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Showing posts from March, 2010

My Take on Healthcare and Statism

“The conflict between Rome and the [early] Church is really a microcosm of a larger struggle that both predates the first century and has lasted to our day. It is the story of men and their quest to be like God that is as old as the pre-cosmic warfare between God and the devil. In the temporal realm the struggle takes shape in the form of earthly potentates that claim all dominion in heaven and in the earth. The Empire is said to be the source of salvation and the government to be the great protector and provider of its people. It can deliver because the Emperor is God. But herein lies the challenge to the Church. Because the Emperor is said to be God, there must be no others. Kyrios Christus must bow to Kyrios Caesar, or else. The history of Rome . . . demonstrates that autocratic rulers and their bureaucracies that reject the God of the Bible become utopian in outlook. What they require is not merely the right to rule, but unlimited power and jurisdiction in the lives of their peopl…

Can God Do Anthing?

In the nominalistic tradition of William of Ockham (1288-1348) we encounter a fine distinction between potentia absoluta (God's absolute power) and potentia ordinata (God's ordinary power). The distinction is complex. Simply put, God's absolute power suggests that God can do whatever he wants, even what he has not willed; even what he does not chose to do. In its extreme form this idea has given rise to the old question in theology, “Can God make a stone he himself cannot lift?” 

By God's ordinate power we refer to God’s power to do things he chooses to do. God's ordinate power suggests that God has in some sense limited his absolute power; he restricts it so he is sure to manage the world and to remain faithful to his promises. After all, if God's absolute power is totally absolute with no restrictions, he might change his mind and do something "absolutely" wacky (no pun intended). He just might condemn the Virgin Mary and save Judas!
For the sake of a…

God Still Provides

What did Abraham say to Isaac after their computer crashed? "God will provide the RAM."

The brief bit of levity is intended for a serious point. If Jehovah Jireh provided the lamb in the thicket to spare Isaac, and provided far more: his only begotten Son to spare us from the calamity of our sins, then what is God not willing to provide those who love him and walk in his kingdom power? What worry controls your heart this day? Are you afraid that you will run out of time before God acts on your prayer? As in the case of the original Abraham and Isaac, God always waits til the last second to intervene. He tests us that way. But he is always faithful never to test us beyond what we are able to endure (1 Cor. 10:13).

Bill Maher is Not a Sinner

Bill Maher, a standup comedian, talk show host, political commentator and atheist, and who set out to mock God in his movie, Religulous, said during an interview on cable TV last night, "I'm not a sinner." That would put him in rather rare company, along with the only person who truly never sinned, Jesus Christ. But of course Maher prefers not to be in the company of Jesus Christ. So it would appear that Maher has backed himself into a corner. Is he sinless like Jesus or not? If not, then perhaps he should embrace Jesus' teaching that the heart is full of sin (Mark 7:21-23), a problem which only faith on Christ can cure (John 14:6). But if he is just like Jesus; he is sinless, then maybe he can perform the miracle MSNBC needs to bring its ratings up to those of FOX.

God's Sovereignty and the Joy of the Lord

A leading theme of Philippians is joy. “Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord” (Phil. 3:1. See also 4:4).In 3:1-11,the cross and the resurrection of Jesus has made it possible for Paul to experience joy in three areas of his redemption: self-denial, justification, and sanctification. 

He finds joy in the denial of his linage, nationality, pedigree, education, and social status in order that he might embrace Christ. His practice of Judaism could only produce a “blameless” life (Phil. 3:6; a life in which no man can point the finger at you and find fault), while knowing “Christ Jesus my Lord” (v. 8) has produced a righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 

He has joy in justification for he recognizes that despite his unfitness for heaven due to his sin, the Lord has fulfilled the requirements of the Law, including its curse; all of which is credited to Paul on the basis of faith, which itself is a gift of God (Phil. 3:9). 

And he has joy in sanctification. For he acknow…