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Common Objections: Right and Wrong Simply a Matter of Personal Choice


If the concepts of right and wrong are simply a matter of personal choice, we must abandon any idea of declaring moral judgments on the ideas and actions of others. A relativist cannot rationally object to genocide, torture, rape, female circumcision, racism, sexism or slavery if those actions are consistent with another person's moral understanding of what is right and good. When they declare some action as wrong we must honestly ask them, what standard is he/she appealing to that makes it binding on anyone else?

Telling others that it is "best for society" to reject these practices is, at best, a personal preference, and therefore it is wildly inconsistent to bind others to a personal standard by stigmatizing their practices as wrong or evil. While relativists can personally believe others are wrong, but such a belief can only be lived out consistently in silence, even though ironically, like a drumbeat or the drip of a leaky faucet, we hear relativists day after day speaking out about the immorality and bigotry of others as if they really believed it were wrong. We are not declaring that it is wrong to make moral pronouncements, or that relativists are somehow less moral people than others... on the contrary, we are demonstrating with clear and irrefutable reason that they cannot account for the morality they wish to make others live by.

Thu, 02/13/2014 - 13:51 -- john_hendryx

Common Objections: The Old Testament is Full of Rape, Murder, Slavery, Homophobia


Visitor: Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is impotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then where does evil come from? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" Why don't we talk about the old testament?. Why don't you explain to me all the stories of the old testament. Oh wait that's right we don't talk about the old testament because it's full of rape, murder, slavery, homophobia, & god murdering people &making people sacrifice their Children. And why is it not in the 10 commandments that we shall not rape or own people as slaves. Please Rape all you want & treat humans & women as if they were dirt but don't say the lord's name in vein or he'll get upset.

Response: Thank you for your comment. Appreciate your participation ...

Mon, 02/10/2014 - 18:26 -- john_hendryx

Monergism - Weekly Link Roundup 2-9-2014


Featured Links on Monergism.com
A Vision for a Gospel Centered Life (Free eBook) by Dr. Timothy Keller
Exposition of Revelation (MP3 Series) by G. K. Beale
109 Sermons on the First Chapter of the Gospel of John by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (MP3 Series)
Dr. Sinclair B. Ferguson (MP3 Resources by Series)
Eric Alexander (MP3 Resources by Series)
Exposition of the Epistle of the Ephesians (230-Part MP3 Series) by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Exposition of the Epistle to the Romans (MP3 Series) by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Practical Religion by J. C. Ryle (Free eBook) - available in Kindle .mobi and ePub formats
Yielding to God’s Providence by J.C. Ryle
Biography Of J.C. Ryle - Philippians 3:17-18,4:8 (MP3) by Bart Carlson
Bible Secrets Revealed: The Complete Series by Michael J. Kruger
 

Sun, 02/09/2014 - 18:02 -- john_hendryx

Paul Thanks God for the Faith of the Thessalonians


The following is a short discussion about the texts in which Paul thanked God for the faith of those to whom he was writing. Now, if as some claim, Paul was only thanking God for His part in their coming to faith, then who are we to thank for the part we play? Therefore, I intend to explain why God, not in part, but in whole delivers us from our corrupt estate, and for this, He deserves not part or even most of the thanks, but all of the thanks and glory. Here are some of the passages in question:

"For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe. I Thess. 2:13 (...which effectually worketh also in you that believe.)

Notice that it is man's reception of the Gospel that is the explicit grounds for which Paul is thanking and glorifying God! Paul gives God all the glory for man's initial reception of the Gospel, and correspondingly thanks God for it. In his second letter to the same church Paul reminds them again who deserves thanks for their faith:

"But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Thessalonians 2:13)

Thu, 02/06/2014 - 10:10 -- john_hendryx

The Bible Gospel Exalts Christ and Humbles Man by J. Gresham Machen,


Christ is a sufficient Saviour; but what has He done, and what will He do, not merely for the men who were with Him in the days of His flesh, but for us? How is it that Christ touches our lives?

The answer which the Word of God gives to that question is perfectly specific and perfectly plain. Christ touches our lives, according to the New Testament, through the Cross. We deserved eternal death, in accordance with the curse of God’s law; but the Lord Jesus, because He loved us, took upon Himself the guilt of our sins and died instead of us on Calvary. And faith consists simply in our acceptance of that wondrous gift. When we accept the gift, we are clothed, entirely without merit of our own, by the righteousness of Christ; when God looks upon us, He sees not our impurity but the spotless purity of Christ, and accepts us “as righteous in His sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone.”

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 21:42 -- john_hendryx

Bible Secrets Revealed: The Complete Series


For the last few months Michael J. Kruger has been working through the various episodes of Bible Secrets Revealed from the History Channel.  This series challenges a number of popular beliefs and conceptions that people hold about the Bible, and raises questions about the integrity and reliability of the Scriptures.  In each of the posts below, he summarizes the main content of each episode and offers an evaluation and response.

This entire series reminds us of two critical truths:

1. Our popular culture is prone to distort and misrepresent the teachings of the Bible. It is striking how sensationalistic and misleading popular-level programming can actually be when it comes to the Bible.  Although this series had some good moments, as a whole to see the History Channel offer the standard Da Vinci Code-style approach to the Bible was dissapointing.

