Saturday, August 01, 2015

Luther on John 6: These words are not to be misconstrued and made to refer to the Sacrament of the Altar; whoever so interprets them does violence to this Gospel text.

I came across this on the CARM boards: Luther's interpretation of John 6 in regard to the sacraments. One of Luther's sermons states:
16. In this light I now remind you that these words are not to be misconstrued and made to refer to the Sacrament of the Altar; whoever so interprets them does violence to this Gospel text. There is not a letter in it that refers to the Lord's Supper. Why should Christ here have in mind that Sacrament when it was not yet instituted? The whole chapter from which this Gospel is taken speaks of nothing but the spiritual food, namely, faith. When the people followed the Lord merely hoping again to eat and drink, as the Lord himself charges them with doing, he took the figure from the temporal food they sought, and speaks throughout the entire chapter of a spiritual food. He says: "The words that I have spoken unto you are spirit, and are life." Thereby he shows that he feeds them with the object of inducing them to believe on him, and that as they partook of the temporal food, so should they also partake of the spiritual. On this subject we will say more at some other time. [source]
As we let Luther be Luther, the sermon goes on to say,
19. The whole New Testament treats of this spiritual supper, and especially does John here. The Sacrament of the Altar is a testament and confirmation of this true supper, with which we should strengthen our faith and be assured that this body and this blood, which we receive in the Sacrament has rescued us from sin and death, the devil, hell and all misery. Concerning this I have spoken and written more on other occasions.

The Steadfast Lutherans have an interesting article which refers to Luther's view. The article states,
There is a reason no orthodox Lutheran theologian saw John 6 as sacramental before the acceptance of historical criticism in the 1800’s. What is the reason behind this powerful fact? They read Scripture differently. 
What they mean by that is the narrative of John 6 was held to be an historical account of what Jesus said. Later historical criticism saw the text as "post-resurrection, interpretive, theological commentaries." So, when Luther's sermon asks,  "Why should Christ here have in mind that Sacrament when it was not yet instituted?" The sermon sees John 6 as an historical account, not an interpretation of the early church community. The article goes on to say of Luther's view:

The basic argument is that the context of John 6 is the early church, not the words or history given in the text. Luther went to the text and saw an accurate reporting of Jesus’ dialogue with unbelieving Jews who merely wanted bread from Jesus.
Luther’s chronological argument (that the Supper was not yet instituted) assumed that John 6 was reliable history in every sense.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Discussion about Sola Fide at Called to Communion

Discussion with Bryan Cross and another Roman Catholic about Sola Fide at Called to Communion:
Comments # 353 to 362

Addendum:  there is more after # 362 and more after this one below.
As I wrote before at Beggar’s All, and quoted Anthony Lane, the problem with infant baptism that is ex opere operato in Roman Catholicism: “the teaching on grace is pushed back to a forgotten infancy” Anthony Lane, see below. Psychologically, infant baptism, especially the ex opere operato type of Roman Catholicism, tends to lead to a kind of semi-pelagianism in history from the council of Orange in 529 AD to the time of Luther and then dogmatized in the Council of Trent. Wycliffe, Hus, Luther, Calvin, etc. were recognizing the eclipsing of the doctrine of justification by faith alone in accordance with grace alone. In RC circles, if a baby was already baptized, then their whole life teaching that they are getting is assuming they are already in a state of grace (because they were baptized and it regenerated them), and that tends to short-circuit the need for teaching on the essense of the gospel in evangelism. (that they are sinners, condemned to hell, and need to repent and trust Christ, and that justification is by faith alone in Christ alone – not prayers to Mary or good deeds, etc.)
“Another problem with the Council of Orange was that it said that grace comes to the soul in water baptism and begins regeneration and heals the will so that one can choose. (ex opere operato) And most everyone by that time in the western culture was baptized as a baby, so, the need to understand sin, repentance and faith for the first time in one’s life was hidden and non-discernable; and people began to trust in their water baptism as a baby – that it saved them. Sad. 
As Tony Lane wrote in his analysis of Orange in the section on the Council of Orange of 529 AD:
“The canons affirm our need for grace, but this grace is tied to the sacraments. Free-will is healed by the grace of baptism. With the grace of baptism and the aid and co-operation of Jesus Christ, we have the power to do all that is necessary for salvation, if we so desire. By this time infant baptism was universal, so the teaching on grace is pushed back to a forgotten infancy.” (Exploring Christian Thought, page 81)”
Earlier comment on Semi-Pelagianism and the quote from Anthony Lane.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Papal Infallibility: White vs. Staples

Here's an interesting one that's on Papal Infallibility (James White vs Tim Staples). A video of this would have been fascinating to see, but it's audio only. This link has some interesting comments in regard to the debate.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

A way to celebrate July 4 with righteous anger

These three videos are just ways to express my frustration with the evil things that are going on today in our world.

