What Ultimate Integration IN CHRIST has to say about MTD and Smith’s “The Bible Made Impossible”.

Chapter 3      IN  CHRIST.                                                                                              

Chapter one of Ephesians immediately turns the reader’s eyes upon Jesus and  then   counts one  by  one the   many spiritual blessings   that   belong to  the Christian in heavenly realms. in Christ, one “From Paul … ” in the first two words;  with “Christ Jesus” used twice in the first twenty-two verses  (NEV), is addressed to  Christians without the use of the word  “Christian”, “to  God’s people   at Ephesus, believers incorporate in Christ Jesus.”  (1:1)

How do you address a group of Christians? The word “Christian” is found only three times in the Bible in the King  James Version; in the book of Acts disciples of Christ existed before they were first called Christians at the city of Antioch; and as far as we know from the Bible, Jesus never called them Christians.

God the Holy Spirit inspired Paul in Ephesians, as translated by  the New English Version (NEV), to  call them:  (1) God’s people at Ephesus, with the name of the local church left blank, to  be filled in by  the reader of this circular letter; and (2) believers  incorporate  in Christ Jesus, placing the emphasis on Jesus and on “believers incorporate in”, Ephesians 1 in the KJV addresses as “the saints at Ephesus, and the faithful in Christ Jesus ”  All this reminds us that it is not so important what we are called as it is that we are identified with Christ and that we are God’s people “at” the particular location where we are “commissioned by the will of God”, if  not as an “Apostle” like Paul, still as an essential. member of a local body. knit together with all the rest.

“In Christ” is the favorite choice of Paul and God in the first chapter of Ephesians as the status and standing  of the Christian is described. Ten times in Ephesians 1 in the NEV the words “in Christ” are used.  It is a praise to Christ for the spiritual blessings that Christians have in heavenly realms while Paul breathlessly enumerates them in one long sentence from verse three to fourteen in the original Greek.

Count Your Blessings

The song writer must have been  inspired by  a reading of Ephesians 1 as he wrote “count your blessings, name them one by one,” for they are precisely enumerated with an introductions  “Praise be  to the God am Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has bestowed on us in Christ every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms.”   (Eph. ls) NEV)  In Christ, God chose us before the world was founded.  In Christ, we are accepted as His sons. In Christ, our release is secure.  In Christ, our sins are forgiven.

In Christ, determined beforehand, God has made known to us His hid den purpose–“to be put into effect when the time was ripe, namely, that the universe , all in heaven and on earth might be brought into a unity in Christ.”   (1:10 NEV)

In Christ, we have our share in the heritage.  Incorporate  in Christ, we received the seal of the promised Holy· Spirit, a pledge that we shall get our heritage.  The same power that raised Christ from the dead.  Simpson writes in his commentary on Ephesians that the two words “in Christ” strike the keynote of the whole book, planting a germ that grows into a branching oak as Ephesians progresses.  Herbert Lathe, the preacher, locks in on the word “with” instead of “in”, extolling the Christian’s title to heaven as a “joint–heir with Christ,”

Justification/Redemption in Christ

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness 0:£   sins, according to the riches of his grace,  ”   (Eph. 1:7 KJV)

The same verse in the NEV is translated:

“For in Christ our release is secured, and our sins are forgiven through the shedding of his blood,  therein lies the richness of God’s free grace lavished upon us .”

God must want us to read this statement, for it is repeated almost word for word in Colossians 1:14:  “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins…”   (KJV)  The use of the word “redemption”, one already in common usage in Greek and Hebrew, as an analogy for salvation is obvious,  it implied the legal release  from a state of servitude in return for the payment of a ransom price, much like indentured  servants in early Colonial America received their freedom after the payment of years of service. Except in the case of Gospel Redemption, Christ paid the ransom price,  it was redemption through the shedding of Christ’s blood.  The Hebrew knew it better than the Greek,  From the time of Moses (Exodus 12) the Jew was familiar with the Paschal lamb whole blood was spread across the door posts as a.  ransom in place of the firstborn in each household,  in turn, Christ’s blood is the means for redemption and forgiveness.

