The Relevancy of Proverbs 29:18

It has been a while since I posted anything. I am currently working on a paper entitled, “A Review of Norman Geisler’s Soteriology.” This post does not directly pertain to that project. One of the major arguments against Christianity and particularly the Bible is neither is relevant for the 21st Century. Proverbs 29:18 KJV states, “Without a vision the people perish.” The NASB puts it this way, “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained.” Finally the ESV puts it this way, “Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint.”

With the news of Bruce Jenner becoming Caitlin Jenner it seems some people have definitely cast off restraint. Many people in our society clearly have no divine vision and are casting off restraint. Then there is the idea of ESPN giving Jenner an award for bravery is just simply crazy. The reaction by social media to anyone who disagrees is horrendous. Man does not determine what is right or wrong, but rather that comes from God. Last time I checked God is still omnibenevolent and unchanging.

We need to return to a divinely inspired vision for our planet, our country, and our lives……….

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Norman Geisler’s Presuppositions to Theology Critique

Starting another paper. Here is my introduction.

Norman Geisler has written over eighty different books. During the years of 2000-2005 he released a four volume set entitled, Systematic Theology. In Volume One Geisler reveals his Prolegomena to include nine different presuppositions required to conduct theology. Prolegomena consists of two Greek words, Pro meaning before or toward and legomena meaning to speak. Simply put, Prolegomena is the before section prior to an author detailing the different aspects of the scholar’s theology.

Geisler lists nine different presuppositions needed prior to beginning the details of his theology. Rudolf Bultman determined, “There can be no exegesis without presupposition.” Therefore, before one begins to detail the different elements of one’s theology, it is important to determine the presuppositions those elements are based on. Geisler’s presuppositions include: metaphysical, supernatural, revelational, rational, semantical, epistemological, oppositional, linguistical, hermeneutical, historical, and methodological.

This author has selected three of Geisler’s presuppositions to critique. These three include metaphysics (the study of being), epistemology (the study of knowledge to include defining truth), and linguistics (the study of language).

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

God’s Holiness….the idea of separateness

The writers of the Old Testament used the word holy over eight hundred times.[1] In the Old Testament, the word group most often referenced to the word holy or holiness is the verb קָדַשׁ, (qadash) to be holy, removed from common use.[2] The standard interpretation of this verb is the idea of separation. This concept has developed over a period of many hundreds, if not, thousands of years. A thorough understanding of this concept is paramount in determining the original intent of the Old Testament authors.

A use frequency in excess of eight hundred provides a broad range of usage and entails numerous nuances. The most common similarities are the idea of separation. The full spectrum includes separation of evil from good, common to a holy use, and the foundational nature of holiness.[3] Because of the importance of this term a survey of its many uses and forms will follow.

The verb qādaš, found eleven times in the Old Testament, in the Qal connotes the state of that which belongs to the sphere of the sacred.[4] When the verb occurs in the Piel and Hiphil stems, it represents the activity used to set apart a person or object from common to sacred use. One use of the Piel stem is when God set apart the Sabbath for his purposes (Genesis 2:3; Exodus 31:13).[5] The Hiphil stem occurs when God commands the Israelites to set apart the firstborn of the men and the animals (Numbers 8:17). These two uses of the verb קָדַשׁ, illustrate the action that separates a person or object from common use to sacred use.

This Qadash word group also have several other forms that will further assist in understanding the idea of holy as proposed by the Old Testament writers. One cognate word is מִקְדָּשׁ (sanctuary), found 74 times in the Old Testament and is used to refer to the tabernacle and the temple, both being places set apart for worship.

Second, the term קָדוֹשׁ (holy) occurs 116 times in the Old Testament and designates that which is intrinsically sacred or is part of the sacred by a divine act.[6] This form of the verb exists in connection with people, things, and even water (Deuteronomy 14:2; Exodus 29:31; Numbers 5:17). When this form appears in connection with God, it projects the significance of a divine scale. Isaiah used this form in his title, The Holy One of Israel. Isaiah used this term twenty-five times and contrasted the evil of Israel to the moral perfection of God and God’s separation from sin (Isaiah 17:7; 30:11). Isaiah also used this in his vision of the throne of God to speak of God’s transcendence and moral holiness.[7] Louis Berkhof refers to God’s transcendent holiness as his majesty-holiness and describes this as God’s absolute distinction from all His creatures.[8]

A second aspect when קָדוֹשׁ exists in the Hebrew text with reference to God, refers to his transcendence, and moral purity. Isaiah’s reaction to his vision properly reflects both the transcendence and purity of God. Isaiah cried out, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts” (Isaiah 6:5).

The final form is the noun קֹדֶשׁ, (holiness) found over four hundred times in the Old Testament. Once again, the idea of separation appears. This separation occurs in reference to the Sabbath and the separation of this holy day from the other days of the week (Exodus 16:23-26; Isaiah 58:13-14). McCabe states, “Whatever the holy God set apart as קֹדֶשׁ is separated from everyday use and consecrated for his holy purpose.”[9]

[1] Ernst Jenni and Claus Westermann, eds., Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament, vol. 2, trans. Mark D. Biddle (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1997), p. 1107.

[2] Robert V. McCabe, “The Old Testament Foundation for Separation” Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal 7 (2002): p. 5.

[3] John Randolph Jaeggli, “A Historical-Theological Analysis of the Holy One of Israel in Isaiah Forty through Sixty-Six” (Ph.D. dissertation, Bob Jones University, 1987), pp. 40–41.

[4] Thomas E. McComiskey, “1990 קָדַשׁ,” ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), p. 786.

