Friday, July 10, 2009

The Lordship Controversy Lesson 4

Presentation file

1.This lesson we will cover two different passages from scripture that deal with salvation and are often quoted as support for or against the no-lordship position.
2.Our purpose today then will be to look at each side’s exposition of these passage and judge which is correct in light of other scripture.
3.Let’s begin with the Philippian Jailer in Acts 16:25-33. (Read Text)
4.Let’s talk about the context of this passage, here we find Paul and Silas, along with Timothy and probably Luke judging from the use of the pronoun “we” earlier in the chapter, ministering the Gospel in the city of Philipi. This is during Paul’s second journey around 51AD.
5. Luke tells us and we know from history that Philipi was a Roman colony. It was originally founded by Phillip II of Macedon (father of Alexander) in the late 300’s BC. Later in 42BC it was settled by Romans and made a Roman colony by Octavian (Augustus Caesar) when he settled veteran soldiers of his army there after the Battle of Philipi. During the time which Paul visited there the city was under Roman municipal law and administered by the military. It was referred to as a “little Rome” because of the roman architecture there that mirrored that of Rome.
6.Paul and Silas have just been imprisoned after Paul had cast out a demon from a slave girl who had earned her owners a large fortune by performing divination. The owners had Paul and Silas dragged to the agora, beaten and thrown into prison. (An agora in Greek culture was a public gathering place, often doubling as a marketplace, our word agoraphobia: the fear of the public comes from this Greek word) So the idea that we need to come away with here is that these things were not done in private, this was a very public event in which hardly anyone in the city would have not known about.
7.Apparently the entire city was in an uproar over this incident, and this is not the last time that Paul will cause an uproar in an entire city by preaching the Gospel. Look at what happened in Ephesus in Acts 19:23 Luke says that “No little disturbance arose” when the silversmiths lost income due to a drop in sales of Artemis idols. In that passage Luke uses a form of Greek rhetoric called a litotes, which when used purposefully understates a something in order to overstate it. Some modern translations do not translate the idiom that Luke uses rather they translate its true meaning. In my opinion that verse looses some of its cultural identity when you do that.
8.If we follow this trail a little further down the road to 113AD a litter written by Pliney the younger to Trajan complained of the drop off of attendance to the local temple. Pliney was the governor of Bithynia which is the province just north of Asia.
9.First let's look at this passage from the no-lordship perspective. The key here is what did the jailer ask of Paul and Silas? Look at vs 30. What is Paul's answer? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Now remember last lesson when I asked is repentance required for salvation? You all said yes it is. What happened here? There is no mention by Paul of repentance, Paul did not say first repent then believe.
10.Also just because he was about to kill himself doesn't mean he repented, a repentant person does resolve to commit a sin like suicide.

Slide 3
11.Chafer covered this passage also in his systematic theology and calls the absence of the word repentance an “overwelming mass of irrefutable evidence, it is clear that the New Testament does not impose repentance upon the unsaved as a condition of salvation.”
12.Here we can see the foundation of the no lordship view of repentance. This is the kind of statement from which Hodges, Ryrie and Wilkin have based their theology. Can you think of what Chafer is missing here? Do you see an overwhelming mass of evidence or is there something else that Chafer may have missed?
13.The second and last quotes are from the same section from his systematic theology. These can give you an idea of the diminished or non-existent role that repentance plays in the no-lordship scheme of salvation. If you read Hodges and Wilkin they repeat these same ideas in their works.

Slide 4
1.For the lordship view I drew from an article by John Macarthur titled “Repentance in Apostolic Preaching”. Macarthur’s exposition of this passage is quite a bit different than what we saw from Chafer.
2.Let’s look at verses 32 and 24, what we need to realize here is that the jailer would have been familiar with the events surrounding Paul’s imprisonment. He would have been familiar with the message that Paul was preaching, circumstances around his punishment in the forum and the penalty for being a Christian. The jailer knew what lay ahead when he asked “what must I do to be saved”
3.In verse 32 we see that Paul gave the jailer a more extensive presentation of the Gospel. His salvation wasn’t merely saying a few words but it was an education in a new and living way (Heb 10:20).
Slide 5

4.Verse 33-34, in the last lesson we talked about the three elements of true evangelical repentance. With that in mind can you look at the actions and words of the jailer and make any connections there? What about the notional or mental element? Look at verse 30, “what must I do to be saved?”, the jailer recognized his need for salvation. The assensus or emotional element, in verse 29, he fell down trembling before Paul. A man whom he had just thrown into prison a few hours earlier.
5.What about the fiducia or volitional element? Do you see it? What did the jailer do immediately after receiving Christ? Look at verse 33, “he took them the same hour” “immediatly he was baptized” These are all acts or volitional. They are all immediate as well, remember 2 cor 5:17, “if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation”
6.Think about who the jailer was before he received Christ. He was a member of the Roman Army, the most powerful military force on earth, he was the master of the prison and a man of some rank. He was likely latin and so had been raised with centuries of latin heritage and paganism instilled within him.
7.Also look at verse 27 quickly, he was about to kill himself, it was the only honorable death a Roman soldier could have after failing to fullfil his duty. What could have brought such a change within him?

Slide 6
1.Ok for our second example we will look at the account of the Samaritan Woman at the Well in John 4:7-29. read text-
2.Here we find our Lord and his disciples leaving Jerusalem and traveling to Galilee. Normally a strict Jew would veer around Samaria, cross the Jordan into Perea then on to Galilee. (show map)Because of the enmity between Samaritans and Jews, and John also reminds us they had no dealings between them.
3. But John tells that Jesus needed to go through Samaria. In other words he had a divine appointment to keep with a Samaritan womam near the village of Shecham. So Jesus meets this woman at the well when she had come to draw water around noon time, we should notice that she came alon in the middle of the day. Normally women would draw water in groups and in the morning or evening.
4.Ok now that we know the setting we can look at the no-lordship exposition. The key verse is verse 14.
5.Jesus here is describing the gift of salvation to the woman, that was why he was there to offer her the free gift of salvation.
6.No where in this passage does Jesus make a call for the woman to reform her life, she couldn't have understood it if he did. This is the Gospel then in its purest form a simple gift to anyone who believes.
7.Hodges and others use this text as a model for evangelism, it is a free offer of salvation no call to obedience, repentance or commitment.
8.So what do you think? Did the woman express a saving faith? Did Jesus make any call of reformation or repentance here?

Slide 7
1.From the lordship view I've primarily drawn from the exposition of this passage offered by John Brown in his book “Discourses and saying of our Lord Jesus” and seconfly from John Macarther.
2.First we need to ask our selves what is happening here? What is the reason this event is relayed to us by John? It is first an account of Jesus revealing himslef as the Messiah in direct revelation for the first time. This is not primarily an example of saving faith like the account of the Philippian jailer, we shouldn't make something out what isn't in the text.
3. Second we need to be mindful of the context in which we read this passage, in the previuous chapter we read about Nicodemus a leader in the Sanhedrin and his conversation with Jesus. Contrast that conversation with this one with the woman at the well, Jesus withheld his identity from Nicodemus instead chastizing him. With the woman, who being the lowest in social stature compared to Nicodemus he reveals himself directly.
4.Third Jesus turns a conversation about physical need into one about spiritual need. Jesus challenges the woman about her sin revealing it to her. But what was her reaction? Save me because I am a sinner? No she instead brings up the one most polemical topic a Jew and a Samaritan could talk about. The location of true worship, Mt Gerezim or Jerusalem.
5.Jesus answers her question directly then reveals the truth of what God desires. He desires worship in spirit and truth.
1.Explanation from AW Pink, “To "worship in spirit," is to worship spiritually; to "worship in truth," is to worship truly. They are not two different kinds of worship, but two aspects of the same worship. To worship spiritually is the opposite of mere external rites which pertained to the flesh; instead, it is to give to God the homage of an enlightened mind and an affectionate heart. To worship Him truly is to worship Him according to the Truth, in a manner suited to the revelation He has made of Himself; and, no doubt, it also carries with it the force of worshipping truly, not in pretense, but sincerely. Such, and such alone, are the acceptable worshippers.
Slide 8 Macarthurs quote. What are the fundamental questions?

Slide 9
1.How should we proclaim the Gospel? Is salvation a simple confession or a life changing event?
2.How do we present Jesus to the unsaved? Is he just a Priest or is he also Prophet and King?
3.What are the essential truths of the Gospel message? Is it a call to believe only or is it a call to discipleship, to follow Christ in submissive obedience.
4.What does it mean to be saved? Is it the end sum of your life or is it the beginning of a new life.
5.What relationship is there between faith and obedience? We've seen proved time and again through scripture that faith and obedience are intimatley connected in the Christian's life.
6.How do we know our faithis real and what is our assurance? There is a huge difference between the concept of assurance between the lordship and no lordship sides. In no lordship your assurance is tied directly to your initial confession. If you ever doubt your salvation look at the date written inside your bible. From the lordship view assurance is evidenced in a changed life, in a new and living way.