The Bible like many practical Christian scholars use many distinct words like redemption and justification to describe all facets of God’s salvation program for the human race.  THE GOSPEL OF REDEMPTION is the summarizing title of salvation for W.  T. Connor and the title of his classical textbook studied by  countless Bible students.  It is a topical study of whirl  the Bible teaches about the whole spectrum of salvation.  Other  words  are also used to communicate what Christ accomplished in His death on the cross, like justification, atonement, propitiation, etc., as Saur so aptly describes in his book THE APOSTOLIC PREACHING OF THE CROSS.  Justification and redemption appear to be  the  most generalizing terms with justification tending to apply more to the immediate standing in the sight of God with the initial act of faith when God looks at Christ instead of the sinner, while redemption is more a continuous process that finds fulfillment only when Christ comes again and “we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is,”  {I John 3:2  KJV)

The book of Romans is our most thorough and systematic textbook on salvation, especially on the word “justification”.  Like:

“Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ … ”  {Rom,  .5:1  KJV)

”But to  him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”   {Rom. 4:5 KJV)

“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…”   {Rom. 3:24 KJV)

“Therefore, by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight for by the law is the knowledge of sin,”  (Rom. 3:20 KJV)

In short, a person cannot justify his existence in the presence of God by any kind of good works, by  the law, in particular by  the Ten Commandments.  It is justification and peace by  faith, it is believing and not working, and this faith is counted as rightness, and it is justification by grace through the redemption of Christ, that is, through His blood.

Grace and Peace

Grace and peace were skipped over until now where Paul writes in l: 2: “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (NEV), and as they are generally in reading skipped over as just greeting words; but these greeting words, rather than incidental, become the very fabric of what Ephesians has to  say,  Already you have seen how important grace is as related to  redemption and justification; you will hear more about how we are saved through grace, not works, in Ephesians 2; and peace is a reoccurring theme throughout all Ephesians.

While  counter to Bible, Taylor  and  the “Peace  Committee”  of the 1986  Southern Baptist Convention find  peace through causalities, the book of Ephesians literally finds peace through other means,  Peace is actually what Paul is after in the writing of Ephesians,  Peace is God’s intended goal for this part of His revelations  peace among all God’s people at Ephesus, peace among all Christians, peace between the Jew and Gentile as God through Christ has broken down the middle wall of partition between them, and peace between God and man.  Peace is ultimately Christ, “For he is himself our peace,”  (Eph. 2:14  NEV)

Outlines of Ephesians 1

You saw one outline of this chapter previously in the reading of the section on “A Short Commentary”.  A good teaching or preaching outline is also found in Ephesians 1:18,19 which outlines itself and in the words of Paul starts with  “so that you may know”  then outlines itself with:   (1) what is the hope to  which he calls you, (2) what the wealth and glory of the share he offers you among his people in their heritage, and (3) how vast the resources of his power open to  us who trust in him.” (NEV)  And amazingly enough, this can serve as an outline for the whole book of Ephesians.   W. O. Carver in his commentary outlines Ephesians 1 under the heading of “the purpose of world redemption” with two sub-headings  the purpose in condensed form as presented in 1:3-14 and revolving successively around each member of the Trinity; and the purpose as given in prayer form in 1:15-23–a generalized prayer in 1:15,16, more specific in 1117, and most specific in 1:18.

A Prayer for All Christians

Jesus shortly before His crucifixion prayed that all Christians might be one.  “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one  ”   (John 17:20,21 KJV)  Paul prays a similar prayer beginning in Ephesians 1115, expressing gratitude for love “toward all God’s people” (NEV), “unto all the saints” in the KJV.

It is a prayer for Christian education, a.  prayer to learn Christ, a prayer to learn truth with an insight that goes beyond human knowledge, for all Christians to  have “the spiritual powers of wisdom and vision” (1:7 NEV), that “your inward eyes may be illumined  ” (1:18 NEV), so that you may know … ” ( 1:18 NEV)  Know what?

  “What is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to  usward who believe, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised  him from the dead, And set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion,  and every name that is named,  not only in this world,  but also in that which is to  come  ”   (Ephesians 1118-21 KJV)

And  here it is suggested that  if we really know this, we can have peace among all God’s people without causalities and combat among God’s people.

