Apologetics 2a

Ean discusses problems with both Presuposistional Apologetics and the Classical approach http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zv4G25J6qis

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God Evil and Arminiansim

A friend of the ministry recently sent me this question:

I’ve got a question for you (I am Reformed): how do you answer an Arminian who says that if God decrees something then He is therefore the cause of it? I get this ALL the time LOL!

I thought that both the question and my answer would make a great blog article. Now that you have the question, here is my answer:

Good question. The answer is to flip it on the Arminian. Just ask if God is all powerful and does not want evil then why does He not stop evil? There are only a few answers they can give and none of them are good. First, they will say that God must respect a person’s free choice. However, all this means is God cares more about free will then He does about stopping evil. Next, this would make God culpable after the fact. For example, if I witnessed a person attempt to stab another person and I could stop it, without any harm to my self and I don’t, this makes me culpable. If the police were to come to me and ask why I did not stop the evil act and I respond by saying, “I had to respect the offender’s free will” I am guilty too.

The next thing they could say is that God uses evil but does not plan evil. This also does not vindicate God from being evil. If God uses evil, then we would have to say that on some level God desires evil. This seems to be the focus of the Arminian’s objection.

Each system has to realize that evil and God have some relationship with each other. The question is not to have it all figured out intellectually. The question should be is my view of God and evil intellectually consistent with Scripture?

Here is the answer for the Calvinist. God is not the active agent of evil in this world. However, God predestines everything. This would include evil. However, God has a morally sufficient reason for the evil he predestines. That morally sufficient reason is known only to him. God also created beings that carry out evil without any outward compulsion from God. How is God able to do this? I don’t know. But the manmade system of Arminian cannot vindicate God from evil. It only diminishes His sovereignty over evil. This is a step in the wrong direction and does not get us closer to understanding the issue.

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A Christian Assessment of Abortion Part Two, by Ean Theron

In this article we are going to assess some the arguments for abortion. There are several.
Argument One: The fetus is not a real human being; therefore, it is OK to kill.
Answer: At conception, there is a combining of 23 chromosomes from the father and 23 from the mother. This makes the unborn three things:
1. Alive. It is growing biologically.
2. Human. This living thing belongs to no class other than homosapien.
3. Individually human. It is genetically distinct from the father and mother.
The only difference between a fetus and an adult is the passage of time and the availability of adequate nourishment within a distinct, developmental paradigm. The only difference between a four-year-old and an adult is passing time and adequate nourishment within the same paradigm. To kill the unborn is to kill a real, living human being.
Even if the pro-abortion advocates were right about the fetus not being human, it is not OK to indiscriminately kill a non-human life. This argument would certainly not work if one wanted to hunt Bald-Eagles.
Argument Two: The fetus is “non-viable” outside the womb; therefore, it is OK to kill.
Answer: What is and is not viable changes from age to age and place to place. Today, in America, a fetus can survive at a very early stage outside the mother’s womb. However, this is not true of other places in the world like third-world countries. Also, the stage of viability continues to increase as we progress scientifically. What is viable today was not always viable in the past.
In addition, we are all non-viable given a certain set of circumstances. Take away our air and we quickly find out how “non-viable” we are. Viability has no logical bearing on whether or not the fetus is a live-human individual, or whether or not it is right to kill that individual.
Also, viability has nothing to do with whether or not killing something is right or wrong. A Bald-Eagle needs to develop inside the shell of its egg. Just because it cannot develop to viability outside the shell, does not make it OK to break the eggs open.
Argument Three: You cannot legislate morality; therefore; it should be legally acceptable to kill the unborn.
Answer: This is simply not true. In fact, very few laws do not legislate morality. From speed limits that regulate moral driving behaviors to international affairs that support the moral treatment of fellow human beings, all have their issues grounded in moral questions. For instance, school zones receive special treatment pertaining to speed limits because there is a special moral concern we have for children. Practically every law we have is a legislation of morality.
Argument Four: The unborn is unwanted; therefore, it is OK to kill.
Answer: This is factually wrong. There are more people every year who are looking to adopt than there are unwanted pregnancies.
Often, the unborn is wanted by one or more of the parents. There have been cases when the father was willing to raise the child, but the mother refuses to carry the baby to term. There have also been cases when the woman is pressured to get an abortion by the father of the child. We have also seen parents of these supposed unwanted children change their mind after the child is born.
It is evident that the arguments for abortion are not valid. However, does that automatically make abortion wrong? What are the arguments for keeping the unborn alive? We will answer these questions in the next Blog.

