Chronicles of Diversity


Consequences & Blowback
November 29, 2006, 5:42 pm
Filed under: Weekly Columns

29 November 2006; Volume 8, Issue 36

PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/conblow11-28-6.pdf

As a young lad, as opposed to the wee lad I mentioned last week, in my Lutheran catechism class I was told that God created the world through theistic evolution. Since that time I have also learned that the more fundamental Christian way to deal with the evolutionary time scale is to insert, millions and billions of years between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. I’m sure that both of these concepts were developed by the minds of devote men to make the witness of the church more relevant to the modern enlightened world and it’s science.

Both methods force upon the text a meaning that cannot be supported by the true exegesis of the Scriptures. However, the consequences of this wishful thinking for relevancy has caused more trouble than we shall ever be able to grasp in this life. Consequently, all Christians are characterized as fools and religious quacks.

Anyone with a reasonably sane or open mind reading the Genesis creation account understands what it is saying. You may or may not agree with the words, for a variety of reasons or indoctrination, but the creation account basically says what it means and means what it says. The Bible says that God created the heavens and the earth and all it’s creatures, and rested in essentially seven, twenty four hour days, as we understand the concept of days. God saw this creation as good.

Unforeseen consequences of manipulating events or what the Bible says is called blowback.

Blowback is really an espionage or military term referring to shrapnel that often flies backwards when firing an automatic weapon. It’s specific reference in intelligence terms refers to unintended consequences of covert operations. Since the general public is not aware of these operations, the blowback then appears as random and without cause. Blowback results may or may not have been foreseen by the leadership in such actions, but the actions were carried out none the less.

Blowback of theistic evolution and the gap theory can be illustrated by our understanding and knowledge of the fossil record. Fossil evidence of a worldwide flood as described in the Bible in Genesis 6-9, has been described by Ken Ham, President of the Answers in Genesis ministry: “Billions of dead things, buried in rock layers, deposited by water, all over the earth.”

He would furthermore state with most Christians that believe in a Biblical creation account, that if the Bible is to be of any value, especially as it relates to the gospel of Jesus Christ as the Messiah of the world, not only does the Bible describe that worldwide flood account, but that catastrophic event must have taken place thousands, not millions and billions of years ago. Furthermore, Ham along with most Creation Scientists would believe that this flood, would perhaps best explain the extinction of the dinosaurs, except for those carried by an actual Noah on an actual ark, having been followed by what we would call the age of the Wooly Mammoths and a great ice age.

Very few people in the world actually believe this account however. This includes most so called Bible believing Christians, because if the total history of the world is condensed into thousands, not millions and billions of evolutionary years, then the probability of God demanding an accounting of how you apply your assets of time, money, and other resources would become much more important.

Following that Ice Age and the rapid melting of the ice, in the North and West corner of what is the United States, two great lakes formed, one was Lake Bonneville, which has as its remnant the Great Salt Lake of Utah, and glacial Lake Missoula, which shorelines can be found in Western Montana centered generally around the current city of Missoula from which the lake gets its name.

In the Pleistocene evolutionary time scale, it is thought that Lake Bonneville drained through essentially the Snake River Basin about 18,000 years ago. This flood was thought to flow at approximately 15 million cubic feet per second over a period of a few days. Similarly, Lake Missoula is thought to have caused many huge floods thus creating the channel scablands of Eastern Washington. The last flood taking place from eight to ten thousand years ago, again in evolutionary time.

However, if those time periods are really true where is the evidence? Hell’s Canyon of the Snake is accessible only by boat, and is a canyon deeper than the Grand Canyon. However, once it flows through Hell’s Canyon the Snake turns west at Lewiston to join the Columbia in south central Washington. This canyon is accessible by road, wider, much less scenic, but what is truly interesting is how recent the canyon looks. There is virtually no soil, no bushes, no trees, just some sparse grasses.

The scablands of the Lake Missoula floods are much more diverse. They run in different channels, but many times those channels can be only fifty feet deep but more than a mile wide. Others are quite deep, having cut coulees through the Columbia basalt formations. Because of the nature of these floods and the resulting small lakes and pot holes, and wind depositing the glacial soil of the Columbia Basin, there are trees and small pockets of rich bottom land. However, outside these small areas, there is little soil, some sagebrush and pine trees.

The question from a truly scientific point of view, is where is the dirt? It is the assumption that top soil forms from basalt at about one tenth of an inch per century. If all these floods took place eight to eighteen thousand years ago, the land should be covered with eight to eighteen inches of top soil. In the Snake River canyon if someone didn’t tell you it was created at least 18 thousand years ago, you might wonder if it happened a few years before Lewis and Clark, the canyon walls are that bare. In the scablands because of the wind and other factors, empirical evidence suggests that there is definitely less than eight inches of topsoil, more like say two to four inches. However, is no money for creation scientists to study these facts and get a truly accurate soil depth in either locale. Hence, the blowback from Christians trying to make the Bible relevant to an ungodly world continues.

If our so called ancient times are really only thousands of years, might our perceived uniformitarian future be called into question? All of this blowback comes from well meaning Christians trying to make their message relevant to a worldview that should be completely inconsistent with their own.

In the 1930’s Winston Churchill said concerning then British Prime Minister Chamberlain’s appeasement of Adolph Hitler: “The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients is coming to a close. We are entering an era of consequences.”

Of course no one took Churchill seriously and World War II was fought as a consequence. Consequently, Churchill became Prime Minister during the war years, and was subsequently dismissed shortly thereafter. Isn’t it strange how we find it so easy to dismiss impending reality by procrastination, half-measures, and soothing and baffling expedients? We truly believe that we shall never enter an era of consequences. Then after the era of consequences is over, we quickly desire to again enter the good life of slothful abundance.

A Christian biblical creation worldview, is very different than that expressed by society. Just as the Bible clearly states that the future is in the control of God alone, so does the true descriptive scientific evidence we can glean from God’s creation. If the question “Where’s the dirt?” is important when studying our most recent geological events on anyone’s time scale, what about other so called dire future events. Are they determinate in the control of God alone, or does mankind really control his own indeterminate destiny on this planet.

At the top of that list is, “If we all work together we can fix this.” is the issue of Global Warming. I have capitalized these climate changing phenomena because we have determined that Global Warming is the God to which we need to bow down and worship to continue our affluent materialistic lifestyle. This really is not a tough god to worship, all we need to do is to control Carbon Dioxide emissions, chiefly derived from the combustion of fossil fuels, thereby we can create heaven on earth for future generations.

Al Gore in his documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” uses the above quote from Churchill as justification for his world wide trekking adventure concerning the Global Warming issue. The paradigm shift Gore makes in the documentary is to ignore words didn’t work in Churchill’s case, and nothing has changed positively in the ensuing seventy years to make our chances any better. One positive could be he gives his presentation off a MAC running Keynote rather than Powerpoint. Other than that personal favorable observation, I see a whole lot more pressing issues facing the world, much of it also man caused, some of it only in the hands of God, most of it interrelated to man’s sin and arrogance.

I went out and bought a tank of gas for my 30-40 mpg Saturn over the Thanksgiving Holiday and guess what? Gas prices had gone up over ten cents a gallon from my previous tankful. What had happened is not that market conditions had changed, it was that those benevolent oil companies and speculators, basically responsible for our total dependence on fossil fuels, dare I say the global warming problem, had manipulated the price to make more money for their Thanksgiving.

Does oil dependency lead to the continuing procrastination, half-measures, and soothing and baffling expedients in dealing with Islamic fundamentalism? They want to destroy western civilization as we know it, and they have the financial (from oil) and religious terrorist infrastructure to make a real mess. Much of that is caused by Islam’s desire for world domination on its own. However, much of their fervor is also caused by blowback from America’s neocon Imperialistic adventures in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and throughout the rest of the world in the name of the infidels of atheistic corporate globalism. The totality of this blowback is unknown even to the CIA, the Bush Administration, Democrats, Republicans, we the people of the United States of America, citizens of planet earth.

Blowback is particularly troubling when it is the citizens of the United States that are asked to fund and fight these wars in the name of democracy and freedom, when the true beneficiaries are multinational corporations, as we are called to stabilize their risky global “investments” to maintain a precarious world economy. These corporations ultimately seek to usurp all national authority except where it fits their materialistic evolutionary short term interests, using such catchy terms as a “rising tide lifts all boats.” This of course is of little consequence if you can’t afford to rent a stateroom, or to buy a life raft from them. Benevolence, a common grace attribute of all humanity, is undefined, or a fiction to evolutionary survivalists, monopolistic corporations, and super rights political parties.

Of course a small boat or even a life raft is of little use in a tsunami. Maybe of some value in an earthquake, but an eruption of a volcano similar to Mount Tambora, which occurred in 1815, would do much to curb the effects of increased global warming with a rapid rise in the earth’s albedo, but the ash might just sink your ship. A similar more violent eruption also may have taken place at Krakatoa in the years 535-536, which is the basis for the PBS documentary “Catastrophe!” Could this be why the dark ages in Europe, were dark, because it was dark?

I suppose I should mention the potential for a “Bird Flu” pandemic. Pandemics happen about every thirty years or so. Depending on the where and the when, that could have a dramatic impact on your lifestyle. A pandemic could mean that you would have to live somewhat independent from the economy for up to six weeks. Disaster leadership generally tells you to prepare for 72 hours, so that you won’t panic and commit suicide once whatever happens, but it is generally recognized that that 72 hour figure should be more like a week. However, that would enter you into the world of consequences, rather than the era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients. We surely don’t want to look serious at the consequences for our actions or lack there of, we would rather be burned or killed by the blowback.

Man, does the future look rosy! If none of this happens, I may be able to someday retire and rest upon what I have left over. I wish I could get as worked up about the seas rising 20 feet as Al Gore, that may make me believe that mankind will make a way through this to good times on the other side without God. I really believe as in Churchill’s time, The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients is coming to a close. We are entering an era of consequences.” The blowback will occur just as WWII followed in Chamberlain’s ineffective leadership of the British nation.

I’m such an optimist, because I believe in the promise that God will make a way for His people, because the future rests with God, not human understanding, including Christian understanding. When people are unwilling to look at reality as it is, the era of consequences will change that outlook, that worldview, just as it did with the British in WWII. German bombers every night over London, has a tendency to make your afternoon tea, a wee bit trepidatious. In the same way those IRA’s invested in global mutual funds heading south may get you to thinking about investments a little more tangible than electronic bits and speculative real estate.

How will you manage the consequences to come?

Probably the most salient comment from Gore’s presentation came from Upton Sinclar: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

I would suggest now is the time to move your investments away from the worldly adventure that find their fruit in, “If we all work together we can all make this work out.” My take is more like what Jonah saw happen from eventually going to Nineveh and seeing that the city briefly repented from their sin and it made him angry: Jonah 4:1-2; But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angry. So he prayed to the LORD, and said, “Ah, LORD, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm.

As western society we basically sit at the crossroads that the Ninevites did in Jonah’s day, repent or see the city’s overthrow: “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.” (Jonah 1:2)

As is often said in preaching, if they don’t accept grace, give them law. Perhaps a better way to present the gospel is to give the requirements of the law in tension with the wisdom of accepting God’s grace through Jesus Christ. However, the blowback of evolutionary teaching has made the true gospel superfluous to our highly evolved megachurches. Bigger is always better, or at least more profitable to the powerful leadership elite. It is much easier and you will be much more popular if you preach prosperity, procrastination, half-measures, soothing and baffling expedients.

The era of consequences is upon the church, for only the body of Jesus Christ has any relevant answers to this world’s problems. She will be visible as a strong tower, a light upon the hill, when the rest of the world welcomes darkness. The question we all have to ask ourselves, is where is your heart and where is your mammon. Invest it wisely in God’s kingdom, or leave it where Global Warming, militant Islam, global monopolies, earthquakes, volcanos, tsunamis, and pandemics can and will take their tax. The total history of the choices that face all of mankind always relates to who will you serve, God or yourself. How you use, or give away all your God given gifts, will depend upon, if and when you will use, or lose them.

Our Recent Chronicles:

What’s up?; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/whatsup10-18-6.pdf
The Audacity of Reality; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/audacity10-25-6.pdf
The Audacity of Christ; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/christ11-1-6.pdf
Phylogenesis Economics; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/economics11-8-6.pdf
Wear your cap; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/wearcap11-15-6.pdf
Thanksgiving cap; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/thankcap11-22-6.pdf

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Thanksgiving cap
November 23, 2006, 1:56 am
Filed under: Weekly Columns

22 November 2006; Volume 8, Issue 35

PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/thankcap11-22-6.pdf

I trust that at least some of you tried on your cap of continual praise last week. To review, CAP is the acrostic in which C stands for Condemnation, A stands for Adoption, and P stand for praise. If you didn’t try it on, or if you gave it just a brief test, perhaps you really didn’t believe in it’s power. After all the CAP as I presented it has some roots in Calvinism, and Calvinism also gave us TULIP, and that irresistible grace and limited atonement stuff.

However, the world is full of all sorts of empirical evidence to suggest that grace is resistible, and to state that it is irresistible to those who are the elect of God really doesn’t add much but circular reasoning to the whole argument of election. Nonetheless, I do have good news for you this Thanksgiving week. Here and only here you will receive the Rhema word for you Pentecostals, the rest of you will have to use your heart and reason to understand its merit. Finally the long discussion of free will throughout church history will be solved. Aren’t you excited? I know I am! Praise the Lord.