Attitude of Ephesians

Ephesians 1, in particular the prayer above and in the following last two verses, sets the attitude tone for the whole book.  It is an inclusive attitude. Call it a spirit, a tone, the essence of Ephesians as done at the conclusion of this commentary, it is there, and one reason considered that the prayer above includes a knowing that is above human knowledge is because it is an attitude that comes independent of our fundamental, moderate, or liberal knowledge.  This attitude starts in the very first verses with “God’s people” and “believers incorporate in Christ”, continues in 1:16 with “all God’s people”; and remains inclusive in the last verses of chapter 1, where “He (God) put everything in subjection beneath his (Christ’s) feet, and appointed him as supreme head to  the church, which is his body and as such holds within it the fulness of him who himself receives the entire fullness of God.”  (1:22,23 NEV)

While being a Baptist, Methodist, or Presbyterian may be good in that it identifies some of our doctrinal emphasis, it is far more important that we identify with Christ as “Believers incorporate in Christ.” Each denomination  has made significant contributions to the total Christian movement; and it is possible that God in His permissive will allowed denominations to protect the total spectrum of the seven fundamental doctrines that are most important.  Leaders of the Churches of Christ, Roman Catholics, and the Mormons officially propagate that they are the only Christians.  Likewise, they like to do it in the name of the Bible, or four Bibles in the case of the Mormons,  but they have completely missed the very spirit and even the wording of the book of Ephesians.  A primary goal and attitude of this letter in God’s Word is to keep us from feeling exclusive about our group of Christians,  The so-called “fundamentalists” sect within the Southern Baptist Convention, who bragged at the 1986 Convention under the leadership of Adrian Rogers, how they had replaced over 500 of the denominational  leadership and have waged war'” with in the convention against those Christian Baptists that disagree with them, have also missed the spirit and literal meaning of Ephesians.

NOTE:  While it is not the subject of this ONE commentary on Ephesians, it cannot be ignored that this unsound manner and doctrine of love is a “seducing spirit” of the falling away as in I Timothy 4:3,4.  Everybody knows what goes with that bad spirit of the SBC in 1986 and today, in spite of attempts recently to whitewash and justify themselves, that it is doctrines of devils that go with it; and most should realize that what really split the Convention and waged war was caused by Scofield mites, quite often the unmentioned elephant in the room.

Lest we also become negative like them, let us keep the positive side on top:  Ephesians promotes an inclusive attitude among Christians, not an exclusive attitude.  “That is just human nature,” some say,  “Every church feels that they are the only church, and every group of Christians feel that they are the  only Christians.”  Well, I don’t feel that way, and I know plenty of other Christians that don’t believe that.  Such an attitude flags an ignorance of the 121 times the word “ecclesia”, translated church, is used in the New Testament, or an indifference  to the total literal teachings of the Scripture.    While  it is true  that  the majority  of 121 times refers to the local church,  the other references undeniably use the word church in a more general manner as the body of Christ to include believers of all time, past and present.

Our Share in the Heritage

“In Christ indeed, we have been given our share in the heritage …”  (Eph. 1:11 NEV)  This eliminates personal pride or exclusiveness.   In verses 6, 12, and 14 it is for “the praise of his glory” that we are accepted, that we trusted, and that we have the earnest of our inheritance.  It was His gracious gift.  He chose.  He bestowed on us.  The  emphasis is on what God  in Christ has done for us; and on the part, only a share, that we have in the total Christian heritage.  Even first Christians have nothing to brag about, Paul included. “For it was his will that we, who were the first to  set our hope on Christ, should cause his glory to be praised.”   (Eph. 1:12 EV)    Paul is just another stockholder in the vast corporation of incorporated believers, among millions in the body of Christ, the church.

You also, as a Christian, have a share in that heritage.  “And you too, when you had heard the message of the truth, the good news of your salvation, and had believed it, became incorporate in Christ and received the seal of the promised Holy Spirit  ”   (Eph. 1:13 NEV)

Or  if not a Christian, surely like Agrippa you are almost persuaded if not completely persuaded by being like Paul, having  spiritual blessings in heavenly realms of Ephesians 1, of personal identification with the Creator and Lord of the Universe, of having a share in the great Christian heritage.

One of the three times the word Christian is used in the KJV in the New Testament records the answer of the Roman ruler Agrippa as Paul stood before him to make his defense.  Paul had  been accused of sedition by the Jews. Paul defense quickly became a testimony to Jesus.  “Then Agrippa said unto Paul, almost thou persuade me to be a Christian.”   (Acts 26:28 KJV)

NOTE:  In this case Agrippa is saying as we so often hear from unbelievers and sceptics, “Would you so easily and quickly persuade me to be a Christian”?

“And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day,   were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except for these bonds.”  (Acts 26129 KJV)

 

Chapter 4      Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.

