Sunday, March 25, 2007

One Church's Response to the March HOB status quo ante

From First Things

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Ephraim Radnor on HOB (House of Bishops) recent meeting near Aggieland (may need to cast the demons out) in Navasota, Texas.

He says, among other things..."As for reality: There is clearly no real place left for conservative Christians within TEC’s official structures."

Bishop Jeffrey Steenson (Rio Grande) had this response.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Charles Hodge on Arminianism

We have then the three great systems. First, that of the Romanists, which teaches that on account of the work of Christ God grants, through Christian baptism, an infusion of divine grace, by which all sin is purged from the soul and all ground for the infliction of the penalty is removed and the sinner rendered inherently just or holy. This is the first justification. Then in virtue of the new principle of spiritual life thus imparted, the baptized or regenerated are enabled to perform good works, which are really meritorious and on account of which they are admitted to heaven.

Secondly, the Arminian theory, that on account of what Christ has done, God is pleased to grant sufficient grace to all men, and to accept the imperfect obedience which the believer is thus enabled to render in lieu of the perfect obedience required under the covenant made with Adam, and on account of that imperfect obedience, eternal life is graciously bestowed.

Thirdly, the Protestant doctrine that Christ, as the representative and substitute of sinners or of his people, takes their place under the law, and in their name and in their behalf fulfils all righteousness, thereby making a real, perfect, and infinitely meritorious satisfaction to the law and justice of God, which righteousness is imputed, or set to the account of the believer, who is thereupon and on that account freely pardoned and pronounced righteous in the sight of God, and entitled not only to the remission of sin but also to eternal life. Being united to Christ by faith, the believer becomes partaker of his life, so that it is not he that lives but Christ that liveth in him, and the life which the believer now lives in the flesh is by faith of the Son of God, who loved him, and gave Himself for him.


[1]Hodge, C. (1997). Systematic theology. Originally published 1872. (3:185). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

The Comforting Doctrine of Predestination
Thanks to Tony Payne of the Briefing

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A&M Basketball!

Ok - can't let this go. It doesnt' happen all the time that an A&M B-ball team makes it to the Sweet 16. When I was at A&M (many years ago) Central High School in Newark, NJ could have beaten them. But not now!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Cornelis Venema on Justification

Dr. Venema will be with us in October of 07. You can buy his excellent book on the doctrine of Justification here.
Broken Communion?

Chris Sugden thinks so.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Jeffrey Kirk on Katharine Jefforts Schori's New Religion

He says: "The focus (in the 1979 Prayer Book Baptismal service) is insistently on the last of an additional list of undertakings. It commits the candidate 'to strive for peace and justice and respect the dignity of every human being'.

That commitment, couched in the code language of the leftist consensus of the 60s and 70s, has become definitive for revisionist Episcopalianism. It is the ethical a priori premise of all that it is and seeks to do. But it needs unpacking.

In the contemporary American Church, 'justice and peace' has been effectively equated with the United Nations Millennium Goals, which featured prominently in Mrs Schori's inaugural address.

'This church has said that our larger vision will be framed and shaped in the coming years by the vision of shalom embedded in the Millennium Development Goals - a world where the hungry are fed, the ill are healed, the young educated, women and men treated equally, and where all have access to clean water and adequate sanitation, basic health care, and the promise of development that does not endanger the rest of creation. That vision of abundant life is achievable in our own day, but only with the passionate commitment of each and every one of us. It is God's vision of homecoming for all humanity. [Applause]'"

Respect for the dignity of every human being has been translated into wholehearted acceptance of the entire lesbigaytransexual agenda. ('I am what I am / and what I am needs no excuses' - the torch song theme tune of La Cage aux Folles - has been elevated to a theological principle.)"

Very good post.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

From Kim Riddlebarger's Blog (I'm robbing from a lot of people today)

However, Kim has posted a most interesting article from Richard Muller on Reformed Theology in response to John MacArthur's provocative comments at the Shepherd's Conference at Grace Church a few weeks ago.

Here it is.

From Tim Challie's blog: Tetzel is back with us

As I drove the 16(ish) hours from Toronto to Atlanta, I had a lot of time to think. Not only did I plan out what may just be my next book, but I also thought a lot about this whole global warming controversy. The day before I had read a book about the Reformation and I realized a stark similarity between the conditions prior to the Reformation and contemporary environmentalism. Now I'm sure I'm not the first person to draw this comparison. But indulge me.

