The Kuyperian Commentary

Politics, Economics, Culture, and Theology with a Biblical Viewpoint

Archive for the tag “bible”

10 Bread Symbols In the Bible You Should Know

By Steve Macias

A post about bread? You butter believe it. No bun intended. It’s a Manna-festo. 😉

Bread

Both the Old and New Testaments include lots of references to bread: Jesus was born in the “house of bread” – Bethlehem, bread is central to the ritual Jesus himself prescribes to the church, and even takes a clause in the Lord’s prayer. We “knead” to be familiar with the Bible’s use of bread. (Last pun, I promise.) Symbolism is important because it shapes how we understand God.

“The universe and everything in it symbolizes God. That is, the universe and everything in it points to God. This means that the Christian view of the world is and can only be fundamentally symbolic. The world does not exist for its own sake, but as a revelation of God.” [2]

Read more…

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Cheerios, Racism, and the Plan for the Whole Earth

by Luke Welch

This is a wonderful video. Apparently 7% (about 1,000 out of 14,000 total) of the people commenting have given a thumbs down (at the moment I checked), because they disapprove of some people descended from Noah marrying other people descended from the same guy: Noah.

Hmmm. It occurs to me that lots of these people probably think the Bible tells us not to allow for so called “inter-racial” marriages.

Read more…

The Righteous Anger of a Four-Year Old

By Uri Brito

Response to Comments: I am pleased with the enormous response. As of now there have been over 500 views. The vast majority of responses were very supportive and expressed in one way or another the sadness, but also the hope that a new generation will turn this evil tide in our country.

As I expected there were a couple of negative responses. The responses can be summarized in the following manner: “Abortion is such a difficult issue, and to expose a four year old to such an issue can be unhealthy.” One comment referred to the topic of abortion as “intense.” I do not wish to spend too much time with a lengthy response, except to say the following: Read more…

What Saint Peter Really Said

"That's just the funny thing about it, Sir," said Peter. "Up till now, I'd have said Lucy every time."

“That’s just the funny thing about it, sir,” said Peter. “Up till now, I’d have said Lucy every time.” (Lewis: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe)

In the last decade, a tragic conversation has taken place between people in the evangelical world over the meaning of the word “justification.” Part of the reason that the conversation has been tragic is because of the quick assumption by so many that grown pastors lie through their teeth when carefully and consistently reiterating their own theology.  But it has also been tragic because the accusation has never been about the meaning of the word “justification” in the BIBLE. Rather, it has basically assumed that the biblical definition is the same as the definition in the Westminster Standards, and that if you talk about distinctions in the Bible, you must be denying the content of the Standards.

Now before I say too much more, I want to state on the record that I believe we enter into salvation by faith alone (not works) in Christ alone. It is all of grace.

I also want to point out that what has happened in the great debates on justification is in large part due to confusing the definition of two real things, a trap that means an attempt at fixing either definition sounds like the denial of the other.  How does this work?

Imagine that there are people living in India. They are called Indians. And imagine you are traveling westward from Europe, instead of south and around Africa to get to the land of the Indians. You believe that the earth is round and small, and that you will get there quickly. When you do get to these Indies, lands of the Indians, lo and behold: you find Indians!

Read more…

Rhetorical Hit, Theological Miss

A couple months ago, Mary Elizabeth Williams posted a column at Salon.com entitled, “So What If Abortion Ends Life?”  The vitriolic nature of the piece prevails from the title to the final phrase, designed to enflame the most seasoned of post-Roe veterans on both sides of the debate.  Her flippant handling of what’s often considered a sacred issue does its job.  The article was low on fact and high on accusation, but it is still able to accomplish its goal of engendering strife and perhaps, even a little bit of nausea.  However, as acerbic as the article is, Ms. Williams makes two salient points.  The first is about the use of language in public debate and the second about the arbitrary philosophical distinction in the “life-begins-somewhere-other-than-conception” camp.

Her immediate use of the phrase “diabolically clever” is diabolically clever, because it automatically brings to mind thoughts of a red-clad, pitchfork-wielding imp, mostly drawn from religious allusions.  Comparing the religious-right with the devil will certainly get folks stirred up in a hurry.  Then they’re not seeing straight when she gets to her arguments later. But her use of rhetoric is not as prominent as her analysis of how rhetoric is used.  Her opening paragraph begins,

Of all the diabolically clever moves the anti-choice lobby has ever pulled, surely one of the greatest has been its consistent co-opting of the word ‘life’.  Life!  Who wants to argue with that?  Who wants to be on the side of…not-life?

Then with all the hubris she can muster, she boasts, “that throughout my own pregnancies, I never wavered for a moment in the belief that I was carrying a human life inside of me.  I believe that’s what a fetus is: a human life.  And that doesn’t make me one iota less solidly pro-choice.” Read more…

How Now Shall We Blog?

In a very refreshing and convicting piece by Ed Eubanks Jr. at ByFaithOnline, he walks through the ethics of blogging. He criticizes his own denomination (PCA) for being the genesis of many of these blogging wars. Eubanks observes that PCA pastors have through blogging caused great division and presbyterial chaos through their uncharitable posts.

In response, he considers Schaeffer’s question How Now Shall We Then Live and applies to it to the Christian blogging community. And then sets a Scriptural standard that is to be applied not only in our personal face-to-face encounters, but also in our faceless interactions on-line:

What should be the tone and approach of our blog posts and Twitter comments? Paul writes, “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3). Do our blog posts demonstrate humility and gentleness? Are they a clear exercise of patience and bearing with one another in love? Are they constructed in such a way as to maintain unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace?