 

For our good ole helpful standby online resource, we read of MTD:

“The authors say the system is “moralistic” because it “is about inculcating a moralistic approach to life. It teaches that central to living a good and happy life is being a good, moral person.”[5] The authors describe the system as being “about providing therapeutic benefits to its adherent” as opposed to being about things like “repentance from sin, of keeping the Sabbath, of living as a servant of a sovereign divine, of steadfastly saying one’s prayers, of faithfully observing high holy days, of building character through suffering…”[6] and further as “belief in a particular kind of God: one who exists, created the world, and defines our general moral order, but not one who is particularly personally involved in one’s affairs—especially affairs in which one would prefer not to have God involved.”[7]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moralistic_therapeutic_deism

Perhaps you would like to know who those authors are in Wikipedia.

[6] and [7} are the same with the listing of different pages.

The most help for us on our common Christian heritage demands an answer by a Christian authority like Albert Mohler, the President of SBTS.

[4]  R. Albert Mohler, Jr., Moralistic Therapeutic Deism–the New American Religion, Christian Post, 18 April 2005.

“We now face the challenge of evangelizing a nation that largely considers itself Christian, overwhelmingly believes in some deity, considers itself fervently religious, but has virtually no connection to historic Christianity. Christian Smith and his colleagues have performed an enormous service for the church of the Lord Jesus Christ in identifying Moralistic Therapeutic Deism as the dominant religion of this American age. Our responsibility is to prepare the church to respond to this new religion, understanding that it represents the greatest competitor to biblical Christianity. More urgently, this study should warn us all that our failure to teach this generation of teenagers the realities and convictions of biblical Christianity will mean that their children will know even less and will be even more readily seduced by this new form of paganism. This study offers irrefutable evidence of the challenge we now face. As the motto reminds us, ‘Knowledge is power.’”

4-1:  Our Heritage in the sense of Ephesians, Paul, and God is “the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).

  1.            The Faith Once for all Delivered at the 2018 SBC Part I.

First, hear from the newly elected President of the SBC.

“Certain doctrines are clear enough and important enough that we simply must draw clear lines regarding who is “in” and who is “out.” By this I mean doctrines like “the Trinity,” “penal substitution,” “salvation by grace through faith,” the “bodily resurrection of Jesus,” “biblical inerrancy,” and the like. Even though each of these points has been disputed in the history of the church, I believe these things are clear enough and important enough that we have to limit our ministry fellowship to those with whom we see eye to eye regarding them.”

https://jdgreear.com/blog/dont-be-a-fundamentalist-calvinist-or-otherwise/

The newly delivered “once for all delivered faith” of Southern Baptist?  Doubtful that is an adequate representation of the Bible doctrinal beliefs of the southern Baptist people, only the beliefs of this highly educated new generation of so-called Baptist leaders; and note that it falls far short of good Baptist statements of faith as written in works like Herschel Hobbs “Fundamentals of the Faith” and “These Things we Believe” by J. Clyde Turner.  Goodness it falls way too short of the Jude 7 admonition to “contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints” of the Bible as the Word of God.

  1. That is a very small list of Major Bible doctrines from the newly elected President of the SBC: (1) Trinity, (2) “Penal Substitution”  (suppose that is the liberally educated substitutional term for the atonement and justification doctrines; (3)  salvation through faith (now that sounds good, like Bible and Baptist); (4) the bodily resurrection of Christ (yep); and (5) biblical inerrancy {always a good flag to raise at the end as did fundamentalists before him like Scofield with false literal Bible, John R. Rice, Bob Jones, and J.D.’s heroes of Paige Patterson and Nicolas Cage, and in case you haven’t figured out why Case is so important to J.D. it is because he starred in the Left Behind Series.  What do Page and Cage share in common the Scofieldism of the Scofield reference Bible.
  2. Later in Part II, the matter of Calvinism versus Arianism which the young generation of high education Southern Baptist had been enamored with, will be dealt with in Part II. The Bible answer simply stated right now is THAT THEY BOTH ARE TRUE WHICH CAN BE EASILY ILLUSTRATED WITH PAUL’S EXPERIENCE ON THE BOAT AND RECORDED IN ACTS.  The Bible fun is for later.  You know, these young intellectuals of the SBC remind one of Aerospace Engineers that would talk more to snow and impress than to communicate.  And it is not all their fought except for a personal ambition for success, it is rather:  (1) To be laid on the heads of pulpit committees that demand Doctors degree which now even among Baptists and Presbyterians are under control of  secular liberals; (2) the falling away with erosions of sound doctrine; and (3) Professional Christians and professional denominationalism more than Bible.}

 

  1.  Our Christian Heritage from the Bible.

“…diligent to write to you concerning the common salvation… once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3a) with Bible exegesis.

