Living in Light of Two Ages
The Clarity of Scripture
This week on the White Horse Inn we are looking at the clarity and perspicuity of Scripture. Michael Horton is joined by Mark Thompson. Mark is the Principal of Moore Theological College in Sydney, Australia, where he teaches theology, philosophy, and ethics. He is an author and contributor of many works including, Clear and Present Word: The Clarity of Scripture.
In our day it seems that there are as many interpretations as there are interpreters. Does the incredible variety of Christian denominations and interpretive traditions imply that the Scriptures themselves are unclear? How can we know what the Bible really says if there are so many different interpretations of it? What is the central concern of God’s Word and how does this affect our interpretation of it as a whole? Join us as we discuss the clarity of Scripture and the difficulties of interpretation on the White Horse Inn.
British General Allenby enters Jerusalem in December of 1917--an event of lasting significance, and one which symbolized age-old conflicts (i. e., the Crusades) which still rage today. Christians were surprised and thrilled by Jerusalem's fall. The Balfour Declaration was signed just weeks earlier, so Jews were hopeful of an eventual return to Palestine, now in British hands. Muslims vowed to reclaim the holy city from infidels--even if that meant Jihad. And the proto-dispensationalists of that era believed that Jerusalem's time of being occupied by Gentiles was over (cf. Luke 21:24). This was the sign that God's end-times clock was counting down to the Lord's return.
Our next Academy series begins on Friday, April 17. Here is the schedule of classes, lectures, video, and discussion of our assigned text.
April 17 (7:30 p.m.) Lecture: "The Legacy of World War One" Why study a war fought one hundred years ago?
April 24 (7:00 p.m.) Video: "To Arms" from the series The First World War, based upon Hew Strachan's book, narrated and produced by Jonathan Lewis
(8:00 p.m.) Lecture/Discussion: "The Causes of the War" Who started it, and why?
May 1 (7:00 p.m.) Video: "War Without End" from the series The First World War, based upon Hew Strachan's book narrated and produced by Jonathan Lewis
(8:00 p.m.) Lecture/Discussion: "The Cessation of Hostilities" The Treaty of Versailles, and the Balfour Declaration
May 8: No Academy
May 15 (7:30 p.m.) Lecture/Discussion: "One Hundred Years Later" How the consequences of the "Great War" still impact the world in which we live
May 22 (7:30 p.m.) Discussion of The Great and Holy War by Philip Jenkins, (chapters One - Six, pp. 1-188)
May 29 (7:30 p.m.) Discussion of The Great and Holy War by Philip Jenkins, (chapters seven-conclusion, pp. 189-377)
Just got word from the publisher (Lexham Press) that the typesetter is finished, the indices will be completed in a couple of weeks, and then its off to the printer!
So, if all goes well, we are looking at a release date in June. I'll post ordering information when I get it from Lexham.
Meanwhile, you can check it out here: Lion of Princeton (print edition)
The electronic version (Logos) is available and can be ordered here: Lion of Princeton (Logos version)
The Twenty-Seventh in a Series of Sermons on the Gospel of John
We are well-familiar with the image of a parched individual struggling for survival in the desert–lips cracked, delirious, with the mirage of a blue oasis on the horizon. For those living in Palestine at the time of Jesus, the lack of water was a real and potential danger. In an arid climate the securing of water was a daily ordeal. There were cisterns and catch basins, springs in certain areas, wells in others, Roman aqueducts in several large cities–but no one had plumbing. If even you could find water, you had to carry it to where you were going to use it–a daily need. Without water–if it didn’t rain, if the spring or well dried up–you would be forced to move a place to where water could be found. Then there was the problem of brackish or contaminated water, which you needed to live, but which would make you sick. In a world such as that of first century Palestine and under the circumstances just described, and given Israel’s own history with water in the desert wilderness, the messianic promise of pure water which is always replenished–a living water–was a powerful metaphor and a prominent expectation of the messianic age.
We are continuing our series on the Gospel of John and working our way through the so-called “conflict phase” of Jesus’ messianic mission as recounted in John chapters 7-10. We have spent the last several Sundays looking at the first section of John 7 when Jesus entered Jerusalem during the Feast of Booths. Although he entered the city quietly and without fanfare, Jesus immediately went into the temple and began teaching, drawing a large crowd, and generating great controversy among the Jews over his person and the nature of his messianic mission. Is Jesus a prophet, or the Christ? What about his authority, his insight into the Old Testament, and his miracles?
