Monday, February 27, 2006

Christ Sanctified the Stages of Our Lives

Something I came across while digesting:

From Irenaeus, “He passed through every stage of life. He was made an infant for infants, sanctifying infancy; a child among children, sanctifying childhood, and setting an example of filial affection, of righteousness and obedience; a young man among young men, becoming an example to them, and sanctifying them to the Lord”

Holy Spirit Digest

I think the safest thing I can say is that I know I'll have it posted by next Saturday :-). Please pray for me because I'm overwhelmed! I will try to post excerpts this week so that you have something new to see when you come to my blog. In the meantime if you're fairly new please go check my archives as well as the archives on my other blog.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Holy Spirit part 2

Here's a quote to hold you over until I get this digest written:

"On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'" Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified." (John 7:37-39)

"In John's record Jesus the Messiah becomes the thirsty one (cf. Jn. 19:16) under God's covenant curse (cf. Dt. 38:48), so that to those who are thirsty he may hand over his thirst-quenching Spirit (Jn. 19:30)." (Sinclair Ferguson, The Holy Spirit, pg. 67)

Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Holy Spirit

Sinclair Ferguson's book on the Holy Spirit is really good. I am learning a lot about His activity in both the Old and New Testament from it. I highly recommend that you read it. And don't be concerned that it's too hard to read, I think that it is very readable and worth any effort it would take to read it. I am digesting it now and I plan to put up some quotes later today tomorrow whenever.

The Washington Post Linked to My Other Blog

Go read about it here.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Theologian in Training

I had been thinking for a while that I should explain what I meant by Theologian in Training. I've called myself a theologian in jest, never in seriousness -- my husband and I would joke about it or I would say to my kids, "One day, when I'm a world famous theologian ..." They began to think that meant Brittany Spears famous and I had to explain to them that Billy Graham was the only Christian who could come close to Brittany Spears famous (R. C. Sproul didn't even make the cut).

But that changed when I read this and I'm enough of a brat that I've been calling myself a Theologian in Training ever since. (So, you think you can tell me I can't read the Bible in its original language or be a theologian I'm going to do it anyway nya, nya, nya or in the more mature words of Martin Luther, another world famous theologian, "Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason... my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. ")

Why a Theologian in Training and not just a theologian? The reason I use this title is because I believe that we are all Theologians in Training. In training because we never quite get there in knowledge and a theologian because we are all theologians, women and men both. We usually pick up the theology of whatever pastor or Bible teacher we are listening to and then when we sit down to study the Bible, we bring them all with us in our interpretation of the Bible. And our theology is not consistent or even logically coherent and is often contradictory. Studying theology helps us to systematize our theology.

My manifesto is written as a reminder to us all that as we share what we have learned in the word with others, we should do so with love, care and compassion. Over the next couple months I will be adding to my manifesto, I've been thinking about a couple more tenets that I'll add over the next couple weeks.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Update on the Ordinary Means Podcast

Well, I listened to the podcast on the commute to and from my daughters' school. It is 45 minutes long and it was an interesting discussion (remember, I'm in seminary and find theology interesting). I think they cover a subject that is little understood in the church, the ordinary means of grace. I recommend listening to it and then going here to post a comment or question. This can be a wonderful resource, so you should take advantage of it. Understanding the means of grace will help you understand what is happening during the worship service.

Educating Our Christian Daughters Part 2

Go read this, now. I'm not even quoting from it, you go read it. This woman is talking about what I've been talking about for the last month and what "got me a college girl" has been talking about. This is a problem for the Christian community, a big problem.

(Link via got me a college girl)

David Wells at Westminster


Dr. David Wells was at Westminster yesterday. I had to quickly take the above picture because I didn't want to interrupt the speakers (so please excuse the quality). On the right of the podium is David Wells and next to him is Dr. Scott Oliphint (apologetics professor at Westminster) and Dr. Jeffrey Jue (church history professor at Westminster) and at the podium is the President of the Seminary, Dr. Peter A. Lillback. And on the left of the podium is Dr. Paul Wells from Reformed Seminary in France.

I don't have time to give you the details but I'll say this I felt incredibly stupid during the response time (Dr. Paul Wells, Dr. Jue and Dr. Oliphint gave a response to David Well's new book and then he replied to their response). David Wells' presentation was very clear but I was tired and kept falling asleep. I had to eat candy to stay awake during the response time.

