1965 Paul Harvey broadcast is scary shocking.

I heard this for the first time a few weeks ago.  Then I had my kids listen to it. Of course they had to ask me when Paul Harvey broadcast this. I didn’t know. I figured it was in the 80’s. I was shocked when I found out that this was originally broadcast April 3rd, 1965. I was just over two years old.  It evolved some with a few changes through the years but it amazingly called things as they were.

Paul Harvey sure knew how the Devil was going to make a conquest. All he had to do was keep his eyes, ears, and mouth open and proclaim the truth. God does give us wisdom. May he give us wisdom on how to repent and overcome the deeds of darkness for our Grandchildren and future generations. Repentance brings a Nation back into right thinking and blessing.

Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived for whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap.

Pro 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.


Smoking marijuana is good? Really?

Can you believe that we are debating if marijuana use is good and beneficial for Society? I am deeply troubled this stuff  is being legalized in the States. I have had to study this subject more in depth lately due to people around me claiming it is beneficial and good for society.  I use to smoke it frequently as a teenager and have used it as an adult but I never thought it was good or safe.  I just liked being stoned.  After all temptation is temptation because of something that is enjoyable or pleasurable for a season.  But I don’t ever think I have tried to justify it as something good.  I honestly believe that it is very dangerous the more I study the situation.

I am not one to get into peoples faces and tell them off for getting high.  I have a lot of friends who smoke marijuana and they are mostly great people whom I love and cherish.  But at the same time I don’t want to blur the lines of what is correct or what is wrong because I like something or someone who participates in that wrong.  I have lust in my heart for women but I am not going to say that looking at a woman and undressing her with my mind is okay when God says it is wrong.  I don’t want to redefine adultery because I have had lustful thoughts.  That would be turning Gods truth into a lie.  And we all know God is not a liar.  (Numbers 23:19 and Hebrews 6:18)  There have been times I have drank too much alcohol but I don’t want to say that drunkenness is okay.  I need to have a recognizable place to get back to when I have done wrong.  If I start to justify wrong doing and calling what is bad good I will have no place to recognize as home or a place of truth to rest  my head.  I don’t want to justify my wrong doing if God says it is wrong.  If I do I will end up hardening my heart against God’s standard and I will not recognize it any longer.  If we can’t recognize truth and discern what is right and wrong  we will be left with no place recognizable to return to.  Recognition of  sin will be a thing of the past and by calling bad behavior good we will be calling God a liar and will end up cursing God in our hearts.  That is a bad place to be.

I also don’t want to lead others into a place that will cause them to stumble.  I am sure I have caused others to stumble.  I am grateful for truth and God’s word to help me recognize bad behavior so that I can recover and be reconciled to man and God.  BTW, there is a curse for everyone who causes others to stumble.  Remember that Jesus noted it would be better for a stone to be tied around someone’s neck and cast into the sea  instead. (Mark 9:42).  We need to be careful about endorsing something that shouldn’t be endorsed and I believe marijuana is in that group of things that shouldn’t be endorsed.

Politically, this is where American democracy is failing. We can vote for the coffers to be filled with taxes and dispersed incorrectly.  We can also vote to say that people have a right to murder unborn children.  Now we are voting to legalize a known psychotropic drug that does not help us in sobriety or spirit.  We are a Nation in dire need of Repentance and Revival. America is losing what goodness God had placed in her. Our Nation and world needs to stand up and recognize this. The Government is responsible also. Verse two of the following passage expresses why. There is a reason that we are called to pray for all men, even those in authority.  It is so that we may lead quiet peaceable lives in godliness and honesty.  Voting to legalize immorality and endorse insobriety shouldn’t be an issue that is that hard to discern.  But our National soul is being lost.  We have gained the world but lost our soul.

(1Ti 2:1) I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

(1Ti 2:2) For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

(1Ti 2:3) For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;

(1Ti 2:4) Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

(1Ti 2:5) For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

The video I posted above is decent. I believe it is done by an atheistic but scientifically driven gentleman who does a lot of work discussing issues. It isn’t a politically driven video.  It is just a video looking at the effects of marijuana.  While I definitely disagree with him on his life view and emphasis I believe this video clip is very good in refuting the common arguments that marijuana is good or beneficial for us. You should read some of the non-sense that our teens are starting to believe….


Quotes like this….

“I smoke marijuana every single day all day long,” the teen said during a lunch period spent hanging out in a park outside his downtown Colorado Springs high school. “It develops brain cells. That is a complete and true fact,” he said. “It kills weak brain cells. It does affect your lungs … but it’s better than smoking cigarettes.”

Dozens of students interviewed across Colorado as part of an investigation by Education News Colorado, Solutions and the I-News Network made similar statements: Marijuana is healthy. It helps me focus in class. And, hey, it’s better than alcohol or cigarettes.

“It’s less damaging to smoke weed,” said a 15-year-old girl getting high over lunch near her Denver high school. “I’m not trying to mess with my body.”

