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Showing posts from January, 2015

A Love For the Timeless Truth

My love for God's word goes back to the earliest days of my being awakened to faith in God through faith in Jesus Christ.  I was a 20 year old college student and once my heart was opened to God, I could not get enough of reading scripture.  I didn't understand most of what I was reading, but I began to learn and little by little I began to understand the depth of insight and the wisdom that came with that understanding. When I felt God's call to go into training for ministry I went to a seminary down south.  While in chapel one morning I listened to the teacher - who frankly I've long ago forgotten who it was - teaching from the book of Ezra.  He was speaking on the text:   Ezra 7:8-10  8  And Ezra came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king. 9  For on the first day of the first month he began to go up from Babylonia, and on the first day of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, for the good hand of his God was on him. 10  For

The Necessity of Scripture Over All Other Opinions

I mentioned lately that our society, culture, has shifted its sense of truth...and therefore where authority comes in showing us how to live as a society...from the wisdom and foundation we had in law derived from scripture to one that has no authority - the individual choices of so called intellect of humans. Think about this. With the logic of post-modernism ruling in our world today (largely western world I admit), we have  not moved forward in terms of human concerns; but rather we have moved backwards...a sort of devolving. We have seen regression in terms of economic equality;  regression in terms of racial equality;  regression in terms of human rights;  regression in terms of intellectual growth.  The press gives more weight to the opinion of celebrities in terms of major societal issues than any other social group. The Post-modernist philosophy is that there is NO truth, so we flit from one crisis to another, from one potential to another, with no sense of where we are

Knowing God - Through Scripture Alone

We live in a world that has elevated personal experiences as primary truth.  The essence of this is that people are convinced of their experiences as a primary way of discerning truth over against the reasoned understanding of Scripture. This is the world in which we live.  If Jesus is described as "full of grace and truth", our secular world has neither an understanding of the need of grace, nor a desire to see Jesus as truth. John Calvin saw the need for mankind to understand that the Scriptures, as given by God, are primary in understanding both grace and truth - which ultimately lead to the knowledge of God. " he added the light of his Word in order that he might make himself known unto salvation, " Later Calvin added: "With this view the law was promulgated, and prophets were afterwards added to be its interpreters. For though the uses of the law were manifold (Book 2 c. 7 and 8), and the special office assigned to Moses and all the prophets was to

Living With Knowledge Skewed?

Having spent 20 years in a University setting it doesn't surprise me to see the pseudo-intellectuals who proudly proclaim a secular philosophy, and a post-modern interpretation of primary issues concerning life and truth. It is not limited to the intellectual hallways, it reaches even into religious institutions and the ranks of those who call themselves "teachers" of the word, pastors and elders. In 1969 I came face to face with the knowledge of God, who in Christ, can save anyone who comes to him by faith.  His grace is sufficient to meet the needs of everyone who calls upon His name, and simply acknowledges the need of Christ's saving work upon the cross. At the time...before this moment of revelation, my mind with filled with all sorts of strange ideas about life, death, eternity.  I had formed a private mind of false beliefs, and held them firmly!  I was the master of my own mind, soul and heart.  It was God who arrested that and made it clear that His truth

Considering the implications of Knowing God

As Calvin's Institutes unfolds, he addresses the need for the knowledge of God.  Yet we immediately now faced with the implications of what that means. Calvin addresses it straight forward: "What avails it, in short, to know a God with whom we have nothing to do?  The effect of our knowledge rather ought to be, first, to teach us reverence and fear; and, secondly, to induce us, under its guidance and teaching, to ask every good thing from him, and, when it is received, ascribe it to him.  For how can the idea of God enter your mind without instantly giving rise to the thought, that since you are his workmanship, you are bound, by the very law of creation, to submit to his authority?—that your life is due to him?—that whatever you do ought to have reference to him? If so, it undoubtedly follows that your life is sadly corrupted, if it is not framed in obedience to him, since his will ought to be the law of our lives." That is the issue isn't it.  Why seek t

Highlights of Year of John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion

I follow a posting that is devoted to Reformed Theology.  At the beginning of the year those who lead the account gave a challenge...sort of an read through John Calvin's "Institutes of the Christian Religion" in the next year.   I had read most of the Institutes, but not all of it, in Seminary...which for the reader's sake is now 40+ years ago.  So, I took the challenge.  I decided to read through this now almost 500+ year old book, simply because it's one of the most excellent statements on the core of the Christian faith.  First a little background: John Calvin completed the Institutes of the Christian Religion in 1559 during the height of the Reformation. The writing of the Institutes was actually a progressive writing.  The first edition appeared in 1536, written in Latin, and then in 1541 Calvin translated it into his native French language.  Subsequently, it was revised five times over the course of Calvin's life. Extremely importa