The great answer to free will, and personal choice and how God deals with humanity can be summarized as follows: Everything God does comes from His determinate nature. In other words, God doesn’t need to look down the tunnel of time an predestine those who will respond to him with saving grace. He created the tunnel of time, therefore if He is really God, He from time’s creation, already knew all the results.

Mankind however, even in his pre total depravity nature was created as an indeterminate creation. That is why God is God and man was created, or for sake of this argument evolve from the dust of the ground. Now within that indeterminate setting we can argue heavy things like free will, or in modern America, buying big screen plasma televisions. We can trust that God controls our future, or test that reality.

In short, everything that we do, does not normally work out the way we planned. We could amass a tremendous fortune of monetary wealth and choke and die while eating a cup of yogurt. We really don’t know the future, even though we do everything within our power to control our destiny, both spiritually and materially. Furthermore, we do it continually from when we wake up in the morning until we many times do not restfully sleep at night.

There are thousands of churches of so call Christianity who for a price will make you feel good about all the choices that you make. There are very, very few that give you really good news however. That good news living in the doctrines of historic Christianity. Jesus of Nazareth in His birth, life, death on the cross for the sins of man, and His bodily resurrection from the dead, can give you a determinate future.

That should make everyone jump at the chance, to put on their cap and shout for joy. But sadly that is not the case, because we really do like to use our indeterminate nature as our crutch, our excuse, for falling short of even our own marks. We really do all this spinning and hurrying just so that we can believe that we can beat the only true determinate nature of our lives, that is death.

I have noticed as we plunge headfirst into the 21st century that we no longer even look at deeper things of life, it is all so shallow, buy more stuff and you will find fulfillment.

I have in iTunes and on my iPod the song, “Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette,” by Leroy Van Dyke. My mother had that record as a 78 when I was a wee lad, and for my whole life I can remember the chorus of that song.

Smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette,
Puff, puff, puff it, till you smoke yourself to death,
Tell St. Peter at the golden gate
That you hate to make him wait,
But you just got to have another cigarette.

I paid my 99 cents to download the song so that I could hear the rest of the lyric. Actually the words of the song are very hostile to smoking in any sense. At the time I was that wee lad, both of my parents, as most people were smokers. Smoking is no longer cool in America, and even excessive drinking except those addicted to alcohol. Nicotine is supposedly more addictive than even heroin. The point however is that even the Seattle Mariners, or the Seahawks, a mountain of cool stuff, or even Jon Courson’s mp3s. can be that crutch we use to tell St. Peter that I can’t go to heaven right now I just have to get another substitute instead of a true heavenly fix.

I guess I just sort of picked on Jon, because while he would probably define your cap a praise a little different than I do, he would probably tell you to wear your praise cap continually also.

Psalm 117

Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles!
Laud Him, all you peoples!
For His merciful kindness is great toward us,
And the truth of the LORD endures forever.

Praise the LORD!

Thanksgiving has become the day of indeterminate celebration. I understand this year there will be three NFL football games to watch. Now is that a reason to be truly thankful? We don’t want to eat too much because we have to get up early Friday morning to celebrate materialism’s triumph as the world’s only true religion. Much to the chagrin of even militant Islam.

However, Thanksgiving should be celebrated as a time to give thanks to the God who created the universe, for the gifts that he has bestowed upon you as family and friends and also to you as an individual. The greatest of these gifts in this world is to understand you have been adopted without merit to be one of His children. But it is the nature of all gifts to become mundane if you don’t use them or pass them on. This Thursday is a day, along with Christmas when those gifts can be shared through love, to those who have not been so richly blessed.

Praise the LORD!

Our Recent Chronicles:

Beyond the good; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/beyondgood10-11-6.pdf
What’s up? PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/whatsup10-18-6.pdf
The Audacity of Reality; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/audacity10-25-6.pdf
The Audacity of Christ; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/christ11-1-6.pdf
Phylogenesis Economics; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/economics11-8-6.pdf
Wear your cap; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/wearcap11-15-6.pdf



Wear your cap!
November 15, 2006, 4:20 pm
Filed under: Weekly Columns

Wear your cap
15 November 2006; Volume 8, Issue 34

PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/wearcap11-15-6.pdf

As we continue this informal series on freedom, I must ask this question, “Are you wearing your cap today?”

I would venture to say that a few of you wear some kind of head covering on a consistent basis, most of you do not. My goal for this article is for you to wear your cap all the time. Sleep with it, wear it to work, around the house, when you eat. In short, never take off your cap.

After reading the statements and hearing some of the background behind the actual fall of Ted Haggard, the former Pastor and the head of the National Association of Evangelicals, to alleged drug and homosexual activities, it is apparent that he never did wear his cap. Furthermore, it again seems apparent that he didn’t believe that his cap even exists.

If this is true for such an important dude, I would venture to say that most of the leaders of American evangelicalism don’t know that a cap exists either. If they do not wear a cap or even know of it’s existence how can any Christian know about the cap, much less know where to find one, and then even know how to put it on.

I doubt George W. Bush wears his cap either. Nor do most evangelical Christians that ran for political office. That is probably why they lost, maybe why they got into politics in the first place. Not wearing your cap is probably why the Christian right has lost its political influence, and some would say that is a good thing. Some will decry that this will be the end of America as we know it today. Many liberals will say that is a good thing, because they have a full agenda and they are willing and perhaps able to force you to wear a cap of government planning, with a following loss of personal freedom, that will eventually be the demise of all of America’s republican principles.

Wear your cap!

Your cap is the source of your true freedom. It is the only cap of hope for the American nation, and for all freedom loving people around the world. Wearing your cap is an imperative statement. But what is this indicative cap and how can you buy one?

As we have described your cap in this brief introduction, it must be pretty expensive, probably more than the credit limit on your MasterCard. Could it be that your cap is priceless? Absolutely! I would also venture to say that your cap, made just for you, is probably the most rare cap in all the world, even with so many cheap imitations on the market.

Some of you are now beginning to think that I am not talking about a real cap, but some type of acrostic cap. True, this cap is an acrostic, but that in no way changes it’s reality. You need to wear this CAP cap all the time. Once you put it on, never, ever take it off.

So what is this acrostic cap? Calvinist’s call it “Guilt, Grace, & Gratitude” but as such, that sure doesn’t make a cap you can wear, just a bunch of “Gs” stated in some Calvinistic understanding. Isn’t it obvious? I doubt that it is for Calvinists either, but over time the essence sort of sinks into your dense skull.