And since this Bible exegesis is about as long as the NT, links in the “Once for all Delivered” page of SunGrist must be given to you, from file:///C:/Users/jvmcMobile/Desktop/sitebuilder/sites/sungrist11/FaithOnceForAllDelivered.html

  1. Christian View of Life and
    Living
    Introduction
    Introduction to Christian View of Life and Living

    “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love
    God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”  (Romans
    8:28)

    A Christian View of life and living is based on the Bible rather than
    customs and traditions and must come literally from Jesus the supreme
    example and supreme Teacher. And also as Jesus taught His Apostles
    how to write in the Bible.

    If the outstanding author, Bernard Ramm**, of hermeneutics and Science
    and Scripture could call his book “A Christian View of Science and
    Scripture”, then such a Bible based ASPI version of the Bible on A
    CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE, can call this the Bible and Christian
    View of Life and Living.  While far more practical for the life and living of the
    Christian life than Elton Trueblood’s “Philosophy of Religion”, it is consistent
    with it as with all Christian writings, regardless of denomination and nation,
    that have found in the Bible both intellectual honesty and the guidance of the
    Holy Spirit, also without a spirit of rivalry and discrimination.  It is more
    consistent with Trueblood’s book “Your Other Vocation”, which suggests that
    your profession or work is your second vocation, while the call to be a
    Christian and “walk worthy of the vocation with which you are called”
    (Ephesians 4:1) is the primary vocation of any real Christian.  That
    “Christian” has lost so much meaning testifies to the fact that a Christian
    Philosophy of Life and Living has been adjusted by each generation to mean
    what church members and their leaders want it to mean, most often to justify
    their own status in the world and style of life and living.  {Likewise Oates’,
    professor of Christian Psychology, writing on “Religious Dimensions of
    Personality” can assist us on this subject.}

    In this series, we are just saying get back to the Bible and the ASPI version
    of the Bible for an adequate and non-worldly philosophy of life and living.

    **NOTE:  Ramm was head of graduate study in religion at Baylor before
    BBFs {Bible Baptists Fundamentalists} ran him off at the same time they
    were taking control of the SBC by destroying the reputations and careers of
    Christian brothers which they, in a spirit of warfare, and falsely slurred as
    “moderates” on the Bible  Granted Ramm did make one mistake in his failure
    to admit the full Bible story of the Tower of Bible with the changing of
    languages, but goodness how many Bible mistakes do you make every
    week; and 99% on the Bible is a lot better that the 75-25 of the BBFs.

    This series listed, and to be expanded below, came naturally out of the
    request by constituents of SunGrist_Bible about Psalm 37.  Any accurate
    ASPI exegesis of the Bible of Psalm 37 demands a look at the age old
    question of “Good versus Evil”, and the continuous church member habit of
    today and previous years as they get their hands dirty with the very worldly
    words of “The Gospel of wealth and the corollary of success, so close to
    greed and covetousness and a “Pride of Life”, demands an application of
    good over evil in a Christian Philosophy of Life and Living.

    Before the beginning of the list below, a reminder of the Authorized
    Semi-Public Interpretation {ASPI} is demanded:

    “…knowing this first, that no prophesy of Scripture is of any private
    interpretation, but prophesy never came by the will of man, but holy men of
    God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”  (II Peter 1:20,21)

    And you need an ASPI Bible version of what is “prophesy”?  It is far more
    than predictions, and it comes very close to preaching or speaking in the
    church.

    “But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to
    men.”  (I Corinthians 14:3)

    II.  Facing up to some Bible realities not generally understood in the
    world of churches and denominations!

    1.  Bible reality shock #1.  What this means is that God the Father, God the
    Son, and God the Holy Spirit are ALL* working together for the good of the
    dedicated Christian {“all that will live godly in Christ Jesus”}, and actively
    “without variation or shadow of turning” right now in this world.

    “And we know that ALL* things work together for good to those who
    love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
    (Romans 8:28)

    2.  Bible reality shock #2.  God deals with His own on a need basis, not on a
    want basis.  The world motivates you according to what you deserve to
    satisfy your wants, or that they can lead you to think are the community
    needs of you and your neighbors.

    “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the
    renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and
    acceptable and perfect will of God.”  (Romans 12:2)

    3.  Bible reality shock #3.  God chastises only those He loves, so you are
    fortunate to recognize chastisement as the love of God for a child that is His
    own.  Only a child of God gets this training toward righteousness.  Take the
    example of Jesus, the real Jesus of the Bible and of the sermon on the
    mount.