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A Christian Assessment of Abortion, by Ean Theron

A Christian Assessment of Abortion
When I was somewhat younger, all I could talk about was End-Time Issues. In fact, I was so enamored by the subject that the people around me began to become sick of hearing about the issue. Discussing subjects until people are weary of hearing it is a common problem most theologians have. We all have a tendency to latch onto an issue of particular importance to us and think that everyone should be just as obsessed with the subject as we are.
However, the subject of abortion is an issue I hope no one gets tired of hearing about. For instance, I cannot imagine being a Christian in Germany under the rule of Hitler and becoming tired of hearing about the issue of Jews being slaughtered. Likewise, as Christians, it is difficult to imagine becoming tired of hearing about the absolute atrocity of abortion happening in our country.
LET ME PAUSE HERE AND SAY THAT THIS ARTICLE IS NOT FOR THE WEAK OF HEART. READ ON AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Unraveling the Modern Movement
In unraveling the issue of abortion, we need to understand that the subject is not new. Abortions have been taking place for thousands of years. Before “modern times,” women, who desired to terminate a pregnancy, would undergo different methods. Some women would drink dangerous amounts of poison bringing them to the edge of death and killing the unborn in the process. Another method to abort was to tie ropes around the woman’s stomach very tightly for days at a time. This would sometimes work. Other abortionists would brutally beat on the woman’s stomach until the pregnancy was terminated.
Another important point in understanding the abortion issue is realizing that the modern phenomenon was introduced into our culture a step at a time. There was a time in our nation when abortion was considered unthinkable. So, how did we go from where we were to where we are? Here is the formula:
1. Admit that it is an atrocity, but appeal to extreme issues to justify only a very few exceptions.
2. Rationalize enough exceptions so that abortion goes from being an atrocity to becoming slightly familiar.
3. Once familiar, it crosses the line and becomes socially bearable.
4. From bearable, it takes no time at all to become sociably acceptable.
Sadly, in some areas in the America, abortion has even crossed the line from sociably acceptable to sociably desirable.
Dr. James Kennedy in his sermon on the subject points out two more reasons why we are facing such a large problem in America. First, word games are played by advocates of abortion. We no do not call unborn babies “babies.” Instead we call them “fetuses.” There is nothing new about this. In Nazi Germany, they deemed Jews as less than human. In fact, they were called “the worthless ones.” The idea behind this is that if it is less then human then it is easier to justify killing it.
The next issue Kennedy cites is that abortions take place in private. We do not see what the unborn baby is going through during an abortion. Similarly, as in Nazi Germany, Jews were shipped off to concentration camps and the abuses took place away from the public eye. This is the only way these kinds of atrocities would be allowed to take place (Kennedy’s sermon is available from Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church).
Because of these justifications, the number of abortions in America and in the world is a staggering statistic. Here are some troubling facts:
1. 29 million people were killed through abortion in the United States in 2002.
2. Over 48 million people have been killed through abortion in the United States since the Roe vs. Wade decision.
3. Approximately 42 million abortions occur every year worldwide (http://prolife.org.ohio-state.edu/Facts.htm, accessed prior to 8/21/11).
In light of the above mentioned atrocities and diabolical methodology, it is my opinion that the spiritual motivation behind the abortion movement is authored by none other than Satan. Jesus tells us, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10a, NASB). Satan is obsessed with death, and it does not take much for him to motivate fallen humans to follow his will. From Cain’s murder of his brother, Abel, to the modern abortion movement, Satan has loved it all.
The question now becomes: how do we as Christians deal with this problem? What is the Christian answer? To understand the solution, please check back for the next blog.

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How to Wreck Your Marriage Part 2.

