Thursday, December 03, 2009

Tales of the Visit of a Reformed Pastor to Limerick: Part II

I was also talking to Rev. Stewart a little about Erik Guichelaar's essay (related to evolutionism) in connection with the recent speech on Calvin vs. Darwin given in a Christian High School in the US. Angus suggested the great idea of putting it on our website, so I contacted Erik and did that the same week.

On Wednesday, we had a Bible study on I Peter 3:1-7. This was a very blessed time, as we discussed the Holy Scripture and meditated on it together and how it applies to us in so many ways. Of course there was much discussion about how the teachings here oppose the ungodly philosophy of the "feminist" movement. We also spoke about the dichotomy in verse 4 between the two different kinds of adornment (especially as it is important for a woman desiring to be sought by a godly man and a man desiring to seek a godly woman, but also in its intended context - that of a witness to an unbelieving husband for his salvation). It was a well-mixed group, and much profitable time was spent discussing the implications of the doctrine in verse 7 that husband ought to dwell with their wifes with understanding. One man who attended texted me early the next morning to say how much they had enjoyed this study. That week Ireland also lost one-nil to France at home, but fortunately we able to take that blow after such an uplifting Bible study.

On Friday then, we had our first lecture on “The Last Days,” and I had written a blogpost about this previously - making some comments about the bizarre philosophies of modern (or should I say modernist?) Irish Evangelicalism, insofar as they related. The lecture was a superb Scriptural explanation of sober eschatology - especially focused on a right exegesis of Acts 2. It showed absolutely conclusively that the last days reaches from the coming of our Immanuel, to the second coming, which in one event shall include the final resurrection, and the final judgment, and the ushering in of the new heavens and the new earth, etc - the consummation of all things and the end of days. It was argued that the last days are called the last days because there are no days after them (i.e. no earthly millenial kingdom!), and they finish with the last day (singular) which is also so-called because it is the final day with no more days after it.

One man commented at the end in astonishment, "You never used Revelation [the book]!" I think this is the source of a lot of confusion regarding eschatology - people immediately turn to the book in the Bible which perhaps requires the most intepretation using a comprehensive and thorough-going understanding of all the previous books, and so then they try to interpret it with little reference to the massive ground of revelation from which it draws its language, images, and ideas. No wonder with such a headstrong and ignorant approach to Scripture that the wild ideas from over-fertile imaginations of sinful men are so numerous. No, in contrast to this, if we speak of eschatology, the place to start is not the book of Revelation - the place to start is the simplest passages which speak most plainly.

No-one tries to work out a mathematics problem involving complex trigonometry and integration, without first having a thorough understanding of the basic algebra required, and even that is fruitless without the basics of arithmetic. But it is exactly our nature to turn things upside down and backwards in spiritual pride and ignorance. I remember Prof. Dykstra (of the PRTS) speaking about how many heresies come directly from ungodly hermeneutics. One friend enjoyed the lecture so much he felt like clapping afterwards. Another friend felt similarly, and they both bought some books I think - thankfully there were two copies of "Doctrine According to Godliness" by Ron Hanko, which is an absolute treasure, worth far more than the RFPA charge for it, and worth far more than its own weight in gold too.

More soon...

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