2. The church must be equipped to respond to these sorts of critiques.  Given the high-profile nature of the History Channel (and similar style programming), the average person we are trying to reach is going to be exposed to this type of material.  And we need to be ready to offer some answers if we expect non-Christians to give the biblical message a hearing.

But, the implications are even bigger than this. Even believers are being exposed to these sorts of arguments, and often find their confidence in the Bible shaken.  At that point, they need a pastor who can speak intelligently about these issues.

Hopefully, these posts below can play a small part in equipping the church for these challenges:

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 21:12 -- john_hendryx

Has God Ever Ordained Evil to Take Place?

A closer look at a couple of texts in the book of Acts may be able to shine some light on the subject.

"...as you yourselves know — this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it." - Acts 2:23

"...for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place." - Acts 4:27

According to these texts, did God ordain and predestine the crucifixion of Jesus to take place? ? Were the men who did it held responsible? (See 2:23b). Did God coerce or force them to murder Jesus? Or is it something their wicked hearts wanted to do voluntarily? We can only surmise, then, that what men meant for evil, God meant for good. The intent and motives for the event were completely different. As such, I would propose that this is a good example of how we are to see God's involvement in evil throughout the Bible. He ordains sin sinlessly because he has an often unseen purpose which is ultimately for His glory.

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 15:14 -- john_hendryx

Exposition of Revelation (MP3 Series) by G. K. Beale


This monumental study of the book of Revelation will be especially helpful to scholars, pastors, students, and others seriously interested in interpreting the Apocalypse for the benefit of the church. Too often Revelation is viewed as a book only about the future. As G. K. Beale shows, however, Revelation is not merely a futurology but a book about how the church should live for the glory of God throughout the ages -- including our own. Approaching Revelation in terms of its own historical background and literary character, Beale argues convincingly that John’s use of Old Testament allusions -- and the way the Jewish exegetical tradition interpreted these same allusions -- provides the key for unlocking the meaning of Revelation’s many obscure metaphors. In the course of Beale’s careful exegesis, which also untangles the logical flow of John’s thought as it develops from chapter to chapter, it becomes clear that Revelation’s challenging pictures are best understood not by apparent technological and contemporary parallels in the twentieth century but by Old Testament and Jewish parallels from the distant past.

The following lectures were given in MP3 format. To download, right click and save to your hard drive

The Book of Revelation: About the Future? Revelation 1:1-3

Why Should We Go to Church? Revelation 1:1-3

Mon, 02/03/2014 - 12:46 -- john_hendryx

The Shepherd’s Unchanging Love for His Sheep


“I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine…and I lay down my life for the sheep…My sheep hear my voice, and I know them…and they shall never perish” (John 10:14 f., 27 f.)

J.I. Packer,

What matters supremely, is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it — the fact that He knows me. I am graven on the palms of his hands. I am never out of his mind.

All my knowledge of him depends on his sustained initiative in knowing me. I know him because he first knew me, and continues to know me. He knows me as a friend, one who loves me; and there is not a moment when his eye is off me, or his attention distracted from me, and no moment, therefore, when his care falters.

This is momentous knowledge. There is unspeakable comfort — the sort of comfort that energizes, be it said, not enervates — in knowing that God is constantly taking knowledge of me in love and watching over me for my good. There is tremendous relief in knowing that his love to me is utterly realistic, based at every point on prior knowledge of the worst about me, so that no discovery now can disillusion him about me, in the way I am so often disillusioned about myself, and quench his determination to bless me. . .There is great incentive to worship and love God in the thought that, for some unfathomable reason, He wants me as His friend, and desires to be my friend, and has given His son to die for me in order to realise this purpose.”

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 16:40 -- john_hendryx

Why Doesn't God Extend His Saving Grace To All by B. B. Warfield

“We may ask, no doubt, why God does not extend his saving grace to all; and why, if he sends it to some only, he sends it to just those some to whom he sends it rather than to others. These are not wise questions to ask. We might ask why Christ raised Lazarus only of all that lay dead that day in Palestine, or in the world. No doubt reasons may suggest themselves why he raised Lazarus. But why Lazarus only? If we threw the reins on the neck of imagination, we might possibly discover reasons enough why he might well have raised others, too, with Lazarus, perhaps many others, perhaps all the dead throughout the whole world. Doubtless he had his reasons for doing on that great day precisely what he did. No doubt God has his reasons, too, for doing just what he does with his electing grace. Perhaps we may divine some of them. No doubt there are others which we do not divine. Better leave it to him, and content ourselves. facing, in the depths of our ignorance and our sin-bred lack of comprehension, these tremendous realities, with the O altitudo of Paul: ‘O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past tracing out!’ Or may we not even rise to the great consenting ‘Yea!’ which Christ has taught us: ‘Yea, Father, for so it was well-pleasing in thy sight!’ After all, men are sinners and grace is wonderful. The marvel of marvels is not that God, in his infinite love, has not elected all of this guilty race to be saved, but that he has elected any. What really needs accounting for — though to account for it passes the powers of our extremest flights of imagination — is how the holy God could get the consent of his nature to save a single sinner.

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 17:38 -- john_hendryx

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