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6.25.2016

Computer metaphor, not bad

Think of books as computer programs, and you are the computer.

Actually any influence should be seen like this, but the nature of a great book more so. It takes a long time to download a great book into your soul.

So as a computer you want programs that make you smarter and more useful. That increase your understanding and level of being.

Programs are language too, i.e. that is a good way to see them. We know that to see something new we need a language in us to enable that new seeing. Learning new words is the most basic example. Once you know the word 'ballet' you're then aware of what they do in that building over there. Until you have the word ballet it's just a blank building.

Now imagine having all the words in the dictionary.

Then there are more involved languages. Like the Homeric epics. Or the living, quickening language of the Bible.

Music, math, of course, are other kinds of language.

But great books are powerful programs to have downloaded into you. Being satisfied with lesser things that just go into the cache then get flushed out...surfacy things, is something most people are engaged in. To read a great book complete usually is accompanied with a different motivation. Something above the usual context and time frame associated with things you're commonly interested in doing. Especially if it's new ground for you.

Let me see, I could download another Hollywood movie onto my soul/hard-drive, or I could download Democracy in America. It sounds unrelated when you put it like that, and like a stark choice between fun and boring, but wouldn't you want the latter inside you? You have to download it at some point. If you sense closeness to death maybe stay with the Bible, but there are more than a handful of great book 'programs' that stand up to the seriousness of death even. I.e. books that you would not feel it silly to take into the Kingdom of God with you. Understanding is understanding. Wisdom is wisdom. A higher level of being is a higher level of being.

6.24.2016

People want to nudge Christianity into the shade of Islam...yes, believe it

In this current debate about EFS (Eternal Functional Subordination) of the Son to the Father within the Trinity, etc., etc., one commentator at this blog wrote:

As you say, it is interesting that EFS was clearly stated in 1993 but just now causing such a big concern.

I answer that it's causing a big concern because Islam wasn't at the county line in 1993.

Here's a blog post that gives a basic overview of the debate with links.


6.17.2016

Clerics and their churches suck because the Devil sucks

If you're following the James White ongoing saga regarding his making himself a useful idiot to the Devil here it is in a nutshell:

White's narcissism disorder forces him, when he is cornered, to retreat to the left. It's only on the left that he is able to maintain his vain self-image of never being wrong, thus giving him a continuing and unassailable platform to lecture everybody in the trolling, triumphalist style he so enjoys indulging in.

The larger observation here is the very fact that these characters exist in positions of leadership in Christian environments. It shows the extent the Devil has infiltrated and taken over churches, seminaries, and any other place where Christians are influenced.

6.16.2016

"Post-Christian age"?

It's always struck me as naive when I hear theologians and other Christian voices saying we (America, western Europe primarily) live in a "post-Christian" or "post-biblical" age.

It's always been like this. What they're thinking back on is when more people held the same lifeview (notion of the good life and notion of right and wrong). That unity has been fractured by many, many decades now of Marxist attack in and from the foundations of our culture and civilization. Yet there has always been libertines and atheists and materialists and nihilists and all the rest by any other name. Just to use one striking example: the Puritans were always a small island of faith within a vast sea of everything we see now today. People didn't have communications and ability to traffic their sins back then, but they had ability to indulge it in layers of darkness that don't exist today...in the West, anyway...

What's really missing today is a strong school of Christ (like the Genevan school, like the Cambridge school, like the Dutch Second Reformation school). Not just a remnant, God always has His remnant, but a school of Christ. A school of Christ that always has influence in the world far beyond its numbers or size.

Some try. Unfortunately the places where Christians are educated, the universities and colleges and seminaries, are marinated in cultural Marxism. The students come out of the process unknowingly indoctrinated, viewing and treating the living, quickening word of God, for instance, like critical text theorists view and treat Shakespeare or any other text document written by man. They also come out with a subtle mocking disbelief in the supernatural. This effects their relationship to the fact and reality of supernatural regeneration by the word and the Spirit. Notice these are the two most foundational elements of the faith. The word of God and regeneration.

Never underestimate, though, effort to bring truth to people and the world. It has effect. The man who reads the King James Version cover to cover over a satellite signal looking about as uncool by the standards of our era as a person could look. It has effect. A Pink, writing alone for what he thought was a very limited audience ending up having an enormous effect in a time of famine for the truth that was lasting for the better part of a century. But the churches and seminaries and their graduates are disappointing. They have the mark of shallowness. Shallowness in their core. So easily indoctrinated in the subtle ways the Devil and his children have learned to indoctrinate. They so easily go with the current of the world. The path of least resistance. They'll talk and write about people in the past who went against the world, but as for them? That's not what they value. They value comfort, going along to get along.

6.14.2016

Christian clerics: unfortunately some of the most naive people on the planet

If this wasn't the only reaction James White could find on the internet to his post-Orlando "flying my dhimmi flag high and proud" podcast he wouldn't have posted it. Ironic that it's the most on-the-mark critique you could read:


Thank you, James White, for teaching us

James White likes to tell people what "concerns" him and what he "approves" of. I just saw on the Yahoo homepage some headlines that James White will be very approving of!

ISLAM IS ALL-AMERICAN

'Cuz trolling Americans after killing them is what a religion of peace is all about, and stuff.

MUSLIM GIRL GOES TO STAY WITH CHRISTIAN FAMILY IN INDONESIA TO DEFEAT IGNORANCE

Ignorant Christians, you need to be taught by holy Muslims why mass murder is noble and holy and stuff.

THE LGBT COMMUNITY ISN'T CONDEMNING MUSLIMS AFTER ORLANDO AND NEITHER SHOULD YOU

You need to learn, you ignorant, hateful Christians, from LGBT people how to forgive and stuff. And stop being so hateful, Christians. Be like Islam, a religion of peace and love. And stuff.

At his judgment White is going to be saying: "But, Jesus, slow down, control your emotions. I know, emotions can get the better of us, but allow me to explain to you where you're not being consistent..." He continues the sentence as he's being led off with the metaphorical goats.

6.11.2016

What should be taught in seminaries

The core of what should be taught in seminaries is threefold:

1. The Bible and biblical doctrine

2. Worldview analysis

3. The biblical psychology of the good householder who is a regenerated - though still able to sin - new man (as opposed to the common, well-known psychology of everyday sub-normal fallen man). This subject includes both knowledge and practice and could be called spiritual mindedness and godliness, in the conforming to Christ sense.

