David Westerfield

Gospel. Culture. Technology.

Category: Apologetics Page 1 of 7

Jesus, the Giver, Fulfiller and Lover of the Law

“The Gospel does not abrogate God’s law, but it makes men love it with all of their hearts.” – J. Gresham Machen

If Jesus is (right now) and was (during His earthly ministry) a perfect lover of the law of God, a lover of the commandments of God (and He is, as He is the One who gave the law to Moses on the mountain, since it is a very reflection of His character and nature), just as the same love of God’s laws and rules is laid out in multiple places in the Psalms, but very clearly and repeatedly in Psalm 119, for example; and if Jesus is speaking to the churches in the early church in the beginning of Revelation banning them from “sexual immorality,” because it does indeed displease Him; does it not follow that just because a particular sin or issue isn’t spoken of directly in the words of Jesus, recorded in the gospels, that there is enough evidence to surmise that yes, indeed, Jesus was opposed to every form of sexuality that doesn’t conform to the pattern instated in the very beginning, man and woman in covenant marriage, in Genesis, re-iterated by none other than Jesus Himself?

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The Deliciousness of Jello: Marcus Borg and “What I’m Trying to Say is…”

“I would say, as a Christian and as a historian: the stories of Easter are really true, even though I’m skeptical myself that the tomb was empty, even though I’m skeptical myself that anything happened to the corpse of Jesus. I would say the stories of Easter are really true even though they may not be literally true.” – Marcus Borg

This jello is laced with poison and can’t be nailed to the wall. Go ahead, try.

To counter, Albert Mohler:

The Intolerance of Tolerance – D.A. Carson (MP3’s)

Good stuff.

The Intolerance of Tolerance – Part 1 (MP3)

The Intolerance of Tolerance – Part 2 (MP3)

James White Versus Jack Moorman – Should We Exclusively Use The King James Bible?

Defending Christianity … Against Pat Robertson

Trying to gently and constructively answer claims of patriarchy by the secular left against the religious right, claims of the suppression of minorities, war against women, etc, are not helped by absurd comments like this … in fact, it’s because of some of his outrageous comments that some of the apologetics I’ve engaged in at a personal level at work and elsewhere has even had to be engaged at all (defending true, authentic, unmuddled, Biblical Christianity against the likes of Pat Robertson). It’s my estimation that this man alone has conveyed so much confusion about what Christians believe to the unbelieving world that he actually represents a threat to the faith: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoHdO2rwGwE#

Discussion Between James White and Brian McLaren

This episode of the radio program in the UK called Unbelievable with Justin Brierley is a discussion between James White and Brian McLaren on the Emerging Church and postmodernism. It aired in 2011 and I just now got around to listening to it. Good stuff. They both outline their positions very clearly and respectfully. Worth the listen:

http://media.premier.org.uk/unbelievable/7684e862-dcf2-4bd2-a1f3-aceb16f2f17c.mp3 (MP3)

King James Only-ism Alive and Kicking

It’s amazing how the internet can provide both a wealth of information and a wealth of disinformation. It’s also amazing that in our modern age, with our technology, historical knowledge, empirical and factual evidence (i.e. without a question) that King James Only-ism is so persistently propagated about. King James Only-ism is the idea that the King James version (KJV, Sola KJV :)) is the only pure, authorized, sanctified standard in the English language, given to us by God. All other standards are not only sub-par, but tainted by a work of the devil in their corruption.

Dr. Sam Gipp, a leading extreme proponent of this view, has released a new video defending the purity and sanctity of the King James version against all other English versions. Dr. James White has responded. I’m posting in them in order here. You decide which is the better, more faithful argument.

Dr. Sam Gipp video:

Dr. James White refutation:

(Part 1)

(Part 2)

(Part 3)

(Part 4)

(Part 5)

Voddie Baucham Speaks to the Issue of Race

On the Dividing Line today, a ministry of Alpha and Omega Ministries, Voddie Baucham spoke with James White clearly and forcefully on the issue of race as it relates to the Elephant Room 2 conference that took place. He brings an angle to the controversy that has been in dire need of being “brought into the light,” as Voddie said, even way before this or any other conference: the concept, as he puts it, of “ethnic gnosticism.” He works that out in this episode of the Dividing Line. Highly recommended!

http://www.aomin.org/podcasts/20120202.mp3 (MP3)

Debate: Dr. James White versus Dr. David Bernard, Trinity versus Oneness

In this radio debate, Dr. James White (Trinity) and Dr. David Bernard (Oneness) debate whether the trinity is a biblical doctrine or not. Good stuff:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

The God of Consumerism: Identity and Meaning Flow From Consumption in the West

Charles Hugh Smith, a writer over at the site Of Two Minds wrote a very interesting blog on the state of the global system, whether political, economic, social, or otherwise. He sums up our situation globally, as many others have, as one based on three fundamental things: 1) debt, 2) consumption, all with the the assumption or presupposition that 3) demand for these will always continue to infinity. And the little/big secret many, if not most, are beginning to see yet don’t want to speak of is that this entire model of debt and consumption is collapsing.

