Comments on “Fool’s Gold”

Well I was asked on a previous post what “Fool’s Gold” says about the New Perspective on Paul movement.

Let me start off by saying I haven’t really studied up on this topic. To me it seems pointless just from the highlights I have read. I am not familiar with N.T Wright or any of his teaching, so I really cannot say anything about him. I will for the most part being pulling samples from the chapter, with maybe some commentary on the side

Phil Johnson
is the author of this chapter and gives a very good explanation of what NPP is and its history.

NPP actually began forming shortly after World War II, gained momentum by James Dunn in 1982 and made popular by Anglican archbishop N.T Wright.

so what is the new perspective we should have on Paul? Well according to Wright and others what has happened is everyone through church history has looked at Justification by faith through the wrong glasses.
As Johnson says on page 62

The debate is not merely an academic quarrel over unimportant hermeneutical nuances; it involves some real and significant threats to the doctrine Martin Luther called “the article by which the church stands or falls”- the doctrine of justification by faith.

and that is the crux of the issue. Not sentence structure but if Augustine,Luther,Calvin, and the other great reformers were wrong and Rome was right.

Johnson goes on to list the 4 “pillars” of NPP thinking
1. Paul was not fighting legalism
2. Racial Reconciliation was Paul’s primary Emphasis
3. Gospel is a Declaration of Victory
4. A redefining of Justification by Faith

The rest of the chapter is focused on N.T Wright and his book “What Saint Paul Really Said”
.I am not going to recopy all of Johnsons points, but he does a very good job of looking at what Wright is saying and giving a clear analysis of it.
One point that stuck out to me and Johnson evens says this a couple of time, is that when taking sides between the reformers and Rome, Wright ends up either on Rome side or neutral (if that is even possible).

Finally, Johnson gives four ways to respond to WRight’s view of justification by faith

1.Scripture should inform our understanding of first-century Judaism.
2.Scripture should shape our understanding of Paul’s teachings
3.Scripture should frame our understanding of the Gospel
4.Scripture should be the final arbiter of all our opinions

As with every other doctrinal issue our source of truth come only from God’s holy word.

I will close with Johnson’s own words

Frankly,we’re happy to stand with Augustine and Luther and the rest of the Protestant Reformers-and with the Old-Perspective apostle Paul-against doctrine that weakens the very heart of the gospel. It is both suprising and saddening to see a novelty like this seducing so many men who profess to be Reformed in their theology. In reality, the New Perspective on Paul does not build on the advances of the Protestant Reformation. Rather it aims at destroying the Reformation at its very foundation.

I am a happy man!!!!

John Macarthur has now joined the podcast community!!!

Grace to You Podcast

all you have to do is dl itunes go to “advance”—>”subscribe to podcast” and enter the url above….

checked today and there are 5 episodes up.

speaking of J-Mac he posted a blog over at Phil Johnson’s blog site

here is the link

John MacArthur Blog

here is a small section of it…

No communicator wants to mangle the message. But for Christian communicators the need to get the message right is elevated to the height of a sacred duty. Perhaps we can smile and pardon an affliction like William Spooner’s, but we certainly cannot tolerate any distortion of divine truth that results from traits such as sloppy thinking, laziness, carelessness, apathy, or indifference. More sinister yet is the tendency to sidestep elements of truth or water down the message because of a desire to please people, a love of worldly praise, or a lack of holy courage.

If anything, the obligation to communicate the truth of the gospel clearly and accurately weighs more heavily on our generation than on those who have gone before us, because our opportunities are so much greater. Luke 12:48 says, “From everyone who has been given much shall much be required.”

