Top Forum Posts of 2016

 

Reviewing activity from this past year I decided to share our 7 most viewed threads in 2016 (in no particular order). What has caught our visitors’s eyes might surprise you.

1. Submissive Wife, What Does That Mean?

We all read the passages on submission (Ephesians 5:22, 1 Peter 3:1, 1 Corinthians 11:3). Scripture say wives should be “submissive” or “subject” to their husbands, but how so? What is meant by submissive? This topic surely requires careful diligent study.

Billy L. responded “It doesn’t mean that he should run all over you”. Why do many of us westerners think of dictators when submission is mentioned? It might be due to media, every year there are clear visible examples of abusive leadership that many wished to prevent and later want to restore (so I think we also need to ask about leadership as well)

but before going off topic there are 2 posts that I want to share with everyone from John Piper:

6 Things Submission Is Not” &
Husbands Who Love Like Christ and the Wives Who Submit to Them

The reason I say it’s a disposition and an inclination is because there will be times when the most submissive wife will hesitate at a husband’s decision. It may look unwise to her. Suppose it’s Noël and I. I am about to decide something foolish for the family. At that moment Noël could express her submission something like this: “Johnny, I know you’ve thought a lot about this, and I love it when you take the initiative to plan for us and take the responsibility like this, but I really don’t have peace about this decision and I think we need to talk about it some more. Could we? Maybe tonight sometime?”

2. Is It Okay for Trinitarian Christians to Seek Spiritual & Theological Guidance from Jehovah’s Witnesses?

I actually saw this question — made a note to revisit later — and completely forgot about it. Over 300 views, I don’t know why no one responded the answer is both easy and important.

Jehovah Witnesses may be good friends but they are not our brothers or sisters in Christ. All who reject the Triune personhood of God and claim Unitarianism do not know God to begin with so there is no spiritual guidance to be found in them, they are the mission field.

If anyone changes the identity of Jesus its because they do not know him at all and are in need of a loving friend to share the Gospel.

But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. 2 Corinthians 11:3-4

As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:9

3. Does Blessed Simply Mean Happiness?

Jesus opens his Sermon on the Mount with the beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12), claiming that God is bringing his people happiness.

“Blessed is the divine happiness of God, its a quality of God himself. He shares his divine happiness with those he saves through regeneration, making them like himself. People can only have this Happiness of God by being “born again” because natural man is spiritually dead. So the Beatitudes describe the attitude and divine happiness that God gives…”

4. Define Omnipresence

Not a full definition (I doubt I could give one) but I gave a good description from scripture itself.

God’s Omnipresence is kinda hard to wrap our minds around. I love this topic because it reminds me that I’m never alone. God surrounds us at all times and he even dwells within his people. Even when we feel lonely he is here. His spirit has no spatial dimensions, he is boundless.

Here are six awesome omnipresent bible verses.

5. Are we Sinless in Sanctification?

Good question, If pastors present an incomplete doctrine of holiness some just might fall into error. For the Sanctification Forum I borrowed the description from GTY “The transforming process by which God’s people shed their past sinfulness & grow to reflect His holiness.” keywords: shed and grow.

I love Eddie’s response by the way.

6. Confirmation of the Bible

Peter asks “has there been actual evidence confirming the events of the bible as accurate and real ?”

Everyone should ask this question at some point in their life. Historicity & Archaeological evidences are inferior confirmations of scripture when compared to the self attestation of scripture itself… but if the Bible is true you can certainly expect to find validation in archaeology and history.

Checkout VladTubaka’s answer,
he recommends K. A. Kitchen’s book On the Reliability of the Old Testament ($32 new today) &
“F. F. Bruce’s classic” The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? ($11 new today) he mentioned some other books as well.

7. Is resurrected Jesus omnipresent?

I guess one omni question lead to another, I never even heard such a question before, so initially I was stuck.

