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.


Response to Steve Hays

Steve Hays has critiqued my critique of John Frame’s book here. I will respond to his points in order.

Firstly, Steve wonders what my disclaimer was intended to accomplish. My disclaimer was that I was not a WSC toadie. He doesn’t assume I am a toady. But he thinks the disclaimer is superfluous. My purpose in stating what I said was simple: I do not have a vested interest in defending WSC. Now, of course people may not believe that. I’d like to think that my readers wouldn’t have to be so cynical as not to believe that disclaimer. It would only be a superfluous comment (in my opinion) if all my readers were cynical.

As to discrediting whistleblowers, he may have a point. However, the last time I checked, I wasn’t an organization. I was simply stating what my impression of the book was. Secondly, as I think I made fairly plain (in stating that I agree with some of Frame’s critiques), I don’t discredit Frame’s opinions on this basis. I would rather state that I think the nature of the book has warped his recounting of WSC professors’ views.

Thirdly, he thinks I am being a bit one-sided as to whether people on WSC’s side are being gracious and fair. At this point, I must admit that I have not read enough of Darryl Hart’s work to get an idea of whether he is fair, gracious, irenic, etc. I have, however, read a fair bit of Frame, enough to know that he is normally gracious, irenic, and fair, but he isn’t in this book (and this is a bit more striking, in that the book is claimed to be gracious, irenic and fair). And maybe Hart (I will let him speak for himself) doesn’t wish to claim to be irenic and gracious. Maybe he wants to be a pugilist. My problem would not so much be with the lack of graciousness per se, but rather with the fact that the book is claimed (by George Grant, of course, but Frame allowed that part of the book to be published, so he most likely agrees with Grant’s assertions) to be gracious, and is not.

Fourthly, why would a “gentleman’s agreement” have morally invidious connotations? I’m afraid Steve lost me there.

Fifthly, I am not oblivious to the possibility of Frame being slandered by someone, even by Hart and others. If he has indeed been slandered by such, I would certainly not condone such behavior. Point me to such an instance, and I will research it. Even if that were true, however, one slander doesn’t justify another.

Sixthly, as to Meredith Kline, I was not offended nearly as much by what Frame said about him as what he said about Horton and Clark. I think what Frame said about Kline is a largely accurate statement of what Kline believes. Whether his critique of Kline is on target is a different story. But it is obvious that Frame respects Kline, even where he disagrees with him. I would certainly not want to claim a better knowledge of Kline than Frame has.

Seventhly, insider accounts can indeed be revealing. However, if personal bitterness gets in the way, cloudiness covers over everything. Bitterness tends to result in a narrow focus.

Eighthly, loss of respect is indeed a two-way street. The fact is, however, no matter what one might say about Frame, one would lose respect in some quarters. Is that why I am writing this? To gain respect? No, I am writing this because I feel that WSC has been unjustly attacked by Frame (I don’t believe that WSC is above criticism), and I wouldn’t want people to get their understanding of WSC from Frame’s account of it.

Ninethly, he worries about my use of time. I could ask the same question of Frame’s book. Was it the best use of his time to write this book? But he has written it. And despite its no-name publisher status, people will still read it. I am not going to defend what I write about. I am glad that Steve is concerned about how I spend my time. If he believes I am wasting my time (and I’m sure he is not alone in thinking that!), then it will surely be a waste of his time to either read my critique, or respond to it.

As to his questions: what would I say about these issues? In brief, I will respond.

1. The duties of the civil magistrate are primarily related to upholding justice, punishing criminals and praising upstanding citizens. I believe his purpose is to uphold the second table of the law, and that he should not force people to believe in Christianity, although he certainly should not shackle Christianity. This is brief, I know, and all my answers will be brief. However, I want to say something about each of these (definitely important!) issues.

2. The civic duties of American citizens are to obey the laws up until the point where they are forced to disobey God’s law. I believe that citizens should participate in the political process, and should seek to uphold natural law in the political arena. This will involve activism in such areas as abortion and marriage protection.

3. Should pastors preach on social ethics when such becomes politicized? I don’t know what Steve means by social ethics in this context. I believe the preacher should preach what is in the Bible and only what is in the Bible. He should not preach politics from the pulpit.

Then Steve raises some excellent questions about what I might say to people who have some issues regarding various things. I haven’t researched all the sermons I have on this blog with regard to these particular questions, but I think I have addressed some of these things in the Genesis and Ephesians sermons.

