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Tags: Christianity, Evangelist, God, gospel, Jesus, John, light
Tags: Bible, creation, evolution, presuppositions, Science
I stumbled across your website by accident. I’m sorry to say that I was completely disappointed that you believe some of the things that you do. You actually believe the Earth is 5000 years old?You do know that there are literally rocks probably in your driveway that are older, right? I am blown away that your knowledge of science is so inadequate.
Thanks for stopping by. It’s always good to hear from a fellow Mississippian, even if we do disagree.
Just a few things to start with:
1. You’re disappointed? Kevin, please understand something; if we are to have a discussion, please take the time to discuss rationally with me. Your introduction of emotion into the issue in such a manner serves to simply load up the discussion with emotion, and it will tend to distract from the issues at hand.
It is impossible to be without passion, but emoting tends to move us away from intelligent discussion.
2. No, I do not believe that the Earth is five thousand years old. It is probably between six thousand and ten thousand years of age.
I know, you still disagree; but let’s just get the facts straight.
3. Rocks in my driveway older than the Earth? Hmmmm…
4. I do think that my knowledge of science is inadequate to some degree. On the other hand, it would serve you well, Kevin, to take the time to read the Bible and consider it’s claims.
In fact, let’s do this: I’ll refer you to this post, you read it, and come back and explain to me why you would think that there would be any book, discipline, or person with greater authority than the Holy Scriptures.
Tags: Jesus, light
Tags: Bible, God, Jesus, judgement
Once someone begins to call sin by its name, it seems there are those who yell, “THE BIBLE SAYS DON’T JUDGE!!!!!” That is true. The Bible does say do not judge.
We must understand context and respect it.
If we read Matthew 7:1-5 as a blanket condemnation of judging, we shall find ourselves having a difficult time dealing with these other passages of Scripture.
Furthermore, what is called judging today is usually not judging. To call sin by its proper name is not the judging of which Jesus spoke in Matthew 7:1-5. Jesus was speaking of hypocritically condemning others while doing the same things, or worse things. What is called judging today is normally simply using Scripture to speak of sin as sin.
The prophets spoke of sin and declared that we should call sin by its proper name. To say that sin is other than sin is to rebel against God. Isaiah pronounced a woe/judgment on those who called sin good. ( See Isaiah 5:20-21 ) In other words, we are to judge sin to be sinful, and we are not to judge it as being anything other than sinful.
Jesus commanded righteous judgment in John 7:24 . We are not to judge by how things look, but are to judge rightly by using God’s standard of truth.
There is much more to be said about the issue of judging, but it’s necessary for now that we understand that Matthew 7:1-5 is not the final word. We cannot set Matthew 7:1-5 over against John 7:24 and declare that Jesus contradicted Himself. Scriptural integrity won’t allow that. God won’t allow that. Rationality won’t allow that. In fact, if one does so, he is sinfully judging God’s Word as being wrong.
That is the worst sort of judgment one can exercise.
Tags: Christ, Christianity, God, government, Jesus, John Calvin, kings, presidents, rulers
The characteristic of a true sovereign is, to acknowledge that, in the administration of his kingdom, he is a minister of God. He who does not make his reign subservient to the divine glory, acts the part not of a king, but a robber. He, moreover, deceives himself who anticipates long prosperity to any kingdom which is not ruled by the sceptre of God, that is, by his divine word. For the heavenly oracle is infallible which has declared, that “where there is no vision the people perish,” (Prov. 29:18.)
John Calvin and Henry Beveridge, Institutes of the Christian Religion, vol. 1 (Edinburgh: The Calvin Translation Society, 1845), 6.
Tags: Christ, HolySpirit, Jesus
A Consideration of Two Texts That Seem to Support The Doctrine of The Second Blessing
See part one here.
The following passages seem to support the doctrine of the second blessing. The question we must ask is, “Do they indeed support the doctrine of the second blessing?” The first thing we must note is the fact that it has already been determined from the Scriptures that the Baptism with the Holy Spirit is not a second blessing. At the same time, we must do justice to hard texts that seem to point in the other direction. They cannot be dismissed. Let us now examine these two texts.