This is an issue the Church and the State are going to have to deal with under God’s rule.  We had better get up to par on this issue as well as others if we desire to enjoy the blessings we have enjoyed in the past.  One of those blessings is our freedom.  We will lose them if we don’t.  We can’t expect the blessings of goodness and  mercy if we neglect the foundation from where they come from.  If we don’t consider our ways and repent we will reap what we sow.  We will reap what we sow.  Let me repeat that again, we will reap what we sow.

Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived for whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap.

Pro 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

We need a healing.  Sin is killing our Nation.

Intinction: An Historical, Exegetical, and Systematic Theological Examination


Click on the link below to download the pdf  of the whole article.



The Aquila Report…

Intinction: An Historical, Exegetical, and Systematic Theological Examination.

My buddy Pastor Lane Keister has posted on the topic of Intinction as a method of communion in the Presbyterian Church of America….  Check it out.

If the PCA standards are so crystal clear, why are we having this intinction debate? Why are some churches practicing intinction? The proposed amendment to the PCA Book of Church Order would serve to clarify the theological symbolism of the sacrificial character of Christ’s death, which is what our distinct sacramental actions of eating and drinking are meant to proclaim.

 Introduction: What Is At Stake?

The Reformers commonly spoke of three marks of the true church: the gospel faithfully preached, the sacraments faithfully administered, and church discipline properly carried out. Intinction, which may be defined as the practice of dipping the bread into the wine during the administration of the Lord’s Supper, affects one of the three marks of the church, i.e., the correct administration of the sacraments. No one in the debate would claim that the gospel is at stake. Nor would anyone claim that the Lord’s Supper becomes null and void through the use of intinction. What this paper will attempt to prove is that the issue at stake is neither more nor less than the clarity of the sign of the Lord’s Supper. As such, it is an issue that cannot be ignored.

However, no church or teaching elder that currently practices intinction in our denomination should feel that they are under attack because of this practice. No church should be run out of town on a rail on this basis. If proponents of the change to the PCA’s BCO should be victorious, all that would be required is a change in practice. These comments are offered for two reasons: 1. The temperature of the debate should be low. There is no need for heat in what should be a collegial and brotherly debate. 2. The issue needs to be seen in its proper context, as neither a gospel-level issue (a hill on which to die), nor an issue to be ignored (as if it were an attempt to prescribe, say, the shape of every Reformed church building).

There are issues which do not jeopardize the gospel, and yet still require attention. We need to be biblical in our approach to worship, and it is always healthy to ask questions concerning practices of worship as to their biblical legitimacy, especially given our historical roots in the Reformed tradition, which has always upheld the regulative principle of worship.

This paper will assume the regulative principle of worship as the Westminster Standards have defined it. WCF 21.1 says, “But the acceptable way of worshiping the true God is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshiped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions, of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the holy Scripture.”

WLC 109 goes further in its description: Q. What are the sins forbidden in the second commandment?

The sins forbidden in the second commandment are, all devising, counseling, commanding, using, and anywise approving, any religious worship not instituted by God himself; tolerating a false religion; the making any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image or likeness of any creature whatsoever; all worshiping of it, or God in it or by it; the making of any representation of feigned deities, and all worship of them, or service belonging to them; all superstitious devices, corrupting the worship of God, adding to it, or taking from it, whether invented and taken up of ourselves, or received by tradition from others, though under the title of antiquity, custom, devotion, good intent, or any other pretense whatsoever; simony; sacrilege; all neglect, contempt, hindering, and opposing the worship and ordinances which God hath appointed.

This paper will first trace the history of the practice of intinction, and then examine the relevant biblical practices to come to the conclusion that intinction is not a Reformed practice, and that it is also unbiblical.

Foundations, Personal, National, and Global Repentance in Light of the Current Crisis.


Connecticut Crisis!

How can this Crisis not define or change all that are impacted by the devastation that happened in Connecticut? This is so incredibly terrible and saddening. As a Dad of three boys whom I deeply love I can’t imagine the pain and sorrow that is being experienced. I am praying for grace and mercy upon those souls. I thought divorce was crippling, I can’t imagine what they are going through.

Since yesterday’s murderous rampage of school children, family members, and total strangers people have been groping for answers.  I have one answer to the cause.  Here it is.

Isaiah 53:6  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; …

I have been seeing posts about teachers who carry guns in their schools in other countries.  Supposedly they don’t have student killings. Just saw a picture of World War II German soldiers filling pits with dead citizens that had just been murdered.  Evidently the Government had outlawed civilian guns and became tyrannical. I saw a comment later that noted how the USA is a country with guns and how we are the country that is having all of the School shootings unlike other Countries that have gun restrictions. I later noticed that someone made a parody post.  The parody was about a young child asking God why the school killings where happening and why He wasn’t protecting the children. In the parody God answers the young child saying that he was kicked out of the Schools and that he no longer had authority in the School system.

