“There is great danger to hear, read, and converse, in an unfeeling and unsuitable manner on the them of human inability. There is a danger of mistaking, or drawing inferences, from this doctrine, respecting man’s weakness to holy things.
We ought to be on our guard, lest we think that man’s inability makes him excusable in his sin, or in neglecting his duties and the great salvation. By his inability he does not become unaccountable to God. the Lord’s authority to demand obedience from man, and man’s obligation to obey his Maker, are the same. Our disobedience is not less sinful because we are naturally sinners; and our vileness is not less evil because of our strong opposition to be holy. Let us beware lest we imagine that it is not sinful for us to be sinners. We should also beware of the thought that, as man is unable to change his nature, he is therefore excusable in living in his sin. It is no excuse whatever to him, neither does it lessen his fault at all, for he delights in his sin, and hates to be kept from it. He does not like to live a godly life, nor to be made willing and able. He contends with his Maker, opposes His Spirit, and rejects His invitations. Genesis 6:3, Acts 7:51, Proverbs 1:24-25.
We ought to take care, on the other hand, lest, by proving that it is not the lack of members, senses, or faculties that accounts for man’s inability to act in a spiritual manner, we should set forth that weakness as something small, and that man may remove it by some endeavor of his own; or that ministers may overcome it by strong reasons, solemn, alarming, threatenings, and winning, captivating invitations; and thereby disregard and lose sight of the truth respecting the Spirit’s work in man’s salvation. There is danger lest ministers and people should fail in observing the need of the Holy Ghost working by his grace and infinite strength in man’s salvation. There is as much need of His applying it, as of the Son’s accomplishing it, as already observed. There is room to fear that preachers and hearers grieve the Holy Spirit by losing sight of this; and are, consequently, left destitute of his powerful influences and operations, because they do not seriously consider, nor humbly acknowledge, the necessity of the Spirit working powerfully by the ministry of the Word for man’s salvation.”
On The Moral Inability of Man — pg. 366-367
John Elias — Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Minister
More R2Kt Virus From The Macarthur Conference
Question & Answer format,
Question — Presumably from a Pastor
Q. — “How do I shepherd my people with respect to the upcoming presidential election, especially with no clearly pro-life candidate?
Answer — From John Macarthur
A. — “My answer is it has nothing to do with the kingdom of God!” He (Macarthur) then made some deprecatory quips about Jimmy Carter taking the office of president too seriously [sorry, past my historical familiarity to go into detail — Stenographer]. “In all seriousness, you do what your conscience tells you to do. But one thing: if you’re going to have your brain operated on, you might like to have a Christian. But I’d rather have someone in there who knew what a brain was, and had done it before. This subject of presidential politics, really, though, is really nowhere on my priority list. I voted for Huckabee in the primary, that was my best shot based on other’s thoughts; but the kingdom of God and the kingdom of this world are entirely separate entities. I think we’re experiencing Romans 1 wrath in the church (I have a message on Focus on the Family about this) right now. When God turns a nation over, there’s a sexual revolution, then a homosexual revolution, then the minds stop working… and you vote those realities into law. I’m not surprised this nation has the kind of interest in the kind of leaders it has. But to clarify, I’m not indifferent: whenever I can actively vote for something that is righteous I do that.
You can find it on Evers’s blog here:
1.) Nothing to do with the Kingdom of God?
First off all this does have a great deal to do with the Kingdom of God if only because Kingdom of God people are going to be voting in this election. If this has nothing to do with the Kingdom of God, or for that matter if anything has nothing to do with the Kingdom of God then why should the Kingdom of God people have anything to do with it. Shouldn’t we only have to do with those things that do have something that explicitly has something to do with the Kingdom of God?
