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Hatred for History

Posted on March 28, 2012

For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear, some new thing (Acts 17:21) . . . they soon forgot . . . (Psalm 106:13) Richard Weaver said in Ideas Have Consequences: “It has been well said that the chief trouble with the contemporary generation is that it has not read the minutes of the last meeting. Most modern people appear to resent the past and seek to deny its substance for either of two reasons: (1) it confuses them, or (2) it inhibits them. If it confuses them, they have not thought enough about it; if it inhibits them, we should look with a curious eye upon whatever schemes they…

After God’s Silence — What?

Posted on March 25, 2012

by Oswald Chambers   “Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When He had heard therefore that he was sick, He abode two days still in the same place where He was.” John 11:5-6. Jesus stayed two days where He was without sending a word. We are apt to say—’I know why God has not answered my prayer, it is because I asked for something wrong.’ That was not the reason Jesus did not answer Martha and Mary— they desired a right thing. It is quite true God does not answer some prayers because they are wrong, but that is so obvious that it does not need a revelation from God to understand it. God wants us to stop understanding in the…

Two Gospel Heresies

Posted on March 24, 2012

Salvation by works is heresy.  Salvation without works is heresy.  Both are damnable.  In the history of the Church the battle for the gospel has often centered on two extremes that eviscerate it.   They are equally damning. Moralism First, there is the heresy of moralism. This is the horridly humanistic idea that man can somehow obtain salvation by his merits, virtue, or “good works.”   Many of the Jews during the time of the New Testament had apostatized and had adopted this false teaching.   They believed that their physical lineage and their circumcision and their external law-keeping could save them (the Old Testament never taught this).   Paul attacked this heresy with great vigor in the book of Romans, but particularly in the book of Galatians.  …

Theologies to be Skeptical About

Posted on March 23, 2012

Christian systematic theologies abound today, and the themes around which one may orient any theology are legion: Protestant, Roman Catholic, Baptist, Pentecostal, feminist, dispensationalist, Afro-American, liberation, liturgical, evangelical, Marxist, Asian, Indian, and on and on.   On the basis of Biblical revelation, I thought it might be useful to list 10 traits of theology that should inspire us to be skeptical when we detect them. Be skeptical of any theology that: 1.   Situates the Person of Jesus Christ anywhere except at its absolute center (Col. 1:15-19; Heb. 1:3). 2.   Prefers knowledge to love (1 Cor. 1:8; 13:8). 3.   Assumes one can know doctrine without first obeying Christ (Jn. 7:17). 4.   Produces cruel, pharisaic people (Mt. 7:1-20). 5.   Pits personal revelation against propositional revelation (Jn. 1:1-3;…

Prophetic Preaching or Expository Preaching?

Posted on March 23, 2012

Over the past thirty years or so, there has been a big emphasis on “expository” or “expositional” preaching. This is the practice of preaching straight through the Bible (or a portion of it) sequentially, exegeting a particular portion and expounding it. This surely is an acceptable way to preach, and it has a long history. For instance, Chrysostom in the ancient church preached this way. Advocates of this sort of preaching, however, often criticize those who do not preach this way. Anything but their way is considered substandard or even not preaching at all. But this is hardly the case. In the Bible itself, there are not unambiguous examples of this type of preaching. In the Old Testament, Ezra stood up publicly and read…