31 Jan 2010
-There are somethings that we are not meant to know and it is wrong to speculate about them.
-The danger of people not being content to leave the secret things to God.
-The Bible teaches BOTH God's sovereignty AND human responsibility. That these two seemingly opposing truths are impossible to fit together in a finite human mind, but that many people are not content to leave to God the secret things of how these truths fit together and so many end up losing one truth as they try to fit God into their box.
-That trying to work out the times and seasons of the 2nd coming is unscriptural.
Play or download mp3:
Deut 29:29+var - Attributes of God pt 22-God's Revealed And Secret Will-Kevin Williams - 67 min
Listen to this and other Puritan Fellowship Sermons on itunes here:
30 Jan 2010
Ladies, Does How You Dress Cause Men to Lust? – Al Martin (31 min) -A MUST-WATCH for ALL SISTERS IN CHRIST
Play or download mp3 audio of this sermon HERE.
See also: Biblical Family pt3-First Kiss Should Be On The Wedding Day-Biblical Principles For Courtship Verses Worldly & Demonic Dating-Kevin Williams.
&: Helps For People Struggling With Pornography
28 Jan 2010
27 Jan 2010
You can get Bible Toolbar for free HERE (BibleToolbar.net) and HERE (Mozilla Add-Ons).
26 Jan 2010
1. Leigh from Arkclow, Ireland
2. Kevin Samrick from Huy, Belgium
3. Dorothy from Bucarest, Romania
4. Stafie Camelia from Prahova, Romania
24 Jan 2010
-What is the mark of the beast and do you have it?
-That anyone who rejects Christ are NOT children of God.
-That in one sense God hates and is angry at both the sin and the sinner, but in another sense He loves sinners and pleads with them to be reconciled to Him.
-Why Hell is Hell.
-What it will be like at the judgement seat for believers and unbelievers.
Play or download mp3:
Rev 20:11-15+var- Attributes of God pt 21-The Wrath and Hatred of God-Kevin Williams - 54 min
Listen to this and other Puritan Fellowship Sermons on itunes here:
23 Jan 2010
You can buy the album here. And you can listen to samples of my favourites below:
Lifter of My Head (Psalm 3)
Turn O Lord (Psalm 6)
Pure Words (Psalm 12)
Holy Hill (Psalm 15)
For more see Jamie Soles -Pure Words.
22 Jan 2010
21 Jan 2010
ENTER JANUARY 2010 Book Giveaway See HERE: Pilgrim's Progress Book Giveaway January
20 Jan 2010
What I learned and was reminded of:
- Focus on Christ and His gospel, for only the gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16).
- Remember that you are dealing with spiritually dead people that cannot love or receive the truth lest the Holy Spirit opens their hearts to respond to the gospel (Acts 16:14).
- Answer questions succintly with the Bible presupposing the Bible to defend the truth of the Bible (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10; Colossians 2:3; Hebrews 6:13). If people want more detailed and specific answers that are evidential in nature, direct them to the Creation Ministries International website or give them some of our CMI booklets that address their question.
- Don't interrupt hecklers when they are asking a question even though you have a pretty good idea of what their objection/question is going to be. This is because "He who gives an answer before he hears it is folly and shame to him" (Proverbs 18:13).
- If you get the same question again from the same person, ask them, "I just answered that question for you, did you not understand my explanation the first time?" If they say "no I didn't understand" then patiently explain it again using gobs of Scripture and be patient with them (2 Timothy 2:23-26). If they refuse to hear your answer again, then continue preaching to the crowd at large. Perhaps
- Don't get into arguments with hell-bound heretics or anybody else (Matthew 7:6). All the lost world will see is two people arguing over religion and the gospel will not be preached. If a heretic shows up while preaching and the heretic wants to argue about it and steal your preaching time; identify the error quickly, then either move to another location or stop preaching altogether for that day and return another day. Christ said that wrangling with people that have rejected the truth and made shipwreck of their faith is a waste of time since they are rejecting the very truth that they have been exposed to many times (Titus 3:10-11). "But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels." (2 Timothy 2:23)
See also: Guidelines To Open Air Preaching By Kevin Williams
It is implied that he had utterly forsaken the way of righteousness by deeds of the law. Every natural man seeks salvation by making himself better in the sight of God. He tries to mend his life; he puts a bridle on his tongue; he tries to command his feelings and thoughts, all to make himself better in the sight of God. Or he goes further: tries to cover his past sins by religious observances; he becomes a religious man, prays, weeps, reads, attends sacraments, is deeply occupied in religion, and tries to get it into his heart ; all to make himself appear good in the sight of God, that he may lay God under debt to pardon and love him. Paul tried this plan for long. He was a Pharisee, touching the righteousness in the law blameless; he lived an outwardly blameless life, and was highly thought of as a most religious man. "But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ." When it pleased God to open his eyes, he gave up his way of self-righteousness for ever and ever; he had no more any peace from looking in,-"we have no confidence in the flesh;" he bade farewell forever to that way of seeking peace. Nay, he trampled it under his feet. "I do count them but dung that I may win Christ." Oh, it is a glorious thing when a man is brought to trample under feet his own righteousness; it is the hardest thing in the world." ~Robert Murray M'Cheyne
If you find you find yourself in the above category of trying to make God your debtor and you are concerned about your soul, then please watch the two videos on the links below:
See also: Prideful Men Will Perish -Tim Conway, 12 Steps In Romans 9
&: You Don't Come To Christ Holding On To Sin- Gospel Warning from Tim Conway
19 Jan 2010
17 Jan 2010
-The jealously of God.