All of these core teachings should be driven down to the elemental basics, then driven further down to the experiential level.

The sources of this threefold core teaching should be (1) the pure and whole word of God and sound doctrinal teaching based within the Puritan school; (2) the best worldview writing available from the more popular, general audience level to the foundational philosophical level; (3) Ouspensky's Psychology of Man's Possible Evolution for at least the start of a basic, practical language of this esoteric subject that is unknown to academia and ignored by theologians despite being taught and commanded throughout the New Testament.

These three core areas deal with the threefold battle with the Devil, the world, and the flesh (or, our fallen nature).

This would be a real education, especially if the students entered the seminary with a balanced development of intellect, emotion, and physical ability, based on engagement with higher influences in the categories of imaginative literature, history, philosophy, art, music, science, and sacred writings; with athletics and performing arts for physical development.

6.10.2016

Warning

Anybody self-identifying as a Christian, especially one in any kind of position of leadership, self-appointed or not, who tells you there is error in the Bible is a devil, pure and simple.

They will usually disdain any notion of the supernatural in the preservation of the books and words of the Bible; as well as show contempt, by their silence, on any involvement of the Holy Spirit in preservation of the Bible.

They'll demand that you tell them what extant manuscript represents the Bible without error. Tell them that all manuscripts have to be edited. The reformers did this. But there is a difference between editing a similar stream of manuscripts vs. constructing a manuscript from diverse sources.

That editing process, that refining process, done over centuries, not reliant on one set of men or school of philosophy that's in the air at any given time, is guided by the provident hand of the Holy Spirit Himself. He guides the process and the outcome to where you will have the Bible, pure and whole, that you can actually hold in your hand.

That process for the English Bible culminated in the AV 1611, the pure and whole Word of God, the foundation of the faith, hated by devils the world over.



6.07.2016

Journal of American Greatness

This blog is considered a pretty good collection of intellectuals who understand and support Donald Trump. They don't think he's a perfect candidate, but they're on board. They're critical of the current conservative pundit/intelligentsia (think National Review Online types) who they consider to be a bit shallow. Anyway, read the link at the top Who Are We? and Our Mission Statement. Ironically their mission statement was National Review's mission statement when that magazine first got started. It has deviated a bit.

6.06.2016

You have to read this

[an email]

You can't read articles like this enough. It's happening all over the western world:

It's all different takes, or variations, on the same theme. This article (and the Noonan excerpts it quotes) gets at it pretty darn well. - C.

6.04.2016

My advice for people who go through a seminary

Here is some advice for people who go through a seminary (advice which even can be taken after the fact of graduating from a seminary even long ago):

Always have in your mind 7 books that most influenced you for the better and taught you the most during your seminary education. Determine what those 7 books would be and keep them in memory, and even revisit them with complete readings now and then. The books should be of an elemental nature to the subject matter learned in a seminary.

A book, for instance, like Machen's Christianity and Liberalism. This book is a good example of what I'm getting at. I hear that it is a book often assigned to students in their first year in more conservative Reformed type seminaries, which is good. Yet the mind of seminary graduates typically would think of this book as too "beginnerish" or too simple to be something to put on the list of 7 books I'm talking about. Wrong. It's just the type of influence and subject matter that needs to be remembered and revisited.

Unfortunately it would be typical of a seminary graduate to populate such a list as I'm talking about with the most 'erudite', academic, nuanced pieces crap books they could think of. Books "lay people" might not even have heard the existence of. No, this is not about making a list of 7 books that if other seminary graduates saw it they wouldn't laugh at you or think you were simple (simple, by the way, or 'plain' to use the biblical word, is a great virtue in the Christian faith).

Yes, you can choose a book like Vos' Pauline Eschatology even though it defeats "lay people" because it's got so much damn Greek in it. That's OK. That wouldn't be pretentious. You didn't labor through See It and Say It In Biblical Greek, Vol. 1 and half of Vol. 2 to not get any reward for your efforts.

For another example...was there, for instance, an essay or book by Warfield that really taught you something basic about the faith or arguing for the faith? A book such as Revelation and Inspiration? Put it on your 7 book list and remember it. Carry it with you in your memory. Read it again every now and then.

Your 7 book list doesn't have to be populated with major, classic works. There could be a simple essay or article or intro to another book. Packer's Intro to Owen's Death of Death In the Death of Christ, for instance. Or whatever you encountered going through a seminary (notice I don't say seminary without an 'a' or 'in' in front of it? We are not English. We are in a hospital. We are not in hospital (some of you are inhospitable). And we don't say am-ih-ter, Camden Bucey, we say am-ih-CHUR.

Anyway, with your 7 book list carried around with you in your memory you will have the best, the basics, of your seminary education remaining with you.

Loraine Boettner on the Trinity

Loraine Boettner on the Trinity is a very interesting and unique read. I find Boettner on anything to be uniquely clear and valuable as a teacher of difficult, hard doctrine. I encountered him early on when I was learning Reformed theology, and I'm thankful I did. I tended to gravitate toward sources like him though, and there is no reason not to go back and revisit such on-the-mark sources we've learned the basics from in the past every now and then.

This one also is his classic work: Reformed Doctrine of Predestination. It is clear and strong and sets everything in bright sunlight.

6.03.2016

Meditate the Bible

MEDITATE THE BIBLE. After reading it 7 times complete (dedicated cover-to-cover readings), time to meditate it. I'll figure out how that goes as I go along. I've done it with the Psalms some, on walks, reading verses on my phone. I actually think it will just be a matter of pausing and pondering verses, passages, whole chapters, books. Meditating upon Scripture at different scale. Envisioning people, pondering places, focusing on things, recreating events, contemplating ideas. There's definitely room also for deeper vision, which is hard for anyone to describe.