Slide 10

All of the presentations and notes that I've produced for this series are stored on my website at this address. I suppose if you are extremely bored and there's nothing on tv you might take a look.

Slide 11

last slide

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Lordship Controversy Lesson 3

The third lesson simply titled "Repentance"

Presentation file.

1.This lesson we’ll cover Repentance, its definition, and its meaning in the lordship controversy. Is repentance required for salvation? This is the question that continually comes up within the lordship debate. What do you think? Is it? Are we not justified by faith alone? Then how is it that our Lord and the apostles preached repentance continually through the gospel and during the growth of the church?
2.If we say yes is then are we adding works to salvation? If we say that repentance is not required are we then removing it from our salvation and embracing antinomianism? These are the issues that arise within the lordship debate.

Slide 2
1.What is repentance? What does it mean? We know that faith and justification are closely related because we are justified by faith. So in the same way repentance is closely related to sanctification and is a vital element of our salvation.
2.Louis Berkhoff gives us a concise definition of repentance; it is a change of mind and of heart with regard to sin, so that there is a turning away from sin.
3.Just as in the definition of faith we can see here also in repentance that there are three elements involved. “A change of mind” the notional or intellectual, “a change of heart” this is the assensus or emotional element, “a turning away from sin” this is the fiducia or volitional element. (head, heart, hands)

Slide 3
1.Remember with faith there is a faith that doesn’t save and a faith that does save. The same situation exists with repentance, John Calvin in his institutes tells us of two kinds of repentance.
2.Legal repentance, is similar to remorse, is simply an awareness of one’s guilt in wrongdoing.
3.Evangelical repentance the major difference is the sinner being disgusted with his own sinfulness looks to Christ for help.

Slide 4
1.The word in the heading of this slide is hellenika, which is the Greek word for Greek, it is the word which we get our English word Hellenism. Just a little etymology lesson for you free of charge.
2.Repentance in the evangelical sense is seen in two different Greek words in the NT.
3.Metanoeo and metanoia, these two words mean the same thing and are always translated as “repentance” which is understood as evangelical repentance in the context in which they are used.
4.Metanoeo means to have a compunction (for guilt, including reformation); by implication, reversal of a decision):--repentance. Metanoia is the subjective form of metanoeo, so its definition is the same but you add “another’s” guilt, repentance.
5. Within the context these two words are used in the NT the definition will also include, a true sense of one's own guilt and sinfulness; an apprehension of God's mercy in Christ; an actual hatred of sin and turning from it to God; and a persistent endeavor after a holy life in a walking with God in the way of his commandments.

Slide 5
6.examples …

Slide 6
7.The Greek word used for legal repentance or remorse is metamellomai; meaning to care afterwards, i.e. regret:--repent (self).(Strong’s) is used of a change of mind, such as to produce regret or even remorse on account of sin, but not necessarily a change of heart.
8.This word is used best to describe to the type of repentance experienced by Judas Iscariot in Mat 27:3, “Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse (metamellomai) and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,”
9.So Judas had a change of mind and returned his reward but he did not turn to Christ for salvation, this is something less than evangelical repentance because it lacks the volitional part. As we saw in Faith when you lack one of the elements, notional, emotional or volitional it is always less than saving faith. Here also in repentance if you lack one element it is less than evangelical repentance.
10.A really good example where we can see the contrast between metanoia and metamellomai is 2 Cor 7:8-9, “For though I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret (metamellomoai) it; though I did regret it for I see that the letter caused you sorrow, though only for a while 7:9, “I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance;(metanoia) for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us.”
Slide 7
1.In summary True repentance leads to eternal life through our Savior Christ Jesus, just as the Westminster Confession asks us in question #87, “What is repentance unto life? The answer, “Repentance unto life is a saving grace, whereby a sinner, out of a true sense of his sin, and apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ, doth, with grief and hatred of his sin, turn from it unto God, with full purpose of, and endeavor after, new obedience.”
2.The answer includes 3 elements as we talked about earlier,“a true sense of sin”=Intellectual “Grief and hatred”=emotional “turn from it unto God”=volitional
3.ref texts Acts 2:37, “Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, (emotional) and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" 38 Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call." 40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation." 41 Then those who gladly received (intellectual) his word were baptized; (volitional) and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
4.In the proof text Acts 11:18, “When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, "Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life." What kind of life is this scripture talking about? Eternal life, this is important later on when we examine the No lordship position of repentnace.
5.True repentance then as defined in scripture never exists except in conjunction with Saving Faith. Repentance is another aspect or element of conversion and is a complementary part of the conversion process. It cannot be separated from Saving Faith. As Pastor Mark said, it is the other side of the coin, Faith on one side and repentance on the other.
Slide 8
1.Now since we've defined repentance let's look at the no lordship view. The No lordship view of repentance is based on Chafer's word study on repentance in his Systematic theology.
2.Chafer based his definition of repentance on a word study of “metanoia” and used Mat 21:28-32 as a ““true example of the precise meaning of repentance” and that it means simply a change of mind. Let's read the passage together...
3.In the KJV translates metamellomai here as “repent” suggesting an evangelical repentace. But the point of this illustration is not to demonstrate a repentance unto salvation but instead Jesus is contrasting someone who does the will of the father that will enter the kingdom of heaven and someone who does not do the will of the father and does not enter the kingdom.
4.Chafer's exposition of this passage is that repentance must be a simple change of mind about Jesus.
5.Dr Ray, Hodges all have based their view on chafer's work and Charles Ryrie adds to this definition with “Repentance is a change of mind, about Jesus Christ so that He is believed and received as personal Savior from sin. (Ryrie Balancing the Christian Life)
6.Ryrie also had this to say in his Study Bible, “Repentance is a valid condition for salvation when understood as a synonym for faith. It is a false addition to faith when understood as a prerequisite, requiring the cleansing of the life in order to be saved. (Ryrie Study Bible)
7.Is repentance a synonym for faith? The idea that repentance is a prerequisite is derived from Chafer's refutation of a movement that said you must attain a certain remorsfulness before being saved, adding a work before salvation, Mark what was the name?
8.Unfortunalty Chafer and others have reduced repentance as a mere synonym for faith, this is not how repentance is understood in the scriptures.
9.So in the No-lordship scheme of salvation what roll does repentance play? We can look to this explanation from Dr Ray and his Handbook on personal evangelism, “When God tells an unsaved man to repent, He means for man to change his mind about how to reach God and accept GOD’S way of salvation. The person must CHANGE HIS MIND from any idea of religion he may have to save him, and trust Christ’s payment for everything he has done wrong”
Slide 9
1.The main point in all of no lordship theology is that faith is the sole condition for justification, this is very true. The problem is they take that doctrine to the extreme and to the exclusion of all other aspects of our salvation. Here Zane Hodges further explains the role of repentance in the no-lordship scheme.
2.“Repentance is not a vital part of salvation; the sole condition is faith in Jesus Christ. The only requirement is Faith, Faith alone (not repentance and faith) is the sole condition for justification and eternal life" (Absolutely Free, p. 144)
3.To support this idea Hodges quotes John 6:47, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life” and Gal 2:16, “knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified” Again Hodges' exegesis is flawed here, he attempts to make a contrast or division that doesn't exist, faith alone vs works of the law. The problem is he is working with a wrong definition of repentance.
4.To support his exegesis Hodges' quotes from John Calvin's work The Institutes of the Christian Religion. It would be hard to imagine two stranger bedfellows than these two. But Hodges offers this quote from Book 3 chapter 3, “In one word, then, by repentance I understand regeneration, the only aim of which is to form in us anew the image of God, which was sullied, and all but effaced by the transgression of Adam” Here Hodges is hoping that you will agree with him that Calvin is likening Faith with Repentance as a synonym. And if you have an active imagination I'm sure you could.
5.Let's look at Calvin's defintion of repentance in context, “With good reason, the sum of the gospel is held to consist in repentance and forgiveness of sins and, therefore, where these two heads are omitted, any discussion concerning faith will be meager and defective, and indeed almost useless. (Luke 24:47; Acts 5:31)" (p. 592); and, "surely no one can embrace the grace of the gospel without betaking himself from the errors of past life into the right way, applying his whole effort to the practice of repentance" (Book III, p. 593). Further, he says, "Repentance has its foundation in the gospel, which faith embraces" (Book III, p. 593).
6.So we can see plainly here that Calvin never intended to take Repentance as a synonym for repentance, what he says is quite the opposite he says it is both disticitve and related.
Slide 10
1.This next segment I've titled “exegesis or eisegesis”. Exegesis being the extraction of meaning from scripture and Eisegesis being the insertion of meaning into the scriptures. We have see several examples of eisegesis from our study of the no lordship view of faith, and here we'll take a look at a couple more examples.
2.Zane Hodges in his book Absolutely Free offers this explanation of Acts 26:19-20, a passage that plainly supports the role of repentance in our salvation.
3.Acts 26:19-20, “So, King Agrippa, I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision, but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance”
4.“Paul is preaching here about a kind of religious experience that turns people to God and produces good works” “Paul does not say that one cannot be saved without repentance or that one cannot go to heaven unless a life of good works is lived.” This view is keeping consistant with the no lordship of faith being the sole work of man and with the carnal christian doctrine that teaches a second blessing that produces a spiritual Christian.
5.Zane uses Romans 4:5 “But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness“ again to support his supposition, and again Zane misunderstands what Paul is saying here, Paul is referring to justification through the law, justification is appropriated through faith, not the works of the law.
Slide 11
1.Dr Ray Stanford in keeping with the no lordship scheme of repentance offers this explanation of Luke 13:1-5
2.Luke 13:1-5, “Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And Jesus said to them, "Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate?” I tell you, no, but unless you repent, (metanoeo) you will all likewise perish. "Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem?” I tell you, no, but unless you repent, (metanoeo) you will all likewise perish."
3.In lordship salvation this cannot mean that Jesus is calling these people to repentance because of their sin, but instead Dr Ray says that when Christ is tells the people to repent , he is not saying “turn from your sin” but instead He is saying that they should recognize that they are sinners.” Here Dr Ray is promoting a mere intellectual ascent to repentance much like the no lordship intellectual ascent to faith. But you have to wonder, how would recognizing that you are a sinner save you from destruction?
4. To summarize the no-lordship view of repentance,
4.Repentance, discipleship, commitment are not required to appropriate eternal life,
1."Any teaching that demands a change of conduct toward either God or man for salvation is to add works or human effort to faith, and this contradicts all Scripture and is an accursed message." Handbook of Personal Evangelism, by Dr. Ray Stanford.
Slide 12
4.The Gospel that Jesus, and later His apostles preached was a call to forsake sin and a summons to faith. From the beginning of the Gospel to the end, Christ called sinners to repentance, to turn from sin and follow Him.
5.the beginning of the Gospel Mark 1:1 began with John the Baptist preaching repentance. Mark 1:4, “John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”
6.Jesus called people to repentance during his ministry Mat 4:17, “From that time Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
7.And in the Great Commission, Luke 24:46-47, ““…Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”

