1 Timothy 2:11-15 is a passage of Scripture that has been picked up by all sorts of folks, abused, misused, and mishandled. It’s justified all sorts of bad theology complete with lives that reflect Jesus poorly because of said theology.
Last Sunday, I preached on the issue showing that Paul’s words to women have been controversial (for different reasons) from the time he wrote them up to today. Give it a listen if you have a chance and weigh in with what you think about the Women teaching & holding authority.
When is it allowable for a command from God saying “You shall do X” to be restated “You shall make sure that X gets done.”?
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 states “ And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
From a religious perspective, are parents justified in delegating the theological training of their children to Pastors, Sunday School teachers, and Youth Group Leaders? Is it good enough to make sure that their children are diligently taught, even if it’s not by you. I say no, God gave you these children and is commanding YOU (yes you) to instruct them.
But what about education in general? Are we justified in making a distinction between religious education and “book smarts” education? The majority of parents delegate their child’s “book education” to someone else. They’re not involved. Is there truly such a distinction between school & theology? Does God say “That’s not mine.” in regards to book learnin’?
That’s the question I have in mind for next week. I want to devote the whole time to the issue of home schooling & education because, quite frankly, I think I’m starting to look at it not as “best possible method of education” but rather as “clear command from God.”
I hope you’ll be along to work it out with me. Also – preaching in Tacoma this Sunday AM — hope to see you there as well!
Lets face it, the Reformation has a tendency to be only about Luther, Calvin, and maybe Zwingli, Knox, and Wycliffe. I’m not saying these men are not important, quite the opposite, they are the most significant figures of the period, but their preeminence has a tendency to overshadow other men that played key roles in the reformation. Often some of these lesser known men were responsible for formalizing the theology of the more well known figures. Further, some of these men were dear friends, confidants, and supporters of the other figures. Our first “second-tier” reformer is Johannes Oecolampadius.
Was God giving Abraham a command to sin when he told him to sacrifice Isaac, his son?
This was asked on twitter.
In Genesis 22 we read:
After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here am I.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
Abraham follows God’s command and prepares to sacrifice his son only to be prevented by an angel sent from the Lord. God tells Abraham in Genesis 22:12 “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”
So was Abraham’s act a sin? It seems sinful. To kill your own son. Is there a higher form of child abuse than actually killing your own child? But we read: in James 1:13 – “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.”
So the answer would be no. We’re aware that it’s impossible for God to tempt Abraham to sin, therefore Abraham wasn’t going to sin. Let’s assume that this is because God was going to prevent Abraham from completing the act (already knowing the end from the beginning, but wishing to show Abraham and us a picture of the sort of sacrifice necessary for the remission of sins).
But would things be different if the sacrifice actually happened? What if God really did demand the sacrifice of a Son? God, you may be aware, has a Son named Jesus Christ and he really was sacrificed.
“Cosmic Child Abuse” is the term many opponents of the Gospel bring up. So did God sin by sacrificing His own Son? Again the answer is no. While Isaac was bound, which suggests that he was given no choice in the matter, Jesus died as a sacrifice willingly (John 10:17).
I can’t know what was running through Abraham & Isaac’s minds during their time on the mountain before God revealed His true purpose for them. I can imagine it wasn’t pleasant. That God allowed for a sacrifice of His Son, and that Christ allowed himself to be sacrificed speaks volumes about the deep, penetrating stain of sin in our lives and the requirements of cleansing it (forever).
Dear Fathers & Brothers of the Northwest Presbytery,
Please accept this letter as my request to be excused from the 2010 Fall Stated Meeting. Though I wish to be present, travel time and conflicts with work prevent me from doing so.
This year has felt somewhat transitional.
I have less than two years of seminary work left to complete. This brings back a certain sense of unrest… what next?
Save for a class or two, all of my theology and history classes are finished. I am currently taking Greek and Hebrew in residency and I am thankful that the Lord has provided me with the flexible and understanding employment that has allowed me to come in and leave early in order to attend these classes as my seminary tenure winds down.
I’ve been blessed to be able to serve the Church in Tacoma as Sunday School super intendant, Pastoral Intern, and Youth Director. Sunday School has gone well, but we are hard pressed to find people willing to teach. Your prayers are appreciated. Our Youth Group is slowly growing and incorporating young adults from the Olympia church. I’m very pleased to see these young Christians fellowshipping with one another, but I am also anxious to see them grow spiritually through discipleship. Again, your prayers are appreciated.
Since the last Presbytery I’ve had the opportunity to preach in Tacoma, Scappoose, and Olympia. This Sunday, Lord willing, I’ll be providing pulpit supply in Bonners Ferry. I’m very thankful for the trust the pastors and elders of those churches have placed in me and thank God for his provision in keeping me faithful to his Word. I feel like my ability to preach the Word of God has increased, though I’m too squeamish to go back and listen to any messages from when I first began preaching.