Jesus in his resurrected body is just that. The hypostatic union still applies, Jesus’s divine nature is not affected or mixed with humanity, but it is united with humanity. Jesus still has all of his attributes Hebrews 13:8 he still is the omnipresent God and his human nature alone is still human. God’s human body is only one place at one time just like he was before he died.

Lets Be Honest about White Evangelical Votes

Before the presidential election I was shocked to hear that so many brothers were apparently willing to trade worship for pragmatism.

The idea was this: both candidates are unworthy to be president but Hillary is worse than Trump, therefore vote for Trump.

Well the initial statement is absolutely true. Donald Trump supporter of homosexual perversion, limited abortion to babies that are produced from incestuous relationships & rape, crass and brash attitude (enough said though I can say more) is clearly unworthy to lead a nation.

Hillary Clinton a liberal, LGBTQ advocate, abortion extremist, public habitual liar, & someone who is a threat to religious freedom (enough said though I could say more about Clinton as well) is obviously a worse candidate than Trump but the idea that I must choose a “lesser sin” is void of worship & utterly pragmatic.

I thought it was clear that we should worship God in the voting booth and vote for a 3rd party candidate that would honor God with their policy but apparently many brothers chose a “lesser evil” which is wrong yet completely understandable, I get it.

What I don’t get is the response after Trump’s election by Jemar Tisby, the leader of an organization called the “Reformed African American Network”.

Earlier last week, James White responded to Jemar’s recent comment (below) of feeling unsafe around white Christians in his own congregation.

“This is probably going to surprise a lot of white people and maybe even sound offensive to them. But here it is, just the raw honest truth. I really, this Sunday, don’t feel safe worshiping with white people.” – Jemar Tisby

After hearing such a comment I thought he must be in an unhealthy church that actually supports the sinful positions of president Trump,  but to my surprise his comments & reasoning reflects rehashed liberal rhetoric, careless research, probably a failure of communication, & partiality by being silent on the even worse failure of black evangelical voting.

As divisive as his blog sounds “Reformed African American Network” (as if there’s biblical grounds to divide the church according to race) I will link to his post anyway  TRUMP’S ELECTION AND FEELING “SAFE” IN WHITE EVANGELICAL CHURCHES. See more of my response below.

Careless Research or Failure to Communicate

To say that many white evangelicals “viewed this man’s leadership as acceptable” is a gross misrepresentation.

“Among many troubling implications of a Donald Trump presidency, is the fact that, of those who voted, 81% of white evangelicals voted for Trump. However you parse the exact definition of “evangelical”, it is clear that a large number of white believers who voted viewed this man’s leadership as acceptable.”

On what basis can you guess the motive of millions of evangelical voters?

As I mentioned earlier the popular voting strategy on social media & even in my own congregation was picking the lesser evil. It was rare that I even heard of a Christian supporting Trump outside of this context and I can assure you that I’ve been exposed to a mass of evangelicals on this topic.

So this assertion “it is clear that a large number of white believers who voted viewed this man’s leadership as acceptable” is unsubstantiated.

Back on the political term “evangelical” lets make sure that we are all on the same page. First the obvious, we should never assume that people who proclaim to be Evangelicals are redeemed Christians, lets keep in mind that narrow is the gate yet many who cry “Lord, Lord” choose the wide path but I’m sure that most of us are on that same page.

According to the Hartford Institute of Religion Research, more than 40 percent of Americans “say” they go to church weekly. As it turns out, however, less than 20 percent are actually in church. In other words, more than 80 percent of Americans are finding more fulfilling things to do on weekends.

Furthermore, somewhere between 4,000 and 7,000 churches close their doors every year. Southern Baptist researcher, Thom Rainer, in a recent article entitled “13 Issues for Churches in 2013“ puts the estimate higher. He says between 8,000 and 10,000 churches will likely close this year. – Huffington Post Steve McSwain

Now lets consider this “43.2 percent of the eligible population did not (vote)” remember that polls only give information about people who did vote. Almost half of the registered country did note vote.