Those posts show the frustration and desire to fix things.  But their observations and conclusions are missing the mark.  As I consider what has happened I am torn because I have seen great changes in our moral fabric as a Society and as a Nation.  When I was a child the foundations for our behavior were a bit more solid but they have been removed for the most part. We had a foundation for why we should go to worship.  We had a foundation for why we should obey our parents.  We had a foundation for why we shouldn’t steal.  We had a foundation for why we should honour the marriage bed and forsake adultery in heart, mind, and action.  We had a foundation for why we shouldn’t lie.  We had a foundation for why we shouldn’t lust after our neighbors wife or his stuff.  And if we did violate those things we knew we were expected to confess and repent.  There was a foundation for that also.  Yes, there was also a foundation for why we were forgiving.  I don’t think the foundation is gone but we have lied to ourselves and our children saying it isn’t there. We don’t want to be accountable for things or told how we should act or think. We desire freedom from what is right so that we can do and think as we please without God’s nose (or anyone else’s for that fact) being stuck in our business.  We have our rights and we demand them. But that is selfish anarchy and not freedom.

God did write the Ten Commandments and we have outlawed them. As Jesus noted, they are summed up in two Commandments. Love God with all of your heart and your neighbor as yourself. But we have wanted God to go away and now our kids don’t have any foundation. The foundation we have given them to behold is that they come from lower life forms.  So why are we surprised when they want to act like them?All I have to say is we are guilty. We all are guilty and we need a Revival of Truth and hearts filled with Repentance.

Christ has sent good men and His word to tell us to repent. God is long suffering (patient), but his patience does have a limit and he will let us reap what we are sowing.Let us return to the God of our forefathers and seek reconciliation with Him. Maybe he will grant us repentance and change the hearts of our children to become what they should be, lovers of God and mankind.Christ came to the World for a purpose. He came to save His people from their sin. From the manger to the Cross his whole purpose was to redeem and reconcile us to God because He loved His Creation. Christ is our only hope both in the temporal and eternal.

Please, I plead with everyone reading this before all of Heaven, turn to God. Quit divorcing the Law of God from the Church and Society. We are reaping what we are sowing. Call upon God and repent so that we may be saved. For it is destined unto man once to die, then the judgement.  And how shall we escape both the temporal and eternal judgments if we neglect so great a salvation that the Lord offers. He paid a high price to reconcile us to Himself. What kind of judgment do we deserve if we turn away from God and count all he did as nothing?  The Eternal God of Heaven became a man to fix the problem.  What are we doing neglecting such a love and gift?  Our children will follow in our footsteps.  And that is scary.  If we don’t repent then their fall and sin will also be our fault.  We will be the ones to blame for leading them astray.  But for now at least we have space to try to get it right so they can have a chance also.

This is what we are and where we have come from. May we honour God and turn back to Him. May God increase our faith and knowledge based upon His Law and Historical Good News of His Kingdom. He is the source of all that is good. He proved it from the beginning of creation, to the cradle, to the Cross, and to His Resurrection. Those are historical facts.  May we fall upon them and call upon Him to be saved.

Please carefully consider the following link to a pdf download as it presents the person and work of Christ on your behalf.

The rest of the passage in Isaiah 53:6 states this…..

and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

That was an Old Testament prophesy that God was going to lay on Christ, God the Son, the sins of the World.  As John the Baptist stated, “Behold, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the Word.”

Pray for the suffering families.  But do more than that.

Act 2:38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Act 2:39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”


Randy Martin Snyder

The Mosaic Covenant and the Modern Day Justification and Sanctification Controversy


In light of the modern day controversy concerning justification and sanctification,  let me ask others to look at something that hasn’t been considered much. What is its root problem? The root problem can actually solve a lot of issues from the justification / sanctification issue in soteriology to the Natural Law / Kingdom Issues we are experiencing.  Why?  Because they all have to do with our relationship to the Law of God.

This issue has a root problem that goes back to a hermeneutic of how the Mosaic Covenant is viewed and seen. It is having a rippling effect through much of the theology in our Reformed Camp. It is dichotomizing (divorcing) law and grace (law and gospel) in our doctrines of soteriology. It is also leading others into the various doctrines that are divorcing God from society.  A few friends of mine have referred to these doctrines as old distortions of Natural Law / Two Kingdom Theology that were out of accord and rejected by the Reformers.

The hermeneutic I am referring to is propagated by men who are in the United Reformed Church of North America, Orthodox Presbyterian Church, possibly men in the Presbyterian Church of America, and noted men teaching at a Seminary that trains our Reformed and  Presbyterian Ministers. Most people who know me know of whom I am referring to.  (Westminster Seminary California)  Does this Seminary allow this teaching to go on from the top (Dr. Robert Godfrey) down (Drs. Horton and Clark) without a notification that it is against the Standards we as Presbyterians confess?  It sure seems hidden to me.  I would even venture to say that this teaching is so prevalent in the Church today that it isn’t even recognized as being different from the Westminster Standards.   I know Pastors, Ruling Elders, Drs. of Theology, Seminary Professors,  Seminary Students, and Laymen who know this is true and have affirmed this truth to me.  

