Tag Archives | Logos Bible Software

What Is the Most Convincing Proof of the Deity of Christ?

My immediate response would probably be God’s special revelation in His authoritative and inerrant Word.

Here’s what B. B. Warfield had to say in “The Deity of Christ”:

The Scriptures give us evidence enough, then, that Christ is God. But the Scriptures are far from giving us all the evidence we have. There is, for example, the revolution which Christ has wrought in the world. If, indeed, it were asked what the most convincing proof of the deity of Christ is, perhaps the best answer would be, just Christianity. The new life He has brought into the world; the new creation which He has produced by His life and work in the world; here are at least His most palpable credentials.

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Proclaim: New Church Presentation Software

Logos Bible Software, the company I work for, is getting ready to enter into the church presentation software market with a product called Proclaim.

What Sets Proclaim Apart?

Proclaim takes a new approach to presentation software by pushing the data to the cloud and allowing multiple people to collaborate on the same project without needing to email files or pass around CDs or USB thumb drives. Being cloud based and multi-platform makes it possible to deliver a consistent look on everyone’s computer—removing last minute surprises.

Proclaim also breaks new ground by integrating with mobile devices in some really cool ways, allowing for real-time interaction between the presenter and the congregation and allowing you to control your presentation remotely. Finally, it will work well with Logos Bible Software 4, making the transition from preparation to presentation easier than ever.

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Works of Michael Barrett Coming to Logos

Michael Barrett CollectionI’m very excited at the prospect of having the works of one of the most influential Bible teachers in my life, Dr. Michael P. V. Barrett, available digitally for Logos Bible Software in the four-volume Michael Barrett Collection. I’m also happy that many who don’t know anything about him might soon have the chance to be enriched by his excellent teaching.

The collection includes his four books published by Ambassador International:

It doesn’t include his Love Divine and Unfailing: The Gospel according to Hosea, which was published by P&R.

I’ve mentioned Barrett’s works before. His chapter “Union with Christ: The Security of the Gospel” in Complete in Him (93–118) is one of the top picks in my list of resources on union with Christ. Sadly, it was out of print recently. But thanks in part to Chris Anderson’s efforts, it’s back in print for the time being. The others are in limited supply.

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Are the Father, Son, and Spirit Equally Persons?

Here’s Karl Barth’s answer:

. . . even if the Father and the Son might be called “person” (in the modern sense of the term), the Holy Spirit could not possibly be regarded as the third “person.” In a particularly clear way the Holy Spirit is what the Father and the Son also are. He is not a third spiritual Subject, a third I, a third Lord side by side with two others. He is a third mode of being of the one divine Subject or Lord.

. . .

He is the common element, or, better, the fellowship, the act of communion, of the Father and the Son. He is the act in which the Father is the Father of the Son or the Speaker of the Word and the Son is the Son of the Father or the Word of the Speaker. (CD I,1, 469)

This sounds on the surface like a denial of full trinitarianism (and I am a little uncomfortable with it), but it shares much in common with the views of Augustine and Jonathan Edwards, both of whom tended to talk about the Spirit in ways that seem less than fully personal.

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Edwards on Faith and Works in Justification

Justification by Faith Alone by Jonathan EdwardsIn my estimation, Jonathan Edwards’s Justification by Faith Alone contains one of the most important and misunderstood1 evangelical discussions on the relationship between faith and works as they pertain to justification and salvation. Delivered in 1734 and first published in 1738, it may be found in 1:622–54 of his two-volume Works (Worcester rev. ed.),2 4:64–132 of his four-volume Works (Worcester ed.), 5:351–452 of his ten-volume Works (Dwight ed.), 19:147–2423 of his twenty-six volume Works, as an individual volume, and online in as many as seven different places.

As I continue my discussion on whether evangelicals, who affirm sola fide, are forced to sweep the passages that insist on holiness and good works under the rug, I turn to Jonathan Edwards, against whom no informed person would make such an accusation, as you can see for yourself in the quotations below. Except for the first, all of these selections come from his third and fourth sections, which discuss evangelical obedience and answer objections. I’ve bolded the most relevant portions.

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Footnotes

  1. If you’re concerned about Edwards’s view on sola fide, Don Kistler’s post on the Puritan Board is a helpful clarification.
  2. Cf. Amazon, CBD, Logos, and WTS Books.
  3. Or 19:143–242 including the editor’s preface.

More Than One Third of the Internet Is Porn

A recent study by Optenet finds that more than one in three pages on the web is pornographic, and it’s growing at a faster rate than last year.