What is going on here once again is the compartmentalization between God’s Kingdom which is some kind of gnostic ethereal abstract spiritual thing and the living that goes on in every other realm except the Church which belong to the carnal (Kingdoms of this world) realms. This distinction between the carnal realm and the spiritual realm (Kingdom of God vs. Kingdoms of the World) can never be overcome except for a eucatastrophic in-breaking by Jesus in His second advent. This completely denies the whole idea of the Kingdom of heaven being like a mustard seed. This completely denies that age to come in the coming of Jesus has invaded this present evil age with the intent that the Kingdoms of this world shall be the Kingdoms of our God. If this is true why should we pray “thy Kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven?” Why should we pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven if what happens on earth has nothing to do with the Kingdom of God? The Scripture refers to the magistrate as being “God’s minister” and in our system the people are the magistrate over the magistrate which means the people are God’s ministers and no more so then when they are voting. Are we to believe that as God ministers we should not look to the Scriptures for insight and wisdom on how to exercise the office of minister in a Kingdom of God fashion?
Certainly those who are running for President and who have not looked to Christ and so who are not looking to God’s law-word for wisdom have nothing to do with the Kingdom of God but Christians who belong to Christ are of the Kingdom of God and when they vote they ought to bring the Kingdom of God to bear on the Kingdoms of this World.
2.) Jimmy Carter was an anti-Christ and his presidency only proves that Biblical Christians are gullible.
3.) This thinking suggests that there is no conflict between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent in carnal realms. In those realms the seed of the serpent is and always will be predominant. This sure sounds like ana-baptist thinking to me. I expect it from the Baptist Macarthur. I don’t expect it in the other quarters where it seeps from.
4.) Do what your conscience does?
Who is the Lord of the Conscience? Is the conscience an independent realm that can become a standard over God’s Law-Word? This is common realm anti-nomianism pure and simple. Does God’s Law-Word have nothing to say to his people for their consideration as they determine who they should cast God’s vote for?
5.) Brain Surgery
This is sophistry. Sure I’d prefer a Hindu Brain surgeon to a Christian anti-nomian minister doing my Brain surgery but all things being equal I’d prefer even more a Christian Brain surgeon doing my brain surgery. (Personal note — I will not go to a doctor who is Muslim, Hindu, or Buddahist for anything serious if I can help it since I believe Worldview makes a difference in medicine.) If Macarthur’s point is that he would prefer a wise turk to a stupid Christian as President, well, who wouldn’t, but Christians have the opportunity in this election cycle to vote for a wise Christian for president. Macarthur is using Nimrod logic.
6.) Huckabee is a Statist. The fact that Macarthur voted for him based on other people’s thoughts indicate that the ‘other people’ who advised him are not thinking with a Christian Worldview.
7.)Then he ends by saying he is not indifferent and votes for righteousness when he can, which contradicts everything he just said. How does he determine righteousness except by God’s Law-Word? And if all of this has nothing to do with the Kingdom of God how could he even speak in categories of righteousness or unrighteousness?
This guy is supposed to be a leading light in Evangelicalism?
God help us.
The vapidity of this Macarthur statement is just mind numbing.
Non Reformed people believe in the Reformed doctrine of election every bit as much as Reformed people except that they turn it inside out and upside down. Whereas Reformed people believe that God is absolutely sovereign and as such God chooses and elects those who belong to Him, Non-Reformed people believe that libertarian free will invested man is sovereign and as such, man, being God, chooses and elects whether or not God will belong to Him.
Election thus is an inescapable category which everyone holds. The only question is who is the god doing the electing.
A Brief Look At Trueman’s Look At A Reformed Revival
Carl Trueman over at Reformation 21 has written an interesting article on the what appears to be an ever increasing matriculation towards the Reformed faith. I recommend reading the article.
However there are some things I don’t get about Dr. Trueman.
First, in the past he has written unkindly about home schoolers and homeschooling. Dr. Trueman refers to this movement mentioned in his article as revival and it might well be that it is revival but I will guarantee that it will be shallow, short lived and ineffectual if it is not accompanied by parents who understand what Christian education is and who thus pursue with all vigor.
