Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Grace



I believe in the grace of God. That is, I believe God bestows His favor and mercy upon those who absolutely do not deserve it. I believe we are justified (declared righteous) on account of God’s grace alone. I believe Jesus died on the cross to atone for the sins of those who generally could care less about Christ's death at all. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

“Sorry Mom, I am Voting for Rand Paul”





“The only proper purpose of a government is to protect man’s rights, which means: to protect him from physical violence. A proper government is only a policeman, acting as an agent of man’s self-defense, and, as such, may resort to force only against those who start the use of force. The only proper functions of a government are: the police, to protect you from criminals; the army, to protect you from foreign invaders; and the courts, to protect your property and contracts from breach or fraud by others, to settle disputes by rational rules, according to objective law." 

Ayn Rand "The New Intellectual"

I guess I need to come clean. While there are a lot of good people running for the Republican nomination for President, there is only one person so far that I can get behind and that person is Rand Paul. I know this will disappoint many of my Evangelical friends out there who love Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson based on their strong Christian convictions. While I love and respect these guys and everyone running for the GOP nomination, this is not a popularity contest and this is most definitely not a vote for who is the best Christian. 

I have been a Republican all my life and since the days of my Ronald Reagan loving youth I have lived, breathed, and died for the Grand Old Party. This will never change but I have increasingly become more Libertarian over the last few years. I will no longer vote for Republican Rhino’s like John McCain and Mitt Romney. Nor will I vote for middle of the road, wishy washy politicians like Jeb Bush and Lindsey Graham. 

Over the last few years I have undergone a fundamental change in my views on human life, politics and society. While I have been relatively conservative my entire life, I really did not have a solid and objective foundation for my conservatism. After much personal hardship, reflection and study, I have come to believe that “Libertarianism” best summarizes my personal beliefs. By “Libertarianism” I mean the worldview that essentially postulates the legitimacy of human autonomy and individualism. 

For most of my life I have been a conformist. I have craved acceptance by certain artificial boundaries of conformity in my conservative circles and attempted to conform to what the Republican Party and various Evangelical Church leaders have deemed to be true. I have tried to organize and live my life by what others have deemed to be best for my life. This is no longer the case. I now believe that I am the ultimate arbiter of what is best for my own life.

I am going to start voting for and supporting candidates like Rand Paul who want to actually do something to limit the size of government, protect our civil liberties and work on eradicating our 19 trillion dollar national deficit. I believe the best government is the least amount of government and for this reason I am voting for Rand Paul. 

For this reason, I am writing a small book entitled,  The Case for Rand Paul.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Should Libertarians Defend Bruce (Caitlyn) Jenner’s Gender Change?



by Lee Edward Enochs
"A Libertarian on Fire"


"Girls will be boys and boys will be girls
It's a mixed up muddled up shook up world except for Lola
La-la-la-la Lola."

"Lola"
The Kinks


In the last twenty-four hours, the national airwaves and social media has exploded with discussion over former Olympic star Bruce Jenner’s Vanity Fair pictures that depict Jenner in women’s clothes and as a transgender woman. Moreover, Vanity Fair has relayed the news that Jenner now wants to be referred to as a woman named “Caitlyn.”

My conservative Christian friends argue that if a God created a person male, then that individual will ipso facto always remain male and that no amount of cosmetic surgery and hormonal replacement therapy will change what God has ordained from the beginning. "So God created mankind in his own image; in his own image God created them; he created them male and female" (Genesis 1:27). 
As a conservative with decidedly Libertarian views on the relationship between private citizenry and the State, I understand tension between these polar ideological extremes and have mixed feelings about this matter. On one hand, my conservative Christian heritage tends to view Jenner’s gender change as a massive departure from traditional Judeo-Christian mores concerning gender and sexuality.

My conservative Christian friends argue that if a God created a person male, then that individual will ipso facto always remain male and that no amount of cosmetic surgery and hormonal replacement will change what God has ordained from the beginning. Furthermore, many of my conservative friends view Jenner’s gender change as being salacious in nature and a clear sign of the inherent decrepitude of contemporary American society.
However, at the risk of being a schismatic, I am left wondering how I as a Libertarian who adheres to a form of the late Harvard philosopher Robert Nozick’s minimal state view of political philosophy should view Jenner’s gender change. While on one hand, I am a Christian traditionalist who wants to uphold Christian virtue and morality, I am personally struggling with the notion that I should somehow interfere with what Jenner does with his/her own body. 