Acts 8:14-17 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. (KJV) As we study this passage we must first understand the context. The disciples had stayed in Jerusalem until persecution caused many of them to flee to other places. As they fled, they preached. As they preached, people were converted. In Samaria folks believed on Jesus. Let us not forget that the Samaritans and Jews were not friendly to one another. We must also recall that the Jewish people had a very strong spirit of nationalism, and especially was it strong in relation to their religious views. The Scriptures show us evidence that it was difficult for the early church to accept that there were those who were not of Jewish descent who could be saved. It is no wonder that, when the church at Jerusalem heard of converts at Samaria, they sent some down to look into the matter. When Peter and John arrived in Samaria, they prayed for the new converts and laid their hands upon them. When this was done, the Samaritan believers received the gift of the Spirit.
Why did this happen in this manner, and what did it signify? First of all, this happening demonstrated to the Samaritans their acceptance into the body of Christ. They were received as true Christians by the apostles who were chosen by Christ to be His witnesses. There should be no doubt that this caused them much comfort. Not only so, but this action demonstrated that the apostles and the Jerusalem church were willing to share the honor of the gifts of the Spirit with the Samaritans. The laying on of hands signified their willingness to share with the Samaritans the blessings that they had enjoyed because of Jesus (compare Num 27:18-23). This happening was not something that was normal. In other words, we need not expect the coming of the Spirit to happen in this manner as a matter of course. These events happened in this manner because God was working through this to emphasize the unity that is in the body of Christ. This unity was taught by Paul when he said, “ As the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” (1 Cor 12:12,13) KJV
Acts 19:1-7 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve. (KJV) What happened here? First of all, we must see that these disciples were ignorant of the Holy Ghost. How could that be? If there baptized with John’s baptism, or unto John’s baptism, they should have heard of the Holy Spirit. John preached and told men that they should believe on Jesus, who would baptize them with the Holy Ghost (Matt 3:11,12). The preaching of John was calculated to lead men to faith in Jesus. It is obvious that these people had not heard the gospel message correctly. Because of this, they did not receive Jesus as their savior. They were not true disciples of Christ. Having heard the truth, they evidently embraced it, as they were baptized into Christ. After that, Paul laid hands on them and they received the Spirit. This happening can easily be explained by the fact that the laying on of hands and the receiving of the Spirit happened for the purpose of giving these people the assurance that they needed that their faith was indeed genuine and was honored by God.
While these may not be what some would call “water tight” explanations, we can at least say that they are as plausible as any other we know of. These explanations also seem to fit well with the facts that we know. What we must realize is that passages such as these do not change the fact that the baptism with the Holy Spirit is not a second blessing, but occurs when one is converted. The occasional obscure passage must never be used to negate that which is plain and easily understood.
Tags: Christ, God, HolySpirit
Is The Baptism With The Holy Spirit A Second Blessing?
(Note that much of this material has been imported from the author’s article on The Baptism With The Holy Spirit.)
The issue that is before us is an issue that is of great importance to the Christian Church today. For approximately one hundred years there has been a movement that seems to major on emphasizing the working of the Holy Spirit in the lives of saints. Many (possibly most) of those who are involved in this movement believe “in the baptism with the Holy Ghost subsequent to a clean heart.” (Seehttp://www.churchofgod.org/about/declaration_of_faith.cfm) In other words, the belief is that one is baptized with the Holy Spirit after they are saved. The question that we must ask the Scriptures is whether or not this doctrine is true.
