Before the New Covenant circumcision was the mandatory physical sign established by God to confirm one’s justification, entrance into the marriage covenant and later the marriage covenant community[1].  However, because of the superior form of justification and marriage gift offered under the New Covenant, both the sign and its requirement have changed[2].  Baptism is now the mandatory[3] physical sign which both replaces circumcision and improves upon it by the faith it requires, the superior form of justification it points to and the marriage gift of the New Birth and Holy Spirit it promises[4].

3.1. Circumcision was first established as a mandatory physical sign of God’s justification and covenant relationship with Abraham and his offspring (including the Israelites).  It also represented their entrance into the covenant community of Israel (Gen 17:1-2, 10-14; Lev 12:3; Rom 4:11).

3.2. Baptism was established by Christ Himself after His justifying death and resurrection confirming its replacement of circumcision as the new mandatory physical sign of our justification before God and entrance into marriage covenant w/Him  (Mat 28:18-19; Mar 16:16) [5].

3.3.   Further confirmation that circumcision has been replaced is the fact that baptism is also considered the sign of our entrance into the covenant community of the church (Act 2:41).

3.4. Re: “…baptism as improving upon circumcision by:

3.4.1. The faith it requires (NAS: Act 8:36-37, 16:31-34; 1Pe 3:21. Improves:  Jer 31:31-34).

3.4.2. The superior form of justification it points to: Payment Justification v. Passover Justification.[6]

3.4.3. The marriage gift of the New Birth and Holy Spirit it promises.” (Joh 3:1-15; Eph 2:5-8; Eze 36:25-27; Jer 31:31-34;



[1] After Abraham, God’s marriage covenant only exists w/the covenant community and not the individual.  This is clearly seen by the fact that spousal terminology is reserved for the nation of Israel and the church (e.g. Jer 31:32; Eph 5:22-24).

[2] Paedobaptists make a fatal flaw in this regard: b/c they fail to see the extent of soteriological change which has occurred under the New Covenant, they fail also to recognize that more has changed than just the sign.  The “new circumcision” (i.e. baptism) is now of the heart rather than the flesh and requires faith (Col 2:11-12).  Paedobaptists likewise miss the  inconsistency created by their paradigm:
(OC) justification before covenant: babies in covenant by clean laws (i.e. circumcision).
(NC) covenant before justification: babies in covenant before clean law (i.e. faith in Christ).
Once considered, this truth strikes ironic in light of the fact that the strongest arguments made in favor of paedobaptists by its supporters is the consistency of their paradigm between these two covenants!  It is only the Baptist position which truly preserves congruency between the covenants: (OC/NC) justification before covenant.

[3]All of the signs which God has commanded that man observe function as mandatory in this way:  Anyone unwilling to observe the sign—or to observe it correctly will not only fail to receive what it represents/symbolizes—but should also expect a curse (e.g. Exo 12:1-13; 1Co 11:27-30).

[4] This gift is also referred to as “regeneration” (Tit 3:5). For a more in depth study of this subject please see Jarrett, R. Scott, The New Birth Rediscovered.

[5] In further support of baptism also being mandatory, consider that provision (not exception) is made for anyone unable but not refusing (Jam 5:14-15).  Even the thief on the cross received a provisional form of baptism (through literal death and resurrection w/Christ!-Luk 23:43).

[6] See section entitled “Justification” for detailed discussion of the distinction between these two forms of justification.  Consider also the fact that though Abraham’s justification came through faith and is therefore connected to those expressing faith under the New Covenant, he nonetheless received circumcision as the sign, since his was Passover and not Payment Justification.

      

Justification which refers to a person possessing a righteous state before God is the necessary pre-requisite to entering into the marriage covenant relationship w/God. In the redemptive history of the Bible, we experience two forms: one which is now obsolete, the other which is presently in force.  They may be referred to as Passover Justification and Payment Justification. 

Passover Justification existed before the New Covenant and was realized by the worshiper through the observance of animal sacrifices and the additional clean laws[1] established under the Mosaic Covenant.  However, the atonement producing this justification was only superficial, merely passing over sin and therefore rapidly became obsolete and unacceptable before God once Payment Justification was secured. 

Payment Justification was secured exclusively through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ under the New Covenant and is realized by the worshiper simply through putting faith in Christ and His death alone.  Unlike the former however, the atonement producing this justification effects real payment for and removal of sin.  Payment Justification which will remain in force until the end of the Age, now exists as mankind’s only legitimate form of justification. 

2.1. The words translated “justification” or “righteousness” (or one of their derivatives) share the same δικαι root (e.g. Rom 4:5 – δικαιοσúνην; Rom 4:25 – δικαíωσιν), mean the same thing and are therefore used interchangeably throughout the Bible (e.g. Rom 3:28 w/ 9:30).