1. If a young man decides he wants to be in the military, I would tell him that he desires an honorable profession. I would certainly not seek to discourage him. However, I would tell him about some of the temptations that often come to people in the military.

2. I would counsel a young woman not to join the military, at the very least not to join in such a way that they might possibly be in the line of fire. Call me a chauvinist, but I firmly believe men should defend women, not vice versa. So, if she is bent on being in the military, and I could not dissuade her, I would tell her to join in such a way that she would not be in the line of fire, and I would also counsel her concerning the many temptations to which she would be exposed.

3. Reproductive technologies is a very broad term. I would probably want to get a bit more specific about that. I think some are unobjectionable (drugs to increase the number of eggs that a woman might drop cannot be objectionable), others are (I have a big problem with the morning after pill, as it can cause the death of a human being).

4. Sterilization I would definitely counsel against, because God may want a couple to have a child that has a disease. Why would that be the worst thing that could happen to a couple?

5. I think it is not permissible to lie ever. We need to tell the truth, and trust God for the consequences. What about someone in Holland hiding Jews when a German soldier comes knocking? I would hide the Jew (well!), and then tell the Germans to look, since they wouldn’t believe me whatever I said. I wouldn’t necessarily believe that everyone should be told all the truth all the time. But I think it is wrong to lie.

6. Regarding mothers working outside the home, I would suggest that their children need them, and that financially it is actually easier to have the mother at home (given all the hidden costs of two-income families). I would encourage mothers to be at home, although I would not go so far as to say that a mother is living in sin because she works outside the home.

Regarding education, parents are responsible for the schooling of their children. That is a decision they need to make. I think public schools are in general pretty awful. Their standards are generally very low. John Gatto’s book The Underground History of Public Education is a very eye-opening book. That being said, I don’t think that homeschooling is the answer for everyone.

Horton’s Address

The title is “The Fear Factor.”

Secularism is different from secularity. Everyday callings do not fall under the rubric of the church. But secularism is different. It is an ideology that pushes God out of the universe. The mall, not the church, is now the center of town.

Relativism comes from secularism. A religion becomes privatized, and therefore becomes pluralistic. Relativism follows. Rationalism leads to irrationalism. Islamization is also happening.

At its heart, Christianity is particular in time and space. The gospel is about what happened at a particular place and a particular time. Instead, today we have a moralistic, therapeutic deism.

One of the main problems we have is that we will tend to squander the biblical capital that our forefathers have whenever we feel the need to satisfy the cultured despisers.

Four reasons why we shouldn’t be afraid. The first reason we shouldn’t be afraid is that this is our Father’s world. We can know God because God has revealed Himself to us. The second reason we shouldn’t be afraid is that this is our Father’s story. The story climaxes in the gospel. It’s not about something that happens in our hearts. The gospel itself is not about us. Thirdly, it is our Father’s work. Fourthly, this is our Father’s kingdom. And it is a kingdom that we receive.

Question and Answer Session 2

The panelists are Del Tackett, Michael Horton, Stephen Meyer, Sproul, Jr., and Sproul Sr.

Question 1: does teaching a variety of scientific theories injure students? Meyer says that it is extremely instructive and helpful to teach the variety of theories that are out there. The idea that there is a consensus among scientists is a myth. The fact is that many scientists are calling for a new Darwinian theory.

Question 2: what are the differences among the various methods of apologetics? Sproul, Sr. argues that the circular method of presuppositional gives too much to the unbeliever. He argues that the presuppositional method commits two fallacies: circularity and equivocation. The former because presuppositionalists assume what they need to prove. Equivocation in that the very definition of circularity changes in the midst of the argument. I would say (LK here) that presuppositionalism does not commit the fallacy of circularity. Rather, we argue from the impossibility of the contrary. But we are not trying to argue the existence of God per se. We are trying to say that Christian theism is the only worldview that is not inherently self-contradictory. Everyone has presuppositions. The question is whether one’s life based on those presuppositions is consistent with those presuppositions.

Question 3: what suggestions would you have to avoid secularist indoctrination for Christian students going to a secular university? Tackett says that the university is the most hostile environment for the Christian worldview. We must equip our young people for the battle. Doubt in the classroom feeds on the sexual impulses that make students want to get rid of guilt by getting rid of the Lawgiver.

