Friday, July 20, 2007

The Covenants

The way in which God relates is through the covenant. There are traditionally three different covenants to consider when studying the Scriptures.

First, and most importantly, God established an eternal covenant with Himself - the Triune Godhead has a covenant of redemption, whereby the Father elects a people to redeem, the Son wins the elect by His perfect life, atoning substitutionary death, and death-conquering resurrection, and the Holy Spirit bestows salvation on the elect through regeneration.

Second, God establishes His covenant with all of mankind. Traditionally considered to be the covenant of works, or the covenant of creation, we see that God will grant life to all who obey Him perfectly. Sadly, but surely, no human born of Adam can perfectly and completely obey the Lord.

After the fall, we notice the third covenant - that of grace. For God could have justly destroyed His creation for failing to keep the covenant of works. But, in light of the covenant of redemption, it was fitting for the purposes of glory to glory Himself, to forbear the sins of mankind for a time. This covenant of grace is noted in repeated renewals to men of faith, such as Noah, Abraham, David, and of course, Jesus - where the covenant is called the New Covenant.

Notice though, as R.C. Sproul declares, that even the covenant of works first made with Adam is actually quite gracious. For the etneral and infinitely holy God had no need to create, nor to relate with His Creation on such as intimate level as the convenant. This grace is just another reason to praise Him. Isaiah 57:15 sums it up nicely: "For this is what the high and lofty One says—He who lives forever, whose name is holy: 'I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.'"

Thursday, July 19, 2007

"Megaflood Created Great Divide Between Britain and France"

The scientists interviewed in title-linked article are getting closer to the truth. The article by Dan Mosher, a staff writer for, begins, "The cultural rift between Britain and France endures as an amusing mystery for many, but the physical divide between them can now be blamed on two ancient floods."

First of all, how could a mystery be amusing? Mysteries make us think, not the opposite. But secondly, blaming the English Channel on two ancient floods is right on the mark - according to the Bible. You may be wondering what I mean, since the Bible details only one worldwide megaflood. The reality is that, like the Grand Canyon's formation, the flood set up the topographical conditions and its aftermath put things in place nearly if not identically as we see them today. The aftemath of THE FLOOD (the one and only, as the Bible reveals), contained smaller scale floods (though still relatively large compared to floods of our day), as the waters ran down mountains, which were raised up during the cataclysm, formed holding ponds (or large lakes), and broke through natural dams. The smaller scale floods were the means by which the earth arrived at its present end.

The article errs in its time scale by 100 fold. Suggesting this massive flood occurred 450,000 years ago misses the Biblical mark of 4500 years ago. One scientist, Sanjeev Gupta, said, "Britain has been an island for only a very short time period, and we've put together the first clear evidence that the valley system in the English Channel was carved by a megaflood." This is not the first clear evidence. Indeed theologians and science-focused Christian ministries such as Answers in Genesis have known the truth of this scientist's statement for much of their lives. The people who believed Moses' account of the Noahic flood when he wrote in 1500 BC have known this truth for thousands of years. The Word of God is the only evidence we need.

Gupta went on, "Some freak event, whatever it was, caused the dam to fail at some point." The article declares that the English Channel was carved to its present width and depth in a matter of weeks, during a time when much of the ocean water was locked up in ice sheets. This is so true - and perfectly consistent with the Bible's account. The post-FLOOD flood which carved the Grand Canyon in a matter of weeks by breaking through the Kaibab Upwarp was similar to this post-FLOOD flood which carved the English Channel in a number of weeks by breaking through a chalky dam near the Dover Strait.

Gupta noted some similar circumstances that occurred in Washington state, here in America. The Creation Museum in northern Kentucky shows evidence of the canyon carved in post-Mt. St. Helen's eruption events as being parallel as well.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Fountain

I'm ashamed to admit that I wasted 91 minutes of my life last night watching this title-linked Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz film that should have never been made. The film had some neat scenery, but the varying time dimensions were hard-to-follow. The message was that death is a disease; Jackman's character throughout the film is obsessed with finding a cure, finding immortality on earth, as his wife (Weisz) suffers and dies from a brain tumor. Sadly, but as you would expect, there is no mention of Jesus Christ - the resurrection and the life - in the film; however, it did contain Biblical imagery (the Tree of Life) and a quote or two from the Good Book (most notably Genesis 3:24). I couldn't tell what the point of the film was. Perhaps that's just it - it had no point. It was a mind-numbing, a-musing film that, perhaps contrary to its intention, gave me ample to think about. But don't waste your time.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Jesus is Just Alright With Me?

How can a person suggest that Jesus was a great guy, but not the exclusive Savior of those who genuinely and with perseverance believe in Him to save them from their sins? It's the C.S. Lewis / Josh McDowell argument of apologetics. Everyone acknowledges that Jesus lived. Most people are comfortable with His uniqueness, His compassion, even His moral teaching. But when you look closely at His claims, He cannot be said to be merely a humble and compassion good person.

For example, take a look at John 8. Verses 13-29 reveal much of His typical dialogue with the hypocritical leadership of His day. Notice especially verse 24: "If you do not believe that I am the One I claim to be [that is, the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God, God in the flesh], you will indeed die in your sins." This is exclusivity like none other.

Christians are often criticized for apparent lack of tolerance. But we are only following our Savior. If you don't believe that He is your Savior - your only way to be saved from the wrath of God hanging over your head due to your sinful wickedness - then you will indeed die in your sins and thereby experience the wrath of God for all eternity in hell, where thirst is not quenched, and where the worm does not die. Don't buy it? Jesus is either a liar, a lunatic (on the level of a poached egg, as Lewis remarked), or the Lord of all creation, God in the flesh, just as He claimed to be. Jesus can't be "just alright" with you. You make the call. But note that God commands all people everywhere to repent. The command of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent - that is, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Adultery, Stealing, and Coveting

I taught this morning on commandments 7,8, and 10. I found them easy to combine, since adultery is essentially stealing a person who does not belong to you, and since neither stealing nor adultery would be of concern if it weren't for coveting. Thus, I spent most of my time on coveting.

The bottomline on these three commandments is seen most clearly when we flip them from the negative to the positive:

You shall not commit adultery = Be faithful
You shall not steal = Give or share
You shall not covet = Be content

When we consider the positive aspects of these negative commandments, we see so clearly the high and holy character of God. He is ever-faithful, more than generous in giving, and satisfied with all the works of His hands. Rejoice that He has kept these commandments on our behalf through Jesus Christ, and obey them not in seeking to justify yourself by your works, but out of gratitude. Where you fall short of God's glory, He provides His righteousness; and where we sin against Him, He covers over our iniquity with His atoning blood. Praise Him!