2.2. Without justification there is no hope of entering into a marriage covenant relationship w/God (e.g. Eph 2:11-13[2]).

2.3. The OT words “forgiven, washed, cleansed[3], sanctified” are used interchangeably w/the word or doctrine of justification in the NT and therefore reveal this to not only be their meaning in the OT, but also the existence of some form of justification during that time[4] (Rom 4:5-6; Psa 32:1-5; Lev 4:20-35; 1Co 6:11; Tit 3:5-7; 1Jo 1:9; Psa 51:2, 7, 10; Lev 16:30; Eze 36:25, 33, 37:23; Zec 13:1; Exo 31:13).

2.4. That some form of justification did exist under the OT is also made apparent by the considering the fact that the NT uses the OT priesthood and their work in atoning for sin as the basis for Christ’s in securing justification[5] (e.g. Heb 4:14-5:9, 7:26-28, 10:11-12).

2.5. Re: “…justification before the NC was superficial, passing over sins only whereas justification through Christ and under the NC offers real payment for and removal of sin.” (Rom 3:23-25; Heb 9:9-14, 24-10:18).

2.6. Re: “…Christ’s death alone as the exclusive basis for payment justification.” (passive obedience v. active obedience) (Rom 5:18; 2Co 5:21; Eph 1:7; Col 1:9-23; 1Pe 2:24; Heb 10:10, 14, 13:12)[6].

2.7.  Re: “…justification before the NC as obsolete and now realized exclusively through faith alone in Christ alone and as the only legitimate form of justification and salvation until the end of the Age.”

(Heb 7:12, 8:13, 9:8-15; Rom 3:28; Act 4:12; 2Th 1:5-8 w/Mat 13:39-42).  


[1] Clean laws include those described in Leviticus 1-18.  All clean laws fit into one of 5 categories:  circumcision, sacrifices, Sabbaths, separation and kosher foods.

[2] This passage reveals that Jesus Christ is the specific person w/in Godhead responsible for making covenant w/Israel just as He is the One Who makes it w/the church under the NC (Luk 22:20).  The Scriptures may point in this direction as it relates to all covenants and Jesus (consider Jud 1:5; 1Co 10:1-9; Joh 8:56-58; Heb 7:1-3; 1Pe 3:18-20).

[3] Though not necessarily pertinent to this discussion, the words “wash, cleanse” do communicate an important aspect regarding our justification: that it is more than just forensic, but also moral (for further explanation see  Jarrett, R. Scott, Justification Rediscovered, p.10-11).

[4] The fact that these words in the OT most often deal either explicitly or implicitly w/issues of sin and being set apart to God as holy further support the fact that there are indeed communicating some form of justification (i.e. a person possessing a righteous state before God).

[5] The fact that some form of justification was needed in the OT becomes all the more apparent when one again considers it is impossible to be in relationship w/God unless that is case (as supported in 2.2.)

[6] Where this truth becomes most important is when considering the place of the Law.  Those holding to the Active Obedience position believe that Justification through Christ required also meritorious works which Christ accomplished before His death.  This however creates a works-based system of righteousness that is nowhere found in the Bible nor was ever a part of God’s purpose in establishing the Law.  This will be further discussed under the section entitled “Law”.

      

All saving relationships between God and man in the Bible are a marriage covenant[1]. There are five[2]major marriage covenants in the Bible: the Adamic Covenant[3], Noahic Covenant, Abrahamic Covenant, Mosaic Covenant and New Covenant.

1.1. The Mosaic Covenant (OC) is spoken of using marriage terms and conditions:

1.1.1. God as husband, Israel as wife (Isa 54:5; Jer 3:20, 31:31-32).

1.1.2. Marriage vows are taken (Eze 16:1-8).

1.1.3. Israel is seen as committing adultery and becoming an adulterer (harlot, whore) when unfaithful to the covenant (Eze 16:15-32).

1.1.4. God threatens divorce for unrepentant unfaithfulness even threatening the “no remarriage rule” of Deuteronomy 24:1-4 (Jer 3:1-8; Isa 50:1).

1.2. The first covenant (Adamic) is revealed to be the same kind of covenant as the Mosaic Covenant (Hos 6:7 – consider it is “the covenant” v. “their covenant”).

1.3. Every other salvation covenant in the Old Testament which follows the first (Adamic) is referenced in the possessive (“My covenant”) demonstrating this to be their antecedent in kind (Gen 6:18, 17:2; Exo 19:5).

1.4. The New Covenant also uses marriage terms and conditions, and is considered to be the same kind of covenant[4] as the Mosaic Covenant (Eph 5:22-32; Rev 19:7; Jer 31:31-32).