Even our Divines at the Westminster Assembly knew this teaching and variants of it were in opposition to sound doctrine.  Here is Anthony Burgess on the difference between Lutheran and Reformed views concerning the Mosaic Covenant.

“We have confuted (proven to be incorrect) the false differences, and now come to lay down the truth, between the law and the Gospel taken in a larger sense.  

And, first, you must know that the difference is not essential, or substantial, but accidental: so that the division of the Testament, or Covenant into the Old, and New, is not a division of the Genus (classification) into its opposite Species; but of the subject, according to its several accidental administrations, both on Gods part, and on mans. It is true, the Lutheran Divines, they do expressly oppose the Calvinists herein, maintaining the Covenant given by Moses, to be a Covenant of Works, and so directly contrary to the Covenant of Grace. Indeed, they acknowledge that the Fathers were justified by Christ, and had the same way of salvation with us; only they make that Covenant of Moses to be a superadded thing to the Promise, holding forth a condition of perfect righteousness unto the Jews, that they might be convinced of their own folly in their self-righteousness.” (Vindication of the Morall Law,  Lecture 26  p.251)


This view that is being taught was a minority view and evidently refuted without much to do from what I understand.  There isn’t much discussion paid to the topic in the minutes nor much argument about it from what I understand. I guess that might be an indication about how much of a factor this minority view was.  Yet it seems this minority teaching is being taught as though it is a majority position. This doctrine has to do with the substance of the Old and New Covenants being the same as the Westminster Confession of Faith states in chapter 7, sections 5,6.  It also has to do with some forms of Republication of the Covenant of Works and what Republication is.

I can quote one person specifically that does not believe the Mosaic Covenant is of the same substance as the New Covenant.  He holds to views that are specifically contrary to our Standards when considering the Mosaic Covenant. Yet he is teaching future Presbyterian Pastors contrary to our Standards. I wonder if he is teaching our future Pastors that he doesn’t hold to the Westminster Confession of Faith on this topic.  I think he should since he teaches these future Pastors  from a Seminary which distinctively has a namesake taken from our Confessional Standards.  He specifically writes (for everyone to read) that he does not believe that the Mosaic Covenant is renewed in the New Covenant.  He must believe it is of a different substance having a superadded work or Covenant of Works principle in it.  The Mosaic Covenant in his thinking is both an administration (pedagogically) of the Covenant of Works and of Grace. That would make the New Covenant and Mosaic Covenant different and not of the same substance as an administration of the Covenant of Grace.  As I understand it, in this scheme there is an opposition of law and grace that is not found in the Presbyterian or later Reformed hermeneutic of the Majority of the Divines.  Samuel Rutherford, Anthony Burgess, and many other good men have written on this topic and it just seems that this is neglected by these Modern Reformed Thinkers.

Biblical / Exegetical section…
13. The Mosaic covenant was not renewed under Christ, but the Abrahamic covenant was.

16. With regard to the land promise, the Mosaic covenant was, mutandis, for pedagogical reasons (Galatians 3:23-4:7), a republication of the Adamic covenant of works.

17. With regard to justification and salvation, the Mosaic covenant was an administration of the covenant of grace.

18. The Israelites were given the land and kept it by grace (2 Kings 13:23) but were expelled for failure to keep a temporary, typical, pedagogical, covenant of works (Genesis 12:7; Exodus 6:4; Deuteronomy 29:19-29; 2 Kings 17:6-7; Ezekiel 17).

19. The covenant of grace, initiated in history after the fall, was in its antepenultimate state under Adam, Noah, and Abraham, its penultimate state under the New Covenant administration and shall reach its ultimate (eschatological) state in the consummation.

20.  The term “Old Covenant” as used in Scripture refers to the Mosaic epoch not every epoch before the incarnation nor to all of the Hebrew and Aramaic Scriptures indiscriminately.

21. The New Covenant is new relative to Moses, not Abraham.

Concerning the Covenant of Grace, Richard Sibbesl states it thusly in his writing…

There are four periods of time of renewing this covenant: first, from Adam to Abraham;… Secondly, From Abraham to Moses;… The third period of renewing the covenant of grace was from Moses to Christ; and then it was more clear, whenas to the covenant made with Abraham, who was sealed with the sacrament of circumcision, the sacrament of the paschal lamb was added, and all the sacrifices Levitical; and then it was called a testament. That differeth a little from a covenant; for a testament is established by blood, it is established by death. So was that; but it was only with the blood and death of cattle sacrificed as a type.

But now, to Christ’s time to the end of the world, the covenant of grace is most clear of all; and it is now usually called the New Testament, being established by the death of Christ himself; …


This is the hermeneutical root and problem in my estimation. This hermeneutical problem is a dichotomizing of Law and Gospel (Grace).  It tells us the Law only commands and that Gospel (Grace) tells us something has been done for us without command.  Just for reference this is what I am talking about.   Dr. Michael Horton in his three minute video clip says this concerning the Gospel,  “It refers to God’s promise of salvation in Christ.  The gospel is a victory announcement.  It never tells us something to do.  That is the business of the law.  Rather, the gospel tells us something that has been done.

