Sproul Sr.’s Second Address

This address is entitled “Love the Lord Your God with All Your Mind.”

The noetic effects of sin describes the result of sin on the mind. Atheists, for instance, know that God exists. They just can’t stand the God they know. Now, the mind still has a degree of logic to it. A pagan can still add 2+2 and get 4. However, they will always start from a false premise when it comes to the existence of God.

By nature, we will not love God. God has to change the disposition of our hearts by the Holy Spirit’s work of regeneration. Regeneration is a necessary condition for loving God with our mind. People are not truly seeking God. They want the benefits of God without Him. They want the things that only God can give, while all the while, they are running completely pell-mell the other way.

So, how does one love God with our minds? Nothing can be in the heart that is not first in the mind. We can’t love what we can’t know. So, the idea that we can worship God by entertainment, by-passing the mind to appeal directly to the emotions is a fool’s errand.

Advertisements

Lawson’s Address

This is actually Lawson’s second address. His first address was a description of the contents of the new book on Spurgeon that Reformation Trust is publishing. That was an excellent address, but I did not write a summary of it. This lecture is entitled “Foolishness to the Greeks.”

The text is 1 Corinthians 1:18ff. Greek philosophy was very much a going concern. It came to Corinth from Athens. there were many differing philosophies on offer in the first century. The gospel Paul preached was in direct conflict with all the philosophies of the day. It was regarded as foolish. Furthermore, the messengers were also considered foolish. It is also a foolish method. In these three ways, Paul’s message is foolish to the Greeks.

The message was regarded as foolish. We are not just dogmatic about the cross: we are bulldogmatic about the cross! But it is nonsense to those who are perishing. Notice the present tense: they are currently dying from the inside out. We preach what seems like a contradiction: a crucified Christ. That’s like saying “freezer burn.” Or “Central Intelligence Agency” (LK) We preach a crucified conqueror, a slaughtered savior. This is foolishness to the world. But it is the only way. Why? Because God will have all the glory for Himself. We should therefore never try to make the foolishness of the cross appear to be brilliant to the world.

The messengers were also regarded as foolish. In verse 26 he shifts to the messenger, although this is not a shift of main subject. He is still plumbing the depths of why the world considers the message foolish. It is nott only because they think the message is foolish, but they also reject the messengers. God wanted to make sure that it was not because we were to have faith in the messenger. So God chose the foolish ones of the earth. Notice that God’s choice stands behind and before the calling. This is so encouraging, though. How could God use us? We didn’t make Who’s Who? We didn’t even make Who’s Not. God intentionally reached down to the bottom of the barrel. The only possible explanation left is that there has to be a God. We are all nobodies telling everybody about Somebody. If someone is intellectually elite, God will have to work quite a bit harder.

Lastly, the method God chooses is also regarded as foolish (chapter 2:1ff. “Lofty speech” refers to the style, and “wisdom” refers to the substance. We cannot come at this by saying that the method never changes the substance. Paul says that the method is important. It has be a cross-centered method. It has to be a straight-forward approach. This is in contrast to all the rhetoric that was so much loved in Athens and Corinth. Preaching is foolishness to the world. Everyone who tries to change the method God has established is trying to rely on man’s wisdom. Hence the vital importance of preaching in the church today.

Godfrey’s Second Address

The title of this address is “Ignorance Is Not Bliss.”

He focuses on Psalm 49. It is one of the great poems of literature. Life is a riddle, according to the Psalmist. there are many riddles. The Psalmist is focused on one riddle in particular: why do the wicked prosper? The wicked will always accuse Christians of a long list of offenses. However, what about how their ideas have worked out? A quick look at Stalin and Hitler reveals that a utopian, scientific, atheistic, evolutionary ideology doesn’t work. So, we have to recognize candidly what we have done wrong in church history. However, we can say that our offenses are due to a misuse and a misunderstanding of Christianity. However, were Stalin and Hitler failures at post-Christian thought? Did they misunderstand or misuse atheistic ideology? In their ideology, the strong kill the weak, and the fittest survive. They understood very well.

Of course, not every non-Christian is a Nazi or a communist. But those who are not have borrowed their morality from Christianity without any foundation. The question is: which shepherd will people follow? Jesus, the Good Shepherd? Or will they follow the Shepherd of death?

Kuyper said that we aren’t in the Middle Ages anymore. That means that Christians aren’t in charge anymore. So, how do we live in the modern age when we aren’t in charge? Individuals have to be changed. They need regeneration. He believed that individuals, ideas, and institutions were the loci of focus for Christians.

He believed that modern thought was going to result in either statist tyranny, or the tyranny of the individual that would destroy all institutions. How do we avoid these directions? First, we have to recognize that God alone is sovereign. God has established spheres of responsibility, in which the leaders are responsibility only to God.