The biblical view of marriage is under attack in many post-Christian societies like the United States. In particular, advocates of “same-sex marriage” either reject the idea that marriage is instituted by God (and, therefore, regulated by him), or they endeavor to “reinterpret” the Bible to allow for homosexuality and legal unions between partners of the same sex. In light of the rising opposition what we know as the traditional view of marriage, I thought it might be useful to offer a brief exposition of the Baptist Confession of Faith’s contribution to this topic. Read more
Plenty of folks were lauding Chick-Fil-A and denouncing the pro-gay community when I checked my Facebook news feed on Friday. While I agreed with those who support Chick-Fil-A’s freedom of speech and view of marriage, I thought it might be helpful to add a complementary perspective into the mix. So I posted the following remark, “I’m not a prophet, but I suspect that it will be more tolerable on the Day of Judgment for Sodom and Gomorrah than for many who patronized Chick-Fil-A on August 1st.” Read more
In Genesis 4:17, Moses begins a new section highlighting several major developments in the human race that resulted from Cain’s exile from Eden. These advances in “civilization” bear witness both to the potency of common grace as well as to the escalation of human sin. Read more
The record of life outside the Garden begins with a birth-notice of Adam and Eve’s firstborn son, Cain, and Eve’s maternal response (4:1). The birth of a second son, Abel, is also recorded but without any accompanying maternal response (4:2a). The asymmetry may suggest that the firstborn child occupied Eve’s special attention. More likely, though, it is the narrator (Moses) who is especially interested in Cain, evidenced by the fact that he refers to Abel not as Eve’s “son” but as Cain’s “brother.” The following verses confirm that Cain is the main actor in the plot. Read more
As most theologians have noted, God’s moral law is not merely some arbitrary standard He imposes upon mankind. The moral law of God is a reflection of God’s own moral character. This fact is underscored in Leviticus 19. Before God reviews the Israelites’ obligation to conform their attitudes and behavior to His law, He declares to them in verse 2: “You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.” In other words, God is not just telling men to “do as I say.” He is telling them, “Be like me.” Jesus would tell His disciples after expounding the moral law, “Therefore, you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (v. 48). Read more
Perhaps the most universally acknowledged reality apart from death is the presence of moral evil in the world. Virtually every religion, philosophy, and society acknowledges some defect in the nature of man. This defect is often discussed in literature, on the 6:00 news, and in the coffee shop. It’s not only found in prisons, but it’s also found on elementary school playgrounds. It’s committed by young and old, by male and female, by rich and poor, by atheist and religious. I’m speaking of the universal reality of what the Bible calls “sin.” According to Scripture, “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). Read more
May we ascribe genuine emotional capacity to God? We’ve examined the answer of classical theism (Part 1) and open theism (Part 2). While we side mostly with classical theism, we tend to agree with those theologians who insist that divine impassibility need not preclude an affirmation of divine emotivity (Part 3). It’s our conviction that a comprehensive view of the all the biblical data compels us to affirm that God has capacities that are analogous to human emotions. So in this final post, we’ll attempt to formulate a biblical doctrine of divine emotions.
Does God have emotions? In the first installment in this series, we focused on the classical view of “impassibility,” which seems to treat emotions ascribed to God as metaphors for divine action. Emotions ascribed to God are not actual but are phenomenological. In this post, we’ll look at a contrary view that doesn’t merely affirm divine emotions but interprets them as practically equivalent to human emotions. If the classical view seems to leave God inwardly “unaffected” by human sin and misery and, as it were, “comfortably numb” in his celestial repose, this view portrays God as “dazed and confused.” Read more
Since the middle of the 19th century, the archaeologist’s spade has uncovered vast amounts of literary artifacts from the ancient Near East (ANE), the historical and cultural milieu of the Old Testament (OT). After studying the deciphered and translated portions of this ancient literature, Bible scholars have noted numerous literary, thematic, and conceptual similarities with the literature of the OT. Some of the parallels are so striking that some scholars have questioned whether the Old Testament is unique after all. In the video below, Read more
Having framed the question of and summarized the objections to the “well-meant offer” of the gospel, we’re prepared to defend the doctrine. And our first argument pertains to the doctrine’s logical consistency. Claiming that God desires the salvation of a non-elect sinner and that it’s also the case that God doesn’t desire the salvation of a non-elect sinner sounds illogical. The same would be true of the following juxtaposed remarks: “I like chocolate ice-cream,” and, “I don’t like chocolate ice-cream.” Contradiction! Right? Not necessarily. Let me explain.