The Kuyperian Commentary

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

Archive for the tag “Catholic”

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!

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The Battle in Bear Country » Sullivan v Wilson: Is Civil Marriage for Gay Couples Good for Society?

The University of Idaho hosted a public debate, to a crowd of over 800, on February 27, 2013. The debate was participated in by Andrew Sullivan, blogger and former senior editor of The Atlantic, and Douglas Wilson, pastor of Christ Church of Moscow, ID, author and educator. The topic of the debate: Is Civil Marriage for Gay Couples Good for Society?

Battle of the Beards

Battle of the Beards

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First Black Pope? Sign of End Times?

On Monday, Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation effective Feb. 28, citing poor health, speculation is already mounting about his potential replacement.

Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace,  Archbishop emeritus of Cape Coast (Ghana), was born on 11 October 1948 in Wassaw Nsuta, Ghana.

And Cardinal Peter Turkson, is qualified enough to be a potential option. He is President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Archbishop emeritus of Cape Coast (Ghana), was born on 11 October 1948 in Wassaw Nsuta, Ghana. He was ordained for the Diocese of Cape Coast on 20 July 1975 and holds a doctorate in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome.

At a 2009 news conference, Turkson was asked whether he thought the time was right for a black Pope. “Why not?” Turkson replied. He argued that every man who agrees to be ordained a priest has to be willing to be a Pope, and is given training along the way as bishop and cardinal.

He could be the first Black Pope!

This is more significant than just being the first Black Pope. Many prophecy wonks believe that a Pope named ‘Peter the Roman’ will be the last Pope. “The Prophecy of the Popes,” attributed to Saint Malachy, is a list of 112 short phrases in Latin. The prophecy claims that this pontificate will end in the destruction of the city of Rome.

He could be the last Pope!

This prophecy is interesting, we have to hope in a sense that it is true. The end of the papal seat would be the first great step toward a truly catholic church. This is an opportunity for Reformed Christians to call the Roman communion back to the Scriptures (having called ourselves back first, of course). We pray that Roman Catholics would return to the tradition of Gregory – who refused the title “Universal Pope.”

Our prayer for the Roman Catholic Church should be that of St. Clement:

“For it is to the humble that Christ belongs, not to those who exalt themselves over his flock. The scepter of the majesty of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, did not come with the pomp of pride or arrogance, though he could have, but in humility”

Is this the End Times?

Evangelicals and Catholics will now begin to speculate on how today’s news will be a sign of the “end times,”  but we know that the end is NOT yet. We need to read the future in the context of what our Lord has said in His word, not human events. The newspaper is not God’s means of relaying prophesy. Everything we need to know has already been printed and we can find comfort and boldness in His word. The sky is not falling. St. John’s Apocalypse teaches instead that Christians will overcome all opposition through the work of Jesus Christ. Most of the confusion over the meaning of the prophecy has resulted from a failure to read this book in the context of the entirety of scripture.

St. John writes that the book concerns “the things which must shortly take place” (1:1), and warns that “the time is near” (1:3). In case we might miss it, he says again, at the close of the book, that “the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must shortly take place” (22:6). Given the fact that one important proof of a true prophet lay in the fact that his predictions came true (Deut. 18:21-22), St. John’s first-century readers had every reason to expect his book to have immediate significance. The words “shortly” and “near” simply cannot be made to mean anything but what they say. Some will object to this on the basis of 2 Peter 3:8, that “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” But the context there is entirely different: Peter is exhorting his first-century readers to have patience with respect to God’s promises…

David Chilton,  Days of Vengeance

Days of Vengeance David Chilton Steve MaciasDavid Chilton wrote the most comprehensive verse by verse treatment of the Book of Revelation. His book The Days of Vengeance  still remains one of the most helpful tools at truly understanding what is meant by the “end times.”

Revelation remains, though, a challenging and relevant book for us, not because it gives an outline of world history with special reference to our era, but because it shows us that Christ is in control of world history, and how we should live and pray and worship. In vivid powerful imagery it teaches us what it means to believe in God’s sovereignty and justice.

Gordon Wenham
The College of St. Paul and St. Mary Cheltenham, England 

Buy today: The Days of Vengeance: An Exposition of the Book of Revelation

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What NOT To Give Up For Lent

Everyone will soon be sharing what they will “give up” for this Lenten season. And whether you’re Roman Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian, Anglican, or Lutheran, it is easy to predict that most people will choose silly things to “give up”.

Christianity Today posts a list from Twitter of the top 100 Lenten sacrifices, I’ll post the top ten here to show what I mean.

1. Twitter
2. Chocolate
3. Swearing
4. Alcohol
5. Soda
6. Facebook
7. Fast food
8. Sex
9. Sweets
10. Meat

These are great examples of what NOT to give up for Lent. Lent is not a 40 day long New Years resolution, yet this is what “fasts” like these above make it out to be.

Like all the Church Calendar, Lent is modeled after the ministry of Christ. Forty days, in commemoration of the forty days Jesus spent fasting in the desert, enduring temptation by Satan before the beginning of his public ministry.

Rev. Steven Wilkins describes the abuses of Lent as such,

I know that traditionally, Christians have “given up” something for Lent and usually that “something” has been something they particularly enjoy. This may be seen as a form of “fasting” I guess, but if it is, it’s a very pale shadow of what “fast” (doing without food of any kind) really means. I understand the rationale for the practice, but given it’s very limited focus, it seems to me to miss the point of fasting in general and is easily metamorphosed into something like a “Pharisaical” act (i.e. “God surely must be pleased with me since He sees me foregoing my usual afternoon grande chocolate-caramel-cinnamon mocha latte with extra foam, which I’m absolutely dying to have right now!”).

Read his Post Why Lent? here

The heart of Christian reality is a society – a trinity- of persons living with and for one another. Our Lenten sacrifices should remind us of how we have sinned against the Triune God, and our neighbor-not serve as some superficial monastic flagellation.

As we develop our Lenten sacrifices we should move away from petty moralism and understand that as a Reformed Protestant, Lent is going to look much different for us than for the Roman Catholics. The early protestants were accused by the Roman Catholics of having a faith that was, “too glad to be true,” as C.S. Lewis once said. The Bible tells us that Jesus, “for the joy set before Him endured the cross” (Heb. 12:2). If the gruesome cross was a joy, what does that say about his fast in the wilderness?

All of Christian living is joyous, not morbid. Fasting and somberness in themselves do not contribute to holiness, and the council of Nicaea even forbade fasting on the Lord’s day.

In closing:

And if you fast, let your fasting and prayer be toward particular ends, particular needs, particular hurts, not vague feelings. Fasting does not benefit us. Fasting is a bodily posture. Just as you might kneel or lift your hands in prayer, so too fasting is a posture of humility and urgency… abstaining ought to always be pointed toward some sort of giving. If we celebrate Lent as a community it ought to be an obvious blessing to everyone around us. – Pastor Toby Sumpter

Remembering that we are to:

Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart.
Ecclesiastes 9:7-10 (NKJV)

Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a link is given.

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