As a consequence out of those Christian groups and denominations that try to trace their roots back to the Reformation, I have only heard it discussed by the leadership circles of the conservative Reformed and Presbyterians. But again it is hard to know how broad the application is within their churches. From my brief internet research it doesn’t seem to be understood in practical terms by either conservative Lutherans, or the more Calvinistic Baptists. Among the nondenominational Reformational type, again beyond the skull thinking concept of guilt, grace & gratitude, I doubt this indicative cap has much broad wearing either. Once I give you the acrostic however, the light bulb will probably go on in most of their skulls, and they will embrace wearing their CAP cap.

Therefore, for most evangelicals even when I spell it out, they will still have problems with their cap, because they have been completely indoctrinated in looking at Christianity in a different internal light. The sad thing is that this cap conversion will be even more difficult for them than for Roman Catholics. If wearing the cap were easy for evangelicals to comprehend, the darkness that Ted Haggard discussed would not have been the debilitating problem that it has turned out to be, in his life personally, nor in the many who will become disillusioned by his so called hypocrisy.

Your priceless cap is the acrostic:

C = Condemnation
A = Adoption
P = Praise

C = Condemnation

God’s Law, both the specific law of the Bible and the common natural law are condemning. They demand complete perfection in everything we do. In the Bible, the New Testament Sermon on the Mount in Matthew Chapter 5 and following, truly puts all of God’s Law in context. To save yourself by your actions demands God’s perfection in our thoughts as well as our deeds.

As we have noted for the last few weeks, common grace is at work throughout the world. This is especially true in America, there are a lot of people trying to do good things. But does that truly make the people good, or does it just cause them to become more inherently evil, adding self righteousness to their complete disregard for anything but themselves, that developing into narcissism?

Mankind was created to be community dwellers. But there is a line where these communities become the home of pride, arrogance, and self righteousness, and eventually blatant open sin, not only against God’s Law but also the specifics of human common law. This many times is hidden in the context of some suppressed freedom, when in actuality it demands special rights from the Godly established state and rulers, forcing all into cohabitation with evil.

As communities grow larger, they naturally tend to become Babylonian in the Biblical sense. In the context of our personal lives, the push to force people from the land to make a living in the city can not be viewed in any other sense but to make Augustine’s, City of Man the ultimate source of everything this world has to offer. So instead of building an New Jerusalem, we have instead moved our target a few miles to Sodom and Gomorra.

Roman’s Chapter 8:1; There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

Here we see in one brief statement both the stated indicative to those who are in Christ Jesus, and the imperative to not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. As we have stated frequently elsewhere the imperatives are impossible to keep without truly understanding the indicative which precedes it.

So how do you know that you are truly in Christ Jesus and not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit? Simply by your freedom from condemnation, from knowing you have absolutely no merit to fulfill any of God’s Law and must rest completely on the cross of Christ. This is historic Protestant Christian doctrine.

American evangelicalism, truly does not believe in any doctrine, instead it believes that walking in the Spirit is the way to over come the condemnation of the Law of God.

Does that work? Does it work to change the indicatives to imperatives, to change the total structure of God’s inspired word?

Just ask Ted Haggard today. What he told you last month doesn’t apply. The problem with the reality of just this one little Romans sentence has the ability to completely overturn the entire structure of evangelicalism as it exists throughout the world, if evangelicals would just put on their cap.

Being close, as they say, counts only in horse shoes and hand grenades. Being near doesn’t fulfill the total requirement of holiness required by God’s law. You may struggle with this deep secret, while living a lie for most of your life, but ultimately, when your life is over you must fully face the fact that you have either trusted God for your salvation, or you have trusted yourself. Ninety nine and 44/100 percent pure as the old Ivory soap commercial used to state, doesn’t get you into heaven. The doctrine of truly being in Christ Jesus does.

In this light American Evangelicalism flunks the course, because it seeks through piety to claim merit in your work toward your salvation. That works lie is not a short coming, that lie is an eternally deadly sin, where you remake reality into your own desired outcome.

A = Adoption

Those who think the imperatives of Romans 8:1 are really indicatives that they can live by, find their adoption to be sons and daughters of the living God impossible to understand. Again because ultimately they believe that indicative portions of scripture must be interpreted as imperatives also.

The work of Jesus Christ can be summarized as follows:

God’s law demands the absolute perfection of holiness. Man is completely incompetent to meet the requirements to fulfill that holiness. Jesus of Nazareth was born into humanity while being still fully God, to become the perfect sinless blood sacrifice that God’s law requires for your justification. Jesus bodily death is that atoning, or better yet propitiatory sacrifice. Propitiation meaning not only did Christ’s death fulfill the requirements of God’s holy law, his death was also legally done in my stead, yours also. As such, it was accepted by God the Father.

When your whole life is focused on trying to walk in the imperative Spirit, it is very difficult to understand the indicative doctrine of propitiation, because it does require as is commonly called, not only head knowledge, but also head wisdom. Furthermore not only does this require an initial understanding of what it means, it requires continual, and I did say continual, reinforcement. Like reinforcement minute by minute.

If that was not difficult enough to contemplate — it is much, much easier to stumble along wishfully believing you are walking in the Spirit — then the Bible clearly states that all this blood and guts sacrificial stuff was done, not so that you can have a heart relationship with Jesus, but it was done so that you would be actually adopted by God to be one of His children. This is a legal and binding covenant made by God with all who believe by faith in this sacrifice.

This is the fulfillment of the covenant given to Abraham, and is also the fulfillment of the law tangibly given through Moses. As fulfilled law, Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is also the legal basis for my adoption unconditionally as an eternal personality, fully capable of works and power now limited by our willingness to learn of God, by His plan for our life alone and not our determinate planning. His plan for our life is much more rewarding than our own, but few ever venture into that land we perceive to be completely indeterminate.

Man, and woman, that is a very powerful, mind blowing indicative, if you look it as such.

To which you would normally say, “That’s alright, I want to follow God the way I understand, as I try my best to walk in the Spirit. That is my fate.

This of course is absolute blasphemy and the ultimate form of idolatry. Therefore, no matter how hard you try to overcome your condemnation under God’s law by our personal effort, you will never, ever, succeed.

However, to those who make a conscious decision not to follow Jesus by our sinful heart, or as our spirit sometimes leads us, but to meditate continually upon our own unworthy state to become a child of God and joint heir with Christ of eternity, to them God gives the power of Praise.

P = Praise

This completes your CAP. What Calvinists call guilt, grace and gratitude, is really your cap of condemnation, adoption, and praise! It is probably best described in the words of Psalm 117:

Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles!
Laud Him, all you peoples!
For His merciful kindness is great toward us,
And the truth of the LORD endures forever.

Praise the LORD!

At the time it was written, the shortest chapter in the Bible is also probably it’s greatest prophetic imperative. Today that prophesy has been fulfilled in our adoption as Gentiles into God’s family and joint heirs with Jesus Christ.