Second, Dr. Trueman has, in the past, had some unflattering (actually “mean” would be a better word) words about Dr. R. J. Rushdoony and those who have an appreciation for the man and his work. In the article mentioned above Trueman waxes eloquent on how Dr. Albert Mohler has rescued Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville and yet Trueman has condemned Rushdoony who has done more to rescue Christian education at the secondary level than anybody in the last 100 years. Now I don’t believe in paper saints and the point is not that Rushdoony is beyond criticism but I should think if one is going to do criticism it should be well rounded. Trueman’s criticism of Rushdoony has been anything but well rounded.
Third, in the article above Trueman has this to say about the bubbling revival,
“It is also exciting to realize that this new zeal for solid theology does not always have to be combined with an uptight social and political conservatism that longs for the enlightened days of Genghis Khan’s domestic and foreign policies (hey, he was kind to his grandchildren…..) and the kind of women’s fashions made popular by Little House on the Prairie.
Given the false things that Trueman has said in the past on some issues I would dearly love to know what the man meant by the above blockquoted statement. What does Dr. Trueman consider to be “uptight social and political conservatism?” Where is Dr. Trueman finding the Reformed church being flooded by “women’s fashions made popular by Little House on the Prairie?” (Personally I always thought that Caroline looked kind of hot in those top of the neck to the bottom of the toe dresses.) Now if the “Genghis Khan domestic and foreign policies” that Trueman refers to are things like the Patriot Act or the new Cabinet post of Deutschland Security or the invasion of a country that didn’t have weapons of mass destruction I am right there with him. But I don’t know if he means that so it would be interesting for him to tease out exactly what he means. Dr. Trueman can you elaborate on your statement above and please speak clearly into the microphone so we all can hear you.
Another thing I don’t get is the infatuation I often see with all things Baptist by many Credo Reformed people. One can see it in this article by Trueman. Are Baptists — even Reformed Baptists — wrong? Sure, Reformed Baptist might be better then thorough-going Arminians but have our Credo-Reformed people given up on critiquing them? Does one get to a point in the Reformed Universe where pointed criticisms of Reformed Baptist are considered gauche and in bad taste?
Trueman makes some great points about the problem with Reformed people attending non Reformed Churches. One thing that Dr. Trueman doesn’t note though is how difficult it is for people to find a Reformed Church that is Reformed. The reason that Reformed people might be attending these non Reformed Churches, viewing them as Mission fields, is that there is nothing Reformed within a reasonable distance. It is possible that Dr. Trueman, holed up in his ivory tower, may not realize how bad it is outside of Philadelphia, Escondido, Grand Rapids or other Mecca points of the Reformed Faith. Still, his advice should be carefully heeded by people if there is a Reformed Church for them to attend in the area in which they live that is genuinely Reformed. Labels on the sign don’t get an automatic pass.
Trueman’s criticism of the personality cult is spot on. It is true for mega ministries, even of the orthodox Reformed variety, that people should “follow the money,” and ask if their favorite minister has gone from grinding out the grain to being a Rock Star.
The way that Truman reasons about “sociological phenomena” is curious. I think I know what he is getting at but it almost sounds like he is suggesting that sociology is a independent realm apart from theological influence that can give us insight into people’s social habits. If you read the article and don’t understand what I mean don’t worry about it. My radar might be wired to tightly.
Finally I have to know…
Is Dr. Trueman any relation to Harry? Did Margaret have a love child? Inquiring minds want to know.
Well The Good News Is
I won’t have to worry about spending time weeding my garden this year.
I love gardening. Every year we plant around 100 tomato plants and 50 assorted pepper plants plus rows of green beans. We do broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, cabbage, brussel sprouts, turnips, beets, radishes, watermelon, various kinds of squash, cucumbers, etc. Then in harvest time we can and freeze to beat the band.
Well, for 2008 all of that is history. We had a beautiful garden growing but what surely must pass as the worst flash storm I’ve ever seen in my life all of our garden is toast. We had buckets of hail that just destroyed all of our plants. Kind of sad to see all those naked plants.
God does all things well.