Studies on the Holy Bible (KJV), using many resources.
Thursday, May 19, 2016
I was at an event last night that talked about the great principle of interposition. Everything was well said, except for one bad precept that was put out. The speaker spoke against incrementalism and for immediatism, meaning that instead of taking steps we should only support legislation that directly accomplishes the end goal of ending abortion. A few problems with that:
1) Nothing can be accomplished by mortals immediately. There is always a process, a timeline and steps (i.e. work). Only a few times did God just work an immediate miracle to change things, most of the time men had to work over a period of time to solve the problem. Israel didn't take Canaan in a day, most wars they were involved in had battles they fought along the way. Wilberforce took 20 years to get slavery abolished in England, and there were many steps along the way.
2) Immediatism is a heretical concept that makes man God, putting the miracle of accomplishment in men's hands. Men do their work bound by time, and some accomplishments take generations. It was a doctrine that came out of Unitarianism, an anti-christian religion formed out of the fusion of christianity and the enlightenment; in fact the 6 financial backers of John Brown the violent abolitionist were Unitarian ministers.
3) Even immediatists have to work incrementally, because just abolishing abortion wouldn't take care of all the problems related to that concept (though it would be a great start). They are also time-bound and have to do their work.
Caveats: Not all incrementalism is good, some is just useless show, and the speaker spoke well against that type of incrementalism (he just went too far beyond that).
The end result of a belief in immediatism is that those who are concerned about the issue won't get involved in the political process unless they are working on the ultimate legislation. They won't work on the steps in-between, and use immediatism to justify their apathy. Just like the anarchists in Fairbanks, who encourage people not to vote, they are just selling people that there are only two options: passivity or revolution. God works in many ways, not just those two, and we should always do what we can to move in the direction of abolition, but that will take some steps to get there.
Same pattern, different age, different concepts, same problem.
I was introduced three decades ago to a belief system the reformers held, that has been coming back to the forefront as injustice shows itself in the world, the belief that God gave us his law to define justice and love, and that whatever laws weren't abrogated are still in effect. It's a belief that God as the creator knows exactly what is best, and the revelation of his law revealed that to us.
The last few years I've seen a disturbing trend that is reminiscent of what Calvin and the reformers had to face in their day during the reformation. Not only did they have to combat the extremes of the Catholic Church of that day, but on the other side they had to fight the Anabaptists (not the same as Baptists today). Painting with a broad brush, the Anabaptists were those who took the beliefs of the reformers to an extreme, making an even farther move from any Catholic doctrine.
This is actually a common pattern in the world: where one belief system grows strong, then is taken to an extreme end; there is then a reform to bring it back to the biblical standard, and then there are those who take the reform and keep moving to a third point that can be just as unbiblical as the first was getting, but in a different direction.
So with the issue today, we have had a church influenced by rationalism and evolutionary thinking deciding that law is what anyone makes of it, with no true standard; then men like Bahnsen and Rushdoony brought common sense back with call to the Biblical standard; and now what I've seen is the rise of Christian libertarianism, an extreme point-of-view that says very few laws matter, only those that they can link to property rights in some way. The ultimate end of this is close to anarchy, minimizes justice, and is certainly not what we've been given in the Bible, but with the "individualism" that comes forth in American culture, it seems to be growing in popularity.
The most current outspoken proponent of this I've seen is Joel McDurmon of American Vision. He has just written a new book, The Bounds of Love: An Introduction to God's Law of Liberty. It just came out and I've ordered a copy to read, but you can read his description of the book at the link posted and see some of his point of view. Please note, that I agree with a lot of what Mr McDurmon has written over time with regards to Biblical law and the state, but I have seen in the past where he has seemingly abandoned the clear words of the text to postulate a more libertarian point-of-view.
I'm not writing this to review the book, or even go in depth on the theology involved, in fact, I was just planning this article two weeks ago, when a friend I consider to be conservative was trying to make a biblical case for legalized drugs. I've also seen some go so extremely far as to propose legalized prostitution. Really, once you go down the trail that the libertarian belief takes you, then the sky's the limit. Please consider this warning and study these issues, as we know from the Anabaptists, while some good came out of that movement, it also created a lot of the church problems that we see in our present day.
