The ground work or foundation for awakening prayer as well as for the visitation that we call an awakening is to be found in the theology we find linked to the First and Second Great Awakenings and the Launching of the Great Century of Missions as the late historian, Kenneth Scott Latourette called it or the Modern Missionary Movement as it is called today. That theology with few exceptions must be described as Sovereign Grace or Calvinism. The latter term actually diverts attention from the reality that Sovereign Grace is taught in Holy Scripture, and the very term is predicated on the use of the word, “reign,” used in Romans 5:21: “That as sin has reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” Reign or rule, of course, suggests the very idea of sovereignty, the authority and power to demand that things be done with a certainty. Sin abounds. Grace superabounds. The enemy comes in like a flood, and God raises up a standard against him, a counter flood, a greater flood. Like Noah’s flood of old which covered the whole earth, the deluge of grace shall fill the whole earth with His knowledge and glory. The stone becomes a great mountain and fills the whole earth.
Interestingly enough, all of this is to be accomplished not by force but by persuasion Which brings us to the statement from a work which began my journey toward this understanding of God’s design. In his Introduction to his translation of William Ames’ Marrow of Divinity (the first textbook in theology used at Harvard, so I understand), Dr. John Eusden stated; “Predestination is an invitation to begin one’s spiritual pilgrimage,….” That statement was like a light turned on in my mind and heart. Continue reading
Our one great need today is for an awakening to prayer. Yes, there are many calls to pray, and there are many who pray. However, we have yet to see a movement of the Spirit of God commensurate with what we seek. That is why I would like to recommend Jonathan Edwards’ Humble Attempt, a tract which inspired William Carey and others to begin praying for the spread of the Gospel to other lands. The Baptists in England began their prayer meetings in 1785. Seven years later, 1792, Carey went to Egypt, and the rest, as they say, is history. The interesting factor in the whole effort, however, is the work by Edwards. His tract lists nearly a 100 prophecies and/or promises which can be pleaded in prayer as reasons for God to hear and answer. I have been praying and pleading these promises, since the Fall of 1973 after I addressed the Pastors’ Prayer Meeting of the Sandy Creek Baptist Association on the subject of A Great Awakening. I would speak to that group on the fifth and tenth anniversaries. My subject on those occasions was, A Third Great Awakening. I cannot say I prayed every day, but I made it a policy that became entrenched to ask for such a visitation as often as possible. Today, I seldom say grace even without asking for another awakening. Continue reading
A couple of weeks ago Justin Taylor posted an article entitled “Biblical Reasons to Doubt the Creation Days Were 24-Hour Periods”. Since that time, many have posted articles refuting Justin’s arguments. In this article I will post links to some of the ones I know about and make a couple of observations myself.
First, let me start off by saying that in general I respect Justin. He’s a well-reasoned man of good character and genuinely strives for biblical accuracy. I just think he missed the mark on this one. Nevertheless, his article seems to have given many of us the incentive to hash this issue out. Continue reading
In the ongoing debate over the Genesis creation account, one supposed problem that seems particularly troublesome for many is the question of the length of a day prior to the creation of the sun (on Day 4). Since the sun is the means by which a day is usually measured, then it is objected by Old-Earthers that we are left without any sure understanding of what God might possibly mean by the term, “day,” when it is used to describe the first three days of creation. Here’s the text:
Genesis 1 ESV
1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. Continue reading
PETERSBURG, Ky. (BP) — Answers in Genesis is suing the government of Kentucky for alleged discrimination in refusing to extend a sales tax rebate incentive program to the Ark Encounter theme park the apologetics ministry is building in northern Kentucky.
The state’s decision to deny the tax incentive based on AiG’s status as a religious organization is against the law and violates legal precedent, the lawsuit asserts.
“The state was so insistent on treating our religious entity as a second-class citizen that we were simply left with no alternative but to proceed to court,” AiG president Ken Ham said. “This is the latest example of increasing government hostility towards religion in America, and it’s certainly among the most blatant. Our organization spent many months attempting to reason with state officials so that this lawsuit would not be necessary.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated since being posted earlier this afternoon (Feb. 3).
MOUNT VERNON, Ga. (BP) — Brewton-Parker College trustee chairman Gary Campbell is the third high-profile figure to leave the college’s leadership team in the past two weeks.
Campbell tendered his resignation on Feb. 2 shortly before introducing Interim President Charles “Charlie” Bass to faculty and staff at the South Georgia college.
But before departing, Campbell discussed the unexpected resignation of President Ergun Caner on Jan. 20 and, barely a week later, the termination of Vice President C.B. Scott. On Jan. 29 Campbell told Vidalia-based Southeast Georgia Today news outlet that he could not comment on Scott’s departure due to it being a personnel matter.
Scott was one of the first administrative appointments made by Caner, calling him “the perfect man for the job” of overseeing the college’s alumni and college relations programs. Scott, who was already serving in various capacities at the college, according to the original press release announcing his appointment, was elevated to the cabinet-level position in January 2014.