I am left wondering what Evangelicals and other social conservative opponents of Jenner's gender change want to enforce a form of sharia law wherein the private choices of Americans are regulated by some sort of theocracy. In other words, the days of Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority are over. It's a brave new world out there and I am not sure if it is the role of the Christian church to attempt to legislate morality for the masses.

As Dr. Nozick contends in his epic book, Anarchy, State and Utopia*, that the state exists along the narrow function of protection against force, theft, fraud, enforcement of contracts and so on. Nozick argues that any more of an extensive state will violate persons’ rights to do certain things and is hence unwarranted (Nozick, ix).

As much as my conservative Christian faith may inform me to disagree with Jenner’s gender choices, I do not want the government or anyone else to intrude upon Jenner’s private choices irrespective of how contrarian they may appear to be.
Yet, something should be said about the politically correct “thought police” who are trying to censure dissent over Jenner’s very public gender change. I believe attempting to squelch public dissent and discourse on this matter is just as bad as someone who tries to interfere with Jenner’s decision to change gender. It is very clear that vocal and public dissent over Jenner’s gender transition is safeguarded by the First Amendment of the US Constitution.





"Girls will be boys and boys will be girls
It's a mixed up muddled up shook up world except for Lola
La-la-la-la Lola."

"Lola"

The Kinks


----------------

Anarchy, State and Utopia by Robert Nozick (Ph.D, Princeton).

Monday, June 1, 2015

Let's Abolish the Patriot Act!

The Patriot Act and the Paradigm of Suspicion





Can America be Safe without the Violation of our Civil Liberties?

By Lee Enochs
Princeton, New Jersey

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized” (The Fourth Amendment).

Last night the US Senate allowed certain provisions of the Patriot Act to expire and I think this is a good thing. In fact, like Rand Paul, I believe the Patriot Act should be abolished. I believe there is a way to keep America safe from terrorist attack without violating our constitutional rights to privacy and unlawful searches and seizures.

Like many Americans, I will remember September 11, 2001 for the rest of my life. I was living and going to school in Los Angeles at the time and still recall the surreal and apocalyptic experience of driving around the streets of LA with my friend, wondering if we were safe from terrorist attack.

I also recall the tremendous sense of pride and patriotism I felt when I watched President Bush address the country later that night on national television.  I am an American and I love this country with all my heart. As a life-long Republican, I voted for George W. Bush twice and respect the enormous efforts he took to keep America safe in one of nation’s greatest hours of need.

Yet, I am an implacable opponent of the Patriot Act Bush and the American Congress enacted in response to the terrorist attacks on the grounds that its government enforcers often violate our constitutional rights.

I personally do not like the idea of being spied on by my government and  believe it should be in the business of monitoring the phone calls and emails of innocent citizens and that such efforts violates our right to privacy and fundamental civil liberties.

For these reasons alone I believe the Patriot Act should be abolished and our nation’s leaders should go back to the drawing board on how to keep this nation safe without violating our cherished rights.


Friday, May 1, 2015

The Gospel of Maximum Freedom

                                   
                





 I believe in freedom and human autonomy. 




  

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Calling Out Matt Walsh



An Appeal for Charity and Moderation: 
Addressing Blogger Matt Walsh’s Comments on Bruce Jenner



At some point last fall, An Evangelical pastor friend of mine turned me on to a conservative blogger named Matt Walsh. Due to my rigorous academic work here in Princeton, New Jersey, I normally do not have time to surf the blogosphere to get the latest social and political takes of non-academicians. A cursory examination of current trends on the worldwide web will conclusively demonstrate that there are a lot of people on line espousing a multiplicity of views from a myriad of ideological, sociological and theological perspectives.

However, in my estimation there is something unique and admirable about this young man named Matt Walsh. I personally like the guy and think his earnest theologically informed perspective is refreshing in a world filled with substance free rhetoric. It is very obvious that Matt Walsh a young man on the move. He is a real mover and shaker in the American world of ideas with a bright future as a public intellectual.

