Blog

Moral Outrage and the Quest for Power

It is not difficult to notice the overwhelming number of people who express their moral outrage toward social and political issues on social media. They find it natural to pronounce judgment on issues that offend them. Ironically, many of these same persons find the idea of the final judgment of God to be offensive. I've had numerous friends express to me that the concept of a final judgment of wheat and tares, sheep and goats, to be a stumbling block for them.

Why? Outrage presupposes the concept of justice. But if the pursuit of justice is virtuous in human courts then why is it so offensive that God, who is objective, who exercises perfect justice, and who knows all the secrets of men, something to stumble over? We will not let God be God, yet eagerly willing to take on the role of God ourselves.

There is a universal desire for justice in the human soul, regardless of where you are born. It is not something that must be taught, but rises up within each one of us. This points to the fact that a universal law has been implanted in each one of us. The desire for justice points to the reality of God. For moral outrage is absurd, if you believe in moral relativism. Either there is an objective right and wrong OR it is a mere personal preference. And if it is but a preference, then how can you consistently express moral outrage at others who are merely expressing their preference? If there is no objective, universal morality that transcends human opinion, then, to be consistent, all that's left is power .. the desire to impose your preference on others.

-----

Sat, 05/16/2020 - 13:12 -- john_hendryx

Dear PCA, Don’t Let Revoice Fool You: A Response to Revoice’s Frequently Asked Questions – Part 4

By Dr. Jared Moore

Introduction

The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) is currently embroiled in a controversy over the doctrines presented by Revoice. This is Part 4, the final part ( Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 ) of a multi-part series responding to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) of Revoice . I wrote my dissertation at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary arguing that Revoice theology is neither biblical nor Reformed . I hope this series of articles helps readers understand Revoice theology and provides a way forward for the PCA and Revoice. Please share these articles with your elders, deacons, teachers, and churches.

Fri, 05/15/2020 - 15:19 -- john_hendryx

Private Prayer is the Christian's Strongest Refuge in Trouble

by Thomas Brooks

In times of great trouble and trials, in times of great afflictions and persecutions, private prayer is the Christian’s food and drink. It is their chief city of refuge or shelter and hiding place in a stormy day. When the saints have been driven by violent persecutions into holes and caves, dens, deserts and howling wildernesses, private prayer has been their food and drink. Under Christ it has been their only refuge.

When Esau came forth with hostile intentions against Jacob, secret prayer was Jacob’s refuge (Genesis 32:6-9, 11). He recalls God’s promises, they must be prayed over in private. When Jacob and all that was near and dear to him, were in eminent danger of being cut off by Esau and the men of blood that were with him, he takes himself to private prayer as his only city of refuge against the rage and malice of the mighty.

When Jeremiah was in a solitary and loathsome dungeon, private prayer was his food and drink, it was his only city of refuge (Jeremiah 33:1-3). God encourages him by private prayer, to seek for further revelations of those choice and unique favours, which He purposed to confer on His people in future times.

When Manasseh was in chains, in his enemies’ country, when he was stripped of all his princely glory and led captive into Babylon, he takes himself to private prayer as his only City of refuge (2 Chronicles 33:11-13). By this means he prevails with God for his restoration to his crown and kingdom.

Private prayer is a city of refuge that no power nor politics, no craft nor cruelty, no violence nor force is ever able to overcome. Though the joint prayers of the people of God together were often obstructed and hindered in the times of the ten persecutions (of the early Church), yet they were never able to obstruct or hinder secret prayer.

Wed, 05/13/2020 - 14:37 -- john_hendryx

Dear PCA, Don’t Let Revoice Fool You: A Response to Revoice’s Frequently Asked Questions – Part 3

 

By Dr. Jared Moore

Introduction

The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) is currently embroiled in a controversy over the doctrines presented by Revoice. This is Part 3 (Part 1, Part 2) of a multi-part series responding to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) of Revoice. I wrote my dissertation at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary arguing that Revoice theology is neither biblical nor Reformed. I hope this series of articles helps readers understand Revoice theology and provides a way forward for the PCA and Revoice. Please share these articles with your elders, deacons, teachers, and churches.

Revoice’s mission is “to support and encourage gay, lesbian, bisexual, and other same-sex attracted Christians—as well as those who love them—so that all in the Church might be empowered to live in gospel unity while observing the historic Christian doctrine of marriage and sexuality.”[1] The latter part of this statement about gospel unity, like their FAQ, sounds like something faithful Christians can affirm; however, if we look closer at the language they use and compare it with the writings of their leaders, we will see that their theology is neither biblical nor Reformed.

Revoice’s Frequently Asked Questions

In their FAQ, Revoice writes,

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 16:58 -- john_hendryx

Post Truth

We live in a post-truth era. In this secular age, truth is determined, not by any objective criteria, but is a social construct arbitrarily defined by a subjective community preference. But having no objective truth to look to, all that's left is power. Instead of having common ideals, this has only given rise to clans and blood feuds, as we are now witnessing. Whoever has the most power wins, which is the early signal for an authoritarian state.