Genesis
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50

Exodus
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40

Leviticus
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27

Numbers
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36

Deuteronomy
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34

Joshua
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

Judges
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

Ruth
1 2 3 4

1 Samuel
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

2 Samuel
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

1 Kings
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22

2 Kings
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

1 Chronicles
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29

2 Chronicles
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36

Ezra
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Nehemiah
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Esther
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Job
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42

Psalms
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150

Proverbs
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Ecclesiastes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Song of Solomon
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Isaiah
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66

Jeremiah
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52

Lamentations
1 2 3 4 5

Ezekiel
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48

Daniel
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Hosea
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Joel
1 2 3

Amos
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Obadiah
1

Jonah
1 2 3 4

Micah
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Nahum
1 2 3

Habakkuk
1 2 3

Zephaniah
1 2 3

Haggai
1 2

Zechariah
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Malachi
1 2 3 4

Matthew
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

Mark
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Luke
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

John
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

Acts
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

Romans
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

1 Corinthians
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

2 Corinthians
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Galatians
1 2 3 4 5 6

Ephesians
1 2 3 4 5 6

Philippians
1 2 3 4

Colossians
1 2 3 4

1 Thessalonians
1 2 3 4 5

2 Thessalonians
1 2 3

1 Timothy
1 2 3 4 5 6

2 Timothy
1 2 3 4

Titus
1 2 3

Philemon
1

Hebrews
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

James
1 2 3 4 5

1 Peter
1 2 3 4 5

2 Peter
1 2 3

1 John
1 2 3 4 5

2 John
1

3 John
1

Jude
1

Revelation
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22

6.02.2016

Step back, cucks, adults taking over

In the last couple of days some very interesting articles on the Trump phenomenon have appeared. Basically they've shown the fake "principled" conservatives (cucks) up as viciously stupid and corrupt, and the articles have put the Trump thing in an accurate historical context. Here's one.

Here's another.

And here is another take-down by David Horowitz who is a rare neocon showing common-sense in this whole matter (unlike in the Diana West matter, but that's another thing).


BONUS:
More of this please.

Worth watching to the end. A rare exhibit of what needs to be done. Some Germans actually have their genitalia left.

5.31.2016

ELEMENTAL BOOKS

01 HOLY BIBLE, AV1611
02 DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE - GIBBON
03 ON WAR - C. von CLAUSEWITZ
04 WEALTH OF NATIONS - SMITH
05 PLUTARCH - LIVES
06 HOMER - ILIAD & ODYSSEY
07 OVID - METAMORPHOSES
08 FOURTH WAY - OUSPENSKY
09 THUCYDIDES - HISTORY OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
10 HUMAN NATURE IN ITS FOURFOLD STATE - BOSTON
11 MANUAL OF CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE - BERKHOF
12 RUSSIAN NOVEL (primarily TOLSTOY, DOSTOEVSKY)

5.25.2016

An email on Packer's great article the Plan of God

That Packer essay that I linked (below) on the Plan of God is not run-of-the-mill. It bears repeated reading. Especially if you are having difficulty and doubting faith. It's a deep-themed biblical article. A true overview of the faith, yet surprising in what he focuses on. I have it in my read again and again folder. - C.

On May 25, 2016, at 2:31 AM, c. t. wrote:

I've sent this before, but Packer is unusually lucid when writing on such a topic. Worth having handy anyway:


http://www.the-highway.com/plan_Packer.html

5.21.2016

Understanding the powerful level of experiential understanding of doctrine


Recovering Experimental Religion
Sherman Isbell

Experimental religion, which once was a vital part of the Reformed tradition of preaching and spirituality, has in a large measure been lost sight of in our day. Even use of the term experimental in connection with religion is no longer customary, it being more commonly associated with the natural sciences, where a method of probing and investigation leads to an understanding of reality. The older Reformed writers used the word to indicate that we not only read and confess what Scripture teaches, but also are enabled by the Holy Spirit in our own experience to prove and enter into those truths. The propositions of Scripture are true regardless of our experience of them. But in those who belong to Christ, there is a work of the Holy Spirit to persuade them of those truths, so that they taste and feel the power of them in their own souls. To tremble when we discern our guilt before God, and to be driven to seek covering in the blood of Christ, is to gain an experimental knowledge of realities revealed in Scripture. Such experiences are not like the groping of the heathen, who reflect on the mystery of their own hearts, trying to understand themselves, and pondering what God might be like and how he might relate to the world. Experimental religion in the Reformed tradition entails an experience which arises from being confronted with the testimony of Scripture, and in which the prime mover is God the Holy Spirit, driving home to heart and conscience the truths of the Word of God. John Elias, preaching in Wales in the early nineteenth century, describes such experiences of biblical truth: “To have an experimental knowledge of something means to try it, to possess it, and to enjoy it ourselves. You must not merely read or hear about it. . . . You may read many a sweet chapter about Christ, and no doubt you have heard many a faithful sermon about Him, and yet, you may be without a saving knowledge of Christ. But an experimental knowledge of Him is to prove, see, and feel what you have read and heard about Him.”

Anthony Burgess, a member of the Westminster Assembly, speaks of the knowledge that a man may acquire about foreign countries by looking at a map. But map knowledge cannot compare with actually going to the country, climbing its mountains, swimming in its rivers, and walking the streets of its towns. “Or as the Queen of Sheba, who had heard rumors of Solomon’s wisdom, when she came to have an experimental knowledge of it, then she was astonished, and said, All that she had heard was nothing to that which she saw. . . .But how is it to be feared, that many have seen godliness but in the map only, they never had experience of the thing itself. How many are there that talk of conversion or repentance, as men do of bringing forth a child, who never had the experience of the throbs and pains that then are endured. Paul, what a long time did he live in a road of religious duties, but when he came to have an experimental work upon him, he died, whereas he was alive before, that is, he became sensible of the
damnable and dangerous estate he was in, whereas he had great confidence of his good life and salvation before. And thus it is with every man that hath gotten experimental knowledge; alas (saith he) I was alive once, I thought myself somebody, when I could pray, write sermons, dispute so understandingly, but now I see I did not know what that faith was, or godliness was, that I did argue so much about, I never knew anything of God, or of his gracious works till now, will that soul say.”

There is a memorable passage in which J.C. Ryle presses on his readers the distance between belief that there is forgiveness and the believing reception of that forgiveness. “You believe perhaps, there is forgiveness of sins. You believe that Christ died for sinners, and that he offers a pardon to the most ungodly. But are you forgiven yourself? . . . What does it avail the sick man that the doctor offers him a medicine, if he only looks at it, and does not swallow it down? Except you lay hold for your own soul, you will be as surely lost as if there was no forgiveness at all. . . . There must be actual business between you and Christ.”

