37A Creation: Not as Bad as it Was

“I don’t think the culture is as bad as it was in the days of Noah.  The Bible makes it clear that only eight people went through the door of the Ark to be saved….  Now we do have rampant sin in our culture.  And in many ways, I believe Romans 1 is a description of what is happening in our Western World….  Even though there is increasing Christian persecution throughout the world and the sin of abortion and rejection of God’s Word concerning marriage and gender is rampant, our culture is not yet like it was in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah.  Remember, God would have saved Sodom if there were ten righteous people—but there weren’t even ten!”  (Gospel Reset by Ken Ham, p.87).

Gospel Reset Bible Class, Pt. 20: Moving Forward 3

“Of all the religious beliefs in the world, past or present, none have more thoroughly based themselves on history than Judaism and Christianity.  the divine-human encounter in the biblical faith always involves claims about real people, living in real places, who acted in real events in the past, many of which are also cited in secular history.  …Judeo-Christianity’s Scripture encompass a two-thousand-year-plus period–two millennia in which its holy books constantly interlaced themselves with history” (“In the Fullness of Time” by Paul L. Maier, Introduction p. xv).  Human reason is competent to examine history and history’s artifacts.

Ken Ham explains the difference between observation science (sometimes called experimental science) and historical science (sometimes called origins science).  Scientific explanations are appropriate for observable facts, but scientific explanations concerning origin are not verifiable.  Science has exceeded its ability for knowledge.  If reason would remain within its sphere, then there would be no contradiction with theology.  Nevertheless, reason often assumes a position of antagonism to revealed truth (Heinrich Schmid).  If an unbeliever refuses plain evidence and denies logic, we learn man’s real reason for denying the truth.

Many of the passages which are used as proof texts for a scientific defense of the truth (apologetics), only prove that Christians ought to use the Scriptures to “give a reason for the hope that is within them” (1 Peter 3:15) and to “contend for the faith” (Jude 1:3).  There are two passages which tell Christians to beware of human reason going beyond its sphere(Col 2:8).  We are told to pull down everything which exalts itself about the knowledge of God in the Holy Scriptures (2 Cor 10:4-5).

Overheads:   Overheads-for-Aug-18-2019.pdf
Handout from August 11 (grey):  Naturalism-Presuppositions.pdf
Handout for August 18 (white): Science-and-the-Bible-for-Aug-18-2019.pdf

#52 Honor is More Than Love

The first work is that we should honor our own father and mother. This honoring does not consist in merely showing them all deference. It means that we obey them, have regard for what they do and what they say, esteem them highly, give way to them, and accept what they say. It means that we endure their treatment of us without complaint, so long as it is not contrary to the first three commandments, and, in addition, provide them with food, clothing, and shelter when they are in need. For it is not without purpose that he has said, “Thou shalt honor them.” He does not say, “Thou shalt love them,” although it means that as well. But honor is higher than mere love, and includes within it a kind of fear which unites with love and has such an effect upon a man that he fears offending them more than he fears the ensuing punishment. It is just as there is fear in the honor we pay a holy place, and yet we do not flee from it as from a punishment, but draw all the more near to it. True honor is such a fear mingled with love. The other kind of fear that is without love is the fear of those things which we despise or avoid, e.g., the fear of the hangman or of punishment. There is no honor in that, for it is fear without love: in fact, it is a fear mixed with hatred and hostility. We have a proverb of St. Jerome about this: What we fear, we also hate. God does not want to be feared or honored with that kind of fear, nor does he want our parents honored with this kind of fear, but rather with the first kind, the kind mingled with love and confidence” (Luther’s Works, v. 44 p.81).

Book of Concord Bible Study Starts September 1, 2019

Dust off your Book of Concord and start reading.  Sunday, September 1, we will begin a new 9-month Bible study on the Book of Concord.

  • You keep saying that you are going to read through it.  Well, here is your chance.
  • I have provided a reading guide, so your new Adam can whack that recalcitrant old Adam with it each day.
  • “The Lutheran Church differs from all other churches in being essentially the Church of the pure Word and unadulterated Sacraments. Not the great number of her adherents, not her organizations, not her charitable and other institutions, not her beautiful customs and liturgical forms, etc., but the precious truths confessed by her symbols in perfect agreement with the Holy Scriptures constitute the true beauty and rich treasures of our Church, as well as the never-failing source of her vitality and power.  Wherever the Lutheran Church ignored her symbols or rejected all or some of them, there she always fell an easy prey to her enemies. But wherever she held fast to her God-given crown, esteemed and studied her confessions, and actually made them a norm and standard of her entire life and practice, there the Lutheran Church flourished and confounded all her enemies.   Accordingly, if Lutherans truly love their Church, and desire and seek her welfare, they must be faithful to her confessions and constantly be on their guard lest any one rob her of her treasure” (Concordia Triglotta, p.3).