Before announcing his own resignation, Campbell took several minutes to “set the record straight concerning speculation regarding recent leadership changes at Brewton-Parker College.”
Lawsuit to defend religious freedom explained in new video
by Mark Looy on February 3, 2015
Note: This article is slightly adapted from a news release being sent to the national media today. The release and this web article provide a link to a video of AiG President Ken Ham interviewing attorney Mike Johnson about the religious freedom lawsuit—watch the video at the link above.
Answers in Genesis (AiG), developer of the Ark Encounter theme park in Northern Kentucky, confirmed today it is filing a federal lawsuit against state officials for denying the park participation in the state’s tax rebate incentive program. Although the program is available to all qualifying tourist attractions seeking to build in the state, AiG’s application was rejected solely because of the religious identity and message of AiG. The lawsuit explains how this action by Kentucky officials, including Gov. Steve Beshear, violates federal and state law and amounts to unlawful viewpoint discrimination.
by Russell Moore
Tabletalk: How did you come to pursue a career as a systematic theologian and Christian ethicist?
Russell Moore: I felt a call to ministry early on and preached my first sermon at my home church in Biloxi, Miss., when I was twelve. I then drifted from that calling toward a career in politics. When I was working on Capitol Hill as a very young man, I picked up in the Library of Congress a copy of a Free Will Baptist manual on weddings, funerals, and so forth. After I returned home I wondered, “Why did I want this?” The Lord used that to rekindle my sense of His call to ministry. I never imagined how God would merge these callings together.
In one of our most widely read and discussed articles yet, Hannah Anderson laid out ways the “mommy blogosphere” has become a vehicle for driving how Christian women think and talk about practical matters of the faith. She concluded the piece by arguing that in recognizing this reality, there is a necessity for local churches to consider how some of what’s encountered in that world may be generating a lack of balance or perspective in how a woman considers seasons like marriage or motherhood in the context of her identity as a child of God. She also argued that one way for churches to address this dynamic is not necessarily to dissuade women from reading or writing blogs entirely, but to encourage women in those churches who are gifted in teaching and writing, to apply those gifts to the Christian blogosphere as a whole.
The argument that women should be encouraged to engage in “digital discipleship” at a deeper and more gospel-oriented level is by no means an argument that women’s discipleship should happen exclusively online. Quite the opposite.
by Jeremiah Johnson
New believers, and especially young men, are often very passionate for the truth. The joy of new life in Christ goes hand in hand with the desire to proclaim God’s truth to others and see them come to repentance and faith in Him.
But that passion usually exceeds the new believer’s preparedness to preach. Without a tested and proven faith, and without a strong understanding of Scripture—or any training in how to study and understand it—new believers should not assume leadership positions in the church.
Nor should they launch into ministry simply because “God told me to.” To the undiscerning, that might be a persuasive argument. But God’s people have a responsibility not to blithely believe everyone who claims to speak for Him. Moreover, they need to hold the leaders they follow to biblical standards (which gets back to the original reason for this series).
The four of us loved the church and we still love the church! Our boys’ spouses love the church and they are now raising children who love the church!
How did we escape the testimony I often hear of pastor’s families resenting the church? By God’s grace and prayer. I also believe we made several decisions that moved us along toward a positive experience. I will note three of these decisions.
We are offering all teachers and educators an opportunity to earn a CEU while learning to defend God’s Word in the classroom. Get answers for yourself and your students at this year’s Answers for Teachers conference.
This exciting, information-packed event is being held at the Creation Museum in northern Kentucky on February 20, 2015, from 8 AM to 6 PM. You will hear from AiG’s Dr. Georgia Purdom, Dr. Terry Mortenson, Dr. Andrew Snelling, Dr. David Mention, Dan Lietha, Tim Chaffey, and Bryan Osborne. During the seven sessions you will learn about cell biology, evidence for a young earth, ape-men, the Resurrection, and so much more!
No less than Western law, the civil rights movement, and Christianity itself rest on the historicity of the biblical event.
Gregory Alan Thornbury/ February 3, 2015
Men at work, detail from the frescoes in the Tomb of Rekhmire, thought to depict Egyptians with Nubians and Semitic slaves.
Does it matter whether or not the Exodus of Moses actually took place? In a recent screed in Newsweek, Kurt Eichenwald mocked the historicity of the Bible, questioning whether or not it was even possible to understand Scripture’s meaning at all. Rebuttals to the piece appeared immediately and forcefully. I, for one, noted the irony that such a poorly researched article passed muster at a magazine that once featured stellar religion reporting under legendary editor Kenneth Woodward. The controversy over Eichenwald’s article served to remind us that the Bible’s truthfulness remains on the front burner of national debate.