Slide 13
1.Even the argument that some dispensationalists and no lordship advocates make that the Gospel Jesus preached was different that what the Apostles preached, therefore the NT church is founded on Grace and Faith alone doesn't hold up to the light of scripture.
2.From the beginning of the apostles ministry in Acts 2:38, “when the people asked Peter “what should we do brothers?” Peter responded “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” to the end of Paul's ministry repentance was preached as a vital part of the Gospel. Acts 26:20, “but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.”
3.But we know from scripture that like Saving Faith, repentance produces obedience and a changed life, Luke 3:7-8, “Luke 3:7-8, “So he began saying to the crowds who were going out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?”Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, We have Abraham for our father, for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.”
4.and it is a gift of God, “2 Tim 2:25, “with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth,”

Slide 14
1.Faith and repentace are inseparable though they are distinct, they cannot be removed one from another as in No lordship salvation. Repentnace is a vital part of our salvation and life as a child of God.
2.Read Scroogies note.

Slide 15

The Lordship Controversy Lesson 2

The second Lesson titled "The Nature of Saving Faith"

Presentation file can be downloaded here.

1.We saw last week how no aspect of our salvation is left unaffected by the Lordship controversy. We also talked about how on either side of the debate are two opposing views of theology, Lordship salvation which runs in the stream of Reformed theology vs. No-Lordship theology which runs in the stream of Arminian theology. Between these two views there is a disagreement as to the origin of Saving Faith, Reformed theology says that faith of a divine origin and Arminianism saying that faith originates in man. No-Lordship theology deviates further in their definition of faith from the Arminian foundation as we will see in this lesson.
2.Today we will cover the definition, attributes and evidence of Saving Faith according to scripture and Reformed theology. Then we will look at the No-Lordship position in light of scripture and compare with the definition of faith in Lordship Theology.
3.What is Faith? What is its definition? Can someone give me their definition? Quote from the Bible or scholar if you want.
4.Here's what Louis Berkhoff says in his Systematic Theology “Christian faith in the most comprehensive sense is man’s persuasion of the truth of Scripture on the basis of the authority of God”
5.Now take what Louis says here and compare it with what the scriptures say. Let's look at Luke 7:1-10. Why did Jesus say that the centurion's faith was greater than anyone's in all of Israel? Because he believed in the authority of Jesus. So we too believe what is said in the Bible of Jesus and His work of redemption not because of the authority of the apostles or orthodoxy but because of the authority of God the Father.
6.In theology Saving Faith is defined as having three elements. The first element called by it's Latin name “Notitia” meaning “knowledge or information” means to have a positive recognition of the truth or an intellectual recognition of the truth or notion. In other words your mind recognizes the truth of the Gospel as far as the historical facts presented in the Bible.
7.The second element “Assensus” meaning “approval” means that you have a deep conviction and affirmation of the truth; this is the emotional element of your faith. It is expressed in the joy felt when you learn the truth of your salvation.
8.The third and last element called “Fiducia” meaning “confidence or trust” means that you have a personal trust in Christ as Savior and Lord, including a surrender to Christ. This is the volitional element or act, where the outworking or evidence of faith is seen in an act.
Slide 3
1.Let's look at Hebrews 11:1-3. In this text we can see all three elements of faith referred to.
2.In verse 3, we can see the Notional element “by faith we understand”
3.verse 1, being sure and convinced, represents the emotional or assensus element of our faith.
4.Finally in verse 2, the men of old gained approval, the volitional element of faith. If we continue on Paul shows us example of what the men of old did in acting upon their faith. Verse 7 by faith Noah constructed an ark, verse 8 by faith Abraham obeyed. And so on.
Slide 4
1.Ok we've defined what faith is but where does saving faith come from? What does the Bible say and how does theology describe its origin?
2.Drawing again from Louis Berkhoff he describes faith's origin like this, “Faith, is not, strictly speaking, to be understood as a spiritual activity of man, by which he accepts the divine revelation, for this would make man subject and put him in possession of the revelation. It is rather the negation of man as subject. It is the creative work of God, and particularly of the Holy Spirit, by which, and by which alone, the revelation finally becomes an accomplished fact. Faith is a miracle, the deed and gift of God
3.Here Louis makes a vital point that lies in the middle of the dichotomy created by the lordship controversy. If the origin of faith is in the full possession of man then that would make man sovereign over the revelation of Christ's redemptive work on the cross.
4.Rather, as our key verses say, faith is the creative work of God. In Eph 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” we learn that we are saved through faith that is not from ourselves but rather it is a gift of God. In the two sides of the lordship controversy there is a great amount of debate concerning this verse.
5.The no-lordship scholars would say the gift is salvation or grace, but not faith. I would agree that the gift includes salvation, but it must also include faith. We know this because of texts like Acts 13:48, “When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed” and Phil 1:29, “For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake”
6.Now we must also understand that we as believers are in possession of saving faith, it was a gift of God but we posses it, we have faith and we are responsible for it. There is an interaction between divine revelation and human responsibility and Charles Spurgeon covered this in his sermon titled “the Father’s will.
7.Spurgeon based his sermon on this passage John 6:39-40, “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” explaining that these two phrases set forth the divine side of salvation and the human side.

