No Gift Too Small

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. – 1 Corinthians 12:4-6

 

I was on social media a couple months ago and came across a post that shocked me.  It shocked me because you can sense by the tone that she was hurting.  Her tweet basically said that she has nothing to offer to the church.  This post was heartbreaking, and it had me wondering how many other people within the church may feel like this.  A priest responded with reassurance that she has a gift that nobody else in her church may have.  The next response was from a Southern Baptist pastor who said that there is no gift or deed to small, and that God can use anything for his glory.  It was encouraging to see over two hundred comments encouraging this individual.

What is the point of all of this?  In today’s passage we read that the Holy Spirit gives different gifts to different people.  No organization can function if everyone was doing the same thing, and the church is no different.  We all can’t be pastors or teachers.  Yes, sometimes those gifts get all the attention but if you ask any pastor, they would say that there is so much more going on behind the scenes than people may realize.  This was the point of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthian church.  Charles Spurgeon once said that the greatest gift that one could give him was to pray for him.  We can certainly do that a little more, thee are things in the church that can always be cleaned, Sunday School to be taught, ushers, greeters, and people to put together the bulletin.  There is no gift that is too small, and every gift is needed.

So what gift do you possess that could be used for the benefit of the church?  At the church I grew up in there was a woman named Delores who greeted everyone with a smiling face.  She made everyone feel welcomed, and when she passed to her eternal reward over 500 people attended her funeral.  Her story is a perfect example of something that seemed small, but had a huge impact for the kingdom.  Perhaps your gift is the same.  Let it shine and let God turn it into something that helps bear fruit for his kingdom.  You have a gift that we all need and the Lord will utilize it in a way that you can’t even begin to fathom.

 

Prayer:  Lord Jesus I humbly asked that you take the gift I have and use them for your glory.  Help me to understand what my gift is and submit it to your service.

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Reason and the Development of the Will

In the very beginnings of sacred scripture we read of the Lord creating.  Each step of creation ended a similar way with the words by describing their goodness.  In Genesis 1:31 God had just finished creating man and commanded them to procreate and exercise dominion over the Earth.  Genesis 1:31 states, “God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day” (NRSV).

Humanity was created uniquely different than the rest of creation.  God created humans with the ability to reason, with five senses to help us learn, and free will.  The combination of these work together to help us live in harmony with each other, in harmony with our creator, and assist us finding true happiness.  The intellect we were blessed with helps us rationalize.  Our intellectual knowledge originates in the five senses and internal sensory powers of common sense, estimation, memory, and imagination.

This intellectual knowledge that develops helps us form our will.  The purpose of the will is to direct action and direct the concupiscible and irascible appetites.  The concupiscible appetites are things like love, joy, desire, and sadness.  They work together to help us seek what is good and reject evil.  The irascible are attributes such as hope, courage, despair, and fear.  These attributes assist us in avoiding evils in which we may find compelling.  Together the concupiscible and irascible appetites are known as the sense appetites, and work to help us understand what is good and what is evil.  They help us establish the parameters in which we exercise the freedom which God has given us.  Regarding this freedom Servais Pinckaers writes, “It is the power to engage in excellent actions, actions that are true and good, even though the agent may in fact fail and do evil” (Pinckaers 68).

Looking back on my life I can see how these senses led me in the right direction.  How they allowed me to see what was right, what was the right path, and how I ignored it.  I think of an incident from my childhood in which I wanted a piece of candy at a store and was told no.  I wanted the candy and ate it in the middle of the store without paying.  I knew it was wrong and the senses mentioned above were telling me it was wrong.  However, I ignored them and partook in larceny to have that which I longed for.

This ignoring of what was supposed to be done made matters worse.  This is the effect of sin on the individual.  Every sin wounds the communion that we have with our creator.  Mortal sin goes a step further in that it ruptures the relationship completely.  For something to be a mortal sin it must meet the following three criteria:  It must involve grave matter, the individual must have full knowledge that it is sin, and there must be a deliberate consent to the act.  This is obviously not God’s will, and it is by doing God’s will that we find the happiness that we long for.  This is what James Keenan means when he writes, “Not only does love look for union, it also moves us toward freedom and truth.  Love then makes possible our search for a freedom for greater love and a truth to love rightly” (Ostrowski 27).