Mr. Tisby I think if you took advantage of your connections and relationships with white brothers & discussed politics it would have been nerve easing. Beyond that we should all try to dig a bit deeper into the stats.

Liberal Rhetoric Rehashed

Sad to read it, common liberal rhetoric was rehashed, I’ll just list these here:

White evangelicals voted for him in spite of Trump saying that Mexico is sending illegal immigrants across the U.S. border who are rapists – Tisby

It is a fact that many illegal aliens are rapists. More than 2,000 removed every year in past 3 years (2014).
https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/ice-texas-field-offices-remove-more-800-sex-offenders-so-far-year

“They cast the ballot for a man who draws the support of the KKK and their leaders”

“A week before the election, a church with a predominantly black membership in Mississippi was burned.”

“The arsonists spray painted the words “Vote Trump” on the building’s remains.”

Because the KKK supports Trump does not mean that Trump supports their ideology or them at all. I should not have to explain this.

The Black Elephant in the Room

black democratic logo elephant

I sure am concerned about those who voted for Trump to negate Clinton’s election. Choosing a lesser evil is never the option. If Joseph Stalin won the republican primary this year & Adolf Hitler was in Clinton’s position who would you vote for? Would you choose the lesser evil? & if not where is the line drawn? If not at the murder of babies then what would it take? Would you be inconsiderate of Evan or Castle since they lack a realistic chance of winning?

I am very concerned with those actually pleased with Trump’s campaign (for obvious reasons) and I’m also concerned about Tisby’s silence and hipocritical stance on the black vote.

88% of black voters were for Clinton. As late as 2009, Pew reported that 78% of African Americans are Protestant (am I the only one seeing this? comparable numbers) Tisby & others who speak on such topics please address both sides. If you disregard my previous comments about the context of the vote, to be consistent you must address the loyal black elephant in the room that has completely lost its mind. Maybe we shouldn’t “feel safe worshiping” with black people either (sarcasm)? I’ll share just one comment from Hillary Clinton.

“deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.” – Hillary Clinton

I think we all should be more considerate of others by hearing what others have to say, we should pay close attention to future candidates, & us minorities should avoid racial gnosticism. I’ve heard other blacks tell whites that you can’t understand where they’re coming from because they are white. Listen minorities do not have a special understanding that whites lack. Do they know what it feels like to be a minority, absolutely not but can they understand even to a considerable depth? Absolutely




6 Awesome Omnipresent Bible Verses

These are 6 awesome bible verses about the omnipresence of God (and more).

The Lord Witnesses Everything – Proverbs 15:3

Proverbs 15:3
The eyes of the LORD are in every place,
Watching the evil and the good.

God plainly states that he’s aware of everyone’s actions being in every place watching both the good & evil.

Which by the way is a must because He also said that he will judge every single act in Ecclesiastes 12:14 “For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”

Heaven Can’t Contain God – 1 Kings 8:27

1 Kings 8:27
“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You, how much less this house which I have built!

Solomon finishes building God’s temple and prays.

In his prayer he recognizes the temple to be God’s unique dwelling place among his people, but also that God is beyond the building. In fact he is beyond earth itself and nothing can contain his presence.

Solomon says “the highest heaven cannot contain you” literally the heavens of heavens cannot contain you (as noted by the NASB).

You Can’t Hide From God – Jeremiah 23:23 – 24

Jeremiah 23:23 – 24
“Am I a God who is near,” declares the LORD,
“And not a God far off?

“Can a man hide himself in hiding places So I do not see him?” declares the LORD “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the LORD.

In Jeremiah 23 God begins by revealing his displeasure with the leaders of Israel who were dividing the kingdom.

At verse 9 God addresses the false prophets that claim God told them things when he hasn’t and those sharing visions of their own imagination as if they were from God.