Covenant Worldwide Study Group Anyone?

My husband, Doug and one of the guys from church are forming a study group using the materials from Covenant and I thought it might be fun to do the same thing here. If anyone wants to discuss the materials from Covenant, I could devote a thread each week to discussions.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Ordinary Means


Pastor Shaun is launching a podcast that sounds similar to the White Horse Inn (less Lutheran). I've downloaded it and will listen to it when I pick up the girls from school tomorrow and then I'll give you a review. But don't wait for my review, listen for yourself and then tell them what you think.

*Sigh*

I wonder if those who are swatting at Christian feminists realize that they're hitting us (the traditional stay-at-home mom who also goes to seminary or college) as well.

Carolyn Curtis James at Westminster

I found out today that Carolyn Custis James will be coming to Westminster March 25, it is a reading and Q and A. If you want to attend, you can register here.

Links

I am going to be pretty busy today but I will try to post something tonight before I go to bed.

Here is a website I've been meaning to link to but forgot. This blog focuses on the issue of Christian women and college and since there appears to be a debate about this, it would be a good idea for us to read about and discuss this issue so that we can be prepared to defend our choice of sending our daughters to school.

Check out my other blog (use the link from the link list) because I am going to post something there on abortion and capital punishment.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Prayer Request

Please pray for my sister Maggie, she is having surgery tomorrow. She broke her ankle while walking and the doctors are going to put pins in.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Amazon Ads

I have added Amazon Ads to the blogs because it seems like the easiest way to have a "Current Reading List" and a "Recommended" list. I didn't start this blog for money (which is good because I don't think I would make much) but if you click on the link or search for products using the search engine here on my website and then buy something (this is the important part) then my daughters will receive money toward their college education.

Happy President's Day


I know I'm repeating myself here but I hope you enjoy your day off today. Don't forget to thank God for all the men who have lead this country with a humble understanding of their responsibility to God to lead in a way that conforms to His will and to protect us from the one's who want the office only for their own personal gain.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Covenant Worldwide

As I posted on my other blog, Covenant Seminary is overing their course materials online.
I was checking out the material and I noticed that the first half of the New Testament History stuff looks similar to what we learned in my New Testament Introduction class at Westminster and the Apologetics class dedicates 11 lectures (almost half the course) to postmodernism which we should all become familar with so that we will be prepared to engage society today.

RSS Reader

I have installed a button that will enable you to go to feedburner and select the RSS reader that you use. It is the little orange button next to the "My Yahoo" button.

Yahoo

If you have Yahoo as your home page, you can add our RSS feed to your page by clicking on the "My Yahoo" button below the link list box. I will eventually do I have done the same for Reformed Chicks Blabbing. If there is a RSS reader that you use and would like me to add it, leave a comment or email me.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Wayne Grudem

Here is an interesting site, it is a summary of Wayne Grudem responses to some of the the feminist claims to certain Bible passages.

Egalitarian claim 5.10: PRISCILLA TAUGHT APOLLOS: Since Priscilla and Aquila both explained to Apollos “the way of God more accurately” (Acts 18:26), women can teach men in the church. (177)
Answer 5.10a: Scripture encourages men and women to talk with each other about the Bible and Christian doctrine. (178)
Answer 5.10b: To say that there is no distinction between private and public teaching is to ignore the two fundamental factors of interpretation: the words of the text and the context. (178)
Answer 5.10c: Priscilla’s example does not give warrant for women to teach the Bible to the assembled church. (179)
You can download the whole book here.

(Link via Amy's Humble Musings)

Email Me!

I have set up an account that you can use to contact me as you can see on the sidebar. I also figured out how to put my "Official Theologian in Training " symbol there as well. I think that it is starting to look like a real blog around here :-)

Theologian in Training Manifesto #1

Yesterday we studied applications in my hermeneutics class. When you study the word you have to experience it in life to grow enough to handle what you have learned. Seminary students learn so much in such a short period of time that there's no way we can experience enough to handle that much knowledge. Professor Poythress said that it would take about twenty years to do so. He said that we were these big, misshapened-head creatures, that we were monsters and we should remember that and not allow our knowledge to puff us up (1 Corinthians 8:1).

