Monday, May 17, 2010

Muslim Wins Religion Prize

A man by the name of Eboo Patel has won the Grawemeyer religion prize from the University of Louisville and the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Mr. Patel is an adviser to the White House's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

Mr. Patel's organization, Interfaith Youth Core, is now active in 75 college campuses "for exposing young people to pluralism to help counteract the influence of religious radicals." [The Christian Century, December 29, 2009, pg. 17].

Mr. Patel was named one of "America's Best Leaders 2009" by U. S. News & World Report. Everyone should watch this man and others like him, because his intention may not be the most honest one. His intention may be a deceitful acquiescence to the faith of Islam. The article in The Christian Century ends with a citation from Harvard's Kennedy School Review "as one of the 'five future policy leaders to watch.'"

Take that for what it is worth, and it is worth taking a look and watching the coming events from these organizations and Mr. Patel.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Oh Death!

By Pastor Dr. Ronnie Wolfe – May 5, 2010

Oh death, that ceaseless wonder
That grasps the very depths of comprehension,
That awesome, capturing wonder,
That captures all its prey with stark attention:

How weak the cumbrous provisions
Made by men in useless preparation
For that fateful day of death,
When no one in himself meets else but desperation

Your grasp and grip are strong;
Your hold more strong than all imagination;
Retreat from your cold clutch
Seems now a gross exaggeration

Hold fast, oh death, your duty;
Grip your prey with one eternal chord.
Ne’er loose, oh death, your order,
Lest prey arise from grave, your solemn word.

As there you held our Savior,
But let him slip that one remembered day;
Ne’er loose the dead now sleeping
Lest by one promise the chosen slip away.

How ignorant you, oh death,
That you should think yourself so vast, eternal.
Your strength in human sin,
The power of grace superior and supernal.

The sting of death has victory,
Swallowed up by sovereign grace divine.
Your horrid blanket o’er my body
Brings no fear: your putred stench not mine.

For there waits blessed victory
My soul redeemed from death and human sin.
God’s blood cleansed my transgressions,
His life was giv’n my fallen soul to win.

Oh death, be calmly quiet;
Your days are numbered like human bones decay.
For then the day death dies
Brings victory, flesh and soul, in glorious day.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Simple Faith

We hear much about simple faith, and we as Baptists do believe in only faith for salvation. But we need to be careful about using the phrase “simple faith.” This subject has been a topic of great controversy among Baptists in the past.

During the early days of Baptists in America, these churches had to contend with many controversies. One was that of the anti-mission Baptists; another was the controversy over baptismal regeneration; and a third was the doctrine of Sademanianism. The Baptist theologian of the 19th century, Andrew Fuller, named this doctrine in 1812 in a book with twelve letters entitled “Strictures On Sandemanianism.” He says in this book that he calls this doctrine by this name, because no one has used any other name; so Mr. Fuller named it after its originator, Robert Sandeman.

This doctrine states that a person can make a simply “intellectual assent” to the truth of the Bible and be regenerated in that way. This is what many call “simple faith.” We do believe in “faith alone,” but not in a simple intellectual faith. I fear that too many people who call themselves Christians have a simple intellectual faith in Jesus Christ. But true faith in Jesus Christ involves both our emotions and our minds. Before I tasted honey, I did not like it; but after I tasted it, I wanted more and more honey. The same is true with Jesus Christ. Peter said in 1 Peter 2:2-3 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. Faith is a taste of eternal things that directs our minds and hearts toward Jesus Christ, and we love him and serve him with a true heart. I have never lost my taste for honey.

Look for an article in The Baptist Defence on this in the next issue.