How to Wreck Your Marriage Part 2

Putting a bike together for your child can be an enormous feat (so I have heard). Most fathers think they can just figure it out without the use of instructions. However, this rarely works. Normally, the instructions are consulted out of frustration brought on by repeated failure. As Christians, we need to go to God’s Word as our instruction manual. It is there that we can figure out what God’s answers are for the questions: Who instituted marriage? What is marriage? And what is the reason for marriage?
Genesis reads, “And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him” (2:18, NKJV). What God does is bring to Adam the different kinds of animas and Adam names them. But out of all the animals there is not one that is a suitable mate. (Genesis 2:19-20).
I have had several occasions when I come home from being out only to find that I am the first one home. Sometimes it takes a moment before I realize that I am alone. What I believe God is doing here is bringing Adam to the realization that he is alone. God is showing Adam that there is not yet a suitable companion for him. God solves Adams problem:
Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
And Adam said:
“This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed (Genesis 2:22-25).
Here we find the Christian answer. Who instituted marriage? Marriage was instated and designed by God. What is marriage? God made one woman for Adam. He did not make another man or anything of that nature. Marriage is one man for one woman. What is the reason for marriage? God saw that it was not good for Adam to be alone.
What is a Wrecked Marriage?
Before we can find out how people wreck their marriage, we need to ask, what is a wrecked marriage? We will find that there are differing degrees of the term “wrecked.” You may spot a significant dent in someone fender and ask what happened. That person will tell you that they got into a wreck. You also might find someone who completely totaled their car and also say that they were in a “wreck.”
Dr. Robert Morey gives several definitions of a wrecked marriage in his book, Encyclopedia of Practical Christianity.
Example 1: There are dead marriages. This marriage is “wrecked” although devoice may not have taken place. Some times these marriages are peaceful and sometimes there are filled with constantan battles.
Example 2: When separation, desertion, or divorce has taken place. This is a more extreme example of a wrecked marriage
Example 3: When one or both partners are involved with adultery. This can be either emotional or physical (Encyclopedia of Practical Christianity, Dr. Robert Morey, p. 309).
Now we finally get to our list of how to wreck a marriage:
1. Don’t put God first in your marriage. Instead of God, if you want to wreck your marriage, put yourself first. Look out for your own needs above the needs of your spouse or your responsibilities to God.
2. Belittle your spouse’s ideas and feelings. Use a lot of sarcasm and demeaning words.
3. Make a lot of comparisons. Compare your spouse to your mother or father. Let your spouse know about these comparisons. Say things like, “My mother use to do this for me,” or “My father never acted like that.”
4. Withhold sex as a form of punishment.
5. When your spouse raises a legitimate complete complain back and never apologize.
6. Use terms like always and never when you are complaining about your spouse’s actions. Say “you never…” or “you always…” In other words, when you are complaining over exaggerate.
7. Do a lot of negative mind reading. Assume the worst possible motives for your spouses every action. Of course, reserve any judgments of charity for yourself.
8. Display negative body language. Frown a lot. Refuse to smile. Roll your eyes. And make sure you do this when your spouse is talking to you about important things.
9. Threaten divorce as often as possible.
In giving instruction on how to wreck your marriage I am obviously being facetious. But in all honesty, these are the things I have seen people doing and the result is a wrecked marriage. In contrast, if you want to have a good marriage, then do the opposite of what is listed above

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How to Wreck your Marriage Part 1. By Ean Theron

How to Wreck your Marriage Part 1.

 

In this
blog I am going to systematically teach you how to wreck your marriage. I know
that this sounds strange and you may be asking yourself why I would write such
a blog. The reason I am writing this is because that is what most people persist in doing—wrecking their marriage!

Often we do this without even
thinking about it. It is almost as if it comes natural to us. The truth is that
it is natural for us. When sin entered into the world, it affected every aspect
of man, included how he relates to others. This is particularly true when it
comes to marriage.

However, by God’s grace though His
Spirit and Revelation we can overcome sins in our life. We cannot overcome all
sin in this life, but God at times does give us the ability to overcome some sins. If we monitor what it is God
wants from us in our marriage we can overcome a grate multitude of sins that
cause divorce, and we can avoid wrecking our marriage.

First, we
have to ask: what is marriage? Who instituted it, and for what reason?
Answering these questions will help us avoid wrecking our marriage. However, we
must be aware that there are alternative answers to these questions. That is
answers other than Christian answers. There have been those who will give
answers other than the way the Bible would answer these questions. Some would
say that marriage is whatever you want. It could be two guys two girls …. What
ever it is it is not (according to these people) two people of the opposite sex
making a commitment for life.

Who
instituted marriage? According to the world, it is a result of evolutionary
processes that are designed to safely introduce our genes into subsequent
generations. So marriage is a convention of man. The communist have taken this
a step further and have said that marriage is an institution of the government
and you cannot be married without the government’s permission. Unfortunately,
in the past, some has said that marriage is a sacrament of the Church.