 

Works Cited

Ostrowski, Thaddeus ed.  Primary Source Readings in Christian Morality.  Saint Mary’s Press.  Winona, MN:  2008.  Print

Pinckaers, Servais.  Morality:  The Catholic View.  St. Augustine’s Press.  South Bend, IN:  201.  Print.

The Incarnation and the New Law of Grace

In sacred scripture we read that man was created he had a perfect relationship with God.  Man is the pinnacle of creation, and God gave man everything.  In return the Lord asked man not to each of one tree in the garden.  Man did not listen, rebelled, and had to face the consequences of sin for the first time.  The sin of our first parents also applies to us.  We all have sinned, and the penalty for that sin is death.  Saint Paul had the same opinion in Romans 6:23 which states, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (NRSV).  However, the second person of the blessed Trinity, Jesus himself became incarnate to atone and redeem us from our sin.

The incarnation was needed because we could not atone for our sin on our own.  Only someone who was perfect, and without sin could do that.  This perfect sacrifice, Jesus, would also show us the new law of grace.  A way of living, or new law of grace, shows us a deeper understanding of the law.  It shows us how it was supposed to be lived from the beginning, and the divine Son of God, showed us how to live it.  The new law is an interior, infused reality consisting in the grace of the Holy Spirit, received through faith in Jesus Christ and operating through charity.  These virtues, which are also taught in 1 Corinthians 13, are faith, hope, and charity.

Since becoming a catholic these three virtues have been instrumental in my life.  Faith is at the forefront, and the will of Christ is sought in everything that I do.  Faith is the starting point for the New Law, and “the starting point for Christian morality” (Pinckaers 85).  As a father of four, a husband, and one income life throws many curve balls.  Things have not been easy, but my wife and I maintain our hope in Christ.  It is this hope, through faith, that help us persevere and see the good even in the roughest circumstance.  No matter how tight things are we see that there are those who are having much larger problems than ourselves.  We strive to be good disciples, by not only having faith in Christ, but by also having charity.  We trust God for our needs but realize that we are commanded to love our neighbor as ourselves and strive to help whenever possible.  We have found that the practice of the infused virtues has deepened our faith and love for our fellow man.

Image result for incarnation

Works Cited

Pinckaers, Servais.  Morality:  The Catholic View.  St. Augustine’s Press.  South Bend, IN:  2001.  Print.

The Trinity and Knowability

The Trinity is a mystery that is dogma and must be believed for one to call themselves a Christian.  This is a leap of faith, because though we know it is true, we are not able to understand everything about it.  Do we need to understand everything about it in order to believe?  Some would say that to believe we must have absolute knowledge of the subject.  To not have this knowability is a contradiction in eyes of many.

There are many things that we have knowledge of, but we do not know absolutely.  The medical field is constantly changing and filled with new advances, but just a few decades ago the damage of cigarettes on the human body was not well known.  Is this a contradiction in the medical field?  Do we not adhere to the advice of our doctor because we do not have an absolute knowledge of his field?  To have that line of thinking borders on insanity.

There is no tension between the trinity and its knowability.  The Trinity was revealed very slowly in scripture because to reveal it right away would lead Israel into Tritheism.  They simply would not have understood it.  The members of the Trinity were together at one time at the baptism of Christ, and Christ mentioned all three.  For those who have issues believing the Trinity, St. Augustine asks a very interesting question.  Do you believe Jesus rose from the dead though you have never seen anyone else do the same (Augustine 7.5)?  We love the Lord Jesus though we have never seen him, and we love the other members of the Trinity as well.  We see the handiwork of the Trinity all around us.  The Trinity is one God with three persons, and we love them because they are God.  It does take an element of faith like most things in life.  That illumination that faith provides assists in understanding it a bit more.  If we fully understand everything there is to know about God, then he ceases being God.

 

Works Cited

Augustine of Hippo. Philip Schaff. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1887.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/130101.htm&gt;, accessed November 11, 2018.

The Need for Formal Formulation of Trinitarian Dogma

In the early church many were attempting to understand the divinity of Christ, and in extension the Holy Trinity.  Today, we have the benefit of the Church correcting false ideas.  However, when these ideas were formulated there was not a dogmatic decree regarding the Trinity though the dogma had been taught in the earliest days of the church.  The heresies of Monarchianism, Sabellianism, Subordinationism, and Arianism required that the church formally formulate the Trinitarian doctrine.

