Francis Roberts Arguing that the Noahic Covenant is a Gracious Covenant

While this (taking the Noahic covenant as a common grace covenant) is a common construction among many today (think R2K) (17th century Puritan) Francis Roberts rather understands the Noahic covenant as an ‘expressure’ of the Covenant of Grace. Roberts will write of a double covenant made with Noah, one before the flood, in which God covenanted to save him and his household, and one after the flood ‘superadded’ to the former covenant. In this second instance of covenanting, several things are noticed that indicate not common, but special saving grace. The first is the occasion of it, that God ‘smelled the sweet savor’ of Noah’s sacrifice, as the outward moving cause of it, which indicates an appointment to Christ and His sacrifice, the inward ‘moving cause’ being God’s ‘mere grace and commiserating mercies’ to Noah. Second, the parties covenanting are the appeased God on the one hand, smelling that ‘savor of rest’ and second, Noah and his sons, and their ‘seed.’ Third, the matters covenanted consist on God’s part that He will not again destroy all flesh. For Noah and his sons, on their part, and especially in reference to the ‘seed,’ to believe God’s gracious dealing in this promise, but more to believe in Christ, the true sacrifice as the one who appeases God’s wrath and restores rest to the perishing and cursed creature, preserving God’s gracious design. Fourth, the token of the covenant, the rainbow in the cloud, concerning which Roberts declares, ‘So then the rainbow which physically and naturally denotes rain theologically, supernaturally and by institution signifies fair weather and security from rain and flood.’ ”

God’s Covenants: The Mystery & Marrow of the Bible Vol 1 — p. 36
Rev. Dr. Todd Ruddell — Preface

Andy Stanley Does His Best Taylor Swift Impersonation

Yesterday while listening to the radio the DJ said that a few years ago it was reported that the pop singer Taylor Swift said something mind-numbingly profound;

“Sometimes I think that Love Songs are just poetry put to music.”

Recently, Rev. Andy Stanley gave us a similar Brainiac type statement while speaking at the Dallas Theological Seminary when answering a question from an interviewer about the historicity of Adam and Eve.

“The foundation of our faith is not the Scripture. The foundation of our faith is not the infallibility of the Bible. The foundation of our faith is something that happened in history. The issue is always, Who is Jesus? That’s always the issue. The Scriptures are simply a collection of ancient documents that tell us that story so when we talk about the Scriptures and especially the reliability of the Scriptures I think that any time that we can tie the Old Testament especially back to Jesus we have done everybody, Christians and non-Christians alike, an incredible service by letting them know you know what you can believe that the Adam and Eve story is a creation myth, so what, who is Jesus? To get to your point, when I deal with Adam and Eve, I am quick to say, “Hey this is one of those odd stories” This is that story you heard growing up about two naked people running around in the garden, and who can believe that? There are many creation myths. But here is why I believe this actually happened, not because the Bible says so, but because of the Gospels, Jesus talks about Adam and Eve, and it appears to me that He believed that they were actually historical figures, and if He believed that they were historical then I believe that they were historical because anybody that can predict their own death and resurrection, and pull it off, I just believe anything they say. So what have I communicated, I have communicated that even if we talk about Genesis and the Garden of Eden, the issue is, “Who is Jesus? And I think any time that we can weave that small little apologetic in our teaching and preaching, it helps our high school students and it helps our college students understand the foundation of my faith is not an infallible Bible, but it is something that happened in history, Jesus came into the world, walked on the earth, represented God, was God, and rose from the dead. And that is a very, very important piece of, a very, very important part of our approach to the Scripture every single week.”

Bret responds,

Here Stanley tries to rip apart redemption from revelation. Sure, the foundation of our faith is something that happened in History (i.e. —  Redemption provided in Christ) but I could not know about Redemption apart from Revelation (Scripture). So Stanley introduces a false dichotomy between Redemption and Revelation suggesting that our foundation is the Redemptive act but denying the Revelation that communicates to us the reality of the Redemptive act and its meaning. It is the case that God not only acted in History in the person and work of Christ but also we have to understand that God also speaks (interprets) His acts in History through the Revelation that is in Scripture alone.

