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Living in Light of Two Ages



Eschatology Q & A -- My Interview With Roger Overton from the A-Team

eschatology%20q%20and%20a.jpgMy  friend, Roger Overton over @ the A-Team blog (yes, I can be friends with an avid Red Sox fan) is posting a recent interview he conducted with me (in three parts) in which we discuss a number of issues associated with amillennial eschatology. 

You can find the first installment here of that interview here, which primarily deals with my book A Case for Amillennialism.   Click here: The A-Team Blog :: Main Page


I Would Not Have Known What Sin Was -- Romans 7:7-13

romans%20fragment.jpgThe Sixteenth in a Series of Sermons on Paul's Epistle to the Romans

When Paul tells us in Romans 6:14 that we are no longer under law but under grace, he’s referring to the fact that now that we are in Christ (and, therefore, under grace), the law no longer condemns us.  In Romans 7:1-6, Paul continues to discuss this, reminding us that apart from Christ, the law held us captive and aroused our sinful passions so that we bore fruit for death.  But now we are released from the law, because we died with Christ.  In Romans 7:7-13, Paul continues his discussion of the Christian’s relationship to the law.  The law of God is holy, and the commandments are holy, righteous, and good.  And yet that same law arouses the desire within us to sin.  Why is that?  How did that which is good become death to us?  As Paul will tell us, God gave us the law to show us that our sin is utterly sinful.  We would not know what sin was, Paul says, were it not for the commandments of God.

We are working our way though Romans chapters 6-8 and looking at Paul’s doctrine of sanctification.  Building upon the distinction he set forth in Romans 5:12-21 between the damage wrought by Adam and the superabounding grace of Jesus Christ, Paul makes the point that all those in Jesus Christ have died with Christ and will rise to newness of life.  Having set forth Christ’s death, burial and resurrection as pattern for our own sanctification, Paul began this discussion not with a list of things we should do or avoid, but by reminding us that sanctification begins with the recognition that we have died with Christ, we have been buried with Christ, and that we have been raised with Christ.  And having been reminded of this, Paul asks, “how then, can we continue to live as slaves to sin, offering ourselves as instruments of unrighteousness?”  Rather, the apostle’s point is that having been set free from sin and its condemnation, we are now free for the first time to offer ourselves to God as instruments of righteousness.

To read the rest of this sermon, click here 


"To Him Who Loves Us" -- Revelation 1:4-8

Revelation%20--%20vision%20of%20John.jpgThe Thirty-Second and Final in a Series of Sermons on the Book of Revelation

In many ways, the Book of Revelation is the most practical book in the New Testament.  Hopefully, these words don’t come as much of a surprise now at the end of our series as they might have at the beginning.  Because Revelation is filled with apocalyptic symbolism and is difficult to interpret, we easily lose sight of the fact that this is the last book in the canon of the New Testament and that it is given to Christ’s church for a very practical reason–through the testimony of Jesus Christ to his church we will be prepared to face those things which are yet to come.

We complete our series on the Book of Revelation and do something a bit different from our usual practice.  Although we have touched upon a number of important points of application throughout this series, now that we have completed our survey of the entire book, we are a much better place to go back and summarize several of the main points of application given us by John.  Since Revelation contains the testimony of the Risen and Ascended Jesus Christ to his church, we are, in effect, given our instructions about what to do until the Lord returns.  And so now that we have seen the whole panorama of redemptive history from the vantage point of the end, we are much better equipped to apply Jesus’ testimony to our own situation.  At the end of the day, what does the Book of Revelation say to us?

Throughout this series many of you have told me that the Reformed (amillennial) interpretation of Revelation has removed the “scary” character of this book, while at the same time preserving the mystery which is truly here.  Many of you have told me that this was a difficult series because it is very hard to “unlearn” the dispensational way of reading this book that so many of us grew up with.  Now that we have seen that the Book of Revelation is a divinely-given commentary upon all those redemptive historical themes which are left open-ended in the Old Testament, it should be clear that Revelation is not given to us to speculate about end times, or so we can connect the things it contains to current events. 