[1] Such marriage covenants however are “betrothal” in nature (“inchoate marriages”) since this was the first act of the ancient marriage covenant and the point at which the contract was agreed upon. Though spousal terms would oftentimes be used during this period (e.g. Deu 20:7), the marriage covenant was not consummated until the actual ceremony and intimate union between the husband and his wife were achieved (see Gordon P. Hugenberger, Marriage as a Covenant, p.243-279). In the case of God’s marriage to humans, such consummating ceremony takes place only after we have passed from this life (Consider: 2Co 11:2, Rev 19:6-9; Consider also the fact that Joseph pursues “divorce” in relation to Mary though they are only betrothed. This implies some sort of marriage covenant/contract is already in place – see Mat 1:18-20).

[2] Covenant Theology recognizes six including also the Davidic Covenant. Though an important covenant in God’s redemptive plan, it was established in relation to kingship not salvation (see 2Sa 7 and 23). In this regard David himself operated under the Mosaic covenant.

[3] Though one may initially question calling the Adamic Covenant a “saving relationship” since there was no sin at the time it was inaugurated, what must be considered is the fact that this is where it ended up: in God providing an addendum and means of atonement thus taking the role of Savior in that covenant as well (Gen 3:21).

[4] This does not infer there are no differences between the Old and New Covenant but rather that the New –like the Old –is viewed and operates as a marriage covenant.

      


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2. DEBATING

2.1.Wikipedia definition: “debate is contention in argument”;  Free dictionary definition: “debate is to engage in argument by discussing opposing points.”

2.2. Debating/arguing is absolute necessary to both discovering and defending the truth in a sinful world (Acts 15:1-2, 3-22: notice this is IN the church!; Jude 1:3; Luke 11:37-54).

2.3. Debate therefore is not sinful, what can be is our approach to or avoidance of it (Galatians 5:20; Matthew 10:22-33).

2.4. Debate which is honoring to God:

2.4.1. Always practices intellectual honesty:

2.4.1.1. The goal is discovering and defending the truth (not one’s reputation, position or pride – i.e. “winning the fight”)(2 Corinthians 4:2).

2.4.1.2. Never uses one’s position of authority to take advantage of others (1 Peter 5:3; 1 Thessalonians 2:6).

2.4.1.3. Readily acknowledges when their point/position is wrong and immediately repents (Acts 23:1-5).

2.4.1.4. Is only committed to what can be legitimately proven to be the facts (Deuteronomy 29:29; Isaiah 8:20; 2 Corinthians 13:1; Matthew 18:16; 2 Corinthians 10:5; 2 Timothy 2:16; 2 Timothy 1:13).

2.4.1.5. Does not assume (act like you know what you know, never what you don’t) (1 Corinthians 4:5).

2.4.1.6. Hates all forms of gossip and slander, but also flattery (Rom 1:29-30; Job 32:21-22; Psalm 5:9, 12:2-3,; Proverbs 28:23; Romans 16:17-18; 1 Thessalonians 2:5).

2.4.2. Always reasons logically:

2.4.2.1. Committed to the rules of logic (Identity/Context; Non-contradiction, Excluded Middle, Rational Inference) (e.g. 1 Corinthians 15:12-16; 1 Peter 3:15)

2.4.2.2. Emotions/feelings are irrelevant (i.e. never the measure of what is true but what we think is true.) (e.g. Jude 1:4, 10; 2 Peter 2:1-2, 18; Proverbs 31:30 – “charm is deceitful”).

2.4.2.3. Contradictions are recognized as the first sign that what we think is false (1 Timothy 6:20-21).

2.4.3. Always expresses respect for those in authority (1 Peter 2:18, 3:1-2, 7, 13-16; 1 Timothy 5:17-19; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13).

2.4.4. Always demonstrates love and patient endurance with those who are brothers/sisters in Christ (Ephesians 4:1-3, 16, 32-5:2; Col 3:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:9-10, 5:14; 2 Timothy 4:2).

2.4.5. Always seeks restoration or a peaceful resolution (1 Peter 4:11; Rom 12:18).

2.4.6. Always submits to the parameters of Matthew 18:15-17 (Act 15:1-28; this is why 1 Corinthians 11:16).

2.4.7. Always shows wise restraint and willingness to listen (Romans 12:3; Proverbs 5:1-2, 12-14, 10:8, 12:15, 13:16, 14:15-18, 29, 15:31-32, 18:1-2, 6-7, 13, 19:20; James 1:19-21).

      

Righteous Relationships – Dating

By Pastor Scott | Filed in Sound Relationships


For audio only click here.

1. DATING

1.1. Wikipedia definition: “dating is a form of courtship consisting of social activities done by two people with the aim of each assessing the other’s suitability as a partner in an intimate relationship or as a spouse.”