It is in that imperative statement where there rests a completely rotten to the core sinner, deserving only eternity separated from God and His mercies, and at the same time a perfected positionally sanctified saint.

In other words the power that American evangelicalism so hungrily seeks, and we so want to merit, does not come through personal piety as good as that might sound. The power comes from wearing your cap as simplistic as that concept really proclaims in context.

This Old Testament imperative is also found in the New Testament in Roman’s 15:7-11, which follows the discussion of the abuse of piety in the community sense, beginning in Chapter 14. Verse 12 gives another parallel passage from Isaiah 11:1,10, but perhaps the summation of this little acrostic of your cap, can be found in verse 13 in the doxology, or the closing praise of all of the powerful unified cap wearing Christian life:

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

May that be true in your life, today, tomorrow, and forever, for it is that hope of overcoming our current sinful desires through Jesus Christ alone, that brings unity, to both our heart and mind, body and soul. All it requires is wearing an indicative cap, so that the imperatives become possible, and you can thereby rise above all condemnation as part of God’s eternal family.

Praise the LORD!

Our Recent Chronicles:

Lost in space; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/lostinspace9-27-6.pdf
Beyond the good; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/beyondgood10-11-6.pdf
What’s up? PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/whatsup10-18-6.pdf
The Audacity of Reality; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/audacity10-25-6.pdf
The Audacity of Christ; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/christ11-1-6.pdf
Phylogenesis Economics; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/economics11-8-6.pdf



Phylogenesis Economics
November 11, 2006, 1:23 am
Filed under: Weekly Columns

8 November 2006; Volume 8, Issue 33

PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/economics11-8-6.pdf

Well, the United States midterm elections are in and the country has taken a different course than that proposed by the current Presidential administration and the halls of Congress. In the light that winds of change were in the offering, I began last week to do a little research on what might be next as America, our economy, and the rest of the world adjusts to those winds.

Before we get to that however, it is important to look at some of the universal indicative principles of western culture. Our world can be defined by a number of terms, post modern, post Christian, materialistic, humanistic, naturalistic (in that everything has a natural explanation) to name a few.

If we look at the Christian underpinnings of this world of trade and commerce, much of it has developed from the thought and philosophy of Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 1274) and hence through the Roman Catholic Church and into the popular culture. To greatly simplify his philosophy for the sake of this example, he believed that humanity, while greatly restrained by sin, still had the potential through our created abilities alone to form a just world. This without direct influence from God through observation or revelation.

This is contrasted with an Augustinian (354 – 430) view that reestablished itself in the Reformation, that humanity was totally debased because of sin, and that all good and benevolent graces within the human condition were the result of God’s grace alone. This includes a high view of the work of Jesus Christ, but God’s grace also flows through the written Bible and his creation of natural law and common grace.

Again simplifying greatly, these two schools of philosophy or systematic theology are partially responsible for the economic models promoted by America’s two political parties, and even are the underlying basis for the stands of both parties concerning the Iraq War as well as all foreign and domestic policy.

I am in no way an economist, but it is my contention, in that common grace and natural law Reformation view, exists the reality of what the nation and the world needs as we continue to face this struggle of divergent economic policies.

My training in economics was gained while putting my former wife through the MBA program in finance at the University of Washington and my similar studies at Seattle University. In that era, formalized education was basically classical Keynesian economics modeled by John Maynard Keynes, with an external discussion of the Chicago school, free markets approach of Milton Friedman.

As an unwilling entrepreneur, my life and my to then acquired wealth, was consumed due to the economic policies of the Reagan Revolution of the 1980’s, which set the country on its current track toward the hope of material utopia via minimal taxes, global free trade, with a link to so called personal freedom.

I look to the future as a way for so called free trade to be reworked so that it has a concern for the people affected, which the current globalist thinking does not, perhaps can not grasp. At the same time reject the desire to return to failed Keynesian concepts of centralized government planning proposed by the Democrats.

In the sense of indicatives and imperatives discussed last week, we shall call the Democratic approach as the indicative term determinate, or the role of economic and government is “determined” through the somewhat applied model of Aquinas. If we are wise an work together we can by human efforts alone make this a better world.

As nice as this sounds, this by its very nature requires a group of well meaning people to set us on the proper path. What the imperatives of this model don’t state is that when something does not work as expected, what is required is more elitist planning to overcome the lack of the model’s egalitarian goals. This results eventually in political and economic tyranny and loss of personal freedom, except for the greater good of the ruling elite.

The Republican, or free market model, is indicative in the term indeterminate. This, again loosely, is more in the concept of the Reformation of God’s grace and faith brought into the atheistic concept of fate or laissez faire capitalism. Perhaps this is why many Christian evangelicals embrace this concept. “Hard work and faith will make me rich and give me the freedom to be all I was created to be.”

In the United States this model finds its center in the so called Chicago School of economics, which has broadened its influence well beyond the University of Chicago Economics Department to basically include the current economic model for the whole world. However, less well known is that the Chicago school is basically an americanized version of the Austrian School. The most contemporary leader of that school is F. A Hayek the author of the book, “The Road to Serfdom.” It is Hayek’s book and thought that led President Reagan’s contemporary, Margaret Thatcher to privatize the nationalized industries of Great Britain.

In some undefinable natural and cultural sense, Austria is probably my favorite country. Magnificent scenery, high culture, all done, including the scenery, in a very civilized manner. There are no deserts, or true wilderness in Austria, just nature with beauty and human access to the mecca of God’s common grace, and where natural law has been subjugated to the coffee houses of Vienna. As I used to say when I was stationed in Germany, “The Germans just think they are the master race, the Austrians know they are.” That truly takes all the stress out of needing to achieve something you are not, because by definition you really are all ready there.

Even in the controlled nature of Austria however, natural competition within creation is apparent for all to easily see, for access to nature is quite easy. What is not part of the high culture of Austria however, is man is the only truly aggressive creation on God’s green earth. This is a problem if your economic theory is based somewhat on the high reason of civilized humanity rather than the total depravity of the Reformation. In contrast, with the Keynesian view of more planning, the Chicago and Austrian model requires imperatives of less and less government control, and let nature take its course. However, no one within the halls of academia, or the political structure have any true understanding of actual natural law. Furthermore, it does require the concept of man being the most benevolent of God’s creatures, not God’s only truly violent creature.

So what we are left with is two models, which do not model the real world and man’s place in it. One model says we should plan our future, the other says freedom requires markets to make all choices. What both share is the fact they are both quite simplistic in their understanding even of human enterprise, and have little if anything to do with the vast storehouse of wisdom and knowledge contained in God’s creation and readily available regardless of economic and political spin. I call this Metis Phylogenesis, renamed from Business Ecology which I developed as I tried to build a company with no access to financial capital during the Reagan Revolution, but that is another story for another time.

