The Pastor’s Blog – Trinity Bible Chapel https://trinitybiblechapel.ca We Preach Christ Fri, 08 Nov 2019 17:49:48 -0500 en-US hourly 1 We Preach Christ The Pastor’s Blog – Trinity Bible Chapel We Preach Christ The Pastor’s Blog – Trinity Bible Chapel https://trinitybiblechapel.ca/hbc/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg https://trinitybiblechapel.ca Good Project Rehoboth News! https://trinitybiblechapel.ca/good-project-rehoboth-news/ Thu, 07 Nov 2019 20:12:16 +0000 https://trinitybiblechapel.ca/?p=10668 An anonymous donor has offered to match every gift, dollar for dollar, up to an accumulated maximum of $100,000 between now and December 15, 2019.  If you give $1, it will be turned into $2.  If you give $5,000, it will be turned into $10,000.  If we raise $100,000, we actually raise $200,000.  God continues to multiply our loaves and fish!

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I write this blog with happy news about Project Rehoboth.  Rehoboth is the Hebrew word for “wide open spaces.”  We launched Project Rehoboth a few years ago with the goal of raising money to purchase land and a building.  God multiplied our efforts and provided a Rehoboth at 1373 Lobsinger Line, north of Waterloo last June.

We are moving forward on our journey towards our Rehoboth.  We have submitted applications for building permits and zoning variances.  Upon approval, demolition and renovations will begin (DV).  We hope to start worshipping at 1373 Lobsinger Line in the first half of 2020.  We are firming up the budget as I write this email.  But our educated estimate is that it will cost just over $1 million for the whole project.  We need to raise money.  Here’s the good news: an anonymous donor has offered to match every gift, dollar for dollar, up to an accumulated maximum of $100,000 between now and December 15, 2019.  If you give $1, it will be turned into $2.  If you give $5,000, it will be turned into $10,000.  If we raise $100,000, we actually raise $200,000.  God continues to multiply our loaves and fish!

We believe God has called us to start King Alfred Academy, foster a genuinely Christian community within the vicinity of our new facility, and plant churches all the way up the Bruce Peninsula, all to rebuild a Christian Ontario.  We’ll start the job, and we’ll pray that our children and grandchildren can finish it. Please consider how you and your family can give towards Project Rehoboth before December 15 so that your financial gift can be doubled.  You can give online here or into the offering bag on Sunday.  Just make sure you mark your gift “Rehoboth” so it can be doubled before December 15.

God is regularly answering our prayers.  If He has answered our prayers in the past, why wouldn’t He continue to answer our prayers in the future?  I believe the best days are yet to come.  Let’s take this province for Christ Almighty!

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41 Theses on Baptism, Circumcision, and the Covenants https://trinitybiblechapel.ca/41-theses-on-baptism-circumcision-and-the-covenants/ Fri, 25 Oct 2019 16:52:22 +0000 https://trinitybiblechapel.ca/?p=10579 Scripturally, covenant is inextricably linked to baptism.  Reformed paedobaptists (those who baptize the infants of believers) see a direct link between the Abrahamic and New Covenants, and thus also see a direct link between circumcision (the sign of the Abrahamic Covenant) and baptism (the sign of the New Covenant).  They have argued for one covenant in two distinct administrations.  Reformed credobaptists (those who baptize believers
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Scripturally, covenant is inextricably linked to baptism.  Reformed paedobaptists (those who baptize the infants of believers) see a direct link between the Abrahamic and New Covenants, and thus also see a direct link between circumcision (the sign of the Abrahamic Covenant) and baptism (the sign of the New Covenant).  They have argued for one covenant in two distinct administrations.  Reformed credobaptists (those who baptize believers on the basis of their profession of faith) believe that the Abrahamic and New Covenants are distinct covenants, and therefore we cannot draw a direct line between circumcision and baptism.  In order to untangle some of this I offer 41 theses below on baptism, circumcision, and the covenants.  These theses are in no particular order, and some of them likely overlap.  I give credit to my seminary professor Dr. Stephen Wellum, from whose article, “Baptism and the Relationship between the Covenants,”1 I have derived many of these theses.  Some of the theses are likely direct quotations from his article.  While I offer him credit for what is true and good below, but I will take responsibility for any errors.