1.2. The Bible would see all forms of courtship (whether called by the term “dating” or “courting[1]”) as exclusively for assessing one’s suitability as a spouse and never just as “a partner in an intimate relationship” since all such relationships would undoubtedly include sexual attraction[2] with the obvious goal of sexual activity – something forbidden outside of the marriage covenant (1 Thessalonians 4:2-3  – “sexual immorality” = sexual activity outside the completion of a marriage covenant).

1.3. The biblical concept of betrothal is therefore closest to the concept of dating[3] since:

1.3.1. It takes place before the actual marriage (e.g. Matthew 1:18-20).

1.3.2. It exists (among other things) for the purpose of assessing marriage suitability. Consider (2 Corinthians 11:2): all Divine-human covenants are betrothal or inchoate in nature [4]  versus complete or choate – something which takes place only after the marriage ceremony is complete. In relation to God, this happens only after we have passed from this life into the next (see Revelation 19:6-9). As additional support, consider also the fact that Joseph pursues “divorce” in relation to Mary though they are only betrothed.  This implies a covenant/contract is already in place (see again Matthew 1:19).

1.4. As such, dating must operate within the following parameters for Christians:

1.4.1. Only those recognized by the Church as Christians are eligible (2 Corinthians 6:14-15).

1.4.2. Only when approved by the Church (Exodus 22:16; 1 Samuel 18:25 w/ its NC understanding: Matthew 19:29).

1.4.3. The existence of both spiritual and sexual attraction (Genesis 2:18-24).

1.4.4. A demonstration of brother-to-sister behavior only (1 Timothy 5:2; 2 Corinthains 13:12)[5].

1.4.5. Free of any activity which is meant to arouse/gratify the sexual desires of either person (1 Thessalonians 4:2-8).

1.4.6. Free of any activity which might imply sexual relations to others (Ephesians 5:3).

1.4.7. An exclusive commitment (“betrothed…to one husband” 1 Timothy 3:2, 12).


[1] There is nothing more biblical about using the word “courting” (versus “dating”) to describe this process though some have attempted to make such distinctions (e.g. Joshua Harris, I Kissed Dating Goodbye).  Neither word can claim biblical origins since neither were a part of the social landscape when the Bible was written.

[2] It is true that some people have dated and married without any sexual attraction or desire for sexual activity but such relationships strain even the common worldly understanding of these terms and (as we shall see) is completely unbiblical.

[3] Many equate the betrothal period to that of the modern day engagement period.  Though there are similarities between the “bride-price” (Exodus 22:16) and the purchase of a ring today, engagements oftentimes are purely pragmatic in purpose: to give time for planning the wedding.  By this point, assessment for “marriage suitability” is a foregone conclusion.

[4] Betrothal was considered the first act in the marriage covenant process and though not all rights and privileges (e.g. sexual license) had yet been granted at this point (“inchoate marriage”), oftentimes spousal terms were employed to refer to each other (Consider Deuteronomy 20:7; “husband” in 2 Corinthians 11:2; Hosea 2:2-4 – In addressing His marriage covenant relationship w/Israel, God refers to the children of Israel as the children of whoring – not as His own. Consummation of the marriage covenant has not yet taken place making all progeny at this point – illegitimate).  Modern sensibilities however require that we not confuse such terminology by using it outside of what is viewed as marriage today. For further study on this subject see Gordon P. Hugenberger, Marriage as a Covenant, p.243-251.

[5] These verses establish what constitutes sexual behavior: Any physical activity which would be inappropriate for siblings to engage in.

      

Christianity Answers the Atheists – Part 2

By Pastor Scott | Filed in Sound Logic


For audio only click here.

[PREVIOUSLY DISCUSSED] I. Definitions… II. Defense:

“Christianity (as defined/revealed in the Bible) provides the only truthful, reality-based, logical, rational, ontological, objective, sane, moral and just argument for man’s existence.”

*All ontological arguments are based on secondary sources. Neither the theist nor the atheist can claim primary evidence.

1. Eternal: “Something must be eternal.”

-Un-Moved Mover Argument (Uncreated must be Creator)

Christianity has the answer: God of the Bible is the Eternal Creator (Genesis 1:1; John 1:1; Isaiah 90:1-2; Revelation 1:8)

2. Intelligent: “Something must be someone.”

-Teleological Argument (Design implies Designer)

-Moral Argument (Morality implies Moral Lawgiver)

Christianity has the answer: God of the Bible is the Intelligent Designer (Genesis 1:27; Psalm 104:1-31, 139:13-14; Proverbs 3:19-20)

Conclusion: The problem is moral not intellectual: “God doesn’t believe in atheists only the insane, ignorant and idiots” – i.e. The Dummy’s Trinity (Ecclesiastes 9:3; Ephesians 4:18; 1 Peter 1:14; Romans 1:18-22).

