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1991 Issue 5

Each month the "Cross Examination" column presents a summary statement of a Reformed and Reconstructionist conviction in theology or ethics, and then offers brief answers to common questions, objections or confusions which people have about that belief. Send issues or questions you would like addressed by Dr. Bahnsen to the editor.

Scripture teaches us that when Christ laid down His life as a substitutionary sacrifice for sin, He did so in order to atone for the sins of His people. He died particularly for those chosen by His Father from before the creation of the world, rather than universally for each and every person who lives. Thus the scope of Christ's redeeming work is limited to the elect (the saved) - even though the power and efficacy of His redemption are unlimited, and its influence benefits all mankind.

A Commentary On The Second Epistle General of St Peter by Thomas Adams, Soli Deo Gloria 214 W. Vincent St., Ligonier, PA 15658 $49.95.

Look on your book shelves. How many commentaries on II Peter do you see? If you are like me, you will see none. Thus this reprint of the 1633 work of Thomas Adams is a welcomed and needed addition.

Pastor Adams has provided the reader with 885 pages of Scriptural meat on which your soul can feast and which you can share with others through your ministry. Not a whole lot is known about the author. This commentary shows that the author desired to know God better and make Him known among his hearers. By the Spirit's working, his goal is accomplished.

*For these observations on the impact of the standards on the individual, family and society, I have leaned heavily on an old article by John Canon, entitled, "The Influence Exerted by the Westminster Symbols upon the Individual, the Family, and Society," which appeared in MEMORIAL VOLUME OF THE WESTMINSTER ASSEMBLY, published by the Presbyterian Committee of Publication, Richmond, Va., 1897. I also quote from William Cox's article, "The Influence of the Westminster System of Doctrine, Worship and Polity on Civil Liberty and Responsible Government" from the same volume.

For Calvin, the doctrines of creation and providence are inseparable; he is no deist. He writes, "To make God a momentary Creator, who once for all finished His work, would be cold and barren, and we must differ from profane men especially in that we see the presence of divine power shining as much in the continuing state of the universe as in its inception... Faith ought to penetrate more deeply, namely, having found Him Creator of all, forthwith to conclude He is also everlasting Governor and Preserver - not only in that He drives the celestial frame as well as its several parts by a universal motion, but also in that He sustains, nourishes, and cares for, everything He has made, even to the least sparrow [ef. Matt. l0:29] ... All parts of the universe are quickened by God's secret inspiration" Institutes 1:16:1).

To covet is evil. To covet is good. Both statements are true but they require qualification in terms of the object coveted. To covet is to earnestly desire something with such affection that satisfaction is obtained only with the actual possession of the object so desired. If the particular object is someone else's property and not for sale, nor obtainable in a way that is in keeping with the Law of God, coveting it is evil. If the object is available and it may be acquired by honest means in accordance with the Law of God, coveting it is good. The tenth commandment forbids evil coveting as do most of the references in scripture to coveting. But there is such a thing as good coveting. In Habakkuk 2:9 the prophet declares: 'Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house..." The implication is clearly that there is a good covetousness and this is borne out by the apostle Paul's use of the term in I Corinthians 12:31 where he says: "But covet earnestly the best gifts." In the same epistle he states: "Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy..."(1 Cor. 14:39).

"And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed... (Genesis 3:15a).

The crisis pregnancy hotline ministry of Chalcedon Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Georgia, is not about saving babies. Not really. The "Hope in Crisis" ministry is really about saving souls ... in the name of Jesus Christ.

Truly, this ministry is different from standing on street corners with signs that say, "ABORTION IS MURDER", (which God's people know and the unrighteous deny against their conscience), and taking verbal abuse while you stand there. This crisis pregnancy ministry is a tool for church members to labor in the Great Commission. God commands us to go into the world and preach the gospel to every creature, (Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:20).