The Lord has continued to bless our family. My wife and I have begun home schooling or oldest child, Caleb (6) – he has begun the first grade and shows an affinity for math that mystifies his parents. Our other son Owen (4) and our daughter Holly (2 in January) are growing in wisdom and stature, for which we are thankful. Our fourth child is due on February 14th. We recently found out she is a girl and are excited for the level playing field and equal distribution of brothers and sisters.
Please remember me in your prayers during these coming months – for school, family, and for guidance and wisdom from the Lord regarding what the future holds.
Respectfully submitted in the love of Jesus Christ,
A few weeks back I wrote a post on “the perfect” mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13:10. I put forward the position that the perfect Paul is writing about is not Christ, but rather the perfect revelation found in the New Testament. I was discussing this via twitter with @StevenPatton and the following came to me:
Paul points out a lack of efficacy found in the gift of tongues in 1 Corinthians 13:1, if it is employed without love it is nothing more than a clanging cymbol. Likewise for other signs expressed through man. These would include faith (expressed through, not originating from), prophetic powers, wisdom & knowledge, or material and physical sacrifice. All of these are rendered to be so much white noise without love.
What strikes me is the contrast between the modes of revelation that are akin to a dim mirror to the complete (perfect) mode of revelation that allows us to see face to face (His Word). Though a Corinthian could speak in tongues or prophecy, there is little worth if it is done without love. God’s Word is not so handicapped.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
…so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)
The most popular responses I hear to the question “How are you obeying your Great Commission? How are you showing people Christ?” is “I show by example. Leading a good life, not doing bad stuff. Stuff like that.”
While I wouldn’t ever want to discourage any Christian from leading such a life – I would point out that such a life is nothing more than a resounding gong if it is without love. And while we may be generally loving people, or at least we like to think we are, there are multiple times where our moral lives aren’t lived with love, but with judgment, annoyance, arrogance, etc. As such, there’s not much to them when it comes to showing people Christ.
But God’s word? The perfect? That’s a different story. God gave it to us as a completed piece of His revelation. It’s effectiveness is not reliant on us – but through the Holy Spirit. Romans 13:13-14 doesn’t require anything of me to be true or effective. It is both, because it is part of the completed revelatory Word of God provided for mankind. And when that is examined next to tongues, which are empty without love, it’s easy to see how one is noted to be passing and dim and the other perfect and clear.
Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. (Romans 13:13-14)
Yesterday I was able, by the Grace of God, to preach at the Bible Presbyterian Church of Olympia (olympiab.net). The sermon was a look at the Grace of God in the life of the believer. It seemed to be received well, so I’m praising the Holy Spirit for that. If you’d like to give it a listen, you can find it here.
Some things to listen for:
There’s like a 2″ platform right behind the pulpit, presumably to make Pastor Lyro feel taller. At one point in the sermon I moved away from the platform & stumbled a little bit, but it helped in making a point.
The phrase “Red Trinity Hymnal” become a kryptonite-like tongue twister for me. It did allow me to make a Looney Tunes reference, though Looney Toons are fast becoming irrelevant, despite its superiority when compared to modern day cartoons.
“A man should resolve before God that he will have no one-on-one friendships (or close working relationships) with women unless they are with his mother, grandmother, sister, or wife. Now, what is meant by ‘friends’? We have been taught ad nauseam by means of feminist propaganda that men and women are simply interchangeable units, and that we should work very hard to act as though this is so. The grand idea dictates that a man should be able to work with a woman and treat her like any of the other ‘guys’ at work. If he and another guy could go out for lunch, why not have the same standard for a female co-worker? The answer, and I hate to belabor the obvious, is that under the clothes, their bodies are different, and hers looks like it would be a lot more fun than some male co-worker’s body. In other words, one situation is sexually charged and the other one isn’t” (Fidelity, p. 62).
The buzz in the presbyterian side of the web is back on the Federal Vision. Specifically this post, where James Jordan (a signatory of the Joint Federal Vision Statement) states that the Federal Vision, in so far as his understanding of it goes, is neither Reformed or Presbyterian. From the post:
We depart from the whole Reformation tradition at certain pretty basic points. It’s no good pretending otherwise. I think the PCA is perfectly within its rights to say no to all BH types. We are NOT traditional presbyterians. The PCA suffers us within itself, but we are poison to traditional presbyterianism. We are new wine, and the PCA is an old skin. So, for the sake of the people we are called to minister to, we do our best. But we don’t really “belong” there.
