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Should We Rejoice At the Death of Christopher Hitchens?

Since the death of the renowned atheist, Christopher Hitchens, the Christian blogosphere has been a-buzz with pronouncements of hate for him and literal delight at his demise.  To justify their attitude of inner pleasure people point to Psalm 139:21-22, which declares, “Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?  I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.”
It is also being said that Jesus’ words “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44) comport with David’s words this way: when your enemy hates you, you must love him, but if he hates God, then it is permissible to hate him.
This answer only raises more questions. As a Christian how can a person hate me but not hate God? Jesus said “You will be hated by all because of My name” (Mark 13:13). According to Jesus’ view of things, people hate me for being a Christian because they first hate God. Their hatred of me is a byproduct of …

Immigration and the 6th Commandment

The western nations in particular are struggling to keep pace with the implications of increased immigration of foreigners coupled with lax immigration policies. Anders Breivik’s July 22nd 2011 murder spree in Oslo, Norway was fueled largely by anti-immigration fury. Problematically, his perspective was endorsed by Francesco Speroni, a leading member of Italy’s Northern League.[1]

Jacques Coutela, a member of France’s National Front party, referred to Breivik as an “icon.”[2] Clearly, immigration of Muslims throughout Western Europe, and of Hispanics mainly to the U.S., is fostering a new cleavage in societies in the move toward globalization. As the protectionist mindset of mainly the nativistic “right” entrenches itself in ethno-nationalistic and cultural fervor, the national and cultural identity of “outsiders” is viewed suspiciously if not contemptuously. If some reports are correct that the drift toward multiculturalism and religious syncretism is actually helping groups such as T…

Sin and Grace

Sin enslaves several ways. Let’s look at just two. First, sin enslaves us by producing compelling desires. The Bible declares, “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness” (Rom. 6:16). Sin enslaves by making anything look more desirable than Jesus. That's what sin is: desiring something above Jesus and then acting on it. And the second way sin enslaves is that it eventually damns us. In Mark 9:46, Jesus Christ says about hell, “Where their worm does not die not, and the fire is not quenched.” Unless something intervenes, it leads to hell. I call this slavery because someone might say, “I'm fine with desiring things more than Jesus. Sounds free to me.” But you wouldn't say that if you saw clearly that the end of that road was destruction.
But thank God freedom comes in two forms. First, he frees us from the de…

Socrates and Christianity

What, exactly, did Socrates teach? Well, among other things, he
fervently believed that everyone should be serious about the
question as to what sort of life a person should live. Plato
recorded the teachings of Socrates in his DIALOGUES. At the very
end of GORGIAS, one of these dialogues, Socrates said, "You may
let anyone despise you as a fool and do you outrage, if he
wishes, yes, and you may cheerfully let him strike you with that
humiliating blow, for you will suffer no harm thereby if you
really are a good man and an honorable, and pursue virtue. . . .
This is the best way of life--to live and die in the pursuit of
righteousness and all other virtues. Let us follow this, I say,
inviting others to join us." Socrates lived these truths and he
did so even unto death, thereby causing the truths which he
taught to make an indelible impression upon his society, and upon
all future societies that would be influenced by Hellenistic
culture.

The story of the life and death…

Vos Against Two-Kingdoms Mentality

*Perhaps you already know that the surname of one of America’s premier twentieth-century Reformed-Presbyterian theologians is the Dutch word for “fox.”

“Vos” was his name. Geerhardus Vos.

A friend supplied me this “foxy” quote as an encouragement in clarifying the issues surrounding NL2K (a modern construal of Natural Law + 2Kingdoms):

[87] From this, however, it does not necessarily follow, that the visible church is the only outward expression of the invisible kingdom. Undoubtedly the kingship of God, as his recognized and applied supremacy, is intended to pervade and control the whole of human life in all its forms of existence. This the parable of the leaven plainly teaches. These various forms of human life have each their own sphere in which they work and embody themselves. There is a sphere of science, a sphere of art, a sphere of the family and of the state, a sphere of commerce and industry. Whenever one of these spheres comes [88] under the controlling influence of the princ…

Resolving Life's Paradoxes

Central to Reformed theology is its proper commitment to the authority of Scripture. The role of Scripture is not tangential, but is a prima presupposition upon which Reformed theology is predicated. The predominant concern given to the importance of Scripture is set forth in the first chapter of the Westminster Confession of Faith, titled, “Of Holy Scripture.”
Although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men unexcusable; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of His will, which is necessary unto salvation. Therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal Himself, and to declare that His will unto His Church; and afterwards for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the Church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan and of the world, to commit the same…

What Can Christians Eat?

In 1 Cor. 8 Paul discusses meat sacrificed to idols. Here we find that some immature believers were concerned that to eat such meat engaged them in idolatry. Paul’s main point is that there is no such thing as an idol; they are only wood and stone. Thus our consciences are at liberty to eat the meat. However, should there be present a “weaker brother” who has not yet grown beyond the point of superstition (v. 9-13), one should defer to him or her and not eat. 



A theological term that arises in connection with Paul’s discussion in 1 Cor. 8 is adiaphora. It comes from the Greek, ἀδιάφορα— “indifferent things.” Adiaphora in Christianity refer to matters not regarded as essential to the faith, but nevertheless as permissible for Christians or allowed in church. What is specifically considered adiaphora tends to depend on the specific theology of a Church in view.

In our day much is said about foods, especially in America, where a growing movement is a foot and that teaches abstinence from m…

Romans 1 and Covenant Breakers

In a comment on Facebook (1/14/11), I made this observation: “Most of us have misunderstood Romans 1:18-21. The unbeliever not only knows THAT God exists but WHO God is; his covenant head. Suppression of the truth therefore takes on a far deeper meaning."
The passage in view teaches that fallen men know THAT God is. But their knowledge is also knowledge of his “invisible attributes” and “divine nature” (v. 20). And it should be added that they also have a personal knowledge of God—i.e., they know HIM, not just information about him (v. 21). And of course this includes knowledge of God’s ethical standards (see the rest of chapter, esp. v. 32).
Like Van Til, I think it is silly to say that someone knows THAT God is but is completely ignorant about WHO he is. How can you know the existence of something without knowing anything at all about its nature? On that premise, you can’t even specify what it is that you know the existence of. If I say I believe in the existence of mountains in…