I was born in 1961, and growing up in the 60s and 70s; I fully realize I am a baby-boomer and I have an internal skepticism of authority, especially our government, and most especially, our current government.  The stuff Nixon did at the time seemed really bad, but the stuff that goes on now, with the liberal media protecting the liberal politicians, is much, much worse.  Government take over of health care - ObamaCare, Benghazi- Gate, IRS scandals, Hillary lying Clinton, the Supreme Court's recent decision on so called "same sex marriage"; abortion that has been going on with government sanction since 1973, President Obama refusing to call Islamic governments, ISIS/ISIL/IS as "Islamic" and terrorists and other Jihadists - "Islamic".  For our current government to label what Nidal Hassan did at Fort Hood as "work-place violence" is one of the most disgusting things ever done by our liberal governement idiots.    Judges making laws, judges fining the bakers, photographers, florists - massive injustice!  Of course I also am angry at the evil racist white guy who killed those Black church folks in Charleston too!  (If I don't mention that, the leftist people will ask, "why don't you get upset with that also?"  Well, it is evil and wrong, and sad; but it was not caused by government force or institutionalized racism or "white supremacy" or a flag that just symbolizes history for most people.)

I realize that Randy Stonehill has been divorced, and that he had problems in his life also; but some of his songs, like this one, are just great.

"Be angry, and yet, do not sin"  - Psalm 4:4 and Ephesians 4:26

I like this song, for it communicates there is a time for righteous anger at sin and injustice and corruption.

I think we can say legitimately that, "There is a time for righteous anger" - Ecclesiastes 3:1-8  (a time to kill and a time to hate = killing murderers and wars against evil regimes and hating sin and evil are good things)

"You who love the Lord, hate evil"  - Psalm 97:10

Angry Young Men
by Randy Stonehill

He wants some angry young men
Ones who can't be bought
Ones who will not run from a fight
Ones who speak the truth whether it's popular or not
Ones who'd give up anything to walk in His light


Rest assured when Jesus comes again
He'll be looking for some angry young men

He wants some angry young men
With fire in their eyes
Ones who understand what Jesus gave
Ones who have grown weary
of the world and all its lies
Ones who won't forget they've been
delivered from the grave

(Repeat Chorus)

They say if you don't laugh you cry
I say if you don't live you die
Well, well, the road to hell is paved with
some impressive alibis
But unless you thirst for Jesus first
Man, heaven will pass you by
Heaven will pass you by

You'll be tempted, tried and tested
There'll be wars the devil wins
But God's love is not a license to lie 
there in your sins
He understands the human heart
His mercy is complete
But His grace was not intended
As a place to wipe your feet

(Repeat Chorus)

He wants some angry young men
Who love the Lord they serve
Ones who'll do much more than make a speech
Ones who'll act their faith out with a passion it deserves
'Cause if we cannot live it
Tell me, who are we to preach?

(Repeat Chorus)  

Just Gimme Some Truth!!  

Here is another song - John Lennon's "Gimme Some Truth" (from 1971).
I realise that Lennon was talking against Nixon ("Tricky Dicky"), the Vietnam War, hypocrites in government, and that he is seen as an icon of the left.  I also realise that if Lennon was alive today, he would more than likely approve of, at least, the freedom for homosexuals to have "same sex marriage".  Though he was the most radical of the Beatles, and sometimes a real jerk to people, full of anger, sometimes he was refreshingly honest.  The most famous of Lennon's songs, "Imagine", is the leftist anthem of all that modern liberals want and desire and love.  Many people think "Imagine" was Lennon's best song, rivaling McCartney's "Yesterday".  Bolderdash!  Lennon's, "In My Life", "Nowhere Man", "Strawberry Fields", "I am the Walrus", and "Beautiful Boy" were much better than "Imagine".  "Imagine" is a terrible song, because of the words and the philosophy it espouses.  Good music, terrible words.  Leftist utopian dreams, a unity without truth.  Lennon and Harrison were hypocrites also, committing adultery many times and being very rich, but criticizing others who had wealth.  But I do like a lot of their music; I just wish they had come to know Christ before they died.  

But since the left interprets the Constitution in opposition to its original intent, then I am going to interpret Lennon here against his original intent, and say to President Obama, the liberal Supreme Court Justices, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi, Jonathan Gruber, nbc, cbs, cnn, abc, etc. - "I am tired of your hypocrisy and lies - gimme some truth; just gimme some truth".  

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

A scene from the movie, "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington", starring Jimmy Stewart.  He was a "boy ranger" (like a boy scout of the old days) who went on to be a senator and fought the evil graft and greed and control of politicians by corrupt businessmen and newspapers.

I interpret Mr. Smith as speaking truth to the power against all the lies of Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama, and the other leftist liberals and democrats who don't seem to understand that we cannot have a good government when we don't believe in good vs. evil anymore and are throwing out the moral foundation for our society.  Mr. Smith is like a mouse with truth, standing against the large elephants of the government and media, and corrupt business men and women - we take him for our cause and say to all who have shoved so called "same sex marriage" down our throats, - repent of your evil and go back and read the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.  "the laws of nature and nature's God", "endowed by their Creator", etc.

