What We Declare At Thanksgiving

Pilgrim Thanksgiving Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s hard to commercialize. There’s nothing glitzy about it, no big decorations, nothing beyond family, friends, food, and reflecting upon things for which we should be thankful. It’s a special opportunity to praise God for His goodness to us and to consider our blessings. The Thanksgiving holiday has become more cultural than Christian over the past few decades, but it is a time which hopefully points unbelievers to God and directs many hearts upward with gratefulness and appreciation.

What is declared, perhaps in a subtle way, at Thanksgiving?

Firstly, giving thanks points us outside of ourselves, recognizing that what we have has been received from another. It declares that God is personal and that He exists.

Secondly, giving thanks declares that the Giver is good. God is gracious, benevolent, merciful, and kind. He is the God of blessing, who gives good things to His children.

Thirdly, it declares that we should not take our blessings for granted. No one knows what a day may bring forth. Don’t presume anything. ‘Tis true nothing grows without rain, but while we have clear skies and sunshine, let us rejoice.

Lastly, it declares that God is our provider. He meets all our needs, physical and spiritual. He keeps His promises faithfully year after year.

So as we feast and rejoice this “Thanksgiving”, let us not forget to truly be thankful and to declare these things!

C.M. Granger

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John Murray on Scripture

“We do well to peruse our great catechisms and creeds and textbooks and not be carried away by the pedagogical mush to which we are in these days subjected.  But if we rely upon such a reservoir of knowledge we are in a dangerous and slippery position.  Thought and life are too complex to be adequately met by any such reservoir.  The means God has provided for every exigency that may arise is the Word of God itself.”

John Murray–The Study of the Bible

Vol. 1, pg. 7, Collected Writings

 

“pedagogical mush”—my new favorite
term

 

C.M. Granger

Adam and the Unbearable Lightness of Non-Being

Shadow Man (9)

The first two posts responding to Denis Lamoureux’s contribution to Four Views on the Historical Adam can be found here and here. Taking up where I left off, Dr Lamoureux cites a Barna Group study “Six Reasons Young Christians Leave Church” in which it is stated, “One of the reasons young adults feel disconnected from church or from faith is the tension they feel between Christianity and science…” I believe that such research has value, and not having read the study I’m not in a position to respond to it. However, considering the way Dr. Lamoureux is using it to defend his thesis, if young adults are leaving the church because of this tension it’s because of something inherent in Christianity—it’s supernatural revelation. Isn’t there “tension” between creation ex nihilo and “science”, or between the Resurrection and “science”? Of course there is, and there always will be in this life. Supernatural events are square pegs that don’t fit neatly into naturalism’s round holes. The existence of a real Adam in time and space, created directly by God’s hand, is one of those square pegs.

Beginning on page 39 of the book, Lamoureux shares some of his personal testimony, how he came to know the Lord and some of the struggles he had as he pursued advanced degrees in theology and biology. He advises the reader that he was a thoroughly committed Young Earth Creationist and left medical school to become a Creation Scientist with the intention of disproving evolution. However, over the course of his studies he came to view the evidence for evolution to be overwhelming. In a short treatise like this, I don’t expect a detailed defense of this overwhelming evidence, but he could have at least addressed a few of the most common (and powerful) criticisms of evolution. Be that as it may, space constraints or a word limit may have prevented this.

Lamoureux concludes this section by asserting that he embraces the time-honored complementary relationship between Scripture and science, what he refers to as “God’s two divine books”–the book of God’s Word and the book of His Works. This, I suggest, is the point at which the author has veered off the tracks. God only has one book of special revelation in which He explains His works, such as creation, redemption, resurrection, etc. Whenever we place a second source on par with the Scriptures it is that second source which will take the place of preeminence—every time. It becomes the conduit through which we interpret Scripture, when in fact we should be understanding science in light of Scripture. God doesn’t give us scientific explanations, therefore the Bible isn’t a science textbook. However we do not interpret the sacred text via the modern spectacles of scientific consensus. Doing so narrows revelation to a handful of “theological points”.

For Lamoureux, Adam did not exist because according to our current understanding of “science” he could not exist. What are we to do with him then? Alter our approach to divine revelation? Assert that Jesus and Paul were wrong about him? Downplay or disregard his theological significance in the history of redemption? Make him nothing more than a shadow on the ancient pages of a divine story told long ago? A historical Adam isn’t a burden Christians are obliged to take care of, but an integral part of God’s plan and purpose.

We’ll examine this further in the days ahead.

C.M. Granger

 

Timely Bonus:  Comparing Blueprints

Did You Think About Darkness this Past Weekend? So Did I !

lightdoor
Darkness? Now that’s something to think about.
There is a town called Barrow, Alaska. It stays dark for 65 days each year. What would that be like? I guess it might be depressing, but they have electricity so at least you will be able to see. At least it won’t be “A darkness to be felt.”
The ninth plague in the book of Exodus is the plague of darkness. God raised up Pharaoh to show His glory. Pharaoh would not let the Israelites go and worship God so God sent plagues on the Egyptians. The Scriptures declare that it was pitch darkness – Exodus 10:21-23. This was an interesting plague because although it would be darkness in the land of Egypt, the land of Goshen would have light.
Darkness in Scripture is often a symbol for sin or judgment (Ephesians 5:8; 1 Peter 2:9). God was judging the Egyptians. This darkness would last for three days. In Scripture the number three often signifies completion. They were completely steeped in sin and God will completely judge them. Why was God doing this?
In Exodus 11:7, God says, “You may know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.”
God made a distinction, and He still makes a distinction between His people and those who are not His people. God goes on to strike the first-born in all the land. The Passover was instituted BUT there was only one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourned among them (Exodus 12:49). If the sojourner wanted deliverance from judgment, they had to be in a house that was covered by a substitute. There is still only one law for those who want to be delivered from God’s final darkness – enter through the door. Jesus said I am the door, if anyone enters by me, he will be saved…” (John 10:9). If you are in darkness, look for the only door that has a light. That is the door where you will knock and come in and have fellowship with the King of kings and the Lord of lords – The Lord Jesus Christ!

Brian Spivey
D.O.C.