[5] Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture is from the English Standard Version Bible (Crossway Bibles, Copyright © 2001, 2007, 2008).

[6] McComiskey, p. 786.

[7] John M. Frame, The Doctrine of God (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed, 2002), p. 28.

[8] Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1996), p. 73; see also Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998), p. 311.

[9] McCabe, p. 9.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

God’s Holiness Reviewed

The twenty-first century church speaks of God’s attribute of love with a high degree of frequency. A person can hardly go a single day without someone, either within the church or outside the church, speaking of or relating to God’s love. Some theologians consider love to be an essential attribute of God.[1] Reminders exist in both print and from the pulpits of this time in history how Christians are to remember the biblical commands to love God, love each other, and love their enemies. Unbelievers and liberal leaning Christians use the reality of God’s command to love as part of their methodology in an attempt to advance their agendas.

God does not have just one attribute. Even though one does not hear of them with the frequency of God’s love, God has many different characteristics. God’s attributes include omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, immutability, goodness, simplicity, and holiness to mention only a few. Jonathan Edwards considered God’s holiness one of his most dear attributes:

The holiness of God has always appeared to me the most lovely of all His attributes. The doctrines of God’s absolute sovereignty, and free grace, in showing mercy to whom he would show mercy; and man’s absolute dependence on the operation of God’s Holy Spirit, have very much appeared to me as sweet and glorious doctrines.[2]

The Old Testament often spoke of God’s attribute of holiness. Rarely does an article appear concerning God’s holiness, and even less does one hear a sermon coming from the pulpits of the twenty-first century church on God’s holiness. Augustus Hopkins Strong insisted, “Not all God’s acts are acts of love, but all are acts of holiness.”[3] This author proposes the question, “What does one mean when they speak of God’s holiness and is God holy since people rarely talk about it?”

[1] Millard Erikson, Christian Theology, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2003), p. 305.

[2] Jonathan Edwards, “Personal Narrative,” in Letters and Personal Writings, ed. George S. Glaghorn, vol. 16 of The Works of Jonathan Edwards (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1998), p. 793.

[3] Augustus Hopkins Strong, Systematic Theology (Philadelphia: American Baptist Publication Society, 1907), p. 275.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 250 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Putting God on trial…

The twenty-first century church speaks of God’s attribute of love with a high degree of frequency. In fact, a person can hardly go a single day without someone, either within the church or outside the church, speaking of or relating to God’s love. Some theologians consider love to be the most important attribute of God. Reminders exist in both print and from the pulpits of this time in history how Christians are to remember the biblical commands to love God, love each other, and love their enemies. Unbelievers and liberal leaning Christians use the reality of God’s command to love as part of their methodology in an attempt to advance their agendas.

God does not have just one attribute. Even though one does not hear of them with the frequency of God’s love, God has many different attributes. God’s attributes include omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, immutability, goodness, simplicity, and holiness to mention only a few.

The Old Testament spoke often of God’s attribute of holiness. Rarely does an article appear concerning God’s holiness, and even less does one hear of a sermon coming from the pulpits of the twenty-first century church on God’s holiness. This author proposes the question, “What does one mean when they speak of God’s holiness and is God holy since people rarely speak of it?”

This author proposes to put God on trial. The evidence presented methodically and succinctly will seek to determine what is meant by the phrase, “God is holy.” Secondly, the evidence will seek to determine if God is holy. The methodology will look at three aspects, God’s character, God’s actions, and God’s requirements.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Is there a place for holiness in the 21st Century church?

I read in a post on Huffingtonpost.com, which stated, “God is a loving God and therefore would not object to two people, who truly love each other, regardless of their sex, getting married.” Another author stated, “Because God is a loving God there can be no place of eternal punishment.” Both these statements point overwhelmingly to the attribute of love. It would be untenable to state the Bible does not illuminate humans to the idea that God loves us. God loves us first because he created us. He could just as easily not created us. Secondly, God loves us because he sent his Son to be our savior. The incarnation speaks volumes to the idea that God loves us. Anyone who has ever contemplated the suffering servant of Isaiah 53, must admit only someone who loves would ever have committed themselves to such a future. Finally, God loves us because he is so patient with us.

It would be unnatural to think that we as humans have many different aspects but God has only one…love. In thirteen locations in the Bible God states, “Be holy because I am holy.” The apostle John stated in his  first epistle, “God is love.” This is stated only one chapter in the entire Scriptures. If we are willing to accept this, being stated only once in the Scriptures, should we not be willing to accept “God is holy” also (stated thirteen times in the Scriptures)?

Someone once stated, “God’s attributes is like a bundle of sticks with the string holding them together being God’s holiness.” Albert Mohler believes God’s holiness is comprised of everything that God is. Rudolf Otto believes God’s holiness is so far above our ability to reason it is inconceivable. What is God’s holiness? I think we must consider God’s sinlessness as an intricate part of his holiness. The simple definition of holiness is separateness. God is totally separated from sin. But if God is truly sinless does that not also require him to be just? If someone is unjust we as humans would consider him to be imperfect. If God is sinless then isn’t he also perfect and if he is perfect then must he also be just?

God is just. If God is just should he not punish those who bring acts of sin into his presence? I believe the church of the 21st Century does not want to talk about God’s justice because then they would have to consider the punishment aspect of God. The 21st Century church has embraced the PC methodology to the point where they don’t want to say anything that might make someone feel uncomfortable. Should it not be better to make someone feel uncomfortable for a short while in this life than they be uncomfortable for all eternity?

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized