Thursday, August 02, 2007

Murder Update

Usually I reserve murder updates for news regarding the murder of unborn people. In this case, however, the victims are Christians being murdered by Muslims.

True martyrs.

Let's hope the American government uses the opportunity presented by the South Korean government (link) to track down and eliminate these infidels. Since the mainstream American media (including the Associated Press) is trying to conceal the religious aspects of this issue, it may be valuable for the curious reader to check out a more balanced report here (link), with a cynical - though not entirely inaccurate - explanation provided on Doug Wilson's blog (link), though not by him.

Big Surprise

On a related matter, the other most public branch of militant Islam, Al-Quaeda, issued a statement that the West should expect a "big surprise" (link). It may be that the Muslims will succeed in killing, maiming, or otherwise causing suffering to even more people - if they do it will not be a big surprise. The world is aware of the activities of the followers of the false prophet.

The big surprise will be on the judgment day for jihadists who believed that their god will forgive their sin gratutiously or because of their service in his name. Only the Most High can forgive sin, and He only forgives those who trust in His Son for salvation. If any Muslims are reading this, I exhort you: do not delay, repent of following the false prophet, confess your sins to the God who created Heaven and Earth, and throw yourself on His mercy, begging Him to be compassionate toward you.

There is no God but the Triune God, and the false prophet of Islam is not His prophet.

May the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob be praised!


P.S. Praise be to the Lord for this heroic victory (link)! And these amazing victories as well (link)!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Efficacy of Good Works

Jim at recently posted a thought provoking article (link) entitled "Am I Doing Enough To Get God To Forgive Me?" (although he posted it, it appears it may have been written by a contributing author)

Jim's (or perhaps Chad's?) message responds to a Roman Catholic view that it is necessary to do something positive (good works/acts of penance or contrition) to counteract the negative (sin) in one's life. The view itself (whether actually the official view of Rome or not, I leave for the reader to decide) is based on a faulty premise, namely that good works and sins are somehow together on the same ledger book.

As discussed in a previous post (link) sin is any failure to follow God's law. In contrast, righteousness is following God's law. If one is to construct a ledger book regarding obedience to the law of God, therefore, sin is a violation and righteousness is no violation.

Thus, from the standpoint of the sin ledger book, any righteous deed is a zero, and any sin is a negative. In the garden, before the fall, Adam was innocent. He had not yet sinned, and consequently, his sin ledger book was zero. Once he sinned, he was negative, and nothing he himself could do could ever restore him to a zero position, because perfect righteousness is required by God.

Nothing that we do can negate the effect of sin, namely guilt. The only negation for the guilt of sin is punishment, either of the sinner himself or of an acceptable substitute. Furthermore, the penalty for any sin is death. Thus, eternal life is beyond the reach of anyone who has any sin to their account.


Some may object that, from a moral perspective, there is a difference between sleeping and preaching the gospel. This difference, however, is not based on one being more righteous in ipse than the other. As Solomon wrote, there is a time for everything (Ecclesiates 3:1). There is an appropriate place for both ministry of the Word and sleep in the life of a Christian. Failing to sleep at an appropriate time is vain (Psalm 127:2), and sleeping too much is folly (Proverbs 6:6-11).

Some may object that it is possible to do more than what the law of God requires, and consequently earn positive merits. As to righteousness, the answer to this objection is an emphatic "certainly not." The law of God requires perfect righteousness, as I have discussed in a previous post (link) and consequently it is not possible to be more righteous than one is required to be. Accordingly, one cannot be more righteous than the law of God requires and consequently obtain merit on account of superfluous righteousness.

Others may object that although it is not possible to be more righteous than God requires, it is possible to provide a sacrifice that God will count in place of righteousness. Thus, for example, one may sacrifice one's money, desires, health, or even life. This mindset is not completely new: note how Paul makes oblique reference to it in I Corinthians 13:3.

But the bottom line is this, no amount of personal sacrifice can take away sin. The ordained sacrifices of the Old Testament could not please God so as to take away sin (Hebrews 10:6, 8, and 18). In contrast, Christ by one offering has taken away the guilt of all the sin of his people forever.

God may reward our sacrifices, but not with remission of sin. For remission of sin, only one sacrifice satisfies God, and that is the sacrifice of His Son.

Praise be to our Great High Priest and Mediator.


Monday, July 30, 2007

Young Earth Creationism - Not Young

Perhaps the neophyte will find it ironic that Young Earth Creationism (YEC) is the elder of the two branches of Creationism, the younger of the two being Old Earth Creationism (OEC). Once one has even a cursory knowledge of the issue, however, any surprise immediately dissipates.

