As we engage in the battle for freedom and reformation in our generation, we must keep in mind that central and indeed, indispensable to freedom is Biblical Christianity. There has never been and will never be, true freedom apart from the one true religion. Only as the Son of God makes us free, are we free in any true sense of the word (John 8:32-36).
The Bible teaches us that man since the Fall is not naturally "free" but enslaved to sin and Satan (Rom. 6:16-17). This spiritual bondage unless broken by God's grace, will always result in political bondage. A people convinced in the Bible's teachings however, are almost impossible to enslave. Thus, political revolutionaries have always targeted Christians and Christianity for destruction in the first stages of their revolutions. This has been the case in every atheistic revolution of this century (Russia, China, Korea, Cuba, Nicaragua, etc., etc.).
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.
Let us begin by recapitulating what we mean by covenant theology. God reveals Himself in the pages of Scripture specifically as the covenant-keeping God. To understand His person and works properly, we must see Him in light of the covenant He has made and fulfills with His people.
The Sinfulness of Sin by Edward Reynolds, Soli Deo Gloria Publications 213 W. Vincent St. Ligonia, PA, 15658 475pp. hb.
This reprint of Vol. 1 of the 1826 edition of Reynold's works is much needed in our day. With much insight and great detail the author opens up sin's sinfulness by exploring the creature's vanity as he expounds Ecclesiastes 1:14. He then clearly shows the sinfulness of sin using Romans 7:9 as a text. The first two sections make the reader ready for the third and final section which centers on the excellency of Christ based on I John 5:12.
The Turnabout Years: America's Cultural Life, 1900-1950 by John Chamberlain Jameson Books, Inc. P.O Box 738 Ottawa, Ill. 254 pp. inc. index $12.95. pb.
This book is a compilation of fifty-four reviews published in the Freeman (which the author helped start) in the early 50's. They have been brought together into this book because of their great relevancy for today. The reader can herein find Mr. Chamberlain's remarks about a host of individuals including John Dos Passos, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Whittaker Chambers, Joseph McCarthy and James Michener just to mention a few. As he reviews books written by or about those mentioned above, the author applies, from a libertarian perspective, his comments to current trends within society. Many of these remarks remind the reader of the threat of Communism that existed forty years ago and many believe is still a threat today.
Election Day Sermons have been preached in America from our very beginning. "As early as 1633 in Massachusetts and 1674 in Connecticut the practice of preaching election sermons arose. These were delivered before the governor and assembly, (and in meetinghouses in local towns), year by year. Frequently these sermons were printed at government expense and distributed among the town, and the themes discussed were rediscussed in the pulpits throughout New England." - William W. Sweet, The Story of Religion in America, pg. 177.
The purpose of these Election Day Sermons can be stated in terms of Deuteronomy 26:19 - "...that He (God) shall set you high above all nations which He has made, for praise, fame and honor; and that you shall be a consecrated people to the Lord your God...." It was the earnest prayer of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century preachers of the gospel that through the preaching and teaching of the Holy Bible God would create, preserve and perfect a genuinely Christian and thoroughly Biblical social, moral and political order in America for the glory of God and as a model - "a city set on a hill" - for the rest of the world.
Interest in the future is one of the pre-eminent concerns of man. Because of this deep concern the Old Testament era nations sought future knowledge by illicit means through astrology, necromancy, occultism, and so forth. Even Israel's King Saul illictly sought knowledge of the future through the Witch of Endor (1 Sam. 28:7ff). It also explains why so many Americans even today employ the occult, consult astrological tables, and engage in other New Age practices. But God prohibits all such selfish inquiries as immoral practices (Deut. 18:10-11).
This thirst for the future in man largely is traceable to his being created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26). And the Scripture reveals to us that God is eternal (l Tim. 6:16). In fact, Scripture teaches us that God specifically has set eternity in our hearts (Eccl. 3:11 NASB) by creating us with immortal souls.