Counsel of Chalcedon
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2008 Issue 1

Many excellent articles have been pubUshed in the Counsel of Chalcedon since her beginning 29 years ago. Because we have a new generation of readers and long-time readers may have forgotten some of the "counsel" of those years, we will be reprinting some of those previous articles. Following is one.

I grew up watching shows like Davey Crockett, "King of the Wild Frontier" and Dan'l Boone ("was a man, yes, a big man," as the theme song went) on TV. How surprised was I when I became a "man" and learned that one of my childhood "heroes" had served in Congress and what I learned from him about charity. As we come to election season again, our candidates and citizens could learn a lesson from Davey Crockett. This story appeared in the Life Of Colonel David Crockett, by Edward S. Ellis, published by Porter & Coates in 1884.

Of the US Constitution, Langdon stated: "That as God in the course of his kind providence hath given you an excellent constitution of government, founded on the most rational, equitable, and liberal principles, by which all that liberty is secured which a people can reasonably claim, and you are impowered to make righteous laws for promoting public order and good morals; and as he has moreover given you by his Son Jesus Christ, who is far superior to Moses, a complete revelation of his will, and a perfect system of true religion, plainly delivered in the sacred writings; it will be your wisdom in the eyes of the nations, and your true interest and happiness, to conform your practice in the strictest manner to the excellent principles of your government, adhere faithfully to the doctrines and commands of the gospel, and practice every public and private virtue. By this you will increase in numbers, wealth, and power, and obtain reputation and dignity among the nations; whereas, the contrary conduct will make you poor, distressed, and contemptible."

Richard Ganz in his book, 20 Controversies That Almost Killed A Church - Paul's Counsel to the Corinthians and the Church Today, wrote concerning I Cor. 5, that many churches are like the Corinthians, they pat themselves on the back for being a great church ... but they do nothing about sin. And, if a minister or elders try to practice church discipline, they may find themselves put out of the church. He reminds us that Jonathan Edwards, one of the most influential preachers since John Calvin, was expelled from his church by a vote of 231-23 for saying that people who were involved in open, unrepentant sin could not take the Lord's Supper. Edwards said there was going to be discipline for sin. John Calvin was also thrown out of Geneva when he tried to practice church discipline. Ganz observes, "If Jonathan Edwards and John Calvin can be thrown out of their churches, how many pastors are safe?"

Does God still intervene in the affairs of men? Can this intervention be earned by a man who is blessed as a result of it? How does a Christian man reconcile his faith with taking up arms against an enemy intent on killing him? What is life like for an American infantryman in Iraq? Is prayer important? These are a few of the questions and issues addressed in Delivered by Angels: God's Providence for an American Soldier in Iraq, co-authored by Specialist Brian Otis and his father, Pastor John Otis, and published by Triumphant Publications.

This book is essentially one man's chronology of God's saving action towards him during battle, juxtaposed with a biblical perspective of those same events. Countless books and narratives have been introduced to the world by men and women who have served in various degrees and importance in military conflicts throughout the history of the world. It's impossible for me to enumerate how many I've read, in addition to those that are in my own library, I can, however, count on one hand those that are as unashamedly and brazenly Christian as this book.