In Jeremiah 23:23 – 24, God asks rhetorical questions “Can a man hide himself in hiding places So I do not see him?” to point out the ridiculousness of lying about God… As if God doesn’t know about it, He is a witness to all things & not yet considering his omniscience either.

Similar to Job 31:24 “For His eyes are upon the ways of a man, And He sees all his steps”, Amos 9:2-3, Acts 17:27, Matthew 6:6, & Hebrews 4:13

Jesus is Omnipresent – Matthew 18:20

Matthew 18:20
“For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”

Jesus claims to be in the midst of all gatherings of the saints. How can Jesus be at 2 separate christian gatherings at one moment (let alone every church on Sunday). This is another great supporting verse for the divinity of Jesus.

Omnipresence Defined – Psalm 139:7 – 12

Psalm 139:7-12
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,”
Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You

If someone asked me where to find the doctrine of omnipresence in the bible I’d show them this Psalm. This takes us back to Mark’s question for the definition of Omnipresence.

He Dwells High and With The Low – Isaiah 57:15

Isaiah 57:15
For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of the contrite.

This text is more about why God dwells with his people; nevertheless he is in heaven and on earth with his elect who are spiritually bankrupt (see the beatitudes about these spiritually bankrupted).

Got any questions? Ask or comment below.

8 Questions for Don Starkey

Don Starkey is a former pastor & the author of “Heaven’s Lockbox: Finding Eternal Security in an Insecure World” and you might know him from the christian blogging world for his personal questions and answers blog.

This week I asked him 8 loaded questions in an interview so lets dig in this Q&A!

Your latest book focuses on Eternal Security.
Why is this an important topic?

What difference does it make if Christians are uncertain of their own salvation if you can still be saved without certainty.

Of course the obvious answer is that we want to get the Bible right on this subject. John included in his last chapter of 1 John that we can “know” that we’re saved. When you remove this assurance you subtract from what the New Testament authors have previously established. Jesus made a bold statement in John 5:24 that a “born again,” or literally, “born from above” believer will not face judgment and has “already passed from death into life.” Naturally, when He made this statement, He knew that we would sin after our acceptance of Him. Later in chapter ten of the same Gospel, John quotes Jesus as saying, “…No one will snatch them out of my hand…” referring again to the believer. Paul made it very clear in his writings that we are “sealed with the Holy Spirit.”

When we come before the Lord in worship and prayer, our appreciation will be only half-full if we doubt Jesus’ words. How can we truly be joyful regarding God’s grace if we never are assured that we have arrived? The fifty-four times the phrase, “Good News” is mentioned in the New Testament might as well be changed to “hopeful news.”

This also affects our attempts at evangelizing. After all, do we want to invite people to be as doubtful about the Lord’s assurance and grace as we are? Any other view than the one that Jesus offers causes us to be robbed of our joy and confidence in the Lord. We’re also in effect saying, that Jesus’ sacrifice was enough to save us from our past sins but inadequate to save us from our future ones. Also we forget the fact that both in Romans and Ephesians, our salvation is called a “gift.” Paul is very clear that a gift has no strings attached, nor does it include wages of any sort.

If you’re interested here is Don’s Book

What is one thing we should know or practice to advance through our sanctification?

There is an often misquoted passage found in 2 Timothy 2:15 that reads: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” I use the KJV to illustrate a point. This verse is badly mistranslated. It’s not about study at all. We can go to Romans 15:4 and elsewhere to prove our need to absorb God’s Word. This verse is actually a sanctification passage. The word “study,” should correctly be translated, “urgently,” or “diligently.” The phrase “word of truth,” unlocks the passage for us. Eph. 1:13 says, “in Him you also, when you heard the Word of Truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.” 2 Timothy 2:15 is telling us to live up to the holy calling by which we’ve been saved, the gospel of our salvation. Indeed, the New Testament is replete with the issue of following the Spirit in the way we live, work, talk and celebrate His worthiness. We are His kids and we want to live a life that is worthy of the gift of eternal life that we’ve received.