Dynamic Monarchianism taught that the Father was true God, and that Christ was a man who was indwelled with a divine spirit (Preuss 126).  Patripassian Monarchianism takes it a step further by acknowledging Christ as divine but does not go far enough as the two are not of the same substance.  Sabellianism, or Modalism as it is also called, taught that God manifested himself in different modes and that there was only one person of the Godhead.  In short, God was made up of one person (Garrigou-Lagrange Ch.5).  Arianism denied the divinity of Christ and taught that He was a creation of the Father (Lecture Notes), and this was also the Arian view of the Holy Spirit.  In that regard, he was subordinate to the Father.  The heresies mentioned all have elements of subordinationism, because in various respects the divinity of Christ and the Holy Spirit is lowered.

With these heresies being taught the souls of the faithful were at risk.  The church rightly saw that an attack on the persons of the Trinity was a salvific issue.  Afterall, if Christ was not fully divine then his sacrifice on the cross meant little or nothing.  The church responded to the heresies, and formally defined the Trinity at the Council of Nicea in 325.

 

Works Cited

Garrigou-Lagrange, Reginald.  The Trinity and God the Creator.  https://www.ewtn.com/library/THEOLOGY/TRINITY.HTM#05, accessed November 13, 2018.

Preuss, Arthur. The Divine Trinity.  https://archive.org/details/divinetrinityad00pohlgoog, accessed November 12, 2018.

Book Review: CSB Notetaking Bible

Earlier in the year I had the opportunity to review the new Christian Standard Bible when it was first released.  For those that don’t know, the CSB is an updated translation of the Holman Christian Standard Bible, or HCSB.  Though it isn’t my preferred translation, it is a good formal equivalent of the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts.

For this review Lifeway sent me the Sage design of the Notetaking Bible.  It has a floral theme, and the pages the words are printed on have a light green/cream tone to them.  Though I prefer regular old white paper, the these pages are easy on the eyes as light does not reflect off of them as easily.

The print is easy to read and is not to small.  Since it is a Notetaking bible there is plenty of room to make your own notes.  This is not a study bible so there is no commentary at the bottom.  There is also an absence of footnotes.  As previously stated, there is plenty of room to write one’s own notes.  If you like to take notes during sermons and Bible studies then this is a good Bible for you.

Image result for csb notetaking bible

[Note:  This book was provided free of charge from B&H in exchange for an honest review.]

Book Review: CSB Ultrathin Reference Bible

Late last year Holman announced that they will soon be releasing the Christian Standard Bible.  Like some of you, I groaned at the thought of another translation going into an already flooded market of English scripture translations.  The CSB is a revision of the popular Holman Christian Standard Bible that was released in 2004.

Holman described the CSB as neither a Dynamic or a formal equivalent translation, but describes it as an optimal translation.  The introduction to the CSB states, “Optimal equivalence as a translation philosophy recognizes that form cannot always be neatly separated from meaning and should not be changed unless comprehension demands it.”

The readability of the CSB is greatly improved over its HCSB counterpart.  Though the HCSB was fairly easy to read there were parts that did not flow well.  This has been corrected in the CSB.  Tradition theological vocabulary such as justification, sanctification, and the like have been retained .  The only drawback with the translation is regard to cultural ideology.  In the introduction the CSB states, “The goal of the translators has not been to promote a cultural ideology but to translate the Bible faithfully.  Recognizing modern English, the CSB regularly translates the Greek word for ‘man’ as ‘people’.”  That is perhaps the only drawback of the translation, as cultural factors are a factor in proper hermeneutics.

Overall the CSB Ultrathin Reference Bible is good looking with a nice leather exterior.  The pages are thin, but strong and will stand up to daily use.  All things considered it is a good translation.

[Note:  This book was provided free of charge from B&H Publishing in exchange for an honest review.]