“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
And the earth, this phrase is the same phrase that ended the verse before, emphasizing the point that we’re now just talking about the earth (excluding the heavens).Henry Morris points out in “The Genesis Record” that “It is significant that every verse in the first chapter of Genesis (except Genesis 1:1) begins with the conjunction “And” (Hebrew waw).This structure clearly means that each statement is sequentially and chronologically connected to the verses before and after.Each action follows directly upon the action described in the verse preceding it.”Matthew Poole points out “The same confused mass or heap is here called both earth, from its most solid and substantial part; and the deep, from its vast bulk and depth; and waters, from its outward face and covering.”
was, Morris says also “The gap theory also proposes that the word translated “was” (Hebrew hayetha) should really be translated “became,” thus suggesting a change of state from the original perfect creation to the chaotic condition inferred from verse 2.Although such a translation is grammatically possible, it is unlikely in this particular context.The verb is the regular Hebrew verb of being (hayetha), not the word normally used to denote a change of state (haphak).Although hayetha can also, if the context warrants, be used to introduce a change of state, it simply means “was” in 98 percent of its occurrences.That is why, in the King James and every other standard translation of the Bible.,Genesis 1:2 is always translated “was,” never “became.”There is nothing at all in the context of Genesis 1, to suggest that it should in this particular case be rendered “became.”But even if it were to be translated “became,” it would not necessarily imply a change of state.It might well refer simply to the nature assumed by the created earth in response to the divine creative fiat of Genesis1:1.”
without form, and void;, unformed and unfilled, as Isaiah 45:18 points out, God didn’t intend it to stay that way, the first three days of creation he formed it, and in the last three days he filled it.An attack on creation (and thereby God) is the Gap Theory, which posits a gap between two different creative acts of God, in which the world he first created is destroyed (usually said by the fall of Satan, which doesn’t happen until Gen ).There is nothing else in scripture referring to this, and was created in 1814 to compromise with the religion of Science.It also contradicts much scripture, such as Romans 5:12, where it is said that death is the result of Adam’s sin.
and darkness was upon the face of the deep., upon the face, shows us that it was dark on the surface or uppermost part, so there wasn’t any light yet shining on it, letting us know that the heaven above it was also without light, as we find manifest in later verses (also Jer 4:23).Deep, also translated abyss, comes from a root denoting rage, or to roar, and is commonly used for the depths of the sea.So we have a churning, chaotic mass, from which God in the next three days would form the world.
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters., the Spirit of God applied the force to form the earth from the chaos.The word “moved” here is translated in the Septuagint as the Greek “phero”, which is also used in II Pet. 1:21, also speaking of the oving of the Holy Ghost.
Notes & Quotes
From “The New Defenders Study Bible”:
“This gap theory, however, requires a worldwide cataclysm at the end of the geological ages, in order to account for the globally flooded and darkened earth described in Genesis 1:2.The cataclysm, in turn, is hypothetically connected with the fall of Lucifer in heaven (Is 14:9-14) and his expulsion to the earth (Eze 28:12-15), though such a cataclysm is nowhere mentioned in Scripture.However, in addition to its obvious contradictions with other important and clear Bible passages (; Ex ), the gap theory is self-defeating geologically.The geological age system (which is the necessary framework for modern evolutionism) is based entirely on the principle of uniformitarianism, a premise which denies any such worldwide cataclysm, and requires that we interpret earth history by the applying of present geological processes into the remote past.The concept of geological ages is based entirely on a uniformitarian explanation of the fossil beds and sedimentary rocks of the earth’s crust, which would all have been destroyed by such a pre-Adamic cataclysm.Thus, any attempt to ignore or explain away the supposed great age of the earth by the gap theory makes an unnecessary compromise with evolutionism, and displays a lack of understanding of the geological structures and processes to which evolutionists appeal in defending their long ages.