-Why celebrityism is worse than murder
-If you are looking for the admiration of others it will wear you out
-Ways in which the devil takes people away from single hearted devotion to Christ.
Play or download mp3:
Ex 20:1-6+Var - Attributes of God pt 20-God Is Jealous For His Glory-Kevin Williams - 60 min
Listen to this and other Puritan Fellowship Sermons on itunes here:
16 Jan 2010
1. Freedom from Pornography and Masturbation
2. Mortifying the Flesh and Building Hedges Against Sexual Sin - Alistair Begg
3. Piper-God Did Not Call Us To Pornography
4. Give Up On Self, Trust In Christ Alone!
5. This sermon: God Does Not Save Someone and Leave Them Under The Power of Sin-Kevin Williams (Now On Sermon Audio)
6. Biblical Family pt3-First Kiss Should Be On The Wedding Day-Biblical Principles For Courtship Verses Worldly & Demonic Dating-Kevin Williams
7. Attributes of God pt 19-The Justice Of God Is Revealed In The Gospel-Kevin Williams
8. Attributes of God pt 11-God Is Love-Kevin Williams (Recommended)
15 Jan 2010
14 Jan 2010
Last year Dave Hunt released a thick (444-page) book titled, What Love Is This? Calvinism’s Misrepresentation of God. As the subtitle suggests, Mr. Hunt is strongly opposed to Calvinism. In effect, he says Calvinism is a different gospel. He also suggests that the teaching of Calvinism so misrepresents God that Calvinists are guilty of worshiping a god of their own making. He has such harsh words for Calvinists that many readers have concluded he is consigning Calvinism to the dung-heap of the cults—and in several places one might even get the impression he is not too sure about the salvation of anyone who is committed to Calvinism as a system of theology.
Dave Hunt, in typical fashion, writes with an authoritative tone and overbearing conviction. Banking on his reputation as a keen discerner of error and a bold exposer of heretics, he gives the impression of a man on a lonely, desperate crusade to rescue the evangelical movement from its most subtle and deadly enemy yet.
What is this latest threat to orthodoxy among evangelicals? Turns out it’s the theology of all the key Protestant Reformers. It’s the theology of the Puritans. It’s the theology of Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, and Charles Spurgeon. It’s also the theology of James Montgomery Boice, R. C. Sproul, Al Mohler, and John MacArthur.
According to Dave Hunt, all of those men are guilty of seriously corrupting the gospel and slandering the character of God. And in his attack on their theology, Hunt pulls no punches. He charges them with turning God into a monster, making men into puppets, and replacing the concept of grace with an unjust notion of divine favoritism. He emphatically believes that God is obliged to love everyone the same. He denies that God has foreordained whatever comes to pass. And he is convinced that Calvinists worship a god who does violence to the human will.
In short, Dave Hunt’s book is a digest of every hackneyed argument ever brought against Calvinism. He brings together both the best and the worst of anti-Calvinist thought, blending and repackaging it all in a format that is easy to read and understand. He gives the impression of thoroughness and scholarship. And he aims to convince the naive that this difficult subject is really quite simple.