The following is a reading guide (through December) for those who would like to read along with us.
Reading Guide for Tappert, Kolb, English only of Triglotta, Concordia Reader’s Edition: Book-of-Concord-Reading-2019-2020-Chart-1-Page-1-2.pdf
Reading Guide for Triglotta, Jacobs, Henkel, Die BekenntnisSchriften, Tappert, Kolb: Book-of-Concord-Reading-2019-2020-Chart-2-pages-1-2.pdf

Gospel Reset Bible Class, Pt. 19: Moving Forward 2

With this class, we continue looking at the “Four Points Raised in John Warwick Montgomery’s article, ‘Christian Apologetics in the Light of the Lutheran Confessions.’”  Today’s class looks at points three and four.

3. After the fall, man has a bound will in spiritual matters (Ephesians 2:1, “dead in trespasses and sins.”)  Nevertheless, man still has freedom of the will in non-spiritual matters.  “The human will has liberty in the choice of works and things which reason comprehends by itself….   There is left in human nature reason and judgment concerning objects subjected to the senses.” The believer and unbeliever share a common ground of logic and fact. What are we to make of those who have reason and judgment and yet come to the illogical conclusion that there is no god(Psalm 14:1), etc.?  They are fools.  “…The power of concupiscence is such that men more frequently obey evil dispositions than sound judgment. And the devil, who is efficacious in the godless, as Paul says, Eph. 2, 2, does not cease to incite this feeble nature to various offenses” (Ap XXVIII Free Will, 70-71).

4. Apart from the power and efficacy of the Holy Spirit, man is neither enlightened nor converted.  Therefore, we must confess that none of the capacities of the unregenerate man(human reason, the knowledge which it can obtain, apologetics) permit him to mend his broken relationship with God.  Apologetics can reveal that man doesn’t know God, lacks righteousness, and doesn’t know God’s will toward man.  Thus, God the Holy Spirit works through the means of grace in order to create and strengthen faith, “… neither preacher nor hearer is to doubt this grace and efficacy of the Holy Ghost, but should be certain that when the Word of God is preached purely and truly, according to the command and will of God, and men listen attentively and earnestly and meditate upon it, God is certainly present with His grace, and grants, as has been said, what otherwise man can neither accept nor give from his own powers” (FC SD II 55).  Furthermore the Word is not efficacious through the recitation of syllables, as if Scripture were a magic spell.  If the Word is twisted to a false interpretation, it abolishes the righteousness of faith.  The Holy Spirit works through the perspicuous teaching of the Word so that man is brought to the Holy Spirit’s interpretation of that Word that we are saved by grace through faith in the work and person of Jesus Christ.  “No sane man can judge otherwise…” (Ap IV 254).

Outline for today’s lesson: Apologetics-Moving-Forward.pdf
Book of Concord References for today’s lesson:  Apologetics-Part-2-for-Aug-4-2019.pdf
Handout from July 21:  Apologetics-Definition-a.pdf  Page 2 has outline of Four Points Raised…

Note: Sunday, September 1, we will begin a new 9-month Bible study on the Book of Concord.  The following is a reading guide (through December) for those who would like to read along with us.

Reading Guide for Tappert, Kolb, English only of Triglotta, Concordia Reader’s Edition: Book-of-Concord-Reading-2019-2020-Chart-1-Page-1-2.pdf

Reading Guide for Triglotta, Jacobs, Henkel, Die BekenntnisSchriften, Tappert, Kolb: Book-of-Concord-Reading-2019-2020-Chart-2-pages-1-2.pdf

36A Creation: Doing the Lord’s Bidding

“No matter what’s going on in the culture, we need to be doing what God has clearly instructed us to do. We’re to be about the business of the King, preaching the Gospel, giving answers, and contending for the faith (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 1 Peter 3:15; Jude 1:3).  “…but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence (1 Peter 3:15, NASB).”  (Gospel Reset by Ken Ham, p.85).