So, on one hand, we can say “yes” the “issue is always Jesus” but that issue can only be known to us by the fully inerrant, infallible, trustworthy Bible that has the quality of verbal plenary inspiration. For Andy Stanley to miss this simple truth either communicates that Stanley is a moron of epic proportions or that Stanley is epistemologically self-consciously pursuing an agenda that will leave him and his followers who embrace this thinking in Hell. Since I am a kind person who wants to think the best of people, I’ll conclude that Andy Stanley is a moron or epic proportions.

So, the foundation of our Faith is Jesus who can only be known by the Bible. The fact that Stanley desires to refer the Bible as “simply a collection of ancient documents” tells us all we need to know about Stanley as a trustworthy minister. There are all kinds of ancient documents laying around. Given Stanley’s statement why should the bible as being simply a collection of ancient documents, to be preferred above, say, the Bhagavad Gita which is also simply a collection of ancient documents?

Frankly, I find it amazing that such an idiotic statement by Stanley could fool anyone. But… such is the culture we live in.

I especially love this chestnut from the Stanley quote above;

“But here is why I believe this actually happened, not because the Bible says so, but because of the Gospels, Jesus talks about Adam and Eve, and it appears to me that He believed that they were actually historical figures, and if He believed that they were historical then I believe that they were historical because anybody that can predict their own death and resurrection, and pull it off, I just believe anything they say.”

1.) Which being interpreted means; (My interpretation is in the bold)

“But here is why I believe this actually happened, not because the Bible says so, but because (THE BIBLE SAYS SO IN THE) Gospels. In the Bible in the Gospels Jesus talks about Adam and Eve, and it appears to me that He believed that they were actually historical figures, and if He believed that they were historical then I believe that they were historical because anybody that can predict their own death and resurrection, and pull it off, I just believe anything they say.”

a.) Consider that Jesus learned about Adam and Eve IN THE BIBLE.
b.) Jesus talked about Adam and Eve because they were IN THE BIBLE.
c.) Jesus predicted his own death and resurrection as we learn IN THE BIBLE
d.) Other ancient documents have Jesus saying things that are not recorded in the Bible. Why doesn’t Andy believe those things that are not IN THE BIBLE?

Really, the stupidity here is so epic that one can hardly keep a straight face while typing these words. Andy Stanley has NOTHING on Taylor Swift. Indeed, I am now wondering if anybody has ever seen Andy Stanley and Taylor Swift together in the same room at the same time?

2.) Yes, all of Jesus life, death, resurrection, and ascension has happened in history but the only reason I know this is because “the B-I-B-L-E tells me so.”

Really the guy is a giant Moron masquerading as a Pastor. I can’t believe what has happened to our ministerial corps. It’s like being part of a Zombie regiment.

But not to worry Andy … if the ministry ever goes south for you Pop Music can always use another voice.

Heinrich Bullinger on the Implications of the Unity of Scripture

“For the apostle Paul, speaking to the Hebrews, as concerning Christian faith, doth say: ‘These through faith did subdue kingdoms, wrought righteousness, were valiant in fight, and turned to flight the armies of aliens.’ Now, since our faith is all one, and the very same with theirs, it is lawful for us, as well as for them, in a rightful quarrel by war to defend our country and religion, our virgins and old men, our wives and children, our liberty and possessions. They are flatly unnatural to their country and countrymen, and do transgress this fifth commandment, whatsoever do (under the pretense of religion) forsake their country afflicted with war, not endeavoring to deliver it from barbarous soldiers and foreign nations, even by offering their lives to the push and prick of present death for the safeguard thereof.”

Heinrich Bullinger
From collection of sermons preached in Zurich entitled “The Decades”

Consider the implications of this quote from one of the Princes of the Reformation;

1.) Clearly David Van Drunen and Radical Two Kingdom theology would insist that Bullinger was being irresponsible (and probably sinful) as a minister of the Gospel to be enjoining that Christians fight to defend their homeland and religion. The clear implication here is that the country that is being fought for (defended) is a Christian country. For R2K, it is not possible to have a Christian country.

2.) Similarly, R2K would bring Bulllinger up on charges for implying that a people (nation) can be so Christian that the people of that nation are responsible to take up arms to defend it against those who would overthrow their land and their religion.