Question 4: Where do we go from here in terms of education? Sproul, Jr. says that the power of the Word is paramount.

Question 5: What can the local church do to equip our young people? Horton says the home, the church, and the schools are a three-legged stool. But our churches are dumbing down Christians at an alarming rate. Were our children ever in the church? He is attacking an overly stratified approach to church, where our kids are actually never in church. We are not teaching our children the gospel or the Bible. Churches need to teach apologetics to the teens.

Question 6: does the expression “doctrine divides” come out of anti-intellectualism? Sproul, Sr. says “yes.” Truth divides. We don’t need to create hostilities, and yet truth still divides. This is a thinly veiled justification for tolerating the intolerable. We need to contend for the truth without being contentious.

Question 7: Is the difference between young earth and old earth a primary issue or a secondary issue? Sproul, Sr. says that the Bible doesn’t give us a date, though it strongly hints that the earth is young. We can learn from scientists. But something definitively taught in the Bible cannot be challenged by science. Meyer says that ID does not focus on the age of the earth. The age of the earth has become a strangely toxic issue in the church. He views it as a secondary issue. Tackett, however, believes that having lots of time diminishes the glory of God. Tackett believes that the second law of thermodynamics came into being at the Fall, not at creation. If that is true, then trying to determine what happened before the veil of the Fall can be distorted by the wall that separates the unfallen and the fallen world. Our observations must take the Fall into account. This is because if there is no Fall, there is no need for Jesus. Horton believes the Bible doesn’t speak to the issue. Sproul, Jr. believes in young earth creation.

Stephen Meyer’s Address

The title of this address is “Rock of Ages and the Ages of Rocks.”

His purpose is to put his work on intelligent design into the larger perspective of theistic design.

The new atheists have been keen to put science at odds with Christianity. The biblical view is that the scientific study of nature directs us back to the Creator. The new atheists are opposed to the early modern scientists (Boyle, Kepler, Newton, and Galileo). Their position was that nature was intelligible because of the Designer. He quotes from the General Scholia to the Principium (the introduction to what Meyer says is quite probably the greatest work on physics ever written). The quotation is quite firmly intelligent design.

So how did we get from Newton to Dawkins? Pierre LaPlace said, defending his Nebula Hypothesis (to Napoleon) “Sire, I have no need of that hypothesis,” referring to LaPlace’s rejection of the idea of God.

Douglas Futuyma, in his book Evolutionary Biology, writes “by coupling the undirected purposeless variations to the blind, uncaring process of natural selection, Darwin made the theological or spiritual explanations of the life processes superfluous.”

Materialism has God in its system only as an illusion. What is fundamentally real is matter and energy. This worldview became very popular in the 19th century, and became the way in which people tried to explain the origin of the world without God. In materialism, there is no objective standard of morality. And there is no freedom of choice. Many things have happened in recent science that undermine the materialistic worldview.

Hubble, in addition to discovering how many more galaxies there are in the universe, also discovered red shift, an indication that galaxies are moving away from us. An expanding universe therefore implies a beginning, finite universe. Einstein believed that a force (which he called the cosmological constant) existed to counteract the expansion, such that the universe could be eternal. But this is “dry-lab,” a scientific term meaning “fudge.” Einstein later admitted (after Hubble gets him to look at the universe through his telescope) that this was the greatest mistake of his career. The expansion was thus later explained in a materialistic way by the big bang theory (Hawking and Penrose believed that not only did time have a beginning, but so did space). But how much stuff can you put into zero space? This puts the cosmological argument for the existence of God back on the table.

If the universe was expanding much slower, then gravity would collapse everything into nothing, and if it was anything faster, we would have universal heat death. This rate is extremely fine-tuned. There are many such finely tuned numbers.

In biology, with a new function in the cell, new code has to be inputted. Information is part of the cell. But where did this information originate? Explaining the origin of life means also that we must explain the origin of information in the cell. But the creation of new information is something that we associate with conscious activity. Even Darwin believed that we should use an explanation that involves processes that we currently know about. If we use Darwin’s own argument on the origin of information, we come to the conclusion that the most likely origin of information in the cell is conscious activity.

Ferguson’s Address

This address is entitled “Losing My Religion.” The text is Psalm 119:97-100. The goal of this address is two-fold: to increase our desire to read the Word of God, and then to read good books.