There are many Christians today who struggle with porn, what advice would you give to them?

Today, porn is the most popular drug in the world. It affects almost every household.

Porn will etch pictures in your memory that won’t be forgotten, yet can still be forgiven. I don’t need to address the dangers of porn, most believers are aware of these dangers.

However, just like with any sin, it’s forgivable at the cross where Jesus paid our sin-debt. You are never beyond hope or beyond rescue. Jesus loves you with a love that defies all human understanding. After all, Jesus spent far more time with the down and out sinners than the religious elite. His love for you is unshakable and unfathomable. God can still heal you and use you for the greater good of His kingdom!

There are movements within COC that claim grace through faith is not enough & that you must be baptized into water to receive the gift of salvation.

How would you address that?

Having preached in the COC, I’m very familiar with their arguments on the subject (since I used them myself).

  1. Church of Christ its baptismFirst, I would say that their belief is in direct contradiction to the words Jesus gave regarding salvation.
  2. Secondly, you cannot use a few isolated passages to promote a major doctrine when there are hundreds that say otherwise.
  3. Third, we have several examples of those who were saved prior to baptism, one being found in Acts 10.
  4. Fourthly, if we consider that great salvation book, the Gospel of John, our minds will be changed forever on the subject. John’s reason for writing his gospel was to bring people into a saved relationship with Jesus (according to John 20:30-31). Interestingly, there is no mention of Christian baptism (John 3 does not teach water baptism), and there is no mention of repentance. This was the convincing proof I needed when I changed my mind on the purpose of baptism.

However, even though baptism doesn’t save us, I do believe that we’ve robbed baptism of its power. In some cases it appears that the “sinner’s prayer” has taken the place of baptism. As you read through the twenty-eight chapters of the Book of Acts, you’ll discover that water baptism was that God-given ritual that immediately celebrated that new birth that had just taken place.

How should we evangelize religious people who adhere to a distorted Gospel?

First and foremost is to love them and not be argumentative. Allow them to see our unrestrained joy in being saved. Secretly, they want the same thing. They have just been taught that God’s grace is just too good to be true– but then isn’t that what grace is, too good to be true? In our conversation, keep sharing passages that speak of a liberated joy and celebration in the Lord’s presence.

There are many pastors & leaders calling themselves Prophets.
What is a Prophet & how can you know if a person is a prophet?

This is a person who speaks God’s truths to others. It’s from the Greek word, prophetes. It means, “one who speaks forth.”

There are over 133 who are called prophets in the Bible (not counting the false prophets). There are some instances in the Bible where a prophet does foretell the future, but the warnings are clear: If even one statement he makes regarding the future is false, he in turn is a false prophet. Jesus warns us that in the last days there will be many false prophets.

A true prophet of today would never go beyond God’s Word as far as foretelling the future. I personally, frown on the use of the word prophet for today. For many it creates a false image of someone who is constantly going beyond the boundaries of the Bible. However, I’m not going to be anyone’s judge who uses the term.

One of your blog posts suggests that Repentance is required for salvation but it is not a repentance of sin.

This is quite controversial in light of Protestant & Reformed Soteriology (& frightening I might add).

What are you changing your mind & disposition from if its not sin?

I think the issue is in getting the cart before the horse. Also we’re getting sanctification confused with works. For instance, you will hear from many pulpits today during the altar call, “Repent of your sins & ask Jesus to come into your heart and you’ll be saved.” But where is this invitation in the New Testament? I haven’t found it yet.

The clearest statement regarding salvation is found in Acts 16:30-31. In fact this is the only time in the New Testament where the question is asked, “What must I do to be saved?” Paul and Silas’ answer is to “believe on the Lord Jesus.” This would have provided the Holy Spirit the perfect opportunity to throw in anything else that we needed to hear such as, “be baptized to be saved,” “repent of your sins to be saved,” “stay faithful to be saved,” and so on. But no, it’s a simple and to the point–we are saved through the person of Jesus Christ!