Rather, Revelation is given to us to show us the big picture of redemptive history.  In other words, Revelation is like the box-top to a puzzle.  Having seen the whole picture, it is certainly much easier to understand how the individual pieces fit together.  And the big picture is simply this:  Jesus Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, he is the Lord of history, as well as Lord of his church, he is directing all things toward the goal he has foreordained, which is his second coming, the defeat of all of enemies, including Satan, and to establish the new heaven and earth as our eternal home.  Studying the Book of Revelation is like reading the last chapter of a good mystery novel first.  Having read the last chapter, we know what will happen to all of the characters.  We know that the story has a happy ending and that the bad guys will get their just desserts in the end.

To read the rest of this sermon, click here 


Latest Academy Lecture on the New Perspectives on Paul Posted

KR%20lecturing.JPGHere's the link to the  concluding lecture in my series on the New Perspectives on Paul.  The lecture is entitled, "An Evaluation of the New Perspectives on Paul -- Part Two."  You can find it here:  Click here: Christ Reformed Info - MP3's and Real Audio (of Academy Lectures)


Who Said That?

question%20mark.jpg“This is not just the head of the Lutheran Church or a Methodist bishop. It's something different. He is a prophet. ... He can speak for God.”

You all know the drill!  Leave your guess in the comments.  Please, no google searches!


Some Interesting Links on a Friday . . .

Links.jpgSo, the archbishop is "shocked" that his comments about Sharia law created so much controversy.  Get a clue.  A number of C of E clergymen are calling for his resignation.  An MP quipped that Williams doesn't know his business--hardly a compliment.  Maybe a call for his resignation is too much.  I'd start with a call for him to get a shave and hair-cut.  As my sons would say:  "dude, trim those eyebrows."  Click here: BBC NEWS | UK | UK Politics | Williams 'shocked' at Sharia row

I thought today's evangelical leaders had some political savvy, but this one I just don't get.  Dr. James Dobson waits to endorse Huckabee until its almost impossible for the Huckster to win.  Click here: Christian Leader James Dobson Endorses Huckabee for GOP Nod - You Decide 08!

CT has a great article on Carson/Beale's new and indispensable reference tool, Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old TestamentClick here: Two Testaments, One Story | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction .

Finally, my loyal friend Andy is now a statistic.  He's a pooch with a pouch.  And he's not alone.  (It must have been a slow news day @ Reuters).  Click here: Estimated 17 million U.S. dogs overweight or obese | Lifestyle | Living | Reuters


Tonight's Academy Lecture

KR%20lecturing.JPGTonight's Academy lecture is entitled, "An Evaluation of the New Perspectives on Paul -- Part Two."  This lecture is the final in an eight-part series.  If you are interested, you can listen to them here:  Click here: Christ Reformed Info - MP3's and Real Audio (of Academy Lectures)

Our Academy (at Christ Reformed Church in Anaheim) starts @ 7:30 p.m.  Lectures are free of charge and are followed by a time for discussion and refreshments.   For information about our Academy, Click here: Christ Reformed Info - Format and Fees


The Canons of Dort, First Head of Doctrine, Article Ten

Synod%20of%20Dort.jpgArticle 10: Election Based on God's Good Pleasure

But the cause of this undeserved election is exclusively the good pleasure of God. This does not involve his choosing certain human qualities or actions from among all those possible as a condition of salvation, but rather involves his adopting certain particular persons from among the common mass of sinners as his own possession. As Scripture says, When the children were not yet born, and had done nothing either good or bad..., she (Rebecca) was told, "The older will serve the younger." As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated" (Rom. 9:11_13). Also, All who were appointed for eternal life believed (Acts 13:48).


