Friday, June 29, 2012

Mixing Law and Gospel

Oh", when will all professors, and especially all professed ministers of Christ, learn the difference between the law and the gospel? Most of them make a mingle-mangle, and serve out deadly potions to the people, often containing but one ounce of gospel to a pound of law, whereas, but even a grain of law is enough to spoil the whole thing.

It must be gospel, and gospel only. "If it be of grace, it is not of works, otherwise grace is no more grace; and if it be of works, then it is not of grace, otherwise work is no more work.""

~ Charles Spurgeon

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Playing religion

"Do you realize that most men play at religion as they play at games? Religion itself being of all games the one most universally played.

The Church has its "fields" and its "rules" and its equipment for playing the game of pious words. It has its devotees, both laymen and professionals, who support the game with their money and encourage it with their presence, but who are no different in life or character from many who take no interest in religion at all.

As an athlete uses a ball so do many of us use words: words spoken and words sung, words written and words uttered in prayer. We throw them swiftly across the field; we learn to handle them with dexterity and grace-and gain as our reward the applause of those who have enjoyed the game.

In the games men play there are no moral roots. It is a pleasant activity which changes nothing and settles nothing, at last. Sadly, in the religious game of pious words, after the pleasant meeting no one is basically any different from what he had been before!"

- A.W. Tozer -

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Pelagian Captivity of the Church - R.C. Sproul

Shortly after the Reformation began, in the first few years after Martin Luther posted the Ninety-Five Theses on the church door at Wittenberg, he issued some short booklets on a variety of subjects. One of the most provocative was titled The Babylonian Captivity of the Church. In this book Luther was looking back to that period of Old Testament history when Jerusalem was destroyed by the invading armies of Babylon and the elite of the people were carried off into captivity. Luther in the sixteenth century took the image of the historic Babylonian captivity and reapplied it to his era and talked about the new Babylonian captivity of the Church. He was speaking of Rome as the modern Babylon that held the Gospel hostage with its rejection of the biblical understanding of justification.

You can understand how fierce the controversy was, how polemical this title would be in that period by saying that the Church had not simply erred or strayed, but had fallen — that it’s actually now Babylonian; it is now in pagan captivity.

I’ve often wondered if Luther were alive today and came to our culture and looked, not at the liberal church community, but at evangelical churches, what would he have to say?

Of course I can’t answer that question with any kind of definitive authority, but my guess is this: If Martin Luther lived today and picked up his pen to write, the book he would write in our time would be entitled The Pelagian Captivity of the Evangelical Church. Luther saw the doctrine of justification as fueled by a deeper theological problem.

Read the rest of this great article HERE

Friday, June 8, 2012

John Piper:

"Saying What You Believe Is Clearer Than Saying “Calvinist”"

"We are Christians. Radical, full-blooded, Bible-saturated, Christ-exalting, God-centered, mission-advancing, soul-winning, church-loving, holiness-pursing, sovereignty-savoring, grace-besotted, broken-hearted, happy followers of the omnipotent, crucified Christ. At least that’s our imperfect commitment.

In other words, we are Calvinists. But that label is not nearly as useful as telling people what you actually believe! So forget the label, if it helps, and tell them clearly, without evasion or ambiguity, what you believe about salvation.

If they say, “Are you a Calvinist?” say, “You decide. Here is what I believe . . .”

I believe I am so spiritually corrupt and prideful and rebellious that I would never have come to faith in Jesus without God’s merciful, sovereign victory over the last vestiges of my rebellion. (1 Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 2:1–4; Romans 8:7).

