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1994 Issue 8

"Can two walk together except they be agreed?" - Amos 3:3

The proposed "Identity" statement answers the question "can two walk together except they be agreed?" In the affirmative, at least if we can just agree to disagtee. It states "We want to learn to live successfully with the allowable diversity in the Reformed Faith rather than to eliminate it through political means ... Our desire is to be ... A Reformed Church Always Reforming."

The revival of A Concerned Presbyterian Movement and a proposed "Identity" statement for the PCA have brought to a head the fact that there are different theological currents, if not rivers, within the PCA and that particular issues are dividing and perhaps, as they put it, distracting the PCA from devoting her energy and resources to her "primary" mission in Christ. Therefore, we ought to be sincerely grateful for these efforts to call the church to identify, address, and resolve these issues.

The temptation of Jesus is inseparably connected with what precedes it and what follows it. Moreover, it is as historical as what precedes it, i.e., Jesus' baptism, and as what follows it, i.e., Jesus' preaching ministry. Jesus' temptation by Satan in the wilderness was an actual incident in His life, Mat. 12:29, which cannot be reduced to superstition or psychological derangement or mythology.

Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, two schools of thought dominated philosophical inquiry: Continental Rationalism and British Empiricism. This paper will be concerned with comparing a representative from each school, Rene Descartes and David Hume, respectively. Although each philosopher built upon a different epistemological foundation, the philosophy of each is marked by skepticism, arbitrariness, and presuppositional inconsistency. Neither allows his philosophy to be founded upon and shaped by the self-attesting Word of God. Three key thrusts in their philosophy will be compared: epistemological method, substance and interaction, and the existence of God.

The ministers of New England did not approve of the proceedings. Cotton Mather and the majority of the pastors of New England vigorously opposed the manner of the proceedings in Salem. The only ones to support the trials were the pastor of Salem church, Samuel Parris (whose daughter and niece initiated the excitements) and two neighboring ministers.

Mather openly denounced the admission of spectral evidence and wrote the judges asking them not to admit it in the trials. The ministers in the area drew up a list of cautions for the assistance of the judges:

"We judge, that in the prosecution of these and all such witchcrafts, there is need of a very critical and exquisite caution: lest by too much credulity for things received only upon the devil's authority, there be a door opened for a long train of miserable consequences, and Satan get an advantage over us; for We should not be ignorant of his devices.

"As Dead Men" by Ina Painter. "but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit." Jer. 2:11.

A friend of mine recently quipped, "If God had intended for us to vote, He would have given us candidates!" It's sad that this kind of remark is funny. Each election in recent years has been a time of mourning. The closer you look at the candidates of the major parties, the more you are brought to grieve over the state of our nation.

Over 360 years ago, a tradition was begun in this country which has fallen into disuse in modern times. The tradition begun was that of the "election sermon" -- sermons preached on the mornings of the general elections of the colony or township. The purpose of these sermons (which incidentally were ordered by the legislatures of each colony) was to instruct the people on the biblical foundations of social order: the true nature and legitimate functions of the civil government, the duties of citizens under God, the duties of magistrates, and the biblical qualifications which ought to be true of those fit for leadership.

A Treatise on Earthly-Mindedness by Jeremiah Burroughs. Soli Deo Gloria Publications. 1991 hb. 219 pp. $18.95.

R.C Sproul begins his introduction to the reprint of the 1649 Puritan work with these words: "My guess is that few people will ever pick up this book and read it. Its theme and content are too alien to modem Christianity to evoke much interest." (p. i). I believe he is right. Yet this is the very reason you and I need to read this volume.