Saturday, November 22, 2014

The New/Old Battle for the Inerrancy of Scripture

Friends, the church is in trouble and it’s not just coming from the obvious Joel Osteens' and TD Jakes’ out there.    We have serious  problems brewing within the  halls of academia that are attempting to redefine the meaning of inerrancy while claiming to adhere it.   New critical scholars are chipping away at the literal interpretation of Scripture in the same way they did 100 years ago when  Princeton went kaput and J. Gresham Machen  helped to lead  a rebellion by establishing Westminster Seminary.
Below is a  lecture given  November 8, 2014 by Dr. David Farnell from the Master’s Seminary to the  students at Veritas Evangelical Seminary.     It is entitled   “The Battle for the Bible:  Responding to the New Attacks on Scripture.”   This is important stuff.   It’s subtle and it’s coming to a church near you,  if it hasn’t already.

From the website  Defending Inerrancy

Love Me Some Bluegrass

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More bluegrass today:  Persis - Sam Bush & Bela Fleck

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Christians and the Changing Views on Alcohol

“Do not suppose that abuses are eliminated by destroying the object which is abused.  Men can go wrong with wine and women.   Shall we then prohibit and abolish women?” - Martin Luther

When I became a Christian in the early 70’s most conservative evangelical churches  here in the US were opposed to alcohol consumption.   Throughout much of church history that was not the case.   But things are different now and  many Evangelicals  have changed their viewpoints on  drinking.    Part of the reason for  switching gears on the matter may have to do with  the revitalization of  the Reformers and Puritan teachings.  After all, wasn’t John Calvin’s  salary subsidized with barrels of wine and didn’t Katie Luther run a brewery to help fund  hubby’s Reformation work and provide refreshment for those lively discussions?    
Even though I’ve been Calvinistic  most of my Christians life,  we were Fundamentalists  in the beginning  and remained  teetotalers for more than 30 years.  It’s only been the  last few years that we’ve relaxed our position on drinking.
Yet  there are still caveats and  questions  that need to be honestly addressed.   For instance, how much is too much?   If wine was  designed by God  to “gladden the heart”  (Ps. 104:15)  at what point does one cross the line into drunkenness?   Let’s be honest—that line can be a fine one!  And what about church leaders?      Should they abstain completely or  would it be wise if  they partook  as a  model for moderation?      And how are we to define moderation?    Should we adhere to the  NIH Alcohol Abuse guidelines—“ moderate drinking is up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men” ?     Does drinking wine with dinner every night constitute “addiction”?   I don't know the answer to all of these questions but I do know that God promises to give us wisdom if we ask for it - James 1:5.
Dr. Kenneth Gentry did a great job  of delving into  some of the most common  questions  in  his book “God Gave Wine”—you  can read my  review  HERE.     However, he  doesn't  provide  the precise lines of demarcation some people might want.    And the reason for that is because  every person is  different  and God provides us with  principles for godly living.   Alcohol  itself  is not  sinful  and is in fact,  a gift from God.  (John 2:1-11; Dt. 14:26; Is. 25:6;  Ps. 104: 15).   At the same time, there are many warnings in Scripture about abusing it.   Drunkenness (Prov. 20:1),  intentionally  flaunting our liberties and offending others (Rom.14:21) ;  or partaking with a guilty conscience (Rom. 14:23) will  quickly  turn a blessing into a curse. 
So ultimately our decision regarding drinking  comes  down to a matter of  personal  preference and conscience and it's not something we should be judging each other for either way.
No doubt,  there are  differing opinions  among our finest  leaders.   Here’s a few  resources that approach the subject from slightly different angles.
Below:  Joe Rigney, Assistant Professor of Theology and Christian Worldview at Bethlehem College and Seminary. (Found on Andy Nasalli's blog )

What are your thoughts?