    “Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful,
    nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to
    those who have been trained by it.”  (Hebrews 12:3)

    4.  Take the long look by Being fearful of good times only and joyful with hard times.  {Hard times help to yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness
    mentioned above in Hebrews 12:3.}

    “My brethren {for Christians only} count it all joy when you fall into
    various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
    But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and
    complete, lacking nothing.”  (James 1:2-4)

    5.  Trying times {trials in the words of the Bible} bring up special needs in the
    life of a Christian and in the Bible view, requiring a need for the wisdom of
    God.

    “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally
    and without reproach, and it will be given him.”  (James 1:5)

    Every child of God without exception and without any discrimination from
    God, or of past history or lack of history, is entitled to this wisdom.  Like the
    grace of God, it is available for the simple asking in faith.  (James 1:6-8)
    1.  Psalm 37 Part I.  In His Own Mind and Heart God Separates the Minority Righteous from the Majority Wicked.
    2.  Psalm 37 Part II.  Introduction to a Christian Philosophy of Life and Living.
    3.  A Bible Based Philosophy of
    Life and Living Based on the Wicked versus the Righteous.
    4.  Messages for the Masses.

    5.  Needs versus Wants. “O You of little faith”  (Matthew 6:30)  and “For your Heavenly Father knows that you have the need of all these things.”  (Matthew
    6:32b)

     

    How can you tell the difference between the “of the world” and “of the Father”?  Or the difference for a Christian in being in the world without being of the world.  One key to understanding the difference is by way of the Bible subjects of needs versus wants above at another link.“Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” (Jude 3)

 

  1. Contend for the Faith with That Sort” Outline of II Timothy 

    Even like a description of Baptist history because of the diversity {there are 22  distinct and major Baptist denominations}, it is hard to explain where Baptists are today.  A more comprehensive look is obtained by looking at the not long-ago largest Protestant Denomination in the world, the Southern Baptist Convention {SBC}, and by simultaneously observing the contributions that they made to the present great apostasy of the Falling Away.  A shock and a clue came in 1991-1998 when the SBC split into 3 denominations, and for the first time many innocent members started to become aware of a well-planned and engineered fundamentalists takeover of the SBC between 1970 and 1980.  The infamous 10-year takeover plan of Bible Baptists and DTS and other fundamentalists to gain political control by first electing the President, and then replacing all dissenters.
    Like everything else in life, religion and politics, the Bible stands ready with a
    sufficient explanation of what is and was really happening.  We will find that even from first century days in Christianity there was the beginning of a certain “that sort” group, as Paul calls it in II Timothy with a secret message of a secret
    rapture that spread like a cancer.  The Outline of II Timothy.
    2.  Itching Ears Theology.
    3.  The real Second Coming versus the
    Lie of “that sort”.
    4.  Fundamentalists.

4-2:  A Little Analysis of Christian Smith, MTD, and his blame on what he calls “biblicism” and Evangelism.

Of course, for “Protestant Evangelical Apologetics” as Bernard Ramm calls it, our Baptist (once a southern Baptist at Baylor graduate study until the fundamentalists ran him off and chose Rimmer), it going to be hard to accept a professor of sociology at Notre Dame’s opinions on anything except the data of the MTD census.  Of course, Smithy admits in his follow-on book, “The Bible Made Impossible” that makes a catholic approach, and easily you can read into the sub-title favors the Roman Vatican approach of other documents with authority over the Bible, “Why Biblicism Is Not a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture”.  Even his first words  in the Introduction are:  “This book addresses Christians, especially evangelicals, who believe that the Bible is a divine word of truth that should function as an authority for Christian faith and practice…”  Right there, he is going against Baptist and most Protestants that have Confessions of faith and practice that generally start with some statement like “The Bible is the sole criterion and authority for faith and practice”; and add It is divine in origin, absolute in authority,  and sufficient in message.  SunGrist goes beyond that to add dynamic alive as it speaks to you with an ear to listen, high fidelity in communication (Smithy feels here with fancy word that the message is not high fidelity and that is a major problem of what he calls Evangelical Biblicism, “too many interpretations” but he calls it “pervasive interpretive pluralism”.  Did you get that, too many different interpretations?

