Dr. David Menton – Darwin Didn’t Discover Evolution or Natural Selection

Charles Darwin is often portrayed as one of the greatest original thinkers of science, on a par with the likes of Newton. While his book On the Origin of Species has probably had a greater impact on society than any other book—except the Bible—most of the evolutionary views he expressed in On the Origin of Species were neither original nor scientific, but rather had their roots in Pagan materialism. The essential “Darwinian” axiom of chance evolution by random change and “survival of the fittest” was broadly suggested by ancient Greek philosophers. Even the more refined concept of “natural selection,” which is often viewed as a unique contribution of Darwin, was clearly expressed by many others as early as 100 years before the 1859 publication of Origin of Species.

The French astronomer and mathematician Pierre de Maupertuis (1698–1759) is generally credited with being among the first to have developed an essentially modern theory of evolution, which included a process of random change (mutation) and natural selection. In his book Essaie de Cosmologie he said,

Chance, one might say, turned out a vast number of individuals; a small proportion of these were organized in such a manner that the animals’ organs could satisfy their needs. A much greater number showed neither adaptation nor order; these last have all perished. Thus the species which we see today are but a small part of all those that a blind destiny has produced.

To continue reading Dr. Menton’s article, click here.

Kristen Hatton – How Parenting Out of Weakness Strengthened My Relationship With My Teen

“Can I talk to Dad now?”

Right in mid-sentence, my college daughter interrupted me and asked for the phone to be handed over to my husband. She had called me – upset and stressed out – needing someone to talk to, but then abruptly decided my husband was actually the one she preferred. While not easily offended, I would be lying if I said this didn’t bother me at all. I’m thankful she likes to talk to her dad, but what about me? Couldn’t we just all be on speaker?

I desperately wanted to know what she was thinking, experiencing, and doing, but every time we talked it felt like I was walking a fine line, not knowing what question or comment would push her too far and cause her to retreat. Even before that night I had sensed her shutting me out, and I couldn’t figure out why.

So as you can imagine after my husband hung up with her from my phone, I was anxious to hear her side of the conversation. But before he told me anything about her, he told me something about myself.

To continue reading Kristen Hatton’s article, click here.

Michael Boling – Thoughts from the Theocratic Kingdom (Vol. 2): Proposition 119

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In Proposition 119, George Peters states:

“The Kingdom of God in the millennial descriptions is represented as restoring all the forfeited blessings.”

Peters now draws the readers attention to how Scripture describes the millennial kingdom, noting how the Kingdom of God is noted as being a restoration of all forfeited blessings that were removed from man by God due to sin. This is an important proposition as it brings into focus the entirety of the biblical message of redemption.

The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 119 is the following:

“Now let the reader consider: 1. What would this earth have become if Adam had not fallen? The answer, as given by Scripture and repeated in various theological systems, is this: it would have had no curse entailed, bringing in its train unfruitfulness, evils, sorrow, and death. It would have had the world under a Theocratic ordering, by which man would have been elevated and blessed, having direct nearness to his beneficent Ruler, etc. 2. Now look at the millennial blessings enumerated, to be realized here on earth during the Messianic reign in the restored Theocratic Kingdom, and is there a single blessing that we can conceive of as intended for man unfallen, and which was forfeited by sin, that is not mentioned to be then realized? If the millennium embraces “Redemption”, “Salvation”, and the Messiah is One that can perform His work perfectly, this precisely the condition that we ought reasonably to anticipate. The very fact that the Millennium itself contains such inestimable blessings, honor, and glory, such a revelation of Divine majesty and goodness, such as ample deliverance from all evil and even death, such a restoration to God’s favor and nearness in Theocratic ordering, is sufficient evidence that our doctrinal position is impregnable. The unity of the Word, running from the fall to the Sec. Advent, demands, prompted by covenants and promise, impelled by the plain grammatical and God-given sense, this belief, so dear to the hearts of the martyrs of the early Church.”

The book of Genesis presents the reader with a description of a world without sin. Then sin enters the picture with the ensuring penalty of decay and death. Scripture ends with a description of a world redeemed and restored. These can be stated as the bookend pictures of Scripture. We started with perfection, sin messed things up, and we have a movement in salvation history towards a time when God fully and forever deals with the sin and death problem. In doing so, He establishes His Theocratic Kingdom for all eternity. The Creator will once again dwell with His creation as it was in the beginning.

