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Pluralism. It is as American as apple pie isn't it? "Of course," many in the church and out of the church would answer. By pluralism we mean that America is made up of plural (many) faiths; even people with no faith. All religious views should be equally protected by the civil government. After all, it is part of American religious freedom. In recent days we have seen more discussion of religious pluralism. People have worried as to what Pat Robertson, an ordained minister; might do if he were elected President. With his withdrawal that question is mute. Yet the question of whether or not America should be a pluralistic society is alive and well and continues to be discussed.

Indirectly, we have already been discussing the relationship between justification and sanctification. Now, we will be more specific as to their interrelationship. What is meant by these two terms? Justification is an act of God's grace in which the sinner is declared righteous, not by any good works that he has done but by the work of Christ which is credited to his account. It is a one-time judicial act of God. Romans 8:1 captures the effect of justification. There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.

This chapter reminds us that the basic cause of Judah's destruction by Jehovah was her blatant and inexcusable rejection of the sovereignty and covenant of the Lord; and her submission to another sovereignty in Baal. When this happens, it is inevitable that the curses of the covenant, (Lev. 26 and Deut. 28), become operative.

The indictment of Judah has a different emphasis in chapter 5 than it did in chapter 2. In chapter 2 God indicted Judah for her idolatry. In chapter 5 God indicts Judah for her personal and social immorality. Faithfulness of Jehovah and submission to his sovereignty not only show themselves in purity of worship, but also in careful adherence to the laws of God's covenant in both personal morality and public justice.

"Great is the mystery of godliness," Paul declares. The book of Acts (19:28) records that a great disturbance arose in the city of Ephesus because of the Way, 19:23. The Ephesians were filled with rage and began to shout, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians." Now, as Paul writes to Timothy who is pastoring in Ephesus, Paul declares; "Great is the mystery of godliness." Paul is shouting that the answer to false worship and idolatry, to a pagan and humanistic culture is Christianity.

This chapter reminds us that the basic cause of Judah's destruction by Jehovah was her blatant and inexcusable rejection of the sovereignty and covenant of the Lord; and her submission to another sovereignty in Baal. When this happens, it is inevitable that the curses of the covenant, (Lev. 26 and Deut. 28), become operative.

Let's examine further the nature of saving faith. Good works or obedience to God's Law cannot be separated from a faith that leads to salvation. Just as one is to perform deeds appropriate to repentance, one is to give evidence that true faith is present.

Preaching on politics is as American as apple pie. The Father of the American Revolution, Samuel Adams, used to call the New England clergy his "black regiment" because he could count on them to proclaim the message of liberty and independence from the pulpits across the land. Early American clergymen commonly preached "electric sermons" near election day to remind their parishioners of their civic responsibilities and to present a Biblical view of political affairs. The French observer, Alexis de Tocqueville, wrote that while religion in America takes no direct part in government, it "must be regarded as the first of their political institutions."

What is Calvinism? Or the Confession of Faith in Harmony with the Bible and Common Sense. In a series of dialogues between a Presbyterian minister and a young convert. Dialogue XVI, Perseverance II.

The Westminster Assembly was called by ordinance of both Houses of Parliament and met for the first time on July 1, 1643. Nearly all the sessions were held in the Jerusalem Chamber in Westminster Abbey.

The first work which the Assembly undertook was the revision of the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England. On October 12, 1643, when the Assembly was engaged in the revision of the sixteenth Article, there came an order from both Houses of Parliament to treat of such discipline and government as would be most agreeable to God's Word, and most apt to procure and preserve the peace of the Church at home and nearer agreement with the Church of Scotland and other Reformed Churches abroad. and also to treat of a directory for worship. It was in pursuance of this order that the Assembly prepared what are known as 'The Form of Presbyterial Church Government' and 'The Directory for the Public Worship of God'.

The Reduction of Christianity: Dave Hunt's Theology of Cultural Surrender, by Gary DeMar and Peter Leithart. Published jointly by The American Vision, Atlanta, GA and Dominion Press, Ft. Worth, TX, 1988. 403 pp.