The results are first being felt in smaller nations dependent upon or a part of the West’s system: the Arab nations and southern and peripheral European nations. The riots across the Middle East and now the riots of Greece, Spain and other places in Europe are rooted ultimately in the fact the Western system is coming undone and our policies are making the dollar less valuable, which drives up the cost of food and energy. What follows is anyone’s guess.

That aside, what is interesting in particular is when Smith gets to why this is the case, philosophically, perhaps even theologically, speaking. Why are we reaching this point in the West? What has brought this about? I agree with his assessment and analysis while offering an even better remedy: Christ. Here are some of the best quotes without getting into all the economic talk as much (emphases from his site):

There’s another deeply pernicious facet to a consumer-based economy: our identity and meaning now flow from consumption, not from production or inner resources. I spent a considerable amount of Survival+ explaining how marketing and consumption are two side of the same coin.

The marketing complex has hijacked our sense of identity by engendering a deep, soul-destroying anxiety that only buying more stuff can assuage: since we are judged and valued solely by our purchased externalities, we are constantly in danger of being rendered worthless if we fail to measure up to the current metric of brand-group identity (wearing all black and a tattoo for one “brand,” a BMW and designer clothing for another, reading the New Yorker and claiming to only wear vintage clothing for another, etc.)

What we do in the real world is simply part of the “brand” which we must project, or cloak, to sooth the gnawing anxiety that is the bedrock of a consumer society. The iconography and totems of consumerism define our identity, our strivings, our sense of purpose and our experience of meaning: what I call the politics of experience, a phrase coined by R.D. Laing.

Consumption is our god, our faith and our religion. Like a cargo cult dependent on a magical connection to prosperity, we are terrified by the prospect that our religion is based on a false god–that is, that consumption and consumption alone leads to prosperity and happiness.

Like a cargo cult that we mock in our infinite industrious superiority, we worship the equivalent of rocks painted to look like radios that we can use to “call” the gods of endless prosperity.

This rock that’s painted to look like a radio is called “debt,” and we call upon it to magically provide us with prosperity from over the seas.

This other rock that’s painted to look like a radio is called “aggregate demand,” and it’s carefully worshipped by a special troop of voodoo-wielding witch doctors called Keynesians.

We are chanting magical phrases to these rock-painted “radios,” pleading for a return to easy prosperity, but nothing’s happening. We fear the magic no longer works, and that possibility terrifies us so much we can’t even bear to speak of this loss.

Future generations won’t get to spend their surplus; they will have to devote it to servicing the debts we have gaily borrowed and blown on digging holes and refilling them, part of our worship of the magical painted rocks of our false and hollow religion, Consumerism.

By degrading ourselves from producers to consumers, we have not only lost our identity and our meaning, we have lost the ability to create surpluses and invest those surpluses wisely.

And oh how the Western church has bought into and borrowed from this whole system of Consumption, and with it the marketing apparatus that has become so pervasive in our midst it’s sickening. We have bowed in many ways to the idolatrous “god” of Consumerism as a useful tool if not the answer to the survival of Christianity in the West. We have set it up as an idol that we need to repent of, returning to a more Biblical framework, i.e. faith in Christ, for every facet of church life instead of borrowing from the corrupt and worldly business world of our day.

On a related note, I was considering the other day how much the religion of Consumerism is actually rooted in the philosophical concepts of materialism, particularly dialectical materialism. This is a philosophy put forward by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, whose philosophy gave rise to the theories of none other than Karl Marx. Marx held to this view of the over-arching meta-narrative of life, dialectical materialism, which says (being a bit reductionistic) our sole purpose in life is related merely to the here and now. There is no deity we need to appease or even refer to, simply because he doesn’t exist, so it is thought.If he does exist he’s irrelevant to our lives and therefore we must find our own answers to our own problems.

Of course Marx went in the direction of collectivism as the answer to find hope and meaning in the midst of his bleak worldview. What is odd is that Consumerism as a religion is merely the flip-side of Marx’s view, yet they both spring from the same place: the absence of the true and living God, made known in Jesus Christ. They are two sides of the same coin. Both of these systems are inherently atheistic and borrow from the same corrupt worldview of dialectical materialism. Christianity has no business meddling in let alone borrowing from a worldview that is inherently anti-Christian.

May we repent of our dependence upon materialism, consisting of brands, products, styles, entertainment, fictional worldviews, fictional story lines and narratives that detract from the glory of God by the way we operate in life. May we find our identity in Christ alone, His person and work in the Gospel, not any of the aforementioned results from materialism. May we find our identity in who He has made us and what He desires for us, namely, holiness. Praise Christ there is hope for the lost and self-absorbed materialists. May we be a witness to a world absorbed in self and consumption as the meaning to life.

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