Thursday, September 09, 2004

 

YOU ANIMAL YOU!

Heh. After some five months of not looking, I finally checked out The truth Laid Bear, only to find that Theognome's Thoughts is a large mammal. Who'da thunk it?

Theognome

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

 

BEING LAZY

Gee, I dunno if I should update my woefully out of date links, or just tell folks to use Carmon's links over at Buried treasure. I dunno, whaddya y'all think?

Theognome

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

 

A QUICK SIDEBAR CONCERNING NOV. 2ND

Don'tchya just love the presidential election season? I think it's the perfect season to assess one's priorities.

I got to thinking about this earlier when I was reflecting upon the antics of one of my brothers at church. The man is a Republican's Republican- 1st chair trumpeter in the local party band. Pampleteer, grass-roots door-knocker, dude sitting in front of the supermarket with some kind of petition to sign... All of these describe this man. He's got zeal, there's no denying that. His car is pasted with all the slogans, he wears all the buttons. Yes, fanatic may even describe him.

I mention this because I only wished that this dear brother of mine would demonstrate even half of that zeal toward the Lord.

When I look at how I prioritize my own life, I break it down to four things, and this order:
1. The Lord. My Savior Jesus Christ. He is #1 in my life, and in everything I do, think or desire I strive to love and glorify Him. Oh, I'm pathetic at it, just like the rest of us, but He's first in my life.
2. My household. Here's my next on the list. After the Lord, my wife and immediate family are next, and I strive to model Christ in my leadership of the home. Again, I'm not Mr. Perfect, but none the less, on this earth, my Purdiestness is my main priority.
3. My vocation. After God and family, my work is next in my priorities. Again, I endeavor to glorify God in my work, and to seek His will through it. I also include church ministry under this heading.
4. My community. Once the above three are taken into account, community activities, political stuff, and whatnot are addressed, again in keeping with the above priorities.

This is just how I see my own priorities. I can't do like my friend at church does, in as much as I can't demonstrate that the Party has a greater importance in life than the Lord. Nor could I be a workaholic, nor ignore the Lord over family issues. I can't be genuine to my understanding of Biblical faith and do those things.

And so, when my friend badgers me as to why I'm not going to vote for Bush, I believe that he simply does not grasp my reasoning. After all, a vote that isn't for Bush is by default a vote for Kerry, he (and too darn many others) repeat like a Moonie chanting a mantra. I can't in good faith vote for the man. Now I've read in some blogs where GW's status before the Lord is put into question, but I have no intention of doing that. Neither my own denomination nor any fraternal one has declared him to be outside the church. Second, although I can't understand how any reformed Christian with even just a basic rudimentary knowledge of God's word could believe that Bush reflects their faith, his attitudes, policies and speeches are fairly consistent with modern American Evangelical Christendom. So, if I declared Bush to be heathen, I'd have to, in the same breath, declare some 90% of every person claiming Christ in this country to be the same. I'm not prepared to do that.

This is important to me because of my priorities. God is first, and if a candidate does not seek to glorify God in his vocation (politics), then he's not going to be my candidate. I'm sure Bush is a decent enough guy, but he can't represent me because he does not hold to policies nor demonstrate a consistent public character that seeks to conform to the Word of God. He is a politician before he is a Christian, as far as I can tell from what he has said and done in the last four years. Do I consider him a brother in Christ? Yes; I would consider using the terms weak or immature in faith, but a brother none the less. But I could not elect him as an elder of my church, and if he's not fit to lead a Presbyterian congregation, I certainly wouldn't want him to lead the nation.

So, as I cast my vote for Michael Peroutka, some of my Republican friends will just shake their heads and bay, "What a waste". I laugh. It's being faithful that the Lord blesses, not being political. Gideon didn't need a gazillion votes. Thankfully, he didn't succumb to pragmatism, but rather stood in the gap in faith. Weak faith, but faith none the less. I can understand some biblically illiterate individual voting for Bush- heck that describes most Christians in this country. But I'd hope that reformed Christians would reconsider their priorities. Does your candidate represent your faith? If he doesn't, then he cannot represent you. And if that is simply not important to you, then perhaps you should ask yourself... Do I represent my faith?

Theognome

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

 

ONE LITTLE MISTAKE... (PART 1)

Right after Toni and I were first married, she began to recommend reading material to me from various authors and theologians. Among them was a gentleman by the name of Cornelius Van Til. Toni spoke very highly of him, and of his presuppositional apologetics. She had not herself read much of his work, but those teachers that she listened too referred to him often, and so I agreed to read some of his work. I do most of my contemplative reading in the bathroom, so Van Til's books became my bathroom fare for a while.