Having said this, it greatly pains me to be an interloper and rain on his ever increasing parade. However, in diametrical counter-distinction to many American conservatives who are praising Walsh for his bold take on the Bruce Jenner issue, I believe Walsh’s recent Op-Ed piece on the Blaze entitled, “Bruce Jenner is not a woman. He is a sick and delusional man,” is pejorative and most certainly not helpful in fostering civil and conciliatory discourse in a world awash in vitriol and polarization.


I think it is important from the onset to communicate that I am a conservative who understands full well the audience that appreciates this sort of rhetoric. As a younger man, I think I would have been more appreciative of Walsh’s commentary, but as I get older, I think this sort of cultural militancy is not serving the American people very well. Sure, it gets conservatives fired up, but I am just not certain there will be a positive outcome from increasing the saddening divisions already tearing this storied nation apart.

As a an Evangelical Christian who very much wants to honor Christ with my words and actions, I am concerned that Mr. Walsh’s view that Bruce Jenner is little more than a “sick and delusional cross dresser,” will hurt those who are struggling with gender related issues and only confirm popular suspicions and commonly held societal stereotypes about Evangelicals and other social conservatives.  It is a fact that many people in secular society believe that Evangelicals hate them.

While I am sympathetic to the idea that God intended human beings to remain in the gender that He originally created them to be, I believe the issue is far more complex than Mr. Walsh and others crusading against Bruce Jenner and other transgendered individuals make it out to be. Since time immemorial, human beings have struggled with their gender and Mr. Walsh’s pejorative laden commentary will not change that, but will serve to divide America further and further.

There are deep divisions in contemporary American society as the current smoldering riots and ruins of Baltimore can attest to, we all must do our part to be ambassadors of peace and reconciliation to a hurting world. I am just not certain that Mr. Walsh’s comments on Bruce Jenner are very Christian. I do not hear the authentic voice of Jesus in his comments about Bruce Jenner.

The Bible teaches us to love our enemies and if Mr. Walsh perceives Bruce Jenner to be his cultural enemy, I think he would be better served to use words of compassion towards Bruce Jenner in a manner that could potentially win him over to Walsh’s position on gender identity and the historic Christian faith.

I am not attempting to squelch Mr. Walsh’s considerable gifts and zeal for his conception of truth, far from it. I just want to see a gifted man like Matt Walsh love Bruce Jenner as Christ would. I am just not certain that Mr. Walsh’s comments meet Jesus’ criterion of loving our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:39).


Lee Edward “Ed” Enochs (B.A. Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) is an Evangelical Christian with distinctive Libertarian views on politics and the US Constitution. Lee has also studied at such noted schools as the Moody Bible Institute and Westminster Theological Seminary in California and is currently a full-time graduate student in Princeton, New Jersey. Lee is also the author of a book on the relationship between economics and Christianity entitled, “A Biblical Defense of Capitalism” which can be purchased at: http://www.amazon.com/Biblical-Defense-Capitalism-Lee-Enochs/dp/1505809061




Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Thought on Bruce Jenner





Libertarianism, Evangelicalism and Bruce Jenner: Should Bruce Jenner Have a Right to Change His Gender?

by Lee Enochs
"A Libertarian on Fire"
Princeton, New Jersey

"Actus me invito factus non est meus actus" (The act done by me against my will is not my act).

Like many Americans, I watched with interest, last Friday's televised interview between ABC's Diane Sawyer and former olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner. Also, like many Americans, I have been a bit taken back by Jenner's announcement that he sees himself as a woman and plans to change his gender.

After Jenner's announcement on 20/20, I spent a few hours this past weekend reading various news reports and blog posts on the matter, and frankly I am appalled by some of the conservative blog comments on this subject. In particular, I am a bit ticked off to have read some Evangelical Christians who have used very pejorative terms to describe Jenner and his decision to transition to female.

Specifically, I am a bit concerned about the rhetoric of a gifted young blogger named Matt Walsh who has said some very fierce things against Bruce Jenner of late: http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/bruce-jenner-is-not-a-woman-he-is-a-sick-and-delusional-man/

However, as a Libertarian, I believe in the maximization of the freedom of speech and do not want to deter any America from exercising their constitutional right to freedom of speech. Unlike some of my liberal and even conservative friends, I do not believe in squashing anyone's right to freely express their opinion even if I vehemently disagree with it. In the same respect, I want to chime in here and say that we conservatives can do a lot better at handling this situation regarding Bruce Jenner and we should avoid mocking him and using derogatory rhetoric against him for his decision to change his body.