Celebrate the 4th of July by watching Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, focusing your anger against sin and lies, scream "Gimme some truth", and praying for our leaders.  (1 Timothy 2:1-4)

I realize I wrote about "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" before on July 4.    And yeah, I know Frank Capra was Roman Catholic, etc.  Read the comments there, if you want to bring that up again.  I appreciate the Supreme Court Judges who are Roman Catholic - Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and sometimes Roberts.  I like the media cultural commentators also who are Roman Catholic and those that are conservative Jews, like Dennis Prager and Michael Medved.  We can agree with each other on those things - moral values and small government, etc.  It is great to have that political freedom, without persecuting or killing one another, as in the theocracy days of Roman Catholicism, and, to a lesser extent, Calvin's Geneva.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Luther: For feelings come and feelings go, and feelings are deceiving; My warrant is the Word of God, Nought else is worth believing.

I came across a poem attributed to Martin Luther (via CARM):
"For feelings come and feelings go, and feelings are deceiving;
My warrant is the Word of God, Nought else is worth believing.
Though all my heart should feel condemned, For want of some sweet token,
There is One greater than my heart, Whose Word cannot be broken.
I'll trust in God's unchanging Word, ‘till soul and body sever;
For though all things shall pass away, His Word shall stand forever."~(Martin Luther)
A quick Google search reveals how far this quote has traveled.  A Google books search demonstrates how often it has been published, particularly in the 21st century. Norman Geisler used a snippet of it in his book, Christian Apologetics. Alistair Begg published it as well.

After spending some time looking for a meaningful reference (I did not come across one), it seems hard to believe that the rhyming quote version is from the pen of Luther. How convenient that the words Luther is purported to have written (either in German or Latin) rhyme so well in English! Then again, the English version of A Mighty Fortress is Our God has an adequate rhyming scheme.  It would be interesting to see the full version of this snippet view from the 1943 Lutheran Witness. It looks to be very similar.

I came across shorter versions of the quote from the late 1800's - early 1900's:
Martin Luther was once asked, "Do you feel as if your sins were forgiven?" "No," he returned, stoutly. "I don't feel that they are forgiven, but I know that they are, because God says so in his Word. [source]
In some early instances, the one asking Luther is Satan. Note the part of this paragraph from 1889:
Martin Luther, in one of his conflicts with the devil, was asked by the arch-enemy if he felt his sins forgiven. "No," said the great reformer, "I don't feel that they are forgiven, but I know they are, because God says so in His Word." Paul did not say, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt feel saved;" but, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." No one can feel that his sins are forgiven. Ask that man whose debt was paid by his brother, "Do you feel that your debt is paid?" "No," is the reply, "I don't feel that it is paid; I know from this receipt that it is paid, and I feel happy because I know it is paid." So with you, dear reader. You must first believe in God's love to you as revealed at the Cross of Calvary, and then you will feel happy, because you shall know that you are saved. [source]
So it appears that the core of this quote has been around at least 100 years.  It does sound suspiciously like a Table talk entry, but in my brief search of the extant English versions I didn't come across anything. It also sounds like a hymn, but I didn't find anything from Luther's hymnody. There is this hymn God's Word Shall Stand Forever, "attributed to Luther," but this should not be confused with this hymn.

The sentiment of the quote could be demonstrated to be something Luther believed. Without an actual source, I would speculate that the rhyming version was based on the earlier versions noted above, and those earlier versions were based on something in Luther's writings, perhaps those stories about Luther's dialogs with Satan. Consider how easily it would have been for someone to read this old English Tabletalk statement and summarize it in the one of the forms above:
That the Forgiveness of sins must pass through all things.
The law doth justify in no state, calling and art; impossible it is that every thing should go on in a straight line according to the Law, as we see in the grammar which is taught in schools; no rule is so common, which hath not an exception. Therefore, the forgiveness of Sins is needful through life, and is held out in all arts and sciences. The forgiveness of sins is declared only in God's Word, and there we must seek it; for it is grounded on God's promises. God forgiveth thee thy sins, not because thou feelest them and art sorry, for that doth sin itself produce, and can deserve nothing; but he forgiveth thy sins because he is merciful, and because he hath promised to forgive for Christ's sake, his dearly beloved Son, and caused his word to be applied to thee: namely, “Be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee.”


"So now turn from your conscience and its feeling to Christ who is not able to decieve; my heart and Satan however, who will drive me to sin are liars... You should not believe your conscience and your feelings more than the word which the Lord who recieves sinners preaches to you... Therefore you are able to finght with your conscience by saying: You lie; Christ speaks truth and you do not." WA 27, 223 (cf. Paul Althaus, The Theology of Martin Luther, p. 59)

Saturday, May 30, 2015

13 Things you didn't know about the Papacy

13 Things you didn't know about the Papacy over at Triablogue:

John Bugay over at Triablogue, has an excellent summary here of the Papacy issues.  

Because of space, and the purpose to keep to a one page sheet evangelistic tract, it may be hard to include these other issues:

I would add:  (this is not a criticism of John's article, just some other points that came to mind after I read through his summary.)

