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1988 Issue 7

There is a battle raging today between historic reformed Christianity, which emphasizes the importance of a world and life view based upon the Bible, and dispensational pietism, which rejects a vast portion of God's Word. The influence of dispensationalism has led to a truncated view of Christianity. This rejection of the whole law of God, the adoption of a pessimistic eschatology, and a lack of understanding of God's covenant purposes in history has led to a withdrawal of Christianity from the marketplace of ideas that govern society. This vacuum created in our society by the withdrawal of Christian principles of government has given us widespread abortion, pornography, drug abuse, divorce, oppressive taxation, and other social ills that continue to plague our land.

The Religious Right has stalled in its tracks. Its voice now is soft and garbled. Paul Weyrich gives his reasons why this has happened: the agenda of the religious right was in many ways trivial; its leadership, who should know better, acted if they believed that the ultimate solutions were political and as if they wanted a political savior; it never governed, it let its secular allies do it for them; it did not understand the entrenched interests in Washington, D.C.; its leadership gave away its moral high ground by permitting, without strong opposition, the appointment of men like Jim Baker and Howard Baker to the Reagan administration; its leadership continued to give away its credibility by endorsing candidates who did not agree with them and by failing to demand specific standards of performance from those they helped to elect; when tough negotiations were required with the opposition, the religious right lacked the strength to sustain a fight; it abandoned the training of its troops after 1982; it became so Washington-focused that it did too little to recruit and train people for local elections; it lacked internal communications and harmony; it never agreed on objectives for the future. (World, Vol. 2, No. 40, March 28, 1988.) Furthermore, the Religious Right stalled because it was not explicitly nor consistently Biblical/ Christian.

Greetings in our Messiah. I must say that when I was told that reconstructionists are being accused of being antisemitic, I was somewhat taken aback. Why would anyone, aware of the hopes, let alone the principles, that guide and motivate reconstructionists, regard them as anti-semitic?

Perhaps it is because they have encountered certain reconstructionists who are, in fact, anti-semitic. Indeed, there are some who have written things about the Jewish people, especially their history, which ought to be regarded as stupid (at least), but even then not necessarily anti-Jewish. In any event it would be wrong to extrapolate from the one to the many. That would be, of course, an example of prejudice and bigotry of which I am sure, most dispensationalists would not like to be guilty.

Pluralism. It is as American as apple pie isn't it? "Of course," many in the church and out of the church would answer. By pluralism we mean that America is made up of plural (many) faiths; even people with no faith. All religious views should be equally protected by the civil government. After all, it is part of American religious freedom. In recent days we have seen more discussion of religious pluralism. People have worried as to what Pat Robertson, an ordained minister; might do if he were elected President. With his withdrawal that question is mute. Yet the question of whether or not America should be a pluralistic society is alive and well and continues to be discussed.

"Great is the mystery of godliness," Paul declares. The book of Acts (19:28) records that a great disturbance arose in the city of Ephesus because of the Way, 19:23. The Ephesians were filled with rage and began to shout, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians." Now, as Paul writes to Timothy who is pastoring in Ephesus, Paul declares; "Great is the mystery of godliness." Paul is shouting that the answer to false worship and idolatry, to a pagan and humanistic culture is Christianity.

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 XVII, Admission to the Church.

Anyone with children knows that all parents suffer from hearing impairment: selective deafness. Oftentimes my children do things, like playing cassette tapes, that I don't pay much attention to. I rely on my wife to screen that sort of thing. So I didn't pay much attention for a couple of months when my youngsters kept dragging a tape player around the house with the same tape blaring. I just heard a snatch of music and tuned out.

This chapter reminds us that the basic cause of Judah's destruction by Jehovah was her blatant and inexcusable rejection of the sovereignty and covenant of the Lord; and her submission to another sovereignty in Baal. When this happens, it is inevitable that the curses of the covenant, (Lev. 26 and Deut. 28), become operative.

The indictment of Judah has a different emphasis in chapter 5 than it did in chapter 2. In chapter 2 God indicted Judah for her idolatry. In chapter 5 God indicts Judah for her personal and social immorality. Faithfulness of Jehovah and submission to his sovereignty not only show themselves in purity of worship, but also in careful adherence to the laws of God's covenant in both personal morality and public justice.

Indirectly, we have already been discussing the relationship between justification and sanctification. Now, we will be more specific as to their interrelationship. What is meant by these two terms? Justification is an act of God's grace in which the sinner is declared righteous, not by any good works that he has done but by the work of Christ which is credited to his account. It is a one-time judicial act of God. Romans 8:1 captures the effect of justification. There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.