives us not only permission to make resolutions, it gives us good reasons for doing so. Various biblical passages seem to provide us with reasons for resolutions and examples of men of God who resolved to live for Him in a particular manner for a particular reason (Dan. 1:8; Matt. 1:19; Acts 19:21; 1 Cor. 10:14–32; Col. 3:12–17; 2 Thess. 1:11). As such, in considering how to glorify God in all that we do in our particular circumstances and callings, we would be wise to resolve to make particular resolutions to assist us in our sanctification. This we do by the power of the Holy Spirit, resting assured that we have been declared righteous by the Father because of the completed righteousness of the Son.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

King and Servant Show 8

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Jonathan and Bryan discuss the doctrine of glorification and why it often overlooked and forgotten by many believers, and how this can lead to a pessimistic view of the future and a defeatist attitude in the present.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

King and Servant Show 7

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Jonathan and Bryan discuss the importance of understanding the relationship between historic Calvinism and paradoxical theology and how it logical gives room for the well-meant offer of the gospel, the two-wills of God and common grace.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Tim Keller on Christ the Center

We recently had the opportunity to talk with Dr. Tim Keller about his newest book Counterfeit God’s: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex and Power and the Only Hope that Matters. In this book Dr. Keller argues that all sin is, in some sense, idolatry. He points out that all humans were created to worship and serve the true and living God. If they are not worshiping the true God they will always put something or someone in His place. In this interview we asked Dr. Keller questions about this new book. You can find the interview here. We hope you enjoy this episode of Christ the Center.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

King and Servant Show 6

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Jonathan and Bryan discuss Christian evangelism and why many Christians struggle to share and proclaim the gospel.

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A Perversion of "Justice"

I understand that the concept of social justice is a concept which has been used to bring those in the broader Christian community in line with more redistributive political agendas. I want to avoid, for the moment, the question of whether the government's policy of playing Robin Hood is virtuous or vicious and instead deal with the abusive terminology involved in using a phrase like "social justice."

All thinking Christians ought to be deeply troubled by the term "social justice." The way the phrase is used in popular Christian circles, it should actually be called "social mercy." The confusion of justice and mercy is like confusing white and black. It's like seeing a bird and calling it a lizard. Justice and mercy, with regards to sinful human beings, are two polar opposites.

Why the shift in nomenclature? Why would someone say "white" instead of "black," or "justice" instead of "mercy"? In my estimation, it is a strategic decision. If one calls it "social mercy," the imperative nature of the problem is removed. To most, mercy is something which is important, but which is in some sense optional. However, the idea of "justice" seems imperative, because most agree that justice must always be done; otherwise we as a society are then unjust. The deceptive terminology is an attempt to gain the moral high ground so that if one opposes their idea of what social justice is, then their opponents are, by definition, defending injustice, and nobody wants to be on the wrong side of that conversation.

Perhaps the real question should first be asked. What is justice, and what is mercy? I approach this question a bit differently than some would, because I ask the question of God first. Divine justice is when God gives to the creature what he deserves. If the creature does wrong, He punishes that creature. If the creature does good, He rewards the creature. This activity is divine justice. It is giving to someone what they deserve.

What is divine mercy? Well, the simplest and shortest explanation is that it giving the creature goodness when they deserve otherwise.

Now, there should really be no massive shift between how God relates to man in terms of justice and the way that man relates to man in terms of justice. To treat each as they deserve is justice, in its simplest form. Of course there is greater complexity to this, but this complexity does not change the basic substantial meaning of what it is to be a just person (or society, which is simply a collective of individual persons) and what it is to be merciful. Even if one wants to quibble over the definitions of justice and mercy being offered, it is nearly undeniable that justice and mercy are being used interchangeably by redistributionists when the words are not, in fact, synonyms.

So then, if the terminology were honestly used, what would social justice look like? Well, frankly, it would look like the opposite of what those advocating the current definition of "social justice" say it is. In a society practicing true or literal Social Justice, each would receive according to the labor of their hands, whether that is much or little. However, the concept of "social justice" as it is pushed today reflects the opposite sentiment. It says that people should receive mercy at the hands of society, and receive goods which they did not produce or earn. There may be merits or demerits to this, but what I am simply pointing out is that the proposed policies and terminology are at odds.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Cruel Logic

*Warning: The following video may not be suitable for all ages.*

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

King and Servant Show 5

Jonathan and Bryan explore the worship spectrum, discussing the New Testament's view of the regulative principle for worship and how it can be both neglected and abused.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Twelve Doctrines of Christmas

Dr. Waters is A Debtor to Mercy Alone

Dr. Guy Waters was recently interviewed on his chapter in Risking the Truth titled, "A Debtor to Mercy Alone." This new book has an interesting layout in that it is set up like an interview. The author is asked a series of questions and then gives a response. This gives the book a more conversational feel. The audio of this interview can be found here (do not worry when you hear the people speaking Spanish, the interview was done on a Spanish speaking radio station). The interview also covers the Federal Vision and the New Perspective(s) on Paul. Dr. Waters takes a balanced and even handed approach to both of these movements in the interview, which should be commended.