My guess is many bloggers who followed this text– as it should be followed– would have to do a general clean-up of their blogs today. It is not that there is no room for healthy debate and discussion, but the tone of these debates and discussions is what is at stake.

As someone who has blogged for over a decade, I have done my share of damage and pugilistic posts. I have repented of them and I have erased many posts (the delete option is there for a reason). I have a process that I go through on my longer posts where I check not only grammar, but also tone. Would that wordpress provided that feature!

As we enter into the brightness of the Easter Season, we need to be reminded in this Lenten Season that our words are powerful ways of communicating who we are. Since the possibility of misunderstanding abounds, we need to be even more careful in how we write. The 9th commandments is not just for personal affairs, it is comprehensive for all affairs. We are what we write, and we write what we are.

Uri Brito is a blogging veteran and a lover of charitable discourse.

American Exceptionalism to the End. But to Which End?

Exceptionalism is a flag that a hopeful politician in America can hardly afford to keep at half mast. Hesitation on America’s greatness gets you names – at best, “isolationist”; at worst, “unpatriotic.”

Some sail the ship of political showmanship by insisting that America has it’s own proud circle on the charts in the back of your grandmother’s Scofield Reference Bible. Read more…

White Smoke, the New Pope, and the Future of the Roman Catholic Church

As the papal conclave is assembled, the list among the papabali–possible popes–reveal no clear favorite. . EuroNews informs:

Vatican workers installed a chimney on the Sistine Chapel that will tell the world when a successor to Pope Benedict XVI is decided.

The conclave between the Roman Catholic cardinals begins on Tuesday. Black smoke coming out of the chimney will tell the world that no decision has been made and white smoke will announce the new pontiff.

The installation of a new pope in the near future will bring many new challenges. The white smoke may signal a new phase in the Roman Catholic Church, but the new pope will have his hands full. As CBSNews reports:

The 266th pope faces massive challenges: the Catholic Church is losing believers to evangelical Protestants; it cannot shake off the seemingly endless scandal over clerical sex abuse; and has a crisis in the curia, the church’s management in Rome. Read more…

Bill O’Reilly, Robert Jeffress, “The Bible,” and the Truth of God’s Revelation

Bill O’Reilly had on Pastor Robert Jeffress of The First Baptist Church of Dallas, TX. Jeffress gained a lot of attention during the 2012 presidential elections when he opposed Romney—in favor of Perry—on the grounds that Romney was a Mormon. Jeffress argued that we needed an evangelical in the White House.

O’Reilly’s segment focused on whether the Bible should be understood literally or allegorically. The unstable Fox News host began the segment with an irresponsible remark:

“The Bible,” which was co-created by Mark Burnett and his wife, Roma Downey, “highlights fundamentalist Christian beliefs.”

The History Channel show can be debated (at another time), but the opening assumption already triggers the insult of ignorance of anyone who believes such events to be literal. “Fundamentalist Christian beliefs” is the media’s way of perpetuating evangelical Christians as theological dinosaurs. Further, it carries on the abusive stereo-types usually addressed towards Islamic radicals. If you are a fundamentalist, you are in some way capable of doing things the typical enlightened human being would never do. Read more…

A Prologue to Apologetics: A Layman’s Introduction to Presuppositionalism, Part II

Part I

In my first post on this Prologue to Apologetics series, I spoke about of the “big picture” of redemption. Now, admittedly, I left a number of things out. There’s only so much one can say in one sitting. Here I’ll expand on what I covered there: a biblical understanding of humans. First, it is of utmost important to note that humankind was created in the image of God. What does the image mean? Well, for one thing, it means we’re finite reflections of God. Of course, one could always ask, what does that mean? The biblical account highlights (among other things) two important notions that define the image of God. First, like God, we are to rule over creation, under God’s authority, and secondly, we are to fill the earth with more images of the creator. In theological terms, this is called Dominion and Dynasty. Much like the earthly rulers at the time of Moses who erected statues, or images, of themselves to represent their rule in their respective domains, God also placed images of Himself on the earth, to represent His rule.

The Tragedy of the Fall

Those who were to represent the divine King of the universe, the ones that were to fill the earth with godly offspring, were the very ones that cast off this honor and responsibility. The entire design of God’s creation is flipped on its head. The authority structure of God –> Adam –> Eve –> animal world is reversed. The serpent deceives Eve, Adam follows his wife, and then blames God! The entrance of sin into God’s good world is likewise described as the reversal of His design in Rom. 1:18-32. Scripture pulls no punches in describing the radical corruption of sin in the hearts of fallen humanity: mankind is evil from its youth (Gen. 8:21), has a heart that is deceitful above all things (Jer. 17:9), and loves darkness rather than light (John 3:19). We also find that their minds and consciences are corrupted (Titus 1:15), that they are by nature children of wrath (Eph. 2:3), of their father the devil (1 John 3:10), and sons of disobedience (Eph. 2:1).

Now we see the clarity of Jesus’ words in John 3, “That which is born of flesh is flesh” (v. 6). The natural, unregenerate, rebel sinner absolutely cannot, nor wills to become a regenerate, spiritual, servant of a holy God. We aggressively try to escape our design. Without a doubt, not one likes to hear this. But, we shouldn’t obscure what God has made clear. The instrumental reason that any person has ever had saving faith in, and love for, Christ is because of the gracious work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of God’s people. To state it in biblical terms, God’s removes the unrepentant sinner’s heart of stone and replaces it with a heart of flesh (Ezek. 36:26).

Why mention this in a prologue to apologetics? I’m convinced that unless the Christian has a biblically defined understanding of the unbeliever that he will ultimately develop an apologetic method that is not pleasing to our Lord. If you don’t know who you’re talking to, you won’t know how to address them. Read more…

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