"My heart I give Thee, Lord, eagerly and earnestly." - John Calvin
Sunday, December 6, 2009
John 8:47, The True Race War
"Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God."
In spiritual terms, there is only one division among men: between believer and unbeliever. That explains the mystery of why the one message of the Gospel has such drastically different effects on otherwise similar people. Paul repeats this thought of the Lord in Romans 8:7, "For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot."
In Reformed Theology, this is called the antithesis. This terminology is most-closely associated with the name of Abraham Kuyper, seen here, who applied it to social and political issues in his native Netherlands. He said that "... we, of course, have to acknowledge two kinds of human consciousness: that of the regenerate and the unregenerate; and these two cannot be identical. . . If, therefore, it be true that man's own consciousness is his primumverum, and hence must be also the starting-point for every scientist, then the logical conclusion is that it is an impossibility that both should agree, and that every endeavor to make them agree must be doomed to failure" (quoted in this article). It was further developed in the presuppositional apologetics system developed by Dutch-American Professor, the late Dr. Cornelius van Til, and his successor, the late-Presbyterian Minister Greg Bahnsen.
This principle has implications not just in apologetics, but in evangelism, as well. It undercuts an evangelistic method that depends on finding common ground with the believer. While finding common relational grounds is certainly essential, there are not and cannot be any ideological common grounds between the believer and the unbeliever. Truth must be presented as truth, with the results left to the Holy Spirit to change the unbeliever's heart. This especially exposes the false assumptions behind seeker-centered evangelism and worship, since it necessarily implies that to appeal to the nature of the unbeliver is to violate the nature of the believer.
My name is Chris Cole. I have lived in the Charlotte, NC, area for over thirty years, and have been an active Presbyterian during most of that time. I love the Westminster Confession of Faith as a beautiful expression of my own personal beliefs.
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I prefer the English Standard Version of the Bible, and all quotations are from the ESV, unless otherwise stated.
I have a number of reviews of Reformed books on Amazon. There is a link to them in the Reformed links below.
"Seeing [that] the Lord of lords, the Lord Jesus, is so ready (never was there king so ready to hear a subject as Jesus is), [even] if thou wert the vilest body that goes, a thief, a harlot, etc., yet if thou wilt say this, 'Lord, remember on me, and give me a part of thy kingdom'; - if thou prayest to him from a penitent heart, with confidence and assurance, I promise unto thee, heaven and earth shall go [fall] together ere thou wantest [lack] thine asking. Seeing [that] our Lord Jesus is so liberal [free-giving], then seek more than enough, more than a kingdom, and thou shalt get more. The only cause why we want [lack] is in us: we have no hearts to seek it." - Rev. Robert Rollock, Scottish Presbyterian minister, about 1590, in a commentary on Luke 23:42-43