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Posts Tagged ‘Richard Pratt

Nietzsche vs. Christianity: Part 2

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This lecture is an explanation of the Protestant Christian worldview from Genesis to Revelation.  Audio is available here.

I.  Creation

A.  Ex Nihilo

B.  Out of God’s pleasure

C.  Creation was good

D.  Man made in image of God: male and female

E.  Cultural Mandate

F.  The task given Adam was to make the whole Earth like Eden by:

“numerically and geographically expand God’s image over the face of the

entire Earth”

  1. Covenant of Works (Hosea 6:7)
    1. Adam is Federal Head (Rom. 5:12-21)
    2. Blessings for obedience; curses for disobedience

a.  Blessing – Life

b.  Curse – Death

c.  Divine benevolence, Human loyalty

II.  Fall

  1. Serpent tempts Eve, questions God’s goodness
  2. Adam was there and doesn’t say anything
  3. Curse:
    1. All humanity fell in the Fall because of Adam’s representative nature
    2. All creation fell and feels the frustrating affects of the fall
    3. Proto-Euangelion – Gen. 3:15-20
  4. Seed of the woman vs. Seed of the Serpent

Abel                 Cain

Seth

Enoch               Enoch

Lamech            Lamech

Noah

Shem/Japheth   Ham

Abraham

Isaac                Ishmael

Jacob               Esau

III. Redemption

A.  Covenant of Grace

1.  Noah – establishes stability on the Earth (Gen. 6, 9)

-Baptism:  deliverance from waters of judgment

2.  Abraham – establishes promised offspring who will bless all nations                  (Gen. 12:1-3; 15; 17), (Gal. 3:16)

3.  Moses – establishes law and order above natural law (Ex. 19-24)

-“I will be your God and you will be my people”

4.  David – establishes eternal king/throne (Psalm 89)

5.  Christ – fulfillment of the covenant of grace (Jer. 31; Ezek. 36/37)

B.  Historical Summary

Creation, Fall, Expulsion, Cain/Able, Flood, Babel, Shem

Abraham moves, Abraham/Lot, Abraham/Melchizedek, Abraham Covenant, Abraham buys land in Canaan/Eden

Isaac, Jacob/Esau, Jacob/Israel, 12 Sons, Joseph into Captivity, Famine

400 Year Enslavement/Exile, Moses/Pharaoh, Passover, Egypt to Sinai

Sinai, Law at Sinai – Tabernacle, Priesthood, Purification, Yom Kippur, Feasts:  (Sabbath, Passover, Sabbatical year/Jubilee, Weeks, Tabernacles)

Wilderness Wanderings, Encampment at Canaan, Canaan Conquest/Joshua, Jericho vs. Ai, Land Divided

Judges-Ruth – ‘Everyone did what was right in his own eyes’ (Judges 17:6)

Eli, Samuel, Rejection of YHWH as king, Saul

David – covenant – line/throne, unification, conquest (iron), Bathsheba

Solomon – Temple, wealth/wisdom, Phoenicians, foreign wives/gods

Divided Kingdom – Rehoboam (S – Judah), Jeroboam (N – Israel/Ephraim)

North – Babsha, Omri, Jehu, Ahab/Jez/Baal vs. Elijah, Jehu, Jehoahaz, Jehoash, Jeroboam II, 3 kings –  Menaham, Pekahiah, Pehah, Hoshea… Assyria/exile

South – Jehoshaphat, Uzziah, Hezekiah, Manassah, Josiah – Amon/Jeremiah, Jerusalem Sacked – 586