I thought about it later that day and decided that it would make a great starting point to my Theologian in Training Manifesto:

We know that knowledge should not puff up but lead to the love of God and to the love of our neighbor as ourselves. We should never attempt to win an argument at the expense of our fellow Christian or cause them to stumble on account of us but we are to hold firm to the truth and share it in love and concern for the unity of the body, all the while remembering that "all people" will know that we are Christ's disciples by our love (John 13:35).

Updated to correct bad grammer and so that it doesn't look like it was written by someone who was hosting a slumber party.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Comments

I was informed that only those who were registered with blogger could leave a comment. I have fixed it so everyone can leave comments. So, leave a comment :-)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

My Juggling Act

When you juggle seminary, homemaking, commuting your kids to school, blogs and many other things, you can drop the balls and everything falls apart. But it is a huge blessing for me to know that I am not doing this in my own strength because I would not want to pick up the balls and try again. I want to leave some of the balls on the floor while I try to juggle an easier load. But I am not called to be just a seminary student or just a mom, I am called to do everything that has been given to me to do. "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10).

And when I drop the balls and don't know if I have the strength or desire to continue, God is there. He picks up the balls and puts them in the air. Yesterday was a perfect example. I kept putting off getting the cell phone because I wanted my husband to help me make sure I was getting a good deal but when we went to purchase it we found out we were paying more for it than we thought. So here I stood staring into the faces of my sad daughters and having to deny them the one thing they really wanted (and couldn't stop talking about for the last month) and to top it off Samantha had absolutely no presents for her birthday. I told her we could go shopping and buy something on Monday and she was very good about waiting.

We also kept putting off getting the decorations for the party and the craft. So today was the last opportunity. While shopping for decorations we had enough time to purchase toys for Samantha, party decorations and favors and a craft plus we rented two movies. Samantha was so excited and kept thanking me for the cool crafts for the party and for the decorations. She is convinced that this will be the "best party ever." We even were able to decorate and clean tonight so everything is ready for tomorrow.

God was with me today, helping me to fulfill my calling as mom. I know that He will be with me next week as I concentrate on my calling as seminary student. I just wish I trusted Him more. I just wish it wasn't such a struggle.

I Love You Prairie Muffins

Don't take the following the wrong way but I am a little ticked by the link to this blog by the Bayly brothers. This is their example of a good website (the link was a pat on the head to the little woman because she knows her place). I have absolutely nothing against women who take pride in their role as wife and mother. I take pride in my roles (wife, mother, student) as well and I hope that we can celebrate each others accomplishments and take joy in each other's strengths and not be pit against each other by men who think they know what's best for other men's wives and other pastors' sheep.

So in that spirit, I have made my own symbol (go to the website to check out her prairie muffin symbol):



(Now, if I can only figure out how to get it to my sidebar!)

I really do love you, prairie muffins because you are my sisters in Christ.

Updated to add: I hope that everyone can see where I am coming from in this post, I am discouraged by the party spirit in the church (if I had more time I would quote the Corinthians passage here)-- it is us vs. them. Each of us should do what we believe the Lord is calling us to do and to do so in keeping with what the Bible says. My problem isn't with the prairie muffin's website (as I stated above) it is with the way it was linked to. And I liked the idea of a symbol, so I borrowed it. I am even thinking of writing a Theologian in Training manifesto :-) to go along with it. I am writing this to make sure everyone understands that I was not being sarcastic when I say that I love prairie muffins because I really do love them as I do all my sisters in Christ.

Michele in Wonderland

I have been on the Internet since before it was the World Wide Web, I used to read Usenet (I especially liked alt.barney.die.die.die), so I am not a novice to the Internet. And I have been able to keep up with developments in the church -- New Perspective on Paul, Emergent Church, churches not allowing Christian women to teach at all (or only children), churches where only the teaching elders or ruling elders are allowed to teach, etc. So as you can see I am not a novice to what is going on out there, but there are some things that I had no idea are going on.

I didn't know that there are sites that encourage girls to refrain from going to school and are being trained to be a wife and mother with either their parents are another couple (go here for more details and make sure you read the comments). I didn't realize that there are pastors in the PCA church who believed that the only calling for a woman is to be a wife and mother (fundamentalists yes, reformed no -- there is a doctrine of vocation in reformed theology, so this was surprising). I didn't know that there are reformed racist sites. I didn't know that there are those who think that slavery is moral (biblical) and that includes the Sudan (I know because I asked).

