Ministering to Those Who Mourn, Part 2

by James Saxman

Republished from Baptist Bulletin April/May 2017 with permission. © Regular Baptist Press, all rights reserved. Read part 1.

Tasks for Mourners

J. William Worden, Harvard professor, identifies four tasks for mourners in his book Grief Counseling and Grief Therapy. Gently helping a mourner to recognize these tasks is beneficial to the mourner’s good health in the days that follow loss.

1. Accept the reality of the loss. It sounds ridiculously obvious, but facing the stark fact that the loved one has died is necessary for the mourner to move on from denial. To experience irreversibility is a shock. Children know that Daddy and Mommy fix everything. When our childish imaginations are confronted with reality, we must change what we are accustomed to. Like it or not, we must begin the awful task of accepting the finality of death. Read more about Ministering to Those Who Mourn, Part 2

Ministering to Those Who Mourn, Part 1

Republished from Baptist Bulletin March/April 2017 with permission. © Regular Baptist Press, all rights reserved.

by James Saxman

Lonely is the home without you,
Life to us is not the same,
All the world would be like heaven,
If we could have you back again. – Anonymous

And she said unto them, “Do not call me Naomi [pleasant]; call me Mara [bitter], for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me” (Ruth 1:20).

Grief/Mourning

The Bible has a great deal to say regarding the topics of grief and mourning. About 20 Hebrew words translated into our English Bibles are some form of the word grieve. Though the occurrences in the New Testament are less frequent than in the Old, Christians are certainly not excluded from grief. They cannot but feel sorrow and be moved by grief. In both the Old and New Testaments, God Himself is said to be susceptible to grief (Isa. 63:10 Heb. 4:15). In the Garden of Gethsemane, the “Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Isa. 53:3) told His disciples that His soul was deeply grieved, to the point of death (Matt. 26:38). Read more about Ministering to Those Who Mourn, Part 1

Culinary Calvinism: Considering Jay Adams’ TULIPburger

Jay Adams has a way with words, and an excellent way of explaining the significance of the doctrine of limited atonement in the Reformed view. He describes the T (total depravity) and P (perseverance of the saints) as the bun, holding the burger together, and the U (unconditional election) and the I (irresistible grace) as the lettuce and tomato. But the part that makes the burger a burger is the “meat” of the L (limited atonement).

Adams suggests,

To hold to the fact that Jesus didn’t die for “mankind,” or, as that means, persons in general—but for persons in particular, is essential to having a “Personal Savior … He didn’t die for people in general, but that He knew His sheep, and called them by name, and gave His life for each one of them individually is a blessed truth, not to be omitted from the burger … Jesus didn’t come to make salvation possible—He came to “seek and to save that which was lost… . He didn’t die needlessly for millions who would reject Him. if universal atonement were true, then God could hardly punish men and women for eternity for whom Christ had already suffered the punishment. There is no double jeopardy. And therefore, there is no burger unless it is a TULIPBURGER!

In asserting limited atonement Adams makes four key assertions: Read more about Culinary Calvinism: Considering Jay Adams’ TULIPburger

The Value of Biblical Exposition in Evangelism

Republished from randywhiteministries.org by permission.

Once upon a time, churches met on Sunday mornings for “preaching services.” In these services, preachers preached the Word of God, often verse-by-verse. They were chiefly teachers of the Word, and the faithful attenders were the eager students. They carried their Bible, took notes, and (over time) became experts of the Scriptures.

Then, a thing called the Church Growth Movement changed all that.

The Sunday morning service changed from the “Preaching Service” to the “Worship Service,” which eventually changed to the “Worship Gathering,” and further changed to simply, “Praise and Worship.” The service became mostly filled with music, drama, and moments of introspection. The preacher became the “Lead Pastor” and the “preaching” gave way to a “speech” and, then, just a “talk or conversation.” The talk was about felt needs and everyday issues. It was filled with humor, emotionalism, and “go get ‘em tiger” conclusions. All this was done because the church thought it needed to soften its tone, lighten up, be authentic (whatever that means), and speak to the heart. Otherwise, the lost would never come to know Jesus. Read more about The Value of Biblical Exposition in Evangelism

