We Are Not Neutral

Chapter 1 of Jeff Johnson’s upcoming book.  Having read several of Jeff’s books (The Fatal Flaw & The Kingdom of God), I’m looking forward to this one when it comes out.

“Let’s buy it, dad!” These were the words that darted out of my mouth as soon as I saw the cool yellow truck with its custom rims and ground effects. Immediately I could proudly see myself driving it to school. Not only was it cool, I couldn’t believe it was in my price range. This could be mine, so I thought.

My father responded with the dreaded but predictable words, “We need to test drive it first.” Though this sounds only reasonable, you must realize that I was young and poor. My parents promised to help me buy my first vehicle by doubling all the money I earned over the summer. I worked hard, but only saved $900.00. And even back in the early nineties, you could not expect much for $1,800.00. The last thing I wanted was some grandma wagon.

So when I saw this customized truck, I was ready to pull the trigger without any investigation. In fact, I didn’t want to test drive it, for deep down I knew it was too good to be true. If we happen to discover its mechanical problems, I knew my father would stand in the way of me being cool. You see, I thought if we bought it before we learned that it needed repairs, though more money would be needed to get the thing running, the most important thing would be accomplished – I would have a respectable looking ride to show off to all my friends. The truth is, I didn’t want to know the truth, for I assumed that the truth would stand in the way of my happiness.

As you can imagine, when we opened the hood, it was missing half of its engine. Yep, too good to be true. I ended up with my dad’s old, brown, farm truck – dependable but no ground effects.

I realize now that I was willing to overlook all the blaring red flags and knowingly do something foolish because of my foolish pride. My emotions, my pride, and my inverted values hindered my judgment. I was not objective or rational because I did not want to be objective or rational.

Foolishness is living in opposition to what we know to be true. I am afraid this irrational condition and manner of thinking is universally prevalent in all of us. We are not merely irrational every now and then. Without God, we live in a state of irrationality.

Only irrational fools would consistently and practically deny that 2 + 2 = 4. Not only is the answer to this equation a part of common sense, it is easily demonstrable and highly useful. If a postmodern thinker practically rejects the absolute and universal principles of mathematics, he may applaud himself for being consistent with his relativistic worldview, but in the process his checkbook will be a total mess. Regardless of what we claim we believe about the laws of math, we cannot live consistently without practically submitting ourselves to them. For this and many other reasons it is intellectually difficult to deny the absolute and universal nature of mathematics.

The same is true concerning the truth of Scripture. Scripture does not merely provide a few isolated, unrelated, and discounted truths; it gives us the only complete and cohesive worldview that provides meaning and rationale to the universe. In other words, without the Bible, nothing makes sense in the grand scheme of things. As the Psalmist says, “In your light we see light” (Ps. 36:9).

Yet, if the Bible provides us with the only cohesive system of thought, why is it so hated and rejected by so many? If it is impossible to disprove the truth claims of the Bible, why is it so despised and ridiculed by some of the brightest and smartest minds? Do you want to know the truth? The truth is that if people loved the truth, they wouldn’t reject the truth. The problem is not that the truth is irrational, but that fallen man is not without his personal biases and foolish pride. As we shall see in this chapter, people are selfish by nature, and their selfishness is the controlling influence in how they feel, think, and behave.

Man is Not Neutral

The Bible describes this as depravity. Depravity is an inner heart condition that prevents us from loving any truth that is in opposition to our internal desire to be independent, free, and self-governing. Because we are born depraved, with a fallen nature, we hate the God of the Bible. We may love a god of our own imagination – a god that we can control. This is because we naturally want to be in control of our own destiny. If we want to go to heaven, then we can work our way there. If we want to go to Hell and hang out with our drinking buddies, then that is what we will do. But to lovingly submit every detail of our lives, thoughts, and beliefs to the absolute, sovereign God is not enticing in the least.

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Parable of the Soils is Clear Evidence Against Libertarian Free Will – ReBlog

casting.jpgThe parable of the soils (Matt 13) is direct evidence against the unbiblical doctrine of “libertarian free will” since it is the quality of the soil that determines whether or not it bears fruit. Libertarian free will proponents teach that the choices people make are not determined in any sense by the character or inclinations of the people who make them, which would render this parable meaningless. Fact is, the soil can not choose its nature, therefore it can not choose its fruit. Therefore, the soil must not only be prepared by God (Rom 9:23) the seed will not grow unless the Lord causes it to grow (1 Cor. 3:6).

We all agree that faith is not a work since it points away from self to Christ for salvation, but many make it into a work when they declare that it has its source in a good heart and so turns our eyes back from Christ to a self-generated faith apart from grace alone.

It is “because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (1 Cor 1:30-31)

Original Found Here

Daily Roundup

Dangerous Calling – A new book out by Paul Tripp. You can read the introduction and first chapter in PDF format by clicking on the link.

Hospitality and the Great Commission – In a progressively post-Christian society, the importance of hospitality as an evangelistic asset is growing rapidly. Increasingly, the most strategic turf on which to engage the unbelieving with the good news of Jesus may be the turf of our own homes.

A Thirst for Hermeneutics – Would you let a surgeon, two weeks out of medical school, perform brain surgery?  Our Pastors need to be properly trained in the art of Biblical Interpretation (Hermeneutics) because they are dealing with eternal issues, not just temporal ones.

Elements of Productive Bible Study: Meditate – John MacArthur’s post continue on studying the Bible.  These are very informative articles.

Quote:

“The purest joy in the world is joy in Christ Jesus.  When the Spirit is poured down, his people get very near and clear views of the Lord Jesus.  They eat his flesh and drink his blood.  They come to a personal cleaving to the Lord.  They taste that the Lord is gracious.  His blood and righteousness appear infinitely perfect, full and free to their soul.  They sit under his shadow with great delight. . . . They lean on the Beloved.  They find infinite strength in him for the use of their soul — grace for grace — all they can need in any hour of trial and suffering to the very end.” – Robert Murray M’Cheyne