Many theologians pontificate about taking the plain, grammatical sense of Scripture. Peters clearly outlines how the plain, grammatical sense of Scripture can do nothing but present the future reality of the Doctrine of the Kingdom as has thus far been presented. To insert anything other than what has been presented thus far, is to skew the movement of salvation history and redemption set forth by God that will be realized and experienced by the people of God for all eternity in this coming Theocratic Kingdom.

Joel Littlefield – Three Adoption Misconceptions

I’m not an adoption expert by any means. I’m just a man who loves Jesus. I’m married to a woman who loves Jesus. Both of us have been deeply affected by God and His Fatherly heart for the orphan. For us, that specifically meant pursuing a domestic adoption, a process that is just now coming to a close after a year of paperwork, lawyers, background checks and a ton of hurry up and wait.

But this blog is not about our journey as much as it’s about you and what God may be calling you to do. It’s for those who need some encouragement and a nudge in the right direction. It’s for the one who has been lied to or is lying to themselves. It’s to remind you of a few key things that may help you sort out what your involvement in the world of adoption should be. Again, I’m no expert. I’m just sharing what I’ve learned with those who sense a call towards adoption.

To continue reading Joel Littlefield’s article, click here.

Tony Reinke – Don’t Be That Guy: Thirty No’s in Paul’s Letters

We can invest the rest of our lives plunging deeper into the writings of the apostle Paul to get a better view of the glories of Christ to delight our souls.

In Paul’s letters (as elsewhere in the Bible) we are told glorious indicatives of truth like Christ is the Creator and Sustainer (Colossians 1:16–17), who was incarnated and died as our propitiation (Romans 3:25), was raised from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:3–4), and he inaugurated the new creation (Colossians 1:18), as he ascended to his sovereign throne (Colossians 3:1). And by faith we are united to him and his power!

In Christ all of these truths of grace are ours (2 Corinthians 1:20). And these glorious truths feed our souls and give rise to all the manifold commands from God that bring focus and direction to our daily lives in the form of apostolic imperatives.’

To continue reading Tony Reinke’s article, click here.

Michael Boling – Thoughts from the Theocratic Kingdom (Vol. 2): Proposition 118

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In Proposition 118, George Peters states:

“This view of the Kingdom is most forcibly sustained by the figure of the Barren Woman.”

If you are like me and are/were a bit clueless as to what this figure of the Barren Woman is all about as noted in Scripture, have no fear. Peters outlines in great detail in the below notable observation the meaning of this important figure as related to Israel.

The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 118 is the following:

“Who is this “barren woman”? The definite answer is given by the entire scope and order of the prediction. For the present, we reply: It is the Jewish nation as the covenanted elect nation, or, if the reader chooses, Jerusalem as the type of the nation, its chief representative, the nation itself being thus designated. For, (1) this nation is represented as being married to God, being His wife. The marriage relation being thus used as a figure to denote the intimate, Theocratic relation that God sustained as earthly Head and Heir over it. Many passages teach this, in which the nation, under the same figure, is declared to be treacherous as a wife, guilty of whoredoms, etc. In this same chapter she is therefore called “a wife of youth,” a woman that was married when but young, etc. Compare Ezek. 16; Jer. 3:20, etc. (2) She is a “barren woman.” Because, (a) she forsook the Lord and followed her own devices, so that God said, Hos. 2:4, “And I will not have mercy on her children, for they be the children of whoredoms;” Hos. 4:6; (b) she persecuted and destroyed her children; Ezek. 16:20-21, “Moreover thou hast taken they sons and daughters whom thou hast borne unto me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured. Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter, that thou hast slain my children,” etc.; (c) hence the increase that would have resulted had she proven faithful, was, owing to her wickedness, not realized, Hos. 9:14-17; (d) by her sinfulness she defeated the gracious purposes of God respecting her. This is apparent from numerous declarations in which God promises to her to perform such and such things if she only prove faithful. The lamentation of Jesus over her is sufficient evidence. The nation, persistent in its evil course, instead of blessings receives the curse which is productive of barrenness; (e) she brings forth fruit unto herself and not of God, Hos. 10:1, “begotten strange children,” Hos. 5:7. (3) She is not only a “barren” but a “desolate woman.” In view of the wickedness of the nation God forsook her and in wrath hid His face from her (vs. 7-8), so that in verse 6 she is called a “woman forsaken;” and, owing to this forsaken condition, in verse 4 it is designated by way of reproach a “widowhood” (a condition, notwithstanding the assertions of some, that can never be applied to the Church). How amply this has been fulfilled is evident from Scripture (Ezek. 16:36, etc., Hos. 2, etc.), and from history. Down to the present day she is yet in her “widowhood,” yet a “forsaken woman,” yet “judged as a woman that breaketh wedlock.” Right here the reader may pause and ask, if all this as been so minutely fulfilled that is a matter of record in the languages of the earth, will not the remainder, also asserted of this very “forsaken woman,” be verified? Certainly!

