Stunning

Monday, March 27, 2006

Truth never goes away!

2006/03/26
Truth never goes away!
Category: Tartan Talk :
Author: tartanarmy (4:04 pm)



Things are a heating up on the issues regarding Limited atonement.
I have been in debate with Tony Byrne at Unchained Radio for a few years.

Not just him, but sometimes three at once on issues regarding the extent of the Atonement.
Recently Tony has took aim at Dr James White

http://theologicalmeditations.blogspot.com/2006/03/results-of-whites-systematic-eisogesis.html

and James has responded.
http://aomin.org/index.php?itemid=1304

There is buzz at Unchained Radio about a debate maybe.
http://unchainedradio.com/nuke/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=86&start=90&sid=db3f6674f805dd3d49f682de83707da4

I hope others will come to appreciate these issues if they can get past the unnecessary comments and insults.
Like this from Tony,



White’s warped thinking warps biblical passages, and such flawed and fanciful “reasoning” soon effects behavior and attitude.

White lacks both of these Christ-like qualities in his post today, thus his eisogesis [sic] is seen.




Here is hoping for some intelligent discussion.
Mark

An apology from Tony has been offered.

http://theologicalmeditations.blogspot.com/

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Speaking of Brainwash!

2006/03/24
Speaking of Brainwash!
Category: Tartan Talk :
Author: tartanarmy (9:33 pm)
Here is a link to an interesting conversation(s) about Evolution.
There is also a more in depth kind of conversation between myself and Henry The Atheist, discussing such things as the will of man, and presupositions, evidences, evolution, and other good stuff. It is an interesting discussion with an Atheist. One who would consider Christians to be unstable mentally, due to their God belief.

Heres the link. I used to Admin at this board.

http://p100.ezboard.com/fstreamsinthedesertfrm26.showMessageRange?topicID=30.topic&start=1&stop=20

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Ending Biblical Brainwash.

2006/03/21
Ending Biblical Brainwash
Category: Tartan Talk :
Author: tartanarmy (12:05 am)


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I came accross this dialogue from a few years ago. I was in conversation with an Atheist, and share the post here.

And yes, the man in the story is me.

I decided to read it because just this past weekend, my other son was attacked by 8 Lebanese youths. He sustained injuries and was hospitalised. He received 13 stitches to his face and skull due to chairs being smashed over his head, as well as multiple punches and kicks. His Fiance also received 2 punches to the face.

What a sick society we live in.
All my son was doing was trying to stick up for his girlfriend when one Lebanese youth decided to physically mishandle her whilst walking past him. He grabbed her shorts and put his hands inside them. When my son confronted him, he was attacked by him and 7 others.

May God give us all strength to endure violence yet again.

Mark

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Ending Biblical Brainwash
For better mental and cultural health, it's time we classified religious fundamentalism as a psychological disorder

George Dvorsky
Better humans Staff


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Dear Henry Hill,

Whilst browsing this Christian forum I came across your invitation to read the above article. I have read it and found it very interesting but not new. Many Christians have read other such writings by Atheist/Agnostic professionals.

What is being said is indeed frightening and one sees the danger if such ideas were followed with any vigour. Some of the worlds most evil was conceived first in the minds of the so-called free thinkers in our society.

But, let us be pragmatic for a moment. Let us take some of the ideas suggested and test that analysis in the light of real life experience and circumstances. Let us be scientific for a few moments and test this hypotheses espoused by this article.

I know a family who has recently undergone some major incidents regarding unprovoked violence against their teenage son. He has been the unfortunate victim of two separate school attacks over a period of 18 months on two separate occasions.

The first attack involved bullying by a gang of 5 or 6 individuals. They bound and gagged my friends son, punched and kicked him on the ground and left him to get out of his situation.

This happened AGAIN plus 5 or six other incidents involving damage of property, ridicule, physical and emotional abuse etc.
The teenage boy was 14 at the time. He is a quiet boy, quite skinny and never been in trouble in his life.

After School and Police involvement, the offenders being under 18 were given a rap on the knuckles and even my Friend and his wife were subjected to abuse from the Parents of their Bullying children at the community liaison meeting conducted for the purpose of allowing dialog for the benefits of the victims of crime.

The teenage boy needed some close supervision and attention and was reluctant to go back to High School. He started to withdraw and become a much more reserved boy.