Christianity today is definitely a mile wide and possibly less than an inch deep. We need to be delivered from the notion that we have got it right in our churches. The real work of the church is to worship God, and seek His glory and majesty. We need to devote ourselves to intercessory prayer. We need to devote ourselves to the Word. At the end of Hebrews 5 (which deals with a very high Christology), it becomes evident that we have become hard of hearing.

Three reasons why we should pursue a greater knowledge of God. 1. This (the pursuit of a greater knowledge of God) is the reason for which God regenerated us. 2. Christ has specifically taught us about this. See Mark 12:28-34. Jesus adds to the Shema the phrase “with all your mind.” We are not in a culture that associates “love” with the mind. We will not have any affection for God without love of God in the mind. Psalm 119 emphasizes that we love the Word of God. In John 13-17, while the disciples need help because they are frightened and beleaguered, what does Jesus do but teach them about the Trinity? Jesus is saying that if they are going to get through this hardship and other hardships in the future, then they need to know who God is on a much deeper level. Far from being speculative and irrelevant, the doctrine of the Trinity is one of the most unspeculative, and one of the most relevant. But we won’t know this unless we dig into the Word of God. 3. Because this has life-transforming power. See especially Romans 12:1-2. John Stott said that the secret of holy living lies in the mind. Colossians 3:1 is important here as well. What do you think about when you have nothing else to think about? This question has a tendency to reveal our utterly carnality. It is always a challenge to fill our minds with the things of Philippians 4:8.

There are three strategies for pursuing a greater knowledge of God. 1. We need to place our lives under the living ministry of the Word of God in a church. This is God’s central instrument that He uses to shape our lives. This is an argument for the regular means of grace. Some might say “But the preacher is no better than I am.” Calvin’s Institutes, however, would say that this is precisely the point. We sit under Christ. The minister is just an instrument. The Word does its own work. See Acts 6:7. The question should not be “What are we doing?” It should rather be, “What is the Word doing?” 1 Thess. 2:13 is also important. 2. We dig deeply into the Word for ourselves. Bible studies are not the same thing as digging for ourselves. 3. Learn together with all the saints (reading good books). There are great central books of Christian literature. Two great books is Calvin’s Institutes, and John Owen’s On Communion with God. Calvin taught Ferguson how to think Trinitarianly, and Owen taught Ferguson how to live Trinitarianly.

Sproul, Jr.’s Address

This address is entitled “The (True) Scandal of the Evangelical Mind.”

The text for consideration is 1 Corinthians 1:18ff. The story of Jesus is our story. His life, death, resurrection, ascension, and second coming is our story, for we are one people, His body. This story is foolishness to those outside the church.

The first great scandal is that the scandal of the cross scandalizes us. We complain when other people complain about Christianity. We try to insist that non-believers regard us well. But Paul tells us that the world sees us as stupid. This is, quite simply, the way it is. But we start to reshape ourselves and our story to remove the scandal and diminish the stumbling-block. The emergents try to emphasize narrative, but they do it in a postmodern way. The seeker-sensitive approach sets aside the scandalous part of the story. Theological liberalism doesn’t believe our story. As confessional people, we don’t change our story, but rather we preach the cross.

The second great scandal of the evangelical mind is that we are not really evangelical. Of course, we believe the gospel. But do we have a passion for lost souls? We critique supposedly bad ways of evangelism, while we don’t do it at all. We are not evangelically minded. We like to bring that little island of our own genius to the table. This is actually semi-Pelagianism. The idea of education is not to join the great conversation, but rather the great confrontation. We should not add the wisdom of the world to the Bible, like Aquinas did in the Summa Theologica. The Bible does not need human cooperation, or anything added to it. To think so is again semi-Pelagianism. Boethius (like Philo) tried to add the wisdom of Plato to the Bible. Nowadays, it is the idea of getting psychology or Madison Avenue to the Bible. He asserts (I would disagree here) that Warfield tried to add the wisdom of science to the Bible (LK, this is highly disputed in Warfield scholarship). Are we willing to trust God and believe what He tells us.

Another scandal is not that we are not smart enough, but that we are not good enough. And then, when God tells us something, we wind up looking at our circumstances, and then twist what God says to fit our experience. We then use our brains for rationalization. How do we know when we are really putting our mind into submission to the Bible. Are we willing to accept these accusations from the world? We were rescued from foolishness. We didn’t “smart” our way out of it. Are you willing to be thought a fool for Christ’s sake? We always lie to ourselves. We are not repentant about our minds.