3.) Notice how Bullinger draws together country, religion, liberty, possessions and people into one net. They are distinct, to be sure, but they also are inter-related. There is no Christian country populated by Christian people without liberty and personal possessions. They  imply one another. For a Christian people (nation) to live without liberty and possessions is a giant oxymoron. A Christian nation is defined by the people therein having liberty and possessions.

4.) I am convinced that one implications of this Bullinger quote is that no Christian should be serving in the US Military since to serve in the US Military today would be to take up the cause to defend an alien religion and a people who have foresworn fealty to Jesus Christ. The current US Military is in the service of a god-state with aspirations to completely overthrow Biblical Christianity. It is in league with the New World Order.

5,) I am convinced that one implication of this Bullinger quote is that Christians should be taking up manly resistance against the current NWO State. We are now being forced  to defend, in Bullinger’s words, the enslavement of “our country and religion, our virgins and old men, our wives and children, our liberty and possessions.” If we do not rise up to resist the current NWO state we will be found to be violators of the 5th commandment, per Bullinger.

Musings After Listening to Sodomite but Celibate Rev. Dr. Greg Johnson Interview

After listening to a Greg Johnson (he of PCA celibate sodomite Pastor fame) interview last night followed immediately by reading the PCA open letter penned and signed by 13 of the past 15 PCA Moderators assuring God and the world that all is fine in the good ship PCA I was struck with the fact of how this is a classic worldview contest.

I am convinced that these moderators who penned this open letter as well as the nearly 600 Elders who signed the previous open letter are completely bumfuzzled as to why anybody could possibly have a problem with Dr. Greg Johnson serving as a PCA minister. In point of fact, these folks believe that Johnson is proof of God’s rich mercy and thank God for Johnson’s presence in the PCA.

Meanwhile, I am at the same time equally convinced that those who oppose Johnson are overwrought with the shame that Johnson brings to the PCA.

These two groups might as well be living on two different planets speaking two different languages. There is simply no way that anyone member of one group can thoroughly understand the position of the other group on this subject.

This kind of thing happens when people on both sides are each using the same words but are filling those words with completely different content. And that happens because there are two completely different worldviews. Words take their meaning depending upon the worldview in which they are operating.

So in this PCA mess, everyone is talking about “grace,” “sin,” “God,” “forgiveness,” “sanctification,” etc. but each side is obviously filling those words with a different meaning. The PCA wouldn’t be at this point if that was not the case.

In my estimation, those who are championing Johnson have their roots in some way in the Sonship movement originally started by Jack Miller. The hallmark of this movement is the graciousness of grace but the danger is that grace would often end up being defined by the Sonship advocates in such a way as to leave the door open for antinomianism. Grace was so wrongly emphasized that it diminished the necessity to take seriously God’s word when we are instructed,

20 But ye have not so learned Christ;21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Johnson, in embracing his same-sex attraction reality that can’t be changed as somehow normative for him and others who have the same attraction Johnson champions a kind of grace that makes way for an antinomian license. Grace not only reminds us of how we are always forgiven, loved, and accepted in Christ. Grace also drives a gratitude that is relentless in making it our goal to please God.  God is not pleased with His children turning grace into license.

In the past the knock against some Sonship devotees is that they forgot St. Paul’s words, “Shall we go on sinning that grace may abound? God forbid.” As this works itself out in the Dr. Greg Johnson (a celibate sodomite Pastor) case, it is my conviction that God’s grace is being used as a cover for the embrace of Johnson’s same-sex attraction.

Another thing this means is that the PCA has to split or congregations have to start individually leaving as they can. This is a massive worldview split that is going to start revealing itself more and more all the way down the line in every subject matter.

Post-Modern Hermeneutic Taught At A Wesleyan University

“One can very well hear God’s voice through Scripture just fine without the AHA, but you will never understand Scripture as it actually is if you think the meaning you see in it is ‘in there.’ Meaning is not ‘in’ a text. Meaning is a function of the way words are used by readers. The meaning of the Bible is not in the Bible. It is in the reader of the Bible.

If the reader of the Bible reads the words with the assumptions of common Christian faith, they will read it as Scripture. They will read it Christianly. If a person reads it with their denominational assumptions, they will read it and see the teachings of their denominations. And if one reads it in terms of the assumptions of the original contexts of each text, then one will read in it in terms of what it actually and originally meant.”