The Seal of The Spirit
“After that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” (Eph 1:13,14 ) KJV
What is the sealing of the Spirit? Often we think of the seal in the terms of a seal on a jar, or on an envelope. We think of it in terms of security. The context speaks to us of security. We must, however, take Biblical terms and use them in the manner for which they are intended and not go halfway with them. The seal is the Spirit. There is security provided by the Spirit being our seal. The Spirit seals us until Christ comes to redeem our vile bodies and make them like His glorious body (See Php 3:20,21; 1Pet 1:3-9; Rom 8:23). The seal is something that is enduring, however, it is not a seal of the jar lid sort. The seal is a sign of authenticity. It bespeaks of the genuine nature of that which is sealed. For instance, if I were to buy a car, I would receive a bill of sale. The bill of sale needs to be notarized before I can register the car in my name. When I get the bill of sale notarized, it is stamped with the “Great Seal of The State of _____________.” The seal is placed on the bill of sale to authenticate that it is a document that is genuine and not a forgery. In Jesus’ day, the seal was usually made in wax by impressing it with a signet ring. That ring had a particular motif that was unique to the authority who owned it. Thus, when a seal was set on the tomb of Jesus, it was declared off limits by the authorities. The seal declared that the order to not open the tomb was an official government order. When a child of God believes the gospel and is saved, he is sealed with the Spirit which God promised in the Old Testament. Remember, Paul stated that the seal was with the Holy Spirit of promise. The Spirit within us testifies to the authenticity of our faith.
What did the Old Testament Scriptures promise us concerning the Spirit of God? We must learn this to know what the sealing with the Spirit of promise is and what it means to us. Let us look at some of the places where we can read of God’s promise of the Holy Spirit. (For a more extensive treatment of this promise see the authors article “The Baptism With The Spirit.“) Below are several passages that present to us the promise of the Holy Spirit.
Isa 44:1-8 Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen: Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen. For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses. One shall say, I am the LORD’s; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the LORD, and surname himself by the name of Israel. Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them. Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any. (KJV)
In this passage, we have a promise of the outpouring of the Spirit of God upon the people of Israel. The promise from God is a promise that in that day He will deliver and bless His people, and the people would take the name of the LORD unto them. That is, they would declare Him to be their God and their spiritual husband. (Compare this with Acts 2:38 and the command to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. This is nothing more than a call for them to identify themselves with the Christ who had poured out the Spirit in fulfillment of the above prophecy. What a marked contrast between this simple truth and the heresy of “One-ness” professors!) John was telling the people that the promised redeemer was coming to save Israel. The baptism of the Holy Ghost is a fulfillment of God’s promise.
Ezek 11:19-20 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. (KJV) Ezek 36:25-26 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. (KJV)
Note that once again we have before us a promise of God giving His Spirit. This promise is to the end that men would be changed to ones who would love and worship God instead of idols.
Zech 12:9-10 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. (KJV)
Here, too, we have a promise of God pouring out His Spirit upon His people at the time of the end. At this time they shall be delivered, restored, and saved.
After many years of expecting God to send His blessing and John declaring that the blessing was at hand, Jesus stated that the blessing of the outpouring of the Spirit was near. Jesus stated before He ascended to Heaven, Acts 1:4 wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. (KJV) Luke 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. (KJV) Jesus let His disciples know that God was soon to fulfill the promise that He had given them so many years before. Finally, on the day of Pentecost, it came. Acts 2:1-4 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (KJV)
Acts 2:16-21 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. (KJV) The Holy Spirit fell upon the people and they were baptized in the Spirit. As the saints began to praise God, some observers mocked and stated that the saints were drunken. Peter’s defense was two-fold: it was too early in the morning to be drunken, and this was the fulfillment of the Old Testament promise that God had given. The PROMISE had arrived!