A plain reading of the Old Testament and the Gospels makes it clear that the world was created supernaturally by God in the space of a week, and more particularly, in six days each consisting of an evening and morning. This event took place less than 10,000 years ago, which we can calculate more or less accurately from geneologies provided, for example, in Genesis 5 and the gospels.

Frankly speaking, there is no reason for anyone who excludes outside information from the Bible to arrive at any other conclusion. The Bible, on its face, is clear. God created the world, he did so in six days, and rested on the seventh day. In celebration of this fact, we observe the week.

Nevertheless, from time to time, weak Christians are tempted to believe the testimony of scientists (and their acolytes) who claim that they have unshakable evidence (some may even claim "proof") that the earth is older than 10,000 years. These Christians, led astray by the lies, deceit, or simply errors of the "science crowd" believe the testimony of the crowd.

Some do so by disbelieving the testimony of Scripture outright: these are the so-called Theistic Evolutionists. They deny that God created man from the dust of the Earth and woman from the rib of man. Others, however, seek to harmonize the Bible somehow to the old earth claims of the science crowd. These are termed Old Earth Creationists. They create novel and sometimes bizarre interpretations of Scripture to try to justify a timeline that holds the universe to be tens of billions of years old, and biological life to be billions of years old.

The detailed rebuttal of the underlying fanciful expositions of Scripture are a subject I hope to take up at another time. For the moment I want to seize upon one of the more sinister and devious approaches that have been made by those who oppose the plain truth of Scripture.

Specifically, some portion of the anti-YEC movement has been spreading lies regarding the age of YEC, claiming that YEC is a 20th century phenomenon. Seizing upon a grain of truth, namely that one of the foremost advocates for young earth creationism in the 20th century was a Seventh Day Adventist, dishonests oponents of young earth creationism have attempted to claim that it was never the view of Christians before the 20th century that the world had been created only recently.

Amazingly, some professing Christians in the 21st century have actually come to believe these lies. Let us put the lies to rest once and for all.

A few clear examples should suffice:

1. Theophilus of Antioch (3rd Century A.D.) dated the Creation at BC 5509.
2. Julius Africanus (ca. 225 A.D.) dated the Creation at BC 5500.
3. Ephraem Syrus (died 378 A.D.) - adopted LXX Creation date of 5508 and accused the Jews of subtracting 600 years to avoid the conclusion that the Christ had come.
4. James Ussher (died 1656 A.D.) - dated the Creation at BC 4004.
5. William Hales (ca. 1809) - dated the Creation at BC 5411
6. Henry Fynes Clinton (ca. 1824) - dated the Creation at BC 4138

The first (that I have been able to identify) that attempts to make the world older than the Bible indicates is

Martin Anstey, in his 1913 book "The Romance of Bible Chronology." He calculates man's creation at BC 4042. Mr. Anstey, however, asserts that a gap is to be found between verses 1 and 2 of Genesis. This gap is potentially of a great length of time, and the reason for it's appearance is obvious: Darwin's "Origin of Species" (First Edition 1859) had become wildly popular (launching from the platform built by Lamarck who died 1829), and in order to cowtow to the science crowd, it was necessary to avoid the first four chapters of Genesis. Accordingly, Anstey begins his chronology with Adam at Genesis 5, and essentially writes off the historical value of the account of the first week. The theory was not entirely new to Anstey, having been invented earlier by Thomas Chalmers (1780-1847), with essentially the same obvious motivation, though to Lamarckian, rather than strictly Darwinian, Evolutionism.

Today, the idea that man was created less than 10,000 years ago is out of vogue with the science crowd, and consequently the gap theory of OEC is no longer widely popular. Even the other school of OEC, the day-age (alone) crowd, is no longer very popular, mostly because the science crowd will not agree that all of humanity descended from a single pair of human ancestors who lived less than 10,000 years ago.

Instead, we see modified old earth creationists holding to ever more erratic views of the text of Scripture, as they attempt to remain popular with the scientific crowd.

Another group has simply given up: their motto is, "There is scientific truth and religious truth, and the two are in different worlds." This is nonsense and confusion. There is only one truth. The Bible reveals that truth to us clearly and testimonially. If foolish scientists derive a conclusion at variance with the revealed truth of Scripture, it is that scientist who is in error.

But perhaps all that can wait for another day.

For now it suffices to say that OEC is essentially new. There are some scattered passages from the fathers that are sometimes pressed into service to attempt to show an older age for the earth, but this distortion is vain.

Perhaps we ought, like the monks who copied Scripture in the middle ages, to date our writings absolutely in testimony to the doctrine of Creation, rather than in testimony to the doctrine of the Incarnation.

If so, then we should consider this to have been written July of 7015 (if we adopt the LXX's chronology).

May the Glory of our Creator-God be praised in this 8th (or however many) millenia of His reign over the Earth!