  1. Not all who are of the seed of Abraham are of the seed of Christ, but all who were of the seed of Abraham were to receive circumcision.
  2. Circumcision was initiatory into the Abrahamic covenant, but it was not initiatory into the covenant of grace. There is a difference.
  3. Old Testament Israel was a community of regenerate and unregenerate members, but the church is a community of regenerate members. And each person, male or female, who displays the fruit of regeneration is to be marked by baptism.
  4. Each male in the entire Old Testament community was to be marked by circumcision, and each person, male or female, in the church is to be marked by baptism.
  5. The promise which is “unto you, and to your children” (Acts 2:39) is also unto “those who are far off” and “everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”
  6. When Peter spoke those words in Acts 2:39 he was not necessarily speaking them to regenerate people.
  7. Circumcision was applied to males within the covenant community whether they had circumcised hearts or not. Baptism is to be applied to all, male or female, within a covenant community of people with circumcised hearts.
  8. Circumcision does not exclusively represent a heart reality in the circumcised, but baptism does in the baptized.
  9. Circumcision represents a national reality, but baptism does not.
  10. It is anachronistic to say circumcision represents circumcision of the heart in the one circumcised, but circumcision does point to the need for the circumcised man to be circumcised in the heart.
  11. If baptism replaced circumcision in all ways, then Paul could have argued as much when dealing with the Judaizers in Galatians. He didn’t.
  12. The Abrahamic covenant contains the seed of the new covenant, but the Abrahamic covenant is not the new covenant.
  13. There are more covenants than the covenant of works and the covenant of grace.
  14. The covenant of grace is a theological category, but not a biblical term.
  15. Believers with their children are not included in the new covenant like they are in the Abrahamic covenant.
  16. The Abrahamic covenant gets us to the new covenant, but it is not the new covenant.
  17. The Abrahamic covenant anticipates the new covenant, but it is not the new covenant.
  18. Between the Abrahamic covenant and the new covenant there is both continuity and discontinuity.
  19. There are at least four senses in which Scripture translates seed (Genesis 17:17): (1) natural descendants of Abraham, (2) the natural and special descendants of Abraham (e.g. Isaac, not Ishmael), (3) the Messiah, and (4) the spiritual seed of Abraham, ie. the regenerate.
  20. It is a mistake to equate the natural seed of Abraham who are circumcised in the flesh with the spiritual seed of Abraham who circumcised in the heart.
  21. The spiritual seed of Abraham who are circumcised in the heart are exclusively regenerate, but the natural seed of Abraham who are circumcised in the flesh are not exclusively regenerate.
  22. Infant baptism brings people who do not have the marks of being in the new covenant into the new covenant community.
  23. People within the Abrahamic covenant were justified before God the same way that people in the new covenant are saved: that is all people of all time have been justified by faith in the promise of God.
  24. All new covenant members have direct access to God, but the members of the Abrahamic covenant have their access to God mediated by the priesthood.
  25. The new covenant is not a renewed version of the Abrahamic covenant.
  26. The new covenant was ratified and inaugurated by the death of Christ.
  27. Baptism symbolizes union with Christ, by grace through faith.
  28. Baptism symbolizes a realm transfer from death to life.
  29. Baptism and circumcision do not carry the same meaning, nor do thy signify the same spiritual realities.
  30. Baptism and circumcision have parallels.
  31. Baptism and circumcision are tied to different covenants.
  32. God’s regenerate people were in the covenant of grace before Abraham, but we have no record of a sign like circumcision or baptism prior to Abraham.
  33. Circumcision marked out a physical seed in preparation for the coming Messiah, by establishing a nation and setting apart a male lineage.
  34. Circumcision is typological of heart circumcision as a mark of the community.
  35. Circumcision points to the new covenant when all within the community will be circumcised in heart just as all males in the old covenant community were circumcised in the flesh.
  36. Baptism and circumcision are both initiatory rights.
  37. Colossians 2:11-13 does not offer a one to one equation between circumcision and baptism.
  38. Circumcision finds its fulfillment in the circumcision of Christ, the last one to be covenentally circumcised, signifying the end of the chain of circumcised men from Abraham to Christ.
  39. Baptism testifies that we are united to Christ, not that we might be united to Christ.
  40. Circumcision did not signify that the descendants of Abraham were all united to Christ.
  41. Saying that circumcision and baptism have a one to one correlation confuses promise with fulfillment.

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Homemaking: A Financial Loss or A Financial Gain? https://trinitybiblechapel.ca/homemaking-a-financial-loss-or-a-financial-gain/ Wed, 18 Sep 2019 17:59:25 +0000 https://trinitybiblechapel.ca/?p=10146 Feminism has taught us that men and women are the same, or at least that women should do what men have historically done.  A woman achieves fulfillment (whatever that means) by earning money in the workforce, or so the reasoning goes. Personally, my wife and I decided as soon as we had our first child that she would stay home.  Taking a wife and siring
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Feminism has taught us that men and women are the same, or at least that women should do what men have historically done.  A woman achieves fulfillment (whatever that means) by earning money in the workforce, or so the reasoning goes.

Personally, my wife and I decided as soon as we had our first child that she would stay home.  Taking a wife and siring a child meant my job was to provide.  Providing for the family, and carrying that burden was to me a mark of manhood.  Thankfully, my wife shares my convictions, and she has happily embraced homemaking as her vocation.  She makes good food.  She decorates.  She brings warmth and stability to our house.  She makes our house a home, and she fills our home with love.