Biblical Inerrancy Among Evangelicals from 1900-Present

When one studies the history of the evangelical movement it is fairly easy to see the foundation.  However, it is also beneficial to determine what an evangelical is.  Many today use the term, but they mean it in a different sense than what has been historically understood.  An evangelical is more than a protestant church goer, though it may be part of it.  What is an evangelical?  Regarding the definition theologian Alister McGrath writes the following six convictions that evangelicals hold in common: The scriptures are the supreme authority for what it means to be a Christian, Jesus is the incarnate Son of God and savior of man, the Lordship of the Holy Spirit, the need for conversion, evangelism is a priority for the church and individual Christian, and the importance of fellowship with a local church[1].

Definitions of what an evangelical is vary, but they are people of the book.  They hold the scriptures to be the inerrant Word of God, and through it we derive our doctrine[2].  Biblical inerrancy has long been a staple of the evangelical movement, and is essential to uphold doctrines such as the virgin birth, and the resurrection.  Evangelicals have a long tradition of defending inerrancy from those who see to undermine it.

THE BATTLE FOR INERRANCY

The confession of evangelicals through the ages is that the original autographs of scripture are infallible and without error[3].  This is passed down to the translations we have today because of the overwhelming amount of manuscript evidence that we have.  There are pieces of New Testament manuscripts that date to A.D. 125[4].  There are also whole codexes, such as Codex Sinaiticus, that are closely aligned to what we have today.  There are textual variants, but these variants are in spelling and do not affect doctrine.

Conservative evangelicals say that if scripture is our source for doctrine then we must listen to what scripture says about inerrancy.  Many passages of scripture speak of inerrancy, but there are two main ones used.  The first is 2 Peter 1:20-21 which states, ‘Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of scripture come’s rom one’s own interpretation.  For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit[5]  2 Timothy 3:16-17 is more popular and states, “All scripture is breathed out by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and training for righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work[6].”

Historically evangelicals have held very closely to the words the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy.  Paul wrote that scripture is theopneustos, or God breathed.  If we deny what is God breathed then a few things may start to happen.  We may wonder if God can really be trusted, we make our own intellect the final authority, and one may begin to think that scripture is wrong when it comes to doctrine[7].  Biblical inerrancy was the view of, not only evangelicals, but of the fathers of the early church.  Institutions and individuals take extremely high risks when inerrancy is abandoned[8].

 

RISE OF GERMAN RATIONALISM

To better understand the issue of inerrancy among evangelicals it is helpful to discuss what brought on the issue.  Germany has a long tradition of being a nation that loved the scriptures, after all this was the place where the Protestant Reformation was born.  However, in the 19th century saw the rise of rationalism.  This was a movement that started in German seminaries as a way of defending the scriptures on rational grounds[9].  Though the thought had good intentions the results were disastrous.  It had brought into question the authority and inerrancy of scripture.  This was not the intent of those involved.  A famous 19th/20th century church historian, Adolph Harnack, went the way of Marcion and called for the removal of the Old Testament from the canon[10].  Rationalism gave way to the canon of scripture no longer being closed.

The movement would eventually come to the United States where it expanded rather quickly.  The landscape of evangelicalism had drastically changed since inerrancy was changed.  This lead most Protestant leaders to fall into naturalism or modernism[11].  Leaders were now looking for the results of a scientific inquiry instead of the supernatural[12].  This had a paralyzing effect on seminaries, churches, and communities.  In regards to this Edward Gaustad writes, “Faith, one might have argued at such a time, led not to social stability and order but to social unrest and disorder[13].”

 

LIBERAL PROTESTANTISM VERSUS INERRANCY

Rationalism would evolve into liberal Protestantism, and those who held to the new theology became powerful.  They became leaders of seminaries, and were in charge of denominations.  One such example involved the great theologian B.B. Warfield.  He was a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary, and was trained by another great theologian by the name of Charles Hodge.  He and A.A. Hodge wrote an article detailing the view of inerrancy and inspiration that would be held by Princeton.  Regarding inspiration and inerrancy Warfield and Hodge write, “Besides this, the Scriptures are a record of divine revelations, and as such consist of words.… Infallible thought must be definite thought, and definite thought implies words.… Whatever discrepancies or other human limitations may attach to the sacred record, the line (of inspired or not inspired, of fallible or infallible) can never rationally be drawn between the thoughts and the words of Scripture[14].”  Though this was written in the 19th century, its influence is widely felt within 20th century evangelicalism.  Warfield would go on to write much more about scripture, and his work would posthumously be published in a ten-volume set called The Inspiration and Authority of Scripture in 1948.  Warfield would teach at Princeton until his death in 1921, and his influence is one reason why Princeton held to orthodoxy as long as it did.  Sadly, that is no longer the case today.

Gresham Machen was a pupil of Warfield and a staunch defending of inerrancy. It was his steadfastness that led to a schism with the Presbyterian Church USA, and forming the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in 1929[15].  In 1923 Machen wrote a treatise titled Christianity and Liberalism is response to what was going on in Princeton.  Princeton was a Presbyterian seminary and its president, J. Ross Stevenson, said that it had to serve the whole Presbyterian church[16].  This also meant the liberal Presbyterians and those who held moderate views.  Machen was very blunt and stated that liberalism was destroying Christianity, and that accommodating liberals had to end if Princeton wanted to maintain its Christian identity.  In addition to the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Machen would also found the conservative Westminster Theological Seminary.

This occurred after publishing Christianity and Liberalism, and he was subsequently fired in 1929.  In what can only be defined as an attack on inerrancy, the Presbyterian General Assembly worked with Stevenson to reorganize Princeton.  They reorganized it in such a way to keep those who held conservative views on inerrancy and inspiration from leadership positions.

On the other side of the country in California a new movement was starting to combat liberal Protestantism.  German rationalism had evolved into a form of destructive higher criticism.  They had rationalized so much that they questioned not only the inerrancy of scripture but the virgin birth, the resurrection, and the divinity of Christ.  They were doing so because science could not prove that these things were real.  In the view of some rationalism had went from the realm of a theory to heterodoxy.  This had the potential of leading souls astray.  Regarding higher criticism, Canon Dyson Hague writes, “Any thoughtful man must honestly admit that the Bible is to be treated as unique in literature, and, therefore, that the ordinary rules of critical interpretation must fail to interpret it aright[17].

To combat orthodoxy, The Fundamentals, was published as a series of essays from 1910 to 1915 by the Bible Institute of Los Angeles.  It is known today as Biola University, and is known for its strong Christian Apologetics program.  Subscription to established doctrine was no longer seen, at least among liberals, as a measure of orthodoxy[18].  As previously stated, The Fundamentals, defended the established doctrines and were published in a 12-volume set.  The set contained over ninety essays by sixty-four different authors.  The project was funded by oil tycoon Lyman Stewart and his brother Milton[19].  The work was sent free of charge to pastors, theology professors, missionaries, Sunday school superintendents, and many other Protestant workers to help them defend the faith.  The project was so influential that over 250,000 sets were send out[20].

            Evangelicalism had taken some hits early in 20th century, but reemerged with a vengeance in the middle of the century.  The Evangelical Theological Society, or ETS, was formed in 1949 by professors at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary[21].  From its origins, the members affirm “the inerrancy and inspiration of the Scriptures and the gospel of Jesus Christ[22].”  In 1947, Fuller Theological Seminary was founded by Charles Fuller.  Mr. Fuller had a very successful radio show called the Old Fashion Bible Hour, and is said to have 20 million listeners.  He formed the seminary to affirm orthodox doctrine, and brought in the greatest evangelical minds who affirmed inerrancy and the authority of scripture.

In 1972 Fuller softened its stance on inerrancy, and removed it altogether from it statement of faith[23].  One of fuller’s professors. Harold Lindsell, published a pivotal work titled Battle for the Bible.  In this work, Lindsell spoke of the dangers of departing from inerrancy and urged a return to its embrace.  By this point many other schools had compromised on this issue and it was having negative effects.  In regards to this Dr. Lindsell writes, “It is the lesson that once a denomination departs from a belief in biblical infallibility, it opens the floodgates to disbelief about other cardinal doctrines of the faith[24].”

Just a couple years later, in October of 1978, the International Counsel on Biblical Inerrancy hosted a conference with 200 conservative evangelical scholars.  These scholars were Arminian, reformed, Wesleyans, Baptists, Lutherans, and many other denominations.  They had some serious theological difference, but what all of them agreed upon was the inerrancy of scripture.  These scholars would form what is now known as the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.  Article eleven of the statement states, “We affirm that Scripture, having been given by divine inspiration, is infallible, so that, far from misleading us, it is true and reliable in all the matters it addresses. We deny that it is possible for the Bible to be at the same time infallible and errant in its assertions. Infallibility and inerrancy maybe distinguished, but not separated[25].”