Likewise as a Libertarian, I am left wondering if anyone should interfere with another free citizen's right to do with body as she or he sees fit under the laws of great country. While I may have some issues as an Evangelical Christian with the concept of gender transition and wonder if God intended this for human beings, the laws of the United States permit Bruce Jenner to change his body through hormonal replacement and cosmetic surgery.

I do not want to be the person that tries to stand in the way of another person's right to do with his or her body as they sees fit and frankly, I am wondering if those conservatives who want rail against Bruce Jenner for wanting to change his body as his conscience dictates, are in fact violating their conservative principles on the inherent right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

If Bruce Jenner was your father, would you treat him any differently? If Bruce Jenner was my father, I would treat him with dignity and compassion. I say this because I have read many Evangelical blogs and commentary of late that has used very negative, caustic, pejorative and ungodly language to communicate that they don't support his decision to change his gender. As Christians, are we not commanded by Jesus Christ to love our neighbor as ourselves? (Mark 12:30-31).

Also, if Bruce Jenner is now your "enemy," does not the Scriptures teach us to love our enemies? (Matthew 5:44). The sad thing is, many of the Evangelicals and pro-America conservatives out there that loved Bruce Jenner when he was an All-American Gold Medalist on the Wheaties Box and stuff, they loved him like their own son. Now that he is changing his gender, these same rah-rah conservatives and Evangelicals have dropped him like a bad habit and are treating him like a serial killer.

-------------------------------------------------------------
My name is Lee Edward Enochs (B.A. Humanities, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) and I approve this message. I am also an Evangelical with distinctly Libertarian political views. I am currently a graduate student in Princeton, New Jersey. I am the author of a book on economics and theology entitled, "A Biblical Defense of Capitalism," which can be purchased at: http://www.amazon.com/Biblical-Defense-Capitalism-Lee-Enochs/dp/1505809061

Friday, April 17, 2015

Introducting Conservative Campaigns

Dear Friends,

I have started a new blog and political entity called, "Conservative Campaigns." You can check out the blog here:

http://conservativestrategy.blogspot.com/

Thursday, March 26, 2015

God and the Eternal Now


“Teach us to number our days that we might gain a heart of wisdom.”

                                                                                      (Psalm 90:17)

 

In recent days two of my former undergraduate professors have died. Both of these professors were very influential in my life and their deaths have caused me to reflect upon the eternity and the temporality of human existence. Life is so short and fleeting and I need to focus on what God has intended for my life. Life is short and then we die. It's that simple.
 
 
 
 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Tragic Words from Jim Morrison






                        "I am not sure what is going to happen when I die, but I am going to get my kicks before the  whole sh-t house goes up in flames."

-Jim Morrison 
Circa 1970.

The Cross of Jesus Christ








"Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world!"

                                     (John 1:29)



    Jesus died for me. This simple but profound statement is ultimately the essence of Christianity. Christians of all denominational flavors and stripes believe that God the Father sent His only Son (Jesus Christ) to die on the cross for our sins. We Christians also believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. The concept that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins and rose again from the dead is the most profound idea in the history of humanity. I personally believe this truth with all of my heart, mind, soul and strength.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Why I Support Israel


My Ultimate Confession: I am Jewish

by Lee Edward Enochs 

 I think it should be known that I plan to return back to Southern California and make a difference in society. In fact, my plan is to return home to Orange County as soon as I earn my Master's Degree here in Princeton, New Jersey.

Having said this, I think the time has come for me to confess something to my friends and to the entire world. I am Jewish. Through some thorough genealogical investigation of my family origin, I have come to the careful conclusion that on my father's side of the family, I am a direct descendent of Ukrainian Jewish people who immigrated to the United States in the 1880's. It took most of my lifetime to track all this information down, but it is true, I am Jewish. I am of Hebraic descent and this is why I am a vocal and staunch supporter of my ancestral homeland, Israel.

Let me try to explain to you briefly how I discovered my ancient Jewish identity. You see, my last name is Enochs. In 2007, during my year long stay with my father, Thomas Enochs in Honolulu, Hawaii, I came to this conclusion. After intensive questioning of my own father and after a thorough "paper chase" investigation of very old and important family documents, I came to the determination that my paternal family name Enochs is in all actuality an anglicized version of the Biblical and Hebrew name Enoch.