This has spilled over into other areas of our theology also.  For instance it has spilled over into Kingdom Theology and how the Law of God applies to all of mankind.   We are slowly removing the requirement and responsibilities of our Magistrates to be in subjection to God and His Ten Commandments.   This is killing our Society.  Anytime you start to partition an Administration of the Covenant of Grace and change its substance like these guys are doing you are treading in strange waters if you are Presbyterian.  The Gospel and Law are not opposed to each other as some want to prove in all cases.  In fact Ursinus says when they are joined together they become the Spirit.

I started discovering this dichotomizing of law and grace a few years ago as I started noting how these men were defining the Gospel.  This dichotomizing of law and Grace seemed unnatural even to this one time Reformed Baptist. I use to be a Reformed Baptist until I came to understand that the Old Covenant and New Covenant were of the same substance as they were from the Administration of the Covenant of Grace. Even then this long time Reformed Baptist didn’t dichotomize Law and Grace in the Gospel and Sanctification to the extreme I saw it being done.  As a Reformed Baptist I did dichotomize the Substance of the Covenants based upon my understanding of Hebrews chapter 8.  I did hold to a similar view of John Owen’s interpretation of the Mosaic and New Covenant when it came to membership of the Covenant but I didn’t dichotomize grace and law in the life of the believer of either Covenant.  I believe that is what is being done by those who hold to this Lutheranized (Not necessarily Luther’s view) / Klinean view of the Mosaic Covenant.

I believe a proper view of the Covenant of Grace as it administers the Covenants historically will give us a proper balance of Law and Grace.  I have already written about the substance of the Covenant before and I think if you read it you will see why I am saying what I am saying.  It views the Law of God and Grace in their proper relationship as they should be viewed in my estimation.  It also views the Gospel correctly as it isn’t just a proclamation outside of us with no commands.


I also want to encourage Westminster California to be forthcoming about their Professors doctrinal stances in relationship to the Westminster Confession of Faith.  I have run into far too many people that look to Westminster West for guidance that don’t know that they are teaching contrary to the Westminster Standards concerning the Mosaic Covenant.   It is eye opening when others discover this.  After they put aside their party spirit and their theological celebrity status blinders things start falling into place and a whole new world of understanding comes to their aid in Christ.  Pieces of the theological puzzle start to fit together as it was meant to be.  People start to have a different appreciation for grace and law as they see it more clearly.

Just my Nickles worth.

The following link is a short paper presented to Dr. Joseph Pipa on this topic. It also helped me clarify some things when I first started looking at this issue.



And this is one great website that is pulling the historical truth out concerning the Mosaic Covenant.


James Durham on the Mosaic Covenant


From A Puritan Theology by Beeke and Jones. What is Republication


Depraved Christianity?  The Gospel….. Horton…. What is the Gospel?


The Church Calender, Christmas, And Historical Festivals?


My buddy Pastor Michael Lefebvre did great little piece on holidays and Holy Days. Christmas can be a situation where we all cry foul based upon our historical heritage and doctrinal differences. But I thought this was good.

Holidays and Holy Days | Gentle Reformation

I will leave you with a teaser…..

I am one of those pastors who still believes the church should not include these holidays in the worship calendar. But I also don’t want to maintain that distinction in stubbornness or merely out of fondness for “old style presbyterianism.” So, I thought I’d take a couple of paragraphs–speaking for myself at least–to explain why I still believe this is a matter of biblical conviction.

First of all, there is one religious calendar that goes all the way back to the creation: the weekly religious calendar. God appointed the sabbath day as a religious day to be observed weekly. The Ten Commandments reaffirm that this weekly day of worship sets the cadence of life for God’s people. The New Testament also continues to call us to weekly sabbath (or, Lord’s Day) worship (more on this, later). The weekly religious calendar is biblical, and continues in force.

The annual religious calendar is also biblical in its origin. The annual calendar was not instituted at creation, but it was added with the Levitical Laws at Sinai. There were seven holy days originally instituted in Israel’s yearly calendar (Lev. 23). Three of those festivals involved mandatory pilgrimages to the Temple: Passover, Pentecost, and Booths (Deut. 16).

All of these holy days–the weekly sabbath and the annual festivals–were anticipatory celebrations. Even though they each looked back to a day that demonstrated something about the saving work of God, they also looked forward to the fulfillment of that great work. The sabbath looked back to God’s rest after creation; it also looks forward to creation’s rest after consummation. The Passover looked back to the lambs slaughtered so that Israel could escape Egypt; it also looked forward to the Lamb of God who would, once and for all, truly deliver God’s people from the bondage of sin. The nature of holy days in Scripture is consistently to look back upon an event that demonstrated something about God’s saving work, in order to look forward to the fulfillment of the promise demonstrated.

What do we do with the festivals, then, when their fulfillment has come in Christ? The way I have laid out my case in the above paragraphs should make it obvious what I believe the answer should be. But let me try to be fair in how I explain both the answer I represent (i.e., the festivals are over) and that of another perspective (i.e., that the Levitical festivals continue, and what this has to do with Christmas).