14.   that Peter himself calls himself "fellow-elder" in 1 Peter 5:1. no heirachy of mono-episcopate or papacy idea.

15.  Also, if Peter had a successor, a bishop of Rome as infallible successor, he would have said, "listen to him, who will be able to remind you of these things (spiritual truths)" or "he is the living voice, who will be able to stir up your sincere minds", etc. in 2 Peter 1:12-18; but instead, Peter points them to his letter/scripture - 3:1 - this is the second letter by which I am writing to you in order to stir up your sincere minds" - same idea in 2 Peter 1:12-18 - knowing that he is about to die, he is diligent to put forth effort to stir up their sincere minds - (diligent by writing the letter from prison before his death.)

16.  I would distinquish between the RC idea of infallible succession of person and office (bishop/ mono-episcopate) to Peter vs. the biblical idea of appointing qualified elders - as in Acts 14:23 and Titus 1:5 and 1 Timothy 3.  ( maybe need more details on # 5 - the quote by Oscar Cullman about the principle of succession. Does Cullman explain the difference between the Roman Catholic claim of infallible apostolic succession in the successors of Peter and other church bishops  vs. the Biblical idea of appointing qualified elders in each local church? - Acts 14:23 and Titus 1:5; I Timothy 3:1 ff, ?)

17.  Some kind of an explanation of "papa" (father) and acknowledge 1 Cor. 4:15-17 and 1 Timothy 1:2 as something that existed - calling someone a spiritual father - one who led a person to Christ and /or taught them the gospel and discipled them in the Scriptures as a young Christian, etc. And that existed in the early church in all the churches as all ministers/elders/ later development into "priest" were considered and called "papa"/father (spiritual father), so bishops and elders of other areas were called "papa", such as Cyprian in Carthage and Athanasius in Alexandria - even today, the leader of the Coptic Church in Egypt is called "Pope". The point is, "Pope" was never an exclusive term only for the bishop of Rome, but was used for all ministers in all churches. (until centuries later)

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Recent Discovery of Luther's Notes, Even BBC News Makes Mistakes

Just when I thought Luther's written corpus couldn't get any bigger, BBC News has reported:  Protestant reformer Martin Luther's 16th Century notes found. The recent discovery appears to involve Luther's notes to revisions to the first edition of his 1520 treatise, On The Freedom of the Christian. Of the volume discovered, BBC News states, "It includes around 50 notes written in red by Luther himself, indicating changes he wanted for a second edition." They also say it was an American "James Hirsten" who made the discovery "in The Humanist Library in Selestat, in the north-east of France."

I was curious about the discoverer, so I Googled around with key terms in reference to the "American" "James Hirsten" and only came up with the same sparse information provided by the BBC. This link (which I could not open) says "James Hirsten, Latin professor of the University of Strasbourg," so I wouldn't be surprised if this other link was that which the BBC used.  The reason why I couldn't find any information on the person mentioned by the BBC is because it appears to me they misspelled the name of the discoverer, as I think "James Hirstein" is the actual name. Note this link: Un ouvrage de Martin Luther annoté de sa main découvert en Alsace.

None of the links I've gone through mention if there are any significant changes Luther wanted to make to the second edition. The Freedom of the Christian already exists in two versions, Latin and German, so when English versions are consulted, there could already be some slight variances depending on which was used for the translation (most English translations are based on the German). These newly discovered changes appear to refer to the Latin version. Given the chaotic and intense time period in which this treatise was written, that these changes never made it to print leads me to conclude that Luther was not overly concerned about them, so I would be surprised if anything of substance is found in this recent discovery.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Dr. Dan Wallace and Dr. White respond to Yusuf Ismail's mis-quoting and mishandling of Dan Wallace's Greek Grammar text

Dan Wallace and Dr. White respond to Yusuf Ismail's mis-quoting and mis-construing of John 1:1 comments in Dan Wallace's book, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics. (page 269)

Please listen carefully to the Garage Band sound file that Dr. Wallace sent to Dr. White.

1.  Yusuf Ismail mis-quoted Dan Wallace and butchered the quote.
2.  Yusuf Ismail added the word necessarily, making it, "not necessarily" and left out "not at all"; conveying a totally opposite meaning.
3.  He did not give the page number so people can look it up.
4.  He based his argument on an English idiom that we sometimes use, "this food is divine".
5.  He did not base his argument on the Greek text, but made it seem that he was.
6.  He ignored the part of Dan Wallace's argument that Dr. Wallace specifically wrote that the English "this food is divine" is not valid because it is not the meaning of the Greek text.