I normally like to begin every book review by saying something positive about the book. There’s simply not anything good I can sincerely say about this book. It is seriously flawed by a number of significant shortcomings:
Dave Hunt severely misunderstands and misrepresents the history of Calvinism. It seems he has spent much of his life arguing against fringe groups and cults. Now, he has decided to portray Calvinism as a fringe idea or a cult, simply because he doesn’t like it. Calvinism offends his common-sense notions of justice and love. In correspondence about his book, he has complained that he is “mystified” by the arguments for God’s sovereignty in salvation. He often appeals to common sense and rational arguments (rather than the Bible) to make his points about the character of God—as if he has forgotten that Scripture, not human wisdom, is the means by which God has revealed Himself to us.
Hunt is simply wrong to portray Calvinism as a divergent theology foreign to mainstream evangelicalism. It is an unassailable matter of fact that all the major Protestant Reformers essentially agreed on the doctrines of divine sovereignty and the bondage of the human will. Hunt’s own “free-will” soteriology is the innovation. On this issue, he is closer to classic Tridentine Roman Catholicism than he is to historic Protestantism.
In a radio interview on August 11, 2000, Dave Hunt told James White, “I’m very ignorant of the Reformers. I have not had time to read them. Uh, there are truckloads, I guess, of their writings. And I like to just kind of pretend that we’re back there in the days of the apostles before all of these things were written. And I like to go to the Bible. So whether a Reformer said this or that, I don’t know.”
Within two months after making that statement, however, Dave Hunt was offering his manuscript debunking the Reformers’ theology for preliminary reviews. Within eighteen months, the book was published, filled with copious quotations about Calvin and the Reformers, but with almost no quotations from any leading Calvinists or Calvinist creeds that would allow them to explain what they believe in their own words.
Instead, Hunt routinely borrows selective quotations from anti-Calvinist sources in order to portray Calvin as a man whose “grossly un-Christian behavior as the ‘Protestant Pope’ of
It therefore seems fair to ask: How, precisely, did Dave Hunt gain so much expertise about the Reformers after his radio interview with James White in August 2000 (when he boasted of his own ignorance) and before he finished writing his book a few scant months later (where he lectures Calvinists regarding their supposed ignorance of the “real” facts about Calvin and the Reformation)?
Dave Hunt’s actual “research” method seems to consist of reading some virulently anti-Calvinist resources and assembling a digest of their favorite arguments (with hardly any reference to the careful and copious answers to those arguments Calvinist authors have already published). Hunt quotes frequently from recent anti-Calvinist authors such as Laurence Vance (The other Side of Calvinism); George Bryson (The Five Points of Calvinism: Weighed and Found Wanting); and Norm Geisler (
Hunt’s own footnotes also show that he relies far too heavily on secondary sources. Even when primary sources are readily available, he often doesn’t bother to go to the original sources to check his citations.
This practice may be the reason for an embarrassing error in Hunt’s treatment of Charles Spurgeon. On page 19, Hunt makes this claim: “Spurgeon himself, so often quoted by Calvinists to support their view, rejected Limited Atonement, though it lies at the very heart of Calvinism and follows inevitably from its other points—and he did so in unequivocal language.” Hunt then quotes a passage from Spurgeon’s “A Defence of Calvinism” in which Spurgeon defended the infinite sufficiency of Christ’s atoning work.
The problem for Hunt is that all mainstream Calvinists affirm the infinite sufficiency of the atonement. Even the Canons of the Synod of Dordt, the original manifesto of “Five Point Calvinism” states, “The death of the Son of God is the only and most perfect sacrifice and satisfaction for sin, and is of infinite worth and value, abundantly sufficient to expiate the sins of the whole world” (2nd Head, art. 3).
Moreover, in the very article Hunt was quoting from, Spurgeon wrote,
If Christ on His cross intended to save every man, then He intended to save those who were lost before He died. If the doctrine be true, that He died for all men, then He died for some who were in hell before He came into this world, for doubtless there were even then myriads there who had been cast away because of their sins. Once again, if it was Christ’s intention to save all men, how deplorably has He been disappointed, for we have His own testimony that there is a lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, and into that pit of woe have been cast some of the very persons who, according to the theory of universal redemption, were bought with His blood. That seems to me a conception a thousand times more repulsive than any of those consequences which are said to be associated with the Calvinistic and Christian doctrine of special and particular redemption.
If Hunt had simply checked the context of the original quotation, he could not have honestly claimed that Spurgeon “rejected Limited Atonement . . . in unequivocal language.” I believe Hunt’s error was not deliberately duplicitous but stemmed from shoddy and hasty research—as did many of the errors found in his work. Yet even after his error about Spurgeon was pointed out to him, Hunt refused to acknowledge the error, insisting instead that Spurgeon, like all Calvinists, was guilty of self-contradiction.