I started this blog so that I could add my voice to the other orthodox voices out there and maybe the world could see that we aren't all like Pat Robertson but I can see that what my husband said this morning is true: this is who we are. We are strange, we are a cult and the world is right in its assessment of us. I'm a little depressed by that thought.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Digests

If the digests are unclear could you please post a comment. I will be turning these in and it would help me out if you notice any problems.

Happy Birthday, Samantha!



Samantha is 10 today. Go check out what she is getting for her birhtday.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

More Pastor Phil

Pastor Phil's maddening blog post is back:

Q: "How can [a woman] use [theological] instruction for the betterment of the church?
A: The church is bettered and strengthened when her women do not, as we would expect women of the world to do, for the sake of worldly acclaim or domestic ease, cast off their sex and play the man.
Where in Scripture does it say that a woman has to remain in the kitchen and is not allowed to venture forth into the world and if she does, she is playing the man? There is nothing wrong with staying home and no one is pitting me against other godly Christian women who take pride (godly pride) in their domestic skill but I will not have men like this belittle women who desire to pursue where they believe God is leading them (especially if their church and husband supports them).

This really gives Christianity a bad name and furthers the world's misconception of us. Now we appear to be saying that the only job a woman can hold is wife and mother.

The church is strengthened by women and men who study theology and then help others understand it. I have been told by many women over the years that they have been helped by my teaching. If I did as this pastor suggests then I would not have been of any help to them or myself. I would never have understood the freedom that I have in Christ and I would not have been able to help others understand it as well.

Happy Valentine's Day!



I hope everyone enjoys their Valentine's Day especially Doug, Sarah and Samantha!

(Web art courtesty of The Best Collection of Webimages & Clipart)

Monday, February 13, 2006

Order of Salvation (John Murray)

John Murray, Redemption Accomplished and Applied, 79-87
I. The application of redemption is not “one simple and indivisible act.” It is made up of a “series of acts and processes.” They are calling, regeneration, justification, adoption, sanctification and glorification each is distinct from the other.

II. There is some type of order since glorification cannot begin the process, it is naturally at the end and regeneration has to be prior to sanctification. The Scriptures support this:
A. Jesus speaks of being born from above (regeneration) coming before seeing and entering (application of redemption) the kingdom of God (John 3:3, 5).
B. Regeneration (born of God) is prior to being delivered from sin – being born of God is the cause of being delivered from sin (1 John 3:9).
C. Faith in Christ's name is prior to adoption (John 1:12).
D. Sealing follows hearing the word of truth and believing (Ephesians 1:13).
E. These texts help establish some kind of order.

III. But questions still remain for other parts of the process: which comes first calling or justification, faith or justification, regeneration or calling?
A. Calling, justification, and glorification appear to be in order (Romans 8:30). For the following reasons:
i. Verse 28 “called according to purpose” means that “purpose provides the pattern or plan according to which calling takes place. Therefore the purpose is prior to the calling, and in this case, of course, eternally prior” (pg. 83).
ii. In verse 29 there is a “progression of thought from foreknowledge to predestination” (pg. 83). iii. In verses 29 and 30 foreknowledge precedes glorification and there can be no reversal of positions.
iv. The only question that remains is whether calling is prior to justification.
v. Murray believes that Paul's reference to calling and justification are in logical order and progression and therefore Romans 8:30 is a “broad outline of the order in the application of redemption” (pg. 84).
vi. What about faith and justification? First, this is not “God's eternal degree to justify” which would be prior to faith. It is justification in terms of applied redemption. Scripture clearly states that we are “justified by faith, from faith, through faith, and upon faith” (Rom. 1:17; 3:22, 26, 28, 30; 5:1; Gal. 2:16; 3:24; Phil 3:9). It is “impossible to avoid the conclusion that justification is upon the event of faith or the instrumentality of faith...faith is presupposed in justification...faith is God's appointed instrument through which he dispenses this grace” (pg. 85).
vii. Another reason that faith is prior to justification is that calling is prior to justification and faith is necessary for calling.
viii. Regeneration is prior to faith. Sinners are dead in their trespasses and sins and are incapable of faith until they have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit (John 3:3, 6:44,45). Is regeneration prior to calling? In Scripture it is “calling that is given distinct emphasis and prominence as the act of God whereby sinners are translated from darkness to light and ushered into the fellowship of Christ...salvation in actual possession takes its start from an efficacious summons on the part of God and that this summons, since it is God's summons, carries in its bosom all of the operative efficacy by which it is made effective” (pg. 86).
ix. Since you cannot have repentance without faith, they are conjoined. And conversion is the same as repentance and faith.
x. Justification comes before adoption since you cannot become part of a family until you have been accepted into that family.
xi. Sanctification is an ongoing processes that begins in regeneration. Perseverance is a compliment of sanctification and could be placed before or after.

