When Jesus came to the area of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They answered, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Proverbs 28:26 — The one who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but the one who walks in wisdom will escape.

Let’s face it: There is a lot, and I mean a lot, of advice out there telling us to rely on and trust in ourselves. To those who don’t know better, this secular dogma to trust in self sounds really good on its face. But is it good? No doubt, this appeals to our fallen nature. You may even think you are the only one who can make the right decision for yourself. Right? Not really. The fact is, this is terrible advice, and it will lead to disastrous results. A Christian should never accept this line of thinking. Rather, he should reject this kind of self-positivism as the answer to life’s questions or problems. Why? Christian theology teaches a doctrine called “The Fall.”

It is sometimes easy to allow the “tail to wag the dog”! In the busy-ness of life, the world, the flesh and the devil can distract us from our focus. What is your focus? Here are a few common ones:

Part 1

I wanted to share some of my reading and give you a small book review on the latest book I’m working through, ‘When people are Big and God is small’ by Edward Welch. So far, the introduction has been very enlightening and very thought-provoking. Something that I have come to expect from this author.

by Larry Barber

No close friendship or intimate human relationship has ever existed without some degree of pain. It is simply not possible for fallen human beings to function in interpersonal relationships without the ever-present potential for injury. It is an expression of our fallenness to sacrifice the well-being of others in order to protect ourselves from the possibility of personal pain or injury. Consequently, for a relationship to survive in an honest, healthy, and meaningful way, the individuals in the relationship must be involved in the process of forgiving one another on an ongoing basis. Tragically, many Christians’ understanding of forgiveness is very different from what the biblical authors intended to communicate. How Christians commonly define forgiveness is often a form of spiritualized denial.

What will they call our time in the history books a few centuries from now? I propose that the chapter on this era should be “The Age of Compromise”. It is a highly interpretive age, subject to every individual’s speculations, which means essentially, that it is subject to no interpretation at all. This condition annihilates any sense of certainty and leaves everyone in an oceanic world of roving waves. In terms of philosophy, this is called “relativism”, which means that reality is relative to the senses and interpretations of the individual and to the consensus of the majority. Truth is not possible in such a world; there is no tolerance in relativism to the concept that anything exists outside of the human faculties and experience.

It is easy to get caught up in “good” movements and works because they make perfect sense, however, we must always be aware that although a string of logic may move perfectly along a succession of premises, that does not mean that we will not arrive at error instead of truth. Logic is a dumb tool, like computers — garbage in, garbage out. Logic can work very well in an erroneous environment of thought; just consider evolution for a while. That is the deception of “perfect sense” and just another reason why we need divine revelation.

One thing Christians need to know before they move their individual, family, or church thinking into the direction of the world is what the world thinks about Man. I could say Christians need to understand what the world thinks about God, but the effect of atheism and agnosticism is manifested in anthropology. By “anthropology”, I do not mean the study of the skull fragments of so-called hominids (pre-human “man”) with the view of trying to link together an evolutionary progression, but that does have something to do with what I’m talking about. What I mean is, what does the world of mankind we are presently living in think about Man and does it have anything to do with what God reveals about Man in Scripture? Also, what effect does the world’s view of Man have on the world’s policies regarding man?

Proverbs 29:18 states, “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law.” Common interpretation of this proverb is disappointing. The last portion of the verse is usually not quoted – probably because it contains that “controlling” L-word. What the interpretation generally comes down to is humanistic, “If people do not have goals, a vision of the big picture, a direction for achievement, or a philosophy or principle to work toward, those people will not be able to hold together, they will not accomplish anything worthwhile and the whole thing will fall apart.” Whatever truth may be attached to that view has nothing to do with Proverbs 29:18 because the wording of the proverb has become victim to equivocation. Equivocation means that one is constructing a meaning by using a definition of a word that is not applicable. In the case of Proverbs 29, the word “vision” is given a definition, a modern one, that is not related to the definition of the word in the text.

I will begin by saying that I do not consider myself to be a prophet in the Old Testament sense, but I will undertake to predict the future in this article. The basis of my prediction is not an inner sense of divine light and revelation, but a rational assessment of the motions of the past along with insights from Scripture that are meant to guide the Church away from the rocks and shoals of humanistic thought.

The church, under Christ her King, is an independent domain, even as the state is.  The church is a separate institution with its own powers, functions and jurisdiction.  The state has its own domain.  Each institution may exercise authority only within the jurisdiction given it by Christ.  Ecclesiastical constitutions have no authority in civil government; and civil constitutions have no authority in ecclesiastical government. To reject this limitation is political, cultural and ecclesiastical suicide.

Historians of generations past and journalists and government school ma’ams today, tend to dismiss the seventeenth century American Puritans as somber cranks and kill-joys who, thankfully, evolved into practical and realistic Unitarian Yankees (“people who believe in one god, at most”). Dressed in black, the Puddleglum snoops peered in their neighbors’ windows to ensure compliance with the rigid and ridiculous ethical pruderies of the Calvinist theology imposed on them by their inquisitional, witchcraft-obsessed ministers. The obdurate cynic H.L. Mencken described Puritanism as “the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”[1]

Last weekend I read about two women who have made history. One was on the front page of the newspaper and is of the “I am woman hear me roar” school. She is known and admired by many for her intelligence and aggressive pursuit of power. She is tough and politically savvy.  She will be entering an international arena to help project the policies of the new Presidential administration. No doubt she will eventually get a sentence or two mention in the history books of the 21st century.