Another major flaw in Hunt’s book is the abundance of faulty arguments: question-begging circular arguments, poisoning the well, ad hominem arguments, appeals to emotion, hasty generalizations, appeals to ignorance, non sequiturs, appeals to tradition, slippery-slope arguments, straw men, and so on. What Love Is This? is glutted with logical fallacies. It would make a fine “how-not-to” model for a course on basic logic. One reviewer, John Barber, writes, “Hunt apparently hopes that these logical fallacies will, if repeated enough, discredit Calvinism” (“Review: Dave Hunt’s What Love Is This?” [IIIM Magazine Online, Volume 4, Number 17]). Barber adds,
For example, Hunt offers a quote from Calvin referring to the Church as “Mother,” and then points out that “The only church called ‘mother’ is the MOTHER OF HARLOTS (Revelation 17:5), the false church headquartered at the Vatican” (p. 27). Hunt also wants to be sure that Calvin’s upbringing within a “devoutly religious Roman Catholic family” is not lost on the reader, the inference being that a swatch cut from the cloth never loses its pattern.
Hunt continues to stretch for more proof that much of Calvinism is “warmed over Roman Catholicism” when he asserts that Calvin borrowed from
An example of the muddled thinking that surrounded the production of Hunt’s book may be seen by comparing the ad campaign the publisher employed while promoting the book with Hunt’s statements in the book itself. In Loyal Publishing’s original ad for What Love Is This? banner headlines said, “Did You know that . . . [according to Calvinism] You can’t be born again until after you are saved?” But on page 95 of the book, Hunt’s complaint is the precise opposite: “The Calvinist insists that regeneration must precede salvation.” (Ironically, this baffling contradiction appears in a section Hunt has labeled “Calvinism’s Admitted Irrationality.”)
Meanwhile, Hunt’s discussion of the ordo salutis and the relationship of faith to regeneration is severely marred by his appalling ignorance of the issues and the lack of any reference whatsoever to the voluminous literature dealing with the subject.
That brings to mind a frustrating inconsistency in the way Hunt frames his whole argument: Does he claim to be an expert on Calvinism, or does he not? When it seems to suit his purposes, as in the James White radio interview cited above, Hunt pretends to be a theological bumpkin—an anti-intellectual, unread, simple-minded doctrinal peasant. When he is in this mode, he plays the “elitism” card, charging Calvinists with making the truth so complex and incomprehensible that none but a Doctor of Divinity could ever decipher the gospel. He boasts of how little he reads the writings of men. He glories in his lack of formal education. He jeers at those who think an understanding of Greek is really necessary for careful exegesis. And he lobs charges of intellectual snobbery at his adversaries.
But at other times, when his agenda for the moment is different, Mr. Hunt recounts how many hours he has invested in study. He assumes an air of dogmatic authority (especially in his pronouncements about historical theology and the supposed Catholic roots of Calvinism). He complains that his opponents are ignorant, self-contradictory, and irrational.
I don’t believe Mr. Hunt lacks basic intelligence. Whatever deficiencies exist in his own study and training are clearly deliberate on his part. Therefore it is difficult to resist the conclusion that his refusal to understand and correctly describe what Calvinists believe and teach is a willful, bigoted blindness.
In that same vein, Dave Hunt’s opinion of Calvinism is seriously marred by his own vehement insistence in espousing several wrong presuppositions. I know his misconceptions on these issues have been patiently, thoroughly confronted and corrected by his own Calvinist friends, because written records of those discourses are all over the Internet. But Hunt stubbornly persists in putting his own spin on Calvinism, rather than allowing Calvinists to speak for themselves about what they believe.
As a result, he maintains, in effect, that the doctrine of election is all about reprobation. He misrepresents the nature of divine grace, making grace and mercy something God is obliged to show equally to all people. (How mercy can be both gratuitous and obligatory at the same time never seems to trouble Hunt.) And, making the age-old error every naive Arminian since Pelagius has made, Hunt insists that human responsibility implies human ability.
This is close to the very heart of Dave Hunt’s error. He is convinced that a sinner’s obligation is limited by his ability—so that if fallen man cannot live up to a divine standard, then the standard itself is unjust.
That ignores everything the Bible teaches about why the law is deadly to sinners. Sinners, by definition, cannot live up to the law’s standard. They cannot perfectly obey even the first and greatest commandment (“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind”—Matt. 22:37). Much less can they fulfill this chilling demand of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5:48). Does Dave Hunt seriously believe obedience to that commandment lies within the scope of his abilities? If not, will he argue that Jesus unjustly set the standard too high?
