Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Legacy of the Reformation

This video, although about 2 hours, talks in length about the theological legacy of the Protestant Reformation. After Luther initiated the Protestant Reformation in Germany, people like the French theologian Jean Cauvin (John Calvin: 1509-1564)and Scottish reformer John Knox (b. ca. 1510-1524 & d. 1572), the founder of the Presbyterians.

This particularly goes into the "5 Solas:" Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone), Sola Fide (Faith Alone), Sola Gratia (Grace Alone), Solus Christus (Christ Alone) and Sola Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone), as well as the 5 points of Calvinism: Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistable Grace & Perseverence of the Saints.

Happy Reformation Day: A Lesson for the 21st Century

Today is "Reformation Day," the anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the door of the castle church at Wittenburg Cathedral in Germany, which occured on October 31st, 1517.

Martin Luther (1483-1546) was originally a law student at the University of Erfurt to become a lawyer, in accordance to his father's wishes. However, in 1505, he entered an Augustinian monastery. It was in 1517 that he came to blows with the Roman Catholic Church, after Johann Tetzel, a Dominican friar, came to Germany to sell indulgences in order to raise funds for the building of St. Peter's Basillica in Rome. In protest, he nailed his 95 Theses to the door of Wittenburg Cathedral, and in 1520, he was excommunicated via a papal bull from Pope Leo X.

He also realized that we, as Christians, are justified by faith alone in Christ alone. This contradicted Roman Catholic teachings on justification, which taught the we are justified by faith plus works.

It was in 1521, that Luther was called before the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V at the Diet of Worms, and upon being urged to recant, he made this famous speech, recreated here in this classic film.

After the Diet of Worms, Luther was protected by Duke Frederick the Wise, by being held at Wartburg Castle until 1522, during which time he translated the New Testament into German. In 1525, he married Katharina ("Katie") von Bora and the couple had six children: Johannes (John), Elisabeth, Magdalena, Martin, Paul and Margarete. He penned the Augsburg Confession at the request of Charles V in 1530, in the wake of the seige of Vienna. Luther died in the early mornng hours of February 18th, 1546.

This "Reformation Polka" celebrates the life of Luther.

Looking back, I praise God for His raising up people like Luther who called us to return to the Scriptures. In about a decade it'll the the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, and this summer was the 500th anniversary of the birthday of French theologian Jean Cauvin (John Calvin).

The Roman Catholic Church was an apostate church which had held people in bondage to false hopes and works-righteousness. Luther himself wrote of Catholic Church: "Since the papal church not only neglects the command of Christ but even compels the people to ignore it and to act against it, it is certain that it is not Christ’s church but the synagogue of Satan which prescribes sin and prohibits righteousness. It clearly and indisputably follows that it must be the abomination of Antichrist and the furious harlot of the devil." (What Luther Says, II: 1019)

"What kind of a church is the pope’s church? It is an uncertain, vacillating and tottering church. Indeed, it is a deceitful, lying church, doubting and unbelieving, without God’s Word. For the pope with his wrong keys teaches his church to doubt and to be uncertain. If it is a vacillating church, then it is not the church of faith, for the latter is founded upon a rock, and the gates of hell cannot prevail against it (Matt.16:18). If it is not the church of faith, then it is not the Christian church, but it must be an unchristian, anti-Christian, and faithless church which destroys and ruins the real, holy, Christian church." (Luther’s Works, vol. 40, Church and Ministry II, The Keys, p.348)

Now, I say this not to bash Roman Catholics. However, like I said, I praise God for people like Luther who stood up to false teachings in the Roman Catholic Church. Today, I say that we also must confront false teachings that are running rampant. I find Luther's boldness to confront the heresies almost a call for us today, in the 21st century to stand up to false doctrine.

We have a lot of people such as the Emergents, liberal denominations like the United Methodists, the United Church of Christ and the Episcopalians who have clearly denied sound doctrine. Our duty, as Christians, are to procliam the truth found in Scripture and to urge them to repent of their sins. I remember hearing a quote from Charles Spurgeon who basically said that beleiving wrongly is just as sinful as doing wrongly.

We read this in 2 Peter: "But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep." (2nd Peter 2:1-3)

Now, in American Christianity today, it seems like the most popular "pastors" are the false teachers, be they prosperity preachers like Joel Osteen or T.D. Jakes, Emergent gurus like Brian McLaren Shane Hipps and Rob Bell, or those who don't properly preach God's word, let alone mention sin, like, again, Joel Osteen, and folks like Robert Schuller, Rick Warren, and others.

Our duty, therefore, is to preach the true Gospel, which not only proclaims the wrath of God upon unrepentant sinners, and the fact that we're sinners who cannot be saved by our own works, but also the forgiveness of sins found in Jesus Christ. In fact, we read "Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret." (Ephesians 5:11-12)

I leave you with this video.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


In this video, Lane Chaplin interviews Phil Johnson about Evangelicalism, including the historical meaning of the term "Evangelical," and the push to redefine Evangelicalism. Johnson points out something interesting about modern Evangelicalism, especially in light of people like Rob Bell trying to redefine the term: “I see it as one more sign of a widespread meltdown in the Evangelical movement itself where people who call themselves Evangelicals these days have so moved away from their Evangelical moorings. They don’t really understand what the word means anymore, they don’t remember what their heritage is, they don’t believe what their spiritual forefathers taught, so there’s this great movement to redefine Evangelical….I see it as a significant sign that the Evangelical movement is melting down severely, if not completely dead.” Mike Horton, in his book Christless Christianity: the Alternative Gospel of the American Church, a book which I intend to review at a later date, asks this question: "judging by its commercial, political and media success, the evangelical movement seems to be booming. But is it still Christian?" (Horton, pg. 19)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

John MacArthur on Roman Catholicism

J.C. Ryle (1816-1900), the first Anglican Bishop of Liverpool once stated: "Romanism in perfection is a gigantic system of Church-worship, Sacrament-worship, Mary-worship…image-worship…in one word, a huge organised idolatry…idolatry has decidedly manifested itself in the visible Church of Christ and nowhere so decidedly as in the Church of Rome…"

In a similar tone, Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892), the great Baptist preacher once stated of Roman Catholicism that "the church of Rome and her teachings are a vast mountain of rubbish covering the truth," and "worse hindrance to the gospel than all the errors which had preceded it."