Cyrus’ Decree, Return from Exile, 2nd Temple/Wall (Ezra-Nehemiah),

Late Pre-exilic

-Nahum – God’s wrath on Nineveh

-Zephaniah – The Day of the Lord

-Habakkuk – Resolving questions about God’s justice

-Joel – Day of the Lord is both near AND future

-Lamentations – God as source of both good and hard providence

-Obadiah – pride goes before a fall

Exilic

-Ezekiel – Judgment and restoration of Judah

-Daniel – God’s rule and care for his people

Post-Exilic

-Haggai – setting priorities

-Zechariah – God’s restoration of zion

-Malachi – Honoring God

400 years of silence

C.  Prefigurations

1.  Melchizedek

2.  Angel

3.  Manna

4.  Rock

5.  Tabernacle

6.  3 fold office:  Prophet/Priest/King

D.  Jesus

1.  Virgin birth

2.  Hypostatic Union – God/man

3.  Prophet/Priest/King

4.  Law – civil/ceremonial/civil

5.  Penal Substitution – great exchange – my sin for his righteousness

-New Record

-New Heart

-New World

6.  Death/Resurrection

7.  Ascension

8.  Enthronement – Intercession

IV.  Consummation

1.  Redemption of all of creation

2.  Redemption of the church

3.  Inauguration/Continuation/Consummation

Top 10 Apologetic Works

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Apologetics to the Glory of God

This is a highly selective list of what I think are both good and useful apologetic works.

1.  Apologetics to the Glory of God by John Frame  [y, l, e, p, s]

At the end of the day, I think the presuppositionalists have the most Biblical and best defense of Christianity.  This is the best of the presuppositional works.

2.  Pensees by Blaise Pascal  [y, l, e, p, s]

This book should come as no surprise considering the title of this blog.  Pascal speaks to the heart and the mind.  His analysis of man’s greatness/wretchedness, propensity towards boredom, and love of diversions make so much sense of the human experience in light of the Christian story.

3.  Warranted Christian Belief by Alvin Plantinga  [p, s]

This is Plantinga’s magnum opus.  He presents his epistemology.  It is not an easy read, a background in philosophy would be very helpful.

4.  Tactics:  A Gameplan For Discussing Your Christian Convictions by Gregory Koukl  [y, l, e, p, s]

While not necessarily an apologetic work, this is a helpful book for creating discussion about your faith.  I included it here because it is so helpful and practical.

5.  Darwin’s Black Box by Michael Behe  [l, e, p, s]

See write-up here.

6.  The Reason for God by Tim Keller  [c, y, l, e, p, s]

Keller presents a third way between pure science/reason and pure faith.

7.  Cornelius Van Til:  An Analysis of His Thought by John Frame  [e, p, s]

If you are seriously interested in presuppositional thought, then this is a good place to dig deeper.

8.  Defending Your Faith by R.C. Sproul  [y, l, e, p, s]

R.C. has put together a very solid and readable introduction to apologetics.  A good first book on the subject.

9.  God and Other Minds by Alvin Plantinga  [p, s]

Here, Plantinga discusses the classical arguments for/against God.  Also, his God, Freedom, and Evil is pretty good.  It is not an easy read.  A background in philosophy and/or logic is very helpful.

10.  Every Thought Captive by Richard Pratt  [c, y, l, e, p, s]

This brief book is an accessible and good read for everyone.

(c=children; y=young adult; l=lay leader; e=elder; p=pastor; s=scholar)

Top 40 Books to Read While in College

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Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper

You will never have more discretionary time than while in college.  This is a critical time for you to develop your character and mind.  This is a list of what I think are the most important books to work through during your time as an undergrad.  These books focus on developing your heart to affection (orthopathos), renewing your mind to truth (orthodoxy), and provoking your hands to kingdom work (orthopraxis).  Take 10 books a year and devote 30 minutes a day – you’ll finish the list, perhaps even early.

Note:  I have listed them in order of how I think they should be read and not necessarily in order of how good they are.  For sake of space, I am not going to do a writeup on each of these.  If you have a question(s) about a book(s), just post in the comments.

