Strangers And Aliens (16d): Defending The Faith (1 Peter 3:13–17)

The pagans have no frame of reference by which to understand what we are saying. The Christian faith is a mystery. We claim that a Jewish rabbi was crucified and raised on the third day, that he was and remain, in fact, God the Son incarnate. There is nothing about paganism that prepares them to understand that. Further. the pagans think about religion as a matter of works, as a matter of a quid pro quo. They think that the gods are powers to be controlled and manipulated. We make offerings and we perform duties and thereby, they think, we have obligated the gods to be good to us. That is not the Christian faith. We say that God has been gracious to us in that while we were sinners (disobedient and judgment deserving), God sent his Son to obey for us, in our place, and to die for us, as our substitute. We say that we are right with God not by anything we have done or can do but merely because God has credited to us who believe all that Jesus did for us. That is a supernatural religion. The pagan has a natural religion. He elevates nature (works) into a religion and seeks to use it to control the gods. Continue reading →

Strangers And Aliens (16c): Defending The Faith (1 Peter 3:13–17)

  13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15but in your . . . Continue reading →

Strangers And Aliens (16b): Defending The Faith (1 Peter 3:13–17)

Thus, “and in your hearts sanctify Christ the Lord prepared always unto a defense to everyone seeking a word (or reason) for the hope in you….” The scenario that Peter has in mind was not theoretical. About the very same time he was dictating these words (to his secretary) for the churches in Asia Minor (W. Turkey) Christians in Rome were undergoing a violent, horrible persecution at the hands of a madman, Caesar Nero. Peter and the other Christians knew that before the soldiers laid hands upon a Christian and hauled him before the authorities, one must have resolved some truly basic questions. Who am I? What is my only comfort in life and in death? Am I prepared to suffer and, if necessary, to die for Christ, who gave himself for me? Continue reading →

Strangers And Aliens (16a): Defending The Faith (1 Peter 3:13–17)

13Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15but in your hearts honor Christ . . . Continue reading →

Heidelberg 86: Why Good Works? (4)

Evangelism properly is what the minister does in the pulpit when he proclaims the gospel to the world but each of us as Christians is a witness or gives witness to the faith (the objective facts of redemptive history and the basic truths of Scripture summarized in the creeds) and to our faith, i.e., to our personal appropriation of Christ by grace alone, through faith alone. Continue reading →

Atheists Have A Blind Faith

Question: “What kind of proof would you need in order to believe that God exists?” Answer: “I have no idea.” There you go. He knows that God doesn’t exist but he can’t articulate a standard of evidence. That’s a blind faith.

The Selective Genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11

5:3-32 these verses contain 10 paragraphs, each written in the same form, which one paragraph for each generation in Adam’s line through Seth. There are some similarities, as well as significant differences, between this material and the Sumerian king list (written see. . . . Continue reading →

Of False Dichotomies, Science, and Progress in Theology

Edwin Walhout, a retired CRC minister, has published a provocative essay in The Banner, the denominational magazine of the Christian Reformed Church. In this essay he imagines how our orthodoxy will be viewed 1000 years from now. In order to set up the . . . Continue reading →

Office Hours-Cornelius Van Til: Family Man, Friend, and Pastor

Office Hours

Office Hours talks this week with Dr. John Van Til, nephew of Reformed apologist and theologian Cornelius Van Til, about CVT’s life and ministry. Dr John Van Til is a Fellow for Law & Humanities at the Center for Vision and Values, . . . Continue reading →