Since reading “Soul Searching” by Smithy, it was required to ask of myself and others what God the Holy Spirit does and would do with evangelizing the victims of MTD and their “comfort only slightly” advisers.  If you know any Bible, you know the answer to be as Jesus promised His disciples before His departure, that the Holy Spirit would come and take the place of Jesus on earth, then convict and convince the world of  sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.  This is so important for the ultimate integration with the peace of Ephesians, that we need to look at the words of Jesus Himself on the work and way of God the Holy Spirit:

“And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:  of sin, because they do not believe in Me;  of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more;  of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”  (John 16:8-11)

In short if we are to preach assisting the Spirit of God in His work on earth, then we must include in our evangelism:  (1) sin, (2) righteousness, (3) judgment, (4) believe IN CHRIST, (5) the righteousness of Christ, and (6) judgement on all including the great fallen angel Lucifer.  Like Martin Luther would say, “Here we stand, and we can do know less.”

Being overcome by curiosity at the start of reading “The Bible Made Impossible”, the turn was made to Smithy’s index to look for those key words.  {This was the same method used on the books of Joel Osteen to see if he was preaching the Word of God and working with God the Holy Spirit.}

  1. Sin, “noetic effects of” which had to be looked up is mentioned on pages 38, 41 and 57.
  2. The noetic effects of sin on page 38, with no real source given, is defined as the corruption of inner capabilities for inner thought and knowledge, no bad, as it seems to account that man in his natural condition as a born sinner like Adam and Eve receives not naturally the things of the Spirit of God.

“For the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirt of God for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned.”

The condition of man, youth or otherwise, young lady and women also, makes for an infidelity of receiving truth from the Spirit of God; in fact, as a matter of learning and education even at Notre Dame, or with theology, sociology, and philosophy “he cannot know them”.  The Bible is well beyond an academic book at the things of the Book are “spiritually discerned”.

  1. “Does the noetically-damaged-reader response prove ant better at rescuing biblicism from pervasive interpretative pluralism (many interpretations of Scripture)? No.  This explanation shipwrecks of the rocks of implying that God’s chosen method of revealing truth and the power of God’s Spirit to illuminate that truth are inadequate to the task.”

NOTE:  Wow, you talk about sin and rebellion against God and His word, Smithy has denied that the apostles and prophets and Jesus were moved by the SPIRIT in their writing (the method of revelation), further that it is not working for any of us to get truth from the Bible by way of the illumination of the Holy Spirit.  Excuse us from being in this man’s class or around him on the judgement day, as both him and Lucifer will be judged.  This illustrates one method of Satan and the sceptic to take away from scripture one verse and one doctrine at a time.  Such followers of Christian Smith’s teachings have just lost for themselves the prayer for every Christian in Ephesians 1:15-21 of:

 

 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:  The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come…”

 

Oh, let’s just give up on being recipients of this prayer from Paul, give up on that God may give us “the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him”; and give up on having the effect of sin and sins overcome by our “understanding being enlightened”; and give up then on all that marvelous Bible and Spirit knowledge of Christ, the hope of His calling, the riches of our inheritance with the saints to whom the faith was once for all delivered, give up on the great power of God given inwardly as we become believers.  No, no, no, that is the power of God which He demonstrated in the Resurrection of Christ from the dead, the same power available to us.

 

4-3:  Later if we desire, we will continue with sin, righteousness, and judgment and the applications of the Spirit of God”, for right now an answer from Dr  Smith (a Harvard PhD**) is demanded as to what is his offered substitute, alternative, and plan for the Bible and Evangelism that we do so love.

 

** What do you expect out of Harvard, the school that has special Chaplains for atheists and sceptics, and who probably made both of them that way by education.  More about that and Theology later.

“Biblicism” is clearly the problem of evangelists, and the answer is non-biblicism, yet the word is not even mentioned in his index; and therefore, as he no doubt intended hard to define.  It is for Smithy a scapegoat that causes all the MTD, the demon or bad guy that if we could eliminate will solve all our problems.  There is a close advisory of a solution to biblicism, whatever that is, in the very last words of the book.

 

“Some of the needed changes in learned ways of reading the bible may not be natural or comfortable and may not come easy for American evangelical Biblicists.  My hope, however, is that, by becoming more genuinely evangelical with regard to the Bible, evangelicals might in time together find themselves in a post Biblicist, Christ-centered, theologically orthodox world—a good and necessary thing all the way around.”

 

NOTE:  With his head so far up the theological model, Smith obviously himself has not found the ASPI and All Scripture methods of Bible understanding.  At best has not received the blessings of Paul’s prayer for all Christians of Ephesians 1:15-21.