For more on John 1:1, see here:
1.  Muslim admits that John 1:1 means "God" by nature.
2.  Greek Grammar points to the doctrine of the Trinity and Sola Scriptura

To see the full debate in October of 2014:

Friday, May 15, 2015

This is Powerful

Another passage to add to the verses that Pastor Piper mentioned are:
Matthew 18:15-35, especially verses 34-35.
Matthew 18:34-35

The verses he mentioned:
Matthew 6:15
Matthew 5:21-26

Ephesians 4:32

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Announcement: I have crossed the Tiber

 I crossed the Tiber, first by Taxi, then on foot.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Liberal Media's Rules for Self-Identification - Lutheran Satire

Hilarious and true and epic!  Lutheran Satire does it again!

Be sure to watch it all the way until the end.  Hilarious!

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Hillary Clinton and the Supreme Court upcoming ruling on "same sex marriage" and the "Gay Agenda's" threat to Christian colleges and Universities and churches

Hillary Clinton said that deep seated religious beliefs have to be changed.

No Mrs. Clinton, you must repent of your sinful position.  Luke 13:1-5

She is saying this to her base, and showing them that she is against Christians who believe abortion is murder and evil, and that homosexuality and so called "same sex marriage" is wrong.

She seems to deliberately mix in things about women's rights in other countries with code speech for other issues she wants to change in the USA.  (abortion; homosexuality; so called "same sex marriage")

Her context talks a lot about other countries and the dangers to girls and women in other countries and cultures.  I wonder why she doesn't come out clearly and say anything about the fact that most of these problems and unjust treatment of women are in Muslim countries, which we have no authority to change their own laws and cultures.  We can agree that women suffer great injustices in Muslim countries, but liberals and leftists mix that in with abortion and homosexuality here in USA to try and bolster their base and sway the middle of the road voters.

I tried maybe 100 times, it seems, to embed the fox news video clip below, but I was unable to get it to work.  So be sure to go to click on it and watch it, if you have not seen this.

This report points out that the lawyer admitted to Justice Sam Alito that Christian colleges and Universities and organizations (and probably churches) are going to be hit with lawsuits and this will become a real issue if the Supreme Court rules that "same sex marriage" should be legal in all 50 states.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Biblical Response to Transgenderism

Understanding Trans-genderism - Denny Burk - "When Psychological identity trumps Bodily Identity"

See the video message at the end by Denny Burk.

Trans-gender Contradiction at Smith College

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Reason #789 Why to Use Comment Moderatiom

Here's a sample of why comment moderation is turned on." Simply click on the image below for a closer look.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Piper's insightful analysis of the homosexual / "same sex marriage" issue

Two of John Piper's "Ask Pastor John" podcasts; one recent and one from 2013:

1.  What to say to a pastor who wants to officiate a "gay wedding".   (April 30, 2015)

The same can be said of Transgenderism - it is a disorder in the soul and rebellion of the way God created the person.


"The emotional and physical sensations that we call same-sex attraction are disordered emotions and disordered sensations. And that disordering of the soul’s emotions and the body’s sensations are rooted in the fall of humanity into sin and, more specifically, they are rooted in the sin that is understood as exchanging God’s glory for images (Romans 1:23). So the exchange of woman as the glory of man for another man is a parable of the exchange of God for images like ourselves.
A person who experiences this disorder — this disordering of the emotions of the soul and the sensations of the body — may or may not himself exchange God for images. He may be a Christian. But the disordering he is experiencing is rooted in that original sin and in that ongoing human bent of soul that we all have, all of us.
The issue becomes: What do we do with the disordering effects of sin in our lives? I say our lives. And you will see why in a minute — John Piper’s life. The Bible says that if we embrace the disordering as good and normal and live our lives in accord with the disordered inclinations, then we will be living and affirming a parable of rebellion against God. And the Bible says those who live out that kind of rebellion do not enter the kingdom of heaven (1 Corinthians 6:9)."

Do not be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral [that is fornication, because it is distinguished from the next two], nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9–10)
In other words, if you embrace and live out as normal and good any of these, you perish, because you are living a parable of rebellion.  . . . 
Officiating at a so-called same-sex “wedding” is the same as putting your blessing on the choice of two people to commit eternal suicide. The pastor is solemnizing and making official and blessing their choice not to enter the kingdom of heaven. . . . 
“American society is in the midst of a passionate pursuit of self-destruction.” 

"Now I would say that if a pastor asks his board if he can do that, he has given a signal that he is disqualified from his role of leading the sheep into the kingdom of heaven. And so he has put himself in a position of needing church discipline. And his board should follow the principles of Matthew 18 to seek his repentance as gently and patiently as they can. And then if he does not repent of his willingness to bless people’s eternal suicide and thus lead them out of the kingdom of heaven and into destruction, he should be dismissed as a false shepherd from both the pastorate and the church."
(John Piper; embolding and italics are my emphasis)

2.  Would you attend a "gay wedding"?   (October 10, 2013)

Listen to the voice of broken-ness and compassion, but holding firm to the truth of the Scriptures.  No Christian should attend a "gay wedding"; but we can still love our family members and friends who take this route, talk to them, share the gospel with them, have them over for a meal, etc.