            The scholars in attendance held to their convictions about scripture.  Those that are still alive still hold to this stand, and at times they get criticized for it.  They hold to their stand because scripture in the inspired Word of God.  They also recognized that inerrancy is a key issue that must be defended[26].  The inerrancy debate with liberals shows no signs of going away anytime soon.  More and more books are being released that attack inerrancy.  More denominations are abandoning it.  However, it is still being defended because it is essential.

 

CONCLUSION

The issue of biblical inerrancy is foundational for evangelicals.  In the early days of the movement, around the time of the Great Awakening, scripture was understood to be inerrant[27].  As evangelicals, scripture is our rule and our guide for doctrine.  Scripture is the word of God, and as such it must be held in the deepest regard.  When it is not we begin to rely on our own intellect.  We begin to think that our opinions are superior to scripture, and when that happens we fall into error.  In essence we become our own authority.

In the 19th century rationalism evolved to a corrupted form of higher criticism, and that in turn led to some denying the inerrancy of scripture.  This is seen echoing through the 20th century in various ways.  The liberals at Princeton pulled a power play to remove a conservative scholar for holding fast to the truth.  The authors of The Fundamentals distributed their material at no cost to the recipient to further the cause of orthodoxy.  In the 1970’s well known conservative scholars, who have well established theological disagreement, gathered to defend the inerrancy of scripture.  Scripture has been, and always will be infallible and inerrant.  Evangelicals will always be a defender of that basic truth.  After all, evangelicals are people of the book.

 

 

 

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

“About The ETS,” Evangelical Theological Society, accessed March 9, 2017, http://www.etsjets.org/about.

“The Chicago Statement On Biblical Inerrancy,” Dallas Theological Seminary, accessed March 8, 2017, http://library.dts.edu/Pages/TL/Special/ICBI_1.pdf.

Ahlstrom, Sydney E. A Religious History of the American People. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1974.

Akers, J.N. Who’s Who in Christian History. Edited by J.D. Douglas and Philip Comfort. Wheaton :IL: Tyndale House, 1992.

Dockery, David S., and Trent Butler. Holman Bible Handbook. Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 1992.

Duffield, Guy P., and Nathaniel M. Van Cleave. Foundations of Pentecostal Theology. Los Angeles, CA: Life Bible College, 1983.

Erickson, Millard. Christian Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2013.

Gaustad, Edwin, and Leigh Schmidt. The Religious History of America. New York:ny: Harperone, 2002.

Geisler, Norman, and William Nix. A General Introduction to the Bible. Chicago:il: Moody Publishers, 1986.

Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994.

Hague, Canon Dyson. The Fundamentals:  A Testimony to the Truth. Edited by R.a. Torrey, Charles L. Feinburg, and Warren Weirsbe. Vol. 1. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2005.

Henry, Carl F.H. God, Revelation, and Authority. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1999.

Hodge, A.A., and B.B. Warfield. “Inspiration.” Presbyterian Review. (1881, April 1).

Klippenstein, Rachel, and J. David Stark. “New Testament.” In Lexham Bible Dictionary. Edited by John D. Barry and David Bomar. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016.

Lindsell, Charles. Battle for the Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1976.

Marsden, George M. Fundamentalism and American Culture. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2006.

McGrath, Alister. Evangelicalism and the Future of Christianity. Downers Grove:IL: Intervarsity Press, 1995.

Olson, Roger E. The Story of Christian Theology. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 1999.

Sproul, R.C. Can I Trust the Bible? Lake Mary, FL: Reformation Trust, 2009.

Sweeney, Douglas A. The American Evangelical Story:  A History of the Movement. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2005.

[1] Alister McGrath, Evangelicalism and the Future of Christianity (Downers Grover:il: Intervarsity Press, 1995), 7.

[2] Douglas A. Sweeney, The American Evangelical Story:  A History of the Movement (Grand Rapids, MI: BakerAcademic, 2005), 17.

[3] Guy P. Duffield and Nathaniel M. Van Cleave, Foundations of Pentecostal Theology (Los Angeles, CA: Life Bible College, 1983), 15.

