Counsel of Chalcedon
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1990 Issue 2

Do you remember the last time that you left a church service all fired up to change? You were determined to be different. "This time," you said, "I mean it; I am going to become the person that God wants me to be!" By Tuesday the fire had burned out. The last time that you read an article like this you may have decided: "From now on..." but here you are today, pretty much the same as always. You mean well, but nothing significant seems to happen; you have been trying, but not really making it.

There has been some change, some growth, some blessing, but not the kind that you so earnestly would like to see. Now that is the experience of many Christian people; you are not alone in this problem. Some have given up the hope of ever becoming significantly different. Perhaps you have too. "Another article full of impractical platitudes," you might be thinking, as you start to put down this magazine. Don't do it! I promise you, there is practical help inside. Read on, and find out for yourself. After all, there are Christian people whom you meet from time to time whose lives are different. Somehow they must have found the answer. You can too. You have the same God, the same Bible and the same power available as they. Yet, there is one difference between you and them.

Early in the war, a young five year old boy went with his father to call on General Robert E. Lee at his Richmond headquarters to present him with a copy of the Bible. General Lee warmly greeted the father and the young enthusiastic Confederate, and upon receiving the Bible with joyous gratification, put the boy upon his knee. A few days later, General Lee rode out to the boy's house to give him a signed copy of Recollections of General Washington, edited by Mrs. Lee. He told the young lad he could not have received anything which he prized more highly than the Holy Bible.

After a survey of the alleged errors and discrepancies, including not only the typical ones just mentioned [in the December, 1989 issue of The Counsel of Chalcedon], but also in any others, we assert, without fear of successful contradiction, that no one of these is real. As Christians we call this book the "Holy Bible." But if it were only a relatively good book, setting forth many valuable moral and spiritual truths, but also containing many things which are not true, we would then have no right to apply to it the adjective "holy." It would then be on a level with other books, and would differ from them not in kind but only in degree.

Loraine Boettner was born on March 7, 1901 at the town of Linden in extreme northwest Missouri. His father William was the Sunday School Superintendent at the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) at Linden; his mother was a member of the Methodist church. He attended the Linden church until he was 16 years of age, and at 18 he joined what was then the Centennial Methodist Church. Because of the influence of his father, he was baptized by immersion in a pond that can still be seen. For the next three years he continued attending the regular fall revivals that were part of rural church life in Missouri. Dr. Boettner would never pinpoint his conversion to any dramatic experience, but said as he heard the Word the Lord gradually revealed Himself to him. "Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God."

The good figs are the exiles, the cream of the crop of Judah; and the bad figs are the poorer, less talented people who remained in the mostly depopulated Jerusalem during the Babylonian Captivity. This parable promises that it will be the exiles who will return to Jerusalem and be the bearers of the new age of renewal and restoration.

God promises that he personally will watch over the development of the exiles and will provide for them and do them good even while they were in captivity. After seventy years, he promises that he will cause them to return to their land, and he will reconstruct them into his faithful people by giving them a mind and heart that loves and "knows" God and by moving them to repent and to return to God with all their heart. With this repentance God will restore to them the blessings of the covenant: union and communion with Him.

John Lofton's interview of Rep. Newt Gingrich, (R.-Ga., and the Minority Whip in the U.S. House of Representatives,) is one of the most important interviews with a conservative politician to date. It shows why modem conservatism is a failure, because much of modern American, (1990), political conservatism is anti-Christian. Gingrich makes clear that there are no absolutes governing politics and morality outside of history. That is implicit atheism. As a result of this kind of thinking, Gingrich is weak on homosexuality, and many other things, as you will see. One time he told me, in his Washington office, that one of the problems he had with Congressman Larry McDonald, was that many times he (McDonald) would vote against an issue, "and his only reason for doing so was his religious convictions. He never learned to be pragmatic." There is no hope in modem conservatism, unless it submits to the biblical authority of Jesus Christ. (Isaac Asimov, whom Gingrich admires, is president of the American Humanist Association.) - JCMIII

Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation (An Exegetical and Historical Argument for a Pre-AD. 70 Composition), by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., Th.D. The Institute for Christian Economics, Tyler, Texas, 1989. 409 pages, hardback. $24.95. Reviewed by the Rev. Grover E. Gunn, III, pastor, the Carrollton Presbyterian Church (PCA), Carrollton, Mississippi.