When we made this decision many years ago, some suggested that it was a financial sacrifice.  When she doesn’t work we make less money, and thus we make a financial sacrifice.  Or so they reasoned.

We need to understand that absolutely everything is a sacrifice.  On one hand we might sacrifice finances, and on another hand we sacrifice time with the children and quality of the home life.

That said, I honestly think the financial sacrifice of homemaking is a misnomer and nonissue.  What I mean is that I don’t think families save much money when mom takes a full time job.  I have not taken the time to do the math, so I’d be happy if someone actually did the math on this, but I do believe that the financial sacrifice of having mom at home is a lot less than some think it is.  Actually, my hypothesis is that the net financial gain, with all financial expenses and losses associated with a working mom considered, is likely negative.  There is a good case to be made that homes with full-time homemakers have a higher earning potential.  Below I share a few ways stay-at-home moms can save money or even contribute to the family income.

BUSINESS ATTIRE

A career woman needs her business wardrobe.  And because she’s a working mom she has less time to shop clearance for herself and her family.  A stay-at-home mom has more flexibility in her wardrobe, and she has more time to shop for deals.

TRANSPORTATION

A career woman needs transportation to work, which likely includes gas, a second vehicle, more frequent maintenance on a second vehicle, and insurance on a second vehicle.  A stay-at-home mom will need less gas, less vehicle maintenance, and perhaps one less household vehicle.

CHILDCARE

A career woman, unless there is a generous family member nearby, needs to hire daycare.  A stay-at-home mom needs no daycare.

FOOD

A career woman will have less time to bake and cook meals, so she will likely rely on more expensive ready-made food and restaurant food more often.  Further, the amount of time she has to cut coupons and shop for sales at the grocery store is severely limited.  A stay-at-home mom can make every meal from scratch and even pack her husband’s lunch.  She will not need to spend money on ready-made meals or restaurants.  And she can spend regular time looking for sales and coupons at the grocery store.  She can even garden and can food at home.  My wife has likely saved us thousands upon thousands of dollars over the years by researching grocery sales, cutting coupons, making meals from scratch, and price matching.

SHOPPING

A career woman will have less time to shop, and she, because of that, will save less money on household items, whether they be home decor, furniture, clothing, or appliances.  A stay-at-home mom, has more time to research the market before purchases to spot sales and sift through Kijiji ads.  In the 15 plus years that my wife has been at home, I think she has likely saved us tens of thousands of dollars on clothing sales, Kijiji purchases, and countless other sales that she would otherwise not have the time to save money on.

TAX

A career woman pays income tax.  A stay-at-home mom does not pay income tax.  Also, all Kijiji purchases have no sales tax on them.  So a stay-at-home mom who takes the time to shop second-hand not only avoids income tax, EI, and CPP, but she also avoids sales tax on used purchases.

HOME MAINTENANCE

A career woman has less time to fix things around the house so she’ll inevitably hire people more often.  A stay-at-home mom has more time to fix things, paint things, and clean her home instead of hiring someone else to do it.

TITHE

A Christian family will likely have the proper conviction to give at least 10 percent of their gross income to the church.  A career woman, if she feels this burden (which she should), will conscientiously give more money to the church than a stay-at-home mom.

HUSBAND’S VOCATION

A man married to a career woman will think more about the house and give more energy to the family than a man with a stay-at-home wife.  Monetarily, all things being equal over the long term, the man with a stay-at-home wife has a greater earning potential than the man whose wife works outside the home.  He typically has a clearer and more focused mind.  The division of labour between a housewife and her working husband allows for the working husband to have a competitive advantage over his peers in the marketplace.  That advantage should over the long-term create more potential for career advancement and salary increases.

COTTAGE INDUSTRY

An industrious stay-at-home mom will eventually use her skills to make money.  Whether it is with housecleaning, canning, food prep, crafts, or something else, a housewife eventually becomes so good at what she does that she learns marketable skills that she can earn her some extra money.  My own wife has done childcare and also started her own home organizing business.  So the idea that a stay-at-home mom does not earn money is false.  Inevitably she often does.

CONCLUSION

While some people will argue that being a housewife is a financial sacrifice for a family, it hardly is.  A savvy and hardworking housewife will end up being a financial blessing to her family over the long-term.  But money isn’t everything.  Having mom at home brings a quality of life that in my experience is priceless.  She fills the home with her own decor, the smell and taste of good food, love, and such things provide stability for the family and great blessings to the children.  Personally, I enjoy coming home to a home made by a homemaker.