These are basic theological issues, and the stacks of meaty commentaries and systematic theologies that deal with them expertly would probably fill a large barn. But Dave Hunt dismisses all that without a single argument from Scripture or sound reason because he is convinced it is a self-evident truth that God would never ask fallen sinner to do anything that is impossible for sinners to do. Hunt’s entire house of cards is therefore blown away by the clear statement of Romans 8:7-8: “The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”
Naturally, Hunt’s own faulty presuppositions become the stuffing material for an impressive array of straw men he assembles.
He insists, for example, that Calvinism makes God the author and effectual cause of sin (a common misconception refuted clearly and definitively by virtually every Calvinist who ever explored the subject, and by every Calvinist creed that ever addressed it). In fact, the (thoroughly Calvinistic) Westminster Confession of Faith (III.1) says, “God from all eternity did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass: yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established”. That is the very thing Dave Hunt repeatedly claims Calvinists deny.
Hunt also continually suggests that Calvinists believe only a few will finally be saved—an accusation strongly refuted by a host of Calvinists from Calvin himself to Charles Spurgeon to Lorraine Boettner. (Hunt lists several major Calvinist resources in his bibliography. Why does he not interact with their arguments?)
Most of all, Hunt contends that Calvinism demeans and diminishes the love of God. This accusation is reflected in the title and subtitle of the book. In short, Hunt deliberately ignores any distinction between Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism, maintaining that all the errors of hyper-Calvinism are simply the logical and necessary conclusions to which all brands of Calvinism inexorably lead.
One of Dave Hunt’s favorite straw men is the notion that Calvinism is inextricably linked with John Calvin, as if the validity of these doctrines automatically stand or fall on the character of the great Reformer. As a result, Hunt devotes a considerable amount of energy to besmirching and defaming John Calvin’s reputation. In fact, before chapter 1 even begins, Dave Hunt has gone out of the way to demonize Calvin by painting him as a ruthless despot and a self-styled Protestant Pope whose “grossly un-Christian behavior,” Hunt claims, would shock anyone who really knew (p. 13).
Hunt, well known for his outspoken opposition to Roman Catholicism, is not the least bit hesitant to borrow calumnies against Calvin from the very same Roman Catholic apologists Hunt concedes (in other contexts) are deliberately misleading and utterly unreliable in their portrayals of the rest of Protestant history and theology. But here, he happily sides with the enemies of Protestantism, unflinchingly citing both modern and medieval Catholic propaganda as if it were unassailable fact—as long as it serves his purpose of sullying Calvin’s reputation.
Hunt’s incessant charges of elitism are a straw man argument, too. Such hypocritical posturing is unbecoming for an apologist of Dave Hunt’s stature. James White’s analysis of the “elitism” excuse is right on target:
Elitism. The word immediately calls to mind attitudes of snobbery and arrogance. In today’s politically correct “labels are what carry the debate” world, it is a great tool. It sticks to a person like grape juice on a carpet: once the accusation is made, it is next to impossible to refute it. And it has the wonderful advantage of inflaming the emotions. When you are in a lost position, and your opponent is closing in for the kill, it functions very much like the scent glands in a skunk. It can often provide the way of escape by ending all rational thought and giving you a last ditch weapon to use against someone (and it requires absolutely no truth to utilize, too!).
I do not recall ever having been called an elitist until Dave Hunt did so in a letter in 2001. I had challenged him on a point of Greek. Now mind you, he raised it. He made claims in a talk he gave against Calvinism at a Calvary Chapel, and I pointed out that he was simply wrong. Now, logically, since Mr. Hunt raised the issue by making assertions about the Greek language (grammar, meaning, etc.), he cannot possibly accuse others of elitism for referencing the same field when he himself does so. But the key term there is “logically,” since the charge of elitism is not based in logic, but in emotion and tradition. Hence, the glory of the allegation: you do not have to provide a meaningful basis for its use. You can raise issues of Greek, and even do as Dave Hunt does in his lectures and books, wherein he makes grand assertions about the “correct” translation of a term, or the “meaning” of this Greek word, without, somehow, becoming an “elitist” in the process! But, you can accuse anyone who comes along and demonstrates that you are in error in your assertions of being an “elitist,” and as a bonus, act as if the charge you have made refutes the demonstration of your error, so that you can continue making the same error even though you have not responded to the facts that show that you are wrong!
