Friday, June 23, 2006


Category: Tartan Talk :
Author: tartanarmy (3:17 am)

Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor, and dishwashing
liquid made with real lemons?

Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?

Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?

Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

About Calvinism Part 10

About Calvinism Part 10
Category: Tartan Talk :
Author: tartanarmy (3:29 am)

1. God ordains or permits all things that come to pass, including human decisions, and nothing can thwart His decrees.

"As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive" (Gen. 50:20);

"The LORD said to Moses, 'When you go back to Egypt see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go" (Ex. 4:21);

"But He is unique and who can turn Him? And what His soul desires, that He does. For He performs what is appointed for me, and many such decrees are with Him" (Job 23:13-14);

"I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted" (Job 42:2);

"The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps" (Prov. 16:9);

"The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD" (Prov. 16:33);

"He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end. I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take away from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him" (Ecc. 3:13-14);

"It is I who says of Cyrus, 'He is My shepherd! And he will perform all My desire.' And he declares of Jerusalem, 'She will be built,' and of the temple, 'Your foundation will be laid'" (Is. 44:28);

"I am the LORD, and there is no other, the One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the LORD who does all these" (Is. 45:6b-7, cf. surrounding verses);

"Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it" (Is. 46:11b);

"But now, O LORD, You are our Father, we are the clay, and You are the potter; and all of us are the work of Your hand" (Is. 46:8);

"All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, 'What have You done?'" (Dan. 4:35);

"For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans, that fierce and impetuous people who march throughout the earth to seize dwelling places which are not theirs" (Hab. 1:6);

"The LORD is righteous within her; He will do no injustice. Every morning He brings His justice to light; He does not fail" (Zeph. 3:5a);

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God" (Rom. 8:28a);

"Also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will" (Eph. 1:11).

2. It is for this reason that He knows all things past, present, and future.

"You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O LORD, You know it all" (Ps. 139:2-4);

"Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, 'My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure'" (Is. 46:9-10);

"Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered" (Matt. 10:29-30);

"Now we know that You know all things, and have no need for anyone to question You; by this we believe that You came from God" (Jn. 16:30);

""Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You" (Jn. 21:17b);
"For God is greater than our heart and knows all things" (1 Jn. 3:20).

3. For reasons inconceivable to us and unrevealed in the Bible, God allowed sin to enter the world, and humankind to fall.

"Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned..." (Rom. 5:12).

"Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam...But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died.... The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation.... For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one.... So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men.... For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners..." (Rom. 5:14a, 15a, 16a, 17a, 18a, 19a).

4. Adam's fall caused all his descendants to have a sinful nature from their conception, so that they are unable to do good and are at enmity with God.
"Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Gen. 6:5);

"Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me" (Ps. 51:5);

"He who trusts in his own heart is a fool" (Prov. 28:26);

"All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way" (Is. 53:6a);

"For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; and all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. There is no one who calls on Your name, who arouses himself to take hold of You; for You have hidden Your face from us and have delivered us into the power of our iniquities" (Is. 64:6);

"The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?" (Jer. 17:9);

"This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil" (Jn. 3:19);

"But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man" (Jn. 2:25);

"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him" (Jn. 6:44a);

"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing" (Jn. 15:4-5);

"As it is written, 'There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one'" (Rom. 3:10-12);

"For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not" (Rom. 7:18);

"Because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God" (Rom. 8:7-8);

"Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest" (Eph. 2:3);

"The Lord's bondservant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will" (2 Tim. 2:25-26)..

5. None of this is understood to make God the author or approver of evil.
"Therefore the LORD has kept the calamity in store and brought it on us; for the LORD our God is righteous with respect to all His deeds which He has done, but we have not obeyed His voice" (Dan. 9:14);

"Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, and You cannot look on wickedness with favor" (Hab. 1:13a);

"What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For He says to Moses, 'I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.'... You will say to me then, 'Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?' On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, 'Why did you make me like this,' will it?" (Rom. 9:14-15, 19-20);

"Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am being tempted by God'; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust" (James 1:13-14);

"This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all" (1 Jn. 1:5).

About Calvinism Part 9

About Calvinism Part 9
Category: Tartan Talk :
Author: tartanarmy (3:15 am)

What denominations embrace Calvinism today?

Calvinism, or Reformed theology in general, is predominant in the following denominations: National Primitive Baptist Convention of the USA (1 million members), Presbyterian Church in America (200,000 members), Reformed Church in America (200,000 members), Primitive Baptists (72,000 members), Evangelical Presbyterian Church (56,000), Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches (40,000), remnants of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (40,000), Reformed Baptists (300 to 400 churches), Orthodox Presbyterian Church (20,000 members), and about ten other denominations, each with memberships between 1,000 and 10,000.

A large number of Congregationalist churches are also Calvinist. Nearly all churches in these denominations classify themselves as evangelical or fundamentalist, and most (non-Primitive) support education and missions programs.

