Luna & Lilly picture 2011We have two Chihuahuas pictured here. Luna is on the left, and Lilly is on the right. They have been inseparable friends for eight years. If you visited the Rogers’ home and were not properly welcomed by Gina or me, Luna and Lilly always made up for our inhospitableness. This is true whether you were a dog, cat, relative, or stranger. For any and all were heartily and lovingly welcomed by prancing, cuddling, and licking (if you permit).

They never missed attending The Round Table (I wish I could say such for all of the members of The Round Table over the years). Luna would most often choose to ensconce herself upon my lap during the engagements. Her presence on my lap made my note taking and keeping up with the engagements quite challenging, but each time I would consider putting her down, she would turn and look at me and upon my lap, she would remain. This position permitted her to closely observe the engagement of the men of The Round Table, and of course, receive regular petting strokes from her human dad.

Fortunately for us, they were not merely pets, but fierce guard dogs who could be dispatched like the minute men of yesteryear when a dangerous predator, such as a squirrel entered into the protected premises. They slept together so that they were as one, and took care of each other by keeping each other company and cleaning each other whether needed or not. Read the rest of this entry »

Following is my response to a comment to my article “The Exalted View of God in Scripture” posted on SBCToday.com in March 2014. The same article is posted on this blog, April 7th, without all of the comments that can be found on SBCToday.com. When I say “you said” I am referring to his comment on my article, which is in quotations. Then I respond.

Thanks for your response. I am not trying to avoid your questions, but they are rather open-ended—as you know, people write books on such questions. Consequently, I am guessing at what you are concerned about particularly. If I miss your point, I apologize, but it seems imprudent for me to write a long answer to a question that may not have been asked. Read the rest of this entry »

The nature and attributes of God are seen not only in His person, but in His creation as well. We are reminded, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). The Old Testament declares the same truth in Psalm 19:1. Read the rest of this entry »

Michael Tinney, a member of the 2013/2014 Roundtable in Ethics, explains the answer to the following question. Is the overthrow of an existing king, ruler, or government, if war or violence is necessary, ever biblically justifiable? Read the rest of this entry »

According to Calvinism, it pleased God to create the human race with the intent of withholding saving grace from the vast majority of His creation. According to Scripture, God was pleased to offer everyone salvific grace and mercy, withholding judgment until grace and mercy are utterly spurned.

“The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost” (Revelation 22:17).

 

Humility rather than confidence is the apparel of security.

In the security of lives going well, we can often envisage ourselves acting supremely in future difficulties or suffering the present peril of others.

We should learn from Peter. Christ told Peter of his future denial of Him, and Peter argued that he would not fail Christ in His hour of need. When Peter was with Jesus (life going well), he was confident of his ability to handle the future.

What Jesus knew, and Peter failed to see, was that the future challenges to Peter’s faith would not happen in the security of the present. Peter’s faith would be challenged when Jesus was forcibly taken from Peter’s side, leaving Peter ever so alone. Also, Peter would be encircled by Christ haters, and the sun would have given way to the darkness of night. In that crucible of temptation, Peter would fail and weep over his pride.

Humility and trust are always more suitable than confident predictions.

“And again he denied it with an oath, ‘I do not know the man.’…And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, ‘Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly” (Matthew 26:72, 75).

This is the title of a document that was produced in the spring of 2012 by Pastor Eric Hankins. It sets forth the beliefs of many Southern Baptists regarding critical points of God’s salvation plan. The signers of this document and many likeminded others reject Calvinism along with the label non-Calvinist; preferring to describe themselves as Traditionalists. The document caused quite a response among Calvinists.

The most recent issue of The Journal for Baptist Theology and Ministry is comprised of a group of essays by supporters of the Traditional Statement. These essays explain the articles of the Traditional Statement more fully. I encourage you to read the essays. They will help you understand some serious problems with Calvinism and become familiar with a more biblical understanding of God’s plan of salvation.

I contributed the commentary on article five entitled The Regeneration of the Sinner.

Here is the link, http://www.baptistcenter.net/

Without love, we shall all hang.

Wrong is wrong and sin is sin. Neither love nor anything else can make a wrong right or a sin sinless, but love can hide sins. This Christian love is not blind to the sins and frailty of others, but neither does it require others to measure up before Christians are willing to accept them and sacrifice for their good.

Marriage can be a wonderful example of love’s ability to cover sins. We know our mate’s weaknesses better than anyone, and yet we love them, sacrifice for them, enjoy their companionship, and will quickly come to their defense if others attack their weaknesses.

Without the covering of love, relationships vanish and humans die of loneliness.

“Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).

Francis Schaeffer (1912 – 1984) was a Christian pastor and apologist. He is responsible for helping countless pastors and Christian leaders to think more broadly and deeply about God and our world. He considered himself an evangelist. The following is a timely quote by him from almost thirty years ago.

“Make no mistake. We as Bible-believing evangelical Christians are locked in a battle. This is not a friendly gentleman’s discussion. It is a life and death conflict between the spiritual hosts of wickedness and those who claim the name of Christ . . . It is a conflict on the level of ideas between two fundamentally opposed views of truth and reality. It is a conflict on the level of actions between a complete moral perversion and chaos and God’s absolutes. But do we really believe that the part we play in the battle has consequences for whether or not men and women will spend eternity in hell? Or whether or not in this life people will live with meaning or meaninglessness? Or whether or not those who do live will live in a climate of moral perversion and degradation? Sadly, we must say that few in the evangelical world have acted as if these things are true. Rather than trumpet our accomplishments and revel in our growing numbers, it would be closer to the truth to admit that our response has been a disaster.”[1]


 

[1] Francis Schaeffer, The Great Evangelical Disaster (Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1984), 31-32.

“Wall of separation” is the exact phrase used by Thomas Jefferson in his letter to the Danbury Baptists, whereas “separation church and state” is the popular phraseology. My use of these phrases in this article should not be construed in any way as an endorsement of either agreeing with them or using them. I actually argue for Christians to disabuse ourselves from using them as a gloss of the First Amendment. For when it is so used, it is at best a tawdry and misleading replacement of the amendment’s beautiful words, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” I use it only because the article necessitates that I do.

In the 1947 Everson v. Board of Education case (1947 – 330 U.S.1), the Supreme Court applied the establishment[1] clause to the states. It also imbued this guarantee with a firm Separationist reading. Justice Hugo Black’s words for the Everson majority proved a prophetic distillation of the establishment cases for the next four decades: “The ‘establishment of religion’ clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another….In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect “a wall of separation between church and state.”[2] (italics added) Read the rest of this entry »