Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Doctrine of Repentance

Repentance is a HUGE topic!!! My friend Lou is running a series about repentance right now that's written by another friend Phillip Evans. It's entitled "Clearing Up Repentance." I haven't read all of it, but I trust Brother Evans, and what I have read is good.

There is much argument about Repentance in the various circles I run in. Did you know that repentance is only mentioned (by name) by the Apostle Paul once in the greatest theological work ever recorded - the Book of Romans.
Romans 2:4
Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
Now we know Paul (by inspiration of God) recorded the most complete teaching of the Gospel and Christianity in the book of Romans. The one time he uses the word "repentance" in this work it is about what exactly? It is about people judging others for their behavior when they are themselves guilty of the same thing.

It is exactly the same teaching as Jesus Christ;
Luke 13:1-5
1 There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”

I think the main problem that men have with understanding the doctrine of Repentance is that we try to harmonize the context of every usage of the word by translators. See in the original languages there are several words and phrases that translators use the words "repent" and "repentance" in place of, yet the original meanings are VERY different from each other.

We run into a similar problem with the doctrine of Love. There are many words for love in Hebrew and Greek, and each has it's own specific meaning. We talk much about God's Agape Love, and how we humans can't really have that same kind of love because it is completely selfless.

The Lordship Salvation (LS) proponents harmonize all the English usage of "repentance" and apply that harmonized meaning to every usage in order to drive the context. Then they will use that assumed context to argue against the biblical concept of Salvation being by grace through faith - apart from works, in accordance with Romans 4.

However, can you imagine if we harmonized all the meanings of Love and said that a person didn't really have "love" unless they fulfilled all the various meanings that Love covers in the Bible? You guessed.. .no human would ever actually "love" because no human could ever "agape love."

Likewise the harmonized meaning of Repentance can't ever be fulfilled by a human, saved or otherwise. In the end the "turn or burn" message that says you must make/confess as/receive as/ "Lord of your life" Jesus in order to be saved ends up really meaning "give lip service to the Lordship of Christ" because no one can actually live up to the standard demanded the LS proponent must allow disobedience in the one who has Jesus as Lord. Thus He is "Lord" of one's life in name only, not in power.

That is offensive to me, and it ought to be offensive to anyone who truly knows that Jesus the Christ IS LORD.

Now if you want to study what I'm talking about here, and see for yourself how wrong it is to harmonize all the English renderings of "repentance" into one meaning then I HIGHLY suggest you take the free course "The Doctrine of Repentance" at the Bible Broadcasting Network Bible Institute. It's free and has about 5 hours of audio teaching.

If you don't, you only have yourself to blame.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Response to '50 Reasons I Reject Evolution' Update

I made a mistake... it happens. Not often.. but.. hahaha I'm just kidding. I did. I did make a mistake. I'm sure most reading will forgive me in light of the inarticulate nature of the source material I was trying to understand and respond accurately too. In Part 4 of my response, I wrote the following.

33.) Because I don’t realize that if we actually found croco-ducks in the fossil record, it would falsify evolution.

At 33 reasons in I finally read something I’ve never heard before. I’m not sure why showing that there is gradual change from one life form to another would falsify a theory which says that life forms gradually change from one to another. I’m sure the author is being clever here, even if it is beyond my understanding. ;)

At least I admitted I had never heard the argument before... is that enough to get me off? Probably not given the cocky way I finished my paragraph...

OK in short here's what the 33'rd reason was attempting to convey. Crocodiles and Ducks are considered by Evolutionists to have come in two different lines of animals. These lines would have originated at the original first organism, but branched off at some point. Since ducks are not considered decedents of crocodiles, and crocodiles are not considered decedents of ducks either... finding "croco-ducks" would falsify the Theory of Evolution.

Once again, the author (be this the person I'm quoting or one of the many other people who have posted iterations of this same list of 50 reasons on the net in various places) is being deceitful, and needlessly clever. Hey I guess I was right about that much in my answer! :)

So how did I figure this little mystery out? I subscribe to John MacKay's "Evidence News" email list. You can too if you visit Creation Research.

