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1992 Issue 2

No Other Standard: Theonomy and Its Critics, by Greg L. Bahnsen, Ph.D.

It has been said of Jonathan Edwards, that once he had finished debating with his opponents, not only had he annihilated their arguments, but he had also dusted off the spot where they had once stood. After reading No Other Standard, one gets this same impression of Greg Bahnsen. In this book, as the subtitle suggests, the author interacts with critics of the theonomic world view. (Theonomy is the belief that "the moral standards (laws) of the Old Testament are authoritative today, along with New Testament teaching," Bahnsen, No Other Standard, pg.3). And with careful, logical precision, reduces the opposing theories to the level of absurdity, and then "dusts off the spot" where they were previously standing. Further, he does so in an irenic spirit, with humility and courtesy, which are all too frequently missing in "reconstructionist" circles.

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.

Based on texts like Ephesians 1:11, Isaiah 46:9-11, etc., we hold that the Bible teaches that God has decreed in an unchangeable fashion from all eternity what events will take place in nature and history - and even what decisions men will make. He has predetermined the end from the beginning of all things, as well as the means by which all His ends shall be accomplished. According to His own wisdom and in deference to nothing whatsoever outside of Himself and His purposes, God has predetermined or foreordained everything that will happen in the created order and what men will do.

Living In The Joy Of Faith: The Christian Faith As Outlined In The Heidelberg Catechism by Clarence Stam.

The author, a pastor in the Canadian Reformed Church, provides the reader with a series of sermons on the doctrines presented in the Heidelberg Catechism. Each chapter contains relevant catechism questions and answers, an outline of the sermon and the sermon itself along with appropriate Scripture on the topic.

God In Three Persons by E. Calvin Beisner.

Lost by many in our generation is the great struggle that occurred in the early church in the formulation of basic Christian doctrine.

In Matthew 6:9-13 Jesus gives His disciples a guide as to how they should pray. We can view this prayer, which has come to be known as the "Lord's Prayer," as a model prayer with regard to its essential content. Though this prayer is normally prayed verbatim, we must acknowledge that the prayer simply serves as a pattern for our praying. We must guard against allowing this prayer to degenerate into mere formalism, which Jesus condemned in the very context. How often have we prayed this prayer, never fully realizing its essential teaching?

The thrust of the prayer is that God is to be glorified in all things. To hallow His name is to see God as He is revealed to us in the Bible. We have noted that the names of God reveal His characteristics. Hence, we are praising God when we hallow His name. We are holding Him in reverence and honor.

Five minutes with my kids in front of Mario Brothers? No way! Lock me up in solitary on Devil's Island with nothing but a Rubix Cube. Either way, I'll go insane. I know that I need to spend time with my children, but what we do during that time is not always easy to decide.

What then is a father to do? How can you spend quality time with your children - I mean without being either the ultimate nemesis to an electronic Darth Vader or attempting your own version of "Mr. Mom"? Many fathers have, no doubt, experienced the frustration in selecting a family activity that still allows them the freedom to be a man. Video games, board games, card games, ringtoss... wow! Don't these just stir your manly spirit? Of course you can opt to pursue a spectator activity, watching other men do "man stuff." However, vicarious enjoyment is just not the same as doing it yourself.

We come now to the fourth vision given Zechariah on his night of visions, the others occurring in 1:8; 2:1; 3:1. Since the historical context is so important to the understanding of the prophecy, let us refresh our memories and get our historical bearings once again. As Isaiah prophesied long before it happened, Israel had been exiled to Babylon for her idolatry. During the exile the prophets Daniel and Ezekiel ministered God's word in Babylon. But seventy years after the first phase of the captivity, God raised up Cyrus of Persia to overthrow Babylon in order to free the Jews so that they could go back to the Promised Land. Upon their return home they enthusiastically laid the foundation for the rebuilding of the Temple. But they soon apathetically dropped the construction project, allowing it to make no further progress for fourteen years.