Series - Theology Thursday

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.

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Theology Thursday - Reasoned Eclecticism & the New Testament Text

Daniel Wallace is a scholar who advocates a reasoned eclectic approach to New Testament textual criticism. Here, in this short video, he briefly explains this approach:1

In this short excerpt from his discussion of New Testament textual criticism from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, Dan Wallace explains the nuts and bolts of the reasoned eclectic approach to textual criticism:2 Read more about Theology Thursday - Reasoned Eclecticism & the New Testament Text

Theology Thursday - Byzantine Priority & the "Phantom" Eclectic Text (Part 2)

Maurice Robinson continues to make his case for Byzantine priority for the Greek text of the New Testament. In this excerpt, he explains his approach to restoring the text from his perspective, and how it differs from the eclectic method.1 

Principles for Restoring the Text

For the most part, the principles utilized in the practice and application of Byzantine-priority theory remain identical to those found in the standard text-critical handbooks regarding the eclectic methods. The issue is not the principles, but the total scope of their application; modern eclecticism sees only the individual variant units, while Byzantine-priority sees the sequential text as a whole.

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Theology Thursday - "My Words Shall Not Pass Away" (Mt 24:35)

If Jesus promised His Words would never pass away, what are the implications for the doctrine of preservation? Did God’s Words ever pass away? Were they lost for centuries in the sands of Egypt? Could they have been? How can prophesy even be meaningful if the very words of God were lost for a time, or may be lost in the future?

In this excerpt from a book he edited, entitled Thou Shalt Keep Them, Kent Brandenburg explains what Jesus’ statement in Matthew 24:35 means for the doctrine of preservation.

In Matthew 24:35, the Lord Jesus Christ makes the significant prophesy, “Heaven and earth shall not pass away, but my words shall not pass away.’ Although in its context the prophesy relates to His Second Coming, it also directly concerns the future of heaven and earth and God’s Words.1

Brandenburg briefly explains some of the context surrounding the great prophesy from Matthew 24: 2 Read more about Theology Thursday - "My Words Shall Not Pass Away" (Mt 24:35)

Theology Thursday - "Entire Sanctification" & the Christian Life

John Wesley

What is “sinless perfection?” What do the so-called “holiness churches” believe about growth in Christ and sanctification? Is there really a difference between, say, a Nazarene church and a Baptist congregation about the Holy Spirit’s work in a believer’s life? Today, we allow a Nazarene theologian, H. Orton Wiley, to explain for himself.  

In this excerpt, Wiley explains what “Christian perfection” means:1

Christian perfection in the critical sense, represents the more positive aspect of the one experience, known theologically either as entire sanctification or Christian perfection. Entire sanctification, however, is a term which applies more to the aspect of a cleansing from sin, or the making holy; while Christian perfection emphasizes especially the standard of privilege secured to the believer by the atoning work of Jesus Christ.

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Theology Thursday . . . on Friday: The Chicago Statement on Inerrancy (Part 3)

This is the last portion of the “Exposition” section from the 1978 Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. It gets right to the heart of the issue about inerrancy. For some recent media resources about the inerrancy issue, see the 2015 Shepherd’s Conference and Ligonier’s 2015 Winter Conference.

Infallibility, Inerrancy, Interpretation

Holy Scripture, as the inspired Word of God witnessing authoritatively to Jesus Christ, may properly be called infallible and inerrant. These negative terms have a special value, for they explicitly safeguard crucial positive truths.

lnfallible signifies the quality of neither misleading nor being misled and so safeguards in categorical terms the truth that Holy Scripture is a sure, safe, and reliable rule and guide in all matters.

Similarly, inerrant signifies the quality of being free from all falsehood or mistake and so safeguards the truth that Holy Scripture is entirely true and trustworthy in all its assertions.

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Theology Thursday - 1978 Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (Part 2)

What follows is the first part of the “Exposition” section from the 1978 Chicago Statement. The original text is available here. For some helpful backkground, see this interview with R.C. Sproul.

Exposition

Our understanding of the doctrine of inerrancy must be set in the context of the broader teachings of the Scripture concerning itself. This exposition gives an account of the outline of doctrine from which our summary statement and articles are drawn.

Creation, Revelation and Inspiration

The Triune God, who formed all things by his creative utterances and governs all things by His Word of decree, made mankind in His own image for a life of communion with Himself, on the model of the eternal fellowship of loving communication within the Godhead. As God’s image-bearer, man was to hear God’s Word addressed to him and to respond in the joy of adoring obedience. Over and above God’s self-disclosure in the created order and the sequence of events within it, human beings from Adam on have received verbal messages from Him, either directly, as stated in Scripture, or indirectly in the form of part or all of Scripture itself.

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Theology Thursday - Continuity or Discontinuity Between the Covenants?

What’s All of the Fuss?1

“Evangelicals agree that God has spoken and that the Bible is His word. But, God has not revealed all of His word at once. How are we to relate what He has said through the prophets of old to what has been revealed through His apostles? Without an answer to this question it is difficult to know how to use both Testaments in formulating either doctrine of practice.

“An example of a doctrinal issue that hinges on this question is one’s understanding of the church. Are Christian to formulate their concept of the church on the basis of both Testaments, claiming so much continuity between the people of God that one may see the church in the OT? Or is there such discontinuity between Israel and the church that one’s understanding of the church must be formed solely on the basis of the NT?  …

“Such questions cannot be answered adequately without first addressing the more fundamental issue of how the Testaments relate. Read more about Theology Thursday - Continuity or Discontinuity Between the Covenants?

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