Why Can't Women Honor God With Our Minds?

The following is from a PCA minister (not all PCA ministers are like this believe me):

Q: "What does it mean for a woman to be theologically trained?"
A: A theologically trained woman is a one, who, in the fear of God, does not disdain her sex for something more sophiticated such as writing books or speaking at conferences or translating Hebrew.

If women are not allowed to be theologically trained or read the Bible in Hebrew, why are respected, conservative, reformed seminaries (Westminster, RTS, etc.) training us to do so? And why can't a woman read the Bible in its original language? Where does it say that in the Bible. I would have left these questions at his website but he doesn't take comments. He just wants to pontificate from on Sinai (woman, thou shall not leave your kitchen or honor God with your brain) instead of communicate.

I am thankful to the Lord that my PCA minister does not hold this position or I never would have been able to go to seminary. (Westminster requires a letter of recommendation from your pastor as well as your husband. BTW, three men ordained in the PCA gave me a letter of recommendation.)

You can read this and more at his blog. (His blog does have a catchy title, PHIL UP THE BLOG)

(Link via Teresa, thanks Teresa for getting my blood boiling first thing in the morning)

Update: Now that my blood has cooled down, I regret the title of this post and have changed it.
Another update: He deleted the post, so the above link doesn't work. You can read his blog here.
Yet another update: It's baaaack!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Educating Christian Girls

I wrote the following in response to this (go read it, otherwise this post won't make much sense). And I liked it so much I decided to post it here as well.

Proverbs 31 is the picture of the perfect wife. "An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels." She is the perfect picture of what an Ancient Near Eastern man would look for. But do we have to do exactly what she did to be godly? Can’t we take the spirit of what she did but not exactly what she did? (We aren’t going to buy land and plant a vineyard are we? She was not slothful, she cared for others, her husband was blessed at the gate (in public) for all that she did, she was filled with wisdom and industry. If we follow her example, wouldn't we be wise and doing what God says in the rest of Scriptures?

As to the Titus passage, I do not think that this passage is limiting the women to staying at home only. What Paul may have been referring to is what was happening in Ephesus in 1 Timothy 5:13-14 "But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when their passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith. Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not. So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander.” The women were running around not doing their job – they were neglecting their duties and falling into sin due to their idleness.

Both of these passages refer to wives not daughters. There is no biblical mandate for our children to stay home. And BTW, there is no biblical mandate for women not to have a career, it doesn’t say that anywhere in Scripture but we do have examples of women who worked outside the home. Lydia sold purple (Acts 16:14), Priscilla was a tentmaker (Acts 18:3), and if you want an OT example, Deborah sat under a tree and judged Israel (Judges 4:4-5). Even the Proverbs 31 wife buys land and plants a vineyard (not your typical homemaking skills).

And I stand by my comment that all of us (are daughters as well) have been prepared for our vocations (Ephesians 2:10; Proverbs 16:9; Matthew 25:14-30). My husband and I are preparing our daughters to find out what gifts the Lord has given them so that they may pursue them so that in a time of need they will not be a burden (1Thessalonians 4:11-12). And in preparing them by sending them to college they will be free to make choices and not have the forced on them by circumstances. I believe that they will be more like the Proverbs 31 woman because of it. And there are Christian men who want their wives to go back to work after their children start school, shouldn’t a wife be submissive to her husband?

BTW, being a widow, unmarried or barren was not really unusual as we see throughout the pages of Scripture.

I am a stay-at-home mom so this is not an apologetic for working outside the home and I do want my daughters to marry and supply me with many grandchildren but I am also aware of my responsibility as a mom to prepare them to live in a way that is consist with the word of God.