In our time in John 7, we have seen that the Jews (the “Jews” in John’s Gospel is not a reference to the Jewish people in general, but to the Jewish religious leadership and those allied with them) openly questioned Jesus’ credentials to teach, only to have Jesus declare that his words and authority come directly from YHWH. Jesus tells the Jews that they do not keep the law of Moses, and to prove his point, Jesus exposes the plot to kill him then being hatched by the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus reminds the crowds that a year or so earlier, when he had been in Jerusalem, he had healed a man on the Sabbath who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When the man got up and walked and moved his bedroll, the Jews accused Jesus of being a law-breaker for violating the Sabbath commandment. Jesus points out that the Jews themselves made exceptions for the weightier matters of the law when it came to circumcision (as Jesus had done with the invalid), and despite the outward piety of the members of the Sanhedrin, it was they who were engaged in the grossest form of hypocrisy–plotting to kill their own Messiah for being a law-breaker, when he had kept the law perfectly (since he was the law’s author).
As we saw last time, the increasingly heated exchange between Jesus and the Jews quickly got to the heart of the matter. Who is Jesus? A prophet? Is Jesus truly the Christ (the Messiah)? According to one school of Jewish messianic expectation, popular at the time, Jesus could not be the Messiah. It was thought that the Christ would be a great deliverer (no thought was given to an incarnation) who would remain completely hidden until he revealed himself at a time of great national crisis. The problem with Jesus’ claim to be the Christ (at least from the perspective of those who held this view) is that the Jews knew too much about him. Many knew where Jesus was born (Bethelem–the right place), they knew his parents (Joseph and Mary), they knew that he was raised in Nazareth, that he now lived in Capernaum, and that after the death of John the Baptist, his ministry became very popular (especially in Galilee). None of this fit with the “hidden Messiah” view held by many.
To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here
Sunday Morning (April 12): We begin a new series on the books of Ezra-Nehemiah. In our first sermon we will look at the background to these two books and cover the first four verses of Ezra 1. Our Lord's Day worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.
Sunday Afternoon: We return to our series on the Canons of Dort. We are covering the fifth head of doctrine and are now in the "refutation of errors." This week, we are covering refutations 3 and 4 (and the question of whether or not certain sins can sever believers from their union with Christ). Our catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.
Wednesday Night Bible Study (April 9): We are continuing our "Run Through the Letters of Paul" and we in are Galatians 3:10-14, and Paul's doctrine that the righteous will live by faith.
The Academy: The Academy will resume on Friday, April 17
Our next Academy series will be entitled "The Great and Holy War" and will be a lecture and discussion of the legacy of World War One, including the establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine (Israel), the roots of ISIS (the end of the Caliphate/Ottoman Empire), the Bolshevik Revolution and the rise of Marxist-Leninism, along with a host of other contemporary geopolitical conundrums--all of which are part of the legacy of the Great War.
Here's a link to Philip Jenkin's book A Great and Holy War" which will serve as our primary text for this series. The Great and Holy War
For more information and directions, check out the Christ Reformed website: Christ Reformed Church
Objections to the Resurrection
This week on the White Horse Inn we are looking at the historical claims of the resurrection. Our panel of hosts is joined by Craig Parton as we specifically look at the objections raised against the resurrection of Christ. Craig is the United States Director of the International Academy of Apologetics, Evangelism and Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. He is an apologist, attorney, and author of several works including, The Defense Never Rests: A Lawyer's Quest for the Gospel as well as Religion on Trial.
Do other religions make historical claims? How does Christianity relate itself to the resurrection of Christ? When telling others about the resurrection of Christ, objections inevitably arise. How are we to answer someone who claims that Jesus didn’t actually die on the cross? Or if they argue that the gospel accounts contain myths and legends that were added over time? Join us as we discuss the nature of the resurrection on the White Horse Inn (Originally Aired June 5, 2011).
Our good friend and pastor of the other "Christ Reformed Church" (in Washington, DC), Dr. Brian Lee, has written an essay for the Federalist on why we should celebrate Good Friday.