Therefore we preach not only what Christ once did in his death and resurrection to accomplish our redemption, namely what he did outside of us, but also how Christ now works within our hearts by his Holy Spirit to apply that redemption. The Spirit brings us to appreciate Christ as the pearl of great price. He puts down the opposition of our hearts and carries us forward in repentance. In the resulting conflict, struggle and upheaval in our experience, the Spirit progressively conforms us to Christ. All of this touches the realm of our conscience, our desires and choices, our affections, joys and sorrows, and things felt and experientially known.


Full article in PDF here.

Thomas Boston's Human Nature In its Fourfold State, for the record, is a classic work of experiential doctrine.

5.20.2016

Clerics still bowing the knee to the devil

Again, it is striking - if not, unfortunately surprising - to see so many self-identified Reformed Christians reacting to Trump like neo-cons who took out a third mortgage the day before Trump announced his candidacy.

They obviously have no discernment for good and evil. They don't understand the world or how the devil operates in the world.

They're also obviously (and fecklessly) indoctrinated by the cultural Marxism of the day.

They seem to have no defense on the spiritual battlefield.

This is what thinking ritual water baptism regenerates and/or treating the Bible like a critical text theorist does to a person.

Both cut one off from the Spirit and truth of God's revelation.

List of 'great divides'

This is an email based on that last post. It's got a good list, so...

___________________

http://electofgod.blogspot.com/2016/05/simple-yet-clarifying.html

The article linked is short and well worth reading. It reminds that amidst the seemingly multi-various splash of parts there is a simple whole. The Great Divide mentioned in the article, which I excerpted, is a very good one to know. I made a list of these 'divides' long ago. I even called them divides. Such as the Creator/creation divide. OK, I'll look right now for it ---------

Here it is:

+ + + + + + +

The 4 Great Divides & Two Great Practices:

I. Worshiping the creation rather than the Creator

II. Seeing Jesus as merely a great teacher rather than Lord and Savior

III. Thinking one can be justified and made righteous by one's own works rather than by faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ in His life and on the cross (self-righteousness and self-justification vs. the righteousness of Christ and justification by faith alone in Christ)

IV. A Personal vs. an Impersonal Universe


[and now add the linked article great divide above, though #3 above might get at that]


Two Great Practices:

Act now as if you're in the Kingdom of God now, with gratitude always for everything, and God can trust you.

Do the two conscious shocks [that is Work, or Fourth Way language, Ouspensky side of the school] as the means to being in covenant with God.

+ + + + + + +

See? I even called them 'Great Divides'... - C.

Simple, yet clarifying

To be specific, this determinative high ground is one’s theology of God, man, and salvation. This is the highest of all thought, and it divides all doctrine into two schools. Historically, these two ways of thinking about God and His saving grace have been called by various names. Some have identified them as Augustinianism and Pelagianism. Others have named them Calvinism and Arminianism. Still others have defined them as Reformed and Catholic, while others have used the terms predestination and free will. But by whatever name, these streams are determined by the Continental Divide of theology.

That's from this article.

I came to see doctrine as armor of God. Calvinism, the doctrines of grace, the five solas, is the real armor of God.

Seeing that in the perspective of the 'Great Divide' that article speaks of is clarifying. The Bible ultimately is simple like that. The Devil, for instance, goes by many names and guises, but it all is simply evil vs. God's good. Two kingdoms, Kingdom of God, Kingdom of Satan. And you're either God-centered or you're man-centered.

5.18.2016

I know what this person is talking about

"I have experienced a "full" sleep paralysis episode (with entities) and its no "walk in the park"..."

That is part of a comment on the PuritanBoard on the subject of whether there is alien life on other planets. I think the best answer is there is a lot of demonic activity that can manifest to our senses in various ways, but it has to be pointed out (and nobody at the PuritanBoard pointed this out): since about 2010 there have been over a billion cell phones with easy to activate and use cameras everywhere in the world, and no one has captured images or video of UFOs or anything of a similar nature. In fact, in seems that such sightings, or claims of such sightings, have decreased with the ubiquitous presence of cell phone cameras (add dashboard cameras as well which constantly film a large swathe of sky).

As for full sleep paralysis (with entities)... I like that he said "with entities" because in my case I could only refer to them as that as well.

Full sleep paralysis can happen when you have been awake for an unusual number of hours (40 hours in my case), and then lie down flat on your back. What happens is your body goes into a normal sleep mode, yet your mind is still awake. It is a terrifying experience. You try to scream for help ("mom!!!" in my case, even though I was living in a distant city in my 20s), but your mouth doesn't move because your body is in full paralysis. What I saw when in that state was numerous 'beings' looming over me as if I was being operated on by several doctors. They were in white with faces that had no real characteristics to describe them other than they all seemed to look the same. I was struggling the whole time to come out of the paralysis, and finally did. I wasn't frightened after-the-fact, i.e. I didn't think there were 'beings' in the room or anything like that. Once I had physical control back it was all over.

This happened at a time when I was in an interval going from semi-aggressive non-Christian to reading the Bible and becoming a Christian. I was in conflict with the few people who knew me in that locale and who were angry I was drifting into the Christian realm. For instance, one person who had been in my apartment (actually a section of an old Victorian house) had snatched at a covered book and opened it to find a Bible like they'd caught me in a crime.

Over the years I concluded that what I saw were demons (define demons as you will...fallen angels, the souls of dead giants, whatever). I also experienced good angels in a car wreck that I was saved from. I didn't see any beings during that event, though it was no less real.

Christians need to check themselves when they feel a strong desire to debunk such testimonies because it usually is evidence of a lack of belief in the supernatural in general. Naturalism (materialism, ultimately atheism) can infect one without us realizing it since it is everywhere around us.

5.16.2016

Why did God create evil?

I like hard doctrine. Biblically on-the-mark hard doctrine. It is the armor of God. This is hard doctrine. Scroll down to page 10. It is only two and a half pages long.

5.14.2016

The soul of Europe

Just read an article in which Pope Francis was quoted as referring to Brussels as "the soul of Europe."

A comment under the article: "So Brussels is the 'soul of Europe'. Must be a coincidence that it is over 25% Muslim now."

J. I. Packer defines the Puritans

J. I. Packer, defining the Puritans (taken from Beeke's Meet the Puritans):

"By a definitive embodiment of New Testament Christianity I mean a body of beliefs and a style of life that combined on the grand scale the Trinitarian objectivism of the Fathers, the knowledge of self and sin set forth by Augustine, the knowledge of Christ, of the cross, and of justification by faith that the magisterial Reformers had and shared, and the universal Christian passion for the glory of God in the worshiping life of the Church, with the insight into regeneration, sanctification, and the inner life of the self that was the Puritans’ distinctive contribution. I mean a body of beliefs and a style of life that was intensely practical, experiential, conscientious, determined, vigorous, hopeful, hardworking, and visionary in its struggle to achieve and maintain sanctity in all circumstances, walks of life, personal states, relationships, and life activities, and to establish that sanctity everywhere..."