One day, as I left the facility, I mentioned to Toni that I thought Van Til was wrong about something. Toni was absolutely beside herself. She began to extoll the hights of Van Til's intellect and esteem amongst reformed Christendom, and she questioned whether I was sane for daring to disagree with him. Her reaction was really not suprising. Although we reformed Christians will recite our reformed scripts about the fallability of man and the infallability of God, when it comes to our favorite teachers, we really don't want to entertain the idea that they, too, have feet of clay. In spite of our intellectual doctrine we still fall under the spell of 'I am of Apollos! I am of Paul!' mindsets. So after an hour or three of discussion on just what is was that I disagreed with, she simply maintained that she didn't know what I was talking about, and that it probably wasn't a big deal anyway.

She was partially correct on that. I understand that Toni possesses a brilliant intellect, but that Van Til was just not readily digestable to her in the manner that it was to me. So her not understanding my arguments wasn't a disappointment. And her second point wasn't too far from the mark, either.

Sola Fide. Sola Gracia. Sola Scriptura. Within Trinitarian reformed Christendom, these are the basic fundamental principles upon which our doctrine is built. Although I did, and still do, disagree with Van Til on a particular point, I am looking forward to sitting at the table with Abraham Isaac and Jacob and discussing the things of God in minute detail with my dear brother Cornelius Van Til. He and I agree 100% on those afore mentioned points. We also agree on everything else at over 90%. I have an extremely high regard for Van Til's work. We are still one in Christ.

Consider a Baptist and a Roman Catholic. If someone comes up to me and says, "I'm a Baptist", I know that at least on those three most fundamental basics, this person and I will agree. I will therefore assume that the person is my brother/sister in Christ. This person may indeed not be a Christian, but that is not my starting point. Now with the Roman Catholic, the fundamental basics are not there. A Roman Catholic who follows the doctrine of that church cannot under reformed doctrine be a Christian. True, there are Christians in the Roman Catholic Church, for not only is the word of God still there, but most RCer's don't know what their doctrine is. However, if someone comes up to me and says, "I'm Roman Catholic", I am not going to assume based on that profession that I am dealing with one of Christ's own.

So about a year or so ago, I was seeing and hearing some interesting teaching coming from the mouths or pens of Schlissel, Wilkins, Wilson and others. I noticed very quickly, just like I had with Van Til, a problem. However, unlike my disagreement with Van Til, what these men were doing was fundamental- they began to redefine the terms of the reformed faith, and through those redefinitions, undermined Sola Fide and Sola Gracia. I saw a connection, though it took a circuitous route, between the Van Til minor flaw and the quite horrific gaping wound of the Auburn fellows. I mentioned this to Toni, again, and her reaction was a repeat of her reaction to my Van Til revelation. These men were her theological heroes! They could not possibly be wrong! None the less, we had our one to three hour discussion, which ended in a similar fashion...

...Until she began to hear other reformed and respected teachers repeat what I had told her almost a year prior. Then she began to understand just how insidious such error can be, for not only did it dupe her, but it continues to dupe some of the most respected theologians of our time.

Although the term 'Heresy' has been tossed about, some tossing it as if it were a Frisbee, let's make certain that it is correct and proper to use it. First of all, I am not a church elder, nor do I have the authority to declare it a heresy. For it to be a heresy, it would need to defy the basic tenents of Christianity. We may disagree on things like how we baptize, paedocommunion, regulative principle and countless other things, but what makes a heresy is not about such details. Heresy turns people away from faith in Christ, be it in whole or part. Roman Catholics, for example, will state plainly that they believe in Christ, and that faith in Christ is what is needed for salvation. However, they do not define faith in the same fashion that reformed folks do, and they also, in so proclaiming as I just wrote, are leaving out a large addendum that you'll be hit with later; that you need faith in Christ, but that you also need more than that- it's not faith alone.

At this point, respected theologians, teachers and preachers have seen the Auburn doctrine as defying Sola Fide and Sola Gracia, and have also rebuked the teachers of it. Said teachers are unrepentant as of this date. Although my denomination has not made a declaration on the issue per se, others have, and I believe they made the correct one- It is a heresy, and it will lead people away from Christ. I thank the Lord that Toni, though she was beginning to really buy into their doctrine, saw the wickedness of it, and turned away. But unfortunately, many others are not so fortunate, for which these men must give an account before God.

This post is just an overview of sorts. I will be posting from here just what the errors are, and how they can be ultimately derived from taking a minor error of Van Til's, extracting it and then developing conclusions based on said error. Stay tuned.

Theognome

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?