1.  Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper
2.  Nine Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever
3.  The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
4.  Designed for Dignity by Richard Pratt
5.  The Fuel and the Flame by Steve Shadrach
6.  Tell the Truth by Will Metzger
7.  The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman
8.  Holiness by J.C. Ryle
9.  The New Testament Documents:  Are They Reliable by F.F. Bruce
10.  Universe Next Door by James Sire
11.  Knowing God by J.I. Packer
12.  Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey
13.  Redemption Accomplished and Applied by John Murray
14.  Pensees by Blaise Pascal
15.  No Place for Truth by David Wells
16.  The Cross of Christ by John Stott
17.  Culture Wars by James Hunter
18.  Let The Nations Be Glad by John Piper
19.  Salvation Belongs to the Lord by John Frame
20.  Desiring God (or something else more substantial) by John Piper
21.  The John Frame Trilogy:  Doctrine of the Knowledge of God, Doctrine of God, Doctrine of the Christian Life by John Frame
22.  The Clash of Civilizations by Samuel Huntington
23.  Christ of the Covenants by O. Palmer Robertson
24.  Darwin’s Black Box by Michael Behe
25.  Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards
26.  Love the Lord Your God With All Your Mind by J.P. Moreland
27.  Darwin on Trial by Phillip Johnson
28.  Rise of Christianity by Rodney Stark
29.  Church History in Plain Language by Bruce Shelley
30.  Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem
31.  How to Read the Bible for All its Worth by Fee and Stuart
32.  He Gave us Stories by Richard Pratt [there is a nice summary here]
33.  Institutes of Christian Religion by John Calvin
34.  Confessions by St. Augustine
35.  Warranted Christian Belief by Alvin Plantinga
36.  Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche (I included this book because it is important for us to study antithetical works, I will make a list of books like this one later)
37.  What is a Healthy Church Member by Thabiti Anyabwile
38.  Habits of the Mind by James Sire
39.  Why We’re Not Emergent:  From Two Guys That Should Be by Ted Kluck and Kevin Deyoung
40.  Baptism and Fullness by John Stott

What books would you add?

Thoughts on Evangelicalism Moving Forward, Part 9: Balance

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"Because the deck of life is always shifting..."

Because the deck of life is always shifting balance can be nothing more than momentary synchronicity.  (Richard Pratt)

Balance is something that evangelicals know very little of.  We were birthed as a reaction against liberalism.  In doing so, much of the conservative theology and philosophy of ministry were an equal and opposite reaction against liberalism.  For much of fundamentalism-turned-evangelicalism’s existence, we defined ourselves anegativa against liberalism, rather than forming a positive definition from Scripture alone.  In many ways, early evangelicalism required liberalism to exist, in order for it to exist.

Moving forward, here are 9 (non-comprehensive) areas where evangelicals ought to seek balance:

1.  Words and Deeds

Some churches like to show the gospel, some like to preach the gospel – we should do birth.  The lost should see and hear Christ preached.

2.  Evangelism and Discipleship

Jesus called us to make disciples and this includes evangelism.  Jesus modeled evangelism as a part of his disipleship.  In many cases, Jesus sent out his disciples before him.  These two things go together.  When we do not model how to share our faith, we cannot expect that our disciples will ever multiply themselves.

3.  Boldness and Clarity

Boldness corresponds to preaching the gospel.  Clarity corresponds to showing the gospel in relationship.  Paul did both.

4.  Immanence and Transcendence

Immanence emphasizes God’s nearness.  Transcendence emphasizes God’s bigness and incomprehensibility.  Both are true and both need to be reflected in our personal and corporate worship.  Some like to emphasize God’s immanence at the expense of his transcendence (Pentecostalism).  Some like to emphasize God’s transcendence at the cost of his immanence (Liturgical).  We need to help people see both and not just pander to one or the other.  Who cares about the form of worship style if God is presented in both his immanence and transcendence.

5.  Preservation and Adaptation

We need to honor the vast tradition of the history of the church – preservation.  We need to innovate to adapt to the language of the culture (obviously, without over-contextualizing).

6.  Individual and Communal

We are saved as individuals.  We are called out to a community.  We are not saved by merely being in the church while we are called out to a church.

7.  “Already/Now” and “Not Yet”

Christ has already risen from the dead; Christ has not yet returned.  We stand between two worlds and must yearn for the one to come, while seeking to affect change on the one we reside.

8.  Reaching-up and Reaching-in and Reaching-out

Reaching-up is the vertical ministry of our relationship with God.  Reaching-in is the horizontal and inward ministry of those in our church.  Reaching-out is the horizontal outward ministry to the world.  If we fail to do any one of these, we have been deficient as a church.

9.  Orthodoxy and Orthopathos and Orthopraxis

All of the previous balances can be summarized in this final one.  Right belief, Right emotion, Right practice.  Balance is critical here.  If we are seeking sound doctrine it ought to produce right practice and right emotion.  If we are seeking right emotion it ought to produce right belief and right practice.  If we are seeking right practice it ought to produce right doctrine and right belief.

What balances would you add?

Moving forward, balance is critical.  Up next, we will look at some summarizing thoughts regarding evangelicalism in the future.

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