While it took some time to trace all this down, I discovered that my great grandfather immigrated from a Jewish community in the Ukraine during the later part of the 19th Century. When my great grandfather came to this country, he added an "s" to his last name for some reason. For over the last 100 years, my paternal family name has been Enochs. However in all actuality, my original Hebrew family name which endured for centuries in the same essential etymological form was Enoch.

 According to the Hebrew Scriptures, Enoch was the son of Cain and a city was named after him and the Biblical text says,

"Cain made love to his wife, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. Cain was then building a city, and he named it after his son Enoch.  To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael was the father of Methushael, and Methushael was the father of Lamech" (Genesis 4:17-18).

 The Book of Genesis says that Enochs was the seventh progenitor of the human race, descending from Adam. Enoch was the son of Jared and the father of Methuselah. Enoch lived and "walked with God" for 365 years until the Biblical text says, "He was not, because God took Him" (Genesis 5:24).

According to the Jewish Encyclopedia and the Targum; Pseudo-Jonathan (Gen. v. 24) Enoch was a pious worshiper of the true God, and was removed from among the dwellers on earth to heaven, receiving the names (and offices) of Meṭaṭron and "Safra Rabba" (Great Scribe). This view represents one and (after the complete separation of Christianity from Judaism) the prevailing rabbinical idea of Enoch's character and exaltation.

Needless to say, my genealogical and family records conclusively demonstrate that I am a direct paternal descendent of a Jewish family with the surname Enoch, that lived in the Ukraine. Eventually, towards the last part of the 1800's, my great grandfather immigrated from Europe and settled in a farming community in rural Illinois until they moved to the Detroit area sometime in the 1930's.

My Jewish roots makes sense to me. I have had a spiritual and emotional connection with the Jewish people all of my life. I love the Jewish people and will defend Israel until the day I die.

I will let you in on something very personal to me. I have encountered antisemitism in several different contexts here on the East Coast and it angered me. I heard someone say that something very bad about Jewish people and the nation of Israel and it outraged me. I think it deeply upset me because at the core of my being I know that I am Jewish. I am not ashamed of this. I am who I am because this is who the Lord God of Israel made me to be.





Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Broken by God

                         


                          "It has been good that I have been afflicted, that I might learn Thy statutes."
                                                                                                           (Psalm 119:71)


The last few weeks have been exceedingly difficult for me. In fact, I have not been through such affliction, sorrow and hardship in a very long time. However, at the risk of uttering a cliché, I believe this time of suffering was necessary to bring me to the end of my own self-sufficiency. These trials have broken my massive pride and have made me realize that God is God and that I am not.

In other words, these difficulties have brought me to my knees. I have been pushed to the breaking point of human existence and have come out of this trial of faith believing in Jesus Christ. Like one who has been bitten by a snake and must have the snake poison removed in order to survive, I believe I had to to undergo this massive trial in order to purge and prune me my inherent folly and wickedness.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Begin Again





As many of you know, I experienced walking through a raging snowstorm last week. The effects of this snowstorm took a considerable toll on me. I went through something akin to hypothermia and severe shock to my system. I was not myself and have not eaten very much or had many fluids since last Thursday. Despite the raging headache and heightened senses I experienced, the worst thing about it, was the utter feeling of isolation and abandonment I went through. I still cannot believe I did not have one person to call that could have helped me get home in that state of emergency. But, for now, I am not going anywhere. I do want to self-censor myself for a while to heal from the storm and avoid communicating out of pain and discouragement. But I plan to begin again.






Thursday, March 5, 2015

In Search of the Historical Jesus



                                                        A Personal Reflection
                                                       by Lee Edward Enochs
                                                      
                                                       Part 1 of 4.


Trigger Warning: This blog post deals with the historical Jesus Christ.  

"I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father, except by Me."
                                               ~ John 14:6

     
 This is a topic I most definitely do not want to discuss or write about. I would rather divert our attention from this issue and focus on other issues. I would rather deal with Benjamin Netanyahu's speech before Congress the other day or complain about how the beautiful Dakota Johnson has no business being in that troubling movie "Fifty Shades of Grey." If I am up to it, those topics will be the focus of other blog posts here on Theologian X. I believe I need to discuss something of the utmost importance and is the ultimate outcome of my discussion about the inspiration, reliability and inerrancy of the Bible.