There’s no shortage of discussion and analysis of what this means. Some taking it to be a smoking gun and crying “ah-hah!” while others pointing it out as the views of one person. If you’re keen on the meat of the discussion, take a look at the post & comments over at Greenbaggins.
What’s standing out to me is the line of argumentation I’ve seen put forth by Doug Wilson a couple of times. Essentially – we may not agree with the Reformers on some things, but the Presbyterians (ignorning heretics, like PCUSA folk) are just as guilty. If this is familiar to you as well, maybe it came from this post I wrote last month.
If the JFVS is as solid as jello because of what one person might do with it, then the same thing can be said of the WCF, what with six days not being six days, what with magistrates being nursing fathers meaning that they are not, what with sacraments exhibiting and conferring what they represent meaning they do no such thing, and plenty more examples if you would like them. I take this opportunity to rise again to invite any FV critic to debate with me . . . oh, never mind.
Jim is right that we are paedocommunion and the Reformers by and large were not. That is granted. But contemporary Reformedville, remaining anti-pc, departs from the “whole Reformed tradition” far more than do I. I am much closer to Bucer and Calvin, for example, than are Scott Clark, Darryl Hart, or other worthies. On the point of paedocommunion, they are closer than I.
So Jim’s statement is misleading and wrong, and I wish he would retract it. But I am not angry with him for disagreeing with me any more than I am angry with you guys for disagreeing with the Westminster Confession at so many places. The Lord’s vineyard is a big place.
On the one hand, I think that argument is a little deflective, and easily dismissed. If I agree with Calvin & “The Reformers” on every single issue but one, that’s possibly OK, but really it depends on which one. If the only disagreement is on the whole “Jesus is God” issue, then we have a problem that percentile similarities aren’t going to resolve.
But I think Wilson has a point — our confessional standards say one thing, and we seem pretty comfortable allowing for the opposite to be normative (Days of creation, sabbath observance, etc.). So while I disagree with the problematic view of union with Christ put forth by some FV folks, is there a bit of log removal that needs to be completed before we go off quoting Calvin or the confessions to make our points?
I thought I’d do something fun for the next 5 Fridays. I’ll be explaining the concept of the “Calvnist” doctrine known as T.U.L.I.P. through one of my boyhood heroes, Mr. T.
T on Total Depravity -
Listen up fool! A lot of suckas don’t realize that the natural state of man – the way we was born – is evil! Most fools don’t believe T about this, but that’s why they fools! Romans 3:9-10 & 18 says “I have already charged that all men, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin, as it is written: None is righteous, no not one; no one seeks for God….There is no fear of God before their eyes.”. I pity the fool that don’t listen to T, but I REALLY pity the fool who don’t listen to what God said, sucka!
Some of you might whine to Mr. T “But I drink my milk, love my Mama, give to charity, go to church…” cut that jibba-jabba out, fool! God says that even when you say you tryin’ you really sinnin’! The Romans 14:23 says “Whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” That means that it don’t matter if you try to live in church your whole life, like them monks did way back then, it don’t matter! You can’t do nuthiin’ good apart from faith, fool!
Now listen, some of you are thinkin’ “I don’t buy all that jive, I can live a life without sin.” My response is – Shut-up, fool! Don’t give me no back talk! You only sayin’ that because you don’t get what sin is! You probably think, that if you don’t kill people, only bash they heads together or pick them up and throw them at something then you ain’t done nothin’ wrong! That’s crazy fool! The only man who ever lived with out sin was Jesus, and since He was also God, it means ain’t none of us gonna do it again! Sin ain’t just big things like murder & rape – it when you do things like hating someone, lying, putting other things before God, starin’ at a pretty girl in the wrong way. Go ahead and try to live without sin – you can’t do it because it ain’t in yo fallen nature, fool. Just wait and see what pops out of your heart the next time Murdock says something crazy, or when some fool jumps out and shoots the tires on your van! That momentary loss of control, when you lose your temper and hate your neighbor, or even your loved ones, that’s sin fool! You always sinnin’!
Here’s the worst part, fool. The Bible says that man is gonna die once, then face judgment. (Hebrews 9:27). I pity the fool who dies and comes before God guilty of all his sins. You think God is gonna let you go just because? He won’t do it fool! You guilty, and the sentence for your sins WILL be carried out. You know something, though? It don’t have to be that way. Ask Jesus to forgive yo sins. Repent of them. Follow Christ. I will unpity if you have those sins removed through faith in Jesus. And believe Mr. T, ain’t nobody but Jesus that would or even could forgive yo sins, sucka.
I’ll be back with more next week. Don’t act a fool, fool.
This is a re-post from 4 years ago. It’s almost as lazy as just not posting something, but not quite.