Politicians need to listen to Piper on his issue.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Denny Burk's excellent JETS article "On the Ethics of Sexual Attraction (Same-Sex and otherwise)"

I made a couple of comments in the com-boxes:

Excellent article. Definitely needed and thorough. Unfortunately, 20 pages of in-depth analysis like yours will not be analyzed in the sound bite media and “yes or no” questioning of modern journalism.
The problem seems to me that the majority of our western culture, regular man on the street, and secular non-Christians, journalists, politicians, etc. do not consider any kind of thoughts, desires, fantasies, imaginations as sinful. We hear people say all the time, “nothing wrong with looking, as long as we don’t touch”, and phrases like “eye candy”, etc.
This kind of thinking goes against the Biblical analysis of the heart of human beings and the roots of sin – Genesis 6:5Matthew 5:21-30Mark 7:20-23Jeremiah 17:9Romans 7:14-8:13; Colossians 3:5-10.
One thing I disagreed with though, is that you seemed to tie all the temptations of Jesus to His temptations in the sufferings and crucifixion (garden to cross ?) (page 103 – Hebrews 4:15 seen in the light of Hebrews 2:18, seems to overlook the 3 types of temptation in Matthew 4 and Luke 4. ) I agree that Jesus’ temptations did not include every single individual type of temptation that humans experience, but I do think that “tempted in every way” includes the 3 categories of temptations in Matthew 4 and Luke 4 – of “lust of the flesh” (food, sex, sleep, etc. – “turn the stones to bread”; 2. Lust of the eyes” – “I will give you all these kingdoms if You bow down to me” and 3. “the boastful pride of life” – “throw Yourself off the temple edge”, etc. (from Luke 4 and Matthew 4, and I John 2:15-16 and parallel with the temptation to Eve in Genesis 3 – “the fruit was good for food” (lust of flesh), “pleasing to the eyes”, and “could make one wise like God” (pride).

Your analysis of “orientation” and “temptation” and desire and the Greek term epithumia was excellent and the whole discussion of the teleological aspect of when desires are sinful – the purpose and object of the desire as the key to determining the sinfulness of the desire.
Your analysis of James 1:13-14 with Matthew 5:28 is especially helpful.
The evidence of Augustine’s earlier thought on concupiscence and lust/desire vs. his later musings was helpful – I did not know that. Thank you for digging that out for us.
On page 104 – The discussion of the fact that it is more intense of a temptation to not give in to it – and the quote from Leon Morris was very good and needs to be emphasized. (and was very convicting, when thought about my own temptations and giving in to them.)
“This points us to the glorious irony of Jesus’ sinless nature. It did not lessen his experience of temptation but only intensified it.” (page 104)
Wow! This needs to be emphasized and preached on and talked about a lot more.
This should stir all of us to consider more deeply our sinful hearts in our gluttony, anger, greed, and heterosexual lust and need for deeper internal repentance.
These other two statements stood out to me:
“Temptation had no landing pad in Jesus’ heart nor did it have a launching pad from Jesus’ heart.” (page 105)
“This aspect of Jesus’ impeccability ought to invoke worship when we really think about it.” (page 107)
The discussion of not using “orientation” was needed also. We should call it “people who experience same sex attractions and temptations” and Christians who struggle with them.
Another thing that is missing is that some Lesbians have admitted that their Lesbianism was a choice based on other up-bringing and environmental factors and responses and her feisty nature and rebellion and challenge to traditional ideas of being a girl and a lady. Camille Paglia made that point very clear on one of Dennis Prager’s radio shows. see below:
I also linked to Denny Burk's article at my other blog, Apologetics and Agape, along with the above article about Camille Paglia and also Dr. Michael Kruger's article  "What the Media is not telling you in the Judicial arguments in the same sex marriage case."

These two articles also deserve separate future blog posts.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Luther Supports the Head-covering Movement

I didn't know there was a head-covering movement, but well.... I ended up here today: The Head Covering Movement.  I was searching out something else, and landed on What Did Martin Luther Believe About Head Covering? In the link, the author says, "Luther did not see covering as optional." Of course, it might simply have been the case that 16th Century custom played a part with what's going on here.

The source for the Luther material was taken from Susan C. Karant-Nunn; Merry E. Wiesner – Luther on Women: A Sourcebook (Cambridge University Press, 2003). The authors have included a portion of Ein schöner Sermon . . . von dem Ehestande  (Sermon on the Estate of Marriage) [Jn 2:1ff] (15 Jan 1525), WA 17.1:8-12. this sermon is scheduled to be translated in full in a forthcoming edition of Luther's works. Till then, here is the snippet from Luther on Women. Decide for yourself if Luther is arguing Christians wives must always have their heads / hair covered:

For what it's worth, the comment section of the blog post in question has some interesting debate.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Round-up of some recent videos and articles on the issues of homosexuality and so called "same sex marriage"

An Interview with Kevin DeYoung; and about his book and sermon on "What the Bible Teaches about Homosexuality"

"Top 10 Questions the Supreme Court Justices asked on the Constitutional right to "same sex marriage".