5.09.2016

This is pointedly shallow

"Racism is nothing more than collective narcissism: I love my group above all others because I love myself." —Michael Horton

5.07.2016

Open Letter to Anti-Trump Christian Conservatives

So you think of yourself as a Christian conservative, and you also really hate this whole Trump thing. You can't stand that so many stupid people could so stupidly vote for such a stupid person; and it all makes you want to punch a whole in the wall, but your mom would get angry if you did that, so you refrain and just sit in the middle of the floor fuming. Why just the other day you heard that Louis C. K. is against Trump, and he's a successful comedian and stuff, and those guys are like really smart and almost like wise men in our society and stuff; and yet Trump succeeds.

You're angry, we Trump supporters understand. Why can't we just see clearly like Jon Stewart and Bill Maher and stuff? I mean, the entire Democrat party is mocking Trump too, and stuff. We understand. The Pope, you scream. The Pope! Even he hates Trump! Yes, we understand you're confused. We understand.

It's like this, #antiTrump bumpkins. We are voting for a guy who will punch you in the face. Yes. You, even. People like you who run up multi-trillion dollar deficits. People like you who allow Muslim Brotherhood to sit in the Pentagon and draw up rules of engagement designed to get our troops killed and injured. People like you who fear the world and man to the degree that you'll allow the world to rape our nation with your support for Satanic open border ideology and your obsequiousness to political-correctness.

The list could go on, but what's the point. You have no discernment for good and evil.

Run along now, #antiTrump bumpkin. I hear your mom calling you. /ct

How to read treason

Al Mohler has now given himself away as a cuck engaged in treason against this nation. In an article where he pretends to merely set out what is going on he writes this: "Traditionally, the Republican Party has established its reputation by standing for the principles advocated by the American Founders—limited government upheld by the health of society’s primary institutions such as marriage, family, and community. Yet Donald Trump, the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party, represents virtually everything the Republican Party has typically defined itself over against."

Mohler knows this is a lie. He knows the demonic establishment wants all its followers to repeat down-is-up lies like that over and over. This is what tyrannies do. They distort reality by repeating lies over and over.

My guess is Mohler's institution and its network of churches is making money hand over fist from the human trafficking being orchestrated out of Washington, D.C.

5.01.2016

Definition of a Puritan

How to define the Puritans (historic and modern)?

1. Bible oriented. Bible-believing, Bible-focused, Word of God valuing Christians.

2. They understand the fact and reality of supernatural regeneration by the Word and the Spirit.

3. They understand the difference between fearing the world and fearing God alone. They feared God alone.

4. They took a spiritual warfare approach to the faith. They understood and experienced the spiritual battlefield. For them this made biblical doctrine actual armor of God. They wanted real armor, hence they had no problem with 'hard truth' biblical doctrine (Calvinism), because it re-oriented them inwardly to being God-centered rather than man-centered or, in other words, being conformed to Christ.

5. They were practical with the faith (or "reduced to practice" the Christian faith). A soldier on a battlefield is a practical individual. Life and death is on the line constantly. For Puritans the Word of God and biblical doctrine is not merely philosophical or theoretical, but as practical as a spade, a weapon, a fox hole, or a good pair of boots.

6. Puritans are anti-establishment; or just by their nature outside any and all establishments. They are separated out from the world. They tend to be political targets of religious establishments and objects of mockery to the establishment.

7. Without being academic in the usual shallow ways (while still being willing to exploit any and all influences and sources of on-the-mark teaching, and being grateful for the effort to produce it, while producing it themselves as well) Puritans sought a complete understanding of the faith. They sought parts-in-relation-to-the-whole understanding of the Bible and its doctrine. They knew a Christian is to be a prophet, priest, and king, and that the bar is raised high to be that, yet the Holy Spirit enables the Christian to meet and exceed that bar. For Puritans learning is active, and individual (we face death and our judgment, ultimately, standing solely on our own two feet).

8. They had a strong doctrine of sin and the very real wrath of God. They knew their own state. Tyndale's metaphor of the venomous snake described the Puritan understanding. We are snakes with poison in us, and we can't get the poison out of us. Only God can. And even if we don't strike with our fangs, it is nevertheless our nature to strike. So from birth, due to original and then active sin, we are by our very constitution unable to be in the Kingdom of God. It takes an act of God to change us, give us a new heart, and recognize the righteousness of Christ in us which we appropriate by faith in the life and death of Jesus Christ. In other words we can't improve ourselves enough to get into the Kingdom of God. The leopard can't change his spots. Only God can change us. And until He does, by an act of pure grace, we are children of wrath fit for the lake of fire. This stark realization Puritans came to know at an experiential level.

9. Which gets back starkly to the Bible. The word of God. Puritans knew regeneration was solely an act of God, we can't effect it. Yet the word of God, the living, quickening language of the Bible, is the wild card. God says in His Word, several times: move towards Me, and I'll move towards you. The Puritans knew we move towards God not by ritual or physical buildings, but by reading and getting understanding of the Word of God and by prayer.

+ + + + + + +

So, to put is starkly, or plainly: what distinguishes a Puritan from other types or schools of Christians is a hyper focus and leaning on the Bible; an experiential knowing of the wrath of God, sin, and of regeneration; a spiritual warfare approach to the faith, rather than an academic or any other accented approach to the faith; a true fear of God alone and not the world or man; a practical approach to the faith; an anti-establishment stance regarding the faith; and a desire to get complete parts-in-relation-to-the-whole understanding of the faith, and not disdaining terminal understanding of the basics once arrived there.

+ + + + + + +

An email on the subject:

There is some confusion among Reformed academics - theologians and church historians - as to how to define who was and who wasn't a Puritan and whether there was any such thing as Puritans at all to begin with (some actually wonder this).

I see it this way: my observation that there is an academic approach to the faith and a spiritual warfare approach plays into this problem they have. The academic types can't see the spiritual warfare types or their approach.