Now for the crucial question: Is Calvinism biblical?

Here is the dangerous question.

For if you learn what Calvinism is, what Calvinists believe, and how the system came to be, then you are simply better informed. If you discover that Calvinism fits within the successive realms of belief you find legitimate (orthodox, evangelical, Baptist), then you come to accept and approve of those who hold to it.

But if you find Calvinism to be the system taught by the Bible, then you are bound to accept it and believe it for yourself. Such a change is not the purpose of this series, but I will nevertheless attempt to make a biblical case for Calvinism.

The reader is asked to judge the argument on its own merits. Any decision you make in this regard is between you and the Holy Spirit, and is open to development as you grow in your own spiritual and scriptural understanding of the faith.

What follows may seem like a proof-text argument, but it is instead a listing of the verses which lead Calvinists to their conclusions. The reader is encouraged to examine these verses in their respective contexts.

Enough with the disclaimer; let's hear the argument.

There are a number of ways to present the case, but I'll proceed by going through the summary of all of these parts so far.
There will be 30 points given.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Now I sit me down in school

Now I sit me down in school
Category: Tartan Talk :
Author: tartanarmy (8:35 am)

Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule
For this great nation under God
Finds mention of Him very odd.

If Scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a Federal matter now.

Our hair can be purple, orange or green,
That's no offense; it's a freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise.
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.

For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all.
In silence alone we must meditate,
God's name is prohibited by the state.

We're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,
And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.
They've outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.

We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,
And the 'unwed daddy, ' our Senior King.
It's "inappropriate" to teach right from wrong,
We're taught that such "judgments" do not belong.

We can get our condoms and birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,
No word of God must reach this crowd.

It's scary here I must confess,
When chaos reigns the school's a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make:
Should I be shot; My soul please take!

Thanks Haas. I liked it too!

Theological Systems Compared

Theological Systems Compared
Category: Tartan Talk :
Author: tartanarmy (7:34 am)
Theological Systems Compared
Dispensationalism - Progressive Dispensationalism - Covenant Theology - New Covenant Theology

DISP - Dispensationalism
PD - Progressive Dispensationalism
CT - Covenant Theology
NCT - New Covenant Theology

Definition of Terms:

Physical Israel - the nation of Jews, physical descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob
Spiritual Israel - the elect of God, all those in Christ, whether Jew or Gentile
Universal Church - spiritual Israel, all the elect of God from all time
Visible Church - a local assembly of baptized believers in Christ, joined by covenant for worship and fellowship

1. Stance regarding the Doctrines of Grace

DISP - Usually not Calvinistic
PD - Some not Calvinistic
CT - Almost Always Calvinistic
NCT - Same as CT

2. Interpretation of the Scriptures

DISP - Literal Interpretation
PD - Same as DISP
CT - Literal or Figurative, depending on context
NCT - Same as CT

3. "Analogy of Faith"

DISP - Does not accept AoF
PD - Same as DISP
CT - Usually accepts AoF
NCT - Same as CT

4. Israel

DISP - Physical descendants of Jacob
PD - Same as CT
CT - Physical descendants of Jacob, or spiritual descendants of Abraham, depending on context
NCT - Same as CT

5. Israel in Galatians 6:16

DISP - Physical descendants of Jacob only
PD - Physical descendants of Jacob that are in Christ (Jewish Believers - physical and spiritual)
CT - Spiritual Israel, parallel to Gal. 3:29; Rom. 2:28-29; 9:6; Phil. 3:3
NCT - Same as CT

6. Israel and the Church

DISP - Two distinct groups of God's people with separate destinies
PD - Same as CT
CT - God's elect are "one people", the Universal Church has always existed
NCT - In OT, believers are called simply "the elect of Israel", not the Church. NCT doesn't recognize a Church in the OT, such as in the NT. In Matt 16:18, Jesus said that He will build His Church. There is but one people of God of whom natural Israel was the typical foreshadowing. So, the Church is the "New Israel."

7. Birth of the Church

DISP - Born at Pentecost, separate from Israel
PD - Visible Church Born at Pentecost as an extension of God's program for Israel
CT - Born in the OT and reached fulfillment in the NT
NCT - Same as DISP

8. The Church in OT Prophecy

DISP - No, it was a mystery, hidden until the NT
PD - Same as CT
CT - Yes, there are many direct OT prophecies of the NT Church
NCT - Same as CT

9. Israel in OT Prophecy

DISP - All OT prophesies for Israel are for the nation and have nothing to do with the Church
PD - Same as CT
CT - Some OT prophecies are for the nation of Israel, others for spiritual Israel
NCT - Same as CT

10. God's Main Purpose in History

DISP - Physical Israel
PD - "that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth -- in Him"
CT - Christ, and by extension the Church
NCT - Same as CT

