Tag Archive | Doctrine

We Become The Final Authority

Lectio Divina pt

David Helms on the danger of Lectio Divina:

“When we stop the hard work of understanding the words that the Spirit has given us and work exclusively in the “mind of the Spirit,” we become the final authority on meaning. We begin to lay down “truths” and “advice” that are biblically untenable or unsupportable. We may do so for good reasons, such as our sense of the moral health of our people or a genuine desire to renew the world we live in. But, nevertheless, we begin operating outside of orthodox doctrine. We confuse “thus sayeth the Lord” with “thus sayeth me.” We ask our congregations to trust us instead of trusting the Word.”

Source and read more: http://www.challies.com/articles/a-danger-of-lectio-divina?utm_content=bufferb9514&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

When Unbelief Comes In, All Evil Things Follow

Fête de la Raison 1793

Man is now thinking out a Bible for himself; framing a religion in harmony with the development of liberal thought; constructing a worship on the principles of taste and culture; shaping a god to suit the expanding aspirations of the age. … The extent of the mischief no one can calculate. A soul without faith, a church without faith, a nation without faith, a world without faith – what is to be their future? What is their present? When faith goes, all good things go. When unbelief comes in, all evil things follow.

~Horatius Bonar, Our Ministry: How It Touches the Questions of the Age (Edinburgh: MacNiven, 1883), pp. 54-5.

Clearness, Not Vagueness

Kuznetsk Alatau 3

A. A. Hodge, “The Higher Life”:

A mystical tendency may well coexist with true Christianity, and with many estimable personal qualities; yet it always tends to evil. Hence its first symptom among Evangelical Christians, which is a religious sentimentalism, associated with an inveterate vagueness of ideas and indefiniteness of statement, is to be carefully shunned. No one truth is rightly held till it is clearly conceived and stated, and no single truth is adequately comprehended till it is viewed in harmonious relations to all the other truths of the system of which Christ is the centre. The very essence of truth, like light, is clearness, not vagueness; and it necessarily seeks expression through definite articulations, and not through the medium of shadowy mezzo-tints, or oscillating lines, like the sheen of watered silk.

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/87672-The-very-essence-of-truth-is-clearness-not-vagueness, Comment #1

Appalling Apostasy

Tissot The Golden Calf

Herman C. Hoeksema (PRCA):

“Judged in the light of these marks, that ecclesiastical scene today is, negatively, one of appalling apostasy. One need not look far afield to notice this. Look at the Reformed scene, at those who are generally classified as belonging yet to the tradition of the Reformation. There is tremendous doctrinal apostasy, frequently under the guise of theological freedom: all kinds of error is increasingly tolerated and allowed to go unpunished and unrebuked, while what has always been the faith of our fathers is lightly set aside. There is apostasy as to the preaching: preaching as proclamation of the pure doctrine of the gospel, expository preaching, has largely become a rare article. Topical preaching, moralism, the social gospel are the replacements. Besides, people become tired of preaching and busy themselves with devising new and glamorous substitutes for the simple and pure preaching of the Word of God — hippy services, dialogues, dramas, modern, revisionistic liturgicalism, and every new and different thing imaginable. Then, too, there is the encroachment of the ecumenical movement, at the expense of true unity and at the expense of the truth of the gospel. Or there is the modern striving after the so-called ‘de-institutionalization’ of the church: the cry that the church must break out of its instituted form, the cry that the church must ‘be where the action is,’ the emphasis on ‘doing’ rather than ‘believing.’ In brief, there are all kinds of adjustments and adaptations today which have but one goal: to make the church according to man and pleasing to man.

Along with all this, there is decay and degradation as to the very standards of Christian living. The keys of the kingdom are no more employed, or they are totally corrupted. Regardless of the requirements of faith and repentance, of uprightness in doctrine and walk, anyone is welcomed into the membership of the churches. The table of the Lord is opened to all, and thereby profaned. The Sabbath is desecrated. The church pews become empty. Members of the church seek their enjoyment elsewhere. They become friends of the world, singing and dancing and carousing with the world, speaking and acting and looking like the world. Christian morality and sanctification according to the precepts of the Lord have become old-fashioned, and the devilishness of situation-ethics has found its way into the church. Church and world, believer and unbeliever, light and darkness, Christ and Belial, are made to walk hand in hand in almost every sphere of human life. For the most part, that which calls itself church today presents but a sad caricature of the holy, catholic church of Christ.”

Read more: http://www.prca.org/resources/publications/pamphlets/item/631-the-marks-of-the-true-church

Novel Doctrine Should Raise One’s Suspicions

Teachings of Jesus 38 of 40. the rapture. one in the field. Jan Luyken etching. Bowyer Bible

“Whenever a Christian encounters a doctrine that has not been taught by anyone in any branch of Christ’s church for over eighteen centuries, one should be very suspect of that teaching. This fact in and of itself does not prove that the new teaching is false. But, it should definitely raise one’s suspicions, for if something is taught in Scripture, it is not unreasonable to expect at least a few theologians and exegetes to have discovered it before.”

~Brian Schwertley, Is the Pretribulation Rapture Biblical?

Ussher on the Regulative Principle of Worship

The Covenanters' Communion

“That traditions of men should be obtruded unto us for articles of religion, and admitted for parts of God’s worship; or that any traditions should be accepted for parcels of God’s Word, beside the holy Scriptures, and such doctrines as are either expressly therein contained, or by sound inference may be deduced from thence; I think we have reason to gainsay; as long as, for the first, we have this direct sentence from God Himself, In vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men; and for the second, the express warrant of the Apostle, (2 Tim. 3:16,) testifying of the holy Scriptures, not only that they are “able to make us wise unto salvation,” (which they should not be able to do, if they did not contain all things necessary to salvation); but also that by them the man of God, that is, the Minister of God’s Word, unto whom it appertaineth to declare “all the counsel of God,” may be “perfectly instructed to every good work;” which could not be, if the Scriptures did not contain all the counsel of God, which was fit for him to learn, or if there were any other word of God, which he were bound to teach, that should not be contained within the limits of the Book of God. Ps. 19:7-10; Rev. 22:18,19.”

~James Ussher, Answer to a Jesuit, c. 2.

HT and Source: https://ilyston.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/regulative-principle-by-james-ussher/ (blog no longer available)

Cursed Wisdom

Calvin on Ephesians 1:7-10 and “according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself“:

Praying_Hands008“It is true that we may well apply all our endeavor to know God’s will, but we must proceed no further than he has revealed in his Word, for his Word is our light. But where God holds his peace, he will have us rein ourselves in and, as it were, be captives, and not go on any further, for if we would try to know more than is granted us, that is to say, more than we ought to know and more than is imparted to us by his Word, it would be only entering further and further into a labyrinth, or rather, into the bottom of hell. Therefore let us note well that St. Paul’s meaning in this text is that whenever God keeps his purpose to himself, it becomes us to bow our heads and keep ourselves content to be ignorant of it. For it is a cursed wisdom and such a wisdom as sends us to the pit of hell when we presume to know anything beyond where God’s Word guides and governs us.”

Source: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/87294-Cursed-Wisdom, Comment #1