Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Early Church Fathers Sampler

In my discussions with other professing Christians, I often encounter those who employ quotes from the early church fathers as a means of establishing the truth of some doctrine or practice. It seems as though a great many Christians believe that if you can demonstrate that some first or second century, post-apostolic Christian believed some particular thing, and documented it outside the canon of scripture, that this somehow establishes that this particular belief is correct beyond any further dispute. But let me say this very, very clearly so that there can be no misunderstanding on the matter:
The early church fathers were a cornucopia of error and confusion that are often at great variance with the word of God, which alone is able to throughly furnish us with respect to matters of doctrine and practice. (TETH)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Was Every Man Given to Jesus?

The bible establishes that the Father gave a people to Jesus Christ (John 6:37) and that Jesus Christ covenanted to save those people (John 17:2,11, 24). It follows that we stand to gain a great deal of understanding about the covenant of salvation by answering one simple question - Was every man given to Jesus? (wherein "every man" = "all of humanity") Based on the aforementioned covenant promises that Jesus Christ has entered into regarding this given people we should start with two observations.

Monday, December 28, 2015

John Piper and Rick Warren on the Atonement

"We're closer than I thought we were." (Rick Warren)

In this short video, John Piper and Rick Warren discuss their views of the atonement and in so doing come to the conclusion that they are actually not far off from one another on their understanding of this critical Christian doctrine. This should come as no surprise to those who have followed TETH’s analysis over the years, given that in earlier efforts we have noted that John Piper wholeheartedly endorses Arminian Theologian Millard J. Erickson’s word-for-word description of the atonement as a valid definition of what Piper regards as the doctrine of Limited Atonement; and this in spite of the fact that Erickson’s comments sit directly under the heading of “Universal Atonement” found on page 846 of his Systematic Theology. This is really confusion of the very highest order, but rather than make that point now, let’s listen in on Piper’s discussion with Warren along with my commentary…

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

From the Peanut Gallery - "You're not Rightly Dividing. You're Compartmental Partitioning!"

I get a lot of feedback from people about my online efforts. In fact, I'm finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with the level of correspondence and inquiry that I encounter on a daily basis from the Internet. Those interactions often raise issues that I believe are likely raised in the minds of many who read and participate in theological discussions. As a result I've decided to begin sharing some excerpts from these interactions. In so doing I hope to provide more clarity on some of the nuances, objections, and accusations that come my way.

I recently encountered the following accusation from the peanut gallery:

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Is Believing in God Illogical?

Believing in God is not illogical. It is il-natural, but it is not illogical. To suggest that believing in God is "fundamentally illogical" is to embrace, perhaps unknowingly, that there can be NOTHING beyond the natural world. This in spite of our lack of definitive evidence to establish that this is so. That said, if one embraces "pure naturalism" (the belief that there is nothing beyond the natural domain of matter and energy) one must still deal with the problem of the existence of life and matter. The moment one suggests that a solution lies within nature itself one has created an illogical and unscientific circular reference, because we have absolutely NO scientific or naturalistic basis for asserting that matter arises out of nothing, nor to assert that that which is dead and inanimate randomly assembles itself into life - not for some fleeting moment mind you - but in an unbroken chain of self improvement and radical diversification spanning literally hundreds of millions of years. I submit that to believe either of those two things - which science foists upon its naive and zealous converts as "scientific truth" - is perhaps the greatest expression of abject irrationalism ever known. I believe one of the greatest 20th century philosophers said it best when he quipped...

"Nothin' from nothin' leaves nothin'." (William Preston)

Sunday, November 29, 2015

John Piper on the Death of Christ for the Non-Elect

I recently stumbled upon this video of the popular Calvinist minister John Piper answering the question: Did the death of Christ accomplish anything for the non-elect? I believe an analysis of Piper’s answer is helpful in establishing some of the nonsensical notions upon which his neo-reformed theology finds its unsure footing. Let’s listen…

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Spurgeon's Take on "All Men" Examined

A look at Spurgeon's comments regarding I Timothy 2:4 is revealing.

I guess it is no secret that I am not a fan of Charles Spurgeon. It is not that Spurgeon didn’t say a lot of wonderful things over the course of his ministry, he most certainly did. Indeed, his ability to turn a phrase is the envy of most who would endeavor to speak publically. It is because a great many of the errors that I see among evangelicals, and especially modern Calvinists, find their headwaters in his ministry.