Tipping, Tithing, and Grace Giving: The Concept of Grace Giving

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to read Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4. This article will stand somewhat alone, but is best understood within the context of the overall biblical teaching on giving.

Most Christians know that giving of material and financial resources as an offering to God and to support the work of ministry comes with the territory of being a believer. Many have been taught that tithing (giving 10% of one’s income) is the accepted way to give. A key point in this article series is that tithing fades from view and grace giving comes to the forefront in New Testament Christianity.

So the question is, what is “grace giving” and where is it taught in the Bible? Read more about Tipping, Tithing, and Grace Giving: The Concept of Grace Giving

Chrislam: A Dangerous Ecumenical Expansion (Part 2)

Adapted from Voice, Mar/Apr 2015. Used with permission. Read Part 1.

God gave this warning to Israel as they were about to enter the Promised Land filled with Canaanites:

Take care that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods?—that I also may do the same.’ You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the LORD hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods. (ESV, Deut. 12:30-31)

The Quran certainly does believe in replacement, not only of the Jews and Israel but also of the Messiah and His Church, replacing them with Islam’s own prophet and book. But the Bible clearly teaches: “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). Read more about Chrislam: A Dangerous Ecumenical Expansion (Part 2)

Chrislam: A Dangerous Ecumenical Expansion (Part 1)

From Voice, Mar/Apr 2015. Used with permission.

We need to make Bible believers aware of a new ecumenical trend called Chrislam, which attempts to reconcile Islam and Christianity based on shared common beliefs. It is a pattern developing in Christian-Muslim interaction with the goal to bring acceptance of Islam as a peaceful religion while rejecting the uniqueness of Biblical Christianity. In this article I will try to inform the readers as to how has this come about, what we should make of this trend and suggest how we might respond.

History of Chrislam

Due to religious tensions between Christians and Muslims in Nigeria in the 1970s, a group was formed that embraced both the Bible and the Quran as holy books of faith and this group held both combined and separate services to meet everyone’s background. The leaders believed they had special angelic revelation to create this syncretism of religions.1 A similar grouping developed in 1993 following the Lebanon-Israel conflict. Several Catholic, Orthodox, and Muslim leaders formed the “Islamic-Christian National Dialogue Committee” to promote understanding and dialogue between religious groups.2 Read more about Chrislam: A Dangerous Ecumenical Expansion (Part 1)

Evolutionism in the Pulpit

(About this series)

CHAPTER II - EVOLUTIONISM IN THE PULPIT*

BY AN OCCUPANT OF THE PEW

Perhaps the most remarkable movement in philosophic thought that has occurred in any age was the rise and general acceptance by scientific circles of the evolutionary theory as propounded by Darwin, Huxley and Spencer. It was remarkable that men of science, whose peculiar boast it is that they deal only with established facts, should have so readily departed from this rule and accepted a system based upon hypothesis only, and which was, and is still after the lapse of forty years, without a single known fact to support it. Even when allowance is made for the well-known eagerness of many scientists to do away with all dualism, which was Mr. Darwin’s aim, it was still remarkable that men of trained intellect should have so promptly accepted at face value his two principal works, in which the expression, “we may well suppose,” occurs over eight hundred times, as a basis for the argument. Pure supposition may answer as a foundation for fanciful sketches like those of Jules Verne’s; but as ground upon which to base a sober scientific argument it appears to the average man as little less than farcical. Why it did not so appear to the scientific mind, the scientific mind may perhaps be able to explain. We frankly confess our inability to do so. Read more about Evolutionism in the Pulpit

From the Archives: I Will Raise It Up

(Originally posted 3/22/2011)

Many children raised in Christian homes do not understand the meaning of Resurrection Sunday. They might choose the correct answer on a multiple-choice test but would flunk an open-ended question (“Why do we celebrate Easter?”). Open-ended questions provide the best measurement of understanding.

Fortunately, some of these kids will later appreciate the meaning of the holiday. They will learn that Easter is not about bunnies, baskets and ham, but the resurrected Savior. There were no bunnies at the tomb as far as we know. The women may have carried baskets, but we know that Jesus never tasted ham.

Similarly, Jesus’ disciples understood many of His teachings only in retrospect. After the resurrection, the disciples finally understood that He had to die an atoning death and then be raised. Read more about From the Archives: I Will Raise It Up

Book Review – Chance and the Sovereignty of God

It is easy to think that much of the activities in our lives are nothing more than a string of random chance events that have no significance beyond their occurrence or connection to the bigger picture of our lives, let alone the lives of others. Further, when it comes to the good events in our lives we are quick to attribute them to God. But what about the bad events? Is God in those somewhere? Did He ordain them? Allow them? Is He indifferent to them?

Chance. Randomness. Unpredictability. Is there such a thing? What do they look like in everyday life? How would they work with a sovereign God? Is there a place for them within the Christian worldview? Seeking to answer these questions and more, Vern Poythress has written Chance and the Sovereignty of God: A God-Centered Approach to Probability and Random Events (Crossway, 2014). This book is a continuation of his previous books like Logic and Redeeming Philosophy in which Poythress seeks to understand these sciences in light of Scripture and the the existence of God as the foundation for all of life.

Overview

The book can be broken into two essential parts. In the first half of the book Poythress establishes the sovereignty of God as laid out in Scripture. From texts like Heb. 1:3 and Col. 1:17 it is established that God ‘s continual sustaining of the universe places God in sovereign control of it. From Scripture, Poythress shows how God in involved in many kids of events: Read more about Book Review – Chance and the Sovereignty of God

Trying to Get the Rapture Right (Part 6)

Read the series so far.

This series explores the various avenues which have to be gone down in order to get the doctrine of the Rapture of the Church right. I am deliberately avoiding the more conventional comparative approach. This may annoy some and intrigue others. I hope the former group is smaller than the latter!

The Day of the Lord, Cosmic Upheavals, and the Return of Christ

The concept of the Day of the Lord describes different yet related things. If I pick it up where I left off last time, with 2 Peter 3:10, the Day of the Lord is matched specifically with the dissolution of the present created order.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.

Read more about Trying to Get the Rapture Right (Part 6)

Does the Believer Have One Nature or Two? (Part 5)

Originally published as a single article in DBSJ 2 (Fall 1997): 81–103. Used by permission.

This installment continues our study of the believer’s struggle with sin, focusing on Romans 7.

Romans 7:14–25

Paul’s description of the struggle between the old and new natures is not confined to the flesh/Spirit contrast of Galatians 5:16–17. Paul can, as Romans 7:14–25 illustrates, use somewhat different terminology to describe the same conflict. Though there is considerable debate about this section of Romans, there would appear to be more than sufficient reasons for understanding this passage as describing Paul as a regenerate person. Some of the more important ones would include: (1) The shift from the past tenses of verses 7–13 to the present tenses beginning in verse 14 is inexplicable unless Paul has now shifted to his present regenerate status. (2) In verse 22 Paul says: “For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man,” and in verse 25b: “I myself with my mind am serving the law of God.” Murray argues that “this is service which means subjection of heart and will, something impossible for the unregenerate man.”1 (3) In answer to the longing of verse 24, “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” Paul gives a triumphant answer in the first part of verse 25, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” This is the confession of Paul, the regenerate man, which is immediately followed by a concluding summary concerning his continuing struggle with sin as a believer: “So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.” This is the same struggle which has been recounted beginning in verse 14. Read more about Does the Believer Have One Nature or Two? (Part 5)