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Rebel Alliance Podcast: Bruxy Cavey and the TGCC Mess https://trinitybiblechapel.ca/rebel-alliance-podcast-bruxy-cavey-and-the-tgcc-mess/ Wed, 11 Sep 2019 14:34:53 +0000 https://trinitybiblechapel.ca/?p=10429 Eric Schneider and I were recently interviewed by the guys over at the Rebel Alliance Media Podcast to discuss a recent episode of the Unbelievable podcast that featured a discussion between Bruxy Cavey and Paul Carter, council member of the Gospel Coalition Canada. Below is the two-part podcast audio as well as the show notes from this episode of their podcast. Podcast: Part 1: 
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Eric Schneider and I were recently interviewed by the guys over at the Rebel Alliance Media Podcast to discuss a recent episode of the Unbelievable podcast that featured a discussion between Bruxy Cavey and Paul Carter, council member of the Gospel Coalition Canada. Below is the two-part podcast audio as well as the show notes from this episode of their podcast.

Podcast:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Show Notes:

This week is part 2 of our long conversation with Pastor Jacob Reaume and Eric Schneider concerning the Gospel Coalition Canada and the mess that’s been made by their conversations with Bruxy Cavey.

This conversation was recorded on August 29th, and doesn’t take into account Paul Carters pub tour with Bruxy or the countless responses Part 1 had… we will address these new developments next time we record.

We understand this podcast will be controversial, but we ask that you listen to it in it’s entirety and see WHY we believe this is such a misstep by the TGC, whom we’ve at other times endorsed.

To hear longer clips of Cavey’s own teaching on both Penal Substitutionary Atonement and Biblical Inerrancy we’ve compiled a few montages of quotes, in their context (if anyone is concerned about the context, please just contact us for full teachings and timestamps) in the links below:

We believe this is a big deal, which is why we are addressing it publicly.

Youtube videos on Bruxy’s teaching:
Inerrancy: youtu.be/73qEarzH6yY
Atonement: youtu.be/_TmeYOy-Ar8

NB: We were asked by the TGCC to clarify that the Unbelievable Podcast we are responding to was not officially endorsed by the TGCC nor did they share it on their platform, though we would note that the blog article “Props to Bruxy Cavey” written by Paul Carter was written from the TGCC blog.

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Who Received the Ransom Payment? A Response to Paul Carter https://trinitybiblechapel.ca/who-received-the-ransom-payment-a-response-to-paul-carter/ Tue, 10 Sep 2019 13:58:53 +0000 https://trinitybiblechapel.ca/?p=10420 Over at The Gospel Coalition Canada, Pastor Paul Carter recently wrote a blog on the atonement. In it, he attempted to distinguish between what can be known about the atonement and what remains mystery. I remain grateful for many of the things he clarified in this post, but I want to comment on one statement that gave me pause. Carter asserted: The Bible does not
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Over at The Gospel Coalition Canada, Pastor Paul Carter recently wrote a blog on the atonement. In it, he attempted to distinguish between what can be known about the atonement and what remains mystery. I remain grateful for many of the things he clarified in this post, but I want to comment on one statement that gave me pause. Carter asserted:

The Bible does not indicate to whom the ransom is paid. Some theorize that it is paid by God to God and that may be so. Others say it is merely a metaphor intending to communicate that a price had to be paid and it was.

I cannot and will not say for sure. If there is an answer to this question, it remains in the realm of mystery. It is part of the reality which cannot be known because it has not been told.

He wrote that within the context of commenting on Mark 10:45: “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” If Christ paid a ransom, which He surely did, to whom was the ransom paid? Carter maintains that we cannot know and that to assert that “it is paid by God to God” is only speculation “that may be” true.  The answer to said question, as per Carter, “remains in the realm of mystery.”

Helpful to this discussion is to be aware of at least three actions involved in a ransom payment: (1) the action of paying the ransom payment, (2) the action of receiving the ransom payment, and (3) the action of benefiting from the ransom payment. That Christ is the one who paid the ransom payment is obvious from the text. That “the many” are the beneficiaries of the ransom payment is obvious also. But what is not so obvious from that immediate text is who precisely received the ransom payment. Carter argues that that recipient of the ransom remains anonymous and receives it incognito.

Had Carter said that the immediate text of Mark 10:45 does not say who received the ransom payment, I could concur. Indeed it does not say as much. That would be absolutely correct. But that is not what Carter said. He said, “The Bible does not indicate to whom the ransom is paid.” In other words, not one passage in the entire Bible explains who received the ransom payment. Not one Bible verse signals, expresses, illustrates, explains, or points to the recipient of Christ’s ransom payment. With that I take issue.

Christ is called a “ransom” a few times in the New Testament. Matthew 20:28 reads, “even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Similarly, Mark 10:45 reads, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  1 Timothy 2:6 says Christ “gave himself as a ransom for all.”

Basic to understanding New Testament categories is learning their context within the entirety of Scripture. The New Testament did not emerge in a vacuum. It follows the Old Testament, and it fulfills the Old Testament. So New Testament categories are very often Old Testament categories fulfilled. The category of ransom is a fulfillment of an Old Testament category. To understand New Testament references to “ransom,” we really need to understand the concept within the context of the Old Testament.

What does “ransom” entail in the Old Testament? I’m glad you asked.

