getting the history part of grammatical-historical

Just a thought that occurred to me while listening to Living History: Experiencing Great Events of the Ancient and Medieval Worlds …It is extremely helpful to Bible interpreters to have an understanding of the culture and history in which the Bible was written. This particular “Great Courses” offering touches on some points of history that help us in understanding the culture the early Christians were saved from. I think that I am reading the New Testament with better understanding as a result.

Even better than this course are two other offerings: Herodotus: The Father of History, an excellent presentation by Elizabeth Vandiver and the actual work of Herodotus: The Histories.

These works are full of secular misconceptions and there are sometimes misrepresentations of Biblical information contained in them. However, one thing I’ve found fascinating is the Greek mindset on display. I suspect that many Greeks of the ancient world viewed their pagan superstitions cynically, yet they most likely “hedged their bets” and went along or adopted them as a “cultural practice.” Nevertheless, whether true believers or no, they had a culture to overcome in coming to Christ. “The Greeks look for wisdom.”

As we consider the preaching and teaching of the apostles in the context of the thinking of the day, we can gain insight to perhaps preaching and teaching the pagans of modernistic and post-modernistic society as well.

Response to Tyler Robbins

This article is to respond to a lengthy piece by Tyler Robbins reacting to an article in our most recent FrontLine magazine. Tyler is unhappy with the article by Dan Unruh entitled, “Why I Left My Fundamentalist Church.” Dan’s article is among a collection of articles in this issue dealing with what we are calling “convergence,” that is, the phenomenon of individuals formerly connected with the fundamentalist movement who are now embracing certain aspects of the Evangelical movement. This change of position really is a new thing, it isn’t fundamentalist and perhaps it isn’t strictly evangelical either. Dan is writing about one part of that phenomenon where convergent pastors have decided to move their formerly fundamental churches into a more evangelical position. I wrote an article on this myself some months ago, entitled “What to do when your church leaves you.”

I should also say that my answers here are my personal opinions. I am not speaking for the FBFI at all, the only individual who speaks for us is Dr. John Vaughn, otherwise when the board speaks, we speak through position statements adopted in our meetings.

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interesting blog on marriage


A concluding quote

This irony—that we expect so much of marriage but find it disappointing—is an irony Scripture understands perfectly. It’s called idolatry. If I pursue any goal above the honor of God, I’m worshiping an idol. The moment I make my “relationship” the goal of my life, I doom myself to disappointment.

A note for the Convergents ™ out there…

Yes, I am linking to a blog on The Gospel Coalition site. No, I am not joining your ranks!



A lot of people say invitations and revivalism trace their beginning to Charles Finney. This paper argues that Baptists have practiced invitations and revivals from the period following the First Great Awakening, prior to Finney, and is the major contributing factor behind the numerical preponderance of Baptists in the South.

I think the article makes some interesting points, and should be considered by those interested in this topic.

I would also recommend the site where this article is found. Incredible resource of Baptist documents.

A refusal to vote for Trump is a vote for…


So say the rabid Trumpsters on social media. If you object to Trump and his excesses, his foolish statements and positions, you are pounced on and accused of supporting Hillary Clinton.

Well, I don’t think so. I don’t have a vote in the election (but many family members do). But like most in the world, I have an opinion.

The polls on the election fluctuate and will continue to fluctuate until the real poll, election day. However, I think the polls have consistently had Hillary ahead. As of today, the Real Clear Politics polling average has Clinton ahead by 2.7%. More important, though, is the state by state polling. Every prognostication based on state by state polling shows Hillary killing it in the Electoral College. Trump will have to get probably 10 points ahead of Hillary to overcome her advantage state by state.

I think that tells us that, barring some unforeseen miracle – a creditable third candidate, some unforeseen disaster that overtakes Hillary’s campaign, or some other unknown event – Hillary Clinton will be the next President of the United States.

All my reading about this election suggest that even Democrats are not thoroughly enamored with Hillary. She has more negatives than most candidates in history and is thoroughly beatable. So why is she leading? Because she has a clown for an opponent.

Why does she have a clown for an opponent? Because the voters in primary season voted for him.

The reality is that “A non-vote for Trump is a vote for Hillary” is just a canard. Ridiculous. It was all those votes for Trump during primary season that are the actual votes for Hillary.

Thanks Trumpsters. You’ve just elected a president worse than Obama. Hard to believe.

No moral compass

That’s basically what this Abacus survey of Canadians on issues of morality seems to suggest, for the vast majority of Canadians. This presents a challenge for evangelism (so many false values to get past) and an opportunity (Christianity is clearly different). May we be bold and call men from darkness to light!

He’s a separatist! He’s a separatist!

Isn’t he?

So much for the rumor that John MacArthur separated from Piper over his connections to Mark Driscoll, C J Mahaney, et al.

Yet some of our leaders are fine with cooperating on platforms with fringe members of this crowd… are they really coming our way?

Self-Governing, Self-Supporting, Self-Propagating

I am happy to announce to my few blog readers that our church has taken an immense step forward this year. Perhaps I should fill you in on a little of our history before I tell you what that step is.

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My Romans Commentaries

I recently finished preaching through the book of Romans. My usual method of preaching in our church is verse by verse exposition. I usually am working on one or more books of the Bible in our regular preaching sessions. I call my method “the glacial approach to exposition,” which is to say, “I go slow.”

I began my Romans series on September 23, 2007. We finished 318 messages later on November 15, 2015. Of course there were interruptions for special speakers, mini-series, special occasions and Christmas (I usually take a month or more off for Christmas, preaching on a special Christmas theme each year). [Read more…]

Clouds of Glory: The Life and Legend of Robert E. Lee–a review

Clouds of Glory:  The Life and Legend of Robert E. Lee
Michael Korda
New York: Harper, 2014.

On a recent vacation, our family happened to go to a Barnes & Noble store (bookstores are a trap for me!). While there, I noticed Michael Korda’s new work, Clouds of Glory:  The Life and Legend of Robert E. Lee. Well, I am a sucker for books in general, and Civil War history and biographies in particular, so I picked this one up. (I did manage to limit myself to just one!)

Biographies can be easier to read than other non-fiction works because of the personal element. Well-written biographies are even easier, and this one is well written (though not entirely without flaws). I swept through the 693 pages in about a week and a half. For anyone who has read much Civil War history, a fair outline of those years will be in hand, so some of the material you will have read in other sources. Michael Korda’s approach seems to me to be fairly objective. He respects Lee, but does not worship at his shrine. He critiques decisions, argues with other writers on interpretation, and in the end presents a picture of an interesting Christian man.

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