He started a new school and tried to get on with his schooling. Within a short time he became frustrated about the behaviour of some students in his classes. He believed they were a hindrance to him learning anything and also he felt that he might once again become a target for their anti-social behaviour. This boy pleaded with his parents to leave school and try and get some kind of apprenticeship or other type of vocation.

The boy did start work, but it was decided by the family to take him overseas for a break with his Father in order for him to have some time out.

After the holiday the boy decided he really wanted to continue his education, in order to obtain his basic school qualification. The parents tried different options rather than the High school situation. None were available, so the boy decided to try another school.
Determined to keep his head down and get his schooling completed, he was enrolled in yet another local High School.
Five days later, the boy now 15, was severely attacked by 3 youths in the school grounds.

Two of the attackers were ex students aged 17 and 18. The other attacker was a current student aged 15.
He was attacked from behind and was punched and kicked to the ground. Many students witnessed the attack and all were horrified at the incident. He sustained various injuries including damage to his front teeth.

Upon investigation by both the School and the Police, it seems that the attack was motivated by the boy giving a rose to a girl in school as a thank you for showing him around the school. The attack happened on Valentines Day. The boy is now in counselling and again not pursuing his education.

WHY AM I TELLING THIS STORY?

The family is a Christian family. The Father of that family believes in Jesus Christ. He believes in a young earth and also creationism. He believes in a literal Bible as well as an inerrant Bible. (Although he does recognise different writing forms such as poetry, narrative and allegory when used as well as other grammatical and historical methods of interpretation ie (Hermeneutics) The man by nature is one who can look after himself and does not suffer fools gladly. He has a strong personality. He is happily married and has 5 children.

If this Christian fundamentalist is mentally ill as proposed by your article then I would offer this. His illness is keeping him out of prison. His illness is preventing him from violence and revenge. His illness is causing him to remain calm, level headed and a strength to his family.

His illness is allowing him to understand the Police frustration and the courts less than fair sense of justice.

In short, this man is one who has the potential to react to all of this with despair and anger but his illness (Christianity/ Faith in Christ and his Word, and the absolutes taught there) keeps him from doing this.

Atheists/Agnostics have no Philosophy for understanding this man. You would have this man on medication and conditioned through counselling. This man has a psychological disorder and needs treatment. This man is holding back society and is a great threat to its progress. He is narrow minded and bigoted. He is unrealistic and unreasonable. His perception of reality is dangerous and primitive and vague. He is against Science and modern understanding and unable to use discernment.

He should just get with the Taliban and other Fundamentalists and get real Henry.

YOU agree with the main thrust of the article. The main point. You have repeatedly mentioned the idea of health warnings against religion etc. You are a FANATIC HENRY.

You are a fanatical Atheist Humanist Fundamentalist Henry.
That is what you are. That is your quiet reserved beliefs.

But I prefer the Biblical term “SINNER”.

What a shame and a lie and a great evil Henry.

I read from one of your posts that you were considering Existentialism. How tragic.

Your comments are requested Henry.
Please tell me how this man and millions like him are in need of change, as explicitly stated by your article in which you agree with its main diagnosis.
I am really interested in your response.

Regards
Mark

EVER WONDER?

2006/03/20
EVER WONDER?
Category: Tartan Talk :
Author: tartanarmy (11:34 pm)



Why the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin?

Why women can't put on mascara with their mouth closed?

Why don't you ever see the headline "Psychic Wins Lottery"?

Mark

Saturday, March 18, 2006

From today's Reformed blog, repeated here!

2006/03/17
From today's Reformed blog, repeated here!
Category: Tartan Talk :
Author: tartanarmy (5:09 pm)
Blog: Reformation Theology
click here



There are No Four-Point Calvinists
2006/3/16 12:49:03

Within the Dispensational theological camp there are quite a number of so-called four-point Calvinists. This means that while they fully embrace most Calvinistic soteriology, such as the biblical doctrine of irresistible grace, yet they believe Christ died with the same universal intent for all humanity. To put it another way, they believe Christ did not die redemptively for only the elect, such as full-orbed Calvinists believe. With the notable exception of the MacArthur Dispensationalists, most others in that camp (such as those influenced by Dallas Seminary) reject the doctrine of limited atonement. Well... What I would like to demonstrate today is that rather than giving reasons why they are wrong, I am more inclined simply to call them inconsistent, for I believe it can be easily demonstrated that most of them already believe in limited atonement without consciously knowing that they do. Here's why:


