This video is not too long - just 4:57 seconds... It is well worth the watch.
Saturday, March 22, 2014
Saturday, November 23, 2013
*Note: That is Douglas Wilson on the left.
Dayton: Pastor Wilson, for those who do not know, how would you describe presuppositional apologetics?
Doug Wilson: There are two basic ways to approach this. You can either try to come alongside the unbeliever and reason to the Bible, or you can approach the unbeliever and reason from the Bible. The former is an evidential approach, and the latter is the presuppositional approach. The two approaches are commonly assumed to be mutually exclusive, but I don’t think that is necessary at all.
One other thing I want to point out is how Doug Wilson got into Presuppositionalism.
Dayton: Was there any particular author or professor that sparked your interest in presuppositional apologetics?
Doug Wilson: One of the first books I ever published was a book of practical apologetics entitled Persuasions. It was picked up by a Christian book catalog company, which I appreciated, and when the catalog arrived I found my book in it. Someone else had written the blurb for it, and it said that this was fine little introduction to Van Tilian apologetics. I thought, “It is?” Yikes. I had better read some Van Til. So I got his The Defense of the Faith, and enjoyed it very much. But since I had not gotten my presuppositionalism from Van Til, where had I gotten it? Surprisingly, the answer is C.S. Lewis — particularly the early chapters of his book Miracles. Lewis was presuppositional or evidential, depending on the circumstances. But I initially learned this kind of argumentation from him.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
I just saw a film version of HP Lovecraft's classic tale. HP Lovecraft's vision of Horror as a feature of the human predicament in the cosmos is a combination of Edgar Allen Poe, Herbert Spencer, and Soren Kierkegaard.
This tale is simply the secularization narrative of the Enlightenment but with special attention given to humanity's denial of death. The only mercy for Lovecraft is the limits to science that allow us to avoid for awhile putting the various sciences together to yield the conclusion that the laws of the universe will eventually wipe away all of humanity and it's achievements. The Demi-Alien Cthulhu represents the ad hoc ness of mankind in natural history and it's meaninglessness.
But Lovecraft is no Russell facing despair in a pretense of virtue, he sees this fact as intolerable to humans drawing them either to reverse the successes of science or using it without sanity, proving that there is no successful coping mechanism for final death. This made his approach to capturing cosmic and existential horror - a worldview of horror and an eschatological kingdom of horror - utterly fascinating compared to other horror takes. Lovecraft is preaching through parables.
Ernest Becker considered this feature - the denial of death (in a study with that as a title) - to be the fundamental psychoanalytic dynamic. Neurotic functioning developed principally in the individual's degree of success in avoiding reflecting on the significance of his own death. His complement to Christianity was that it's Gospel made recognition of death a necessary condition for obtaining true happiness.
The Christian worldview does so by agreeing with Lovecraft as much as it disagrees with him. The world does display causes of wonder that seem to transcend mere concatenations of particles that serve as signposts to the divine, humans in particular. But these divine features are at the mercy of the regular mechanisms of the machine of nature which produces storm and quake showing neither malice or pity. Pascal captures this by saying that man, though but a reed crushed by the universe, is still greater than the universe that crushes it because man is a reed which thinks.
But Christianity explains this by saying that while the world is both beautiful and terrible, this is because the world is not mankind's normal home. The abnormality of man's relation to the world is further said to be accidental based on events in the archaic past, and reversible, based on events that take place in an eschatological new age. But the plausibility of these inaccessible events are groined in the accessible historical experiences of the original Israel which came into existence by prophetic revelation and miraculous intervention, and which recapitulated the same conditions that led to the distortion of all humanity.
From her history we learn of an original covenant made with the original couple in a privileged place made for them, but which they broke and thus were condemned to this natural world. But also from the specific grants given to the families and rulers of Israel, we learn that God had promised humanity from the beginning that there would be hope based on God's future provision and thus to live by faith until then. This was also accomplished in accessible history in the ministry, life, death, and resurrection of one Jesus Christ according to the promises made to Israel and attested by eyewitnesses. Because all are invited to join with God in his free promises of mercy in a new covenant we may look forward to a day when the oddness of humanities cosmic location will be overcome.
All this comes to the world like a signal from space from an alien race, but a much different one than the Thule Mythos, announcing the news that redemption is there if you want it. Good news is strange to a Lovecraft-like world. But that may not necessarily make it incredible. After all, even the point of Lovecraft's fiction is still a surmise but Christianity is reconstructable news from its sources. Even if we must be skeptics about whether Lovecraft or the historic church is right, we may still be confronted with meaningful option to believe and hope in the offered Christ.
In this way, we understand how Christianity makes facing the existential threat a condition of happiness. Christ makes science with sanity possible in a Lovecraftian universe and Cthulhu turns out to be an accidental evangelist.
Saturday, October 26, 2013
"On Sunday morning, August 19, 2001, I began corporate worship at First Baptist Church (FBC) Durham by calling on the members of the church to repent. The church had just elected a woman deacon for the first time in its history, and deacons in our church’s polity were treated as spiritual leaders with shepherding responsibility for the flock. I had been teaching the congregation that Scripture reserves spiritual leadership to men, and I had made private efforts to forestall this result. Still, the church voted in a woman as an authoritative spiritual leader.
So I began worship by calling on all the people of FBC to repent—including myself. In the spirit of Daniel 9, I felt that all of us must take responsibility for violating God’s clear guidance.
My call was an object of horror to many of the members of the church. They were outraged. In their minds, repentance was something you do at the beginning of the Christian life and then never need to do again. For them, it was as if I were saying, “Because you voted for a woman as a deacon, you are not Christians.”
But I didn’t believe that at all. Rather ..."
... CUT ...
"This arrangement was especially poisonous for a new young pastor like me because the cabal of older, powerful businessmen who ran the deacons saw it as their responsibility to keep the pastor and the church staff under their thumb, partly by making sure that no pastor stayed at FBC too long. They regarded the senior pastor as a hired employee, and they were his bosses. They saw themselves as forming a needed “check and balance” to the undue exercise of pastoral authority. They had been playing the game for decades before I got there, and knew how to run things to their advantage."
~ The article is by Dr. Andrew Davis who is the Senior Pastor/Elder of First Baptist Church, Durham, N.C. Dr. Davis is a pretty sharp guy. He got a bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and then later an Masters of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He also has a Ph.D. Church History from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary out in Louisville, Kentucky.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Saturday, September 28, 2013
True Salvation from Jubilee Church on Vimeo.
- Salvation is when we make a clear firm decision to give my life to The Lord. Not perfect but I am saved
- People say they are born again but there has been no change.
- It’s not just about becoming moral. Much more than that.
- You can have an experience of God, encounter or miracle and not be saved.
- If seed never progresses into salvation. Becomes empty religion.
- Once met an atheist who goes to church because he likes the songs
- Observers. Some come and go through the motions. Get on right side of God by doing things. No zeal or zest for God and no fruit.
- Last thing any pastor wants is a member to think they are on their way to heaven but actually on the way to hell.
- There is such a thing as false salvation.