The Puritans are defined as Reformed (Calvinist) believers who took (take) a spiritual warfare approach to the faith. This is why they are seen as practical and "reducing to practice" the Christian faith; because when you take a spiritual warfare approach you are like a soldier on a battlefield (the spiritual battlefield), and there is no more practical individual or group of individuals than a soldier on a battlefield. They need real things, no arguments. And doctrine becomes the real armor of God. They don't care that real doctrine is "hard" or insults their fallen nature. They are on a battlefield facing real enemies. They don't care if some people's feelings are getting hurt by the existence of real unwatered-down doctrine, that is what they need to survive.


The Puritans (then and today) understood regeneration and how it puts one on a real spiritual battlefield; and how doctrine becomes real armor of God.

People who take an academic approach to the faith - God bless them, we all benefit from their work (some of their work anyway) - can't see the seriousness or even reality of the spiritual battlefield and what soldiers on that battlefield need, hence they have difficultly even seeing those soldier or sometimes even admitting they exist at all.


Another difference between Puritans and other Reformed types is Puritans tended to be outside the Establishment of their time. In fact they were often fleeing the law and even their home countries.


When John Owen met John Bunyan we saw the two types together; and notice who it was who admired the other with more respect and awe. If you don't know it was John Owen who expressed his respect for John Bunyan, and you can feel that in the anecdote as it's come down to us. Owen may actually have been more Puritan than his position allowed him to be. Gurnall would be another who felt the tension of being a Puritan by type yet who hadn't crossed the divide from Establishment to outsider during his life and career. - C.

An adult showed up at National Review Online

Sobranist • 2 days ago

If only he could, I bet W F Buckley would lament the illogical stubbornness of editors allowing such mindlessness to fester. "We detest Trump, because as a thick-fingered, vulgar, low class, buffoonish, low-brow, stupid, white trash detestable, name-caller - - he has no business running for President." Because Ladies and gents at NRO - That is EXACTLY what you say every stinkin' day!

Lorenzo • 2 days ago

Sobranist, once you begin thinking of National Review as a country club with a printing press, the Trump detestation you describe makes sense.

Sobranist • 2 days ago

I see it less as a Country Club and more like a frat house... Country Club types know more about the world than this crew of Buckley wanna-be poseurs, they have read all the right books and strike conservative poses - but have demonstrated a tone-deafness that must come from a shallow core. My dad did business with Trump and hated him. But I think he would love to see him as president. Why? Because he may be a jerk but has "gonads." America needs "gonads" after Obama (and, also, the Yale Cheerleader.)

Lorenzo • 2 days ago

"Frat house" might be a better analogy than "country club". The swells running the typical country club, being businessmen or professionals of some sort, at least have to deal with the real world that the frat boys are insulated from.

4.26.2016

A note on meditating the Bible

[This is an email.]

On meditating the Bible this is basically what I'm doing...

I use the template of "people, places, things, events, ideas" to focus in on what I'm reading, and I basically pause to really visualize or ponder one or more of those things.

Like when Melchizedek gives bread and wine to Abraham, those are "things" and I pause and think about them. Not too crazily, but as symbols, maybe see connections with bread and wine in the New Testament, etc. Maybe just holding the imagery in my mind does a lot too. Higher visual language.

I can see that another aspect, perhaps bigger, of meditating the Bible is recalling to mind whole, contained passages and really trying to draw them to mind from memory and think about them.

But when I said it doesn't take a lot of meditating on the Bible to get something from it I mean this: I noticed quickly that a little pausing and pondering and visualizing really made me see what I was reading more clearly. Like for instance the travels of Abraham. I can trace it in my mind. If you just read over it quick things like that jumble together. But I have clear Haran to Canaan down to Egypt, back up, separation from Lot, etc. That's sort of "event" and also "places."

Really pausing to visualize people is a big thing too. Getting cues from the text to see their personality. Like when Cain says back to God, "Am I my brother's keeper?" I read in a commentary that that showed Cain's temper, and I'd never visualized it like that. It's like Cain snapped back at God when he said that. You can visualize it other ways too, but Cain is deep in lies at that point and being interrogated, so you know he's ticked off and perhaps ready to lose it if not losing it.

You can see how this will build if you do it all the way through the Bible. - C.

ps- You can get deep into it too. Like when I read of the 'mist' that rose from the Garden to water the ground (this was before rain) we tend to think morning due, but I was pondering it was natural technology that is no longer used by God but might be still there in some way, or might be an image for higher visual language that can be used in unknown ways...see? crazier thoughts, but those too as I meditate on the Bible...

A note: as I read through this post again it came to me that I've heard people, pastors, theologians, etc., characterize people in the Bible in ways that to my discernment were off-the-mark. Like what I wrote about Cain above. You can get shallow with it this way: by drawing down the entire phenomenon of "Cain" to your current level of understanding solely and cut off aspects of Cain, or just the deeper impressions of tragic evil that exist above, say, moralizing or common thoughts of such things. I.e. I want to meditate on the Bible where it exists, at the level it exists, not draw it down to solely my current level of understanding.

4.23.2016

Email exchange on Michael Horton

From: W
Subject: Michael Horton

There is something I find offensive about this post by Michael Horton. He has a very narrow view of the topic and arrogantly/subtly suggests others are idiots if they believe otherwise. I'm not saying he is wrong about some of the way God speaks to us but it's what he infers by what he leaves out that shows his arrogance.

W.

http://www.challies.com/sponsored/does-god-talk-to-us-a-post-by-michael-horton

* * * * * * *
Response from Me:

Horton's style is to present cartoonish strawman examples and then slay them. It wouldn't have been beyond him in this post to have started it this way: "Some Christians think if they hang a crystal from their neck that it can become God and audibly talk to them."

Another major aspect of his approach is to make his own preferences the definition of orthodox. He's a buttoned down academic first, a Christian who believes in the supernatural second. He's more concerned with how his fellow academics see him than how true believing Christians see him. He fears the world more than he fears God, is another way of saying that.

He also has pioneered the, what I call, "It's not about you!" approach to the faith. To him the Christian faith is 100% objective, having nothing to do with us. God does everything. He carries this so far, and is so insistent with it, that it has become a real school of theology, or new approach; so even though he's otherwise Reformed and orthodox in a basic way he's also 'off' in this 'you do nothing, it's not about you' approach.

This all makes him very big on ritual and clerics as being the only true experience of the faith. "Lay" people are to sit in the pew and be passive. In this theology sheep don't become lions. - C.