Al Mohler’s Address

Before I give the substance of Al Mohler’s session, I have to address a comment that will not come out of the queue. It accuses Steve Lawson and Al Mohler of being Anabaptists. A quick lesson in history. The Baptists came from the magisterial Reformed tradition, NOT the Anabaptist tradition. The Anabaptists have their descendents in the Amish and the Mennonites. To confuse confessionally Baptist theologians (as in, London Baptist Confession Baptists) with the Anabaptist tradition is slipshod history. They are from two completely different swaths of the Reformation tradition.

His session is called “I’ve Got Half a Mind, Too.” The Christian mind is necessary for the Christian life. He wishes to conduct an autopsy on the mind of the age. He’s really dealing with the Noetic effects of the Fall. He notes that Bebbington’s definition of “evangelical” does not include anything in the way of distinctive thinking or whether evangelicals think at all. So, we need to think about thinking. This requires, of course, a great deal of intellectual energy. There is another factor, which is the difference that conversion makes in our thinking. We face an intellectual crisis of monumental proportions today, especially when it comes to postmodernism. People are skeptical now about whether it is possible to know anything. The Enlightenment has greatly affected the way we think. Now, we have supposedly left the postmodern way of thinking, and are now in the “Late Modern” period.

Mohler reflects on Romans 1:18ff. Here we learn that the knowledge crisis is not new, but rather ancient. That sin constitutes a conspiracy against the truth is vital knowledge for us. The Fall brought about a tremendous confusion in knowledge. As we deny the truth, the culturally collective tendency to rationalize our sin comes to the fore. Modern universities (such as Harvard) tell us that they are seeking the truth. However, it is a massive and intentional evasion of the truth. This is because the theme of Romans 1 is not about what people DO not know, but rather about what they WILL not know. Their ignorance is thoroughly intentional. We should therefore not use our conscience as our guide (Jimminy Cricket notwithstanding), because even our conscience is corrupted by the Fall. Idolatry is the end result of our corrupted thinking. This is because corrupt thinking inherently dethrones God.

1. The Fall affects our thinking. 2. It is genetic in our thinking. 3. Therefore, God has hidden certain things, even for our own good.

There are (at least) 15 Noetic effects of the Fall. 1. Our thinking is now opposed to God. All knowledge comes from God, so if our knowledge of God is corrupted, then so is our knowledge of everything else 2. Ignorance; 3. Distractedness (we all have theological ADD) 4. Forgetfulness; 5. Prejudice; 6. Faulty Perspectives; 7. Intellectual fatigue; 8. Inconsistencies; 9. Failure to draw the right conclusions; 10. Intellectual apathy (we are all apathetic about some knowledge); 11. Dogmatism and close-mindedness. 12. Intellectual pride; 13. Vain imagination; 14. Miscommunication; 15. Partial knowledge. Even when we know rightly, we don’t know completely. Mohler says there are fourteen, but in his speech I (LK) counted 15 effects of the Fall on our thinking.

One of the beautiful things about the Gospel is that Jesus Christ has started the rescue operation of how we can escape or neutralize or lessen these effects through the grace of God.

There are five principles of modern thinking: 1. anti-realism, especially in moral issues; 2. moral relativism; 3. therapeutic universalism (you’re either in therapy or in denial); 4. radical pluralism; 5. pragmatism. We have moved from impossible not to believe in God to possible not to believe to impossible to believe.

I (LK) have to admit that trying to keep on the train of thought is very difficult. He talks very fast, and he is so brilliant that he is trying to give us five thousand points in one hour. It’s like trying to get a drink of water from a fire hydrant.

Joel Beeke’s Address

The title of his address is “Parenting By God’s Promises.”

The premise of his book is that God is a God of grace. The covenant of grace is the bedrock of parenting. We parent based on the covenant. He doesn’t want to presume regeneration, nor does he want to ignore the covenantal promises. He argues that if we refuse to say to our children that they need to repent and believe, then we will create little Pharisees.

After laying the covenantal foundation of parenting, he gets into the how, which is written under the rubric of prophetic, priestly, and kingly tasks. Finally, he looks at some of the major problems. In this address, he wants to focus on four areas.