Four point Calvinists will all agree, along with us, that irresistible grace, faith and repentance are gifts of God granted only to the elect. But four-point Calvinists somehow fail to connect the dots by not viewing these benefits as part of the redemptive benefits of Christ. We must consider that God does not give us generic grace apart from the work of Christ but all spiritual and redemptive blessings derive their potency from Christ and Christ alone (Eph 1:3). Therefore any belief in a "Christless" irresistible grace or gift of faith is rather absurd. I am led to believe that perhaps many of them have simply never thought of this. The result is that it should be plain to all that Christ died in a way (redemptively) that He did not for the non-elect.


If, as we agree, only the elect receive the gift of the Holy Spirit who irresistibly draws His own people (John 6:63, 65, 37) that they might believe the gospel .... and the same Spirit is never given in such a way to the non-elect (which four-pointers will also agree) then the only conclusion is that there is an benefit in the death of Christ which was never intended for the non-elect. By maintaining four-point calvinism one must separate the benefits from the benefactor. In other words, the only way to consistently believe in four-point Calvinism, therefore, is to erroneously conclude that irresistible grace is a grace given to people apart from Jesus Christ. Something I would bet that none of them are willing to do.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

How I ended up a Paedobaptist. Part 3

2006/03/05
How I ended up a Paedobaptist. Part 3
Category: Tartan Talk :
Author: tartanarmy (10:48 pm)
I will try and wrap all of this up in this final post.
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Jer 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will cut with the house of Israel: After those days, declares Jehovah, I will put My Law in their inward parts, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

Jer 31:34 And they shall no longer each man teach his neighbor, and each man his brother, saying, Know Jehovah. For they shall all know Me, from the least of them even to the greatest of them, declares Jehovah. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sins no more.

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As a reformed Baptist, and that because it was the first Church I went to after my conversion, I had accepted the whole idea of a regenerated Church and a New Covenant made up of believers only. It made sense to me.

There were some tensions in the Church. For example, most if not nearly all wanted to maintain this concept of regenerate Church, and there would be confusion about “whom” exactly is considered “in” the Church.

It became quite obvious to me, that the only people who really had a right to be considered in the Church, were those who had been baptized. Those who had made a credible profession of faith and had submitted to believers baptism, and had given a good testimony.

In hindsight, I now look back and cringe a little, at just how individualistic and man centered all of this really was.
I do not say that lightly, for the people engaging in these matters were very Godly Saints and sincere to the hilt.

Then there is the whole concept of Church Membership to try and really get a grip on.

I was a Church member and did not even know it. I was thinking that perhaps some time down the road I would be asked to become a member of my Church. I did not attend the “Member” meetings, for I did not think I was invited!

Now this was “before” and “after” my actual baptism. It was an issue in the Church that seemed to confuse others also.
Had it not been for a casual conversation with my Pastor, I might never have got more involved with these “member” meetings.

Then there were the secret/delicate discussions and voting and a whole lot of other issues regarding these meetings, that the “outsiders” enquired about cautiously.

Anyway, the whole thing never really sat well with me for many reasons and in fact even caused me to be shunned a little bit. I guess I was never really part of the “inner” crowd, even when I was one of them!

I could see the methodology behind it all though. Because the New Covenant is made up of regenerate believers (The Elect) I could understand why having a “Membership” was a good safeguard for the Church.

It would allow the regenerate Members a vote on all issues regarding the Local Church, and it would “exclude” all others. Namely those who had never been baptized or given a profession of faith. Made sense to me. Good management, right?

Now I started this 3rd post with a quotation from the Prophet Jeremiah. The passages talk about the New Covenant and who are in it. The passages are a real treasure, and as a Credobabtist, I thought I understood them and Paedobaptists were in error about them. That was that.

Now, during this time of wrestling with the whole debate, I took a fresh look at these passages, and once again, much light was given to me. God was stripping away my presuppositions and prejudices again and again.

The first thing I was struck with was the idea that in the New Covenant, believers apparently did not need to be taught to know the Lord, for having been regenerated and in the New Covenant, they already knew Him!