A short remark from nothing me:

If Horton read this post he'd say, "Sheep becoming lions? Theology of glory!! You become a lion by being MORE of a sheep, if at all!! It's not about you!! You don't do anything!! Eat a cracker!! Drink some grape juice!! Listen to an ordained pastor read the Bible to you!! Who do you think you are?!? You are nothing!! It's not about you!!"

Who engages in wachfulness? Who loves his enemies? Who fights the world, the flesh, and the Devil? Who actively gets parts-in-relation-to-the-whole understanding of the Bible and biblical doctrine? I guess the pastor does all this for the sheep. Hence the pastor is God on earth. Hence we're into Romanism. Hence Horton's willingness to endorse books by Popes, but not books by non-Reformed Protestants. It all comes together.

4.19.2016

Three mountains in the Bible

Mt. Sinai - the mountain of the curse of the law; king is old Adam, now residing in man's fallen nature; on it by physical birth; demographics: the majority of the world population, all works based religions and philosophical worldviews; destination of subjects: Lake of Fire

Mt. Zion - the mountain of free grace; King is Jesus Christ; on it by regeneration by the Word and the Spirit, faith and repentance; demographics: Bible-believing Christians who have faith in the saving work and death of Jesus Christ; destination of subjects: Heaven

Mt. Hermon - the mountain of idols and evil; king is Satan; on it by radicalization of fallen nature; demographics: in our day Marxists, Islamists, individual devil worshipers of all kinds; destination of subjects: Lake of Fire

4.16.2016

A hidden big problem in the whole church thing

Look at this line from a Minister: "So likewise the angels of the churches— the ministers of the gospel— that are of an higher order and office than other saints..." This Minister thinks the angels of the churches are the actual ministers of those churches and are of a higher class or order than the Christians sitting in the pews. (Quote is from Jonathan Edwards, but that's neither here nor there.)

So, you know seminary graduates are taught this or some species or degree of it, yet they can't really talk about it because their conscience tells them it's asinine to think of themselves that way, yet they believe it still and have it in their self-image still.

Here is the problem: all Christians are to be prophets, priests, and kings. The bar is set high to be a Christian. You have to read the Bible and get parts-in-relation-to-the-whole understanding of it; then you have to learn on-the-mark biblical doctrine. Then you have to learn how to practice the faith. Be a Christian. These things become what we are as they are fused into our memory and will and understanding. It's a tall order, yet the Holy Spirit enables us to meet and exceed the high bar. For some it comes easier, quicker, for others it's a lifelong process, and progress is by degree and in stages, yet a simple, real faith is what saves, not complete knowledge. OK. Still, progress will be made by real Christians.

Now what does this say about our priesthood of seminary educated elitists? They become the enemy to the rank and file Christian. Why? Because to maintain a self-image of being special, and of a higher order (and appointed so by God Himself) you have to protect the knowledge. You have to keep it from the hands of the unwashed. The low brows who think they can understand what can only uniquely be understood by members of the guild. "Oh, look, that rube in row five is reading the Bible/Geerhardus Vos/systematic theology, how quaint. Actually, it's dangerous. Have one of the elders speak to him. Give him one of our David vs. Goliath video games."

Guilds, to exist, have to protect the knowledge of the guild, and who can have access to that knowledge and teach that knowledge. In this sense all clericalism, Protestant as much as the other branches, gravitates toward dumb Magisteriumism. Which itself becomes darkness.

Christians are prophets, priests, and kings. In a real sense when we're first reading the Bible and learning doctrine from on-the-mark, time-vetted sources (hopefully), we are sheep. In a real sense. Yet the metaphor is abused by guild interest. In Christianity sheep become lions. Kings. Prophets, priests, and kings.

This is seen as an assault to the guild-minded. So be it.

An aside: think of the thought process of the cleric as guild member with the guild interests. At one time he hadn't read the Bible (I assume seminary graduates eventually read the Bible complete?), and he certainly knew nothing of on-the-mark biblical doctrine, if he ever does. So what does he think about that? "Well, nobody could possibly learn what I've come to learn. It's just too difficult. Yes, I learned it, but I am special. I am of a higher order." Only the typically dumbest people in the room think like that.

4.15.2016

From an email, angels and Greek gods

I've been searching for and downloading the best formatted epubs and pdfs of Bullinger's Decades. It's a major historical work of doctrine from the 16th century.

In the Fourth Decade, Sermon Nine, on angels and evil spirits I found the first reference I think I've seen in a major Calvinist, Reformed source, connecting biblical angels with the gods of pagan poets, obviously Homer is what he is referencing here. Heathenish poets and philosophers -- that is ancient Greece:

"Let us therefore believe that there are angels. For the authority of the Son of God, and the irrevocable truth of the holy scriptures, ought worthily to win more credit with us than the toys of all Sadducees and wicked men. What, have not the heathenish poets and philosophers confessed that there are angels, whom they call gods? For they, feigning that gods in the likeness of men were lodged and entertained of righteous men, seemed to all learned men to have meant nothing else than that which the holy scriptures make mention of, how Abraham and Lot received angels into their houses resembling strangers. But howsoever the case standeth, most certain it is, both by the holy scripture and by manifold experience, that there are blessed spirits of God, that is to say, good angels."

This is why I like reading the older works. A modern Reformed theologian wouldn't have read or appreciated the Homeric epics, and would consider such a notion, that angels and the depictions of gods and goddesses of the ancients, had any connection. Whacky, they'd say. - C.

4.14.2016

Heard a big giveaway on a Reformed podcast

Listening to an old Reformed Forum podcast I heard a big giveaway. They were talking about the writings of the Church fathers and how one talked of demon activity, etc. A Reformed seminary graduate (Jeff Waddington) then gave away how they don't believe in the supernatural while still maintaining that the Bible presents supernatural phenomena. He said, in so many words, speaking in the first person plural, "Well, we of course are skeptical that such things as demon activity is real other than within the stories of the Bible."

Fact: establishment Christianity - churchianity - doesn't believe in the supernatural period. They don't believe in supernatural evil; they don't believe in supernatural preservation of the word of God; they don't believe in supernatural regeneration by the word and the Spirit; they ultimately don't believe in the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit Himself.

They're all about man and ritual, and their shallowness, dead churches, and their fear of man and the world above any fear of God give them away.