Along these same lines, Dr. John MacArthur works to expose the false system of Rome for what it is.

In the first series of lectures, MacArthur explains the Roman Catholic Mass.
"Explaining the Heresy of the Catholic Mass

In this series of lectures, John MacArthur deals with the unbiblical, and sometimes outright bizzarre, and clearly idolatrous Roman Catholic doctrines on Mary.
"Exposing the Idolatry of Mary Worship"

I urge anyone who is Catholic who reads this blog to repent, and to trust in Christ ALONE for the forgiveness of sins.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

What Happened to Christ on the Cross

In this video, from just a couple days ago, Paul Washer speaks on what happened to Christ on the cross. The text that he bases it off of is 2nd Corinthians 5:21, which states: "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." About halfway through the sermon, Paul Washer makes a very interesting statement: "The pain of the cross is not what puny men did to the mighty Christ. The pain of the cross is what God the Father did to His only begotten Son."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Pharisees & Sadducees

In the New Testament, we read quite a bit of Jesus' confrontation with the Pharisees & the Sadduccees. In Matthew 3:7, John the Baptist refers to the Pharisees & Sadducees as a "brood of vipers." Paul himself also comments in Phillipians 3:5 that he himself was a Pharisee. However, I think that a lot of people don't really know the beliefs of the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and I was delighted to see that my Bible had a chart highlighting the beliefs of the Pharisees and Sadducees, along with the Zealots and Essenes. So, I'm using this chart to list the beliefs of the Pharisees and Sadduccees.

The Pharisees
They apparently were rooted in the Hasidim in the 2nd Century BC
The Pharisees accepted the inspiration of the Oral Tradition, as well as the TOrah.

They held a mediating view that didn't allow for God's sovereignty or free will to cancel each other out

They held to a developed hierarchy of angels & demons

They believed in a future for the dead, the immortality of the soul and reward & punishment for a soul after death

They championed human equality

Their teachings moreso focused on ethics as opposed to theology

The Sadducees
They apparenlty probably begun during the Hasmonean Period (166-63 BC) & their demise occured with the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD
They denied the authoritative and binding nature of the oral law

They were more literalistic in interpreting the Mosaic Law

They were exacting in Levitcal puirty

They believed into free-will & attributed all to it

They didn't believe in an afterlife, a ressurection of the dead, or an afterlife (hence their question to Jesus in Matthew 22:23-28)

They didn't believe in angels & demons, nor a spiritual world

They believed that only the books of Moses were canonical Scripture

Monday, October 12, 2009

"Lordship Salvation"

This past summer, I was having a discussion with a friend of mine. Apparently, the father of one of my friend's friends implied that Paul Washer was a false teacher, or, at least, had some wacky theology because he believed in what's termed "Lordship Salvation." In this video, Pastor Jim McClarty explains what Lordship Salvation is.

According to Todd Friel, in the video below, a lot of the controversy came about 20 years ago, from those who were not only light on repentence, but who also believed that a person could be a "carnal Christian."

Now, I don't remember who said it, but apparently, the doctrine of carnal Christianity came from a rather liberal theological seminary. But, as Paul Washer once, quite right pointed out, "the doctrine of a Christian living in a continuous state of carnality is absolute heresy."

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Brief Look at the Emergent Church

PBS did this brief look at the Emergent Church, interviewing such influential Emergent leaders such as Brian McLaren & Tony Jones, as well as doing a brief look at their worship style & beliefs. The main problem I have is that they feel that they're questioning traditional doctrines of the faith. John MacArthur once stated that "the idea that the Christian message should be kept pliable and ambiguous seems especially attractive to young people who are in tune with the culture and in love with the spirit of the age and can’t stand to have authoritative biblical truth applied with precision as a corrective to worldly lifestyles, unholy minds, and ungodly behavior. And the poison of this perspective is being increasingly injected into the evangelical church body."

In fact, we read in 2nd Peter 2:1-3 that: "But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep."

Monday, October 5, 2009

Saved from God Himself

In this sermon, preached at Grace Community Church, Pastor Tim Conway preaches on the wrath of God, and that those who are saved are saved from God Himself. The texts that he uses are Romans 10:9-13, Matthew 10:28 and Luke 12:5.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Paul Washer on the Centrality of Christ

In this video, Paul Washer shares on the centrality of Christ. Apparently, this is from the his message "A Sermon on Christ for Atheists."

Now, Paul Washer makes a wonderful point that everyone in heaven is focused on Jesus Christ.

"Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, 'Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.'
And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, 'To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.'"(Revelation 5:11-13)

"After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, 'Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.'" (Revelation 7:9-10)

Furthermore, he also remarks that our eternal state depends on what we do with Jesus. Islam has a "Jesus" who's just a prophet. The Mormons have a "Jesus" who's Lucifer's brother and is the son of God via God the Father's sexual relations with the Virgin Mary. Many believe that Jesus was just a good teacher. But, the Jesus of Scripture is the eternal God.