The wonderful thing about this blessing is the fact that it is a universal promise. The promise is available to all who call upon the name of the Lord. This statement is a quote of Joel 2:28. Peter mentioned that the outpouring of the Spirit was in fulfillment of the promise in Joel 2. He also told those men to call upon the name of the Lord to be saved. This is especially interesting to note when you contrast the present day misrepresentation of Acts 2:38 which people use to teach baptism in Jesus’ name in order to obtain the forgiveness of sins. One thing is certain, Acts 2:38 does not contradict the plain statement “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” When Peter said, Acts 2:38 Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (KJV) he was simply stating that men must receive Jesus as the Christ and embrace Him as the true King of Israel. Not only so, but one of the things that is characteristic of those upon whom the Spirit is come is the fact that they identify themselves with the Lord who poured out His Spirit (See Isa 44:5). If this is characteristic of those who have received the promise, is it any wonder that Peter would tell the Jews who rejected Christ that they must repent, accept Jesus as their Messiah, and identify themselves with Christ to be saved? Salvation is not through the identifying, but those who deny the Lord are denied of Him (See Matt 10:32,33). No one need think himself to be forgiven of sin if he will not confess Jesus as the Christ and as his savior. This is simply another part of Scripture being fulfilled which says, Isa 44:3-5 I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses. One shall say, I am the LORD’s; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the LORD, and surname himself by the name of Israel. (KJV)
Seeing that the Holy Spirit of promise is the seal (sign of the genuine nature) of our redemption, and that the promise of the Spirit is to everyone who believes Jesus, we must ask ourselves one more question. That question is this: when does the believer receive the seal of the Spirit? Is it received simultaneously with regeneration, or is it sometime subsequent to the new birth? The text that states to us that the Spirit is the seal of our redemption sets the time of the sealing, too. Eph 1:13 after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise. (KJV) The apostle Paul asked the question of the Galatians, Gal 3:2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? (KJV) Paul reminded the Galatians that their receiving of the Spirit and blessing came through faith, not works of the law. He also told them that the reason Jesus died was that we could receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Gal 3:13-14 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (KJV)Finally, Paul lets us know that this receiving of the Spirit was not an indwelling alone, but a baptism. Gal 3:26-29 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (KJV) It is important to note that the baptism in Gal 3:27 is of necessity a Spirit baptism. The word “for” is a word that joins the statement to be made with the foregone statements. We have believed in Christ and have put on Christ when we were baptized with the Spirit into Christ. This baptism happens when we become children of God by faith in Christ. In Christ there is equality and no distinctions. (This would not be so if the baptism were water baptism into the local body, for we know that God has placed different people in different positions of authority in the local body.) This baptism is part and parcel of our belonging to Christ and being of Abraham’s seed. In short, the baptism of the Spirit comes to everyone who believes in Christ to the saving of his soul: and that according to the promise of God of which we have already studied. As a matter of fact, we are told that the only ones who do not have the Spirit of God are the ones who are not saved. Rom 8:9 Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (KJV) It can be safely concluded, then, that the baptism with the Holy Ghost is not a “second blessing” but occurs at the very moment one believes and is born again.
Tags: Bible, Genesis, morality, presuppositional apologetics, truth
In a previous article I spoke of God as the source of truth and the ultimate standard of truth. We all live as if this were true, whether we accept the foregoing statement as true or not. We live by a standard of truth and expect others to live by the same standard. For example, when I go to the bank to deposit my money, I expect the tellers to come to the same total as I do when they have completed their addition. Why? Because I know that there is a standard by which we operate. Two plus two always equals four. The fact that we live by such a standard points to the reality of the absolute and ultimate standard. There could be no standard of truth if there were no Christian God. The God of the Bible is not only all knowing, but is the source of all knowledge and truth. He is truth.
The above statements may seem to be somewhat of a leap, but consider that morality also exists. There is an ought-ness about certain things in life; and that ought-ness is personal, and presupposes an absolute person who cares about what we do. We do not live in an impersonal world. We interact with persons all the time. We live in a world that is so full of personality that we often give inanimate objects personal names, and many men refer to their cars as “she” and “her”. We have no true moral responsibility to inanimate objects as such. We may have a moral responsibility to God and to others in regard to how we deal with inanimate objects, but we are not morally responsible to an inanimate object itself.
Morals demand one to whom we are morally responsible. They also demand an absolute standard of morality. Since morality is impossible without personality, it follows that there is an absolute person who is the final arbiter and ultimate standard of morality. The God of the Bible certainly fits this description. He is called the God of truth who is without iniquity (Deuteronomy 32:4;2Corinthians 1:18) and all men will give account to Him in the judgment (Romans 14:10-12).