The subject I will now discuss is very controversial. It is divisive. Many people will disagree with me. I am o.k. with that because I am a big boy and can handle my biz. I am also mindful that Jesus Christ of Nazareth came to bring a sword (Matthew 10:34). Sometimes there are issues in life that are worth fighting for. This is one of them. In fact my entire life stands or falls on this issue alone. The Christian faith is very, very precious to me and it is completely predicated upon Jesus Christ and the truthfulness of the Bible. Everything I have ever did and ever stood for is tied to this singular issue. Without further prolonging the suspense, the issue of utmost importance I am referring to concerns Jesus Christ of Nazareth and if the Bible accurately records the life, ministry and teaching of Jesus Christ.

I believe this is of the utmost importance since it concerns whether or not I have an authentic conception of who Jesus Christ is. I believe Christianity is meaningless if we cannot trust the New Testament's description of Jesus Christ. I believe that the entirety of the Christian faith stands or falls on the central issue of the reliability of the New Testament documents. For if the New Testament does not accurately record who Jesus Christ is and what He did in actual time space history, then we are left to complete arbitrary subjectivity concerning Jesus.

This is personal to me because I spent many, many hours studying this issue and have come to believe the Bible accurately depicts the authentic Jesus of History. I was in search of the "Historical Jesus" until I found Him in the pages of the inspired and infallible New Testament.

I am beginning to encounter professing Christians here in the Northeast who are perfectly fine with the idea that the New Testament is riddled with factual errors, discrepancies and contradictions. I am even running into people who say that they do not believe the Bible at all, yet claim to believe in Jesus Christ.

I believe the veracity of the entire Christian faith is bound of up with the reliability of the Bible and in particular the New Testament. For if the New Testament does not accurately record the life of Jesus, then we are left to our own devices as to whether or not Jesus lived and did certain things that are often attributed to Him.

I believe the Bible is a historically reliable document and it accurately records the authentic life, ministry and teachings of Jesus Christ. I reject much of contemporary higher criticism of the New Testament and believe it is an invalid approach to understanding who Christ is.

I believe in the historic Christian Church's conception of Jesus Christ; that He is the Son of God who died and rose again from the dead in actual time-space history. I believe if we cannot trust the New Testament authors' depiction of Jesus Christ, then, we have no idea who Christ really was and is.

I cannot accept an errant view of Biblical inspiration. Either we can trust all of it as God's infallible and inerrant Word, or we cannot trust any of it. I believe those who believe there were factual errors, discrepancies and contradictions within the original autographs of the New Testament, yet cling to the Bible as their guide to faith, are in a tenuous situation at best, since the "errant Bible view" leaves room for a New Testament scholar and skeptic like Rudolf Bultmann or Bart Ehrman to come along and say we cannot trust any part of the New Testament as an accurate guide of who Jesus was and is today. There seems to be a faulty criterion in the minds of those Christians who maintain faith in Christ from the testimony of an errant testimony of Jesus. If we cannot trust the New Testament in many places, why should we trust it in any place?

My "search for the Historical Jesus" ended when I encountered Him as the living and risen Son of God in the pages of God's majestic and perfect Word.

To those who disagree with me on this; I love you. Let's agree to disagree agreeably and appreciate each other's view with Christian charity. If you disagree and want to state your disagreement, that is fine, place your comments below. I believe in free speech and I am not afraid of divergent views from my own.


Next time: What is Biblical Inspiration?




  

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Thoughts on God and Biblical Inspiration



"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of God endures forever" (Isaiah 40:8).

"Verily I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or title with pass from the law until all is fulfilled" (Matthew 5:18).

I believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of Almighty God.

Recently, I have been discussing the issue of Biblical inerrancy among some of my classmates here at a theological seminary on the East Coast. I have become, albeit grudgingly, a spokesperson of sorts, for a conservative Evangelical view of the inspiration, infallibility, inerrancy of the Christian Scriptures. It is not my intention to be divisive on this issue but I do have my own personal convictions on the supernatural inspiration and preservation of the Bible, which I believe is alone the Word of God.