 

Oh my, there is that word theology.  Theology that studies human wisdom of the past and strives to get an agreement on one god.  In reality such religious leaders stand accused by Paul of substituting the wisdom of man for the wisdom of God that is known through preaching and prophesy, or accused by the Jesus Himself, that Smith wants to be Christ centered somehow, accuses the religious leaders of his day of “substituting the commandments of men for the doctrines of God”.  You know, there is a certain well-planned lack of clarity with Dr. Smith, as you know well that he has some men or man in mind when he accuses Biblicists of all these bad things of causing MTD, perhaps Billy Graham because he was not catholic and not like the Pope.  He does mention Albert Mohler and Dr. Dobson as being literal on the Bible about the spanking of children, also Andreas Köstenberger and Paul Wegner.  You think he means Bible-thumpers in the words used by normal people?  He does mention John Macarthur.

 

4-4:  What does peace and unity through ultimate integration IN CHRIST have to say about MTD and Smith’s proposed solutions.

 

  1. First since in “The Bible Made Impossible”, Dr. Smith does not mention the great apostasy called the falling away, he as a good sociologists, and his colleagues have stumbled onto the greatest evidence of the falling away in American culture, and seemingly does not appreciate that proof of prophesy in II Timothy 4:34. This is no surprise since the catholicity he is seeking feel by the wayside when the Roman Vatican about 1000 A.D. became the victims of “seducing spirits and doctrines of devils”; and Protestantism as exemplified by the SBC about 1909 with the publication of the first Scofield Bible with notes of theology in it, like later in technology the computer entered American homes.  It seems that by far most of the Biblicists mentioned by Dr. Smith are fundamentalists of the feudamentalists variety caused by seducing spirits of warfare.
  2. What does IN CHRIST have to say about the pluralism of Bible understandings and interpretations Smith speaks of causing MTD. Paul deals with that in the Seven ONEs with attempts to get all Christians to promote inherent unity.  To simplify, let it be stated to maximize the comparison of scripture and all scripture, and minimize theological and philosophical discussions.  The methods of Bible understanding, according to the rules and structure of the Bible Itself must be honored:  (1) the Bible is Christ and Christ is the Bible; (2) All Scriptures must be studied and preached not just favorites, no hunt and peck like Scofield mites allowed; (3) hold up the ASPI interpretation of the Bible as the one and only interpretation as that is what we find in II Peter 1:19-21; (4) the more you maximize the comparison of scripture with scripture the closer you get to the inherent consistency the divine author put in it, God the Holy Spirit.
  3. What does IN CHRIST have to say about Bible “biblicism”. As near as this reader of the impossible Bible by Smith can discover, one the one hand he is frustrated by all the theological discussion that strive to advance beyond the doctrine of Christ, and on the other hand the downright ignorance and like of soundness in what youth, trained by their parents and teachers, believe, or in this case do not believe, about sound doctrines (teachings) of God, Christ, and the Bible and Holy Spirit, even salvation.  There is no way any youth of the MTD is close to God, the Bible, Christ, the Holy Spirit and salvation in this life and the next.  The boat has left the dock and they are not in it.
  4. However the blame cannot all be placed on the practitioners of evangelical biblicism as the sinful examples of the priests around Notre Dame, having departed in their monasteries for sound doctrine over 1900 years ago share with the youth, as any individual the human nature of sin.
  5. There are two obvious facts of God’s eschatology from the Bible that are being ignored in these discussions. One is that Jesus taught in the Bible, and Smithy Jesus did and does teach in the Bible, that the majority of Americans and of the world would go the broad way that leads to destruction, the way of ease and comfort which MTD indicates; and secondly it is only going to get worse and worse as more in the world population falls away from God, Christ, and the Bible, and never get IN CHRIST.  Another factor is that “many Christians are called but few are chosen”, unfortunately the no chosen being both the majority and the most vocal especially as they see that great day of the LORD and Lord approaching.
  6. It is obvious that the good guys of Christian parents and Bible teachers have failed miserably to do line upon line and precept consistent Bible teaching and preaching of the youth and have set poor examples.
  7. Thank God our heavenly Father and a few persistent and stedfast Christians and preachers of the Gospel of Christ, while it may not seem that way because of the vocal minority, have far more in agreement than they do differences. You find those agreements in the 7 ONEs of Ephesians, and our only choice in that where we have opportunity is to evangelize with the great commission while “we spare no effort to make fast with bonds of peace the unity and peace which the Holy Spirit does provide.”

You can read chapters 1-4 of One Commentary on Ephesians with MTD with a free download.  You can read SunGrist Ephesians for Kindle before Kindle reads it at

www.sungrist.org/SungristEphesiansforKindle.pdf.

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