What does morality have to do with truth? That is the question that some will ask. It is a good and valid question. It is also a question that must be answered. The answer is that truth must be respected, honored, and adhered to. If we do not do so we are being immoral. To commit an offense against the absolute standard of truth is to commit a moral offense. An offense against God is an issue of moral consequence. God cares what we believe. It matters to God whether we believe the truth or not. He cares whether we speak truly or not. To stray from the absolute standard of truth is to offend against the absolute person who is the standard of morality and the judge of all men.
It may be argued that there is no moral culpability when one commits an error due to ignorance. We don’t truly live this way, however. Should I be fully convinced that a new bridge which will shorten people’s commute times by fifty percent is opened, and I inform everyone I see that it is opened though it is not; I can assure you that there will be a large number of people who will hold me responsible for giving them wrong information and causing them to be late for work. Ignorance will be accepted as no excuse. We also know that ignorance of the law will not excuse us in court if we have broken the law. Ignorance may be considered by many to be a mitigating circumstance, but it is not an excusing circumstance. Many times we find ourselves gaining new information and thinking, “Well, I’m glad that I know better now.” Scripture does not allow us to do that. Scripture compels us to look back on our ignorance with shame, and then commands us to repent ( See Leviticus 4:1-35;Acts 17:30).
Let’s take this a step further. Scripture intimately connects our loyalty to truth to our morality. You see, we are morally obligated to fear the Lord. That is commanded many times in the Scriptures. At the same time we are told that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 1:7). Only by the fear of the Lord will we know the truth. As I am morally obligated to fear the Lord, and I am morally obligated to believe and speak the truth, truth and morality are inextricably connected.
I fear that many fail to see that man’s fall was a rejection of truth, and that man’s sinful state is one in which he suppresses the truth (Romans 1:18). Man’s fall was a rejection of truth in that he did not give glory to the one who is truly glorious (Romans 1:20), accepted the word of the one who is a liar (Genesis 3:1-7;John 8:44), and corrupted their own understanding and knowledge, thus becoming fools (Romans 1:22). This immoral rejection of truth then led, and still leads, to a rejection of the truth of God and a perversion of the truth of God.
The connection between morality and truth could hardly be more plainly seen than in a verse in the “love chapter” of the Bible, 1Corinthians 13. In 1Corinthians 13:6 Paul stated that love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices in truth. We would be correct to say that the opposite of unrighteousness is righteousness, but it is also correct to say that the opposite of unrighteousness is truth. Think of it: the opposite of immorality then is truth. Truth is a moral issue.
Paul, speaking to the church at Corinth, declared that he worked to bring everyone’s thoughts under submission to God (2Corinthians 10:5). It did not matter to Paul from what school one originated. What mattered to Paul is that every thought was submitted to the Lordship of Christ, and that is a moral as well as a religious issue.
The letter to the Ephesians most definitely shows that Paul considered truth and morality to be related issues. His desire for the Ephesians was that they would not live by the standards of the world (See Ephesians 4:17-24). He explained to them that those outside of Christ lived in the futility of their thoughts, and that their minds were blinded because they were ignorant of the truth. Their ignorance of the truth was not only a sinful thing, but it led to more sin in that they went head-long after sin and gross immorality.
In common, everyday life we live as if these things are true. We expect our banker to hold to the truth about addition, subtraction, multiplication, because we are relatively sure that, if he doesn’t, he will err on the side of immorality and take our money instead of erring so as to give us more money. When people speak to us, we expect them to speak the truth to us and we don’t accept ignorance as an excuse when someone is harmed due to being given wrong information. Ivory tower academics and philosophers may quibble about this, but they also deposit money in the bank, and their expectations are the same as those of the common man. It is reasonable to conclude that there is an unbreakable link between truth and morality.