Be Encouraged,


The Mosaic Covenant, same in substance as the New? Not according to Modern Reformed Thought.


Pressing an old Blog entry…

via The Mosaic Covenant, same in substance as the New? Not according to Modern Reformed Thought..

Also look at this…
This is the doctrine that caused me to became a Presbyterian after having been a Reformed Baptist for 30 years.  It is also the doctrine that causes me to be alarmed over much of what is being taught today in the Reformed Camp.  They don’t understand the Mosaic Covenant.   I call today’s understanding Modern Reformed Thought.

Check out the whole thing as I post a small portion here…

I have recently been helped in understanding the Mosaic Covenant by Scripture clarification along with the help of a Pastor Patrick Ramsey. Thank You Pastor Ramsey.I have found that I disagree with Meredith Kline and others that hold to similar positions of a works paradigm in the Mosaic Covenant. While Owen’s view and Kline’s differ a bit by terminology I believe they are closer than people want to credit. I believe Kline holds to something more similar called a superadded subservient view of the Mosaic Covenant which was rejected by the Majority of Divines who wrote the Westminster Confession of Faith. You can learn about this by reading this article that was published in the Westminster Journal.  http://tinyurl.com/9xbtega

In working out this works paradigm I think Patrick Ramsey does a good job in revealing what Romans 10:5 and Leviticus 18:5 say when considering the whole Counsel of God. In fact when we look at Paul’s references we would think that Paul is pitting Moses against Moses and the Old Testament against the Old Testament in his New Testament writings. Especially if we just lift passages out of texts without considering other passages Paul also referenced. Paul isn’t pitting the OT against the OT or Moses against Moses when we look at the fuller context for understanding….

Read on brothers and sisters….  https://rpcnacovenanter.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/the-mosaic-covenant-same-in-substance-as-the-new/

Here is a great reference…. https://sites.google.com/site/themosaiccovenant/

Exposure on Dr. R. Scott Clark from Westminster West.  No wonder why I remained a Reformed Baptist and didn’t understand Covenant Theology from a truly Reformed perspective.



Dr. Robert Strimple whose Chair at Westminster Seminary California  David Van Drunen occupies sets the Record straight concerning the book The Law Is Not of Faith and the Mosaic Covenant.


I loved this piece on Klhortonian Theology… http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=

Modern Day Reformed Thought and Two Kingdoms…  https://rpcnacovenanter.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/modern-day-reformed-thought-two-kingdoms-view-vs-the-biblical-one-kingdom-view/

The Mosaic Covenant:  a “Republication” of the Covenant of Works?

A Review article: The Law Is Not of Faith: essays on Works and Grace in the Mosaic Covenant

Cornel P. Venema

You may also want to check out my comments on Galatians 3 and 4.  Some people use this passage to show that the Law and Gospel are opposed to each other but that is a terrible misreading of the text.  The Law and Gospel are not opposed.


(What is the Gospel?) Depraved Christianity might be Antinomian Christianity pt. 3


Rev. Phillips stated this in his first paragraph of his blog critiquing Rev. Tullian Tchividjian….

One of the most pressing concerns in Reformed churches today is the importance of getting the gospel right. Recently, Reformed churches have had to oppose the Federal Vision theology, which compromises justification by inserting good works into the definition of faith. Unfortunately, Christians tend to defend doctrines by erring in the opposite direction. So it is that Reformed churches are presently facing a corruption of the gospel by the virtual denial of sanctification and good works….

David Murray’s critique is very good…. Does Jesus + Nothing = Everything?  HeadHeartHand Blog
Does Jesus + Nothing = Everything? | HeadHeartHand Blog

Pastor Tullian’s quote from his book ‘Jesus Nothing Everything’…

I used to think that growing as a Christian meant I had to somehow go out and obtain the qualities and attitudes I was lacking. To really mature, I needed to find a way to get more joy, more patience, more faithfulness, and so on. Then I came to the shattering realization that this isn’t what the Bible teaches, and it isn’t the gospel. What the Bible teaches is that we mature as we come to a greater realization of what we already have in Christ. The gospel, in fact, transforms us precisely because it’s not itself a message about our internal transformation but about Christ’s external substitution. We desperately need an advocate, mediator, and friend. But what we need most is a substitute—someone who has done for us and secured for us what we could never do and secure for ourselves. (94, Kindle Edition)

Tullian Tchividjian sounds like Horton, doesn’t he? Remember the three minute video?

 Horton notes…

The term “gospel” is a very precise term, a particular kind of word, or kind of speech in the Bible.  It refers to God’s promise of salvation in Christ.  The gospel is a victory announcement.  It never tells us something to do.  That is the business of the law.  Rather, the gospel tells us something that has been done.

Consequently, those who speak of living the gospel or doing the gospel commit a category mistake.   More importantly, they make the most basic theological mistake a person could make, namely, confuse the law and the gospel.  And if we confuse the law and the gospel, then we will make ourselves partly your own saviors, adding to the work of Christ.

