The Gospel

The Statement on Social Justice vs. the Poor?

Reposted from The Cripplegate.

A few months ago “The Statement on Social Justice” was released. Authored by a group of pastors (including John MacArthur, Voddie Baucham, and James White), the statement declares that the modern concepts of intersectionality, radical feminism, and critical race theory run contrary to the Bible’s depiction of justice. Moreover, it argues that the concept of corporate guilt is more at home in the Old Covenant than the new (an excellent post on that here), and that people only inherit guilt for sins they actually commit, not for sins that their ethnic ancestors committed. The main point of the declaration is that the concept of “social justice” is inherently an outcome oriented approach to justice, which is categorically different than the Bible’s concept of justice (which is process oriented).

What is outcome oriented justice? That is the concept that diverse sociological outcomes reflect an existent injustice. The most obvious examples are America’s disparity in education, incarceration rates, and income along racial lines; or South Africa’s disparity in farm ownership along racial lines. Those disparities are unequal outcomes, which reflect a social injustice.

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3 Bible Passages to Study with Unbelievers

By Jordan Standridge. Reposted from The Cripplegate.

As time passes, I become more and more convinced that faith comes from hearing and hearing from the Word of God.

No amount of evidence can convince someone about the truth of the Gospel. It is the Word of God, itself, that has the power to save and transform souls.

Because of this conviction, I love walking through Scripture with people whenever they permit me the time. And there are three passages in particular that I am usually drawn to, depending on the type of questions I receive throughout the conversation. So, here are my top three passages to study with unbelievers.

Matthew 5:21-30, 48

This one is especially helpful for people who don’t think their sin is that bad. This is a go-to passage for several reasons. It comes from the Savior’s mouth, Himself. It is designed to show much how deep man’s depravity truly is. And it ultimately places God as the standard that we should reach to, and, by doing so, shatters false religion in pieces.

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Why the God of the Qur’an Cannot Forgive Sins

Reposted permission, from The Cripple Gate.

Almost every system or religion proposes some sort of love. From systems in the east to the west, they feature some concept of love. Both the Qur’an and the Bible do so. They both teach that God is loving. But, what do they mean by love? And, what is it about the God of the Qur’an and the God of the Bible that renders them loving? Most assertions of love remain in realm of abstract or human-to-human benevolence. How can we tangibly measure love?

Today’s post is our sixth and final part of a series studying various differences between the sacred book of Islam, the Qur’an, and that of the Christianity, the Bible. In part one, we looked at a brief introduction to Quranic Islam, observing the development of the Quranic text. In part two, we noted the major differences between the God of the Qur’an and that of the Bible. Third, we studied nine differences between the Jesus of the Qur’an and the Bible. In part four, we observed the differences between the doctrine of salvation in the Qur’an and the Bible, noticing that the Qur’an teaches a works-based righteousness. Part five covered the difference between the integrity of the Qur’an and the Bible, noting a catastrophic conundrum for Quranic Islam. Finally, we examine the differences between the love of the God of the Bible and that of the Qur’an.

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From the Archives: Reasoning Outside the Box of Human Reason

Unless you reason outside the box of human reason, you can forget about understanding the Jesus of the Bible. Only those willing and able to break the constraints of common experience and human rationalism can hope to make any sense of Jesus’ life and ministry.

The birth narrative of Jesus demands that we think outside the box. We have no conceptual or experiential category for a woman conceiving a child without sperm from a man. But the biblical authors announce that Jesus was conceived in the womb of a virgin named Mary by a direct act of God. We are to understand that although fully human, Jesus had no earthly, biological father—a reality Mary found no easier to grasp than we do (Luke 1:31-35).

Another mental box the Jesus of the Bible explodes is our understanding of kingship. Beginning with nursery rhymes and children’s stories and then attaining higher levels of historical awareness, we learn to conceive of kings as people born in palaces, attended by servants, and consumers of every luxury afforded by their culture. Kings rule their realms and lead armies. They conquer and reign, or at least try to.

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How to Become a Hypocrite

So you want to be a hypocrite … If you believe the gospel, you’re at a disadvantage. You may not ever achieve the elite-level hypocrisy we find in Matthew 23, which probably requires a Pharisee-like depth of unbelief. But don’t be discouraged. Even believers can achieve several forms of high-quality hypocrisy.

Since all humans lapse into hypocrisy from time to time without even trying, I’m confident that, with just a little work, even you can achieve a noticeable level of expertise.

Here’s how.

1. Get very comfortable with inconsistency.

Hypocrisy is more than inconsistency. True, in Matthew 23:3 Jesus faults the Pharisees because “they preach, but do not practice.” But consider the inconsistencies of Jesus’ hand-picked twelve. They were not consistently believing (Matt. 17:20, 14:31; John 20:25), or consistently compassionate (Matt. 19:13). They were certainly not consistently humble! (Luke 22:24, Matt. 26:33). But Jesus never called them hypocrites.

So, though it’s common practice to cherry pick perceived inconsistencies in others’ lives and call it hypocrisy, you won’t achieve the real thing unless you’re aware of your inconsistencies and get very good at rationalizing them away — maybe even coming to see them as virtues (1 Cor. 5:2).

2. Judge others by a higher standard than you judge yourself.

They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. (ESV, Matt. 23:4)

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