Yet, I was forced to admit that “believers” are in fact “still” required to be taught! Why do we have preaching and teaching and Church etc etc!

Was Jeremiah really talking about a time here upon the earth in the Visible Church? Or was he referring to the time all the believers are gathered and united in Heaven itself?
Until I considered that question, I thought I knew the obvious answer. My New Covenant ideas were being dismantled before my very eyes. It was not very pleasant for me personally, but exciting at the same time.

I re-read those scriptures with a definite eschatological view to the consummation of the heavenly Jerusalem and so interpret verse 34 and verse 40 as defining the inhabitants in Heaven at the end of the age.

Therefore, having seen Abraham come to faith and then commanded to circumcise his own regardless of their own spiritual state, and then understanding the promises of the New Covenant, which are nowhere revoked in the New Testament, I was gaining a much larger and God centered perspective on the nature of the Church, the New Covenant and Christianity as a whole.

It became clear to me that the Baptist ideal of a pure Church started to crumble all about me, and what exactly was it based upon?

Well, for one thing an incorrect understanding of Jer 31:34 was part of the puzzle.

But it was a huge part of the jigsaw for me personally. I had been systematically putting under the microscope my reformed Baptist beliefs regarding New Covenant and in the end there was nothing left to really cling to.

I came to see very quickly that the distinctions from reformed orthodox Christianity in the past about Visible and Invisible Church are well laid out systems of thought and practice, rather than some kind of theological construct that is simply given a bare nod.

So what is the bottom line for me? What am I saying?

I no longer worry about the Church becoming infected with unbelievers, but rather encourage everyone to come to Church and be part of it. That is the visible Church, as I understand it. I believe God shall raise up wise leaders in His Church to maintain order and wisdom, and that will be more accomplished with a plurality of elders, where there is more wisdom in numbers, rather than the lone Pastor kind of model that so much exists today, particularly in smaller to medium Churches.

I still believe in Church membership and I affirm that a Church should have a good statement of faith, preferably a good reformed confession.
I am more inclined to a congregational understanding of Church government rather than Presbyterian or any other Protestant Ecclesiology,

It is interesting for me, how Covenant theology impacts all of these areas of Christian thought, including an area that I had never given much interest in previously, namely that thing called eschatology, the study of the last things!

For example, before all of this going on in my life I was what could be called an optimistic A-mill kind of guy, but with Post-mill leanings. I can safely say that I am now Post Mill and my views regarding this whole study of Covenant theology has shed light here also! More could be said.

I deliberately wrote this article with personal and often subjective comments for the benefit of the ordinary layman/believer, but I hope I provided some scripture at key points, and how the Word challenged me more than anything else about these matters.

I could quote all the passages that Paedobaptists can quote in defense of their position, but as good as they are or bad as some might be, I decided others have done that and could be read quite easily for further inquiry.

I decided to just tell my story and how it evolved over a relatively short period of time. I was one like Paul, on the very road to opposing Paedobaptism, when suddenly I was struck off of my high horse and made to take a much closer look. After my sight was given back to me of course!

Please feel free to make any comments or ask questions etc. I know I will definitely be re-editing this article in the days ahead, in order to improve upon what I have written. It is being written off the cuff at present and I know the subject deserves a far better treatment than what I have so far offered here.

Could I debate my new position with a scholar? Yes, I could do that, but my love and appreciation of these truths have caused me to re-evaluate the significance of my future as an apologist in this particular area.

I will never make my Paedobaptism a dividing line with other Christians, and I hope grace can be extended between all that differ on this subject.

My favorite living teachers are reformed Baptists and Spurgeon is my all time favorite preacher, so I am not about to abandon those convictions because of my shift to Paedobaptism and my Covenant convictions.

Does the New Covenant include the infants of believers? Yes absolutely, for they also have the very same promises given to them, and their inclusion by way of baptism, is the visible sign that points to those sure and certain promises of God to all generations.

Once the promise of salvation is received by faith in the New and better Covenant (Mediated and fullfiled in Christ) then the sign can be looked back upon as a seal as well as a sign of the thing signified by baptism.
That is why Peter could say the following.
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1Pe 3:21 Which antitype now also saves us, baptism (not a putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ;

Blessings
Mark