*Why God/writers of Scripture use disrespectful/dishonoring terms when referring to atheists or unwise/sinful Christians: “respect/honor used gets the gospel confused” (Psalm 14:1; Galatians 3:1): this is why many will miss the gospel and go to Hell (incl. our children, family and friends).

 

3. Witness: “God has given a witness of Himself.”

3.1. Through Creation (Romans 1:19-20):

3.1.1. (19a) “what can be known about God” = The information necessary to come to the conclusion that there is a God.

3.1.2. (19b) “is plain to them” (fanero,n)= the existence of God is obvious to humanity (Galatians 5:19; 1 John 3:10).

3.1.3. (19c) “because He has shown” (evfane, rwsen) it to them = the reason God’s existence is obvious to humanity is due to the fact He has publicly revealed/openly made it obvious (John 21:14; Ephesians 5:13).

3.1.4. What verse 19 tells us (3 things):
3.1.4.1. God’s existence in not hidden (it is obvious).

3.1.4.2. Theism (in general) should be the popular position (since it is the obvious choice).

3.1.4.3. The burden of proof lies with the atheist as to why (other than their moral unrighteousness which purposefully suppressed the truth about God’s existence – v18) they chose the path of the idiot (v22) – versus the obvious choice!

3.1.5. How God has made His existence obvious (20b) “ever since the creation of the world, in the things which have been made” = Through the things which exist in creation.

3.1.6. What can be “clearly perceived…so that they are without excuse” (20a, c):
3.1.6.1. “His eternal nature” = Something is eternal: whatever created all that exists is eternal (An Un-moved/Primary Mover).

3.1.6.2. “His divine nature” = Something is someone: it was a Divine Personal Being (An Intelligent Designer, An Objective/Just Moral Law Giver) Who created what exists.

3.2. Through the Bible: What demonstrates the Bible to be God’s self-disclosure?

3.2.1. Its (gospel) message is congruent with the (gospel) message of Creation (and therefore its Creator):
3.2.1.1. The Bible testifies that its message is congruent with Creation’s message (Romans 10:14-18 w/Psalm 19:4ff).

3.2.1.2. The gospel message of Creation and its support in the Bible (gospel = Abundant Life, Lord before Savior, Marriage Covenant):

3.2.1.2.1. Our Abundant Life on earth is ultimately dependent upon who/whatever created us. Both the Theists and Atheist of the world have always believed this whether they are willing to admit it or not: Our prosperity on this planet is subject to its design (or Designer) (e.g. Acts 14:15-17).

3.2.1.2.2. We are in danger of not reaping the rewards of this world (or a next) if we do not serve what/who created us (i.e. Lord Before Savior). People throughout humanity’s history have realized this and as a result, have submitted their lives in obedience to the religious rituals, cultic practices or laws of who/what they believed was their Creator. This is true even for the Atheist, though what they religiously serve is the Creation itself (e.g. the “green” movement in America) (e.g. Matthew 7:21-27, 25:31-46).

3.2.1.2.3. The Marriage Covenant has been a key part of every culture since the beginning of our existence on planet earth. It universally represents not only a place of special of intimacy and strength, but also a place of great reward for those who together remain faithful to their vows of faith (Ephesians 5:22-32; 1 Peter 1:1-2 w/ Exodus 24:7-8).

3.2.2. It is a logical book promoting a logical Faith which is congruent with the logical makeup of Creation (and therefore its Creator):

3.2.2.1. The 4 Laws of Logic (Identity, Non-Contradiction, Excluded Middle and Rational Inference) are utilized throughout the Bible as the means to establish its teachings and to refute those who oppose (e.g. internal = 1 Corinthians 15:12-18; external = Matthew 16:1-4).

3.2.2.2. The Bible commands us to logically reason with others about our Faith—something which would be impossible unless the Christian Faith (and the Bible as a book) was logical its contents (1 Peter 3:15 – “defense”: avpologi, an =upon logic reason; Acts 17:2-3,10-11).

3.2.2.3. The Bible condemns those who are illogical, relying on emotions and subjective experiences as the basis for their Faith (Jude 4 – “sensuality”, 8 – “relying on dreams”, 10 – “like unreasoning animals”).

3.2.2.4. The Bible reveals a God whose greatest desire is that people use their minds (i.e. logically think) as the means to loving and obeying Him (Matthew 22:37-38; Isaiah 1:18).

3.3. Through Jesus Christ: who claimed to be the Eternal, Divine Creator God of the universe.

3.3.1. Jesus Christ is presented by the human authors of the New Testament as the Eternal, Divine Creator God of the universe (e.g. Col 1:16-19; Jude 5; John 1:1-3).

3.3.2. The human authors of the New Testament consider their view of Jesus Christ to be factual: based on responsible research, legitimate proofs and eyewitness accounts (e.g. Luke 1:1-4; Acts 1:1-3, 17:30-31; John 20:30-31; 1 John 1:1-4).