The real answer to the geological ages is not an imaginary pre-Adamic cataclysm, but the very real cataclysm of the Noah’s flood (see comments on ch. 6-9), which provides a much better explanation of the fossil beds and sedimentary rocks, eliminating all evidence of geological ages and confirming the biblical doctrine of recent creation.”
From Matthew Henry’s Unabridged Commentary:
“If the work of grace in the soul is a new creation, this chaos represents the state of an unregenerate graceless soul: there is disorder, confusion, and every evil work; it is empty of all good, for it is without God; it is dark, it is darkness itself. This is our condition by nature, till almighty grace effects a blessed change.”
Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created:and thou renewest the face of the earth.Ps 104:30
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:Romans 1:20
God is a god of order, and brought things to a perfect order.Then sin came into the world, bringing death and destruction.We are now in the Kingdom, but won’t see the new heaven and the new earth until the second coming of Christ.
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”
In the beginning, this phrase shows us the point where all time (and space) began, and that God created all things at a particular moment.It is translated “in the beginning” in John 1:1, which shows that unlike some modern bible versions, it wouldn’t be translated “when”.
God, Elohim, the word translated here, is actually a plural, and while not a proof of the trinity itself (there’s plenty of proof elsewhere in the bible), is good evidence that Israel knew of his plural nature.Other verses elsewhere, let us know that the Son (word) and Spirit (wisdom) were involved also.The nature of the Trinity is also not just a Christian doctrine, but also the point of view of some Jewish rabbis.Another aspect of the plurality is the wide use in hebrew of the plural to express the intensity of a singular item.Elohim seems to be traced back to a root denoting “adoration with fear”.
created, The hebrew word used here, “bara”, emphasizes the initiation of the object, and is only used in reference to God.This sentence is phrased in such a way as to show “creatio ex nihilo”, creation out of nothing.
the heaven and the earth., an expression denoting the universe in it’s entirety, hebrew not having a single word for this; “heaven” in the hebrew here is actually a dualism (a plurality of two), possibly alluding to the two physical heavens, sky & space (2 Cor. 12:2).
Notes & Quotes
From “The Genesis Record” by Henry M. Morris:
“…this one verse refutes all of man’s false philosophies concerning the origin and meaning of the world:
1.It refutes atheism, because the universe was created by God. 2.It refutes pantheism, for God is transcendent to that which He created. 3.It refutes polytheism, for one God created all things. 4. It refutes materialism, for matter had a beginning. 5.It refutes dualism, because God was alone when He created. 6.It refutes humanism, because God, not man, is the ultimate reality. 7.It refutes evolutionism, because God created all things.”
And J.G. Murphy points out, that if refutes fatalism, for it involves the freedom of the eternal being.
R.J. Rushdoony, in his commentary on Genesis, states:
“There can be no understanding of the God of Scripture, nor of Scripture, without an acceptance of creationism.The goal of the evolutionists is not to present assured and substantiated facts but, first, to replace God with chance.Any god permitted in their scheme of things is a struggling, evolving god, who, like man, evolved as a product.Second, Darwinism in all its forms seeks to replace order and design with mindless coincidences.Order and design are too indicative of the hand of God and must be scornfully derided.Third, the Darwinians hate God, they fear God, and they war against God.Their contempt does not make God go away!
But to assume the Darwinian position is to posit a vast potentiality in the universe which makes it a mindless force equal to God!”
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.Rev. 4:11
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.Ps 19:1
All creation is for his glory, and that is good news for the elect, since we have been chosen to glorify him, and we will be most satisfied when he is most glorified. Those who deny creation, deny the glory of God, and therefore reject God.
This will be a blog of my bible studies. This is not about me finding a new creative way to see the Bible, but a study using many resources, to learn what God said, so that I may bring my worldview closer to God's worldview, and conform to the image of his Son.
I'll start in Genesis, the foundation of the Bible. It can be easily seen, that those who reject God as the creator, will have no basis in having Christ as the savior. Conversely, those who accept creation as God-given, will have an easier time accepting grace.