Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Nadia-Bolz's false gospel.

This video is a good example of distorting scripture. Nadia Bolz-Weber was asked to give a presentation on the very real and problematic problem of homosexuality in the church.  Yes, it is a problem. It is a problem because Bolz-Weber attempts to emotionally manipulate and then rips Paul's words out of context in Ephesians. Anyway, I'll let you watch this tripe.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Polanyi on Revolution

"However, in 1789 France broke away and led the world towards a revolutionary consummation of the contradiction inherent in a post-Christian rationalism. The ideology of total revolution is a variant of the derivation of absolute from absolute individualism. Its argument is simple and has yet to be answered. If society is not a divine institution, it is made by man, and man is free to do with society as he likes. There is then no excuse for having a bad society, and we must make a good one without delay. For this purpose you must take power and you can take power over a bad society only by a revolution. Moreover, to achieve a comprehensive improvement of society you need comprehensive powers; so you must regard all resistance to yourself as high treason and must put it down mercilessly."

Michael Polanyi, "Beyond Nihilism" in Knowing and Being. edited by Marjorie Greene (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1969), pg. 13.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Good Quote from Van Til

[T]he argument for Christianity must therefore be that of presupposition. With Augustine it must be maintained that God's revelation is the sun from which all other light derives. The best, the only, the absolutely certain proof of the truth of Christianity is that unless its truth be presupposed there is no proof of anything. Christianity is proved as being the very foundation of the idea of proof itself.
(The Defense of the Faith, p. 298, emphasis added)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Some Thoughts: Calvin on Simplicity

Moreover, those phantoms which Servetus substitutes for the hypostases he so transforms as to make new changes in God. But the most execrable heresy of all is his confounding both the Son and the Spirit promiscuously with all the creatures. For he distinctly asserts, that there are parts and partitions in the essence of God, and that every such portion is God.
Please excuse me for lacking page numbers or chapter divisions, the Kindle version of the Institutes I am using has none. This passage comes in Calvin's first chapter on the Trinity. Calvin is discussing the errors of the rationalist Servetus in this passage. Calvin points out three heresies that Servetus is guilty of:

1)  He substitutes the hypostatic understanding of the Son and Spirit, and calls them merely ideas. Neither the Son or the Spirit are not divine like the Father for Servetus.

2) Servetus says that the divine nature can be divided. In other words he thinks there are metaphysical parts in God.

3) Finally, Servetus thinks that all of creation partakes of divinity.

Now (1) and (3) are not problematic for most evangelicals. We all believe that the Son and Spirit are hypostases of the Trinity, and that all three persons of the Godhead are coeternal and coequal, save the distinctions in the economy of Salvation.

It is (2) I would like to camp out on. Calvin points out that anyone who is willing to divide the divine essence is a heretic. Because for Calvin, like most of the classical tradition, holds that for there to be parts in God is to diminish God's divinity. The reason for this is because Theists typically hold that God is a se, which is the doctrine that God is not dependent on anything. But if God has parts then, he is dependent on those parts for his existence. The parts, then, would be more fundamental than God himself this flies in the face of what it means to be God in a classical sense. So, if Calvin were alive today he would condemn a great number of "orthodox" theologians.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Some Thoughts on Prayer

Back in 2009 the Maverick Philosopher had some interesting things to say about prayer Maverick Philosopher on Prayer .  I read it back then and did not think anything of it, but since then there have been some serious changes in my personal life and the depth of my faith.  When I first read his thoughts on prayer I was something of a deist.  I had been going through some pretty serious doubts about my faith, but since then my intellectual problems with the faith have been answered, and I also had a real conversion.  For the first time in my life I know what the inner witness of the Holy Spirit it is, and what this certainty that comes from the Spirit actually is.  Thus, when I stumbled across his post on prayer reading a few of his posts on Alexander Supertramp (the Pseudonym of the young man from the book Into the Wild) I felt the need to work through Bill's thoughts on the matter.

Now first, Bill evaluates differing forms of prayer.  He gives six.  First, is petitionary prayer which he views as the lowest and most childish form (Sorry, Jesus.)  Second, is petitionary prayer for spiritual needs though this is only a slightly less childish form of prayer.  Third, is prayers of thanksgiving. Fourth, would be prayers of aspiration the desire to transcend one's infirmities and finitude.  Bill says this type of prayer is "leaving oneself behind".  How a person can leave himself and still be himself is a head-scratcher, but more on that later.  Fifth, is what Bill calls mental silence.  Now this seems to be the emptying oneself of all desire, want, need, and even striving.  Sixth, Bill includes Simone Weil's idea of praying as if God does not exist.

Now, I am not sure what Bill's criterion is of evaluating prayer, but it seems arbitrary to me. 

Why would it be a bad thing to realize that the earth and all there is in existence comes from God's hand? That I petition God because the God-man commanded that we ask for things from God? Aren't Christians supposed to come to God as children? Now in a sense coming to God with the trust of a child is not childish, but prudent for the Christian who believes that God has acted in time and space. I just cannot follow Bill in his multiple levels of abstraction. The God of Christianity revealed himself in a specific time and a specific place to redeem that which he assumed (human nature). He cried out to God and asked that his cup of suffering would be taken from him. That is petition, and if Jesus did it then a Christians can do it. So much the worse for Bill's views on prayer.