3.3.3. There is no good reason to doubt the claims of/about Jesus Christ since:
3.3.3.1. Much of what is considered historical fact is based largely on secondary sources/evidence such as the writings of people associated with that period of time). The witness of Jesus Christ (in the New Testament) therefore cannot be doubted for this reason, since to do so would mean equally doubting all historical information based on secondary sources/evidences (e.g. Josephus and the Jewish War).

3.3.3.2. The veracity of any historical writing/record is based largely on the reputation of the authors themselves and the number of additional witnesses/writers which corroborate their account. The New Testament is written by at least 8 authors, all who suffered tremendously for their belief, yet maintained unity in their witness about Jesus and the historical events which proved His claims to deity (e.g. authors Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, James and Jude all speak of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead).

3.3.4. There is great reason to believe the claims of/about Jesus Christ based on the level of consistency, fulfillment, understanding and overall synthesis that exists between the two Testaments (of the Bible) in regard to the Messiah/Christ and His teachings though it was written by many authors over many different periods of time. There is no other such literary accomplishment like it on planet earth.

Conclusion: The consequences of rejecting what is “the only truthful, reality-based, logical, rational, ontological, objective, sane, moral and just argument for man’s existence” and remaining atheistic in your thinking/living: you will…

…be wise before the world, but an insane, ignorant idiot before God (not logical/rational).

…fail to show intellectual honesty (not just/truthful/reality-based…but an escapist).

…be a hypocrite every time you claim anything to be right or wrong (not moral).

…have no right to borrow from God’s ways/laws (“we follow the golden rule”; Psalm 50:16-17).

…be the one possessing the psychological crutch (since atheism fails intellectually, the only reason to ascribe to atheistic arguments is in an attempt to suppress a guilty conscience and live free in rebellion – Psalm 10:3-4).

…be God’s “holy toilet paper.” (Proverbs 16:4 w/ James 1:1-4, 5:10-11).

      

Christianity Answers the Atheists – Part 1

By Pastor Scott | Filed in Sound Logic


For audio only click here.

 

I. Definitions, Distinctions and Denunciations

1. Theism (living like God exists) v. Atheism (living like God does not exist).

2. Agnosticism and the “Coexist crowd”: The “coward atheists” of the world.

3. The Bible is what defines Christianity and the God of Christianity.

4. Becoming a Christian means becoming a “biblical theist” (living like the God of the Bible exists: defining your relationship with Him according to the Bible) and seeing all others as “biblical atheists” (living like the God of the Bible does not exist – Titus 1:16).

5. The denunciation of Christianity by all forms of atheists:

5.1.  Escapism (an unwillingness to accept reality) (Ludwig Feuerbach, Daniel Dennet; all other forms of religion including Christian cults: Roman Catholics, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons): not completely truthful or reality-based.

“I certainly grant the existence of the phenomenon of faith; what I want to see is a reasoned ground for taking faith as a way of getting to the truth, and not, say, just as a way people comfort themselves and each other [i.e. escapism].”- Daniel Dennet

5.2.  Illogical/Irrational (Richard Dawkins, Peter Higgs, Steven Hawking): not logical or rational.

“Reason (Logic/Rational Thought) is a whore, the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but more frequently than not struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God.” – Martin Luther

5.3.  A psychological crutch (based on insecurity, fear, guilt) (Sigmund Freud, Friedrich Nietzsche): not ontological.

“God is the product of such “illusions, fulfillments of the oldest, strongest and most urgent wishes of mankind. … the benevolent rule of a divine Providence allays our fears of the dangers of life.” – Sigmund Freud

5.4.  A form of insanity (Sigmund Freud, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris): not objective or sane.

“Religion is universal obsessional neurosis” – Sigmund Freud

“Religion allows otherwise normal human beings to reap the fruits of madness and consider them holy.” -Sam Harris

5.5.  A manipulative tool used to exploit/control people and steal their freedom (Thomas Jefferson, Karl Marx, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Greg Epstein, Francis Bacon): not moral or just.

“Atheism leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to reputation; all of which may be guides to an outward moral virtue, even if religion vanished; but religious superstition dismounts all these and erects an absolute monarchy in the minds of men.” – Francis Bacon

“Religion is the opiate of the masses” – Karl Marx

II. Defense: Christianity (as defined/revealed in the Bible) provides the only truthful, reality-based, logical, rational, ontological, objective, sane, moral and just argument for man’s existence.

*All ontological arguments are based on secondary sources. Neither the theist nor the atheist can claim primary evidence.

1. Eternal: “Something must be eternal.”

1.1.  What created that which created what is created? The illogical/irrational belief of many atheists is that we were created by other created things: the universe (Big Bang!), aliens, etc. The question is, “what created them?”