What I am Reading


* “Fool’s Gold”( John Macarthur)- This is the second time i have read this book and it is just as good as the first one. Macarthur and the staff at Grace Community Church deal with some of the modern trends within the church ( Purpose driven Life, Wild at Heart, Praise Choruses, Alter Calls, New Perspective on Paul, and others). This is a very good critique of teh latest “flavors of the month” (well minus the Prayer of Jabezz..ugg)
* “Grace Unknown” ( R.C Sproul)- i am jumping between chapters with this book. Having already read this book, i am reading parts that i am still trying to grasp (covenant theology being one…read my blog). This book is a very good history and explanantion of reformed theology. For anyone with questions about the 5 pillars of reformed thinking ( or T.U.L.I.P) this is a very good book.
* “The Passion of Jesus Christ” (John Piper)- Borrowed this one from the Library, since it is such a small book (128 pages) hasnt taken to long to read. The book is Piper using scripture to explain one of the biggest question for a Christian..”Why?” Why was Jesus Christ crucified? Why did he suffer so much? What has this to do with me? “Who sent him to his death?”. It is Piper so you know it is great!
* “The Cross Centered Life” (C.J Mahanney)- Not reading it, but it is on my list. Downloaded one of his messages and he blew me away! The man is as funny as Steve Martin and theologically sound like John Macarthur. He is the founder of Soverign Grace Ministry. If his book is half as powerful as his sermon my collection will expand!

These are the blogs that i read everyday by great men of the faith. A blog is basically a journal. So it is great to have pastors writings on the events of the day or just what they are studying.

* Phil Johnson (RSS) – Phil is on staff at Grace Community and help in writing some of the chapters of “Fool’s Gold”. Funny guy and great insight. Awesome thinker (even if he is a cub fan)
* Albert Mohler (RSS) – Mr Mohler is president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kentucky. Great man of God and theologically sound.
* Steve Camp (RSS) – Most will know Steve Camp for his music, but I am now starting to see him as a great communicator as well. After his controversial “107 thesis” on the state of Contemporary Christian Music, he has become a beacon of truth within post modernism
* Reformation 21 (RSS) -This is the blog site for the “Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals”. With notable pastors such as John Macarthur, R.C Sproul, John Piper, C.J Mahaney, Mark Dever, J Ligon Duncan, and Albert Mohler.

Praise Chorus Annalysis

Above all powers
Above all things
Above all nature and all created things
Above all wisdom and all the ways of man
You were here before the world began

Above all kingdoms
Above all thrones
Above all wonders the world has ever known
Above all wealth and treasures of the earth
There’s no way to measure what You’re worth

Laid behind the stone
You lived to die
Rejected and alone
Like a rose trampled on the ground
You took the fall
And thought of me
Above all

This song is number 10 on the top 25 Praise Songs, that are sung in churches based on CCLI.
Today i wanted to look at the last part of the chorus and show how humanism has slid into our much so, that we havent even realized it..

Like a rose trampled on the ground
You took the fall
And thought of me
Above all

I am going to assum that Paul Baloche and Lenny Leblanc were just going for a phrase that would help with the flowwing, but this statement moves beyond a spiritual God Glorifing song to a humanistic self esteem builder flower song.

Christ’s death was not for ME above all. Christ death,burial, and resurection ultimatly was for God’s Glory. Period. I bring nothing to the table in teh plan of redemption,justification, sanctification, and glorifcation. Nothing. no matter what schuller, Osteen, and Warren want to think…I am a poor miserable sinner. My good works are “crap” when it comes to obtaining the standard that God has set.

From Genesis to teh maps, the Bible has been a picture showing God Glorifing Himself. And the same is true with Christs death. His sole purpose was to Glorify God.

Westminster Shorter Catechism says this in question 1

Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?

A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

Our cheif end is to Glorify God! Not ourselves!!!

So now my main issue is not really with the song, but the music ministers that have picked this song (and others like it…or worse) and sing it week after week in their congregation.
Its bad enough that somewhere along the way music became more important than preaching (45 min singing to 15 preaching…something odd there eh?), but to have that time devoted to “7-11” choruses, doctrinally bland songs, or “Jesus is my Girlfriend” choruses, is just sickening.
I heard the other day that a music minister at a local church could not even carry on a basic conversation on doctrinal issues!!! this clergyman is on staff and can’t talk about basic issues!! and he is picking songs out week after week preparing teh hearts for the word!!

If you look in that old hymnal that has now been thrown away for the new projector screen and power point presentation, you will find songs that are filled with deep theological truths!!
I will close this blog with one of my fav. one that conveys that there is nothing I can do to obtain God’s grace and favor!

Not What My Hands Have Done-Horatius Bonar

1. Not what my hands have done
Can save my guilty soul;
Not what my toiling flesh has borne
Can make my spirit whole.
Not what I feel or do
Can give me peace with God;
Not all my prayers,
And sighs and tears
Can bear my awful load.

