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Does the Old Testament present a pagan cosmology?

 A recent question reminded me of this quote.  This is Kaiser on the question of cultural terminology in Toward an Exegetical Theology : But it is clear that Scripture refused to fall into some cultural containments which might thereby reduce the content of the message. One good example of this resistance is the Bible’s rejection of the “three-tiered” universe model. To see in certain poetical portions of Scripture the pre-Copernican cosmological model which had a solid dome, flat earth, and an abyss beneath the earth (along with supporting pillars and slits in the dome for rain and stars!) is either an exegetical contrivance or a failure to spot the use of figurative language.  The exegete must then ask when it is appropriate to adopt both the content and the form of the cultural item (p. 115).

What distinguishes Dispensational Premillennialism?

 According to one popular Baptist resource, we read, Dispensational premillennialism can be identified through two basic features: (1) a distinction is made between God’s program for Israel and His program for the church; (2) a consistently literal interpretation of the Scriptures is maintained. Dispensational premillennialists believe that the church will be raptured (1 Thess. 4:13–18) prior to the Tribulation period; God will judge unbelieving Gentiles and disobedient Israel during the Tribulation (Rev. 6–19). At the end of the Tribulation Christ will return with the church and establish the millennial kingdom on earth. Following the thousand-year reign, Satan will be freed once more, whereupon he and his followers will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:7–10). The eternal state will follow.  - Paul P. Enns, The Moody Handbook of Theology  (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1989), 389. This is an interesting definition because of how it boils down these features.   I want you to note tha

MacArthur on Self-Love

 MacArthur writes, Self-love always has been associated with worldliness, but heretofore it was never taught as a doctrinal tenet in the church, even in its most corrupt periods.   It was universally acknowledged to be the sin it is.   Even most neoorthodox theologians have recognized self-love, or pride, as the root sin of all others.   But psychologists Carl Rogers, Erich Fromm, and many others strongly denounced that God-centered view and boldly claimed that lack of self-love and self-esteem is the root problem of man.   That false and damnable twist has permeated the church to an alarming degree. [1] He continues, “The eighteenth-century preacher Samuel Johnson said, ‘He that overvalues himself will undervalue others.   And he that undervalues others will oppose them.’   Self-love alienates men from God and from each other.   Self-love is the supreme enemy of godliness and of genuine friendship and fellowship.” [2]   [1] John F. MacArthur Jr., 2 Timothy , MacArthu

The End of the Lord's Supper?

This is something that I don't believe I addressed in our Revelation study, so I will here.  In 1 Corinthians 11:26, we read, "For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes."  This is talking about "the Lord's Supper," of course (v. 20), meaning its practice has a terminating point in the future.   Of course, since we are now in Revelation 19, we are considering His return.  In v. 9, we read, "Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb."  This is a celebration of the union we will share with Christ.  To follow the marriage metaphor, the marriage with the Lord is already complete at this point; the supper is a celebration of the new union which has occurred. And, in case you're wondering, yes, the same word for "supper" in Revelation 19:9 appears in 1 Corinthians 11:20.  So, what is the length of the wedding feast?  Wedding feasts in the ancient world involv

The Enticing Sin of Empathy

I've probably mentioned this before, but my studies have brought me back around to this topic.  We assume, as present-day Christians, that empathy is an all-encompassing good, wherein we gain and communicate understanding to one who suffers. Yet, what good is that, really ? Joe Rigney, the president-elect of Bethlehem College and Seminary, wrote an article a couple of years ago titled, “ The Enticing Sin of Empathy: How Satan Corrupts Through Compassion .”  He writes it in the form of C. S. Lewis's Screwtape Letters  --- a fictional exchange in which an elder demon (Wormwood) educates his nephew in how to become a better tempter.  This "correspondence" reveals the deception of seeking empathy over a true Christian virtue: compassion. So many voices today tell us to just affirm the feelings of others.  The pastor may not probe.  The Christian counselor may not maintain emotional distance.  No, we must plunge in, with both feet, and simply allow the waves to wash over u

Our 7 Most Popular Sermons of 2020

Here are the seven most popular sermons downloaded this year.  It was a year that favored end-times studies, though our most popular always seem to be those dealing with marriage and family.  It is also interesting that the first six entries are only from January and February, with the last item being from April. It's a blessing and a privilege to preach and teach God's Word, and I hope you come to know the Lord and His ways more in  2021. The first two are from January 2020, from our Ephesians series, when we were still at Perkins: 1.  The Loving Headship of Husbands | Ephesians 5:26–33 It's only in Christ that we see precisely the kind of love men should share with their wives. We can divide the lessons in this passage into two parts: Husbands must love as Christ does (vv. 25–30) and wed as Christ does (vv. 31–32), with v. 33 serving to sum everything we've studied concerning marriage. Unfortunately, we won't be able to get through all this passage today, so for p

Overview of the Situation with FBC Naples

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Here is the video I mentioned this morning in my sermon.  This arose about a year ago and still hasn't been resolved.  A group called Enemies Within the Church created a mini-documentary covering the events: If you are curious as to some of the recent fallout, here is Jon Harris engaging in an extended roundtable discussion: For more video content, here is the Sword and the Trowel broadcast discussing the situation a year ago, after the news broke: Finally, here is the Conversations that Matter video from earlier this year discussing the same: