Time to Put the Gun Away? Thoughts on the Auction of George Zimmerman's Gun

(Photo: NY Daily News)

Recently George Zimmerman has put up for auction the gun that he describes as a “piece of American history,” and which is notable for its role in the loss of Trayvon Martin’s life. The auction is currently being handled by the United Gun Group, owned by Todd Underwood (who I am told may have formerly been a student at Calvary—the school where I now serve as President). Underwood confirmed to the Washington Post that United Gun Group would host the auction, though he added “I don’t support it, I don’t condone it, I don’t have anything against it. It’s his property, it’s his decision.”

Previously the gun was listed on Gun Broker’s website, but apparently the auction was deleted, and the administrators of the website posted a statement saying, “We want no part in the listing on our web site or in any of the publicity it is receiving.” Read more about Time to Put the Gun Away? Thoughts on the Auction of George Zimmerman's Gun

Carnal Christians? Part 1

From In the Nick of Time, Central Baptist Theological Seminary. Read the series.

One of my former professors, Charles Hauser, has recently written in support of the “carnal Christian” view as a way of describing the reality of sin in the believer’s life (Part 1 and Part 2). In response, I offer this essay in respectful dissent and in support of the more historically grounded position that there is only a single category or class of Christians: the regenerate (or sanctified or spiritual or justified or any number of adjectives used to distinguish believers in Christ from non-believers).

Though not intended as a point-by-point response to Dr. Hauser’s essays, this two-part article will provide some historical context to the sanctification discussion before furnishing an interpretation of 1 Corinthians 2:14-3:3, the favorite text of “carnal Christian” advocates. In regard to historical issues, it will first help the reader to learn the context out of which the “carnal Christian” doctrine has arisen. Second, I will address the historical connection between dispensationalism and particular models of sanctification, an issue raised by Dr. Hauser. Read more about Carnal Christians? Part 1

The Gospel Applied: “The Look From Above” (Romans 12, Part 2)

Read the series so far.

In Romans 12, Paul speaks of God’s expecation of surrender. That expectation of my surrender to God is based on two things: knowledge of His Person and acknowledgement of His work on my behalf.

In light of the incredible work of God in saving men that will believe, and in light of the astounding Mastery of God over all, He expects that I will surrender to His plan and not try to “write a better plan” for my life.

Look again at Romans 12:1 and read it carefully with me as I translate each word from the original language with some additional fullness:

Therefore: because of all that I have told you about God’s magnificent person and His wondrous saving work for you.

I urge you brethren, I come beside you, as a paraklete—“one brought alongside to brace.”. Don’t forget that he addressed them as brothers—a term Paul uses of other believers. The call to inspection will not work for someone who does not know Jesus personally already. Read more about The Gospel Applied: “The Look From Above” (Romans 12, Part 2)

The Origin Of Human Language

From Dispensational Publishing House; used by permission.

Dispensationalism & the Literal Interpretation of the Bible, Part 1

For decades, one of the sina qua non of dispensationalism has been the consistent use of a literal interpretation of the Bible.1 In fact, it proved to be the ultimate and most primitive of the irreducible minimum of dispensational tenets. Dr. Charles Ryrie said that one’s hermeneutical principles should be determined before one’s theology is formed.2 Earl Radmacher later forcefully contended that literal interpretation was the “basic principle” of dispensationalism.3 Read more about The Origin Of Human Language

The Believer & Carnality, Part 2

From In the Nick of Time, Central Baptist Theological Seminary. Read Part 1.

The previous essay attempted to show that 1 Corinthians 1:14-3:3 establishes three categories of people: natural, spiritual, and carnal. The latter two are both genuine believers, but differ in their level of maturity. This contrast seems especially clear in 3:1-3.

To avoid this interpretation, Reformed theologians like Ernest Reisinger appeal back to 1 Corinthians 1:2. Reisinger argues that this verse declares the Corinthian believers to be already sanctified, so they could not possibly be in a carnal state or condition. He says, “[W]e must bear in mind the designation [Paul] gives them in chapter one. He says they are sanctified in Christ Jesus…. They are rebuked in chapter 3, not for failing to attain to privileges which some Christians attain to, but for acting, despite their privileges, like babes and like the unregenerate in one area of their lives.”

Reisinger’s mistake is to confuse the believer’s position in Christ with the believer’s experience. The New Testament teaches many truths about the believer’s position in Christ. One of those truths is that all believers are completely sanctified and seated in the heavenly places with Christ. Yet no believer is experientially seated with Christ in the heavenly places, just as no believer is completely sanctified experientially while in this life. Read more about The Believer & Carnality, Part 2

The Believer & Carnality, Part 1

From In the Nick of Time, Central Baptist Theological Seminary.

All Bible-believing interpreters of scripture agree that doctrine must be determined by the teaching of the Word of God, not by creeds or confessions. The creeds are helpful and widely respected, but doctrine must always be decided on the basis of what scripture clearly teaches.

Reformed theologians have consistently taught that the Bible names only two kinds of people: the saved and the unsaved. These, they hold, are equivalent to “spiritual” and “natural” people. On this view, the New Testament always classifies believers as “spiritual.” This system leaves no category for carnal believers. In this system, believers might be carnal in some aspects of their lives, but no believer can exist in a state of carnality. Read more about The Believer & Carnality, Part 1

A General Call for Volunteers

If my calculations are correct, SharperIron is now in its 12th year. That would put me in my 11th year of involvement and, as of sometime this month, my 9th year at the lead.

It’s been a ride, and sometimes I think it’s time I stepped aside. But no, we’re not there  yet. However, life changes have resulted in my having less time to be involved in the same ways I used to be. There is a need for new volunteers and some changes in the division of labor.

So I’m looking for volunteers, with three goals in mind. Read more about A General Call for Volunteers

Regeneration—Conversion—Reformation

(About this series)

CHAPTER IV - REGENERATION—CONVERSION—REFORMATION

BY REV. GEORGE W. LASHER, D. D., LL. D., Author of “Theology for Plain People” CINCINNATI, OHIO

In his “Twice-Born Men,” Mr. Harold Begbie gives us a series of instances wherein men of the lowest grade, or the most perverse nature, became suddenly changed in thought, purpose, will and life. Without intentionally ignoring the word “regeneration,” or the fact of regeneration, he emphasises the act of conversion in which he includes regeneration which, in our conception, is the origin of conversion and a true reformation as a permanent fact. A weakness in much of the teaching of modern times is in that conversion and reformation are thrust to the front, while regeneration is either ignored, or minimized to nothingness.

Jesus Christ did not say much about regeneration, using the equivalent word in the Greek (paliggenesis) only once, and then (Matt. 19: 28) having reference to created things, a new order in the physical universe, rather than to a new condition of the individual soul. But He taught the great truth in other words, the needful fact by which He made it evident that a regeneration is what the human soul needs and must have to fit it for the kingdom of God. Read more about Regeneration—Conversion—Reformation