2. Thy work alone, O Christ,
Can ease this weight of sin
Thy blood alone O Lamb of God,
Can give me peace within.
Thy love to me O God,
Not mine, O Lord, to Thee
Can rid me of
This dark unrest,
And set my spirit free!

3. Thy grace alone, O God,
To me can pardon speak;
Thy power alone O Son of God,
Can this sore bondage break.
No other work, save Thine,
No other blood will do,
No strength save that,
Which is divine,
Can bear me safely through.

4. I bless the Christ of God;
I rest on love divine;
And with unfaltering lip and heart,
I call this Savior mine.
His cross dispels each doubt,
I bury in His tomb
My unbelief,
And all my fear,
Each lingering shade of gloom.

5. I praise the God of grace,
I trust His truth and might
He calls me His, I call Him mine,
My God, my joy, my light
’Tis He Who saveth me,
And freely pardon gives
I love because
He loveth me,
I live because He lives!

Infant Baptism

This post will be a little diff than my others in that i am looking for feedback and discussion.

Growing up the thought of paedobaptism vs credobaptism never even crossed my mind. In fact i just assumed it was a catholic practice and had no biblical basis behind it.

With me being married and the thought of kids in the future this subject has now come to the front of my mind.

Is there a place for infant baptism within Christandom? is baptism a replacement of circumsicion in the old testament? What is the scriptural basis for or against?

I have read some of both sides of the argument and must say i have not seen anything on both ends that really gives me a definitive answer.

i know this is a non-essential doctrinal point, and that either view could be right or wrong, but i am basically wanting to breath some life into the blog. and what better way than to bring discussion to it.

I was reading this lecture from Dr. Kim Riddlebarger and he gives a couple of credobaptism (belivers baptism) objections and paedpbaptism responses to those objections.
so far this lecture (along with r.c sproul’s sermon)has made teh most sense to me..

here are the objections credobaptist have with infant baptism…

1. “There is a clear command to baptize believers but no command to baptize infants”

2. “The Scriptural order is always believe and then be baptized (see Acts 11:14; 16:15, 31; 18:8; 1 Corinthians 1:16)” [Ryrie, Basic Theology, 423]. According to Nettles, “Every Baptism recorded is a baptism of a professed believer (e.g., Acts 8:12; 35-38)” [Nettles, “Baptists” 22]. “In this infant baptism is expressly contradicted” [Strong, Systematic Theology, 952].

3. “Baptism is the initiatory rite into a believing community; the church. Therefore, it should only be done to believers” [Ryrie, Basic Theology, 423; cf. Also Strong, Systematic Theology, 958; and Nettles, “Baptists” 23-25, and Welty, “A Critical Evaluation of Paedobaptism,” who’s argument about the New Covenant and the character of the church we will view in some detail later–see # 7].

4. When all household passages are taken into view, two significant conclusions can be reached. One, the descriptions given of households never mention an infant and show that a household does not necessarily include infants. Two, every description of baptized households gives compelling evidence that all the baptized people exhibited personal faith before they were baptized. They were instructed, they feared God, they rejoiced, they served” [Nettles, “Baptists” 22-23]. According to Charles Ryrie, “The age of the children is never mentioned in any passage that mentions household baptism. But it is said that all who were baptized in those households believed. This, then, would exclude infants from being included in the baptisms” [Ryrie, Basic Theology, 423; cf Ericksen, Christian Theology III. 1102-1103].

5. A fifth line of argumentation taken by many Baptists is to show the supposedly implausible nature of the logical conclusions of some of proof-texts for infant baptism. Ryrie objects that “If 1 Corinthians 7:14 allows or requires the baptism of children in a household where there is a believing parent, then it would also allow or require the baptism of the unbelieving mate” [Ryrie, Basic Theology, 423]. The same case is made by some that if baptism replaces circumcision, why are females baptized, when baptism was only limited to males? This supposedly proves a basic hermeneutic of discontinuity. Calvinistic Baptist Greg Welty argues that the supposed inconsistency of the fact that paedobaptists baptize their infants but do not serve them the Lord’s Supper is a great problem, since while arguing for continuity, on this point, paedobaptists “smuggle in discontinuities not warranted by the text of Scripture, but required if insoluble difficulties in the practice of infant baptism are to be avoided” [Welty, “A Critical Evaluation of Paedobaptism,” 9-11].