For this article I have dropped the term Metis, because Metis is really the tension between information and knowledge. There is really very little wisdom needed in economic theory, just the application of knowledge through language and mathematics, hence the term Phylogenesis Economics. Phylogenesis Economics is primarily an application of two natural cycles that also directly control our enterprise universe. Those to natural indicatives are the hydrologic cycle (both in the concept of water, but also financial liquidity) and the energy cycle, more specifically the application of ecological energetics to human enterprise.

From both the empirical data from the middle of the 20th century and from the Biblical Reformation view of human depravity, we will spend little time with possible positive things that will come from Keynesian determinate planning (including the current uproar over global warming). But the reality of the political landscape will require that the so called free markets, become more free, while at the same time adjusting for the reality of the need for human culture and compassion for those impacted by the swing beyond natural competition principles to globalism, which usurps national and human sovereignty in the name of materialism alone.

To put it succinctly, economic models must reflect the true nature of creation, both natural law and common grace, and must not be based upon a utopian view of reality based upon what civilized men and women think the way the world works or should work. Economics must be based upon the true observation of reality both in nature and from within the application to human enterprise.

One of the prime goals of all humanity is that of private property, to own something of lasting value not just stuff. When owned exclusively by the individual that ownership must be translatable into a local community structure. This hopeful desire is expressed by the prophet Micah 4:4; But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, And no one shall make them afraid; For the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.

Reaganomics was based upon the trickle down theory of financial liquidity. The problem with this theory when compared to the natural hydrologic cycle is by its very nature the liquidity of finance is already down as far as it will go, and contrary to wishful thinking it will not trickle up, the law of gravity applies.

While there is a lot of liquidity available, in terms of it’s energetic potential it is quite entropic, of limited potential to do worthwhile work. Compare this liquidity to a high mountain stream which can produce hydroelectric power, be used as drinking water, irrigate crops, produce manufactured goods, and even be used as sewage on its way to the sea. In contrast, current economic liquidity models now only speak to the ocean’s tides and currents.

A somewhat recent book and PBS documentary on global trade is called, “Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy” what it truly portrays is completely oxymoronic to the film’s title. A better title might be, “Slithering Through the Swamp: An Evolutionary Tourist Guide to Gomorra.” To use an interesting cliché, both models of modern economics are like shifting the deck chairs on the Titanic, in terms of their ability to get us across the ocean, or even save us from hitting the iceberg.

Economic liquidity finds its way to the oceans, where it does not evaporate at all, but is hoarded by the wealthy to be loaned out at interest, to deserving people and enterprises that have sufficient assets for the lender to confiscate should the lendee not perform to the predetermined standards of the lender. Bluntly put, “I will lend you money to buy your fig tree if you can prove to me you can buy the fig tree on your own, because of my world’s golden rule. I have the gold, I make the rules.”

What we have also found out since the rise of free markets is that it only applies to those who are close to the ocean of this liquidity. Those out in developing countries or entrepreneurs with no apparent confiscateable assets for the perceived risk, need not apply. Furthermore, there is no way for you to leverage private property, if you have no means to acquire private property, or your culture does not even understand the principles of western private property.

The wise way to provide for an economic hydrologic cycle is for persons of responsibility, to make their money evaporate from the worldly oceans of capital and be put to work in the mountains and fields of enterprise where it will really provide economic benefit to real human scale communities through property or ownership creation, not leaving it in corporate coffers. In other words to create true wealth, not just shift it around through mergers, acquisitions, and loans, but by taking true equity ownership positions in risky enterprise.

America under Keynesian economics as well as European and other nations under socialistic ideals also have a solution to encourage risk so feared by fallen man. That is simply high marginal tax rates. When government is going to take half or up to 90 percent of your income, you develop a new concept of risk. It is known as flight money when invested outside the country. Flight money is invested in all sorts of shady deals, just so that you don’t have to give it to the government. If some of it someday makes money so well the better, if not you have really not lost anything.

Free markets also do not address the infrastructure, or arts, or parks, or churches and religious institutions, and a whole host of worthwhile nonprofit enterprises. In free markets those must cease to exist, adapt to free market mechanisms, or find another undefined way to raise liquidity.

One worldwide religious enterprise that has flourished under the free market approach however, is Islam. Radical Islam, or entrepreneurial Islam has access to capital and also provides freedom for entrepreneurs to export trouble to other parts of the world. Thereby, inexpensively not only adding to the chaos of western cultures, but exporting potential threats to the tyrannical homeland regimes to other lands. None of this is done by loans, but what we would call equity or benevolence.

Another possible way to free money for entrepreneurial equity as well as nonprofit money for cultural benefit is to eliminate investors in these enterprises from paying taxes at all upon the investment, or return from these investments. However, unless marginal tax rates are raised to increase potential governmental revenues, governments as generally defined will cease to exist. This is especially true when under globalization large multinational corporations operate freely out of tax free havens and have their own corporate monetary supply in common stock market prices. This equity, trades and easily finances adventures around the financial trickled down liquidity oceans of the world.

It is a well known fact that large corporations do not create either jobs or real wealth. They are again just the trickled down depositories of jobs and money. Furthermore, in the global economy those jobs are quickly out sourced to free trade zones set up in developing countries so that no taxes and no responsibility for anything ever rest upon these corporations and by extension their shareholders. From this point it is not a far cry from seeing these merchants as Babylon the great of Revelation and God’s judgment.

Since my failed entrepreneurial days I have been able to closely observe the workings of the evangelical church in America. What I have seen is a politic as interested in power, prestige, and finances as any group in America. That came to roost last week with the resigned leader of the head of the National Organization of Evangelicals, Ted Haggard. American evangelicals have lost the concept that the church is made of sinners saved by the grace of God, and have substituted a non codified code of modern Pharisees.

The answer to determinate government programs and non caring indeterminate global enterprise is to evaporate or pump your financial resources as much as possible into other investments. These investments do not have the security of stocks or bonds because they rely on rain or irrigation to make them grow. However, they are not subject to the financial ocean’s usury returns, but you can potentially reap a harvest of 30, 60, or even 100 fold.

Wealth and jobs are created fundamentally by people with access to equity capital. Banks and corporations may talk about investing in small business, but their true goal is to manipulate the ocean of financial resources at their disposal to maintain the monetary stock value and maintain the façade of being responsible fictional legal personalities. Furthermore, “a job” is truly not an end as these enterprise moguls believe, but for most people a job is only means to exist in a hostile world. A world that the moguls can not even grasp as reality.

Financial returns from public stock, IRA’s, mutual funds, and even home equity investments are all contingent upon the fact that our economic models must continue to operate smoothly. If this were not suspect in a world of stupendous natural change, it is even made more apparent by the fact that entrepreneurial Islam is perhaps today the world’s most rapidly growing human enterprise. These risks will bring down globalism, unless it truly learns to take risks with real people as their enterprise partners. That means equity participation not just loan access.