What is the
reason for marriage? According to the world, any definition will do. The answer
usually revolves around some type of “romantic” gratification and usually has
very little to do with what the Bible says about love and commitment.

 

What is the
Christian answer to these questions? And what is that people do to wreck their
marriage? Find out this and more in the next article.

 

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Next-Wave Reformation Manifesto–Article 7: Fight the Fight

We take the advancement of the Kingdom of God seriously. There are several key components to this advancement. They are:
1. Evangelism
2. Apologetics
3. Education
4. Social Reform

Evangelism
Reaching the lost for Christ is one position that the Next-Wave Reformers considers a priority. The scope for reaching the lost is world-wide. Those who are lost in our own neighborhoods are just as important as the foreign mission field. Likewise, the foreign mission field is just as important as home-neighborhood evangelism. Let each evangelize as the Lord calls and provides.
It is important to note that there is no one particular method of evangelism. However, several key components should always be present:

1. The sinfulness of Man.
2. The Judgment of God.
3. The provision of Christ.
4. The sinners total dependence on Christ’s provision
5. The promise of Heaven for those who come to Christ.
6. The surety of Hell for those who reject the gospel.

As long as these components are being taught with biblical fidelity it is (in my opinion) useless to argue over specific linguistic techniques or analogical examples.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).

Apologetics
Another key component to advancing the Kingdom of God is defending the faith. All Next-Wave Reformation advocates take the priority of God’s Word in Apologetics seriously. Often this type priority of God’s Word in the field of Apologetics is called Presuppositionalism. However, a strict presuppositionalist method is not common among Next-Wave advocates. We would consider ourselves basically presuppositional.
[The problem with embracing a consistent Presuppositional position is that there is not one available. This is to say that there is not a single unified presuppositional theory. Major proponents of Presuppositionalism tend to disagree with each other over who carries the true mantel of Presuppositionalism. They also tend to disagree with how evidence should be utilized in the process of apologetics.
This is not to say that Presuppositionalism should be abandoned. It just needs honest work. This is why most of us consider ourselves basically presuppositional.
It is also important to note that that strict Evidentialism is not acceptable. It is generally thought that this method gives too much credence to the ability of autonomous human reason.]
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).

Education
Second-Wave Reformation Thought is radically committed to educating the Church in matters of biblical literacy, theology, apologetics, and Christian living. The guiding line on these topics is and needs to be the Word of God itself. To the degree the Bible reflects these issues needs to be the degree that the teacher reflects these issues. We endorse both verse by verse exposition of the Bible as well as topical exegesis. Christians should also be educated in the history of the Church, apologetics, and other topics. However, all topics need to be approached with a biblical world-view in mind.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (emphasis added, Mathew 28:18-20).

Social Reform
We believe that it is the duty of government and its citizens to pursue laws that are pleasing to God. We encourage Christians to do what they can to implement laws into society that are biblically sound. It is the voice of the Church to bring godly influence into social realm of life.
The Old Testament should not be ignored in regard to pursuing a social reform. However, the Old Testament must be strictly applied in light of the New Covenant.
[It must be stated that Theonomy, in all its variations is rejected. This is largely due to the fact that Theonomy is tied to a very strict form of Covenant Theology. In addition, the Kingdom of God cannot be identified with any political party, constitution, or geographical demarcations.
However, it must be said that Theonomy has put forth a great deal of propositions that would be beneficial if implemented into society. For example, the idea that restitution is often better than incarceration in many situations. It is my opinion Second-Wave Reformation advocates would do well to understand Theonomy and adjust it according to New Covenant principles.]
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (emphasis added, Mathew 28:18-20).

[Final Thought
Christians need to be cautious when they consider these issues. Sometimes Christians can become overly judgmental about others ministries that differ from their own. Often, a Christian can have a calling to specialize in a particular field of ministry. Those in specialized ministries can sometimes harass other Christians for “not doing enough for Christ.” However, because these Christians often feel strongly called to a particular ministry, they can also become very judgmental if other Christians do not care for that ministry the way they do. Let each Christian serve as he is called and gifted (1 Cor. 12:4-6).]

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen (Matthew 28:18-20).

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear (1 Peter 3:15).

I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3b).

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