Predominant content on the Internet is pornography, which makes up 37% of the total number of Web pages online, according to a new study published by Optenet, a pioneer and global leader of enabling SaaS offerings  and delivering “on-premise” security solutions.

The report, which includes a representative sample of approximately 4 million extracted URLs, shows that adult content on the Internet as well as illegal content such as child pornography and illegal drug purchase has undergone a significant increase of 17% in the first quarter of 2010, as compared to the same period in 2009.
. . .

Ana Luisa Rotta, director of child protection projects at Optenet, said that, “When you consider that more than one third of the Internet’s content is pornographic, combined with the overwhelming increase in young people now curiously visiting web sites with such ease of access, it is becoming increasingly imperative that adults take responsibility for the management of home PC security.”

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Luther on the Necessity of Good Works

I’m involved in a discussion where the claim was made that the Protestant church has distorted the gospel by removing the necessity of good works for salvation—something the early Christians unanimously affirmed. Luther was singled out as one who cared nothing about good works—at least not in the context of salvation. I pointed out this section from Luther, in which he indicates that “works are necessary to salvation.”

I reply to the argument, then, that our obedience is necessary for salvation. It is, therefore, a partial cause of our justification. Many things are necessary which are not a cause and do not justify, as for instance the earth is necessary, and yet it does not justify. If man the sinner wants to be saved, he must necessarily be present, just as he asserts that I must also be present. What Augustine says is true, “He who has created you without you will not save you without you.”1 Works are necessary to salvation, but they do not cause salvation, because faith alone gives life. On account of the hypocrites we must say that good works are necessary to salvation. It is necessary to work. Nevertheless, it does not follow that works save on that account, unless we understand necessity very clearly as the necessity that there must be an inward and outward salvation or righteousness. Works save outwardly, that is, they show evidence that we are righteous and that there is faith in a man which saves inwardly, as Paul says, “Man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved” [Rom. 10:10]. Outward salvation shows faith to be present, just as fruit shows a tree to be good. (“The Disputation Concerning Justification,” LW, 165)

Footnotes

  1. N21: Sermo 170. Migne 38, 923.

Calvin on God’s Permissive Will

Calvin: Institutes of the Christian ReligionAfter reading my post on Zac Smith’s cancer a while back, a friend of mine saw a link in the sidebar to a related post, “The Grace of Cancer,” and left a comment challenging my choice of words when I repeatedly said that God gave cancer to a man from our church to bring him to repentence.

I responded by encouraging him to read Calvin’s InstitutesI, xviii (esp. 1), where he discusses the “distinction [that] has been invented between doing and permitting,” and Piper’s “Don’t Waste Your Cancer.”

I spent some time rereading Calvin’s chapter on the issue of permission, “The Instrumentality of the Wicked Employed by God, While He Continues Free from Every Taint,” and I thought much of it was worth quoting here at length. I’ve bolded the most pertinent portions.

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The Fall Explains Homosexual Animals

Scientists and advocates of same-sex sexual and marital relationships are making much of recently observed homosexual behavior in animals, and some are suggesting that it proves that homosexuality is genetically rooted and natural (or at least not unnatural) for both animals and human beings. As Al Mohler explains,

The political implications of the issue are clear—those pushing for the normalization of homosexuality want to be able to point to research that would prove the normality of homosexuality in nature.

To draw this conclusion, however, would be a mistake. For it fails to evaluate this homosexual behavior in light of a biblical hamartiology. As Mohler reminds us, we can’t derive what’s natural—or more importantly, what God requires of us—from nature, for the simple reason that the effects of Adam’s sin extend beyond the human race.

The world we know is a world that shows all the effects of human sin and the curse of God’s judgment on that sin. Though the glory of God shines through even its fallen state, nature now imperfectly displays the glory of God. Because of the curse, the world around us now reveals and contains innumerable elements that are “natural,” but not normative. Illnesses and earthquakes are natural, but not normative.

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A. A. Hodge on the Importance of Doctrine

Justin Taylor mentioned two books on the importance of theology earlier today—one new and one old: The Trials of Theology: Becoming a “Proven Worker” in a Dangerous Business (Amazon), edited by Andrew Cameron and Brian Rosner, and Helmut Thielicke’s A Little Exercise for Young Theologians (Amazon). Both look good.

There’s also been a lot of buzz recently about Josh Harris’s Dug Down Deep: Unearthing What I Believe and Why It Matters (Amazon) and Mark Driscoll’s Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe (Amazon).

Finally, two forthcoming volumes caught my eye recently: Michael Horton’s The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way (Amazon), due out in October, and Fred Zaspel’s The Theology of B. B. Warfield: A Systematic Summary (Amazon), due out in September.

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