[4] Rachel Klippenstein and J. David Stark, “New Testament,” in Lexham Bible Dictionary, ed. John D. Barry and David Bomar (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).

[5] 2 Peter 1:20-21 (English Standard Version).

[6] 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (English Standard Version).

[7] Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994), 100.

[8] Carl F.H. Henry, God, Revelation, and Authority (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1999), 379.

[9] Norman Geisler and William Nix, A General Introduction to the Bible (Chicago:il: Moody Publishers, 1986), 604.

[10] David S. Dockery and Trent Butler, Holman Bible Handbook (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 1992), 25.

[11] Douglas A. Sweeney, The American Evangelical Story:  A History of the Movement (Grand Rapids, MI: Bakeracademic, 2005), 157.

[12] Sydney E. Ahlstrom, A Religious History of the American People (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1974), 772.

[13] Edwin Gaustad and Leigh Schmidt, The Religious History of America (New York:NY: Harperone, 2002), 297.

[14] A.a. Hodge and B.b. Warfield, “Inspiration,” Presbyterian Review (1881, April 1): 21-23.

[15] J.n. Akers, Who’s Who in Christian History, ed. J.d. Douglas and Philip Comfort (Wheaton :il: Tyndale House, 1992), 442.

[16] Douglas A. Sweeney, The American Evangelical Story:  A History of the Movement (Grand Rapids, MI: Bakeracademic, 2005), 168.

[17] Canon Dyson Hague, The Fundamentals:  A Testimony to the Truth, ed. R.a. Torrey, Charles L. Feinburg, and Warren Weirsbe, vol. 1, (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2005), 12.

[18] Millard Erickson, Christian Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2013), 757.

[19] George M. Marsden, Fundamentalism and American Culture (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2006), 118.

[20] Ibid, 119.

[21] Douglas A. Sweeney, The American Evangelical Story:  A History of the Movement (Grand Rapids, MI: Bakeracademic, 2005), 173.

[22] “About The ETS,” Evangelical Theological Society, accessed March 9, 2017, http://www.etsjets.org/about.

[23] Douglas A. Sweeney, The American Evangelical Story:  A History of the Movement (Grand Rapids, MI: Bakeracademic, 2005), 177.

[24] Charles Lindsell, Battle for the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1976), 104.

[25] “The Chicago Statement On Biblical Inerrancy,” Dallas Theological Seminary, accessed March 8, 2017, http://library.dts.edu/Pages/TL/Special/ICBI_1.pdf.

[26] R.c. Sproul, Can I Trust the Bible? (Lake Mary, FL: Reformation Trust, 2009), 1.

[27] Roger E. Olson, The Story of Christian Theology (Downers Grove, IL: Ivp Academic, 1999), 556.

No One Will Make Them Afraid

But I will leave within you the meek and humble.  The remnant of Israel will trust in the name of the Lord.  They will do no wrong they will tell no lies.  A deceitful tongue will not be found in their mouths .  They will eat and lie down and no one will make them afraid.”-Zephaniah 3:12-13

The first job I ever held was that of a Chaplain Assistant in the United Stated Army.  My first duty station was in Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.  The chaplain I worked for was a Holy man, and I thank God everyday that I was able to serve under his mentorship.  We had a weekly Bible study, and a topic that always seemed to come up was the remnant of Israel.  The remnant are those who kept the commandments of the Lord in spite of what was going on around them.

Zephaniah prophesied during the reign of king Josiah, and morality among the people was at an all time low.  The book of the law, presumably Deuteronomy, was found and the King mandated that it be observed.  In the passage above the Lord says that there was a remnant that will tell the truth, be meek, be humble, will not be deceitful, and they will not be afraid.

A comparison can be made with the time in which Zephaniah wrote and our own.  A majority of people seem to be looking out only for themselves.  They willingly lash out, betray friends, and deceive whomever possible in an effort to get ahead in the rat race.  Where does that leave those of us who stand for biblical principles, and try to do the right thing day in and day out?  Like the remnant in the time of Zephaniah there are many who hold to scriptural principles, who treat other as they want to be treated, and want to see others do well even they are not.  Like the remnant of Israel in this passage, God has not abandoned those who are his children.  He is with us every step of the way, no matter what we are going through.

Do not be afraid of what you are going through.  The Lord and his servants are with you.  I hope this helps someone tonight.

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