Slide 5
1.We’ve covered the definition and origin of saving faith; now let’s look at its attributes.
2.Faith endures in the believers life until the end, as we can see in Rom 1:16 and 17, “…..” and Phil 1:6, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ”
3.The faith God gives us produces the will and ability to obey God’s will, Phil 2:13, “for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure”
4.Saving Faith must have an object-God, in the words of theologian JP Boyce, “One object of faith is God the Father, not considered alone as the Father, but both as Father, and as representing the Godhead.” (JP Boyce Abstract Theology) Also in the person and work of Jesus Christ, the divinity of Christ as the Lord of Glory. And the Holy Spirit, essentially the Godhead as a whole.
5.In our proof text John 3:14-15, comes during our Lord's conversation with Nicodemus is a prediction of the work of redemption that he would perform on the cross and refers back to Numbers chapter 21.
6.Let's also look at Galatians 2:16, “nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.” the phrase faith in Jesus Christ, and some translations may have faith of Jesus Christ, appears as an objective genetive. The Greek words pistis cristou ihsou appear together in the objective relationship. So the object of faith is Jesus Christ, this case appears again in Rom 3:21-23.
7. Lastly the evidence of saving faith can be seen in the obedient life of the believer. There are several proof texts not the least of which is Acts 6:7, in one of Luke's summary statements on the growth of the church. “the word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.”
8.Let's look at Mat 7:21-23, this stands as a warning to all of us that just saying the right words does not equate to saving faith, Jesus goes on to say that those who are obedient of the Father's will are truly saved. This verse stands out directly against no-lordship teaching and the carnal Christian doctrine.
9.Other supportive texts, Luke 6:46, John 14:21, Rom 16:26, 6:16

Slide 6
1.The word faith appears in the Koine Greek as the words Pistis and Pisteuo. The two are used interchangeably in scripture.
2.Pistis is a noun and means a moral conviction, assurance, fidelity. Pisteuo the verb form of the same word means to have faith in, to believe, to trust. It is the action part of faith.
3.Rom 4:5 gives us a good example of both forms of the word being used.

Slide 7
1.When talking about evangelical faith there is more than one type. Or in other words we can make a distinction between Faith that saves and other types of faith that do not save.
2.One type of faith is known as Historical Faith, as defined by JP Boyce in his Abstract of Systematic Theology, “This is mere intellectual belief of the truths taught in the Scriptures as historical facts. There was such a person as Jesus, who being the Son of God, wrought out salvation and has now commanded all men to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins. Such was the faith of Simon Magus” or Simon the magician.
3.The story of Simon the Magician appears in Acts 8 verses 13 thru 24, Simon a famous magician in Samaria made a confession of faith and was baptized under Philip's ministry there. There is quite a lot of debate as to the validity of Simon's confession within the Lordship controversy and certainly outside the controversy as well.
4.Our source gives Simon as an example of Historical faith and well he might be, the operative text would be verse 21, “You have no part or portion in this matter, for your heart is not right before God” What decides that matter for the reader is how you understand verse 24 as true repentance on Simon's part or no.
5.A better example of Historical Faith is Judas Iscariot, one example on which there is no debate. There are many verses that describe Judas but John 6:64 does a good job for our example. Here we understand that even though Judas knew who Jesus was and had walked with him as one of his disciples, he was not a true disciple and his faith can be described as merely historical or simple mental ascent.

Slide 8
1.A second type of faith is described as Temporary or Spurious Faith and is seen to have many marks of true Saving Faith. It has both an intellectual element and an emotional element but lacks the volitional element of Saving Faith.
2.This type of faith is described within the parable of the sower in Luke 8:13, “They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away”
3.Here in Luke and also in Hebrew 6:5, to “fall away” means that the faith expressed was merely spurious and not a saving faith.

Slide 9
1.To summarize Saving Faith will manifest itself with these characteristics in the life of the believer....,
2.If you pay close attention you might notice that the first 5 items are characteristics of a disciple, and the last two characteristics of Sanctification.

Slide 10
1.Now that we’ve defined Saving faith and are familiar with its attributes and evidence we can take a look at the No-Lordship definition of Faith
2.Here’s is a synopsis from an article on faith from Bob Wilkin, a contemporary advocate of No-Lordship theology.
3.“The nature of saving faith is believing simple facts, Jesus is the Son of God who sacrificed himself to atone for our sins. Acts 16:31 “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved” John 6:47 “"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.” It does not say “he who repents, believes and submits, shall be saved.”
4.Here we see again the assertion that faith is simple and uncomplicated. Here also Bob offers proof texts that seem to support his position initially but they do not support his last assertion when viewed in light of other scripture.
5.His second point “We are justified by faith alone, there is no call for commitment or submission of one’s life” is partly based on one of the foundational doctrines of the Reformation, but he is working a wrong definition of faith. It is correct to say that we are justified by Faith alone; the problem with their statement is that Justification is only one aspect of our salvation, and justification cannot be separated from repentance or any other aspect. It is their dispensational foundation that allows No-Lordship advocates to make separations in our salvation
6. To support this viewpoint no-Lordship advocates use the fact that the word repent or repentance does not appear anywhere in the Gospel according to John. Now we know that John was written with a singular purpose in mind, John 20:31, “but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” To defend this idea No Lordship would say that since John is evangelistic in nature then surely John would have included teaching on repentance had it been important or necessary for salvation.
7.By this same logic you could say that grace has no part in our salvation as well, because the word Grace does not appear in the Gospel according to john either.
8.The third point stresses the no lordship view that there is only one type of faith, there is no such thing as spurious or historical faith. If you have faith, any kind at all it is a saving faith.

Slide 11
1.In no Lordship salvation as in Arminianism the origin of faith is seen as resting in the hands of man. For proof texts Rom 4:3-5, “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness” Abraham here is justified by his faith, in James 2:21 the works that Abraham did only justified himself before men –Zane Hodges
2.There is no intimation that this faith is anything other than his own personal faith.
3.If faith is purely in the hands of man then how is that we come to believe? In no lordship salvation it is the presentation of the gospel that causes us to believe, in other words it is a response to the Gospel.
4.for example in John 11:26-27, (this is Jesus and Martha speaking just before Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead) “Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe(pisteuo) this?" She *said to Him, "Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world.”
5.In this example Martha gives her response to Jesus’ question. Dr Ray Stanford gives this explanation, “Faith is not a divine gift from God. Faith is a personal conviction which a person exercises when he or she encounters Jesus the Christ. The clear exhortation from Paul and the other NT writers is for people to believe. There is no biblical data to warrant the belief that faith itself is given by God.”
6.Lewis Sperry Chafer backs up this idea with this statement, “The fact that God convicts people of their need of a Savior and reveals to them the truth concerning Christ is not the same thing as saying that He gives them their faith”

Slide 12
1.We’ve already seen that scripture overwhelmingly supports that faith is a divine gift. We used Eph 2:8 as one of our proof texts, as you can imagine the No-Lordship advocates have a different explanation this passage.
2.Chafer explains Eph 2:8 this way in his Systematic Theology, “The point in this verse is that salvation is by grace in its totality…Though it is true that faith on the part of an unsaved person would be impossible apart from divine help, it is nevertheless is a human decision, however difficult it may be to separate the human work from the divine work. The problem with making faith a particular gift from God is that it removes from man any responsibility to believe and leaves it entirely in the hands of God. If this were true it would be useless to exhort men to believe inasmuch as they could not do so.

Slide 13
1.I’ve mentioned several time how theology flows much like a stream and how you can look to its headwaters to determine what path it will take. If we look upstream from No-Lordship theology we would Arminianism as its source, if we look downstream we would see an old error called Sandemanianism.
2.Named after its founder and primary advocate Robert Sandeman, a Scottish preacher from the late 1700’s, it said that Saving faith is a simple mental ascent to the truths of the Bible and facts about Jesus, it also stressed Reason above faith.
3.This teaching was refuted by Andrew Fuller in 1810 (in connection with the Baptist Missionary Society and William Carey) Fuller argued that saving faith involves more than the mere assent of the mind to the facts of the gospel. Since faith is a duty, it must necessarily involve the will. Since it is a grace (imparted by the Holy Spirit), it cannot be restricted to the intellect. It must be the result of the Spirit's operation in the heart. It must involve the whole man or it is not saving faith.
4.Sandemanianism then is no different than the "devils' faith." John 2:19
5.No-Lordship Salvation has not been unaffected by this natural progression of its theology.
6.In 2002 the Grace Evangelical Society split and the Free Grace Alliance was formed by Dr. Charlie Bing and Dr Earl Radmacher. The split formed over Wilkins and Hodges extreme view on faith, essentially they had reduced faith or saving faith to just believing certain facts about Jesus. This view resembled Sandemanianism and has been called the “crossless” gospel.