These foundational covenantal truths are the first issue. Parents need to believe that the covenantal structure of the promises is the reason why we will believe in God’s grace. The only perfect parents are those who don’t have kids yet. We should bring up our children “seamlessly,” which means that all the major influences will work together to bring up our children in the nurture of the Lord.

Secondly, we should use this rubric of prophet, priest, and king in the home. Of course, these offices have an echo in our lives in general. However, it is also true in our parenting. The prophetic task means that we should seek out opportunities for teaching. Family worship is vitally important to this. As priests, we are to be intercessors for our children. We should pray for them in our family worship. As kings, we have to fight against Satan and sin in this life. As parents, we help our children to discern God’s will. We discipline them, and guide them in their spiritual and temporal lives.

The third thing is that we must ourselves be models for living out the Gospel. Proper child-rearing is as much caught as taught. We have got to live what we teach them. A parent has to be a transcript of their teaching. We must love our children as Christ loves us. We should never fail to let our children know that we love them. We should not be shocked when our children sin. We sin, after all. We must ourselves grow in sanctification. The Gospel must inform and shape the way we deal with problems in the home. None of our children will ever treat us half as badly as we have treated our Lord Jesus Christ. We should therefore make sure that our interaction with our children should be largely positive.

Fourthly, we must recognize the times and seasons of the Christian life. How can we teach our children about the changes that will come into their lives before those changes occur?

Questions and Answers

The panelists are Sproul, Sr., Ferguson, Mohler, Lawson, and Godfrey.

The first question is about science. Mohler says this is a gospel issue. The historical Adam, for instance, impinges on Gospel issues. Science is not a unified body of knowledge. Science is not the same as scientism. Ferguson adds that pastors are generalists. Ministers, therefore, need to be careful about pontifical statements. Similarly, scientists are often unaware of the philosophical issues that are relevant to their own scientific field.

Second question: how can a person grow in knowledge in an environment that is hostile to it? Lawson says a gradual approach is helpful, starting with study Bible, progressing to commentaries. Listening to podcasts, as well, is good. We do not grow past our knowledge of God’s Word.

Evolution is the third question (more specific than science). Godfrey says that the people who are always changing their minds are the scientists, not the Christians, even though it is the scientists who are always charging the Christians with changing their minds. Science’s conclusions are always provisional. The Bible’s conclusions are never provisional. Mohler adds that scientists are mostly methodologically committed to naturalism. Evolution is the cardinal doctrine of atheists.

How do we present the gospel in a loving way to other religious beliefs? Ferguson says that we have to be confrontational. Mohler says this is such a difficult issue. Jesus was confrontational.

Why should we trust the authority of the Bible over other sacred writings? Lawson says the unity of the Bible, the prophecies of the Bible being fulfilled, and the claims of the Bible are reasons why we believe that the Bible is God’s Word. I (LK) would say that I would prefer the presuppositional approach. The other sacred writings don’t claim to be revelation. Sproul says that the sacred writings of other religions make fundamentally contradictory claims to what the Bible says. They can’t both be true. Godfrey says that one of the important practical things we need to say is that we want people to read the Bible. Objections are made against Jesus, not primarily against us. Ferguson adds that most people who make this objection have no knowledge of what is in the Bible. We ourselves, of course, need to know the Word better.

Is it a sin for a Christian to vote for a Mormon or a Roman Catholic? Mohler says no, because we’re not electing a church officer. Nevertheless, world-view matters. Mohler says that religion being private and not public is nonsense. There is a difference between church and government. Ferguson cracked the joke that if our best options are people with names like Rick, Mitt, and Newt, then the name Elizabeth starts to sound a whole lot more attractive.

Should we shelter our children from hostile world-views? Godfrey says that the Dutch approach is not to isolate, but to give them what they need to understand, interpret, and respond to the world. Mohler brings up the point about sex. We need to take the lead and teach our children about it, because the idea that we could shelter our children from even knowing about worldly views about sex is delusional.

Are the inalienable rights the Declaration of Independence truly self-evident, or are they dependent on Christian revelation? Sproul says that general revelation is the origin of any “self-evident” truths.

Is post-millenialism anti-intellectualism? Godfrey says no.

What can the local church do about the problem with pornography? Mohler says it is one of the most insidious problems of the modern world. He says that computers should be in the kitchen where the mother of the house is chopping carrots with a sharp knife! Lawson says that we need an all-encompassing view of the holiness of God.

« Older entries Newer entries »