As we have seen in our survey of the previous articles, the Canons point out that the only biblical basis for God’s choice of a multitude of sinners so vast they cannot be counted to become vessels of honor and not vessels of destruction (Romans 9:22-23) is to be found solely in God’s own inscrutable will (Isaiah 46:8-10; Psalm 115:3; 135:6).  Likewise, the reason why God sovereignly passes over others is known only to himself (Romans 9:14-16), except to say, that since all of Adam’s children are sinners by nature and by choice (Romans 5:12-19), not one of them deserves to be chosen.

To put it another way, the only reason why any are chosen to be redeemed from their sin is to be found in God and not in the creature.  This means that election is based upon God’s sovereign pleasure and purpose, and not because of anything good in us, since we are seen as fallen in Adam when we are chosen.  

The sole reason why any of us were chosen by God is because of God’s mysterious will—what Calvin called the “horrible [awesome] decree.”  What good or value could God possibly foresee in us that would cause him to choose us?  There is nothing good in us (Romans 3:10-12).  God doesn’t choose us because we are smarter, better-looking, less offensive, and so on, than others.  Rather, we are chosen from the same common lump of fallen human clay to become vessels of glory for reasons known only to God.  Those who are not chosen remain as they were before and are, therefore, destined to remain vessels of wrath.  The elect receive grace.  Those passed-by receive justice.  No one is treated unjustly or unfairly as our contemporaries so often whine.  

Clearly, this is a great mystery and it is this very point about which most people object--democratic Americans especially.  It is only natural that we would want God to choose everyone.  It is certainly understandable why we would want God to choose our unsaved loved ones.  Of course, we want God to do it our way, or else we will object!  But who are sinners, bound to time and space, and who can have no knowledge of what it means for the Holy God to be offended by our sin, to complain about how the creator of all saves a multitude of people who don’t deserve to be saved?   We don't like this doctrine because it forces us to bow the knee before our Creator and Redeemer and say, "not my will be done, but thine."

The fact is, Scripture teaches that God elects a multitude of Adam's fallen children based upon reasons known only to himself--reasons which he chooses not to reveal to us.  If any go to heaven, it is only because God elects them in Christ and then redeems them in Christ.  If any perish eternally, it is because God has passed over them and leaves them to the just consequences of their own sin and their sin in Adam. 

When we talk of election, God must get all praise, glory and honor.  And we must accept all the blame.  And that is why people don't like the topic of election.


"That's Entertainment" (from the Latest White Horse Inn Series) on Youtube


Some Interesting Links . . .

Links.jpgWow . . .  Sharia law in the UK?  We knew it was coming, but not this soon.  It is now an inevitability says the Archbishop of Canterbury, who, by the way, calls this a good thing.  Unbelievable!   Click here: Adoption of Islamic Sharia law in Britain is 'unavoidable', says Archbishop of Canterbury| News | This is London

Meanwhile, the Roman church is having a hard time recruiting priests and nuns.  That's hard to believe since you get free meals and room and board.  Click here: BBC NEWS | Europe | Catholic nuns and monks decline

And then there was one--doughboy that is.  You'd think there would be more of a mention of this in the media, but sadly, World War I, and the American contribution to the allied victory, seems virtually forgotten.   Click here: - One of Two Known U.S. WWI Vets Dead at 108 - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News

Wondering what to give up for Lent?  How about lowering your carbon footprint?   Don't think I will.   Click here: 40 Days of Carbon Fasting | Liveblog | Christianity Today

After getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar (or with his pants down, or whatever you want to say about it), Ted Haggard was eager to enter a "restoration process."  Now he's had enough and is dropping out.   Click here: Headlines: SUNRISE: Haggard exits restoration process early | haggard, life, new -

Finally, remember that Left Behind end-times video game?  Thankfully, it didn't sell.  Now you can get it as a free download.   Click here: Left Behind: Eternal Forces now free (Hurry! First 1m only!) - Joystiq