Slide 14
1.The Lordship view of saving faith is largely the same as the Biblical view that we went over in the beginning of the lesson
2.This view differs sharply with the Free Grace view in the following points
3.go over points on slide.
4.Clearly the evidence of true saving faith can be seen in the obedience to our Lord’s commands in the life of the believer; the evidence of faith can also be seen in what the believer does, and how he acts. Merely knowing and affirming certain facts apart from obedience is not faith in the biblical sense. The test of true faith is this, does it produce obedience? If it doesn’t it is a false faith (Macarthur)

Slide 15
1.What I would like to do is go through James 2:14-19 with you. First we will explain the passages from the Lordship view then we will compare with what the No-Lordship view would say. This will give us an opportunity to do a side by side comparison.
2.Let’s begin with James 2:14, “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?”. “That faith”, refers to the kind of faith just described: faith without works. The article “that faith” here is anaphoric (The use of a linguistic unit, such as a pronoun, to refer back to another unit, as the use of her to refer to Anne in the sentence Anne asked Edward to pass her the salt.), referring to the previous mention of the noun πίστις (pisti") in the verse
3.We also understand that the phrase “Can that faith save him?” is rhetorical in nature and expects a negative answer. In other words “Can that faith save him?” the answer would be Of course not! What is being said here is that simple mental assent or notitia, it is not saving faith.
4.This verse from the No-Lordship view would be understood quite differently and I’ve pulled from 3 different sources and I’ll try to explain what they are saying…
5.First Dr ray Stanford had this to say, ““He is saved but an unfruitful Christian, but in keeping with John 15:2 “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away…” God removes the Christian who is a stumbling block to others.
6.The next question in James 2:14 is “Can faith save him?” Romans 4:5 answers this clearly: “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,” Yes, faith can save him. In fact, nothing else could. When a person tries to be saved by faith and works, he cannot be saved (Romans 11:6; Gal. 5:2; Gal. 5:4).
7.There are a couple of problems with this statement, first Dr Ray is working from the KJV which mistranslates the phrase “Can that faith save him” the KJV translators failed to include the definite article that appears before pistis in the Greek text. He also takes the phrase out of context and simply asks “Can Faith save” and gives the simplest answer “yes” without asking what kind of faith? Of course in no lordship salvation there is only one kind of faith. For a proof text he uses Romans 4:5 (as ALL no lordship advocates do) which is a good example of bad exegesis! Paul is referring to justification by works under the law, James is referring to works as evidence of Saving Faith!
8.Bob Wilkin, says that the question here to answer is what are we being saved from? According to him we are being saved from a sinful life, this verse is not necessarily talking about eternal salvation. Zane Hodges echoes Wilkins exposition here in saying that James is not talking about salvation from hell, but salvation from a sinful and unproductive life as a Christian. They offer no proof of their exposition.

Slide 16
1.James 2:15-16 “If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and be filled," and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?”
2.Spurious faith is pure hypocrisy
3.the No lordship view, since all faith is saving faith, this saved person is being a useless Christian.
4.James 2:17, “even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.”
5.The Lordship view says that faith with out verifying works is not Saving Faith but mere mental ascent and not a saving faith.
6.No Lordship needs to maintain that all faith is a saving faith interpret this to mean that the Greek word “Nekros” used here really means useless, Dr Ray gives a lexicon reference Arndt-Gingrich.
7.But the word Nekros definition given in other lexicons always means a corpse or dead.

Slide 17
1.James 18-19 “ 2:18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.”  Show me your faith without works and I will show you faith by my works. 2:19 You believe that God is one; well and good.  Even the demons believe that – and tremble with fear
2.lordship explanation, there is more to saving faith than merely conceding a set of facts
3.Free Grace position on commitment of life Faith is merely a response to a divine initiative, it is the means by which the gift of life is received (Zane Hodges) Zane Hodges “If faith was dead it must have been once alive

Slide 18
1.Go over summary.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Four Ultimate Questions of Life

1. How did you get here?
2. Why are you here?
3. How do you choose?
4. What happens next?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The Lordship Controversey Lesson 1

These are the notes from the first presentation on the Lordship Controversy given at Grace Bible Church, Olive Branch MS on May 31 and June 6, 2009.

The Presentation File is here

Lesson 1 Introduction to the Lordship controversy

1. Who here has heard of the Lordship Controversy? Some of you have and that’s good. I’ve prepared 4 lessons covering the Lordship Controversy, the first lesson is a basic overview and introduction, the second deals with faith, the third Repentance and for the fourth lesson we will look at a couple of passages of scripture and study how those passages would be understood by No-Lordship theologians and Lordship theologians.
2. That is the basic outline of what I have prepared, the plan is to be done in four weeks but we are in no hurry and if it takes longer then that’s fine
3. The Lordship Controversy deals mainly with that segment of theology that deals with salvation or Soteriology. This word is made up from two Greek words, Soterion meaning deliverance and logos or logia meaning to study or to talk about. You may recall the ancient successor kings of Alexander’s Empire that adopted the name Soter, like Ptolemy soter and Antiochus soter. Soter can be translated as Savior or Deliverer, In the early church the word Soter was also used in reference to Christ, such as in the Ichthys (ikthus) or fish symbol. Iota for Iesous, Chi for Khristos, Theta for Theos, Upsilon for huios (son) and Sigma for soter.
4. In order to have a controversy you have to have two different or opposite opinions, in the Lordship controversy there are two opposing views on Salvation. On one side there is Lordship Salvation (or theology) and Free Grace Theology (we will refer to it as no-lordship salvation as the term Free Grace is most commonly used to describe reformed theology). The names imply what the different doctrines promote, in other words Lordship Salvation generally implies that Jesus is Lord over the believer and conversely No-Lordship implies the opposite, that Jesus is not necessarily Lord over the believer.
5. The issue seems fairly easy to decide on the surface, and when you lay the no-lordship theology bare it becomes easy to identify as error. What I want to do in this class is to look closely at both sides of the argument, examine the issues critically and in light of scripture. We will try to understand where this error came from and how it has been widely circulated in American Christian churches.

1. For this study I used several different sources and I like to review them in case you wanted to follow up with your own study on these issues.
2. The Gospel According to Jesus by John Macarthur, this is the definitive work on the Lordship controversy, it was written about 15 years ago and when it was released it was like throwing fat on the fire (according to Ernest Reisinger) the issues addressed in this book had been simmering below the surface for many years and this book forced many scholars/theologians to expose views on the Lordship issue.
3. A Series of Articles by Ernest Reisinger, written for the Founder Journal, details all the issues affected by the Lordship Controversy. This is the same series of articles I’ve sent out on email.
4. Absolutely Free by Zane Hodges, Zane Hodges was a principle proponent of no-lordship salvation and he wrote this book in response to MacArthur’s Gospel According to Jesus. It is not considered the best defense of no-lordship theology but it is written by one of the main advocates of no lordship theology. The title is a bit misleading as the book actually cost 8 dollars
5. Various Debates, the transcripts of several debates between no lordship and lordship advocates can be found on the Grace Evangelical Society’s website. These were valuable in detailing the no lordship position.
6. Discourses of Our Lord Jesus Christ by John Brown, this book was written in 1856 by a Scottish preacher so you know it’s going to be good! This book contains expositions of several of our Lord’s discourses such as the Sermon on the Mount, His conversation with Nicodemus and others. I recommend this book to every Christian, this book is in the public domain and a copy is in our library.
7. Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin. The summa theologia of the reformation.
8. Systematic Theology by Louis Berkhoff, a well trusted theologian. I used this book heavily for definitions of terms and doctrines.
9. Abstract of Systematic Theology by JP Boyce, again for definitions of terms.

1. In order to set the tone for this debate I want to take a look at some representative quotes from the principle players. We’ll let them speak for themselves and that will give us an idea of what they believe and how much of a gap there is between the two sides.
2. First Charles Ryrie, a proponent of No-Lordship salvation, and noted author of the Ryrie Study Bible. Born 1925 sill living. He had this to say when addressing the issues of the Lordship controversy, “The importance of this question cannot be overestimated in relation to both salvation and sanctification. The message of faith only and the message of faith plus commitment of life cannot both be the gospel; therefore, one of them is false and comes under the curse of perverting the gospel or preaching another gospel”
3. This quote is from a book Ryrie wrote titled “Balancing the Christian Life” 1994. Ryrie goes straight to the central issue with this statement. The lordship controversy is centered on this single argument faith only vs faith plus commitment of life. Only one of these views properly represents the Gospel. Lastly he refers to Gal 1 6-9.
4. Next is Ernest Reisinger, a proponent of Lordship salvation, and a former pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral Florida. He passed away in 2004. “Proponents of this view are not in the historical and biblical stream of theology held by the reformers and the great teachers in the church. These men seem to have no regard for the great creeds and confessions of the historic churches”
5. This statement is another building block on the dichotomy between the two systems of theology. Reisinger is basically accusing the no-lordship theologians of being outside of historical Christianity. So if you hold a belief that is outside of historical beliefs is that then heresy? Depends on what your definition of heresy is and we can make a decision on that as we go through the finer points of both views.
6. Dr Ray Stanford former President of Florida Bible College, author of the popular “Handbook for Personal Evangelism” and an aggressive advocate of No-Lordship Theology. We will hear more from Dr Ray later but he had this to say about Lordship Salvation, “The person who preaches such a message is also accursed of God”
7. Again he invokes Gal 1 like Charles Ryrie.
8. Lastly we have John Macarthur a man who needs no introduction around here, “Chafer (together with other early dispensationalists, including C. I. Scofield) was so zealous to eliminate every vestige of law from the dispensation of grace that he embraced a kind of antinomianism. That was the seed from which the no-lordship gospel sprouted”
9. As we progress through these lessons the meaning of what MacArthur is saying will be clearer. For now let’s continue on.
10. We can see from these representative quotes that the nature of this debate tends to be polemical at times. Certainly the weight of the polemic is on the side of the No-Lordship advocates.
11. This debate is also confined to American Christianity.

