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"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources

 

Living in Light of Two Ages

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Monday
Mar162015

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (March 16-22)

Sunday Morning (March 22):  Rev. Andrew Compton will be preaching.  Our Lord's Day worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon:  Rev. Compton will be conducting our catechism service, which begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study (March 18)We are continuing our "Run Through the Letters of Paul" and we are finishing up Galatians 2:15 ff, and consideration of Paul's doctrine of justification. 

The Academy:  No Academy this week.

For more information and directions, check out the Christ Reformed website:  Christ Reformed Church

 

Sunday
Mar152015

"Jesus, Who Saved a People" -- Jude 5-16 

Here is the audio from this morning's sermon on Jude 5-16: 
Click Here

Sunday
Mar152015

This Week's White Horse Inn

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

This week on the White Horse Inn we are continuing our series on the Work of Holy Spirit. Our panel of hosts is joined once more by Justin Holcomb as we look at the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

On this episode we consider the nature of the Spirit’s baptism at work in all believers. What does it mean to be baptized by the Holy Spirit? Can we distinguish this baptism from traditional water baptism? Should baptized Christians look for a second blessing? The hosts will discuss this issue as it appears in various New Testament texts, as well as its implications for the ministry of the church in our own day. Join us as we discuss the significance of this baptism within the context of the Holy Spirit’s work of the new creation on the White Horse Inn.

Click Here

Friday
Mar132015

Friday Feature -- The Warthog

There is talk of grounding the A-10 in favor of a newer aircraft.  It will be hard to find any replacement that can deliver a punch like the Warthog can--a 30 mm cannon firing depleted uranium ammunition.

Thursday
Mar122015

Mormons and The Book of Romans

One question people have asked me through the years is "what do the Mormons do with Paul, and the doctrine of justification?"  The matter has recently resurfaced with the publication of Grace Is Not God's Backup Plan, an LDS writer's "urgent paraphrase" of Paul's epistle to the Romans.

According to Bruce R. McConkie (the author of the standard text Mormon Doctrine, 408), "in summarizing the plan of salvation, Adam taught: `By the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified'" (Moses 6:60).  One would think that if you were going to define the doctrine of justification you would first turn to the Apostle Paul, not to the Book of Mormon.

McConkie continues, this time addressing the supposed misreading of Paul which Mormons are all to happy to correct.  "Indeed, one of the great religious contentions among the sects of Christendom is whether men are justified by faith alone, without works, as some erroneously suppose Paul taught (Acts 13:38-39; Rom. 3:19-28; 4:5; 5:1-10; Gal. 2:15-21; 2 Ne 2:5), or whether they are justified by works of righteousness as James explained" (Jas. 2:14-26).  So, James trumps Paul without comment.  2 Nephi 2:5, which is quite vague, is cited as a proof text, to the effect that Mormons reject justification by obedience to the law of Moses.  It reads, "and men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil.  And the law is given unto men. And by the law no flesh is justified; or, by the law men are cut off. Yea, by the temporal law they were cut off; and also, by the spiritual law they perish from that which is good, and become miserable forever." 

Joseph Smith made himself pretty clear where he stood on the matter.  "To be justified before God we must love one another: we must overcome evil; we must visit the fatherless and the widow in their affliction, and we must keep ourselves unspotted from the world: for such virtues flow from the great fountain of pure religion, strengthening our faith by adding every good quality that adorns the children of the blessed Jesus. We can pray in the season of prayer; we can love our neighbor as ourselves, and be faithful in tribulation, knowing that the reward of such is greater in the kingdom of heaven. What a consolation! What a joy!” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 76).  If, as Smith teaches, we must demonstrate sufficient love and good works to be justified, then my reaction is not to be "consoled" or "joyful."  My "good" works only condemn me all the more!

Now comes a Mormon writer who has written a paraphrase of Romans, entitled, Grace Is Not a Back-Up Plan.  In an interview recently posted on an RNS blog, the author (Adam S. Miller) contends,

Mostly we neglect Romans. A lot of that has probably just been reactionary, a way of distinguishing ourselves from our Protestant cousins. For a long time, what was most important to Mormons was showing how we were different from other Christians. That’s contributed, I think, to a general neglect of Paul and of Romans in particular. We tend to see Paul as their guy.

We’re often not very good readers of the New Testament, especially the second half. Once you get out of the history associated with the gospels and with Acts, it’s rougher going for people. One of the most interesting things about Romans is that it’s a 10,000-word explanation of how key gospel elements fit together—grace, sin, the law. That kind of long theological explanation is rare in scripture and it isn’t easy for us to work through.

Paul is a loose thread in early Christianity. He’s evidence of an ad hoc messiness in the original church that we as Mormons are often uncomfortable thinking about. He doesn’t fit well with the tidy institutional story of the institution.

There are many points of response one could offer to these comments, but I will limit myself to just two.  First, Protestants (at least historic evangelical and confessional Protestants) are not "cousins" to the Mormons, who, based upon the quotes above from Bruce McConkie and Joseph Smith, openly reject Paul's doctrine of justification as heartily as they do the doctrines of the Trinity and the deity of Jesus.  Mormonism is a heretical sect--period.  Mormons continue to masquerade as a Christian Church, and here is yet another attempt to co-opt traditional Protestant theology and to sound like mainstream evangelicals.  "We like Romans too . . ."