Gospel Reset Bible Class, Pt. 18: Apologetics Moving Forward

In previous classes we have defined Apologetics as the scientific validation of the truth and absoluteness of the Christian religion against unbelief on the basis of human reason and science.  We previously looked at 1 Peter 3:15 and Jude 1:3, but these came up short as proof texts to support apologetics.  It would seem that the right use and limits for apologetics may be a bit more complex.  The use of human reason in apologetics is able to judge correctly in the things of this world.  Based on creation and conscience, apologetics can reveal that there is a God, who makes a distinction between right and wrong.  Nevertheless, apologetics cannot discover the will of God or validate “the truth and absoluteness of the Christian religion.”

Beginning with this class, we will look at the “Four Points Raised in John Warwick Montgomery’s article, ‘Christian Apologetics in the Light of the Lutheran Confessions.’”  Today’s class looks at points one and two.  1. Man cannot “by his own reason or strength” accomplish or make any advance toward his salvation.  Nevertheless, we do use human reason in a ministerial way when we use the laws of language to discover God’s will in the revealed knowledge of God.  2. History is a proper subject for apologetics.  The Christian faith is a historical religion that correctly describes reality.  Although faith is not merely knowledge, it does include historical knowledge of what the Triune God has done in history (combined with the promise concerning those facts).  “Therefore it is not enough to believe that Christ was born, suffered, was raised again, unless we add also this article, which is the purpose of the history: The forgiveness of sins” (Ap IV, What Is Justfiying Faith, 51).

Outline for today’s lesson: Apologetics-Moving-Forward.pdf
Book of Concord References for today’s lesson:  Apologetics-Part-2-for-Aug-4-2019.pdf
Handout from July 21:  Apologetics-Definition-a.pdf  Page 2 has outline of Four Points Raised…

Note: Sunday, September 1, we will begin a new 9-month Bible study on the Book of Concord.  The following is a reading guide (through December) for those who would like to read along with us.

Reading Guide for Tappert, Kolb, English only of Triglotta, Concordia Reader’s Edition: Book-of-Concord-Reading-2019-2020-Chart-1-Page-1-2.pdf

Reading Guide for Triglotta, Jacobs, Henkel, Die BekenntnisSchriften, Tappert, Kolb: Book-of-Concord-Reading-2019-2020-Chart-2-pages-1-2.pdf

#51 After a Sound Thrashing, Cookies!

By soothing the Galatians this way Paul prepares their minds to bear the fatherly rebukes with filial feeling. This is like tempering absinthe or bitter medicine with honey and sugar to make it sweet again. Thus when parents have given their children a sound thrashing, they soothe them by offering them cookies, cakes, pears, apples, and such little presents, by which the children recognize that the parents meant it for their good, even though the punishment was severe. (Luther’s Works, v. 26 p.417)

35A Creation: Shine More Brightly

“In fact, it’s just the opposite! It’s when we find ourselves in the midst of a ‘crooked and perverse generation’ that we are to appear as ‘lights in the world’ (Philippians 2;15). Paul told the Romans that the truth about the coming of the Lord is motivation to ‘wake up’ and ‘put on the armor of light,’ not to sit around passively and let culture go to hell….  As things get darker in culture, the Church must shine all the more brightly in society. It’s an opportunity to work, not an excuse to ‘wait’ (Gospel Reset by Ken Ham, p.84).

#50 Harsh to the Face, Affectionate in the Heart

On the other hand, if one stubbornly insists on the force of the Greek word, namely, that κατὰ πρόσωπον, “according to face,” always means “according to appearance”—as in John 7:24: “Do not judge by appearances”—this still does not demand the conclusion that there was hypocrisy on Paul’s part. On the contrary, the sense will be this: Paul was indeed in earnest when he opposed Peter and rebuked him verbally, but he did not do so from a malicious heart. It is in this way that Ecclus. 7:24 speaks: “Do you have daughters? Be concerned for their bodies, and do not show your face cheerful toward them.” Thus parents are stern to their children “according to face,” not from the heart, yet not hypocritically either. And every Christian should maintain cordial pleasantness and a feeling of unity when reproving a brother and disagreeing with him. But even of God Himself it is said (Lam. 3:33): “For He does not willingly afflict or grieve the sons of men.” But who would say that God plays the hypocrite when He scourges men and rejects them? Thus Paul rebuked Peter with a real reproof. He was harsh toward Peter “to his face” but affectionate toward him in his heart. Therefore Peter’s guilt was real and deserving to the highest degree of reproof, and in neither man was there any hypocrisy of the kind St. Jerome supposes. There was, however, that earlier hypocrisy by which Peter compelled the observance of Jewish and legalistic practices. (Luther’s Works, v. 27 p. 214).