PMT 2017-024 by David C. Noe (New Horizons)
“In a bold act of defiance, comparable to flag burning today, the assembled ate the sausages served by the host.” This is how D. G. Hart begins Calvinism: A History, his comprehensive social history of the branch of Protestantism most familiar to Orthodox Presbyterians, namely the Reformed faith, which takes the biblical teachings of John Calvin and others like him as its guide. The story recounts an act of Lenten rebellion that broke out in Zurich in 1522. The priest Ulrich Zwingli attended this table of discord, and a month later he preached a sermon with the title “On the Choice and Freedom of Foods.” Continue reading
PMT 2017-023 by Glen J. Clary (New Horizons)
Doctrine and worship are mutually formative aspects of church life. What we believe determines how we worship, and over time the way we worship shapes what we believe. Accordingly, the Protestant Reformation was an attempt to reform both doctrine and worship according to Scripture and with respect for the customs of the ancient church. Unlike the Lutheran wing of the Reformation—which was reluctant to introduce extensive changes in worship—the Calvinistic Reformers sought to purge the church of all man-made rites, ceremonies, and ordinances that had corrupted pure worship with superstition and idolatry. For Luther, the Reformation was chiefly a war against works righteousness. For the Calvinists, the Reformation was primarily a war against the idols of Rome. Continue reading
PMT 2017-022 By Brian Godawa
If you are like me, a postmillennial redemptive-historical preterist, you have been deeply disturbed by the past huge success of Left Behind, as well as the current financial siphon of speculative novels on the book of Revelation. Is this concern because of greed or envy for the success of others? May it never be. My sadness is because I think it represents the spirit of the age: a hunger for conspiracy theories. In this world of obsession with narrative over facts, even Christians are more drawn to sensational fantasies of the end times than to the real-world glory of the Gospel in the Kingdom of God. Futurists (like Left Behinders) seem more interested in the coming of the “Antichrist” than in the coming of Christ, or rather, than in the current reign of Jesus Christ over all (Eph 2:20-22). Continue reading
PMT 2017-018 by Sam Frost (Book of Job Blog)
In a recent and rather long, written “debate” with Full Preterist leader and teacher Don K. Preston on Facebook, it has become clear to this theologian that Mr. Preston advocates a different version of Jesus than espoused by the Church.
First, some preliminary remarks. Mr. Preston teaches a view of Eschatology (or “end times” thought) that is called, Full Preterism. That is, every single prophecy that can be called a prophecy in the Bible is fulfilled within the generation of Jesus’ original hearers and followers. The culmination of this was the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans (and their alliances) in 66-70 A.D. Much can be said about the importance of this event for biblical interpretation of prophetic events and has been said. Continue reading
PMT 2017-020 by Jonathan Sarfati (Creation Ministries International)
A straightforward reading of the Bible indicates that God created in six 24-hour days a little over 6,000 years ago. This is the way the church has understood it for most of the church’s history,1 and the way Hebrew scholars have always understood it.
However, with the rise of long-age claims in geology led by James Hutton2 and Charles Lyell3 about 200 years ago, some conservative Christians became intimidated. Continue reading
PMT 2017-019 by Josh Buice (Delivered by Grace)
It happened again recently. I was listening to a sermon online and the preacher said, “God told me.” Apparently everyone in the congregation enjoyed it from the response I heard, but I immediately turned it off. This type of communication is becoming more prevalent in Christian circles. It’s showing up in conversations because people are hearing it from the pulpit and reading it in books they purchased from the local Christian bookstore. Perhaps it sounds spiritual or is emotionally stirring to the congregation.
Although the “God told me” method of communicating makes for interesting, suspenseful, and entertaining stories, what people need most is to hear from God. I would like to make a simple request. Please stop saying “God told me” unless the phrase is immediately followed up with a text of Scripture. Continue reading
PMT 2017-018 by Justin Taylor (The Gospel Coaltion)
Ronald Numbers grew up as the son of a fundamentalist Seventh-day Adventist minister, attending Adventist schools and being taught young-earth creationism until adulthood, where he lost his faith and became an agnostic. Today he is perhaps the world’s leading scholar on the history of the relationship between science and religion.
If you were to ask Professor Numbers for the “greatest myth” about the historical relationship between science and religion, he would respond that it’s the idea the the two “have been in a state of constant conflict.” Continue reading