Number 2 was Justice Kennedy, who is the swing vote.
Justice Kennedy expressed concern about whether it was prudent for the Supreme Court to step in and change the definition of an institution that was as old, to use his language as “millennia.” In short, he asked whether it was is imprudent and unwise to suggest that the Supreme Court knows better than ancient history and its belief about marriage.

Denny Burk always has good articles on the issues of homosexuality, "same-sex marriage", transgenderism, etc.  (among other Biblical and cultural subjects)

Dr. James White's response to Dr. David Gushee, Part 1

A few points:
Matthew Vines, author of the book, "The Gay Christian", introduced Dr. Gushee.  See Dr. James White's response to Matthew Vines. "Gay Christianity Refuted".

Dr. Gushee is a professor of ethics, an ethicist at the liberal leaning, historically Baptist (but it formally cut ties with the Southern Baptist denomination in 2006)- Mercer University in Macon, Ga.

Dr. White made an excellent point that conservative Christians need to take time to listen to what those like Dr. Gushee are saying and be ready to respond with apologetic answers, with truth and love; and that those Christians who are just dismissing him, not listening, or calling people names; are not helping matters.

It is amazing that Dr. Gushee used Jeremiah chapter 1:17-19 as his text for his message, claiming that he is giving the "unpopular" message and that somehow Jeremiah and the Lord would agree with him.  The historical background and context of the book of Jeremiah, and the charges that Jeremiah brings against Judah and it's sins and corruption and apostasy - the breaking of God's law by the people of Judah and God's impending judgement by bringing the Babylonians to judge Judah and destroy the temple and take the people into exile; we know that Jeremiah would be on the side of those of us who continue to hold to Biblical and traditional marriage.  Indeed, the heart of the gay agenda is truly deceptive and self-deceptive. (Jeremiah 17:9)  How many passages in Jeremiah speak of the people of Judah forsaking the Lord, backsliding, apostasy, breaking God's law in idolatry, adultery, injustice, deception, murder, greed, etc (see Jeremiah 7:8-11; and also chapter 2-4)?  Jeremiah began his ministry during the time of king Josiah (Jeremiah 1:2), who led a revival, recovering God's law when the high priest, Hilkiah, Jeremiah's father (Jer. 1:1), found the book of the law in the temple, when repairing the temple.  (2 Kings 22:5-8)  The very same book of the law that has passages like Genesis chapters 1-2, chapter 19, and Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 in it!

Jeremiah even says that the people have become like Sodom and Gommorah in Jeremiah 23:14. (see also Jer. 49:18)  Obviously, Jeremiah himself would not agree with Dr. Gushee's twisting of his message from Jeremiah 1:17-19.

"Now, gird up your loins and arise, and speak to them all which I command you. Do not be dismayed before them, or I will dismay you before them.  Now behold, I have made you today as a fortified city and as a pillar of iron and as walls of bronze against the whole land, to the kings of Judah, to its princes, to its priests and to the people of the land.  They will fight against you, but they will not overcome you, for I am with you to deliver you,” declares the Lord."  Jeremiah 1:17-19

In Jeremiah 6:15 and 8:12 he says about the people in their sins, "did not even know how to blush" - they had no shame in their sins.  This reminds us of today's homosexual movement.

Dr. Gushee attempts to make a parallel of unjust treatment against homosexuals with the unjust treatment of Jews in church history; with the wrong interpretation of certain passages (Matthew 27:25; John 8:44; Acts 7:51-53) and treatment of Jewish people in Christian history, with the history of interpretation of texts about homosexuality and the harsh and contemptuous treatment of homosexuals in history - by the church.   It is true that some twisted those passages as meaning "all Jews", including future generations, but that was obviously wrong, because most of the Christians of the first century were Jews, the disciples and apostles were Jews, and Romans 9-11 shows that some Jews are still coming to Christ, and that many in the future will be turning to Christ.  Also, those passages do not condemn all Jews for what the Jewish leaders under Caiphas, Annas, and the Pharisees did to Jesus.  The parallel is not a good one, for the texts about homosexuality are about sinful behavior, not an ethnicity.

 I was surprised that Dr. Gushee did not also use 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 in his case.  It only means those specific Jews who persecuted the Messiah and who were persecuting the churches of the Thessalonians.   I remember years ago listening to a debate between Dr. Walter Martin, the original Bible Answer Man and author of The Kingdom of the Cults, vs. the famous atheist, Madalyn Murray O'Hair - where O'Hair said that those Bible texts should not even be mentioned and that when speaking of the crucifixion of Jesus, one should just say, "those guys" or "some people did it", after admitting that the texts don't say "all Jews".

Dr. White has pointed out many times, that not only are there the very clear texts against homosexual lusts and homosexual sex acts, but the Gay activists constantly call those "clobber texts" or "just a few scattered texts"; but they are missing the entire positive message of marriage all through Scripture of creation, marriage as between a man and a woman, passages in Proverbs 5 and the whole book of Song of Solomon, Jesus' quoting of Genesis 1 and 2, and . . . the image of the church as the bride of Christ and that there is only one bride and one Groom/husband - the 2 aspect of the gender binary.