Of course, if you have time to do it, the charge works much better when it is combined with an emotional appeal to the audience. If you can (implicitly, of course) make the assertion that you are a victim, and that the “elitist” has “attacked” you, all the better. The resultant cascade of emotions should cloud all but the most trained minds, not only allowing you a tactical retreat, but, if you so choose, the opportunity, at least in the minds of some, of turning a lost situation into a victory!
It is hard to resist the conclusion that Dave Hunt willfully misrepresents his opponents in his desperate quest to multiply scarecrows. In a message Hunt recently gave at Greg Laurie’s Calvary Chapel, Hunt implied that he had read John MacArthur’s book, The Love of God. He summarized the message of the book with these words: “Basically it tells you God doesn’t love everybody.” Actually, MacArthur’s book refutes the hyper-Calvinist notion that God doesn’t love everyone. But Hunt is so determined to tar MacArthur with the hyper-Calvinist brush that he actually quotes a statement MacArthur spent several pages refuting, and he attributes the offending statement to MacArthur!
These are not the tactics of someone who is genuinely concerned about the truth.
An Uncharitable View of His Opponents
Finally, Dave Hunt’s book is seriously marred by harsh rhetoric and an attitude toward Calvinism that often seems bigoted in the extreme. He routinely accuses Calvinists of worshiping a god of their own making and preaching a distorted gospel of their own devising. Such accusations, if true, would warrant the harshest anathemas (Gal. 1:8-9).
I realize that some who call themselves Calvinists take a similar stance against Arminianism, insisting that no Arminian can possibly be a true Christian. I have always plainly stated that such extreme intolerance on the part of self-styled “Calvinists” is actually a form of hyper-Calvinism, reflecting an uncharitable attitude that is unwarranted by any teaching of Scripture. The gospel—including the facts of Jesus’ deity, His incarnation, His death, His resurrection, and the doctrine of justification by faith—is the touchstone of orthodoxy (Rom. 4:4-5; 2 John 7-11; Gal. 1:8-9), not what one believes about predestination, effectual calling, or the extent of the atonement.
But if that sort of hyper-Calvinistic apartheid deserves to be condemned, then the same sort of factiousness coming from an Arminian perspective is equally repulsive and worthy of rebuke. (And Dave Hunt’s perspective is classic Arminianism, even though he seems to eschew that label).
In other words, Dave Hunt’s book is unnecessarily divisive. That has been proven by the fruit of the debate, including the immoderate attitudes and accusations Hunt’s campaign has engendered. I know of at least two churches that were literally split when overzealous lay readers of Hunt’s book tried to drum up campaigns to dump their pastors for “teaching the deadly error of predestination.” What Love Is This? is a thoroughly bad book, and unfortunately it is has undermined Mr. Hunt’s credibility and the value of the work he has done in the past to expose real errors.
Mr. Hunt, his editors, and his fellow workers have all complained bitterly that such criticism of his rabid anti-Calvinism is itself inherently uncharitable and mean-spirited. He would no doubt dismiss all my criticisms with the same convenient complaint. Unfortunately, his book is so fraught with fallacies, false accusations, and other flaws that the only appropriate way to evaluate his work is to point out the problems plainly. I’m very sorry Mr. Hunt (who has always professed an appreciation for plain-spokenness) seems to feel all criticism of his work is unfair. But I have read reams of his critics’ comments, and for the most part (with a few notable and unfortunate exceptions), they have been far more cautious, measured, and charitable than Mr. Hunt himself has been. His constant complaining about his critics’ tone is for the most part both totally uncalled for and extremely hypocritical.
At the end of the day, What Love Is This? is a really bad book. Unfortunately, there’s no way to be truthful about that and make it sound like a compliment. Sometimes—and this is one of those times—a compliment would just be the wrong message to send.
“That God predestines, and that man is responsible, are two things that few can see. They are believed to be inconsistent and contradictory; but they are not. It is just the fault of our weak judgment. Two truths cannot be contradictory to each other. If, then, I find taught in one place that everything is fore-ordained, that is true; and if I find in another place that man is responsible for all his actions, that is true; and it is my folly that leads me to imagine that two truths can ever contradict each other. These two truths, I do not believe, can ever be welded into one upon any human anvil, but one they shall be in eternity: they are two lines that are so nearly parallel, that the mind that shall pursue them farthest, will never discover that they converge; but they do converge, and they will meet somewhere in eternity, close to the throne of God, whence all truth doth spring” (Charles Spurgeon, “Sovereign Grace and Man's Responsibility,” New Park Street Pulpit, vol. 4).
