On not answering the question

Aug 29, 2015 by

by Martin B Davie: Anyone who has marked student essays or exam answers will be familiar with the sinking feeling that sets in when you read through an essay or an answer and realize that the student has failed to answer the question that was set. They may have made a number of points that are good in themselves, but because they have failed to answer the question they will not be able to achieve anything more than a very low grade and kindly advice from their tutor to read the question in future. I had a similar sinking feeling when I read David Runcorn’s essay ‘And how would I know when I am wrong? Evangelical faith and the Bible’ published in the CEN on 19 June 2015. Runcorn makes a number of perfectly valid points in this essay, alongside some that are more questionable, but at no point does he answer the question which he himself poses, namely how do we know when we are reading the Bible wrongly? In his words ‘How would we know when we have got it wrong?’ Read here Read also:  On still not answering the question...

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A Brief Critique of the Social Gospel

Aug 8, 2015 by

By Michael Lofton, Lepanto Institute: What is the Social Gospel? The Social Gospel is the view that the main purpose of the Church is to address the temporal needs of man. Thus, according to this view, the Church should primarily concern itself with poverty and social injustices. The Social Gospel Today: It has become common place to hear Church leaders wax eloquently on the need to feed the poor, open the borders and turn off one’s air-conditioners to save the environment, but seldom does one hear the need to repent of one’s sins, believe in Christ and unite oneself to His Church. The fact of the matter is, many in the Church no longer believe the Gospel proclaimed by Christ and the Apostles; rather, they believe a Gospel they have invented. For this reason, it is necessary to offer a brief critique of the Social Gospel. Problems with the Social Gospel Contrary to Scripture: A major component of the Social Gospel is the elimination of poverty and hunger. The view that it is possible to eliminate poverty and hunger is completely contrary to Scripture, as Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you” (Matthew 26:11)  Also, the Book of Revelation notes a fourth of mankind will die of poverty before the second coming, as it says: “I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.” (Revelation 6:8) Thus, it is not possible to entirely eliminate poverty and hunger according to Our Lord and prophecy about the end times. Elevating Man Over God: The view that the Church should primarily concern itself with social issues is simply anthropocentrism, which emphasizes man’s temporal needs over God. This view essentially turns man into an idol by making his temporal concerns paramount, while displacing the worship of God and His rightful place as the end towards which man should strive. A Lack of Charity: Charity is defined as “to will the good of another” (CCC 1766). The greatest good an individual may attain is the beatific vision (heaven). However, the Social Gospel doesn’t concern itself with helping people attain this end; rather, it concerns itself primarily with helping man meet his temporal needs. There is no question that charity demands one to be concerned about feeding the poor, clothing the naked, visiting the sick, etc. However, to make this the purpose of the Church, to the exclusion of the greatest need of man (i.e. eternal salvation) is, in fact, uncharitable, as it fails to “will the good of another”. A False Gospel: The Social Gospel is not the Gospel to which Christ commissioned the Church to proclaim. Jesus said to the Apostles: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and...

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The Great Consummation – Genesis 5

Aug 5, 2015 by

By Peter Ould This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created. Another genealogy. Be still our beating hearts. But this one’s a bit different. The previous genealogy in the second half of chapter 4 was meant to be a perfect seven generations, but it ended up in sin and murder. So now we start again with Seth and Enosh and the “signs and symbols” of salvation are laid out in full. Patriarch Age When Died Meaning of Root of Name Adam 930 Man Seth 912 Appointed Enosh 905 Mortal Kenan 910 Sorrow Mahalel 895 Blessed God Jared 962 Shall Come Down Enoch Translated to Heaven at 365 Teaching Methuselah 969 His Death Shall Bring Lamech 777 Despairing Noah Not Given in Genesis 5 Rest Read here...

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The Great Consummation – Genesis 4:1-2

Jul 22, 2015 by

by Peter Ould: Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.” And again, she bore his brother Abel. Genesis 4:1-2 It is a mistake to view Genesis 4 as somehow different to the first three chapters of the Bible, especially with regard to the procreative motif. The birth of Cain and Abel is the first fulfilment of the command given back in Genesis 1, not just in the provision of offspring but in their life tasks. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. Genesis 1:28-29 Compare this to what Cain and Abel do. Read here...

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“The necessity of Unity in Truth for the Church’s Mission”

Jul 16, 2015 by

Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali explains John 17 ‘that they may all be one’. Further talks from the International Catholic Congress of Anglicans in Fort Worth may be viewed at Titusonenine, courtesy of Kevin Kallson, Anglican TV

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The Cross, the Trinity and Greek debt: salvation and economics

Jul 7, 2015 by

By Andrew Symes, Anglican Mainstream. When I became a Christian, central to my understanding of salvation was the Cross: a symbol of the Saviour who stood in my place and took the punishment I deserved. It made perfect sense to me that as well as being made in God’s image with gifts, friends and family, I was a sinner who had no right to be in the presence of a holy God; it was life-changing to realise that God himself, rather than waiting for me to reach a standard which was impossible, came to earth to die as a criminal for me, so I could be set free. “No condemnation now I dread”; what I owed he paid; amazing grace. But when I began to travel outside my familiar circle and read some theology, I realized that this account was for some Christians not central, and even completely denied. My understanding of the Cross was caricatured as being “obsessed with sin”; my God seen as a vindictive tyrant demanding blood sacrifice, my faith about transaction and obligation, exclusion rather than inclusion. Instead, I was told, as God is love and we are all his children; he can forgive without needing to pay any price. Increasingly, in theological circles, I saw that the most popular model for Christian faith was no longer the Cross, seen as being about sin and death and suffering, but the Trinity – that perfect community of three in an eternal cosmic “dance”. Salvation, I was told, is not about an individualistic repenting of my sins and believing in a crucified Saviour, but being part of a community on earth, united spiritually with the life of the Trinity. God is not an immovable, harsh lawgiver but a dynamic creative force; Christ should be seen primarily not as sin-bearer but as the one who has broken through death and achieved victory over oppressive forces. A strong focus on the Cross sees the church as made up of those “bought by the blood of the lamb” (Mark 14:24; Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 1:18-19, Revelation 5:9); mission will contain a strong component of evangelism as people need to hear the Gospel of redemption through Christ alone. While salvation is by grace, we have been redeemed from a life of rebellion and disobedience for a life of holiness and “the obedience that comes from faith” (Romans 1:5). But a strong focus on the resurrection, the Spirit and the Trinity sees salvation more in terms of being caught up in divine new life. The church is really about a community of people of hope rather than a gathering of individuals with right doctrine. Mission is bringing hope and sharing love through social action perhaps more than through words, and ethics is more about being generous than being holy. Of course to set the Cross against the Spirit and the Trinity in this way is unbiblical. All are central to authentic Christian faith; to deny one side or the other is not...

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