If you had any element of not understanding what the figure of the barren woman is all about as noted in this Proposition, after reading the above notable observation, this figure, its meaning, and application should now be much clearer.

The book of Hosea is an important text for grasping the concept of Israel being betrothed to God. Her chasing after other gods is likened to adultery. As a result of this playing the whore and refusing to repent and return to her Betrothed, Israel was divorced, thus becoming the “barren widow,” the “desolate woman”, the “woman forsaken.”

This seems like a dark and horrible status to be in and quite frankly it is. However, this will not be the end of the story for Israel. The doctrine of the Kingdom predicts God remembering His covenant promises with His people. This will result in a time of repentance. Peters shares a rabbinical writing I think is worth mentioning:

“Woe to those who shall live in the days of the Coming of the Messiah; woe, and also hail to them! For when He, the Holy One, blessed be His name, will appear to remember the barren…” (Rabbi Simeon – Book of Sohar).

We can see the expectation of the people for this future coming kingdom. Woe to those who declare God as being done with His people or who teach that another has fully taken her place in the eyes of God. Such a position is foreign to Scripture and thus cannot be inculcated into or associated with the biblical doctrine of the kingdom. This barrenness is but for a time.

Eric Davis – Jesus in Every Old Testament Passage? (Part 1)

When I was a kid, I greatly looked forward to Easter. But not because I anticipated celebrating the day that my Savior demonstrated that his penal substitutionary atoning sacrifice was sufficient to redeem the Father’s elect. Instead, I looked forward to the egg hunts. We had a large yard which provided for an entertaining search for those evasive eggs. Some were out in the open, requiring little effort to find. Others were deeply cached, exceeding this eight-year old’s P.I. skills. Finding the eggs was always rewarding.

If we are not careful, we can approach studying and preaching the Old Testament as an Easter egg hunt. We set out on a hunt to find Christ cached deep in the thick weeds of Old Testament texts. The desire is likely good; to behold some angle of the glory of Christ. However, it behooves us to be sure that we have not placed our own Easter eggs for our clever finding.

I do not think it is permissible to ask of the Old Testament, “How is Christ in every passage?” It’s a hermeneutical presupposition which moves interpreters to approach every Old Testament text assuming, “Christ is somewhere in this verse. It’s up to me to find him.” In that sense, readers approach each text as a christological Easter egg hunt: “just as that precious, evasive Easter egg is present, but hidden, so is Christ in each passage. If I am clever enough; persistent enough, I can find him.” Thus, the statement can, if inadvertently, teach interpreters that the highest goal of a text is to find Christ in it. This should not be the end of interpretation.

Although the “Christ-in-every-passage” (christocentric hermeneutic) approach to the Old Testament has a few positives, it has more negatives, and therefore, should be jettisoned.

To continue reading Eric Davis’ article, click here.

Michael Lawrence – False Repentance Leads to False Conversions

Repenting means exchanging our idols for God. Before it’s a change in behavior, it must be a change in worship. How different that is from how we often think of repentance.

Too often we treat repentance as a call to clean up our lives. We do good to make up for the bad. We try to even the scale, or even push it back to the positive side. Sometimes we talk about repentance as if it were a really serious, religious New Year’s resolution:

“I’m not going to blow up at my kids anymore.”
“I’m not going to look at pornography ever again.”
“I’m never going to cheat on my hours at work.”
“I’m going to stop talking about my boss behind his back.”