Old-Earth Creationists, who accept the evidence-based claims that the earth is billions of years old, ought to honestly acknowledge that their view does not rest on natural evidence, but upon their own prior skeptical denial of creation by divine fiat (or, command). It is dishonest to put forth such a view as being based on the evidence. Without first denying that a miraculous creation by fiat might have occurred, they would have no basis for giving weight to any natural evidence. This doesn’t mean that they have properly thought this out and realized that they must first deny the plausibility of a miraculous creation by fiat; rather, for most of them, their preconceived skeptical denial remains unrecognized, like a hidden assumption.
To answer the question, How long ago did God create the world?, they immediately look—as a matter of course—to what the scientific evidence ‘reveals.’ Ostensibly, this supposes to give equal weight to all sources of truth, whether God’s revelation in Scripture or God’s revelation in the physical world (nature). However, the bias of the scales toward nature becomes evident: whenever the two (the plain reading of Scripture and natural evidence) seem to contradict, they never opt for reinterpreting natural evidence in light of the inerrant Scripture, but always insist on reinterpreting Scripture in light of the inerrant natural evidence (at least where creation is concerned). Continue reading
Heather Palacios and her husband Raul share about mental illness in their marriage and how Raul has loved Heather faithfully throughout their marriage. | Ed Stetzer
The following is a guest post by Heather (and Raul) Palacios. Heather has stopped by for a guest post before, and I find her words on living with mental illness to be helpful and encouraging. I hope her post today encourages you, especially if you’re faithfully loving a family member with a mental illness.
When Raul watched me walk down the aisle on February 6, 1999, he knew it was the beginning of a new journey. However, he had no idea it wouldn’t be an easy one. On July 30, 2000, less than two years married, he would find me in a parking lot, inebriated and in the middle of a suicide. The two years that ensued would require tireless hours of counseling, doctor visits, medication tweaks and lifestyle adjustments to get us restored and moving forward again.
by Ashby L. Camp on January 28, 2015 […]
This paper is a response to the biblical criticisms recently leveled by Bruce Gordon against young-earth creationism. It explains why his arguments against a young-earth creationist understanding of the Creation Week, the origin and age of mankind, the consequences of the Fall, the extent of Noah’s Flood, and the scope of the judgment over the Tower of Babel are unpersuasive. Gordon shows little proficiency in the grammatical-historical approach he rebukes young-earth creationists for not properly employing. He routinely advances dubious and historically anomalous interpretations of Scripture while pronouncing his approach sophisticated and that of young-earth creationists naïve.
A millennial diagnoses her generation’s complicated relationship to the body of Christ.
Interview by Laura Turner/ January 29, 2015
Sometimes, to borrow a phrase, we long to be in the church but not of it. We love Christ, but the church is full of people—and problems—we’d rather avoid. In Lessons in Belonging from a Church-Going Commitment Phobe, Erin Lane, a divinity school graduate and pastor’s wife, explores her difficulty (and that of her millennial generation) in feeling fully devoted to the body of Christ. Laura Turner, a contributor to Her.meneutics, talked with Lane, a program director at the Center for Courage & Renewal, about the paradox of belonging and the practices that help to sustain commitments to others.
The Supreme Court announced today that they are taking cases on whether same-sex marriage is a constitutional right. Effectively, this means that the highest court in the land will decide, this year, whether marriage, as defined for thousands of years, will exist in our country any longer. Here’s what we should keep in mind.
First of all, this is not something we should shrug off. Marriage isn’t merely a matter of personal import or private behavior. States recognize marriage for a reason, and that reason is that sexuality between a man and a woman can, and often does, result in children. The state has an interest in seeing to it that, wherever possible, every child has both a mother and a father. The state doesn’t create this reality. It merely recognizes it, and attempts to hold husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, accountable to their vows and to their responsibilities. In every aspect of the Sexual Revolution, from the divorce culture to cohabitation to casual sex to the abortion revolution, children have borne the burden. Continue reading →
Up to this point, I have made a case for faith based on reason. In this article, I want go back to a section of a previous article that talks about how reason is based on faith. This is the article where I discussed the limitations of the scientific method. The section comprises the first half of the article and is entitled Unprovable Presuppositions.
We all rely on unprovable presuppositions. It’s unavoidable. This is why it is all too easy for one camp to level at the other the charge of circular reasoning. Continue reading
Had it not been for the first editor of CT, I likely would have gone the way of liberal scholar Bart Ehrman.
Gregory Alan Thornbury/ January 14, 2015
I was born at the Evangelical Community Hospital in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania—a fact that once prompted a friend of mine to say, “You’re evangelical born, evangelical bred, and when you die, you’ll be evangelical dead.” My father, John Forrest Thornbury, was the model of a country parson, serving as the pastor of Winfield Baptist Church, a historic congregation in the American Baptist tradition, for 44 years.
My childhood environs prefigured what has become my life’s passion: the relationship of Christian faith to higher education. Lewisburg is home to Bucknell University, an elite private college whose alumni include two evangelical luminaries: Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, and Makoto Fujimura, acclaimed contemporary painter. Several years ago, Tim told me that he had occasionally attended my father’s church while at Bucknell. Continue reading →