One of the errors that we all practice is reading into a text something that isn’t said. We have been so brainwashed to believe that repentance of sins is necessary for salvation that we automatically insert the words, “of sins,” whenever we read the word, “repent.” In Acts 20:21 Paul preached, “I testified to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus.” It’s a change of mind regarding Jesus. Repentance of sins is taught in the Bible, but it is taught to believers. There is only a one-step plan for salvation and that is in the person of Jesus. We don’t tell prospective believers to “stop sinning and come to Jesus.” Once we are believers, the Holy Spirit aids us in this sin struggle and in overcoming. I can’t stop sinning on my own. In fact when I came to the Lord, I didn’t even know what all my sins were so I couldn’t repent of all of them! It’s never wise to add to the Gospel message. We should just use the words that Jesus and the New Testament writers used.

If someone is truly turning to God and trusting in the Lord, their desire will be to discontinue sin. If they fight this spiritual urge, the Holy Spirit will discipline and correct (Hebrews 12). When we say, “stop sinning” to be saved, we’re adding a work to the salvation process.

Speaking of Protestants & Reformers & in light of T4G, is the protest over?

t4g protestant reformation 500 years later

Under what circumstance would you consider the Catholic Church to be reformed back to orthodoxy?

I think that any group that sets themselves up as the vanguard of the faith is dangerous. And I certainly don’t want to sound arrogant regarding my own beliefs. Nor is it my job to attack other believers in their walk with the Lord.

Regarding the Catholic Church, they will always be locked in by their own orthodoxy. Manmade rules and centuries of traditions become a closed casket to one’s spiritual liberation and resurrection. I think nothing further needs be said in that regard.

Review

I’d like to thank Don L. Starkey for his time!

Starkey gave many wise words but I certainly disagree with his understanding & defining of repentance. So off record we had a short respectable exchange & I would point people here for an explanation of repentance. Albeit our disagreement I am comforted with this quote from the end of Question 7:

If someone is truly turning to God and trusting in the Lord, their desire will be to discontinue sin. If they fight this spiritual urge, the Holy Spirit will discipline and correct (Hebrews 12). When we say, “stop sinning” to be saved, we’re adding a work to the salvation process.

If there is 1 thing that Christians can take from this Q&A is Don’s approach when evangelizing religious people of another gospel. Though It can be burdensome unindoctrinating a person’s false gospel, we must primarily “love them and not be argumentative.” because its the love of God that saves. So when we are tearing down the doctrines of demons lets do so in the scope of a blessed love.

We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19




What is Theology? & What its Not

What is God like? Who is God? Ever wonder about God?

Well, theology is how we answer those questions.

As noted in etymology, theós means God & logos means knowledge or in other words knowledge about God. Hence theology is the study of God.

Each fact & idea derived from God’s actions & relationships contribute to our understanding of who God is.

For example, God flooded earth due to the evil heart & corrupt ways of mankind ( read Genesis 6:5 ). From this fact we know that justice is a characteristic of God.

Unlike religion (solely concerned with human practices of worship as derived from sociology & anthropology) theology is focused on God, unconcerned with the religious practices of people (like prayer or communion).

“…theology to its true sphere, as the science of the facts of divine revelation so far as those facts concern the nature of God and our relation to Him, as His creatures, as sinners, and as the subjects of redemption.”- Charles Hodge

“What Is Theology?” Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1952. 21.

Theology Today

Once viewed as a noble study though not today.
Just mention an attribute of God & you’re surely to be frowned upon.

That’s because the baggage theology carries is so heavy in the west that some people have gone as far to say that true theology is unattainable, or that understanding who God is… is impossible

I know, you’re probably thinking this is what you get when depraved atheists and agnostics dominate cultures.

