The Right and Wrong of the Houston Chronicle’s Articles on “Abuse of Faith”

The Houston Chronicle helped in that it shed light on some abuses that were not taken seriously enough, hidden or ignored. These abuses are immeasurably tragic and trivializing of them is the tragedy of tragedies. I regret cover-ups of any human tragedies by churches, Christians, and leaders. I regret when churches fail to follow the biblical teaching on church discipline because it results in the sacrifice of righteousness and mercy toward the guilty and victims and because it results in the world having to expose such grievous sins in the church (Mt 18:15-20; Rm 16:17-18; 1 Co 5:1-13; Gal 6:1-2; 2 Thes 3:6-13). Consequently, sin in the church is not the actual travesty since we are all sinners. Rather, it is the church’s failure to follow Christ’s teaching for addressing it that is the epic failure. Continue reading →

The Paradox of Christmas

On Christmas, we give thanks and celebrate Christ humbling himself and being born a baby boy. That is the greatest gift and message of Christmas; may Christ humility, which made the Christmas message possible, be seen in us.

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who . . . humbled Himself” (Phil 2:5, 8).

He who had no beginning was born.
He was born of a woman he created.
The served became the servant.
The sovereign became the sacrifice.
He came from the halls of heaven to the hell of Golgotha.
He became a part of his creation.
He was taught to eat, although he created the digestive system of humanity.
He was taught the ABCs, although he created all the languages.
He was taught to start and finish things, although he is the Alpha and Omega
He was taught to make animal harnesses out of trees he created.
He was taught how to make a wheel, although he created the earth a sphere.
He is the Lord of creation, yet he was called the Lord of Flies.
He is Truth, yet he was called a liar.
He is the King of Kings, yet he was denied the throne of Israel.
He exchanged the crown of glory for a crown of thorns.
He existed in eternity and was killed in time.
He who knew no sin became sin for us.
He was God but appeared as an ordinary man.
He who is life died.
He delivered man from God’s Judgement but not himself.
He is the light of the world, but he was buried in the darkness of God’s wrath.
He gave up the infinite and took on the average.
He endured the unthinkable.
He helped the ungrateful.
He delivered the unholy.
He sacrificed his sovereignty.
He sought true servanthood.
He sacrificed his self.

“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:5–11).

“For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:3).

The Christ of Christmas!

God, Creation, and the Presence of Sin: Calvinism’s Dilemma

The Bible is clear that God loves righteousness and holiness, abhors sin, and desires his creation to choose righteousness and holiness. This is evident prior to the fall (Gen 2:17), immediately subsequent to the fall as seen in his swift judgment upon sin (Gen 3:14–24); the repeated calls for holiness prior to his covenant with Israel (Gen 7:1, 15:6, 18:19), to Israel (Lev 11:44, 19:2, 20:7), in the gospels (Matt 3:2; 5:6, 20, 48; 6:33; 11:20), and to the church (Eph 5:3–9; 1 Pet 1:15–16). Calvinists unwaveringly claim to believe this as much as Extensivists do.[1] However, their commitment to decretal theology and compatible freedom of mankind with its resultant micro-determinism, upon closer scrutiny, does seem to eviscerate such obvious teachings of Scripture.[2] Continue reading →

Donors Call For An Investigation Into The Firing Of Dr. Paige Patterson

Twenty-six large financial supporters have sent a letter to SWBTS Board Chairman Mr. Ueckert and the Executive Committee. The letter records charges of several errors, including lack of biblical moral dignity, legal infractions, and Bylaw breaches that were made by the Board, particularly Chairman Ueckert and the Executive Committee.  The letter calls for an investigation into the board’s actions regarding Dr. Paige Patterson.

This letter is an important read, which provides an essential perspective regarding the actions of the Trustees under the leadership of Mr. Ueckert. Here is the link to the actual letter.

To see other important actual documents regarding allegations and actions by SWBTS trustees and my perspective regarding Dr. Patterson, see my article, Dr. Paige Patterson: Things you need to Know.

Did Jesus Really Believe in Unconditional Election and Irresistible Grace for some?

I just concluded a six-week series on John 12:27-50 entitled The Dynamic of the Gospel Encounter. This passage gives extraordinary insight into what actually transpires when the gospel is shared. In this series, I contrast the perspective of Calvinism and Extensivism. That is to say, does the passage teach that God unconditionally elected some to salvation, or does it teach that He designed His plan of redemption to comprehend the unconditional offer of salvation to everyone while making the reception of the benefits of the gospel conditioned upon grace-enabled faith? Continue reading →

Homosexuality: Know the facts

Since the Supreme Court decision to legalize homosexual marriage, no one can escape being affected by this sweeping decision. Citizens must realize what has and is going to continue to happen. As I mentioned in a previous article, the loss of religious liberty may very well prove to be one of the great , if not the greatest, losses to American Citizens.

This article in the Weekly Standard is well worth your time. It is informative, alarming, and I believe foreboding.

A Response to bloggers on SBC Today

As noted earlier, SBC Today published an interview with me regarding my book, Reflections of a Disenchanted Calvinist, as well as a four part series on my chapter entitled “The Lamb’s Book of Life: who’s in and who’s out?

As you can imagine, there were many responses. The editor of SBC Today has been kind enough to allow me to respond to several bloggers comments that I think need a word of clarification or correction.

The site indicates that my responses will be published Saturday July, 27 2012.

Go to sbctoday.com