One problem is that Dr. Gushee never even interacted with any of the positive Biblical texts on marriage (Genesis chapters 1-2, Matthew 19:4-6; Song of Solomon, Ephesians 5:21-33; 1 Corinthians 7, Colossians 3, Proverbs 5 . . .

The gender binary of 2 in marriage, between a man and a woman, is all throughout the Bible - man and woman, husband and wife, bride and groom, is seen and pictured in the church and God's love for His own people, His bridge, and the end of redemption history:

Revelation chapters 21-22 - "the heavenly Jerusalem, "like a bride who has made herself ready for her husband"

"And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband."   Revelation 21:2 

"they will be His peoples" - Rev. 21:3  (there is a textual variant there, but peoples seems to me to the better reading - laoi - λαοὶ - and it goes with Revelation 5:9 better. 

Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”  Revelation 21:9

"The Spirit and the bride say, "come!"  Revelation 22:17

At one point (might be in part 2, I am not taking the time right now to go back and find it), Gushee gives an illustration about the rights to get married, and it was interesting that he left out the "B" part of LGBT in his illustration, because for the "B" (Bisexuals) to have marriage rights according to their own desires and inherent attractions, they would have to be able to have the right to marry two other people, thus creating a "Three-some", not a couple.  Dr. White pointed this out and called it a "Thruple" (spelling ?) 

Dr. Gushee, not only did not engage in any of the positive marriage texts (see above) that marriage is between a man and woman, but also never engaged any of the key texts in exegesis, that are clearly against homosexual sex acts and also reveal that any kind of "same sex attraction" is a brokenness from God's original design.  

Genesis 19
Leviticus 18:22
Leviticus 20:13
Romans 1:18-28
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
1 Timothy 1:8-11

Conservative, Biblical Christians freely acknowledge that there are people who experience same sex attractions and desires and struggle with them.  We agree with Dr. Gushee that hatred and name calling and bullying is not right, and that is perhaps the big lesson that Christians have to learn today, for it seems that they current "Gay movement" and push for same-sex marriage has a lot of a spirit of revenge in it, like the incident several years ago, of homosexuals ganging up on a little old lady for expressing her views for Proposition 8 that marriage is only for a man and woman; 

for the wrongs that were done against people with these experiences.  (like the pressure put on the CEO, Brendan Eich, of Mozilla Firefox to resign, 

the pressure put on Louie Giglio to pull out of the Presidential prayer; 


the suing and taking to court the bakers, 


and florists who only did not want to participate in "same sex marriage" ceremonies.) 

Dr. Gushee never differentiates between the Biblical view of sin, repentance, and issues of church discipline vs. unjust bullying and name-calling, but rather seems to lump it all together under "contempt for LGBT people"

Part 2 of Dr. White's Response to Dr. David Gushee:

One of the best points that Dr. White made in this section was when he asked Dr. Gushee, "Do you still believe in the Deity of Christ?"  "Didn't Christ know the hearts of man-kind?"  Dr. Gushee claims that 5% of the population is homosexual.  (a larger estimate than others make at around 2.5 to 3 %) "Didn't Christ know that there are 5% of people who are homosexual in orientation, that you claim?"  "At the feeding of the 5,000, that means that at least 250 men were there were homosexual?"  What about the women who were Lesbians?  "Why didn't Jesus, the God-man, say anything about them?"  Why didn't Jesus offer them any words of comfort or compassion?

Gushed talks about the percentages of homeless children and teenagers are LGBT, but he fails to mention that much of that was caused by other factors that usually cause the homelessness - drugs, rebellion, defiant behavior, stealing, etc.

Part 3 of Dr. White's Response to Dr. David Gushee:

Dr. White pointed out, in either in part 2 or 3, Dr. Gushee talks about Christians who just quote a passage out of Leviticus 18, yet they should be focusing on the passage that says "love your neighbor as yourself", seemingly not realizing that the passage that Jesus quoted several times about "love your neighbor as yourself" is originally from Leviticus 19:18 !!

Interesting that Dr. Gushee challenged the audience to:
1.  When this message of inclusion for LGBT in the church is resisted, you "double down".
2.  "Get out there" and spread this message and make your voice known.

However, when Dr. White challenged Dr. Gushee to debate, Dr. Gushee said that he did not have time to deal with him or others who want to challenge him.

Amazing!  What better way for Dr. Gushee to get his message out (Matthew Vine's also, who also told Dr. White that he would debate, but later backed out), than for them to have a fair and moderated debate vs. either Dr. White,

or Dr. Michael Brown, 

or Dr. Robert Gagnon?  

Dr. White rightly challenged Dr. Gushee again, and told him he is under moral obligation to debate the issue, given that he is an ethicist, and given the seriousness of his accusations against the church and accusing the church of the same sins against the LGBT people as was perpetrated against Jewish people by some Christians in history.

See also Dr. White's debate/dialogue with Justin Lee. 


debate vs. Barry Lynn


debate vs. John Shelby Spong