A physical War on Terror may as a stop gap, hold the line on terrorism and force most of its battles to other countries, but the truth of the matter is that Islamic entrepreneurism, is really an information enterprise marketed to, to use the concept of F. A. Hayek, the serfs of the centrally planned economies of Europe and to the extent possible the truly disenfranchised of this country and those around the world. Again with their access to equity and benevolent capital to obtain nuclear and WMDs, that struggle against our way of perceived abundance can be greatly advanced unless we do way with serfs by giving them true ownership of their personal lives.

The future of western culture as we know it, requires more of all types of personal and economic opportunities be made available to all people. It also calls for us to call upon the grace of the God of the Bible.

The Preamble of the US Constitution states: We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

That constitution can only continue to endure if we the people begin to exercise our constitutional rights and invest in people with ideas that bring about freedom. Our established institutions, organizations, businesses, churches, synagogues, and even our mosques, can not do that because they always seek the status quo of comfort, at the expense of true service.

While we would like to think differently, there are way too many very comfortable status quo people discontentedly plodding the road to serfdom and wondering why their dreams have not worked out. The answer is that when given the choice between self fulfillment either in the worldly selfish way, or the image that God has created them to be, these people have chosen the road of security, rather than the path less traveled, and that has made all the difference. That true laissez faire life will be the demise of the American Dream, and that is the concept that the Republicans as well as the Democrats seem to have missed.

This could change if people took personal and ethical control of their finances. Instead of investing them where they get the highest return, with the least risk, they should be investing where they do the most good consistent with their personal ethics and morals.

I find it interesting that the Bible parable of talents is read like it always applies to the other guy, and particularly find it egregious the amount of money Christians and their organizations carry at interest with the banks for that future something or other, when the Bible clearly promises to those who walk by faith that God will take care of the future something or other.

So how do you view the path of your economic future, or are you too far down the expressway to economic serfdom to anymore make an intelligent choice?

The Bible in Matthew 6:19-24 has a definitive statement about how Christians should invest their gifted wealth.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. (ESV)

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Our Recent Chronicles:

No Safe Egypt; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/nosafeegypt9-20-6.pdf
Lost in space; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/lostinspace9-27-6.pdf
Beyond the good;PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/beyondgood10-11-6.pdf
What’s up? PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/whatsup10-18-6.pdf
The Audacity of Reality; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/audacity10-25-6.pdf
The Audacity of Christ; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/christ11-1-6.pdf



The Audacity of Christ
November 1, 2006, 4:27 pm
Filed under: Weekly Columns

1 November 2006; Volume 8, Issue 32

PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/christ11-1-6.pdf

The Audacity of Christ: A Path to Good News.

I hope you all had a wonderful Reformation Day at your house. This house does not participate in Halloween, Harvest Parties, or even the ritual of All Saints Day. In the light of Dr. Martin Luther posting his 95 Thesis on the church door at Wittenberg 489 years ago, what modern evangelicalism needs to do is to get back to the doctrines that brought about the Reformation.

Contrary to all the modern anathema to the contrary, evidence clearly shows that Christ centered doctrine unites Christians. It is the lack of clear gospel doctrine that divides the church and has produced the mess this country now faces. Again contrary to the general understanding, most Christians are personally Bible illiterate and know little to nothing about the Reformation or what it did for western culture and the church. Even the Roman Catholic church.

However, a new or restored Reformation was far from my mind when I made a drastic mistake Sunday morning. No it wasn’t that I forgot to set my clocks back an hour as daylight savings time was dismissed for the winter. Since my internal biological clock was set for daylight time, even though I tried to get an extra hour of sleep, I was wide awake an hour early. Instead of actually doing something productive, I decided to turn on the television to see the early morning TV preachers.

Well I guess it wasn’t really all bad news, I learned that to be a Christian missionary you no longer need to go to Russia, or Africa, or Asia. Perhaps the greatest mission field today is the Post Modern United States of America. The sad thing is that most Americans believe in God and think that when they die they are going to heaven for eternity.

As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, most Americans are good people in the common grace sort of way. In fact, I do not personally know of anyone personally who doesn’t fit that category. Many of them consider themselves to be fine upstanding Christians also. However, with very few exceptions they all live in bondage. They live in bondage to themselves through sin that they cannot overcome.

In John 8:36, Jesus himself makes the statement: Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

Galatians 5:1 states: Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

Before we go on we need to make a distinction between the two quotations above.

John 8:36 is an indicative statement. An indicative is a statement of fact: Jesus the Son of God sets you free from the laws of sin and death. That is an absolute statement of truth, that you can not alter. You can accept it or reject it but you can not alter that truth.

Galatians 5:1 is an imperative statement. An imperative statement is an exhortation to live by the absolute truth of Jesus as stated in John.

So how do you carry out the imperative? You can’t do it. Period. Because simply when you attempt to carry it out, you by your very nature attempt to take on the nature of Christ and therefore you lose your indicative freedom. “Let go and let God.” is a popular statement. But notice even in this you are the one in control of the situation, your freedom is contingent upon your own level of security.

If that is not tough enough, how about this imperative from Romans 12: 1,2: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

We will come back to this verse later, but to paraphrase Emeril on the Food Network, that kicks up the Galatians passage a notch (or two, or three).

So which comes first the Old or the New Testament? Before you answer that, carefully ponder what your definition of first is.

Does first mean chronologically, or does first mean primary or most important.

Herein lies the great anathema of Post Modern evangelicalism. Post modern evangelicalism makes the Old Testament first, both in chronology and literal importance. Reformation and historical Christianity obviously understands the chronology, but makes the New Testament scriptures primary. Before you object to this reasoning, let me continue. Reformation and historical Christianity states that the New Testament scriptures are the finished standard. In the larger sense the New Testament is the indicative standard. The Old Testament is the imperative, again in that larger sense. Therefore, the Truth of the New Testament (the finished work of Christ) is the way that the exhortations of the Old Testament must be interpreted.

These exhortations center around the imperative Mosaic Covenant made by God with the children of Israel on Mount Sinai, but they go back to the creation of the earth and the garden and how sin and death entered the world. However, there is a lot more to the cannon of scripture than the rules of the Torah. Beginning with the primacy of the New Testament you can easily see without any formal education in theology, but just a basic understanding of the Bible, an unfolding indicative of redemption that begins before the creation of time and runs consistently and truly until eternity future.