1. Both sides have invoked Gal 1:6-9 in their writings and statements, and certainly this is the dividing line between the two sides. The accusation is that someone is teaching a false gospel here and what we are tasked with is to determine who is right in light of scripture and historical orthodox theology.
2. The fact that this issue affects soteriology means that how we understand salvation is affected, what is required or not required, the person of Jesus Christ, what the gospel is and what it says and how we understand it are all affected by the Lordship controversy.
3. This matter is relevant to us today, even though much of the controversy has died down in recent years it still simmers below the surface ready for a new generation of advocates.
4. With that said let’s look at the issues beginning with an overview of No-Lordship Salvation.

1. If we to look back in history to a certain place on a time line to find the origin of No lordship theology we would point to 1909 and 1918. That time period saw the birth of what is known as the Carnal Christian doctrine.
2. Most of us here have heard of that but who here knows what it is? (Allow for discussion)
3. The doctrine first appeared in its infant form in Scofield’s Study Bible commentary for 1 Cor 2:14 through 3:3. First let’s look at the text.
4. Scofield’s exposition of this passage from the notes in his Study Bible, “Paul divides men into three classes: 'Natural' i.e. the Adamic Man, unrenewed through the new birth; 'Spiritual' i.e. the renewed man as Spirit-filled and walking in the Spirit in full communion with God; 'Carnal,' 'fleshly,' i.e. the renewed man who walking 'after the flesh,' remains a babe in Christ
5. Lewis Sperry Chafer expanded on this same exposition in his book “He that is Spiritual” written in 1918. We have a copy of this book in our library if you want to check it out. Chafer in his book advances the idea that there are two different kinds of Christians. One that is spiritual that has achieved a higher way of living and another class that behaves much like an unsaved man.
6. Chafer drew from a popular movement of his time known as the Keswick doctrine or movement. This movement is where we get the phrase “Let go let God” Centered in the lake country of England in a village called Keswick, the doctrine promotes a Wesleyan and Arminian view of sanctification. It has also been referred to as the higher life movement and basically promotes the idea that you as a Christian can achieve a state of being where you live in complete submission to the Spirit, thereby achieving a life that is almost completely free from sin.
7. Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ also worked to advance this doctrine in his book “Ye shall Receive Power”. Bill Bright also drew upon Keswick oriented ministers like RA Torrey and Andrew Murray. Campus Crusade today still teaches this doctrine, although I recently spoke with a friend of mine who works for Campus Crusade about this doctrine. His view or explanation of the Carnal Christian doctrine is much more moderate than Chafer's and Scofield's. He explained the middle circle as not a perpetual state but an example of fleshly behavior in a Christian.


1. Here is a diagram produced to help explain what the doctrine promotes, this diagram also appears in tracts produced by Campus Crusade and appears on their website which is where I got this image. I’m not sure when or where this diagram first appeared, but it is used prominently in Campus Crusade’s ministry.
2. Each circle represents a separate class of man. The first circle represents the natural or unregenerate man. The dots in the big circle are the interests in his life like sailing, video games, sleeping etc.
3. The second circle represents the regenerate man ruled by his own self or ego, but added to the interests of his life in Christ, rather than ruling the believer’s life Christ is merely another interest.
4. The last circle represents the spirit led Christian where Christ has taken the throne of the believers life, or rather the believer has allowed Christ to take control. All the other interests of life then are secondary now.
5. Ok so that is basically what the Carnal Christian doctrine is. The question we need to ask is does our text support this doctrine? (Review text and open for discussion)
6. BB Warfield reviewed Chafer’s book in 1919 in the Princeton Theological Review and has this to say, “Mr. Chafer opens his book with an exposition of the closing verses of the second and the opening verses of the third chapters of I Corinthians. Here he finds three classes of men contrasted, the "natural" or unregenerated man, and the "carnal" and "spiritual" men, both of whom are regenerated, but the latter of whom lives on a higher plane. This teaching is indistinguishable from what is ordinarily understood by the doctrine of a "second blessing," "a second work of grace," "the higher life."” BB Warfield 1919
8. He who believes in Jesus Christ is under grace, and his whole course, in its process and in its issue alike, is determined by grace, and therefore, having been predestined to be conformed to the image of God's Son, he is surely being conformed to that image, God Himself seeing to it that he is not only called and justified but also glorified. You may find Christians at every stage of this process, for it is a process through which all must pass; but you will find none who will not in God's own good time and way pass through every stage of it. There are not two kinds of Christians, although there are Christians at every conceivable stage of advancement towards the one goal to which all are bound and at which all shall arrive.” BB Warfield 1919.
9. BB Warfield draws from Rom 8:29 and 30 in his article, since we interpret scripture in light of other scripture especially with difficult a text like 1 cor 2-3. What other scriptures should we look at to help us understand what Paul is saying, or what other scriptures would refute Chafer’s exposition of 1 cor 2-3?
10. What we see when we look at the rest of scripture is that the Bible clearly teaches that there are only two kinds of people, saved and unsaved, light or darkness, truth and lies.
11. Lets look at 2 Cor 5:17, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”
12. This passage brings up an interesting problem for the Carnal Christian doctrine, if this doctrine is true then how do we understand 2 Cor 5:17? No-Lordship theology must interpret this passage in light of their doctrine. Since this passage deals directly with regeneration and sanctification then those doctrines must then be understood differently than what has been understood historically.
13. To understand this passage from the No-Lordship position then is to say that a new nature is introduced to the believer along with his existing sinful nature. So in effect two natures exists together one divine and the other natural.
14. Regeneration in the No-Lordship view then does not transform the nature of a believer but merely transplants a divine nature within the believer. Whether the sinner progresses then towards holiness in sanctification is left optional and up to the believer.
15. This stands in contrast to the orthodox view that the believer’s nature has been made new and is now progressing through sanctification towards the image of Christ.
16. Definition of regeneration from RC Sproul: Regeneration is the theological term used to describe rebirth. It refers to a new generating, a new genesis, a new beginning. It is more than "turning over a new leaf"; it marks the beginning of a new life in a radically renewed person. Regeneration is the work of the Holy Spirit upon those who are spiritually dead (see Ephesians 2:1-10). The Spirit recreates the human heart, quickening it from spiritual death to spiritual life. Regenerate people are new creations. Regeneration is not to be confused with the full experience of conversion. Just as birth is our initiation, our first entrance into life outside the womb, so our spiritual rebirth is the starting point of our spiritual life. It occurs by God's divine initiative and is an act that is sovereign, immediate, and instantaneous. An awareness of our conversion may be gradual. Yet rebirth itself is instantaneous. No one can be partially reborn any more than a woman can be partially pregnant. Regeneration is not the fruit or result of faith. Rather, regeneration precedes faith as the necessary condition for faith. We also do not in any way dispose ourselves toward regeneration or cooperate as co-workers with the Holy Spirit to bring it to pass. We do not decide or choose to be regenerated. God chooses to regenerate us before we will ever choose to embrace Him. To be sure, after we have been regenerated by the sovereign grace of God, we do choose, act, cooperate, and believe in Christ.
17. 1 John 1:5-6, “This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 6, If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;
18. 1 John 2:3, “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments 4, The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him
19. Romans 8:5-9, “For those who live according to the flesh have their outlook shaped by the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their outlook shaped by the things of the Spirit. 8:6 For the outlook of the flesh is death, but the outlook of the Spirit is life and peace, 8:7 because the outlook of the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to the law of God, nor is it able to do so. 8:8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 8:9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, this person does not belong to him
20. Gal 5:18-25, “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, 5:21 envying, murder, drunkenness, carousing, and similar things. I am warning you, as I had warned you before: Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God!5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 5:23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 5:24 Now those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 5:25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also behave in accordance with the Spirit
21. Rom 8:30, “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”
22. Phil 1:5-7, “that He who has begun a good work in you will complete [it] until the day of Jesus Christ;”