Posting Digests

As you can tell I haven't been able to figure out how to hide the text to make the post shorter. I can't even find anyone else on blog spot doing it. Also, there appears to be no easy way for me to post outlines since the formatting gets messed up when I post from Word and if I cut and paste. This is the best I can do. I am currently working on two more digests and should have them up by the end of the weekend Monday.

Calvin's Institutes 2.2.12-17

I. Man did not lose all his natural capacity in the fall.
A. When Adam sinned, he and his descendants lost the supernatural gifts from God: “faith, love of God, charity toward neighbor, zeal for holiness and for righteousness” (pg. 270). These qualities have been restored by Jesus Christ and can only be obtained through regeneration.
B. Adam also lost the “soundness of mind” and “uprightness of heart.” This is a “corruption of the natural gifts. For even though something of understanding and judgment remains as a residue along with the will, yet we shall not call a mind whole and sound that is both weak and plunged into deep darkness” (pg. 270).
C. Reason has not been completely lost since it is how man determines right from wrong. But it has been “weakened and partly corrupted,” we see this in John 1:5. Man is still a rational being, not a “brute” beast, yet the light of understanding is “choked with dense ignorance, so that it cannot come forth effectively” (pg. 270).
D. The will was not completely destroyed but now it is so “bound to wicked desires that it cannot strive after the right” (pg. 271).
E. The thought that human understanding has been completely corrupted is contrary to the Scriptures and experience. “For we see implanted in human nature some sort of desire to search out the truth to which man would not at all aspire if he had not already savored it” (pg. 271). But man's mind is unable to understand the truth and falls into error. The knowledge that man should pursue, he does not desire to do so and quickly loses his way (Eccles. 1:2, 14; 2:11).

II. Man understands earthy things.
A. Calvin distinguishes between two types of understanding: an understanding of “earthly things” and an understanding of “heavenly things.”
i. “Earthly things” are things that “do not pertain to God or his Kingdom, to true justice, or to the blessedness of the future life; but which have their significance and relationship with regard to the present life and are, in a sense, confined within its bounds” (pg. 272). These include “government, household management, all mechanical skills, and liberal arts” (pg. 272).
ii. “Heavenly things” are those things like “the pure knowledge of God, the nature of true righteousness, and the mysteries of the Heavenly Kingdom” (pg. 272). This includes “the knowledge of God and of his will, and the rule by which we conform our lives to it” (pg. 272).
B. There has been implanted in man a “seed of political order” even though there are some who rebel against.

III. All men have some aptitude for some type of art and since it is “bestowed indiscriminately upon pious and impious, it is rightly counted among natural gifts” (pg. 273).

IV. Science is a gift from God. We should not despise or deny the truths of the “ancient jurists,” philosophers and those who worked in the sciences since they labored for the benefit of man. To do so would be denying the work of the Holy Spirit. “Let us be ashamed of such ingratitude, into which not even the pagan poets fell, for they confessed that the gods had invented philosophy, laws, and all useful arts” (pg. 274).

V. The Spirit of God gifts man with art and science.
A. Bezalel and Oholiab were empowered by the Holy Spirit to build the temple (Ex. 31:2-11; 35:30-35).
B. Even though the Holy Spirit only dwells in the believer (Rom. 8:9), nevertheless God “fills, moves and quickens all things by the power of the same Spirit, and does so according to the character that he bestowed upon each kind by the law of creation” (pg. 275). And if God desires for us to be helped in science and mathematics by the ungodly then we should accept the help and should suffer punishment for refusing to do so. But those who hold these gifts are not given something eternal, their gifts are transitory and are corrupt because natural man is corrupt.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Help!

I am trying to hide the text on my digests since they are too long to post. I tried this but it didn't work. All the entries said "read more" not just the one I wanted. Anyone know how to do this?

It's Impossible To Do 25

Since my recent run-in with the law, I have been making sure to check the speed limit of whatever road I'm on and then do it. But it is absolutely impossible to do 25. Not only does my car refuse to do anything less then 30 mph, but I have to contend with tailgaters since no one does the speed limit and they even get mad at you for doing it.

I guess it has its benefits though, you can actually see the scenery. Driving 25 down one of the many residential streets I have to travel in the morning:

"So, now that we are driving so slowly we have time to look around. Look, they have lions on their steps. And look there's a valentine flag."