In all honestly, I would rather write clever and irenic little blog posts and listen to alternative rock music than debate the issue of modes of inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture. I did not travel over 3,000 miles to get in any theological debates here on the East Coast and do not intend to debate the issue  now. However for me, it is important to delineate the meaning of God's revelation at least to my own mind.

To be honest, I have been burned badly by the Southern Baptist Convention and American Evangelicalism. Yet, while I am deeply wounded by many of the things that happened to me in these fundamentalist circles, I do not have anything less than a conservative view regarding the nature of the Bible.

If I need to go down on record, I side with the reformed scholars such as Francis Turretin, Archibald Alexander, Charles Hodge, B.B Warfield, J. Gresham Machen, Cornelius Van Till on the inspiration and authority of the Bible.

I personally believe that the Bible is the Word of God and that it was perfectly inspired and inerrant in its original autographs. I do not believe the original autographs of Scripture possessed any errors of a factual, historical, chronological and doctrinal nature. I believe God has supernaturally inspired and preserved His Word from error of any kind. I also believe that any alleged discrepancies or contradictions that are seemingly in Scripture, are alleged and not real and due to our ignorance of some sort. I believe that that all seeming discrepancies can be reconciled and harmonized and that there is no real errors in the original text of Scripture.

I operate from the place of total confidence in the reliability, inspiration and inerrancy of the Christian Scriptures and believe the omnipotent God of the universe has supernaturally guided the process of Biblical inspiration and that He has providentially left us with Scriptures that we can trust. I do operate from a presupposition of plenary or full inerrancy of the Bible. I cannot believe in a partially inspired and errant Scripture that God still holds us accountable to obey. The Bible is the inspired and inerrant Word of God. You can trust the Bible and can take that to the bank.

I find it ironic now that I am away from the fundamentalism of the Southern Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist school I graduated from, that I find myself agreeing with these conservatives on the inerrancy of Scripture.

While I believe in Biblical inerrancy, I am glad to be studying here. It is good for me to hear a different perspective. I want to take this new information and attempt to understand a new perspective.

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, for instruction of righteousness that the servant of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16-17).


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Christianity is Unique


                                   
                                            "In Christ is hidden all the treasures and wisdom"

                                                                                                 ~ Colossians 2:3

                                                "For what accord has Athens with Jerusalem?"
                                                                                                ~Tertullian

                                                               "I say no to natural theology!"
                                                                                             -Karl Barth


I have studied Christian apologetics for over twenty-five years. I have studied apologetics at some of the leading Evangelical academic institutions in America and have given the defense of the faith a lot of thought. While this does not make me an expert on anything, I have pondered the veracity of Christianity and how to best elucidate the truthfulness of Christianity to the Church and the world with some degree of intellectual rigor.

There was a time in my life where I would have claimed to be an "evidentialist apologist." That is, I was under the assumption that the evidentialist approach to Evangelical apologetics was the most accurate and Biblically congruent approach to defending the faith out there.

However, as I had the opportunity to reflect and probe the concept of Christianity and the truth further, I have modified my approach to Christian Apologetics considerably. After reading some of Karl Barth's work against natural theology and contemplating some ideas I have found in the writings of the Reformed Presuppostionalist apologists Van Til and Bahnsen, I have come to develop ideas that are entirely antithetical to my former evidential approach to Christian Apologetics.

I now believe that Christianity is "Sui Generis." That is, I believe Christianity is a self-contained and unique philosophical system that has no rivals or comparisons in reality. I believe Christianity and God's revelation and self-disclosure of Himself in Christ crucified has no analogies in human reality. Thus, I believe Christianity is a unique epistemological and existential system that is entirely self-contained, self-authenticating and self-attesting. There is really nothing like it and I believe it is incongruent with God's unique revelation in Christ to somehow attempt to synthesize Christianity with the thought of Aristotle, Plato and other secular philosophers.

 What I mean by "self-authenticating" and "self-attestation," is that I believe God will make the truth of His revelatory self-disclosure of Christ crucified, (the apex of Christian revelation) known to those whom He has chosen. My view of epistemological self-authentication and self-attestation is directly tied to my Calvinistic and Augustinian view of divine election wherein God makes Himself known to the elect through His eternal decree and sovereign will

From time to time I will be developing my views on the uniqueness of Christianity and Christian apologetics here on this blog.

           




(Pictures from my walks around the Princeton University campus in recent days)