1. We can follow the progression of the no lordship theology beginning with John Nelson Darby, a member of the Plymouth brethren who transplanted Dispensationalism in the US. Next CI Scofield and his study bible, then Lewis Sperry Chafer who codified the doctrine in his Systematic Theology volumes. Chafer became a founding member of the Dallas Theological Seminary in 1924. The no lordship doctrine at one time was referred to as the Dallas doctrine.
2. The year 1975 also saw the no lordship doctrine advance when the President of the Florida Bible College, Dr Ray Stanford wrote the booklet “The Handbook of Personal Evangelism” This book contained a section on something called “Lordship Salvation”. This is where, it is generally believed that the term “Lordship Salvation” was first coined. That referred to the doctrine that says “in order for a man to be saved he must not only receive Christ as his Savior, but also must make Him absolute Lord and Master of his life”. He goes on to say that “this doctrine has been termed “Lordship Salvation” and has absolutely no support from the Word of God. It is, in fact, another subtle way Satan has invented to get Bible-believing men to add works salvation without, perhaps, their realizing it, and to do it in such a way that it sounds spiritual and good.” The accusation here that works have been added to salvation is one that is made by every no-lordship advocate. Also the language and accusations here leveled by Dr Ray Stanford are wild and extreme considering the weight of scripture that refutes his assertion. However none of the no-lordship advocates have distanced themselves from his work, on the contrary they all quote from his booklet.
3. No Lordship salvation flows in the stream of theology that flows from Arminianism, Dispensationalism, and Antinomianism. In the words of Ernest Reisinger, this doctrine has a father whose name is Arminianism a mother whose name is Dispensationalism and a sister called Antinomianism. In other words no-lordship salvation is natural progression of those doctrines as we'll see when we examine the finer points of no-lordship salvation in the next 2 lessons.
4. What Reisinger and Macarthur have both pointed out is where Dispensationalism has setup dichotmies within the Bible those dichotomies or separations have continued into every part of theology. No-Lordship advocates have setup dichotomies between faith and repentance, even the Kingship and the Priesthood of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1. The major proponents of No-Lordship salvation include Zane Hodges, the author of one of our sources for this study, Charles Ryrie, Lewis Sperry Chafer, Dr Ray Stanford and the contemporary advocate and president of the Free Grace Society Dr. Bob Wilkin.
2. Here is a concise statement of what Free Grace or No-Lordship Salvation teaches, written by Arch Rutherford a pastor in a Free Grace church.
3. "Free Grace" theology teaches that we receive eternal life the moment we believe in Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and Lord. "Lord" refers to our belief that He is the Son of God and therefore, able to be our "Savior". "Faith" is viewed as a simple and uncomplicated response to the truth God has revealed about His Son, and the Gift which He offers. When Jesus says "Truly, Truly I say unto you, he who believes in Me has eternal life" (John 6:47), "believe" means to be convinced and assured that what He says is true. (See John 1:11-13) ....
4. Do you see any problems with any of these statements?
5. “Lord refers to our belief that He is the Son of God and therefore able to be our savior” There are a couple of problems with this statement, first the fact that Jesus Christ is Lord is not dependent on our belief, thankfully! Phil 2:5 says that “God exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name”. Again the phrase “able to be our savior” reminds me of an early heresey called “Monarchianism or Adoptionalism” this heresey took away Christ's divinity by saying the God had merely adopted a man to carry His spirit. Thankfully Jesus was not just able to be our savior but He is our savior remember he did not consider equality with God something to be grasped but took the form of a servant and became obedient to death.
6. As you see you must think critically when presented assertions that are given in support of a doctrine or theology. Let's look at this phrase “Faith is viewed as a simple and uncomplicated response to the truth God has revealed about His Son and the Gift which He offers.” This statement presupposes that the author's definition of faith and your definition of faith are the same, or that there is only one kind of faith. But let me ask you is faith simple and uncomplicated? What does that even mean? Something that is simple to me may be complicated to you. In our next lesson we will examine this question in detail and in light of what scripture says.
7. Any questions? We will come back to this in our next classes, right now we are just looking at an overview of No lordship theology.
1. The opposite view in our study is called Lordship salvation as we have seen was labeled by its opponents, its principle proponents include John MacArthur Ernest Reisinger J.I.Packer, and B.B. Warfield. These are all people who have written in opposition to no-lordship salvation and in favor of lordship salvation.
2. Just as we said earlier that No-lordship salvation is closely related to Arminianism and Dispensationalism, conversely Lordship theology is related to Reformed or Covenant Theology, for the purposes of this class I have made no distinction between Covenant and New Covenant theology.
3. As for the history of Lordship theology none is readily apparent, when you look back through Christian History. It does not appear suddenly nor can it be attributed to any certain individual. I was reminded of this quote from Eusebius, “Orthodoxy does not have a history, it is true eternally. Heresey has a history, having arisen at particular times through particular teachers”
4. So what does Lordship salvation say? Let's take a look at a concise statement of it's beliefs, “The Gospel Jesus proclaimed was a call to discipleship, a call to follow him in submissive obedience, not just a plea to make a decision or pray a prayer. Jesus’ message liberated people from the bondage of their sin while it confronted and condemned hypocrisy. It was an offer of eternal life and forgiveness for repentant sinners, but at the same time it was a rebuke to outwardly religious people whose lives were devoid of true righteousness. It put sinners on notice that they must turn from sin and embrace God’s righteousness. It was in every sense good news, yet it was anything but easy-believism. J..MacArthur (Gospel According to Jesus)”
5. Does anyone disagree with anything in this statement? I think we would all be familiar with what MacArthur is saying here. But one question we need to ask is since Zane Hodges, Ryrie etc are using the same Bible MacArthur and Reisinger are using how did they come to such different conclusions? Why do you think?
6. So we have seen that each side has accused the other of error and apostasy, going so far as to invoke the curse spoken of in Gal 1:8. So what we are charged with in this study is to determine who is right and why while proving it through scripture.
7. As in ancient Christianity when heresies arose it caused Christians to define and examine what they believed. And this what we will be doing in this class.
8. The Lordship controversy has called into question the definitions of repentance, faith, grace, sanctification, human depravity, the role of moral law and the doctrine of assurance.
9. Because the Lordship controversy has called into question these doctrines we need to define what the Gospel says and what it is. This will be our starting point as we continue to look more closely at the more central issues.