13 Jan 2010
Play or download mp3:
1.Phil 1:1-2; 1 Tim 3:1-13 - Elders and Deacons pt 1-Charles Leiter
2.Phil 1:1-2; 1 Tim 3:1-13 - Elders and Deacons Part 2-Charles Leiter
3. 1 Tim 3:1-13 - Elders and Deacons part 3-Charles Leiter
We also recommend on the same subject: (click on links to goto page)
4. Biblical Eldership -Charles Leiter & Paul Washer
5. Biblical Church Discipline – Charles Leiter
There are many Christians today who have a tendency to look down upon other believers who have a desire to see the Lord work signs and wonders in our midst in the present day. "Isn't the preached word enough?", they say. "Isn't the word of God living and active? Isn't it the preached gospel that is the power of God unto salvation? Isn't the desire for a sign something that Jesus condemned as being perverse and unbelieving? Wouldn't a sign or wonder detract from the centrality of the preached word?"
Like in almost all debates among believers, there is an element of truth in the statements above. But without getting into this too heavily right now I just want to point out that, in the minds of the Biblical writers, there is a false dichotomy at work in the above statements. The Bible knows nothing about a dichotomy between Word and Spirit, or a division between the preached word and signs and wonders. Actually, in several places we see the two coming together to form a balanced picture of what we should hope and pray for as we seek to proclaim the gospel of Christ in our day. Consider the following three examples:
1 Kings 17:18-24
Notice that Elijah had spoken words of truth to the widow before ("the word of the LORD in your mouth is truth."), but it was only after Elijah raised her son from the dead that she said that she "knew" that Elijah was a man of God who was speaking the words of God. Here we have on example from the Old Testament of how signs and wonders can help to confirm and convince of the truthfulness of the preached word.
Here we have an even more explicit example of the early Christians' view of the relationship between signs and wonders and the preached word. Notice these two petitions that come one right after the other:
1.) "grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence"
2.) "while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus"
Far from there being a divorce between signs and wonders, the early Christians specifically prayed that God would grant these things to take place while they were speaking the word! There was no concern that the working of signs and wonders would somehow detract from the proclamation of the gospel message.
Here is a final passage that is virtually self-explanatory. I would just point out two things:
1.) The working of signs and wonders was taking place in conjunction with the preached word. Again, there is nothing here that would make us think that signs and wonders are a detraction from, or a distraction to, the preached message.
2.) The text states that it was God Himself who was testifying to His own word, by causing signs and wonders to be done by the hands of Paul and Barnabas! Here we can see that the objection of "Isn't the preached word enough?" just does not deal with the whole picture. At least in this case the preached word by itself was not "enough", or God would not have seen fit to grant signs and wonders for the purpose of testifying to His word!
Brothers and sisters, I put these things before you for your consideration in the hope that you would allow the Bible itself to shape your understanding of the relationship between the word and wonders. If the early Christians needed God to testify to the word of His grace by performing signs and wonders in their midst, how much more do we! May these things cause us to hunger and thirst for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our day, that the church would be built up, and that sinners would be gloriously saved.
12 Jan 2010
“This prison is the largest maximum-security prison in America. It is one of the most famous prisons in the whole world. It has only murderers, rapists, armed robbers and habitual felons. The average sentence is 88 years, with 3,200 people in one place serving life sentences. Ninety percent of the inmates will die here. This is a place of hopelessness, so if Angola can change, the rest of the countrys prisons cant say, We cant do this.”