FALSE REPENTANCE

But even if we clean up our behavior in one area or another, our hearts can still be devoted to our idols. The Pharisees illustrate this problem. They were the best-behaved people in Palestine, the kind of people you would have wanted for a neighbor. They never let their kids throw their bikes in your yard. They didn’t throw raucous parties and leave cigarette butts in your flowerbed. They always picked up after their dogs. They were upstanding people. But Jesus called them white-washed tombs: clean on the outside, corrupt on the inside (Matt. 23:27). The point is that it’s not just bad people who are idolaters. Good, moral, even religious people are idolaters too. Repentance isn’t the same thing as moral resolve.

To continue reading Michael Lawrence’s article, click here.

Michael Boling – Thoughts from the Theocratic Kingdom (Vol. 2): Proposition 117

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In Proposition 117, George Peters states:

“The Kingdom of God re-established will form a divinely appointed and visibly manifested Theocracy.”

Peters continues to reveal what will comprise of this coming Kingdom. In this proposition, he aptly notes this Kingdom will be divinely appointed and visibly manifested. Furthermore, it will be a Theocracy. Thus, this will be no ordinary, run of the mill earthly kingdom. Conversely, this Kingdom will be ruled by God.

The most notable observation Peters presents in Proposition 117 is the following:

“This is a Theocracy in deed and in truth, for in this reorganized Kingdom we find the Theocratic idea – God’s idea for a perfect government – fully consummated. The Rulership is safely and powerfully lodged in one Person, who in Himself unites the human and the Divine, who becomes, according to “the everlasting covenant” and “the sure mercies of David” (Is. 55:3-4, Alexander’s version), the “Chief and Commander of Nations.” See Prop. on Humanity, etc.”

There is an important element to what Peters is observing. That important element is this Theocracy is one that will be fully consummated. Some point to the church as embodying this divine Theocratic idea. We certainly do not have a semblance of an earthly, visible, fully consummated Theocratic Kingdom re-established at present. This is a covenanted, future Kingdom. I appreciate the description by Peters of this future Kingdom having its rulership “safely and powerfully” residing in the Messiah. Those terms of safely and powerfully represent the reality that the rulership will never be taken from the Messiah. This will be an eternal, visibly manifested, Theocratic Kingdom.

Michael Boling – Justification

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INTRODUCTION
The issue of justification has had a lasting influence on the Christian understanding of the topic of salvation and its relationship to eternal security. Biblical scholars have developed numerous stances on this theological understanding often resulting in a situation which has left many believers pondering the precise application of justification in their Christian walk. Perhaps the best known debate over this topic was that between Martin Luther and the Roman Catholic Church and encapsulated in Luther’s statement “this is the true meaning of Christianity, that we are justified by faith in Christ, not by the works of the Law.” It was this understanding of justification which launched the Protestant Reformation and a return to the New Testament understanding of the relationship of faith and works.

The exegetical foundation reinstituted by Martin Luther guides most theologians today in their search for a more comprehensive understanding of this immeasurable theological issue. A proper understanding of the meaning, roots and application of justification by faith is obligatory in order to properly live out a vibrant and fruitful Christian life in equilibrium with the expectation of eternal security. Justification is the underpinning upon which the believer in Christ can have assurance in the forgiveness of sin and everlasting reception by a sovereign God.

DEFINITION
Justification can be defined as “the judicial act of God by which, on account of Christ, to whom the sinner is united by faith, he declares that sinner to be no longer exposed to the penalty of the law, but to be restored.” Further exposition on the root meaning of this term can be determined through an understanding of the Greek word for justification used in the New Testament. The judicial and legal terminology that is appropriated to dikaiōma is evident from the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament. Strong notes that dikaiōma “uniformly, or with only a single exception, signifies, not to make righteous, but to declare just, or free from guilt and exposure to punishment.” In a similar stratum of interpretation, theologian George Stevens denotes that “justification is certainly in Paul an actus forensis, a decree of exemption from penalty and of acceptance into God’s favor.” Continue reading “Michael Boling – Justification”