In the Old Testament, ransom includes paying the fine of an offender to the offended so that the offender can escape death at the hands of the offended. When it comes to ransom, there is an offender who receives clemency as a result of the ransom paid. He is the beneficiary of the ransom payment. There is an offended who has the right to punish the offender, and that punishment is often death. And there is a payment made to the offended on behalf of the offender, and that payment is called “ransom.” If the offended receives the ransom, he does so by cancelling the punishment of the offender.  A ransom is accepted when the offender goes free by the will of the offended.  The ransom payment effectually appeases or placates the offended with the result that he waives his right to punish his offender. I’ll list a few examples of this.

When an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten, but the owner of the ox shall not be liable. But if the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has been warned but has not kept it in, and it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death. If a ransom is imposed on him, then he shall give for the redemption of his life whatever is imposed on him (Exodus 21:28-30).

If a man has an ox known to gore people, and that ox gores someone the owner is liable. He is an offender and deserves to die.  His negligence was criminal, and it lead to the death of an innocent person.  Instead of a death sentence, when given the option, the negligent offender can pay a ransom payment, a payment presumably to the bereaved family.  If the ransom is accepted, the offender is redeemed and no longer under a death sentence. Like I said earlier, ransom includes paying the fine of an offender to the offended so that the offender can escape death at the hands of the offended.

Here’s another passage:

When you take the census of the people of Israel, then each shall give a ransom for his life to the LORD when you number them, that there be no plague among them when you number them (Exodus 30:12).

In this case the ransom is paid to the LORD.   He holds life and death in His hands, and as such demands ransom from His people for their lives.  And when his people paid the ransom, He spares them from the death that comes by plague. The people are to provide a ransom price to God in order to escape death at His hands.

I’ll offer one more passage:

He will not accept any ransom, nor will he be satisfied though you give many gifts (Proverbs 6:35, NASB).

Here, the context is a warning against adultery. A young man is being warned not to commit adultery because no ransom price can placate the anger of a jealous husband who will kill him. The young man, when caught, might attempt to pacify his mistress’s husband with a ransom price of many gifts, but all attempts will fail. Given the opportunity, the offended husband will reject the ransom and kill the offender. While the ransom price fails to save young man’s life, it still includes paying the fine of an offender to the offended so that the offender can escape death at the hands of the offended. In this case he won’t escape, but still the ransom would be paid so that he can escape.

I’ve offered three Old Testament examples of a ransom price being paid, or at least an attempt to pay it in the case of the final example. In each case, paying ransom includes paying the fine of an offender to the offended so that the offender can escape death at the hands of the offended.

With that, we return to the New Testament.

…even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28).

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).

… Christ “gave himself as a ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:6).

When we read those statements, we are not to read them in isolation. Rather, they are to be read within the context of the whole of Scripture. The Old Testament provides categories that Christ fills. In this case, it provides us with the concept of ransom. Paying ransom includes paying the fine of an offender to the offended so that the offender can escape death at the hands of the offended.

The only question remaining, now, is “who is the offended party?” To whom was payment required? Who required the ransom? Students of the Bible should immediately recognize God as the offended party.

Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge (Psalm 51:3).

This is not reading in the white spaces of Scripture.  This is not ethereal speculation.  This doesn’t amount to reading signs in the clouds and speculating on the formation of stars.  It is reading Scripture within the context of all Scripture.  It is learning about God and His Gospel from everything He teaches in the entire Bible.   It is defining terms the way Scripture defines terms, and it is drawing conclusions the way Scripture draws conclusions.

R.C. Sproul explains,

But when the Bible speaks of ransom, the ransom is paid not to a criminal but to the One who is owed the price for redemption—the One who is the offended party, the injured party in the whole process of sin. And who is that? Again, it is God the Father. Jesus, as the Servant, offers Himself in payment to the Father for us. (Saved from What?, p. 67)

Similarly, C.H. Spurgeon states,

The question has been asked, “If we be redeemed by the blood of Christ, who receives the ransom?” Some have talked as if Christ paid the price to the devil. A more absurd imagination could never have crossed human mind…. What then? Surely the ransom price was paid to the Great Judge of all…. Thus the debt was paid to the Eternal Father. (MTP, vol. 62, p. 476, 1916).

Now back to Paul Carter’s blog. The recipient of the ransom in Mark 10:45 is not stated in that text. That is correct. But that text is not to be read in isolation. It is to be read in light of what the entire Bible says. The concept of ransom occurs multiple times in the Old Testament. I’ve selected three Old Testament passages.  I could list some more.  We could talk about the ransom of slaves, and the relationship between ransom and redemption.  We could examine Psalm 49:7-8 to help colour in our definition.  We could analyze the various Greek and Hebrew words used.  But this all is enough, at least for now.  Ransom, biblically, includes paying the fine of an offender to the offended so that the offender can escape death at the hands of the offended.  Students of the Bible understand that God is offended by our sins, and our sins make us offenders who deserve death at the hands of the Almighty.