A side note: in the same podcast the author they were interviewing, Michael Haykin (his book Rediscovering the Church Fathers was the subject of the podcast) stated that he doesn't read Reformation era or post-Reformation era doctrinal works, citing specifically systematic theological works. He said, "I mean, I own Grudem, but I don't read it." This is a so-called evangelical scholar. They could probably be OK with his preferring the Church fathers over icky stuff about sin and wrath of God and stuff, but his sole citing of Grudem had to embarrass the others in the discussion.

True believers, recognize the apostasy exists, and is all around you, especially where it's most supposed not to be; and it can manifest as shallowness as much as anything else.

3.30.2016

Good indexed overview interview of Michael Heiser on his book Unseen Realm

This interview is helpful to get an overview of Michael Heiser's Unseen Realm. Click 'show more' under the video to see a very helpful contents list by time mark.

3.26.2016

Michael Heiser on current world events regarding spiritual geography

This is a good example of what can be found of value in Michael Heiser: https://youtu.be/o5eapEWFnBQ

It's ten mins. long talking about some of the spiritual geography aspects of what is going on in the world today.

The whole thing should be watched for context, but how he states the matter at the 5:20 mark is the sober take that I find valuable in Heiser and his book Unseen Realm.

3.25.2016

General response to a comment regarding spiritual warfare

My history with spiritual warfare involves doing a teaching called the Fourth Way which puts a person whether they know it or not on the spiritual battlefield. It puts them in conflict with themselves (their fallen nature) and with the world around them (and, yes, with the Devil and his forces). Doing this made me realize I needed the armor of God.

Eph. 6:10-18 is the famous armor of God passage in the Bible.

The main insight is to realize that *doctrine itself* is armor of God. Pure, unwatered-down biblical doctrine is the true armor of God. And on a battlefield you want real armor.

A soldier on a real battlefield has no use for fake armor, i.e. doctrine that has been watered down or negotiated down to please fallen man's desires and demands. Only a Christian in the comforts of the world and going with the current of the world would settle for such a thing.

So, actual biblical doctrine insults our fallen nature and notions of what is right and wrong or good and bad or just and unjust. So when we are able to see and understand and *accept* true biblical doctrine (five solas, doctrines of grace, i.e. TULIP, classical - federal - covenant theology) it changes us inwardly. It re-orientates us inwardly from being man centered to being God centered, and from self-will to God's will.

All that *hard doctrine* that Arminians, for instance, refuse to give in to. It is actual armor of God.

Or like when people say, "It's not fair that I should have original sin just because of something Adam did in the Garden." But when you accept that Adam was our federal head (our King) and his act effected us (just as if the American President declares war citizens have to be at war whether we like it or not) it's an example of accepting hard truth biblical doctrine. Of course then you realize that Jesus becomes our new federal head (King) when we have faith in Him and His work, and we don't have a problem with *that.* We like receiving from Jesus what we couldn't do ourselves.

Another example is accepting that God is sovereign and is the first cause of everything that happens, yet we are also responsible for our own actions and thoughts and words. That is an example of accepting hard truth biblical doctrine. You can philosophically iron all that out, but ultimately it really is a matter of God says it, I believe and accept it. I'm a soldier on the spiritual battlefield. I don't have a problem with difficult to accept biblical doctrine because it is my armor, and I know it changes me internally to being, or conforming, to Christ, the ultimate soldier and King.

The spiritual landscape and battlefield

A big part of life for me as a Christian - that is not such a big thing seemingly for other Christians - is what I refer to as the spiritual battlefield.

When I say that other Christians will be stung and will say they too experience the, uh, spriteful battlefield, or, uh, what'd you say there wacko? spiritual - yes - spiritual battlefield! Been there, done, uh, that, got the tee-shirt.

Only the average Christian knows nothing of the spiritual battlefield because the average Christian, what I generally refer to as the church Christian, or churchian, is always pretty much going with the current of the world. And inside their church as much as anywhere else.

Being separated out from the world puts you in a world of friction and conflict with the current of the world and into a world of spiritual warfare.

In that world you begin to see and experience things like spiritual geography. Also how the invisible world acts on the visible. Also how what happens here 'under the sun' has an analogue in the spiritual realm.

It's in this context that I recommend Michael Heiser's book Unseen Realm. Though his doctrine overall is not up to the biblical and Holy Spirit discerned standards of Dutch Puritanism...nevertheless what he contributes with his parts in relation to the biblical whole insights on the subject of spiritual warfare is unique and special.

3.22.2016

The Unseen Realm

[originally an email]

Michael Heiser's the Unseen Realm is a new book I've mentioned before. I feel I made a mistake in highlighting too strongly his liberal(ish) theology, because what he offers is so unique and valuable you can look beyond the weak doctrine.

His chapter 32 is epic and causes many dots to be connected regarding spiritual warfare realities, individual, political, world level, etc.

A big theme in his book is how the Bible describes spiritual or cosmic geography and how that explains so many events. The general scene-setting is God gave up the nations to individual gods, or angels, and kept Israel as His portion. Part of what Jesus was doing was taking back all the geography from the gods of the darkness. Which is a spiritual battle.

You can see this play out in history. Jews *reclaimed* the land of Israel in 1948. Islam, whose dark god is Allah, had taken possession of that land and had it for centuries. Its meaning now is more symbolic, but it IS the original land of God's portion. The hatred towards Jews and Israel is based on this. Spiritual battle and dominion over geography. 

The dark gods' - ultimately Satan's - hatred of Western Europe and the United States is different. These lands have been strongholds for followers of Jesus. God's people. We see now these evil hordes flowing into these heretofore off-limits lands.

I also had the thought reading the book that classical music in a real way does battle with dark forces within us. Beethoven's 3rd Symphony, for instance, is a warlike rush of force that goes through us and reclaims parts of our soul perhaps being occupied by dark spirits. This is why we can actually feel healthier and more clear and awake when we are making the effort to hear such higher music rather than the easier to hear lower forms of music that trigger lower thoughts and fantasy and lower emotions and so on. 

Of recent books this one by Heiser - Unseen Realm - is standing out as unique and special. He has a presence on the internet with material that adds to the book as well. His Divine Council material at the early parts of the book can be overstated and even make it seem like he is bringing God down to the level of the creation, in various ways, but getting through that and then seeing the overall themes he is uniquely bringing to light make it all more than worth the time and effort. Talk about the mysteries playing out within us and around us, it is obviously worth the time and effort. - C.