Once we set aside the obvious truth that man is inherently evil, we will increasingly abandon the rule of law, the separation of powers and limited government. And by removing restraints on government, we are creating the very conditions that even secularism claims to fear .. Fascism and other forms of authoritarian government, the elevation of will over law, which requires concentrated and unconstrained state power. Thus, genuine anti-fascism opposes the expansion and consolidation of government power, and by this measure limited constitutional government (flawed as it may be because of human nature) is one of the most successful anti-authoritarian systems of government ever established. It rightly recognizes human limitations and sin. Above all else, the Founders feared arbitrary power. This fear was rooted in knowledge of history, human nature, revelation and their experiences with self-government and the British.

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 12:17 -- john_hendryx

The Failure of Secular Epistemologies

by Jason Lisle

Non-Christian worldviews would make knowledge impossible.  By this, I certainly do not mean that non-Christians can’t know anything.  Clearly they can.  But this is despite their worldview and not because of it.  My point is that if reality were the way non-Christians claim it is, then knowledge would be impossible. The reason is that these unbiblical worldviews cannot justify those things necessary for knowledge.  So while a non-believer might offer a reason for a belief, he or she cannot ultimately justify the reason itself from a non-Christian foundation.

For example, “I know Saturn has rings because I have observed them with my eyes through a telescope.”  But this assumes that our eyes are reliable – a Christian concept.  A person might say, “I know two contradictory claims cannot both be true because this violates a law of logic.”  Quite right, but apart from Christianity there is no reason to believe that laws of logic are universally and invariantly reliable.

As a specific example, consider the most common secular worldview – that the universe is the result of a big bang, followed by billions of years of cosmic and then biological evolution.  In this worldview, people are merely the inevitable unplanned result of chemistry acting over time.  There is no grand scheme of things, no ultimate mind upholding the universe, and no ultimate objective meaning.

Can a person holding such a view ever have good reasons for his beliefs?  Evolutionists do rely upon laws of logic, upon their mind and senses, and upon morality.  And these are good reasons – in the Christian worldview.  But in the secular worldview, can these reasons be justified?  If not, then a secularist would be irrational to believe them.

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 18:54 -- john_hendryx

We Found Myanmar Gold

by Pastor Mark Robinette

Have you ever heard of Myanmar? Maybe by now you have, but a few years ago most of us had to Google it to find out. It was the new name for Burma. We’ve all seen Crab Rangoon on a menu somewhere, but few Westerners had ever been to this central city in Myanmar now called Yangon.

The truth is, in an adaptation of a famous C. S. Lewis quote, “The Lion is on the move” in Myanmar.

Just a few years ago, this Southeast Asian country, between India and Thailand, was shut off from the world much like North Korea, and it topped the list of the most dangerous places in the world to be a Christian.

As God would have it, Myanmar has remarkably opened up to outsiders. For the first time in decades, Christians are discovering part of the body of Christ that God has pruned and preserved amid great poverty and persecution. I know, I’ve been there many times since my first journey there in 2013. What I found is nothing short of a treasure-find for the faithful. I’ve discovered Myanmar Gold.

Blood is now flowing freely again in this part of the body of Christ between Myanmar Christians and the elect around the world.

As God has often taught us, and He is teaching us again through this, it is in the harshest of environments that love grows best.

In the jungles of Myanmar where cobras, elephants, and Bengal tigers still roam free, there is a vibrant network of Reformed Christians whose faith and solid theological perspectives are glorious and inspiring.

Sat, 04/18/2020 - 12:54 -- john_hendryx

Dear PCA, Don’t Let Revoice Fool You: A Response to Revoice’s Frequently Asked Questions, Part 2

 

 

Part 2 – Dear PCA, Don’t Let Revoice Fool You: A Response to Revoice’s Frequently Asked Questions

By Dr. Jared Moore

Introduction

The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) is currently embroiled in a controversy over the doctrines presented by Revoice. This is Part 2 ( Part 1 is here ) of a multi-part series responding to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) of Revoice . I wrote my dissertation at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary arguing that Revoice theology is neither biblical nor Reformed . I hope this series of articles helps readers understand Revoice theology and provides a way forward for the PCA and Revoice. Please share these articles with your elders, deacons, teachers, and churches.

Fri, 04/17/2020 - 12:53 -- john_hendryx

What is Justifying Faith?

by Thomas Watson

What is justifying faith? I shall show, 

(1.) What it is not. It is not a bare acknowledgment that Christ is a Savior. There must be this acknowledgment, but that is not sufficient to justify. The devils acknowledged Christ's Godhead. "Jesus the Son of God." There may be an assent to divine truth, and yet no work of grace on the heart. Many assent in their judgements, that sin is an evil thing—but they go on in sin, whose corruptions are stronger than their convictions. Many assent that Christ is excellent; they cheapen the pearl—but do not buy.

(2.) What justifying faith is. True justifying faith consists in three things:

(1:) Self-renunciation. Faith is going out of one's self, being taken off from our own merits, and seeing we have no righteousness of our own. "Not having my own righteousness." Self-righteousness is a broken reed, which the soul dares not lean on. Repentance and faith are both humbling graces; by repentance a man abhors himself; by faith he goes out of himself. As Israel in their wilderness march, behind them saw Pharaoh and his chariots pursuing, before them the Red Sea ready to devour; so the sinner behind sees God's justice pursuing him for sin, before, hell ready to devour him; and in this forlorn condition, he sees nothing in himself to help—but he must perish unless he can find help in another.

Tue, 04/14/2020 - 18:34 -- 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