Is Horton Correct?  …. As a Pastor aquaintance has noted….

The most serious problem is that Horton’s indictment is based upon a shaky foundation.  Horton’s critique is predicated upon his narrow and strict definition of the term “gospel.”  But is that the only way the Bible uses or defines the term “gospel”?  The answer is no!  Romans 2:16 connects the future judgment with the gospel and 2 Thess. 1:8 and 1 Pet. 4:17 both speak of obeying the gospel.  The gospel is to be obeyed.  But how do you obey a victory announcement?  How do you obey what God has done?  So either the Bible itself confuses law and gospel or it uses the word “gospel” differently (at times) than Horton.  Since the latter must be true, then Horton shouldn’t make the strict definition of the gospel, the one and only definition of the gospel.  And he most certainly shouldn’t make any charges of legalism towards those who use a broader yet biblical definition of the gospel.

Fyi, the note on 2 Thess. 1:8 in the Reformation Study Bible is as follows:

§ 1:8 obey the gospel. The gospel must be accepted, believed, and obeyed (1 Pet. 4:17). Its divine command is for absolute surrender to God through the peace made by Jesus Christ.

Dr. David Murray writes…

I agree that the Gospel is certainly a message about Christ’s external substitution. But it does not stop there. The Gospel is also a message about internal transformation (a major part of sanctification). Christ saves us from our sins objectively and subjectively, from the penalty of sin and the presence of sin.

Guys, this is a problem. Others are seeing it. This is a truncated Gospel that is being proclaimed and one without the full truth and power of a message that has to do with the whole of Reconciliation. Reconciliation is about more than just justification before God.  The Gospel is about man’s reconciliation with God, totally.   The Gospel is about a restored relationship with God.  And this is Life Eternal that they know… (John 17:3)

Justification removes fear from Eternal Condemnation but it shouldn’t remove fear from chastisement or judgement from God when we are living in sin. That is what First Corinthians Chapter 10 is all about.  And it is precisely the Mosaic Covenant that St. Paul is referencing when appealing to how we should live as Christians in the Spirit of Christ.

In this Modern Reformed Thought some are weakening the sensitivity of the Conscience which needs to be awakened unto holy living. Sure we aren’t condemned before God in Eternity because Christ has removed the curse of the Covenant of Works, but we should fear our heavenly Father when we sin. That is something the World lacks.  It lacks a Heavenly Father who cares about how we live in His Kingdom.  Remember God chastises his children because He loves them.  If we had good fathers growing up they disciplined us because they loved us and wanted us to live peaceably with them.

This reconciliation thing is also about 1 John 1:9 and our daily life. It is about sanctification and our daily walk with our King in His Kingdom. This truncated gospel these guys are proclaiming is growing void of the part  that runs next to our justification in the Gospel.  It takes Sanctification and removes it from the Gospel because it is supposedly of the law, which is not a part of the Gospel. They say so themselves. That is antinomian because according to them we should look only to justification for all things according them.  Our Union with Christ is where we should look for all things.  Justification and Sanctification both proceed from that.  Their scheme divorces our daily walk with God from the sanctifying grace of reconciliation.  The law is opposed to us soteriologically because the law opposes the Gospel.  The Law only Condemns in the scheme of soteriology according to them.  It is not a part of the Gospel or salvation.  The Gospel is only about justification and not about sanctification in their understanding.  The Gospel and Reconciliation have a a two fold benefit though, Justification and Sanctification.  Both are made realities by the Spirit of God in our Union with Christ.

The Gospel is about our Adoption and our living with God daily.  We should look to our Union with Christ which brings a two-fold Grace as Calvin put it. This Modern Reformed Thought Gospel that is only declarative is a subtle moving away from the Gospel of the Kingdom.

I will say this.  At least these Modern Day Reformed Thought guys get justification correct.

Edited to accommodate those whom want to defend Horton.

Depraved Christianity may be Antinomian Christianity Part 2



Pastor Tullian Responds to Rick Phillips.
But once God regenerates us by his Spirit, draws us to himself, unites us to Christ, raises us from the dead, and grants us status as adopted sons and daughters, is there any sense in which we can speak of Christian’s being totally depraved?  Yes.

Theologians speak of total depravity, not only in terms of “total inability” to come to God on our own because we’re spiritually dead, but also in terms of sin’s effect: sin corrupts us in the “totality” of our being. Our minds are affected by sin. Our hearts are affected by sin. Our wills are affected by sin. Our bodies are affected by sin. This is at the heart of Paul’s internal struggle that he articulates in Romans 7:

The terminology is incorrect and you can’t stop at Romans 7 and sit. The same guy who wrote Romans 7 wrote Romans 8. I read his response and found it lacking. Sorry guys. Which theologian uses the words total depravity together? I understand that there may be some deprivation in things but we are not deprived of things we need to be Godly. That is what is missing here. We all go hungry. That is why we pray that the Lord give us our Daily Bread. We depend upon Him for all sustenance. Total depravity is incorrect. We are complete in Christ as Colosians 2:10 states. . We are to pray to know how to walk in the Spirit. We will always depend on him. All things are unclean before Him. No one is being Pharisaical here. We just aren’t seeing Romans 8 and we are also seeing a confusion concerning justification and sanctification as they pertain to the Gospel.

