Blog

Scientific Determinism vs. Christian Predictability

by K. Scott Oliphint

Atheist: Sam Harris has written a masterful exposition of the myth of free will. And the reason that free will is a myth, Harris and I understand as committed scientists, is that all that happens is the product of a materially determined process. Since everything that happens, happens according to that process, there can be no real choice for human beings. We, too, are simply products of the processes of our material make-up. Science can continue apace because reality is so marvelously and determinatively predictable. It moves inexorably as it is materially determined to move.

Christian: If I am materially predetermined to believe what I believe, and you are as well, then what we believe is simply a product of our material selves. We have no choice at all about what we believe; and why we believe what we do makes no sense to discuss at all, since the "why" is embedded in our predetermined matter.

It seems to me that you have gotten yourself into an intellectual bind. If the universe is unguided, then what you think about science is nothing more than a random figment of your own imagination. In that case, science cannot ground or found its own enterprise; the best it can do, as David Hume showed us centuries ago, is depend on some kind of subjective "habit." And a habit is no way to try to uncover the mysteries of the universe; because it is subjective, it has no bearing on whether or not the universe is knowable or predictable. For that, something much stronger is needed. What's needed is actual predictability. And that comes only in Christian theism.

Mon, 02/19/2018 - 15:19 -- john_hendryx

Free eBook by Richard Sibbes

Click here to take you to the download page

For some unknown reason, Facebook has blocked all links which go directly to the download page so if you wish to download this eBook please click here to take you to the page. 

The book was first published in 1630, and is considered one of the classics of the Puritan writings. The title of the book is of course taken from a passage in Isaiah, among the so-called “Servant Songs” which foretell the coming of the promised Messiah, and speak of His role as a suffering servant. Verse 3 of Isaiah 42 says: “A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench; he shall bring forth judgment into truth.” And in Matthew 12: 18-20, right after a healing by Jesus, Matthew said this prophecy had been fulfilled in Christ. The prophecy predicted the manner in which Christ would carry out His ministry during His time in the flesh, i.e. in gentleness and mercy. Sibbes says: “We see therefore, that the condition of those with whom He was to deal was that they were bruised reeds and smoking flax; not trees, but reeds; and not whole, but bruised reeds.”

Sat, 02/17/2018 - 14:17 -- john_hendryx

Bible Logic Fallacies of Synergists

The following numbered items are common assumptions made by synergists in rejecting the bondage of the will and God's sovereign grace in salvation.

Fallacy #1. God would not command us to do what we cannot do.

God gave the Law to Moses, The Ten Commandments, to reveal what man cannot do, not what he can do.

A. Premise #1 is unscriptural. God gave the Law for two reasons: To expose sin and to increase it so man would have no excuse for declaring his own righteousness. Why? Because in the context, he does NO righteousness. As Martin Luther said to Erasmus, "when you are finished with all your commands and exhortations from the Old Testament, I'll write Ro.3:20 over the top of it all." Why use commands and exhortations from the O.T. to show free will when they were given to prove man's sinfulness? They exist to show what we cannot do rather than what we can do. Yes, God gave commands to man which man cannot do. Therefore commandments and exhortations do not prove free will. Nowhere in scripture is there any hint that God gives commands to natural men to prove they are able to perform them.

[Here is the passage Luther quoted to Erasmus to show that law's purpose is to expose our bondage to sin, not show our moral ability to keep it: "Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin." Rom 3:19, 20]

Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:11 -- john_hendryx

This Week's Featured Free Resources 2-14-2018

“We must learn to avoid the contemporary plague of preaching the benefits of the gospel without proclaiming Christ himself as the benefactor of the gospel. We do not offer people abstract blessings (peace, forgiveness, new life) as commodities. Rather we preach and offer Christ as crucified and risen, in whom these blessings become ours and not otherwise. We preach the person in the work, never the work and its blessings apart from the Savior himself.” - Sinclair Ferguson, Some Pastors and Teachers, 709.

“They are the happiest Christians, who have the lowest thoughts of themselves, and in whose eyes Jesus is most glorious and precious.” —John Newton
 

This week we have 3 free eBooks and some other links below...

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 14:27 -- john_hendryx

The Pathology of a Religious Hypocrite (Mark 12:13-17)

by John MacArthur

Well, let’s open our Bibles to Mark chapter 12...Mark chapter 12. We’re going to begin today what is going to be the fast track through the rest of the gospel of Mark. Over the next couple of months it’s going to be a wonderful experience for us. Tonight we’re going to take the next section in Mark, verses 18 down through verse 27, and we’re going to find out who you’ll be married to in heaven. That’s part of the theme of that. In case you’re wondering what the answer is...No one. But we’ll deal with that tonight, the theme of resurrection.

But we come to verses 13 to 17. As I said, morning and evening, we’re just going to kind of work our way through these powerful, powerful hours at the end of our Lord’s life, leading up to His death and resurrection.