1.2.  “Ex Nihilo Nihil Fit” (Out of Nothing, Nothing Comes):
This is the other illogical/irrational view posited by the atheist: all things suddenly came into being from nothing (“spontaneous generation”). This however is impossible since nothing by definition is void of content/substance, meaning it possesses none of the essential ingredients for something (v. nothing) to exist. In other words, “Creation abhors a vacuum” (The Principle of Biogenesis). The absurd (dare we say idiotic?) formula of the evolutionist: “Nothing times nobody equals everything”.

1.3.  The Un-moved Mover/Primary Mover (Aristotle): Something is the ultimate cause(“mover”) of all things in the universe. It is therefore without cause (or movement) making it eternal in nature.

1.4.  CHRISTIANITY HAS THE ANSWER: The God of the Bible is the Eternal Creator (Genesis 1:1; Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 90:2, 93:2, 102:24-27; Isaiah 40:28, 43:10, 48:12, 57:15; John 1:1; Ephesians 1:4; Revelation 1:8, 21:6, 22:13) (In response to Dawkins –The God Delusion: “Who created God? The question doesn’t apply to the God of the Bible since He was not created – those kinds of gods we call “idols” – Isaiah 40:28). Objection: Why not an eternal universe/matter as the answer?

2. Intelligent: “The eternal something must be someone.”

2.1. Eternal God v. Eternal Universe: the difference between Intelligent Design (ID) and Random Chance (RC).

2.2. The analogy of the watchmaker (Teleological Argument).

2.3. DNA and Intelligent Design:

“In all modern organisms, DNA contains in encrypted form the instructions for the manufacture of proteins [i.e. cells contain information] . More specifically, encoded within DNA is the exact order in which amino acids, selected at each step from 20 distinct varieties should be strung together to form all of the organism’s proteins.” (Dr. Christian de Duve, Nobel Prize Scientist “The Beginning of Life on Earth,” American Scientist, Vol. 83, Sept-Oct. 1995, p. 430).

In other words, there is (ID) manifested in the selection process and order of DNA. However…

“There is no known natural law through which matter can give rise to information [i.e. (ID)], neither is there any physical process or material phenomenon known that can do this.” (Dr. Werner Gitt, In the Beginning Was Information, 1997, p. 79).

“If the inference for an intelligent cause [i.e. design] for DNA (and for life too, if DNA is truly necessary for life) is in error, then we would likewise be in error to infer the presence of extraterrestrial intelligence upon receipt of intelligible radio messages from deep space. More important, our knowledge of past civilizations provided by archaeologists would be in jeopardy. These supposed “Artifacts” might be, after all, the result of unknown natural causes. Cave paintings, for example…may not be the result of early humans….Indeed, excavated ancient libraries could not be trusted to contain the works of intelligent men and women.” — Charles B. Thaxton, (“In Pursuit of Intelligent Causes” Origins & Design, Summer 2001, p. 28-29)

2.3. The impossibility of Evolution (i.e. RC):

“Elementary statistical theory shows that the probability of 200 successive mutations being successful is (1⁄2)200, or one chance out of 1060. The number 1060, if written out, would be “one” followed by sixty “zeros.” In other words, the chance that a 200- component organism could be formed by mutation and natural selection is less than one chance out of a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion! Lest anyone think that a 200-part system is unreasonably complex, it should be noted that even a one-celled plant or animal may have millions of molecular “parts [humans are made up of about 100 trillion cells]. The evolutionist might react by saying that even though any one such mutating organism might not be successful, surely some around the world would be, especially in the 10 billion years (or 1018 seconds) of assumed earth history. Therefore, let us imagine that every one of the earth’s 1014 square feet of surface harbors a billion (i.e., 109) mutating systems and that each mutation requires one-half second (actually it would take far more time than this). Each system can thus go through its 200 mutations in 100 seconds and then, if it is unsuccessful, start over for a new try. In 1018 seconds, there can, therefore, be 1018/102, or 1016, trials by each mutating system. Multiplying all these numbers together, there would be a total possible number of attempts to develop a 200- component system equal to 1014 (109) (1016), or 1039 attempts. Since the probability against the success of any one of them is 1060, it is obvious that the probability that just one of these 1039 attempts might be successful is only one out of 1060/1039, or 1021. All this means that the chance that any kind of a 200-component integrated functioning organism could be developed by mutation and natural selection just once, anywhere in the world, in all the assumed expanse of geologic time, is less than one chance out of a billion trillion. What possible conclusion, therefore, can we derive from such considerations as this except that evolution by mutation and natural selection is mathematically and logically indefensible… Furthermore, since the law of increasing entropy, or the second law of thermodynamics, is essentially a statement of probabilities, many writers have also used that law itself to show that evolution on any significant scale is essentially impossible…[since] in the world of scientific observation, no more complex system can ever ‘evolve’ out of a less complex system…[hence] the probability of the naturalistic origin (i.e. evolution) of even the simplest imaginary form of life is zero. The existence of complexity of any kind is [instead] evidence of [(ID)].” – Dr. Henry Morris

2.4. The impossibility of moral right and wrong without Intelligent Design: morality/ethics become the inventions of society based on the preferences of those in power (true good and evil do not exist, only exploitation and manipulation).