I believe that God chose me to be his child before the foundation of the world, on the basis of nothing in me, foreknown or otherwise. (Ephesians 1:4–6; Acts 13:48; Romans 8:29–30; 11:5–7)

I believe Christ died as a substitute for sinners to provide a bona fide offer of salvation to all people, and that he had an invincible design in his death to obtain his chosen bride, namely, the assembly of all believers, whose names were eternally written in the book of life of the Lamb that was slain. (John 3:16; John 10:15; Ephesians 5:25; Revelation 13:8)

When I was dead in my trespasses, and blind to the beauty of Christ, God made me alive, opened the eyes of my heart, granted me to believe, and united me to Jesus, with all the benefits of forgiveness and justification and eternal life. (Ephesians 2:4–5; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Philippians 2:29; Ephesians 2:8–9; Acts 16:14; Ephesians 1:7; Philippians 3:9)

I am eternally secure not mainly because of anything I did in the past, but decisively because God is faithful to complete the work he began—to sustain my faith, and to keep me from apostasy, and to hold me back from sin that leads to death. (1 Corinthians 1:8–9; 1 Thessalonians 5:23–24; Philippians 1:6; 1 Peter 1:5; Jude 1:25; John 10:28–29; 1 John 5:16)

Call it what you will, this is my life. I believe it because I see it in the Bible. And because I have experienced it. Everlasting praise to the greatness of the glory of the grace of God!"

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Saw this over at Corky's place (Calvinistic Cartoons) and thought it was spot on!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

1 Timothy 2:4

Does 1 Timothy 2:4 Teach That God Wants Everyone Saved?

Ripped out of it's context, it appears that this passage is teaching us that God wants everyone to be saved. In response to Calvinists appealing to the context of this passage however, our friend Houston John declared: "God provided the means for the gift of salvation for all (and I do mean 'all' instead of the redefinition of the word to 'all kinds' by Calvinists)". Is it true that Reformed Theology actually changes the meaning of words such as 'all'? Let's take a look.

This topic came up in a recent debate here on Old Truth with a non-Calvinist who goes by Houston John (we'll call him HJ for short). That's a pretty strong accusation to make, that Calvinists are deliberately changing word meanings to fit their system. So I challenged HJ to provide explanations for these other passages which use the word 'all' in a way that means something less than everyone:

1) Mark 1:5 says "all the country of Judea went out to [be] the Jordan". Who does that all mean? Absolutely everyone in Judea, or was it a less encompassing 'all'?

2) John 8:2 - "All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them" Is that true? Every single person came to Him?

3) 2 Cor 3:2 - "our letter of be known and read by all [men]." Does that include the emperor of China?

4) Luk 16:16 - "the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone [same greek word Pas] forces his way into it". Really? Did Pilate force his way into it?

5) 1 Cor 9:22 - "I am made all things to all, that I might by all means save some". Is that true? Was he made a clown so that, for the leader of Japan whom he used all means to save?

6) 1 Cor 10:23 - "All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient". Wow, adultery and murder are lawful for him under HJ's translation of 'all'! What kind of theology are you teaching HJ?!?!?!?

7) Eph 6:21 - "Tychicus,... shall make known to you all things". He's going to teach them AstroPhysics!!!!!!

8) Acts 4:21 - "all men glorified God for that which was done". Really? Did the Pharisees glorify God for what was being done?

9) Luke 21:17 - "Jesus told his disciples that they would be 'hated of all men'". Imagine that, people in remote tribes of Africa hating the disciples.

10) Acts 21:28 - "Paul was accused of teaching all men everywhere against [the law]". How did Paul get to every place on earth and teach them things?

I followed that up with an excerpt from James White's book The Potter's Freedom, which had this to say about 1 Timothy 2 (see the passage in question):

[Paul] states that such prayers for all kinds of men is good and acceptable "in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." If we are consistent with the preceding context we will see "all men" here in the same manner as "all men" of the preceding verses: all kinds of men, whether rulers or kings. But there is much more reason to understand Paul's statement in this way.
Almost invariably, proponents of Arminianism isolate this passage from the two verses that follow.

This must happen of necessity for the questions that can be asked of the non-Reformed position based upon verses 5 and 6 are weighty indeed. Verse 5 begins with the word "for," indicating the connection between the statement made in 3-4 and the explanation in 5-6.

Why should Christians pray that all men, including kings and rulers, be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth? Because there is only one way of salvation, and without a knowledge of that truth, no man can be saved. Paul says, "there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all."

This immediately takes us into the meat of the discussion of the atonement, but for now just a few points should be made.

Read rest of post HERE