Pastor Tullian wrote….
While it is gloriously true for the Christian that there is nowhere Christ has not arrived by his Spirit, it is equally true that there is no part of any Christian in this life that is free of sin.

The above was addressed by Rick. Pastor Tullian really didn’t address this. Also note Dr. David Murray’s critique on Tullian’s book. Does Jesus + Nothing = Everything? | HeadHeartHand Blog


Tullian really didn’t answer the charges by Rick when Rick mentioned Freedom and why the term Total Depravity is incorrect. BTW, I have heard Christians say that we are totally depraved Christians. It has always made me cringe.

But this is really about what the first paragraph of Rick’s blog stated. It is about the Gospel.  I know that many have truncated the Gospel by claiming it is only an outward declaration of Good News.  Dr. Michael Horton does the same thing in a three minute video he has posted on You Tube.

But for now I will allow some of Dr. David Murray’s comments about Sanctification speak and then in the next part or blog I will address the Gospel and antinomianism.

Pastor Tullian’s quote from his book ‘Jesus Nothing Everything’…

“I used to think that growing as a Christian meant I had to somehow go out and obtain the qualities and attitudes I was lacking. To really mature, I needed to find a way to get more joy, more patience, more faithfulness, and so on. Then I came to the shattering realization that this isn’t what the Bible teaches, and it isn’t the gospel. What the Bible teaches is that we mature as we come to a greater realization of what we already have in Christ. The gospel, in fact, transforms us precisely because it’s not itself a message about our internal transformation but about Christ’s external substitution. We desperately need an advocate, mediator, and friend. But what we need most is a substitute—someone who has done for us and secured for us what we could never do and secure for ourselves. (94, Kindle Edition)”

Dr. David Murray writes…
I agree that the Gospel is certainly a message about Christ’s external substitution. But it does not stop there. The Gospel is also a message about internal transformation (a major part of sanctification). Christ saves us from our sins objectively and subjectively, from the penalty of sin and the presence of sin.

In this next excerpt, Tullian says that Christian growth (sanctification) is looking away from self and looking to Jesus and His performance for us. But is that the whole of sanctification? It’s certainly the essence of justifying faith, and the beginning of sanctifying growth. But it’s not the whole of growth, it’s not the sum of sanctification.:

Pastor Tullian…

“The hard work of Christian growth, therefore, is to think less of ourselves and our performance and more of Jesus and his performance for us. Ironically, when we focus mostly on our need to get better, we actually get worse. We become neurotic and self-absorbed. Preoccupation with our effort instead of with God’s effort for us makes us increasingly self-centered and morbidly introspective. (95)”

In this next paragraph, the confusing overlapping is even more obvious:

Again, think of it this way: sanctification is the daily hard work of going back to the reality of our justification. It’s going back to the certainty of our objectively secured pardon in Christ and hitting the refresh button a thousand times a day. (95)

If all he is saying is that sanctification begins with our appropriating justification, and is fueled by it, then yes, I agree. But I think he’s going further than that, by suggesting that the totality of sanctification involves going back to our justification. This seems to be confirmed by what he writes in the same context:

Think of what Paul tells us in Philippians 2:12: “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” We’ve got work to do—but what exactly is it? Get better? Try harder? Pray more? Get more involved in church? Read the Bible longer? What precisely is Paul exhorting us to do? He goes on to explain: “For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (v. 13). God works his work in you, which is the work already accomplished by Christ. Our hard work, therefore, means coming to a greater understanding of his work. And so it is that we move further into the gospel, into a deeper, bigger, brighter understanding of all that God has already achieved for us in Christ. (95-96)


Is it correct to say that the “work” that we are called to, and that results from God’s work in us, is simply understanding more, believing more, trusting more? Sure, this is the core of justification, and the foundation and cement of sanctification. But it’s not the whole of sanctification. It’s not every brick of it.

Here are some further quotes that only heightened my anxiety about Tullian’s emphasis:

Growth in the Christian life is the process of receiving Christ’s “It is finished” into new and deeper parts of our being every day, and it happens as the Holy Spirit daily carries God’s good word of justification into our regions of unbelief—what one writer calls our “unevangelized territories.” (78)

In this definition of growth (sanctification), where is the “being enabled to die to sin, and live to righteousness” as described by the Westminster Catechism? Where is the doing and not doing?

I like to remind myself and others that the only thing you contribute to your salvation and to your sanctification is the sin that makes them necessary. (104)

Contribution to salvation = nil! Yes. Contribution to sanctification = nil! No. We are enabled to die to sin and live to righteousness. We are enabled to do and not do. Our (enabled) doing and not doing is part of our sanctification. For example, when Peter protested his love to Jesus, Jesus told him to start feeding his lambs, which involved stopping doing one thing and starting to do another (John 21).

Please read the rest of Dr. David Murray’s critique here..