A few minutes later, "This is soooo slow! Oh look, the grass is growing."

Since I knew I would be doing the speed limit this morning I left early and since I wasn't rushing, the other drivers were not bothering me. I ignored everyone, even the tailgaters. So if you prayed for me after reading this, then thanks a lot!

After I wrote the above I read this in Calvin's Institutes:

"Some, like thieves and robbers, desire to overturn all law and right, to break all legal restraints, to let their lust alone masquerade as law. Others think unjust what some have sanctioned as just (an even commoner fault), and contend that what some have forbidden is praiseworthy. Such persons hate laws not because they fight against manifest reason. What they approve of in their understanding they hate on account of their lust."
Very convicting! But I always knew that I was a rebel at heart.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Common Grace (John Murray)

John Murray, Collected Writings, vol II, Systematic Theology, 93-122

I. Definition -- “every favour of whatever kind or degree, falling short of salvation, which this undeserving and sin-cursed world enjoys at the hand of God.”

II. Nature of Common Grace

A. God restrains sin – man is restrained from reaching the potentiality of his sin nature.
i. Jonathan Edwards “if sin was not restrained, it would immediately turn the soul into a fiery oven, or a furnace of fire and brimstone” (pg. 99)
ii. God removed Adam and Eve from the garden to prevent them from eating from the tree of life (Gen. 3:22-23).
iii. God prevented others from killing Cain (Gen. 4:15).
iv. God prevented Abimelech from sinning against God (Gen. 20:6).
v. Sennacherib's rage was restrained by God (2 Kings 19:27, 28).

B. God restrains His wrath – if God did not restrain His wrath, the unrighteous would be immediately consigned to everlasting condemnation.
i. Before the flood God determines that His Spirit would “not always strive with man” and His wrath was restrained for one hundred twenty years (Gen. 6:3) and Peter said of that time that God was “longsuffering.” (1 Peter 3:20)
ii. Paul says that God “overlooked the times of ignorance,” referring to the past generations (Acts 17:30).

C. God restrains evil – by placing restraints on the consequences (effects) of sin.
i. Though the ground is cursed due to the sin of Adam, it does bring forth enough to sustain mankind (Gen. 3:17).
ii. The destructive tendencies of animals (as a result of the fall) towards man is restrained (Gen. 9:2).

D. God bestows his bounty through creation on men (Psalms 65:5-13; 104; Psalm 145:9, 15, 16; 136:25).

E. God bestows his blessings on the unregenerate.
i. The Lord blessed the Egyptian overseer's house for Joseph's sake (Genesis 39:5)
ii. God “doing good” and giving rain and fruitful seasons were a witness to the nations (Acts 14:16,17).
iii. God sends the rain on the just and the unjust. Christ's disciples are to emulate the Father who is kind to those who do not appreciate His kindness. In the same way the disciples are to love their enemies (Matthew 5:44,45;Luke 6:35, 26).
iv. The rich man received good things will Lazarus received evil things (Luke 16:25).
v. Those who received God's good gifts but without thanksgiving are under a greater condemnation (Luke 12:48).

F. The Scriptures speak of unregenerate men doing good.
i. Though Jehu did not depart from serving golden calves in Bethel and Dan (2 Kings 10:29), God says to him “because you have done well in carrying out what is right in my eyes” (2 Kings 10:30). Since he did what was good (executing God's justice on the house of Ahab), God gives him a temporal reward.
ii. There is doubt that Jehoash feared the Lord, yet it is written that “he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord” (2 Kings 12:2).
iii. Jesus says that the publicans love and that sinners do good (Matt. 5:46; Luke 6:33).
iv. Paul says of the unregenerate that the “work of the law is written on their hearts” (but not on tablets of stone) (Rom. 2:14,15).

G. The unregenerate receive “operations and influences of the Spirit in connection with the administration of the gospel,” yet do not result in conversion.
i. Those who had knowledge and rejected it cannot be restored. (Heb. 6:4-8; 10:26-29; 2 Peter 2:20-22)

H. The civil government restrains evil and promotes good (1 Peter 2:14; Rom. 13:3,4; 1 Tim. 2:1,2)

III. Purpose of Common Grace

A. “[C]ommon grace serves the purpose of special or saving grace, and saving grace has as its specific end the glorification of the whole body of God's elect, which in turn has its ultimate end in the glory of God's name.” (pg. 113)

B. Without common grace there could be no redemptive grace because there would be nothing left of the human race in which to make children of God. Common grace is necessary for man to come to faith. “Faith does not take its genesis in a vacuum. It has its antecedents and presuppositions both logically and chronologically in the operations of common grace” (pg. 115).