Therefore, I believe Paul Carter is wrong when he says,

The Bible does not indicate to whom the ransom is paid. Some theorize that it is paid by God to God and that may be so. Others say it is merely a metaphor intending to communicate that a price had to be paid and it was.

I cannot and will not say for sure. If there is an answer to this question, it remains in the realm of mystery. It is part of the reality which cannot be known because it has not been told.

We can know, and we do know. It’s not guesstimation or speculation.  It’s no shot in the dark. The recipient of the ransom is not agent X who desires to remain unnamed.  He is God Almighty, and He wants all men to know that Christ paid the ransom to God in full and that God received it to His satisfaction. The Offended has been appeased, and we offenders can now go free.  Truly and surely, our ransom has been paid by God to God.

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We Have Land and A Building: God Has Given Us Rehoboth! https://trinitybiblechapel.ca/we-have-land-and-a-building-god-has-given-us-rehoboth/ Sun, 23 Jun 2019 17:37:14 +0000 https://trinitybiblechapel.ca/?p=10185 On Sunday March 29, 2015, as part of my series through Genesis, I preached Genesis 26:1-33.  In that passage we learned that Isaac wandered from town to town as a nomad for many years, and then God finally gave him land, “So he called the name Rehoboth, saying, ‘For now the LORD has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land”
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On Sunday March 29, 2015, as part of my series through Genesis, I preached Genesis 26:1-33.  In that passage we learned that Isaac wandered from town to town as a nomad for many years, and then God finally gave him land, “So he called the name Rehoboth, saying, ‘For now the LORD has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land” (Genesis 26:22).  At about 40:46 in the sermon, I said,

I’m praying for Rehoboth for this church.  Because do you know what Rehoboth means? It means “broad places” and “room.”  I’m praying that the Lord gives us Rehoboth, that the Lord will give us our own land.

Since then our church has regularly been praying for Rehoboth.  We desire to re-evangelize this part of Ontario, all the way up highway 6 to Tobermory, by starting a classical Christian school to make disciples of our children and by planting churches.  To that end, we launched “Project Rehoboth” in 2017 to raise money.  With financial prudence and God’s blessing, we have slowly accumulated cash, but at the present rate with the price of land in Waterloo Region we knew it would be a long time before we could afford to build.  But now our Lord Jesus has now taken our five loaves and two fish, and He’s multiplied them.  He has given us Rehoboth.

I will explain.  This spring, the leaders from Northside Baptist Church on 1373 Lobsinger Line, Waterloo, just south of St. Jacobs, made contact with us.  They learned of our testimony within the community and were encouraged by our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  They had fallen on difficult times and asked us to consider working with them.  Today, Northside Baptist Church agreed to turn their assets over to us and encourage their congregation to become members of Trinity Bible Chapel. 

At this time in this blog, it would be appropriate to pause, bow your head, close your eyes, and thank God for His kind provision and answer to prayer.

God is is kind, and His favour is upon us.

All the paperwork is now signed, and the deal will close at the end of August (DV).  1373 Lobsinger Line is a beautiful facility, with a chapel built just ten years ago that can seat upwards of 600 people.  It is a good sized lot with some space.  The office space, gymnasium, and classroom area need to be upgraded.  We have appointed a team of deacons who have already begun making construction plans.  We don’t know the price of the renovations yet, but please consider how you can give generously to this.  Perhaps you have children who attended Trinity while at WLU, UW, or UofG, and you might consider giving to this project.  Perhaps you read this blog from afar and have been blessed by our material.  You might also consider investing in this project.  Perhaps you attend Trinity or Northside, and you are excited about what is to come.  Please give.

Starting in September, we can look forward to our friends from Northside joining us in worship.  We pray that the fellowship we will share in our Lord Jesus Christ will be sweet.  It is good to work in unity, and we are very thankful for these dear saints at Northside who have seen fit to work together with us in this way.

Our elders plan on hosting a congregational meeting over the summer so we can update the church with more details.  We will open the floor for questions at that time.  But please feel free to ask questions of us anytime.

I believe that the best is yet to come at Trinity Bible Chapel.  God willing, we pray that we can open a classical Christian school.  We pray that we can plant more churches.  We pray that we will rebuild a Christian culture through the spread of Christ’s Gospel.  God has answered our prayers in the past.  Why wouldn’t He answer them again in the future?