Here's a rather longish exert from his latest mailing which I found most interesting.

7. DAWKINS SHOOTS HIMSELF in the foot again with his shonkey fronkey story in his book The Greatest Show on Earth, (Bantam Press, 2009, pp 151-154) Richard Dawkins accuses creationists of asking: "Why doesn't the fossil record contain a fronkey?" (quote marks his). He then goes on to state:

"... it is a disgrace that the perpetrator of this little witlessism, the Australian itinerate preacher John Mackay, has been touring British schools in 2008 and 2009, masquerading as a 'geologist', teaching innocent children that if evolution were true the fossil record should contain 'fronkeys'." (quote marks around 'geologist' and 'fronkeys' are in original)

Dawkins further perpetrates this accusation against John Mackay in the product description of his book on the Amazon UK website. In the section headed "From the Author", Dawkins presents a series of questions and answers including "Why doesn't the fossil record contain a fronkey, or a crocoduck?"

Dawkins replies:
"The question betrays a lamentable confusion about what evolution means. Yet such questions really have been truculently asked, in all earnestness, by creationists: for example the Australian creationist John Mackay, who is regularly invited to preach to British schoolchildren ... The question presumes that evolutionists ought to find an intermediate between pairs of modern animals, such as frog and monkey, or crocodile and duck". See:

ED. COM. Until we saw it in Dawkins' book, neither John Mackay nor any of the Creation Research team had ever used the word "fronkey", so we were intrigued as to where Dawkins got this idea from, as he does not provide a direct reference to John Mackay or any Creation Research publications. In the notes at the back of the book he does mention a Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) article, 7 May 2006. All other blog and web postings connecting fronkeys and Mackay that we tracked down can be traced to this same SMH article by Annabel Crabb, entitled 'Darwin's evolutionary theory is a tottering nonsense, built on too many suppositions'. (quote marks in original). Crabb was writing about John Mackay's meetings in Britain in April and May 2006. This article contains the following statement and hypothetical question:

Put simply, Mackay's belief - and it's one that is firmly entrenched in the US, where President George Bush advocates its ventilation in schools - is that Darwin's evolutionary theory is a tottering nonsense, built on too many suppositions and not enough evidence.

If so many species evolved from the shapeless creatures of the primordial slime, if people came from monkeys via frogs and fish, then why does the fossil record not contain a "fronkey"? See:

The question was clearly written by the SMH journalist and is clearly not a quote from John Mackay. Since no one at the meeting heard John Mackay ask such a question, and no one heard him use the word "fronkey", then who is journalist AnnAbel Crabb quoting, or has she created the word herself by deliberate intelligent design?

To give you the full context Crabb continued her article by accurately telling everyone: "Mackay, who was originally educated as a geologist and devout Darwinist at the University of Queensland, experienced a conversion while working as a teacher and now tears down his former beliefs with the seamless enthusiasm of a zealot.

"Charles Darwin actually graduated in theology, which is a little-known, well-kept secret," he tells his audience. "He knew exactly what he was trying to disprove."

As a university professor, Dawkins should know that if you are going criticise what someone has said or written, you need to show that the person actually stated what you are criticising, and give the reference to that person, not a secondary source. Dawkins has clearly not done this, as the word "fronkey" does not appear in any Creation Research writing (until now) or other media we produce, and has never been used by John Mackay in any interviews or presentations around the globe.

If Dawkins was a first-year university student submitting an essay, he would, quite rightly, be rebuked for using such poor research methods. He is, however, a retired Oxford University professor, therefore, his sloppiness which has led to this false accusation is inexcusable, and he rightly owes John Mackay an apology for slandering his name, and an erratum slip placed in his book The Greatest Show on Earth, plus a statement on Amazon stating he is wrong about Mackay. We wait with eagerness to see the results of this test of his honesty. (Ref. atheism, Darwinism, fraud)

Well it seems obvious to me that the "clever" way of dealing with arguments and facts are far from restricted to ridiculous internet sarcasm like "50 Reasons I Reject Evolution." Such seems to be common place among these most educated and enlightened minds. ;)