C. God's redemptive purpose is not the only reason for common grace, though Murray concludes that “What other ends promoted by common grace may be it might be precarious to conclude” (pg. 116).

D. “Of one thing we are sure that the glory of God is displayed in all his works and the glory of his wisdom, goodness, longsuffering, kindness and mercy is made known in the operations of his common grace” (pg. 117).

IV. The Practical Lessons

A. We should appreciate common grace because it is from God (Jas. 1:17).

B. We should appreciate all that is good and noble in this world.

C. All of life can be seen as in service to the Lord as our King of kings.

D. We are not isolationists while waiting for the world to come (Ps. 24:1; 104:24; 1 Tim 4:4,5).

E. We should not make war on the things created by God. “Sin does not reside in the creatures and institutions of God but rather in the hearts of men and demons” (pg. 118) (Ps. 145:10-13).

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Linked to by Another Blog

My post on the ER and Abortion has been linked to by another blog! This is the first time (that I know of) that I have been linked to and it's a compliment:

I came across this blog entry that addresses the lack of understanding television writers have regarding Christians and abortion. Michele has some good
insights into this.....

Thank you, prairie girl!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Posting My Digests

I will be posting my digests for my Doctrine of Salvation II class here starting sometime this week. My first post will be John Murray's article, "Common Grace."

My new motto will be "I read so you don't have to."

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Problems with Blogger

There seems to be problems with my other blog. I am not sure what is going on but it is denying me access and I am unable to publish new articles but I am able to on this blog. Very strange.

Update: I checked my daughters' blogs and they are OK and I checked a number of other blog on blog spot and I haven't found one yet that says access denied.

Instrument of Torture


This is the typical chair at Westminster; notice the hard, shiny yellow seat. I took this picture with my cell phone. My back was killing me by the middle of my Doctrine of Salvation II class. Is it because these are the cheapest seats they could find or do they think they will keep us awake (if so, it didn't worked last semester -- I kept falling asleep in Doctrine of Man and New Testament Introduction).

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Driving in the Northeast and Matthew 5:21-22

Commuting my daughters to school can be time consuming and nerve-wracking and as a Christian it can be a real struggle to keep Matthew 5:21-22 in mind. It is so easy to call the person who cuts me off an idiot or the person who pulls in front of me and the puts on his breaks a moron. Sometimes even worse names come to mind. Is it so bad calling these people names since they can't hear me.? But unfortunately my daughters can. Even if I say it in my head only, it becomes a habit for me and eventually I will say it out loud.

I noticed that when I don't control my thoughts and speech while driving, I will be quicker to call family and friends idiots (at least in my head though occasionally to their face). So, I have to learn to control my desire to verbalize my frustration but it is sooooo hard, as many of you must know. People drive like nuts here and they are constantly trying to cut you off. It is impossible to drive like a Christian or to act like a Christian when you are driving. What does it even mean to drive in a Christian manner (HWJD -- how would Jesus drive)?

So how do I live like Christ in this situation? How do I love the fool who is trying to get in front of me after I have been sitting at the light for the last 10 minutes. How can I show the love of Christ and be forgiving to the person who crossed into my lane, puts on his brakes and then makes me miss the light that he just went through. I tried to do it one day after I almost got hit playing chicken with some lovely person who cut me off. I thought that I should try to calm down and be more loving. This is what it sounded like (you have to read this using the Good Witch of the North voice (from the "Wizard of Oz") -- this is actually how I sounded when I said it):

"Oh no, I don't mind if you cut in after I have been waiting so long!"
"Thank you so very much for making me miss the light, you lovely person you."
"Aren't you so sweet pulling into my lane and putting on your brake, I love you so much."
"Mommy, what are you doing?" Sarah asks.
"I am trying to love my enemies" I reply.
"That is so weird!"

Of course it doesn't last long and it was sarcastic anyway since I really didn't love them. How do you love those who are unlovable and selfish? Maybe I should ask God how He could love me and then I can learn to love them.

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