Friday, November 30, 2007

Debate DVD

I have finally received the DVD of my debate with Mitch Pacwa, and I have just now requested the source files so that I can begin posting clips on the blog in a running series/commentary on the highlights of that debate. Stay tuned.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ashamed of the Gospel

"I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith." (Rom 1:16-17)

I saw this interview on Larry King Live when it first aired. Have you ever seen a more pathetic example of someone who names the name of Christ and is clearly ashamed of His words?

And the dance continues . . . and gets even worse:

Now compare that stumbling, bumbling unfaithful presentation of the gospel to that of the boldness and clarity of a faithful minister of the gospel. Same venue; same interviewer:

Then ask yourself to which one of these men the words of our Lord applies:

"If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels." (Mark 8:38).


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Unbelief and Judgment

Yesterday I mentioned an article by Bob Wilkin in the Grace in Focus newsletter. Zane Hodges contributed an article in that same newsletter titled, "The Sin of Unbelief," in which he argues (in a Q&A format) that no one goes to hell on the basis of his unbelief:

Question: Did Christ die for the sin of unbelief?
Answer: Of course. He died for all the sins of all mankind (1 John 2:2)

Question: Then why does God send people to hell for not believing?
Answer: He doesn't. The Bible nowhere says that.

Question: Then what does he send them to hell for?
Answer: For not having their names in the Book of Life (Rev 20:15).

Question: But isn't that because they didn't believe?
Answer: Yes. But it's still not the reason they are condemned to hell.

Question: Isn't that doubletalk?
Answer: Not at all. A cause and a reason are not the same thing. Unbelief is the cause for the unsaved not having eternal life. Not having eternal life is the reason they are condemned to hell.

Hodges goes on to explain that if someone on parole is required to be in his home by 11 PM, and violates that order by staying out till "12 PM" (by which I assume he means 12 AM), he is sent back to prison not for staying out too late, but for falling below the standard of the stipulations of his parole. Staying out too late is the "cause" of the violation, but the violation itself is the "reason" he is sent back to prison.

I'm not sure Hodges clear-cut distinction between "reason" and "cause" really works. In reality, they are both causes, but hierarchical causes: the man returns to prison because he violated his parole; and he violated his parole because he stayed out too late.

But the larger issue is a biblical one. Is it true (per Hodges) "the Bible nowhere says" a man is condemned on the basis of his unbelief? Here is Jesus Himself on the matter:

"Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son" (John 3:18).

There's that basis for condemnation Hodges insists the Bible nowhere states. According to this verse, the reason a man stands in a state of condemnation is specifically "because he has not believed."


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Finally . . .

Finally . . . work demands having died down a bit with the approaching holidays has at long last allowed me to ease back into posting some comments. Church commitments have also contributed to my internet absence, though that part of my busy schedule is always the most meaningful and enjoyable. Not sure to what extent I'll be posting (whether daily or weekly), but I will attempt it with some semblance of regularity.

Finally . . . I have found something with which Bob Wilkin and I can agree. I recently received the latest edition (Nov/Dec 2007) of the Grace in Focus newlsetter (a newsletter dedicated to propogating cheap-grace easy-believism); and while I normally read the articles in this newsletter while shaking my head in disgust at the tortuous exegesis that dominates the newsletter, this edition focuses instead on the post-modern epidemic among so-called "evangelical" professors vis-a-vis their lack of commitment to the ability to know truth. Not a bad article on the whole. Unfortunately it is not yet online at their website.

And finally--and perhaps most importantly--to the relief of many, you will no longer be shocked to learn, upon accessing this blog, that Harold O. J. Brown has died at age 74.