The Kuyperian Commentary

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

Archive for the tag “Roman Catholic”

On the Incarnation by St. Athanasius

by Adam McIntosh

It didn’t hurt that at the time of writing Pope Francis and Redeemed Atheists I had been reading through On the Incarnation by St. Athanasius. Naturally, my thoughts have been focused on the incarnation and the resurrection of the dead for the last several weeks. I decided it would be fitting to post a review of the book.

Athanasius begins by setting forth the deity and pre-existence of Christ. Jesus is the Word of the Father and it was through the Word that all things were made. This is important to incarnational theology because it means that the creator of humanity is the same one who re-creates humanity. Athanasius eloquently explains:

The renewal of creation has been wrought by the self-same Word who made it in the beginning. There is thus no inconsistency between creation and salvation for the one Father has employed the same agent for both works, effecting the salvation of the world through the same Word who made it in the beginning.”

But why does man need saving? Athanasius summarizes man’s nature in the Garden of Eden as being subject to corruption, but shielded from corruption because of their union with the incorruptible God. When Adam and Eve sinned, however, their union with God was broken and they became the cause of their corruption. At that point man began to die just as God had warned if unfaithful to his Word. Athanasius goes on to describe the level of wickedness man continued to involve himself: adultery, theft, murder, rape, war, and homosexuality. This is why humanity needed saving. The image of God on earth was “disappearing” and God’s work of creation was being “undone.” 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…

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…

Benny Hinn’s Son Arrested in Brazil

Mixed blessing: Mr Hinn was performing in the Brazilian city of Manaus, Hestephenson Araujo, 21, approached the stage carrying a bottle of water, later claiming he only wanted a blessing from the famous evangelistJoshua Hinn, the son of the famed evangelist Benny Hinn, was arrested in Brazil, reports Daily Mail. The charge is that Joshua Hinn allegedly beat up a deaf and dumb man during one of his father’s rallies. The man, Hestephenson Araujo, 21, approached the stage with a bottle of water and was immediately tackled by two of Hinn’s bodyguards. Mr. Araujo alleged he only wanted to be blessed by the evangelist who is worth more than $40 million.

The deaf and blind man will get a blessing from the evangelist, not a healing, but a large sum of money:

According to police, Mr Araujo’s father, a sign language translator, entered into an agreement with Benny Hinn’s representatives to not press charges against the men.

Police sources told Brazilian website Portal do Holanda that the agreement involved a “large sum of money”.

Hinn’s controversial healing ministry has made him one of the richest pastors in the world. Brazil, home of the largest Roman Catholic population in the world, is now also the home of an increasing market for neo-Pentecostalism (of which Hinn is usually associated). According to Forbes:

While Catholicism still preaches a very conservative look to an afterlife instead of earthly riches, evangelicals–especially the ‘neo-Pentecostal’ ones–are taught that it’s all right to be prosperous. This doctrine, known as ‘Prosperity Theology,’ is in the foundation of the most successful evangelical churches in Brazil.

Hinn’s personality and message make him a beloved figure in the broadly Pentecostal scene. As evangelicals continue to grow in Brazil (mainly through neo-Pentecostalism), Hinn and his theology have become largely accessible to the Brazilian population. Most of his writings are translated into Portuguese and his ministry is becoming more and more at home in the land of samba and futebol.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2280403/Evangelist-Benny-Hinns-son-arrested-Brazil-beating-deaf-dumb-man-fathers-events.html#ixzz2LMkn7QFg

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