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1988 Issue 3

The subject of the text which heads this page is one which I dare not omit in this volume about Holiness. It is one that ought to be deeply interesting to every true Christian. It naturally raises the questions, Do we grow in Grace? Do we get on in our religion? Do we make progress?

Periodically, as I have time, I want to share with you some of the information I receive from numerous conservative and Christian news sources, because it is vitally important that Christians have a news-source other than that of the major news media, which are slanted by a humanistic perspective. Christians must be people who understand their times, as well as the Bible, if they are to know what to tell their churches, families and communities what God expects of them, and so be blessed by Him. As you read the news, always keep these two biblical realities in mind: (1). The Lord God Omnipotent reigns! and (2). God causes all things to work together for good for those who love him!!

Over the past year The Counsel of Chalcedon has not presented a great deal on the matter of abortion. This is partly because we had said most of what could be said the previous year. But, while the efforts of pro-lifers are little different in nature from the efforts of previous years, nevertheless their labors continue. Large marches and pickets have not increased, but smaller pickets have been better organized so that, for example, there are at least a few picketers at Dr. Gay's abortion clinic in Chamblee at almost all his hours of operation.  A number of hearings and trials were conducted over the past year in which Chalcedon members were involved at the various levels. Some charges were dropped. Some people were fined and banned from the city of Chamblee, for example, for a year. In one case a jury found two Chalcedon members guilty of trespassing on clinic property.

Gene Shalit I am not.  Having watched the first of Bill Moyers' series "God and Politics" broadcast last December 9th on Public Television, I do believe some comments are in order. According to the press release, the 90 minute program "will describe how upheaval in Central America pits mainstream U.S. Christians against fundamentalists in a theological and political duel with historic consequences. Moyers will cite as an example the Methodist church, currently wrenched by conflicts over missionaries who support either Nicaragua's Sandinista government or rival contras across the border in Honduras.

In late October, last year, Gary sent out the following letter to a number of his friends around the country. I believe its contents, revealing, as they do, the grace of God in the life of this Christian brother, will be of benefit to the readers of The Counsel of Chalcedon.

FROM ADAM TO NOAH'S FLOOD WAS 1656 YEARS.
For when Adam was 130 years old he begat Seth.
Seth being 105 years old, begat Enos.
Enos being 90 years, begat Cainan.
Cainan being 70 years, begat Mahalaleel.
Mahalaleel being 65 years, begat Jared.
Jared at the age of 162 years, begat Enoch.
Enoch being 65 years, begat Methuselah.
Methuselah at the age of 187 years, begat Larnech.
Lamech being 182 years, begat Noah.
Noah at the coming of the flood was 600 years old, according to the seventh chapter of Genesis.
The whole sum of the years is 1656.

The day after Christmas most Americans received their 1040 Tax Package in the mail. The IRS must intentionally delay these mailings until after Christmas so we can enjoy giving to one another without being reminded of how much we must give to Uncle Sam.

We have been told by Congress that the new Tax Reform Act of 1986 (TRA 86) is revenue neutral {the federal government will get the same amount of money). We also have been informed that our tax returns will now be more simplified. The verdict on both of these assertions will be out until our first trial run (1987 Returns).

Sunday, August 16, 1987, was not only the Lord's Day, the weekly celebration of the triumphant resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord. It was also a field day for Satan and his soldiers. For this day revealed to us a most remarkable demonstration of the allegiance of fallen man to his idols. On this day millions of Americans, with little else in common except their native land, united in the worship of man and the creation rather than the Creator.

It is quite apparent to the astute observer that American society is in a state of great flux with regards to its ethical practices. Certain practices that many Americans would have considered immoral thirty or forty years ago are seen by many today as acceptable behavior.

For example, there has been a revolution in American perspectives concerning sexual behavior. Divorce is a growing problem in our society. Nationwide, one out of every three marriages end in divorce. Years ago it was a social stigma to have a divorce. This is not to say that marriages were necessarily any happier than today; it simply means that people saw divorce as a failure and a disgrace and tried to avoid it. Today, this stigma is no longer present and couples are quick to terminate their marriages.

A covenant, (berith in Hebrew, diatheke in Greek) is "a bond in blood sovereignly administered," - O. Palmer Robertson. As a bond, it commits and binds the parties of the covenant to each other. As a bond in blood, it is a bond of life and death. There is an ultimacy and finality in the covenantal commitment of God and men to each other. And all of God's covenants are sovereignly administered God sovereignly and graciously imposes his covenant promises, demands and relations on people he has sovereignly chosen as participants. There is no bargaining. It is not a relation of equals. In biblical covenants God remains sovereign and man remains servant. This is why unfaithfulness to the covenant on the part of man is an heinous sin deserving of judgment and death. No era in the history of redemption from Adam to Christ, (to the end of the world), stands outside the realm of God's covenantal dealings with his people in Christ.

What is Calvinism? Or the Confession of Faith in Harmony with the Bible and Common Sense. In a series of dialogues between a Presbyterian minister and a young convert. Dialogue XIV, Sinless Perfection II.

The Wrath of Grapes: Drinking and the Church Divided, by Andre S. Bustanoby. Baker Book House, 1987. 135pp, 3 appendices, $4.95. Reviewed by the Rev. Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Reedy River Presbyterian Church, Greenville, South Carolina.

Turning Point: A Christian Worldview Declaration, by Herbert Schlossberg and Marvin Olasky. Crossway Books, 1987, 158 page paperback, with glossary and index. Reviewed by the Rev. Donald D. Crowe, PCA minister teaching at Chalcedon Christian School, Atlanta, Georgia.

Education, Christianity and the State, by J. Gresham Machen, edited by John W. Robbins, The Trinity Foundation, 1987. 180 page paperback. Reviewed by the Rev. W. Gary Crampton, Th.D., Greenville, South Carolina.

Letters on Practical Subjects to a Daughter, by William B. Sprague. Reprinted by Sprinkle Publications, Harrisonburg, VA. Reviewed by Byron Snapp, Headmaster of Covenant Christian School, Cedar Bluff, VA.