Read the Full Article on DesiringGod
“While preaching in the hall, on one occasion, I deliberately pointed to a man in the midst of the crowd, and said, ‘There is a man sitting there, who is a shoemaker; he keeps his shop open on Sundays, it was open last Sabbath morning, he took ninepence, and there was fourpence profit out of it; his soul is sold to Satan for fourpence!’ A city missionary, when going his rounds, met with this man, and seeing that he was reading one of my sermons, he asked the question, ‘Do you know Mr. Spurgeon?’ ‘Yes,’ replied the man, ‘I have every reason to know him, I have been to hear him; and, under his preaching, by God’s grace I have become a new creature in Christ Jesus. Shall I tell you how it happened? I went to the Music Hall, and took my seat in the middle of the place; Mr. Spurgeon looked at me as if he knew me, and in his sermon he pointed to me, and told the congregation that I was a shoemaker, and that I kept my shop open on Sundays; and I did, sir. I should not have minded that; but he also said that I took ninepence the Sunday before, and that there was fourpence profit out of it. I did take ninepence that day, and fourpence was just the profit; but how he should know that, I could not tell. Then it struck me that it was God who had spoken to my soul though him, so I shut up my shop the next Sunday. At first, I was afraid to go again to hear him, lest he should tell the people more about me; but afterwards I went, and the Lord met with me, and saved my soul.’”Spurgeon then adds this comment:
“I could tell as many as a dozen similar cases in which I pointed at somebody in the hall without having the slightest knowledge of the person, or any idea that what I said was right, except that I believed I was moved by the Spirit to say it; and so striking has been my description, that the persons have gone away, and said to their friends, ‘Come, see a man that told me all things that ever I did; beyond a doubt, he must have been sent of God to my soul, or else he could not have described me so exactly.’ And not only so, but I have known many instances in which the thoughts of men have been revealed from the pulpit. I have sometimes seen persons nudge their neighbours with their elbow, because they had got a smart hit, and they have been heard to say, when they were going out, ‘The preacher told us just what we said to one another when we went in at the door’” (The Autobiography of Charles H. Spurgeon, [Curts & Jennings, 1899], Vol. II, pp. 226-227).
Commenting on these episodes in Spurgeon's life, Sam Storms writes:
What are we to make of this? My opinion is that this is a perfect and not uncommon example of what the Apostle Paul described in 1 Corinthians 14:24-25. Spurgeon exercised the gift of prophecy. He did not label it as such, but that does not alter the reality of what the Holy Spirit accomplished through him. If one were to examine Spurgeon’s theology and ministry, as well as recorded accounts of it by his contemporaries as well as subsequent biographers, most would conclude from the absence of explicit reference to miraculous charismata such as prophecy and the word of knowledge that such gifts had been withdrawn from church life. But Spurgeon’s own testimony inadvertently says otherwise!
HT: Thoughts on the Way.
11 Jan 2010
Jesus Took Your Shame, Trust Him and Be Not Ashamed At The Judgement - Kevin Williams (10 min video)
This clip is taken from the sermon: Attributes of God pt 19-The Justice Of God Is Revealed In The Gospel-Kevin Williams
10 Jan 2010
-How a man can be right before God.
-The justice of God revealed in the Gospel
-That Jesus teachings in the sermon of the Mount are not suggestions or merely good advice, but only those who do those sayings will enter Heaven
-What when people object "If there is a God then why is there evil in the world?"
-Who are the wolves in sheep's clothing, and the marks of false teachers
-Holding on to one sin will take people to Hell
-If someone has no prayer life then they are not a Christian
Listen to or download mp3:
Rom 1:16-17; 3:10-26+Matt 7:13-27 - Attributes of God pt 19-The Justice Of God Is Revealed In The Gospel-Kevin Williams -67 min
Listen to this and other Puritan Fellowship Sermons on itunes here:
9 Jan 2010
Daughter Nearly Killed By Muslim Parents For Following Christ - Voice of the Martrys (Whatever Christ Costs You He Is Worth It)
But when her parents found her in her room reading Christian books, they became enraged. In November of 1992, they beat her so severely that she lay unconscious in a room for almost a week. She believes an angel finally woke her and helped her get to a hospital.
Tara continued to grow in faith and in 1995 was secretly baptized. Then her parents arranged for her to be married to a Muslim man. When Tara refused to comply, she was again beaten. She was also made to stand for several days without sleep. During this time, Tara had three visions in which she heard a voice telling her, “I am with you. I am your Father.”
After more beatings, she fell into a coma. She awoke after three days and found herself in a pool of blood. She again heard the same encouraging voice saying, “I am your Father. I will protect you.”
Tara was able to escape and today lives in a safe house in another country where she serves the Lord full-time with the promise of God’s protection.
Is Christianity a losing proposition? Those in restricted nations know what it is like to lose because of their faith in Christ. They know how they can lose their families in a number of ways. A Muslim family might completely reject converted family members as infidels. They are outcasts. A Christian family fares no better, though under different terms. Extremists wipe out entire Christian families because of their faith. The loss is horrendous. However, we have Christ’s promise. Whatever we may lose for his sake will be recouped one hundred times over in our eternal life in heaven. It is not a gamble. It is a calculated risk based on the infallible Word of God. Either you trust it, or you do not.
8 Jan 2010
Footprints on the frozen lake:
See also: Join Us For Worship - Puritan Fellowship in Middleton, Manchester