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Newspaper Clippings, April 26, 2019 https://trinitybiblechapel.ca/newspaper-clippings-april-26-2019/ Fri, 26 Apr 2019 13:14:30 +0000 https://trinitybiblechapel.ca/?p=9954 In The Absence of Christ, There Is Death: Seven die of opioid overdoses in first two weeks in Aprilhttps://t.co/uRGqiOO2zt — WR Record (@WR_Record) April 22, 2019 But Jesus Christ Brings Life: This video was produced by John Maggs, Trinity Bible Chapel Director of Creative Ministries, and shown after the sermon on Resurrection Sunday 2019.  Don and Bonnie Stuckless are spiritual giants who walk among us,
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In The Absence of Christ, There Is Death:

But Jesus Christ Brings Life:

This video was produced by John Maggs, Trinity Bible Chapel Director of Creative Ministries, and shown after the sermon on Resurrection Sunday 2019.  Don and Bonnie Stuckless are spiritual giants who walk among us, and, personally, I’m honoured to be their pastor:

 

This Is Not Our Grandparents’ Canada:

“An Ontario man who travelled to Syria to support an al-Qaeda-affiliated terror group is set to be released from prison — despite being considered of “high risk to public safety,” according to a decision by the Parole Board of Canada.” More here.

 

Very Happy Birthday to Our Queen

 

Our Photogenic Canada:

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Newspaper Clippings, April 19, 2019 https://trinitybiblechapel.ca/newspaper-clippings-april-19-2019/ Fri, 19 Apr 2019 13:20:04 +0000 https://trinitybiblechapel.ca/?p=9906 Convinced or Converted?  Wounded or Killed? "…that thou mayest not be deceived, consider that it is one thing to be convinced, and another to be converted; one thing to be wounded, and another to be killed, and so to be made alive again by the faith of Jesus Christ." -John Bunyan, Work, vol. 1, p. 556, @BannerofTruth — Jacob B. Reaume (@jacobreaume) April 12, 2019
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Convinced or Converted?  Wounded or Killed?

 

Book Recommendation:

Seeing Green: Don't Let Envy Color Your Joy by [Dillehay, Tilly]I listened to Seeing Green by Tilly Dillehay as an audio book.  She examines the root and result of envy, distinguishing it from and relating it to jealousy and covetousness.  She also makes practical applications to real instances of envy.  You should read it.

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Newspaper Clippings, April 12, 2019 https://trinitybiblechapel.ca/newspaper-clippings-april-12-2019/ Fri, 12 Apr 2019 13:16:45 +0000 https://trinitybiblechapel.ca/?p=9838 Woke or Awakened? As only Pastor Doug Wilson could say it. “So allow me to make this as plain as I know how to make it. If your church is not at war with social justice, identity politics, and the charade of being woke, then your church is done. Finished. Kaput. Stick a fork in it.”   Podcast on White Nationalism Ryan Eras from the
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Woke or Awakened?

As only Pastor Doug Wilson could say it.

“So allow me to make this as plain as I know how to make it. If your church is not at war with social justice, identity politics, and the charade of being woke, then your church is done. Finished. Kaput. Stick a fork in it.”

 

Podcast on White Nationalism

Ryan Eras from the Ezra Institute interviewed me for this.  We talk about White nationalism, multiculturalism, Ricardo Duchesne, Faith Goldy, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

So, The Bible Is Right?

 

Contextualizing My Comments on Contextualization

 

A Review of Unplanned

Last week, I promoted Unplanned.  I still think much good will done by the movie.  But this evangelical pastor offers a critical review.

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Good And Bad Contextualization https://trinitybiblechapel.ca/good-and-bad-contextualization/ Wed, 10 Apr 2019 18:52:49 +0000 https://trinitybiblechapel.ca/?p=9880 The desire to contextualize the gospel springs from a desire to make the gospel understandable to all. Done properly, contextualization is the proclamation of the Christian message in a way that people understand it. True contextualization occurs when the message of Jesus is made clearer to a listening audience. Sadly, what often passes for contextualization is not a clearer gospel, but a muddier gospel. Not
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The desire to contextualize the gospel springs from a desire to make the gospel understandable to all. Done properly, contextualization is the proclamation of the Christian message in a way that people understand it. True contextualization occurs when the message of Jesus is made clearer to a listening audience. Sadly, what often passes for contextualization is not a clearer gospel, but a muddier gospel. Not a sharper gospel, but a duller gospel. Not a narrow gospel, but a wide gospel. Not a potent gospel, but an impotent gospel. What passes for contextualization often has more to do with earning the approval of man than proclaiming the gospel approved by God. And that is a gospel-less gospel.

A favourite go-to proof text for the contextualizer, whether the good type or the bad type of contextualizer, is 1 Corinthians 9:19–23:

For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.

The Apostle Paul became “all things to all people” in order to “save some.” So, the contextualizer reasons, “We must become all things to all people,” but the bad type of contextualizer forgets about the “save” and gives no thought to the “some.” What I mean is that the faux contextualizer is a self-proclaimed expert on morphing into each and every cultural zeitgeist and, as such, is more concerned about the approval of most than the salvation of some. To the postmodern he’s a postmodern and denies the existence of truth. So he loses the absolute truth of the gospel, but thinks he wins the approval of the nihilist. To the social justice warrior he’s a social justice warrior and redefines justice. So he opens himself up to pervert the justice of the gospel, but thinks he wins the approval of the SJW. To the feminist he becomes a feminist and denies God’s design for men and women. To the evolutionist he become an evolutionist and denies the first two chapters of Genesis. It goes on an on, but at the end the day the faux contextualizer risks losing the gospel to gain the world. At least he thinks he’s gained the world. Typically, he’s only succeeded at not making the world mad. The world still thinks he’s a joke, but at least the world is not mad at him. He pats himself on the back and says, “Well done, good and faithful contextualizer. Nobody hates you.” But, really, the reason they don’t hate him is because they don’t listen to him.

