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Jesu, Juva

Archive for May 2007

Macht takes on atheism

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In much different style from the last post, Macht takes on the new atheists (in the style of lolcats).

Of course, this kind of “argument” cuts both ways. But it’s hilarious.

Written by Scott Moonen

May 28, 2007 at 6:48 am

Posted in Humor

Phil Sasser takes on atheism

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My senior pastor recently presented a lecture on apologetics. He took us on a whirlwind tour through classical apologetics, evidential apologetics, presuppositional apologetics, and the moral argument against relativism. Along the way we visited Tertullian, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Pascal, C. S. Lewis, Cornelius Van Til, and many others.

There are no atheistic arguments that have not already been dealt with centuries before we were born. And when you flesh out its true roots and implications, it is atheism that is shown to be truly irrational.

Listen to Phil’s outstanding lecture (in two parts), and download the lecture outlines from Sovereign Grace Church.

Leithart on hearing Christ's voice

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When in distress or confusion, literate medieval Christians would sometimes let the Bible drop open, and took guidance and comfort the first passage their eye alighted on.

This could be superstitious, of course. But it could also come from a deeply genuine faith.

Sometimes, we don’t need to hear specific, or even relevant, instructions. Sometimes, in distress, it’s enough if we can hear our Husband’s voice.

— Peter Leithart, His Voice

I often find after reading the Bible that, even if there is no really obvious way I have been directly edified or encouraged, I am still in better spirits. Peter Leithart has articulated one reason why this is true.

Kuyper on Calvinism

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Following are some notes and quotes from Abraham Kuyper’s Lectures on Calvinism.

  • A key element of Christian revolutions (Dutch, American) was a gradual undermining of kings, not by lowering esteem, but by raising it; not by opposing God but by worshipping Him (through p. 28)
  • 3 fundamental measures of unique world views (p. 31)
    • relationship to God – immediate fellowship through Christ + HS
    • relationship to man – divine image, intrinsic worth, equality of men
    • relationship to world – curse restrained by grace; “discover treasures and develop potencies hidden by God in nature and in human life.”
  • common grace – do we define things, relative to power of sin or power of God?  Which is more potent: pollution of sin or redemptive movement?
  • Kuyper strikes me as being exceptionally enamored with progress (pp. 32, 34, 35, 40)
  • God’s authority over, and necessary glorification in, all spheres of life (p. 53)
    • “Coram Deo”, no such thing as private religion, … one-ness of all human life
    • C.f. Mark Horne, “public relationship with Jesus Christ”
  • Importance of Church in God’s redemptive plan; covenant = church
  • God’s supreme sovereignty flowing down in sovereignty given to state/society/church (p. 79)
  • Assumes one-world gov’t is best in absence of sin (p. 80) … some logic given to this
    • “God has instituted the magistrates, by reason of sin.” (p. 81)  Nations exist for God (p. 81)
  • Calvin regarded republic as best, but not categorically so; others will work.  Commends gratitude for privilege of electing magistrates (pp. 83-84)
  • Contrasts God’s sovereignty w/ false ideas of popular sovereignty or state sovereignty (as rejection of God) (pp. 85ff)
  • Calvinism “makes it easy for us to obey authority, because, in all authority, it causes us to honor the demand of divine sovereignty.” (p. 90)
  • “Principal characteristic” of gov’t is “the right of life + death” (p. 93)
    • Sword for -> justice, war, order
  • Much discussion of self-organization of spheres, natural leadership of “masters” in spheres
  • Political sphere should not rightfully interfere in natural God-given operation of these other spheres (family, art, science, education, business) (p. 96)
  • The state interferes to (p. 97)
    • Mediate clashes between spheres
    • Defend the weak against abuse of power in other spheres
    • Coerce all to bear personal + financial burdens of maintaining unity of the state
  • Government may not take on absolute authority, nor may other spheres overstep their bounds into arena of government
  • Pp. 99ff — admission of the propriety of a plurality of churches
    • Against the state church (even as expressed by Calvin)
    • Proper Calvinism promotes plurality, and understands the government’s role as protecting it.
  • Pp. 103ff — magistrates’ duty
    • to God – acknowledge and confess authority, rule by God’s ordinances, restrain blasphemy
      • magistrate understands God’s law personally, not under authority (strictly speaking) of church
      • blasphemy addressed not for religious reasons but as undermining God’s establishment of law and state
      • “The sphere of the state is not profane.  But both church and state must, each in their own sphere, obey God and serve His honor.” (p. 104)
    • to church – may not exercise judgment as to true and false churches
    • to individual
      • some individual sovereignty exists, but conscience is not entirely liberated from state, church, word, family (p. 107)
      • magistrate respects liberty of conscience, ensures church does so (particularly regarding those outside church)
  • Science
    • p. 118, “A dualistic conception of regeneration was the cause of the rupture between the life of nature and the life of grace.”
    • p. 125, “Not only the church, but also the world belongs to God.”
    • p. 132, is the world normal, or abnormal seeking regeneration?  fundamental distinction striking at the heart of the scientific conception

Written by Scott Moonen

May 12, 2007 at 7:14 pm

Fear the LORD

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Fear the Lord, for:

Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord,
  who walks in his ways!
You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;
  you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
  within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
  around your table.
Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
  who fears the Lord.

The Lord bless you from Zion!
  May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
  all the days of your life!
May you see your children's children!
  Peace be upon Israel!

  -- Psalm 128

J. C. Ryle on denying yourself

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Joshua Harris quotes J. C. Ryle on self-denial:

Are you making any sacrifices? Does your religion cost you anything? I put it to your conscience in all affection and tenderness. Are you, like Moses, preferring God to the world, or not? Are you willing to give up anything which keeps you back from God, or are you clinging to the Egypt of the world, and saying to yourself, “I must have it, I must have it: I cannot tear myself away”? Is there any cross in your Christianity? Are there any sharp corners in your religion, anything that ever jars and comes in collision with the earthly-mindedness around you? Or is all smooth and rounded off, and comfortably fitted into custom and fashion? Do you know anything of the afflictions of the gospel? Is your faith and practice ever a subject of scorn and reproach? Are you thought a fool by anyone because of your soul? Have you left Pharaoh’s daughter, and heartily joined the people of God? Are you venturing all on Christ? Search and see. —J.C. Ryle, Holiness