There is one application that needs to be made before concluding this article. That application relates to the debate surrounding the inerrancy of the Scriptures. Not only are there some who deny that the Scriptures are inerrant, but they plainly state that there are mistakes in the Bible. Not only so, but some go so far as to say that Jesus Himself erred and ignorantly spoke things that were not true. If that is so, we cannot accept that Bible as what it claims to be: a holy book which is the true Word of God that teaches us the way of righteousness and salvation. Neither can we take Jesus to be what the Bible claims Him to be: the sinless Son of God. To insinuate error in Christ and the Bible is to insinuate sin in them. There is no way to escape that. Those who do so, no matter what they may claim about adoring Christ and accepting the authority of the Scriptures, are grossly in error and would do well to reconsider their position. What true Christian wishes to be guilty of implicitly accusing Jesus of sin and Scriptures of being deceitful and misleading?
Tags: Bible, Book of Genesis, Christ, God, presuppositional apologetics
There’s another aspect of epistemology that we must see if we are going to understand knowledge in relationship to God.
God is the judge of and final arbiter of truth and falsehood, right and wrong.
God is not only the source and standard of truth, as Creator of all things; but He is also the one who will judge based upon His truth.
That is one of the reasons that the fall of Genesis chapter three wrought so much trouble.
It is not as if there was much ado about an apple.
There was much more than that going on.
God had spoken. Man knew the truth. If he ate of that tree, he would die. Man betrayed the truth by following the lie, ate of the fruit, and died. Judgment came from the hand of the God of knowledge by whom actions are weighed ( 1Samuel 2:3 ).
If man is to think, he must think under God. He must either borrow from the Christian Theistic worldview, or he must submit to Christ. To do otherwise is to be fully irrational. That is why we are told that the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge ( Proverbs 1:7 ).
God, the Creator of heaven and earth, is the source, standard, and sole arbiter of truth and knowledge.
With this in mind, we shall proceed from here to consider the nature of the Bible and the Genesis Creation Account.
Tags: Bible, Christian, epistemology, God, knowledge, Scripture, trinity
There’s a bit of a problem that we face when we speak of an absolute standard of knowledge, however. The problem is that we must be able to know the standard. Being that the
standard is a person (after all, knowledge is a personal thing, thus the standard must be an absolute person), that person must be knowable.
If that standard is in every way one, we face a huge problem:
1. That person is unknowable, because He is wholly other than we are.
2. That person is just like everything and everyone else.
The former presents us with a distant and unknowable god.
The latter presents us with a god who is just as we are, and which permeates everything. That is pantheism. In the end, that god is unknowable, too.
If this standard- this absolute person- is to be knowable, and the standard of knowledge, the problem of the diversity of knowledge enters into the picture. After all, knowledge is a multi-faceted thing.
We are faced with a body of knowledge that is both one and yet many.
Only the Holy Scriptures of the Christians- the Bible- can deal with this issue. Therein is found the Creator-God who is both one, and yet plural in His oneness.
Not only is He one, but plural: He is triune. God is a tri-unity. There is one God who is three persons. Not three gods in one body. Not three distinct gods. Not one god in three manifestations or disguises. One God who is by nature and in being one, and yet He is three in persons. Those persons are distinct, but not separate. They are one, yet distinct.
This is the glorious truth of the Trinity.
It is only in this epistemology that we can actually know anything with certainty; because it is only in Scripture that God is revealed as Triune and as a revealer of Himself.
God is knowable. God is the God of relationships and revelation, because He is the epitome of relationships in His triune being. He also reveals Himself to Himself at all times, and He has condescended to reveal Himself to us in His Son, His Spirit, His Word, and His world.
Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:26-28 shows us that God is both singular and plural. This doctrine is developed and further revealed throughout the Scriptures. Had it not been revealed, we could know next to nothing of Him. And if we had not the Scriptures to guide us, we would have no way to fashion a true theory of knowledge. Yet, having the truth of God revealed to us in the Scriptures, we know that He is the absolute person who is the standard of truth, and we have the ability to know through Him who is the One God in three persons.
Any attempt to look at this world apart from this understanding of knowledge is destined to go wrong. It is the fear of the LORD that is the beginning of knowledge ( Proverbs 1:7 ).