6. According to Tom Nettles, “Baptists also point to the reality that everyone accepts believers baptism no matter what else they may add….Those who accept infant baptism, therefore, must say that it is the same as Believer’s Baptism or it is different. If different then there are two theologies of baptism, one plain in Scripture and one hidden. If paedobaptists…must consider infants as believers capable of giving evidence of their belief, or that the belief of a substitute is in no way inferior to their own, that is a difficult case to prove” [Nettles, “Baptists” 23].

7. Reformed hermeneutics and the stress upon continuity lends itself to the practice of infant baptism. But don’t the Scriptures teach that in the New Covenant [Jeremiah 31:31 ff], “they will all know me,” and therefore, even under covenantal terms, infant baptism is necessarily excluded?

8. What then, according to Baptists, are we to do with our children? Since the Scriptures say they are fallen and sinful, we withhold from them the sign of new life.

are these enough reasons to reject infant baptism all together? seems the crux of their objections is that there is no clear commandment in scripture supporting infant baptism.

Also a side note…not one paedobaptist i have read or heard denies believers baptism. just something to think about..

so let the discussion begin. please be nice, and do not revert to strawmen or Ad Hominem please..and try to use scripture as much as you can…

Golden Corral Worship

I was looking at a very popular church that has been making headlines and came across something that struck me as odd…

Not everyone has the same taste in worship style. That’s why we’ve put together different worship venues on the campus each weekend. At these venues, you’ll get the same teaching as everyone else through a live video feed from the main service, but with a smaller, more intimate style. Plus, each of the venues have live bands with a little different music style than the Worship Center.

and here are the diff styles…

Praise- If you love gospel music and would love to sing more as part of your worship experience– come to PRAISE!

Overdrive- Overdrive is worship with guitars, drums and lights in a concert-like setting.

Ohana- Our island-style venue, complete with hula and island-style music. Get away to the islands for a time of worship with the same message!

Elevation- “E1-current Venue Tent 2 (ASL Interpreted): Edgy Christian radio hits and cool lighting effects! E1-basic Plaza Room: Progressive praise & worship with an introspective delivery. Designed for young single adults.”

Passion- Passionately encounter God through a more intimate atmosphere in Venue Tent 2. The whole service has a younger feel… and we have plenty of parking!

so we have 6 diff types of worship service (there are actually a couple more a regualr service and a spanish service)fo no matter what music style you are into.

but reading this and teh website in general just seems like nothing more than a commercial for this church. do you have a need for hawaiian music? we can fill that need. do you hate sitting next to an old lady who like southern gospel? dont worry we can put you in a smoke filled room with lights and loud music. you now have spiritual segregation.

i was talking to a music minister one night and he told me his church was considering going to 2 services, a contemporary and traditional (which i got a letter in teh mail saying that they have started this as a full time thing). when i heard this my first thought was what will be next? seems churches have changed from giving people what they need to what they want.

i love music. i love rock, mellow, folk, and everything in between. but, my musical preference is not a mandate or should be a concern of my worship. for church is not about what felt needs get met, but what sin in my life needs forgivness. reading this i am reminded of what Spurgeon said one time..

“If you have to give a carnival to get people to come to church, then you will have to keep giving carnivals to keep them coming back.”

and today alot of modern churches are nothing more than a carnival. each church has to step it up, because games are old school. drama is last season. even teaching has went through a transformation. because, preaching on sin is old, reading the scripture is out and applicational stories is in.

we as teh body of Christ are not called to sugar teh message. we are not called to do whatever it takes to get people into churches. we are called to PREACH THE WORD. period. nothing more. nothing less.

I believe having an arminian (and Charles Finney) view of lost souls contributes to this. Since the ends justifies teh means, anything goes. We can promise people a chance to win a new car if they come to church, and are justified for evangelising no matter what it takes.
we must realize that Christ has called those whom he will redeem. he doesnt need me and my marketing savy ideas. so all i need to do is PREACH THE WORD.
quit taking Robert Schuller’s approach and change your church based on what those around you want.

I am now going to go put my hawaiian shirt and go to bed….


i now have traceback…

please pardon as i try to figure this out!!