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 15:08 -- john_hendryx

Studies on Saving Faith (eBook)

by A. W. Pink

In ePub and .mobi and .pdf formats

One of the most helpful books we have ever read on the gospel. Pink's deep understanding of the nature of regeneration and how that relates to faith and works is top notch. Pink levels the serious and solemn charge that much “evangelistic” preaching falls short on delivering the true gospel message. He states, “The ‘evangelism’ of the day is not only superficial to the last degree, but it is radically defective. It is utterly lacking a foundation on which to base an appeal for sinners to come to Christ. There is not only a lamentable lack of proportion (the mercy of God being made far more prominent than His holiness, His love than His wrath), but there is a fatal omission of that which God has given for the purpose of imparting a knowledge of sin. There is not only a reprehensible introducing of ‘bright singing,’ humorous witticisms and entertaining anecdotes, but there is a studied omission of the dark background upon which alone the Gospel can effectually shine forth.” Whether you are a preacher or a layperson, this remarkably relevant study in Scripture will challenge you to hold firmly to the Gospel.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Part I - Signs of the Times

Part II - Saving Faith

* 1. Its Counterfeits
* 2. Its Nature
* 3. Its Difficulty
* 4. Its Communication
* 5. Its Evidences

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 15:49 -- john_hendryx

Can Muslim Converts to Christ Still Use the Name "Allah" for God?

Bible Q&A with John MacArthur

QUESTIONER: Thank you.

JOHN: Yes. Go ahead.

MARISA: My name is Marisa Hernandez. And my husband and I are missionaries to Arabs and we've been approached by Christian Arabs in this congregation with this question. Allah is the name that thousands and millions of believers in Jesus Christ use for God. As an Arabic speaker, I sing many praises to Allah in the name of Jesus. I was missionaries to Muslims in the Middle East for four years, and I led Muslims to faith in Christ by explaining to them the true character of God, Allah, as explained in the Bible. Will you clarify why you say, "Allah is another name for Satan," without any explanation or disclaimer that all translations of the Arabic Bible use Allah as the name for God?

JOHN: Yes, that's a very good question. Allah is another name for Satan because the Allah, the Allah of Islam, is not the true and living God. When you...you have to be very careful when you go into a missionary effort with people. By taking their deity and somehow turning that deity into the true God, you create a confusion.

The fact of the matter is all false religions have a god or gods. And to call some entity of your own manufacturing or some demon or Satan himself "God" doesn't make it so. And the Allah of Islam is not God. It is not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is not the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now if you use...if you speak in their language, Al-Elah, the God and you take the uppercase letter down and you say let me introduce you to the real God who is not the god of Islam, now you're getting on a right footing.

Thu, 02/01/2018 - 13:08 -- john_hendryx

"Racism still exists"

by Darrell Bernard Harrison

I've lost count of the number times someone has said to me, "Racism still exists", as if 'racism' were tantamount to a carton of milk with an expiration date. Not once has anyone said to me, "Murder still exists." or "Lying still exists." or "Adultery still exists."

Why is that?

Why is it that 'racism' - a word I personally detest but will use for purposes of this commentary - is viewed as a special kind of offense deserving of its own unique context in contrast to other moral biases and inclinations we express?

Can someone please answer that for me?

To say that racism 'still' exists is to imply that racism has a definitive point of origin in human history; a date-certain that we can point to and say that racism began "back there" and that it "still" exists today in the here and now. It's as if to say to someone that it's "still" raining outside. "Still" in what chronological context? One hour ago? Three hours ago? Yesterday? Last week? Conversely, to say "Racism still exists" is to suggest that it is composed of elements of which society can permanently rid itself by itself. But this begs the question: If society were inherently capable of such self-restoration, why hasn't society done that by now?

To argue that racism "still exists" yet be unable to define an objective point of origin of racism is nonsensical. Hence, the equally nonsensical argument that it is possible to bring an "end" to racism when you can't say when or how it began! It is that kind of logic that results in circular arguments that are not only unproductive but naive, because they are grounded in historical socio-cultural philosophy as opposed to biblical theology.

Mon, 01/29/2018 - 11:04 -- john_hendryx

Here’s How to Make Sure You Still See Monergism Books Posts After Facebook Changes the Newsfeed

As many of you know, Facebook has announced that it will soon be changing its algorithms so that you mainly see posts from the users' friends and family, and downgrading some other content from visibility. We understand that even pages that users voluntarily follow may have their content downranked on users newsfeeds.  We are not sure yet how this will affect Monergism Books and other ministries but it may make it harder for users to see content from pages you follow — here's how to ensure you continue see posts from Monergism (and others) on your newsfeed:

1) On your newsfeed page, click the drop-down arrow (iPhone) on the toolbar near the notification button at the top of the page.  (Note: On Android It is not an arrow but three sold lines)

 

2) Click on “News Feed Preferences”:  (On Android you need to scroll quite a ways down, but it is there)

 

3) This will display a preferences page, select “Prioritize who to see first”:

Mon, 01/22/2018 - 09:59 -- john_hendryx

Pages

Subscribe to Monergism.com Blog Feed

By Topic

Joy

By Scripture

Old Testament

Genesis

Exodus

Leviticus

Numbers

Deuteronomy

Joshua

Judges

Ruth

1 Samuel

2 Samuel

1 Kings

2 Kings

1 Chronicles

2 Chronicles

Ezra

Nehemiah

Esther

Job

Psalms

Proverbs

Ecclesiastes

Song of Solomon

Isaiah

Jeremiah

Lamentations

Ezekiel

Daniel

Hosea

Joel

Amos

Obadiah

Jonah

Micah

Nahum

Habakkuk

Zephaniah

Haggai

Zechariah

Malachi

New Testament

Matthew

Mark

Luke

John

Acts

Romans

1 Corinthians

2 Corinthians

Galatians

Ephesians

Philippians

Colossians

1 Thessalonians

2 Thessalonians

1 Timothy

2 Timothy

Titus

Philemon

Hebrews

James

1 Peter

2 Peter

1 John

2 John

3 John

Jude

Revelation

By Author

Latest Links