But guess what, to our surprise it’s not even atheists pushing this ideology, its so called “Christians”.
Disagree? well see for yourself, check out this comment from christianity.stackexchange.com

“I’ve seen a few people casually write about how they know God’s character—the features and traits that make up His person or existence—yet I’ve always been taught the opposite (that we can’t possibly comprehend his true nature)”

“I like to think of God as more complete than the universe itself, not some bearded guy in the clouds; something that cannot be named or defined, shaped or molded by mere words.”

“I would say this is a common view in my area (Boston, MA, USA). Are we just a minority who thinks this way? Can we really know anything about God’s character?”

“even if the Bible was written directly by God, we could never really prove that it was more than what He wanted us to think about him, rather than how He really is”

http://christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/3116/can-we-truly-know-anything-about-gods-character

Liberal Theology & Its Issue

“I like to think of God as…”

“this is a common view (in his area)… Are we just a minority who thinks this way?”

Apparently he’s a Liberal. What do I mean by liberal? Well…

The term liberal can mean anything from being a free thinker to being a proponent of the latest ideology in pop culture, but liberalism in terms of theology refers to a specific movement in the 19th century that divided Christianity.

This Liberal theology presupposes a philosophy called modernism or naturalism, which claims reality can only be explained in natural categories or without any appeal to the supernatural.

Liberal theology denying everything described as miraculous or supernatural led the dual attack on the doctrines of Divine InspirationAuthority of Scripture-saying that the bible could not have been spoken by God through men; so to them the bible is merely the words of men having no more authority than your own thoughts.

Oddly enough the fundamental problem with this theological baggage is its origin itself being in human ideas which is explicitly denied by scripture itself 2 Peter 1:21.

This ideology completely undermines definition by replacing God’s objective revelation for human thinking which is untrustworthy to begin with.

Theology Is Objective

We study God by observing his actions, which are found in both nature and scripture (natural revelation & special revelation), revealing his attributes, character, & personhood as well as our own nature & relationship to him.

This study is key because He alone makes us complete 2 Timothy 3:17 being the foundation of life and every good thing Psalms.37:4. God’s objective communication is definitive in theology & replacing human thought with revelation is not sound theology.

Theology vs Liberal Theology

By re-defining theology with personal preference people are lead to the same conclusion the gentleman above was lead to:

“even if the Bible was written directly by God, we could never really prove that it was more than what He wanted us to think about him, rather than how He really is”

The ultimate difference between liberal and sound theology is that one trusts inadequate human wisdom & the other trusts God.

If the quoted person trusted God then what scripture says would be the final authority.

His authority lies in a human philosophy that denies that God could even communicate supernatural trues to us. This is why liberals view their personal thoughts as equal with scripture, so when he comes across a doctrine that doesn’t fit his preference the Bible is unreliable in his view (or he must at the very least eisegete the text).

On the other hand, if you’re a liberal christian that rejects the idea that human wisdom is corrupt or inadequate let me inform you that the bible certainly teaches that we cannot trust the ideologies of natural man “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” Romans 1: 18

Better yet remember the text quoted above (Genesis 6:5)

The Queen of Sciences

Since God cannot lie or contradict himself 2 Timothy 2:13 each fact is complimentary and consistent with every other fact, making theology systematic as other sciences (hence systematic theology).

But this science of God is no mere discipline.

Theology is traditionally known as the Queen of the Sciences since beliefs about God are presupposed in science. That is, science requires assumptions.

Since God is the sovereign creator of heaven and earth Colossians 1:16-17 he’s also the source of ultimate truth. Theology is then the foundation of all truth within the scientific disciplines.

Your beliefs about God (or whatever you may have replaced God with) are axioms that tell you how to view the world, making your personal beliefs a lens for interpretation & a starting point for conclusion.

This is how 2 people can observe the exact same evidence yet have 2 completely different conclusions.

Theology big or small dictates ethic and moral values, entire points of view, political stances, even what-you-do and how-you-do it. Much thanks goes to Sproul for my explaination of liberal theology, checkout this snipet below.

Theological Questions and Answers