11. The Church and God's Program

DISP - The Church is a parenthesis in God's program (a mystery)
PD - The Church is a progressive and integral part of His dealing with physical Israel
CT - The Church is the culmination of God's saving purpose through the ages
NCT - Same as CT

12. The True Heir to Abraham's Covenant

DISP - Isaac and physical Israel
PD - Physical and Spiritual Israel, including the Church
CT - Christ, the Seed, and thus all those in Christ (spiritual Israel)
NCT - Same as CT

13. Covenant of Redemption within the Trinity

DISP - There is no such covenant
PD - Same as DISP
CT - This covenant effected election
NCT - No such covenant, but there was an eternal decree for redemption within the Trinity (a determination and plan to save)

14. Covenant of Works with Adam

PD - Same as CT
CT - God made a conditional covenant of works with Adam as a representative for all his natural descendants
NCT - No, but Adam is a representative for all his natural descendants

15. Covenant of Grace concerning Adam

PD - No
CT - God made a Covenant of Grace with Christ and His people, including Adam
NCT - Does not believe in using the term "Covenant of Grace", as the term is not found anywhere in Scriptures. NCT believes that only when the Bible stipulates that a Covenant has been "cut" between God and man, is there a Biblical reason for believing that one has been made. This is not to say that God isn't gracious to man in "cutting" a covenant with him; but that the term itself is never found in Scriptures, and thus should not be used, especially when describing the Mosaic Covenant, which was a law covenant.

16. Israel and the Mosaic Covenant

DISP - Israel accepted the Covenant at Sinai with little thought
PD - Same as CT
CT - Israel was meant to accept the Covenant at Sinai
NCT - Israel was so frightened at Sinai that they would have accepted anything

17. The New Covenant and Israel

DISP - In Jer. 31:31-34 is only for physical Israel
PD - Only for physical Israel, but the Church has been made part of the New Covenant
CT - The New Covenant of Jer. 31 is the same as Luke 22:20, both are for spiritual Israel according to Hebrews 8
NCT - Same as CT

18. God's Program and "Dispensations"

DISP - God works through separate dispensations
PD - Same as DISP
CT - God works through separate but related covenants
NCT - God works through separate but related covenants, but the New Covenant fulfills or brings to their ultimate realization all others because they are all realized/fulfilled in Christ

19. Salvation of OT Saints

DISP - Some saved by works
PD - Same as CT
CT - All who are saved are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone
NCT - Same as CT

20. Faith is Christ as a Sin-Bearer

PD - Same as CT
CT - All who are saved are saved by faith in Christ as Sin-Bearer
NCT - Same as CT

21. OT Sacrifices

DISP - The OT sacrifices were not recognized as the Gospel or types of the Messiah as sin-bearer, but only seen as such in retrospect.
PD - Same as CT
CT - OT believers believed in the Gospel of Messiah as sin-bearer mainly by the sacrifices as types and prophecies.
NCT - Same as CT

22. Indwelling of the Holy Spirit

DISP - Indwells believers only in the Dispensation of Grace, not in the OT or after the rapture
PD - Same as DISP
CT - Indwells all believers in all ages, never withdrawn
NCT - Believe that the indwelling wasn't the same as in the Church time. In John 13:16-18, Jesus said that He would send the comforter that He may "abide" (live) with them forever. If the Holy Spirit was already "abiding" with them, as with the Church after Pentecost, then that promise means nothing.

23. The Kingdom of God and Israel

DISP - Jesus offered the literal Kingdom to physical Israel but the offer was rejected and therefore postponed
PD - Jesus offered the literal Kingdom to physical Israel. Only a small remnant accepted it. The physical nation of Israel will come to believe and be made part of the literal Kingdom in the Millennial Reign
CT - Jesus offered a spiritual Kingdom which was rejected by physical Israel but has been gradually accepted by spiritual Israel
NCT - Same as CT

24. OT Believers and the Body/Bride of Christ

DISP - OT believers were not in Christ, and therefore not part of the Body/Bride
PD - Same as CT
CT - Believers in all ages are in Christ and part of the Body/Bride
NCT - Same as CT, except they do not see the church in existence until Pentecost.

25. OT Law

DISP - The OT Law has been abolished for the Church. Physical Israel will be under the Law after the rapture.
PD - Same as DISP
CT - OT Law serves 3 purposes: 1) restraining sin in society, 2) leading to Christ, and 3) for instruction in godliness. The ceremonial law and civic law is abolished. The moral law continues to be in force.
NCT - OT Law is binding only as interpreted, applied, and in some cases even expanded in the NT. The OT Law is there to serve as a tutor, exposing our sinfulness and our need for the Savior. Christ is affirmed as being "The New Law-Giver", as opposed to Moses who was "The Old Law-Giver".