In 1517 Pope Leo X made a Dominican monk named Johann Tetzel commissioner of indulgences for all Germany. The Vatican was in dire need of money to pay for its extravagant building and art projects. Tetzel soon toured around the country selling papal indulgences to the masses. He created a little rhyme which translates as "When a coin in coffer rings, a soul from purgatory springs." Tetzel is famous (or infamous) for having even created a chart documenting how much it would cost to receive an indulgence for various sins, and even boasted that the indulgences he sold could secure forgiveness for the heinous sin of violating the Virgin Mary. An indulgence is simply a pardon of the temporal punishment due for sins committed. In other words, a person who purchased an indulgence would supposedly escape the punishment merited by his sin.

Fast forward to 2007 and we are in the midst of a controversy about global warming. Some people claim that humans are responsible for an increase in the world's temperature with the prime culprit being carbon dioxide emissions. Some scientists dispute this, but most people in our society are convinced that humans are causing global warming and that we need to radically alter our behavior if we are to save this planet. Leading this charge is Al Gore whose slideshow/film just won an Academy Award and who is currently the golden boy of the Hollywood crowd.

Just a couple of weeks ago it came out in the news that Gore, who tours North America trying to convince people they need to reduce the amount of energy they use, has a home that consumes twenty times the national average. The average household consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours per year. In 2006, the Gore home consumed nearly 221,000 kilowatt-hours. In the world of environmentalists, this has to be the rough equivalent of raping the Virgin Mary. Thankfully, Gore has found his Tetzel and has purchased indulgences. Gore's spokesman says that he and Tipper "purchase offsets for their carbon emissions to bring their carbon footprint down to zero."

According to the David Suzuki Foundation (David Suzuki is Canada's answer to Al Gore) "A 'carbon offset' is an emission reduction credit from another organization's project that results in less carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere than would otherwise occur. Carbon offsets are typically measured in tons of CO2-equivalents (or 'CO2e') and are bought and sold through a number of international brokers, online retailers, and trading platforms."

Gore buys his carbon offsets from Generation Investment Management LLP, which is "an independent, private, owner-managed partnership established in 2004 and with offices in London and Washington, D.C.," that, for a fee, will invest your money in "high-quality companies at attractive prices that will deliver superior long-term investment returns." Gore just happens to be the Chairman and founding partner of this tax-exempt company. So Gore is his own Tetzel. When a coin in the coffer rings, an oxygen molecule to the atmosphere springs. And Gore pats himself on the back. I found it interesting to hear that the gift bags given to participants in the Academy Awards contained carbon offsets sufficient to offset a year's worth of emissions. Clearly these Hollywood types are very interested in atoning for their environmental sins.

Carbon offsets don't really do anything. Most people don't even pretend that they do anything more than raise awareness for environmental issues. And, of course, they pad the pockets of people selling them. According to Canada's Free Press they "(1) demonstrate commitment to taking action on climate change; (2) add an economic component to climate change; (3) help engage and educate the public; and (4) may provide local social and environmental benefits that help to encourage the use of low-carbon technologies...The real design behind offsetting, then, is to impact the public debate, not to avert the dreaded global warming. "

They are much like indulgences in that way, aren't they? The papacy promised that indulgences would cause those purchasing them to avoid the punishment their sins deserved. But this is a promise that can never be fulfilled. If the people purchasing indulgences were true believers, they should have know that Christ had already taken the full punishment for their sin. If they were not true believers, nothing will reduce the just sentence for their crime. They will suffer horribly and will suffer eternally despite the piece of paper given to them. Their indulgences will not offset their crimes.

I was amazed, as I thought about this, how humans are so eager to rely on their own actions instead of grace. Indulgences bypass grace through action, through human merit. Carbon offsets do the same, relying on self-punishment (purchasing "forgiveness" for crimes committed) to assuage guilt. By purchasing an indulgence a person neither needs to regret nor change his behavior. He can simply buy forgiveness in the form of a piece of paper. The same is true with carbon offsets. A person can continue to drive his SUV and fly around the world in a private jet, but have his conscience clear because he has offset his guilt with the offsets he purchases. If we ever reach the point where we are forced by the government to purchase carbon offsets, it is the poor who will suffer and the rich who will benefit. There will be no equality.

Indulgences and carbon offsets showed me something. Somewhere in the human heart is something that demands justice, but demands a perverted justice. It demands a justice that is so human, so flawed. It demands a justice that does not rely on grace.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Why Do Have only 29 Books in the New Testament.

Here is a good article on this.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

God is reshaping the Anglican Communion along the fault line of Biblical truth: the Primates meeting, the calling of the orthodox Primates and our calling

Read On...