Second, the only way a Mormon can read Paul's letters and not become an Evangelical or confessional Protestant, is to read Romans in the form of a paraphrase, such as the one mentioned above.  Mormons have a rather poor track record when it comes to paraphrasing Paul.  It is hard to forget Joseph Smith's abominable "paraphrase" of Paul's statement that grace is a free gift from God, received trough faith.  In an obvious re-working of Ephesians 2:8-9, in 2 Nephi 25:23 (Book of Mormon) we read; "For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do."  Grace only comes "after all we can do."

So, when Mormons paraphrase Paul, we all ought to be a bit nervous.  When they do it with "urgency" we should be very nervous.

Tuesday
Mar102015

"Whoever Feeds on This Bread Will Live Forever" -- John 6:49-59

The Twenty-Third in a Series of Sermons of the Gospel of John

In 112 AD, the Roman governor of the province of Bythinia in Asia Minor–a man named Pliny the Younger (the son of the famous historian)–wrote to the Roman emperor Trajan, asking for instructions about what to do about a growing problem.  Roman authorities, it seems, were quite worried about a new and increasingly popular religious sect.  To the Romans, this new sect (called “The Christians” or “The Way”) was thought to be atheistic because they would not worship either the Roman gods or the Emperor.  Christians worshiped their own God (a man they claimed rose from the dead), and who was in some way related to the Jewish God.  There were also disturbing reports of cannibalistic practices among them, because these Christians gathered together in secret to eat flesh of their God, and then to drink his blood.  The latter concern arises largely from the language in our text, containing Jesus’ statement in John 6:54, “whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life.”

We have spent a number of weeks going through Jesus’ “bread of life” discourse which is found in the 6th chapter of John’s Gospel.  As we have seen, this is one of the most remarkable passages in all of the New Testament because of the important (if not shocking) things which Jesus declared to the Jews who packed into the synagogue in Capernaum to hear him teach.  

In the “bread of life” discourse, Jesus speaks of himself as living bread from heaven.  He speaks of himself as one with YHWH (in some way), he claims that he is the source of all spiritual life, and that he will raise the dead.  Then when the assembled crowd begins to complain and grumble about his statement that he is the “bread from heaven who gives life to the world” Jesus tells these Jews who considered themselves God’s chosen people, that they cannot come to him (in faith) unless and until they have been drawn to Jesus by the Father.  As we will see in our text this morning, John 6:49-59, Jesus was not finished making difficult statements.  He will now speak of the necessity of feeding upon his flesh and drinking his blood, and when he is finished with this discourse, many of those who had been following him, did so no more.  Those who have been following Jesus from purely self-interest, walked away.

The context for the “bread of life” discourse is very important, so I will review it again briefly this morning.  In John 6:1-15, John recounts how Jesus miraculously fed over five thousand people in the wilderness east of the Sea of Galilee.  Large crowds were now following Jesus everywhere he went.  People were bringing their sick and suffering to him so that Jesus might heal them–even out into the wilderness.  The scene is one of “biblical proportions” in which Jesus acts as a new Moses, leading the people of God in a new Exodus from the wilderness of this present evil age into a glorious age of salvation in which the Messiah restores Israel, and then sets his people free from the guilt and power of sin.

To read the rest of this sermon, Click Here

Monday
Mar092015

This Week at Christ Reformed Church (March 9-15)

Sunday Morning (March 15):  We continue with the second of a three part series on the Epistle of Jude.  This coming Lord's Day, we will be looking at Jude's "mini-sermon" in vv. 5-16, when Jude appeals to redemptive history as a warning to false teachers.  Our Lord's Day worship service begins at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday Afternoon: I am continuing my series on the Canons of Dort, and this Lord's Day we are working our way through the Fifth Head of Doctrine (refutation of errors, paragraphs 1-2).  We will discuss whether or not perseverance is a fruit of election.  Our catechism service begins @ 1:15 p.m.

Wednesday Night Bible Study (March 11)We are continuing our "Run Through the Letters of Paul" and we in are Galatians 2:15 ff and considering Paul's doctrine of justification. 

The Academy (March 13):  We are continuing our study of Michael Horton's theology text The Christian Faith.  We will be discussing the doctrine of creation (chapter 10, pp. 323-334).

For more information and directions, check out the Christ Reformed website:  Christ Reformed Church

 

Sunday
Mar082015

"Once for All Delivered" -- Jude 1-4

Here's the audio from this morning's sermon, the first in a three-part series on Jude:  Click Here

Sunday
Mar082015

This Week's White Horse Inn

Acts 2 and the Day of Pentecost

This week on the White Horse Inn we continue our series on the Work of the Holy Spirit. Justin Holcomb joins us once more as we look at the Spirit’s work in Acts 2. Justin is an Episcopal minister and adjunct professor of theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. He has written and edited a number of books, including On the Grace of God, Rid of My Disgrace, Know the Creeds and Councils, and Know the Heretics. Most recently Justin has published Acts: A 12-Week Study in the Knowing the Bible Series.

On this episode we consider the nature of the Holy Spirit’s work, specifically as it relates to the day of Pentecost. Was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost a one-time event? Is this event a paradigm for our own churches today? What does it means to speak in “other tongues”? The main focus of Acts 2 is on the disciples who were empowered by the Spirit to proclaim Christ as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy with boldness and supernatural insight. Join us on this program as we discuss the significance of Pentecost within the scope of redemptive history on the White Horse Inn.

Click Here

Friday
Mar062015

Friday Feature -- Pat Robertson Explains the End Times (in 1982) 

Prophecy punditry at its best . . . or worst.

 

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