Apologetics & Your Kids: Part 5 - Touting Absurdity

Read the series so far.

Since the Enlightenment, when unaided human reason was promoted to a place above the authority of the Holy Scriptures, it has been presumed that mankind can, at least in principle, explain himself and his surroundings without recourse to “the God hypothesis.” Although they couldn’t agree among themselves about how to rely on the human mind, they “knew” at least one thing: God—if He or it existed, would have to pass their examinations and fit within their logical formulations.

The Creator would have to become subject to the creature. Of course, their examinations were naively inapplicable, and their use of logic off-target. The god of unbelief is always a straw man. Read more about Apologetics & Your Kids: Part 5 - Touting Absurdity

How Then Shall We Preach?

Should students be taught a single approach to expositional preaching?

For almost two thousand years, expositors have been answering the clarion call of Paul to “Preach the Word” (2 Tim. 4:2). Even a cursory review of history demonstrates that God has gifted his church (Eph. 4:11–13) with a host of faithful expositors. Men like Tertullian, Justin Martyr, Augustine, John Chrysotom, John Wyclif, Ulrich Zwingli and John Calvin each proclaimed the Word to their generation. Puritans like Richard Baxter, John Owen, Thomas Manton and John Bunyan are also noteworthy. Others like Charles Haddon Spurgeon and David Martyn Lloyd-Jones set a high standard for preachers.

Even in this post-modern generation God continues to have a voice to proclaim His Word. For each preacher whose name is easily recognizable, there is a host of faithful yet unknown men laboring to expound the Word of God to His people. Additionally, homiletic professors in Bible colleges and seminaries seek, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to teach “faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:2). Read more about How Then Shall We Preach?

Blogroll Reboot

Coming soon: updates to the blogroll. Your help is needed in a couple of ways.

1. Whys & wherefores

First, I’d like to hear your thoughts on some concept questions. What is a blogroll for? Should blogs/sites listed there be seen as “endorsed” in some way? If so, by whom—SI users in general? The admins/moderators? And if these sites are selected because we want to commend their content in some way, how far should that commendation be seen as extending and how do we communicate where it ends? Read more about Blogroll Reboot

The Wisdom of This World

(About this series)



“There is a growing impression among eminent private thinkers that Christianity is losing its hold upon men, and that the Church is a waning power; that the religious world is drifting from its moorings, and faith is becoming a tradition of the past.”

The above quotation is from an editorial in the most popular newspaper published at the Capital of the United States.

If the faith of the Church is to stand in the wisdom of men, then it will be the sport of every wind of doctrine, and be driven hither and thither, according to the course of the popular tide; and if the Church has no better anchor than the wisdom of this world, then, indeed, will it drift from all its moorings, and be tossed continually upon the seas of ceaseless speculation. But if faith is to stand, not in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God, in the sure Word of Truth that liveth and abideth forever, then, like its Divine Author, it is and will be the same yesterday, today, and forever. If faith be founded upon the Word of Eternal Truth, then the Church has an anchor sure and stedfast, entering into that within the veil. Read more about The Wisdom of This World

Book Review - Is College Worth It?

William (Bill) Bennett was Secretary of Education under Ronald Reagan and apparently is now a talk-show host (though I’ve never heard his program, nor even heard mention of it outside this book).

Current accumulated American college tuition loan debt exceeds one trillion dollars, and continues to grow. More than half of all students are in debt from college, with an average—average—debt of $23,000. Horror stories of graduates—or non-graduates—with $50,000, $100,000, even $200,000 of debt and no employment prospects in the field of study are quite common, with very limited hope of paying off that debt in 10, 20 or even 30 years. And this debt cannot be disposed of by bankruptcy. The situation for those who seek or secure graduate degrees is even worse.

Part of this massive avalanche of indebtedness is due to aggressive and less-than-fully-disclosing college recruiting (in both private and public not-for-profit, as well as for-profit schools) that encourages and enables students to secure easy-to-get government loans. A second cause is the fact that the government is the primary lender (creating money to loan out of thin air), rather than banks and other lending institutions, as it was in the past. Banks have a self-interest motive to investigate “ability to repay” factors before making loans, while government bureaucrats have no such motive, and hence are more open to saddling a borrower with unpayable debt (this latter, my observation, not the authors’). Read more about Book Review - Is College Worth It?

From the Archives: What Is the Role of the Holy Spirit in Interpretation

From Paraklesis, a resource of Baptist Bible Seminary (Fall, 2012). Used by permission.

We might better ask the question, “Does the Holy Spirit have a role in interpretation?” If the Holy Spirit does have a role, what is that role?

The purpose of this article is to propose first that the role of the Holy Spirit in interpretation is not to enable the reader to grasp the meaning of a text. We will look briefly at certain verses which supposedly teach this to see whether they actually do teach this.

This article then proposes that a role of the Holy Spirit in interpretation is actually post-interpretation. The role of the Holy Spirit is to enable the reader to make a correct evaluation of the meaning of a text so that he can welcome or accept that meaning. The Holy Spirit also assures the reader of the truth of Scripture. A role of the Holy Spirit also may be to enable the reader to relate the meaning which comes from interpretation to his life. The article looks briefly at texts which seem to support these proposals and this suggestion.

The Holy Spirit does not enable the reader to discover the (author’s intended) meaning of a passage. He does not teach the reader the meaning of a text. The Holy Spirit does not help the reader to comprehend Scripture. Read more about From the Archives: What Is the Role of the Holy Spirit in Interpretation

Dying to Change - Romans 6-8 (Part 3)

Read the series so far.

Believers need to set aside their hunger for earned righteousness.

Sometimes we chase after inner desires. Other times, it isn’t lust that we serve, it is a list. Paul went back in Romans 7 to the death illustration he used in Romans 6, this time to move into the argument against living to serve religious lists and keep God happy:

Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives? For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man. So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. (NIV, Rom. 7:1-4)

Read more about Dying to Change - Romans 6-8 (Part 3)

The Blind Eye & The Deaf Ear (Part 5)

In the case of false reports against yourself, for the most part use the deaf ear.

Unfortunately liars are not yet extinct, and, like Richard Baxter and John Bunyan, you may be accused of crimes which your soul abhors. Be not staggered thereby, for this trial has befallen the very best of men, and even your Lord did not escape the envenomed tongue of falsehood. In almost all cases it is the wisest course to let such things die a natural death. A great lie, if unnoticed, is like a big fish out of water, it dashes and plunges and beats itself to death in a short time. To answer it is to supply it with its element and help it to a longer life.

Falsehoods usually carry their own refutation somewhere about them, and sting themselves to death. Some lies especially have a peculiar smell, which betrays their rottenness to every honest nose. If you are disturbed by them the object of their invention is partly answered, but your silent endurance disappoints malice and gives you a partial victory, which God in his care of you will soon turn into a complete deliverance. Your blameless life will be your best defense, and those who have seen it will not allow you to be condemned so readily as your slanderers expect. Only abstain from fighting your own battles, and in nine cases out of ten your accusers will gain nothing by their malevolence but chagrin for themselves and contempt from others. Read more about The Blind Eye & The Deaf Ear (Part 5)