2.5. CHRISTIANITY HAS THE ANSWER: The God of the Bible is the Intelligent Designer (Genesis 1:27; Psalm 104:1-31, 139:1-14; Proverbs 3:19-20; Isaiah 45:18; Jeremiah 33:2 As Intelligent Designer and Eternal Creator, God also has the right to expect submission to His moral code – 1 Chronicles 29:11; Deuteronomy 10:14; 4:39-40. This is what establishes Paul calls for repentance in Acts 17:22-30).

Conclusion: The problem is moral not intellectual: “God doesn’t believe in atheists only the insane, ignorant and idiots” – i.e. The Dummy’s Trinity (Ecclesiastes 9:3; Ephesians 4:18; 1 Peter 1:14; Romans 1:18-22).

      

Galatians: Gospel Bombs

By Pastor Scott | Filed in Sound Gospel

 

Map of Galatia

 

Denver Sound Church is in the midst of a study of the book of Galatians, the Apostle Paul’s first epistle. Galatians is a polemic on New Covenant Justification and the Gospel Bombs series deals with Galatians chapter 1 through chapter 2, verse 10 answering questions such as:

How does the Bible define “grace” and “peace”? (Part 1)

What does “agree to disagree” indicate about your view of the Gospel? (Part 1)

Why must the believer condemn those who teach a false gospel? (Part 1)

According to what standard will we be judged at the last day? (Part 1)

Does being Reformed guarantee that our gospel is correct? (Part 1)

Upon whose approval did Paul’s Gospel depend? (Part 2)

Upon what does Paul base his defense of the Gospel? (Part 2)

What two things are required in order to get the Gospel right? (Part 3, 4)

How could Paul oppose Peter and James, but still respect the role and necessity of the church in order to get the Gospel right? (Part 4)

What is the definition of a biblical church? (Part 4)

How does Paul’s private meeting with church leaders affect our understanding of the church? (Part 4)

Is the church a democracy or a republic? (Part 4)

What is the church’s job in regard to false teachers? (Part 5)

What are the four legitimate gospel ministries according to the New Testament? (Part 5)

The Galatians series will begin again at Denver Sound Church in February. To listen to the messages on Galatians and more, go to our sermon page. The teaching is also available for downloading as a podcast. Sunday School teaching and worship service messages are all available for viewing on our YouTube channel.

      

Galatians 2: Backstory and Theme

By Pastor Scott | Filed in Sound History

 

Map of Galatia

 

Denver Sound Church is in the midst of a study of the book of Galatians, the Apostle Paul’s first epistle. This sermon is the last of an in-depth look at the historical circumstances which caused the book to be written before we dive into the text itself. The backstory is a history of Paul from conversion to the writing of Galatians and the surrounding soap opera. This particular message deals with questions such as:

Why are the Galatians in danger of losing their justification and how does this apply to present-day believer?

Who are the “men from James” and why were they teaching circumcision?

Where was Paul headed when he wrote the book of Galatians?

What is the threat posed by poor ecclesiology?

What are the consequences of bad biblical theology?

How committed should the local church be to gaining unity in doctrine?

To learn how the Epistle to Galatians answers these questions and how these answers are critical to the Christian life, listen to Galatians 2: Backstory and Theme (also available for downloading as a podcast) or watch on YouTube.

      

Galatians 1: More Backstory

By Pastor Scott | Filed in Sound History

 

Map of Galatia

 

Denver Sound Church is in the midst of a study of the book of Galatians, the Apostle Paul’s first epistle. This sermon is an in-depth look at the historical circumstances which caused the book to be written. This is a history of Paul from conversion to the writing of Galatians and this message deals with questions such as:

How does the bi-partite distinction within the Law of Moses help us to understand the book of Galatians?

Was the Galatians 2 visit to Jerusalem, Paul’s second visit (Acts 11:25-26) or his third visit (Acts 15:1-2) also known as the Jerusalem council?

Why did he feel it necessary to go to Jerusalem at this time?

What significant thing happened during this visit?

Who are the “men from James” and why were they teaching circumcision?

Who were the Galatians exactly and why was their justification in danger of being lost? (Galatians 5:4)

Where was Paul headed when he wrote the book of Galatians?

To learn how the Epistle to Galatians answers these questions and how these answers are critical to the Christian life, listen to Galatians 1: More Backstory (also available for downloading as a podcast) or watch on YouTube.