Theology Thursday - Carnell on the "Perils" of Fundamentalism (Part 2)

Edward Carnell continues his infamous broadside against fundamentalism, from his 1959 work The Case for Orthodox Theology. ​Many fundamentalists may not agree with his characterizations. Others may still see relevance for Carnell’s criticisms. No matter what you think of his writing here, it is a fascinating look at an evangelical’s view of the fundametnalist movement in the late 1950s.1

J. Gresham Machen

The mentality of fundamentalism sometimes crops up where one would least expect it; and there Is no better Illustration of this than the inimitable New Testament scholar, J. Gresham Machen.

Machen was an outspoken critic of the fundamentalist movement. He argued with great force that Christianity is a system, not a list of fundamentals. The fundamentals include the virgin birth, Christ’s deity and miracles, the atonement, the resurrection, and the inspiration of the Bible. But this list does not even take in the specific issues of the Protestant Reformation. Roman Catholicism easily falls within the limits of fundamentalism.

While Machen was a foe of the fundamentalist movement, he was a friend of the fundamentalist mentality, for he took an absolute stand on a relative issue, and the wrong at that.

Read more about Theology Thursday - Carnell on the "Perils" of Fundamentalism (Part 2)

Tweets & Peeps: When Social Media & Friends Collide

Republished from Baptist Bulletin April/May 2017 with permission. © Regular Baptist Press, all rights reserved.

by Daryl A. Neipp

In 2013, researchers conducted an online survey and discovered that 78 percent of users have experienced a rise in arguments and hostility within social media platforms.

Specific findings include these:

  • 3 in 4 have witnessed an argument on social media;
  • 4 in 5 report rising incivility online;
  • 2 in 5 have blocked, unsubscribed, or unfriended someone as a result;
  • 1 in 5 have reduced in-person contact with someone over a cyber argument;
  • 88 percent believe that people are less polite on social media than in person;
  • 81 percent say emotional conversations held on social media are most often unresolved.
Read more about Tweets & Peeps: When Social Media & Friends Collide

You Are What You Love - A Review (Part 2a)

Image of You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit by James K. A. Smith (April 01,2016)
by
Baker Publishing Group (April 01,2016) 1657
Hardcover

Read Part 1.

In the Scholastic period of Catholic theology the classic languages were re-learned and many old works were read, including Aristotle. His ideas about the formation of the soul found purchase in the minds of theologians like Abelard, Scotus, and Thomas Aquinas. In You Are What You Love, Smith depends heavily on these men for his thesis. In this paper, we will consider what they believed.

Thomas Aquinas said this about justification:

The righteousness and sanctity which justification confers, although given to us by God as efficient cause (causa efficiens) and merited by Christ as meritorious cause (causa meritoria), become an interior sanctifying quality or formal cause (causa formalis) in the soul itself, which it makes truly just and holy in the sight of God.1

For Thomists,2 the soul is truly made just in the formal aspect of justification. The Christian’s identity as a just person is made real in the formation of his soul. R.C.Sproul puts it like this: Read more about You Are What You Love - A Review (Part 2a)

The Sick Woman & the Dead Girl (Mark 5:21-43)

"Christ and the Woman with the Issue of Blood" (ca. 1565) by Paolo Veronese

This is a series about the Trinity. It explores this doctrine by brief expositions of different passages from throughout the Gospel of Mark, showing how the Trinity is the explicit and implicit teaching and assumption of Scripture.

I’m a regulatory fraud investigator for a state agency. Before that, I was a criminal investigator with the U.S. Naval Security Forces. I carry credentials which tell people who I am. Jesus had credentials, too. They proved who He is and where He comes from.

My credentials are a piece of state-issued plastic. Jesus’ credentials are His miracles. They show He is co-equal with God, “for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him,” (John 3:2). And, as I forge ahead in my series on Jesus and the Trinity, the two miracles in our passage help establish this.

And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him; and he was beside the sea. Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and seeing him, he fell at his feet, and besought him, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.” And he went with him (Mark 5:21-24a).

Read more about The Sick Woman & the Dead Girl (Mark 5:21-43)