Wesleyan University Professor (WUP)

1.) WUP has given us a text in which, according to his own testimony, has no meaning in it. There is no meaning in this text. The only meaning in the text that WUP has given us here is a meaning of how I, the reader, use the words. Though it should be kept in mind that given WUP ‘s understanding, WUP has not really given us any meaning but only words in which we bring meaning.

So given that reality, the meaning I, the sovereign reader, find in this text is that “there is a need to pick up some Hairspray for Cinco-De-Maya day festival, condoms for party favors, hair glue for that stand up finish, and horses for pool dipping excuses.”

Now, of course, everyone thinks that silly but there is a point that I am making here and that is that in order for WUP’s postmodern interpretive process to get off the ground he is assuming what he denies to be the case. He is assuming some kind of static meaning in what he writes that is decipherable and yet he wants to deny that same static meaning to be found in other texts.

Second, on this score, clearly, as an author trying to communicate with a reader, WUP  would not want someone to do such interpretive damage to what he has written and yet that is a legitimate outcome according to his hermeneutic. Once the author is dead, there are no limits on where the sovereign reader can take a text.

2.) WUP denies that there is meaning in the text but still insists that God’s voice can be heard in Scripture. Clearly, the question is, “How.” Whatever voice of whatever god that WUP is hearing in the text is a God and a voice that has no connection to God as the author of the text. The advocacy of hearing God’s voice through Scripture in such a theory can only be the hearing of a completely objectively unknowable god. WUP has given us the mystical hearing of god’s voice that one might find in the writings of Meister Eckhart.

3.) Note that WUP still writes about “understanding Scripture as it actually is,” as if the text of Scripture has some stable objective meaning that can be appealed to. And yet such a statement is in clear contradiction to everything else WUP writes in these two paragraphs. If meaning is what the reader invents and has no correlation to any authorial intent then there is no understanding Scripture as it actually is because there is no Scripture that objectively is apart from a plethora of potentially differing sovereign readers.

4.) For all I’ve said so far, it must be conceded that meaning is not isolated to the text. In order for meaning to be realized, there has to be a confluence of the author’s intent w/ the reader’s understanding. The text does have objective meaning but if the subject who is reading the text never arrives at that meaning, meaning has not been achieved for the subject and remains dormant in the text and unrealized in the reader.

5.) It is curious that WUP would admit that “Meaning is a function of the way words are used by readers,” and yet not simultaneously realize that meaning also is a function of the way words are used by writers. Still, we have to realize that for WUP, the author is dead.

6.) WUP tells us that we must get to the assumptions of the original contexts in order to get to what was actually and originally meant. This is either subterfuge or ignorance on WUP ‘s part for it it simply is the case that according to WUP’s own paradigm it is impossible to get to the assumptions of the original contexts since it is only by means of texts that have no inherent meaning that one can explore the assumptions of the original contexts. If only texts can give original contexts and if no text has meaning that the reader does not bring then how can original contexts give us assumptions that informed texts?

7.) Note that for WUP that God as the author has completely disappeared. One can read the text w/ Christian assumptions and so come up w/ Christian meaning. One can read the text with Denominational assumptions and so come up w/ denominational meanings. And in a contradictory voice (see #6) WUP writes that one can read the text with originalist assumptions and come up w/ originalist meanings. However, what WUP never says is that the text can be read w/ God’s assumptions and so one can come up with God’s meaning of the text.

8.) Now having said all this, I would insist that arriving at God’s meaning in the text is not a “science.” I do think that arriving at God’s meaning in the text can at times be as much intuitive as it is following some kind of 10 step method. However, in order for the intuitive to work our intuitions have to be trained by an ordered process. Much like before an acclaimed artist can break the boundaries of his art, thus creating true masterpieces, so the Maestro Biblical interpreter will break the boundaries of his circumscribing methodologies and discover truths in God’s word that others will never see because he follows intuition that was formed by years of ordered process.

WUP wants to skip all the ordered processes and go straight to the Masterpiece. This is like thinking that a 5-year-old just beginning to learn the violin will create some masterpiece.

WUP ’s methodology is going to give us a generation of men in the pulpit that are just as dangerous as he is.