1. Gal 1:8 says that there is only one Gospel, but we have been presented with two very different ideas of what the Gospel is and says. So let's ask ourselves what is the Gospel? Get answers.
2. Much of what the Lordship Controversy is about is dichotomies that have been setup between faith/repentance, Christ's Kingship and his Priesthood. I want to try to demonstrate or offer a scriptural proof of why this is an incorrect way to look at the gospel is and says.
3. Lets look at Mark 1:1, .
4. When we look at this passage in the Greek, we can see the relationship between Jesus and the Gospel. In English when we want to show relationship we use a preposition. Of, in etc. In Greek grammar we would use the genitive case to show relationship.
5. In our text we can see an example of the genitive case in the phrase “euangeliou Ihsou Cristou” So the words for “good news” and Jesus Christ” appear next to each other in the genitive case. There are 3 different kinds of relationship possibilities, subjective, objective and plenary (which is a combination of the two). You can tell which genitive case to use from the context of what you're reading.
6. So if we translate this phrase in the subjective genitive it would read like this, “the gospel which Jesus proclaims” or the gospel is the subject of what Jesus is saying. In the objective genitive it would read like this, “the gospel about Jesus Christ” in other words the object of the gospel is Jesus Christ. Now what Daniel Wallace (a prominent Greek scholar) would say is that this is possibly an example of plenary genitive which would read “the gospel which Jesus proclaims is in fact the gospel about himself”
7. My point here is we can get an insight into the relationship between who Jesus is and what he says (the gospel)
8. This isn't the only place in the Bible where a situation like this appears, we can also look Rev 1:1 and see where the same type of grammar is used. Rev 1:1, The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John,
9. The Greek would read like this, ajpokaluyi" Ihsou Cristou, (ap-ok-al'-oop-sis )“the revelation of Jesus Christ”) could be interpreted as either an objective genitive (“the revelation about Jesus Christ”), subjective genitive (“the revelation from Jesus Christ”), or both D. B. Wallace’s “plenary” genitive [ExSyn 119-21]). In 1:1 and 22:16 it is clear that Jesus has sent his angel to proclaim the message to John; thus the message is from Christ, and this would be a subjective genitive. On a broader scale, though, the revelation is about Christ, so this would be an objective genitive. One important point to note is that the phrase under consideration is best regarded as the title of the book and therefore refers to the whole of the work in all its aspects. This fact favors considering this as a plenary genitive.
1. Another way to define the gospel or what the gospel says is through confessions or creeds. Some of the earliest creeds in the Christian church were actually scripture in the Bible.
2. For example a very concise description appears in 1 Corinthians 15:1, “I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures
3. A more thorough description can be found in Philipians 2:6-11, “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
4. So these passages contain very brief but very complete descriptions of what DA Carson said “The Gospel is what God has done, supremely in Christ, and especially focused on his cross and resurrection.”
5. What other creeds or confessions can you think of?
1. The Westminster Shorter Confession compiled in 1647 is a series of 107 questions and responses that covers every aspect of Christian Faith. (Need more historical background)
2. So if were to ask again what is the Gospel and who is Jesus, we would find very good answers here beginning with question 22 and ending with question 29.
3. 22) How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man? Christ, the Son of God, became man, by taking to himself a true body, and a reasonable soul, being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and born of her, yet without sin. Luke 1:27, 31, 35
4. 23) What offices doth Christ execute as our Redeemer? Christ, as our Redeemer, executeth the offices of a Prophet, of a Priest, and of a King, both in his estate of humiliation and exaltation. Acts 3:22-23, Hebrews 4:14-15, Isaiah 9:6-7
5. 24) How doth Christ execute the office of a Prophet? Christ executeth the office of a Prophet, in revealing to us by his Word and Spirit, the will of God for our salvation. Hebrews 2:3 John 15:26-27 John 4:41-42.
6. 25) How doth Christ execute the office of a Priest? Christ executeth the office of a Priest, in his once offering up of himself a sacrifice to satisfy divine justice, and reconcile us to God, and in making continual intercession for us. Acts 8:32-35 Romans 5:10-11 Romans 8:34
7. 26) How doth Christ execute the office of a King? Christ executeth the office of a King, in subduing us to himself, in ruling and defending us, and in restraining and conquering all his and our enemies. Matthew 28:18-20 Colossians 2:15
8. 27) Wherein did Christ's humiliation consist? Christ's humiliation consisted in his being born, and that in a low condition, made under the law, undergoing the miseries of this life, the wrath of God, and the cursed death of the cross; in being buried, and continuing under the power of death for a time. Luke 2:7 Matthew 12:40 Phil 2:5
9. 28) Wherein consisteth Christ's exaltation? Christ's exaltation consisteth in his rising again from the dead on the third day, in ascending up into heaven, in sitting at the right hand of God the Father, and in coming to judge the world at the last day. 1 Corinthians 15:4 Matthew 16:27
10. 29) How are we made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ? We are made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ, by the effectual application of it to us by his Holy Spirit. Titus 3:4-7, “But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior”
1. The whole of this last exercise what to demonstrate the relationship between our Lord and the Gospel. When we receive Christ we also receive and accept everything that he said and commanded. We become not just believers but followers of Christ. This very simple concept has been altered to a great degree by the no-lordship theology.
2. These are terms or doctrines that we use to describe different aspects of salvation. What no-lordship theology has done is to separate these from one another in order to make the gospel message more acceptable for a greater amount of people. In doing so they have produced a man-made gospel that is virtually unrecognizable from what is revealed to us in God's Word.
3. Can you remove Faith from Sanctification? To do so embraces antinomianism, in other words to be justified by faith with out any commitment of life or to make sanctification a work of the believer removes the Lord's commandments from immediacy in the believer's life.”J.MacArthur
4. Let me say also that to do so would change the meaning of both faith and sanctification, again to do so would alter the meaning of both words.
5. What about the person of Christ? Can we have Christ as our Priest but not our King?
6. No-lordship theology sets out to do these very things as we'll see in the next lessons.


Rom 8:30, “and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.”

1Cor 6:11, “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”

Apostles’ Creed (dates to about 150AD)
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Maker of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;
He descended into hell.
The third day He arose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost;
the holy catholic church;
the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the body;
and the life everlasting.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Exsurge Domine

(Latin, “arise Lord”)

This refers to the papal bull written by Pope Leo X on June 15, 1520. The bull intended to bring an Augustinian monk named Martin Luther and his rebellion to a halt by the threat of excommunication from the Church. In it, the demand was made that Luther retract 41 errors within 60 days. From the first paragraph, “Arise, O Lord, and judge your own cause. Remember your reproaches to those who are filled with foolishness all through the day. . . . The wild boar [Luther] from the forest seeks to destroy it and every wild beast feeds upon it.” On December 10, 1520 Martin Luther burned the bull in front of his students at Wittenberg. It is reported that he uttered these words at the burning, “Because you have confounded the truth [or, the saints] of God, today the Lord confounds you. Into the fire with you!” Some would suggest that this is the formal day on which the Great Reformation began. On January 3, 1521, Leo excommunicated Luther issuing another bull Decet Romanum Pontificem.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


The agrapha are those sayings of Christ that were not recorded by the Gospel writers, yet are attested either in the traditions of the early church or in other New Testament books. A definite example of an agrapha is recorded in Acts, 20:35 where Paul says, “Remember the word of the Lord Jesus, how he said: It is a more blessed thing to give, rather than to receive.” These words are not recorded in the Gospels, but are part of the unwritten tradition which Paul received. The agrapha are normally found in the writings of church Fathers. If the writing has sufficient attestation in the Fathers and it does not contradict any canonical teaching, it is considered a possible instance of agrapha. One example in the early church is from Justin Martyr, Dial. 47: “Wherefore also our Lord Jesus Christ said, ‘In whatsoever things I apprehend you, in those I shall judge you.’” Many of the proposed agrapha, however, could very easily be summaries or paraphrases of canonical sayings, thus making a genuine agrapha difficult to determine.

Regula Fidei

This is a phrase used often in the early Church to refer to the summation of the Christian faith. The regula fidei was seen as the faith which was held “always, everywhere, and by all.” It was seen as being inherited and passed on, not through an avenue of inspired or infallible information distinct from that of Scripture, but as representative of the essential doctrinal and moral elements of the faith contained in Scripture. This concept served as a theological barrier to gauge and protect orthodoxy. Also known as the “analogy of faith,” from Latin analogia fidei.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Spurgeon's Sotierology

Found this article about Spurgeon and his view of sotierology. I found it on which is the home to the Grace Evangelical Society, a group that promotes the no-lordship view of salvation. The article was written by Jerry Harmon, who currently pastors a Reformed Baptist church in Bartlett.

The article is very evenhanded and I was surprised to find it on the GES website. Perhaps they posted it because the writer covers Spurgeon's explanation of human responsibility.

Here is the article.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Great Darkness and Earthquakes, Early Evidence

George the Syncellus was a Byzantine historian, bishop and the syncellus (literally same-cell) to the patriarch of Constantinople, he died around 810 AD. He is best known for his work "The Chronography" which was an annotated time line of sorts that chronicled world history from creation to the beginning of Diocletian's reign 284 AD.

In his book "The Chronography" George quotes a 3rd century historian Julius Africanus (whose writings are lost to us). It appears there was some debate on how to explain the darkness that came over the Earth during our Lord's crucifixion.

Julius argues that the darkness cannot be explained as a solar eclipse, an explanation that Thallus, a 1st-2nd century Greek historian offers in his work "Histories". Because the crucification happened the day before passover when the moon and sun are in opposition.

from George's "Chronography" quoting Africanus:
"In the third book of his Histories, Thallos dismisses this darkness as a solar eclipse. In my opinion, this is nonsense. For the Hebrews celebrate the Passover on Luna 14, and what happened to the Saviour occurred one day before the Passover. But an eclipse of the sun takes place when the moon passes under the sun. The only time when this can happen is in the interval between the first day of the new moon and the last day of the old moon, when they are in conjunction. How then could one believe an eclipse took place when the moon was almost in opposition to the sun? So be it. Let what had happened beguile the masses, and let this wonderful sign to the world be considered a solar eclipse through an optical (illusion)."

Origen in "Against Celsus" bk2 ch33 also mentions the debate between Christians and pagans on the cause of the "eclipse" during Tiberius' riegn

" And with regard to the eclipse in the time of Tiberius Cæsar, in whose reign Jesus appears to have been crucified, and the great earthquakes which then took place, Phlegon too, I think, has written in the thirteenth or fourteenth book of his Chronicles."

It seems that whether Jesus existed or not never entered the debate but rather the debate centered on how to explain the events that were associated with Christ's crucifixion.

That is what we can tell from what little fragments of history we have from that time period. It is an interesting glimpse in to early apologetics. It's also interesting to see how well the ancients understood astronomy.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Michael Card

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Pentecostal Dog

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Luke, and the Cultural transition of the Gospel

Sir William Ramsay quotes a commentator on Luke as saying he "can be as Hebraistic as the Septuagint and as free from Hebraisms as Plutarch" and that Luke can be Greek when describing Greek society and Hebrew when describing Hebrew society.

Relate those comments with Andrew Walls' theory that the Gospel transitioned cultural mileu at specific times in history. It seems to me that in Luke we are seeing an early example of the transition of the Gospel to Greek culture.

Luke then stands out as unique among the New Testament writers, as someone fully Greek but with a firm understanding of the Hebrew culture.