26. OT Law and the Church

DISP - OT Laws are only in effect if repeated in the NT
PD - Same as DISP
CT - OT Laws are in effect unless abrogated
NCT - OT laws are in efftect as reiterated by Jesus and the NT writers

27. The Kingdom of God

DISP - The Millennial Reign is the Kingdom of God
PD - Same as DISP
CT - The Church is the Kingdom of God
NCT - The Church since Pentecost is the Kingdom of God

28. Millennial Reign

DISP - Literal thousand years on earth - pre-mil
PD - Same as DISP
CT - Millennial reign is figurative for the current age - amil, some post-mil, a few historic pre-mil
NCT - Same as CT

29. OT Sacrifices

DISP - restored in the Millennial reign as a memorial
PD - Same as CT
CT - fulfilled in Christ and forever replaced by Him
NCT - Same as CT

30. The Future of Israel

DISP - Physical Israel has a future
PD - Same as DISP
CT - Some hold to a future for physical Israel, but most do not
NCT - Same as CT

31. The Millennium and the Covenant with Abraham

DISP - The Millennium is the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant
PD - Same as DISP
CT - Christ fulfilled the Abrahamic Covenant
NCT - Same as CT

32. David's Throne

DISP - Jesus will sit on David's throne during the Millennium, the saints ruling with Him
PD - Jesus is sitting on David's throne now at the right hand of the Father
CT - Christ sits on the Throne of Heaven. Saints rule under Him in spirit
NCT - Same as CT

33. Baptism

DISP - Believer's baptism and some disp Presbyterians who baptize infants
PD - Same as DISP
CT - Most embrace infant baptism, except Baptists who are Covenantal
NCT - Believer's baptism only


Number of positions unique to each system:
(only that system holds the belief in question)

DISP - 20
PD - 8
CT - 9
NCT - 4

Number of times there is agreement between systems:

DISP and PD - 13
DISP and CT - 0
DISP and NCT - 3
PD and CT - 11
PD and NCT - 10
CT and NCT - 20

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

About Calvinism Part 8

About Calvinism Part 8
Category: Tartan Talk :
Author: tartanarmy (4:07 am)
What happened to Calvinism among Southern Baptists?

Arminianism in America was best popularized by the preaching of John Wesley, and after his time many US denominations shrank away from Calvinism.

Alongside the tradition of the Philadelphia and Charleston confessions, Baptists in New Hampshire drew up a confession to show the beliefs Regular (Calvinistic) Baptists had in common with the anti-Calvinistic Free Will Baptists who were gaining popularity in that region.

The resulting New Hampshire Confession, while a very incomplete expression of faith, and without the Reformed distinctives of the other confessions, gained popularity through its publication in two widely sold church manuals. The Southern Baptist E.Y. Mullins was greatly affected by the New Hampshire confession early in the twentieth century. Then when in the 1920s the SBC was forced to deal with the Fundamentalist controversy, Mullins happened to be president at the time. He chaired a committee to draw up a confession of faith, and used the New Hampshire Confession as a model.

The resulting Baptist Faith and Message therefore had very little explicitly Calvinistic doctrine. Mullins' writings, including the BFM, were reinterpreted by the very non-Calvinistic Herschel Hobbs in the 1960s, and it was Hobbs who revised the BFM in 1963. Hobbs rejected Calvinist notions of unconditional election and particular atonement.

Also during this time, catechisms were falling out of use among Baptists, theological education was diminishing at the lay level, and Baptists began to look at their history more for missionary motivation than for doctrinal continuity.

Revivalistic preaching focused more and more on individuals' choice to believe, and sin was conceived of more as a relationship problem with God than as an offense to His justice.

The first generation of Southern Seminary professors retired, and the next group of teachers was decidedly less insistent on teaching Calvinism to their students.

Seminaries founded west of the Mississippi were in regions where Calvinism was less common or even unknown. Sermon illustrations compared salvation to a present which had to be accepted and unwrapped to be received, or to a check which had to be cashed to have any value.

By the mid-twentieth century, the Presbyterians (formerly the staunchest defenders of the doctrines of grace) had long since slipped into liberalism, and Baptists usually only heard about Calvinism when talking about the Pilgrims or some other people from centuries past.

Add to these reasons the Baptist tendency to look at isolated doctrines as opposed to theological systems, and to prefer application and pragmatic "relevance" to abstract theology, and it is little wonder that Calvinism has fallen by the wayside.

Recently, the teaching of Tom Nettles and a few others has sparked small revivals of Calvinism in Baptist churches and seminaries, resulting in the establishment of the Founders' Conference.

The current president of Southern Seminary, Al Mohler, is a Calvinist who has become a very public spokesman for Southern Baptists on a number of contemporary issues, and so several of today's SBC Calvinists are teaching under his leadership at Southern.

(Southern does not, however, have a primarily Calvinistic faculty.)