That indicative is a universal absolute generally called the Covenant of Grace, begins in Genesis 3:14 and continues through Revelation 22:21 if you are a Christian, and essentially Malachi 4:6 if you were a Jew. That Covenant of Grace is the prophetic promise of a coming Messiah that will redeem God’s children from the curse of sin and death. The fundamental difference between Christians and Jews should be that Christians recognize that this Messiah has come in the bodily presence of the God man Jesus of Nazareth. Jews however are still expectantly waiting for his appearance. This has nothing to do with denominations, sects, or other religious divisions, but is the mainstream of Judeo-Christian religious thought throughout recorded history.

This universal truth of Gods grace is further explained by the Abrahamic Covenant of Genesis 15. Therein, we find that this Covenant of Grace is apprehended by faith alone in God’s holiness, not by some works of righteousness performed by human hands.

This quickly brings us along the actual time line to the Exodus from Egypt and God giving the law to the children of Israel at Mount Sinai. Did God change his mind after Abraham and decide that man could save himself by his works, has mankind evolved to a higher level? That of course is just wishful thinking of all humanity throughout all time, and made a particularly self righteous idol in our day. The primacy of all the New Testament writers shows that the Law was given so that humanity might understand the righteousness of God’s holiness and man’s unworthiness to fulfill even the smallest portion of these perfect imperatives.

This is further expounded as the New Testament Sermon on the Mount of Matthew Chapter 5. Only in our day could the faithful indicatives of the beginning of these imperatives be converted to the Be happy (humanly achievable) attitudes, but that gets us too far advanced for now.

Back to the unfolding plan of redemption. Jeremiah 17:9 gives us the indicative statement of fact, The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?
Now it could be well argued that this statement is true from Genesis Chapter 3 through Revelation and the return of Jesus Christ, with the ensuing redemption of the earthly body. However, modern evangelicalism has cut this universal truth from God out of the cannon of scripture. Once I ask Jesus into my heart and am saved, I have been transformed by God’s regenerative power into one who’s heart is now pure, and I can also keep the Mosaic covenant by those same mysterious powers.

Too bad the Apostle Paul wasn’t aware of this enlightenment. If that was the case he would have never had to write the Book of Romans. That part from Romans 12: 1,2; it really is just a unneeded burden of the Christian inner light of the heart in love with God. Lest we forget: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Then it was that same Book of Romans that transformed the complete personality of Dr. Martin Luther, so much that through the preaching and teaching of God’s word alone, was the known world of church and state so drastically changed that we are still living in the Reformation’s fruits. Furthermore, by God’s grace, Luther died quietly in his sleep rather than be martyred for his achievements.

The renewing of your mind, the desert wasteland of modern evangelicalism. The renewing of your mind is the one concept that truly separates Christianity from all the other so called religions and cults. That’s indicatively true because it is only possible through the covenant of grace, not through the Mosaic covenant and law, not through Islam, Buddha, Confucius, Joseph Smith, or other human religious leader. Why, because as instruments of man’s impure heart, they are bound by entropy, sin, and death, all natural and spiritual indicative universal laws.

This brings us back to the miraculous works accomplished by the great men of the Old Testament, how did they pull it off? After all if they were under the law, they must have been able to pull it off under the law. Ergo if we want to do great works for Jesus we must follow in the steps of Moses, Rahab, Joshua, Gideon, Ruth, Samuel, Ester, David, and others. We must follow hard after God just like they did. We must go back to Sinai.

What they don’t teach you in church today in America and pretty much around the world, is that they did the great works under the indicative of faith alone, by the Covenant of Grace alone, in the coming of Messiah, for the Glory of God alone, not theirs. They understood all this by the renewing of their mind through the total cannon of revelation of God in the scriptures, the torah of God they had available. This is basic Reformation theology.

In other words, they knew that God’s Word was true, because they lived it by intellectual faith. If you truly understand the freedom you have in Christ, you can only wish to change the world for God. There is no option in that service, because not to serve Him, who gave you such a free gift of pure freedom and eternal life is completely illogical. I understand, logic is one of those mind renewing things again. In other words, you don’t have to go to Sinai to keep the law and do good works, you need to trust in faith the finished work of Jesus the world’s Messiah. Don’t go back to Sinai! What part of don’t, don’t you understand!

The cushy life of modern, sloppy agape Christianity of the heart works, because it has never been tested in the fires of suffering, tribulation, poverty, and depravation. In fact, it has never been seriously tested at all. It is the Christianity of the warm fuzzies, books, CDs, DVDs, and seminars. It is Christianity of the theology of glory, not the theology of the suffering servant. It is truly a Christianity of indulgences more heinous than any Luther ever faced, because it placates the indulgent self. At least the indulgences pedaled by John Tetzel were used to build St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and to spring a loved one from the grips of purgatory. Today these indulgences for the most part only serve to build individual ministries and foster your own materialistic slothfulness.

This is also why today common grace and natural law gives a better view of the reality of life than does what is called a Christian worldview. And I will graciously add, that much of American society would rather face the eternal judgement without Christ, for they know within the whole of their personality that they can not trust most of the so call truths they have been taught in church.  And furthermore they do not on their own have the discernment to understand the difference between the indicatives and the imperatives of scripture.

The conversion power of creation is widely evidenced by the rapidly increasing numbers of creation scientists. Most of them believe in a young earth of thousands not millions and billions of years. These men and women all have come to realize that the evolutionary teaching of their upbringing creates millions and billions more problems than it solves. Furthermore, pretty much the world we see around us can be described by Biblical creationism. However, this synergism is not found in intelligent design concepts. People with developed logical thinking choose Christ, and are scorned by their colleagues. They have chosen to take a stand and can not do otherwise. Sounds like a basis for Reformation to me.

So how do you view the Bible? As a covenant of grace, showing an unfolding plan of redemption of God’s chosen people, from the beginning to the end of this age? Or do you see it as a series a economic plans, tried by God to bring people into His kingdom by His manipulative powers of humanity’s limited understanding? Can both views be equally true?

My guess is that you never really thought about it seriously. You probably have accepted what you were taught in the church were you grew up, or were saved, or you wandered in one Sunday morning. Heaven knows, the grace of God may be such that you now are a pastor at one type or the other of these churches. That should move you beyond warm fuzzies in a hurry.

If you were to seriously desire to look at the alternatives, we may be talking about the same Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but you are talking about some very different characteristics of that God. You are also looking at very different ways of interpreting indicatives and imperatives.

May the grace of God and the audacity of Christ be with you all.

Our Recent Chronicles:

Welcome shade; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/welcomshade8-23-6.pdf
No Safe Egypt; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/nosafeegypt9-20-6.pdf
Lost in space; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/lostinspace9-27-6.pdf
Beyond the good;PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/beyondgood10-11-6.pdf
What’s up? PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/whatsup10-18-6.pdf
The Audacity of Reality; PDF link: http://www.wondersprings.com/2006pdffiles/audacity10-25-6.pdf