Because the Apostle Paul wrote the go-to proof text for contextualization, I thought it might be wise to note how Paul contextualized. How did he leverage his Jewishness for the salvation of some Jews? How did he leverage his Roman citizenship for the salvation of some Romans? How did Paul save some, and what did it cost him?

A JEW FOR THE JEWS

As a Jew by birth, and specifically as one professionally trained in the Hebrew Scriptures, Paul had credibility with Jewish people. He used that credibility to reach the Jews with the gospel of Christ, and some got saved while others tried to kill him. I should note before proceeding that Paul did not consider himself as one under the law, even though he attempted to win those under the law and became as one of them. He was not one of them, and he didn’t pretend he was:

To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law (1 Corinthians 9:21).

He knew he wasn’t one, but he became as one under the law. There is a difference, and he expects us and them to understand the difference. To understand the difference, we can look at his example. He used his cultural credentials to gain access to the synagogues, and then upon gaining access boldly proclaimed the gospel and upset the synagogue. Typically, riots ensued, and some got saved.

Consider Damascus. He gained access to the synagogue in Damascus and preached Christ (Acts 9:19–22). The Jews plotted to kill him, and the disciples he won rescued him (Acts 9:23–25). He became as one of them, and as soon as that gave him a platform he told them to believe. He saved some, but a bunch tried to kill him.

Something similar happened in Jerusalem. He preached “boldly” and “disputed against the Hellenists.” The Jews tried to kill him, and his disciples rescued him (Acts 9:26–30). In Iconium they tried to stone him (Acts 14). In Lystra they did stone him (Acts 14).

In Corinth “they opposed and reviled him” (Acts 18:6), “made a united attack on him,” and “brought him before the tribunal” (Acts 18:12) because, as they said, he was “persuading people to worship God contrary to the law” (Acts 18:13). Yes, contrary to the law. The same Paul who told the Corinthians that he became as one under the law was accused by Corinthian Jews of violating the law. I hope you notice that. He became as one under the law to gain entry, and once he gained entry he attacked their idolatrous notions of the law and pointed them to Christ. So much for a contextualization that doesn’t offend or isn’t clear. So much for a contextualization with the chief aim of winning friends and influencing people.

As a Jew for the Jews, Paul used his credibility to gain an audience, preach the Gospel clearly, and save some. Most of the important people tried to kill him. How’s that for contextualization?

A ROMAN FOR THE ROMANS, A GREEK FOR THE GREEKS

By this point, some might think:

Paul was Jew to the Jews, so he contextualized by preaching the Bible to those who knew the Bible. To people who don’t know the Bible—like 21st century secularists—things are different. We don’t quote the Bible to them because that’s useless. We just try to be friends and share from experience. That’s what they get. Experience. Not Bible, but personal experience.

To which I reply, “Let’s see how the author of your proof text did it.” How did Paul do it with the biblically illiterate?

When Paul visited Athens, he visited the intellectual centre of Greek philosophy. Naturally, he conversed with “Epicurean and Stoic philosophers” (Acts 17:18). The philosophers were intrigued “because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection” (Acts 17:18) so they took him to the Areopagus where “all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling of hearing something new” (Acts 17:21). The Areopagus sounds a lot like a university, so the university ministries who like talking about contextualization might want to take note of what happened next.

He addressed the crowed, pointed to an altar of an unknown god, and then he started quoting the Bible. Yes, that’s right. Paul contextualized to a bunch of Pagan biblically illiterate intellectuals on the 1st century equivalent of a university campus by quoting the Bible.

What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for “In him we live and move and have our being”; as even some of your own poets have said, “For we are indeed his offspring” (Acts 17:23–28).

I’m not going to list every reference to a Scriptural text (whether quoted directly or implied) in that passage, but there are lots. Those who’d like to know can look in the margins of their favourite reference Bible and the notes of their favourite study Bible. You will not be dismayed. My point is that Paul used the Bible as the authoritative text when he preached to biblically illiterate intellectuals at the Areopagus.

Then he told them their worship is false: “Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man” (Acts 17:29). In other words, “Worshiping those idols is rather ignorant of you sophisticates. If God made you, you should stop worshiping things that you made. How silly.” Granted, he didn’t say “ignorant,” at least in verse 29 he didn’t. But in verse 30 he did use its adjectival derivative: “times of ignorance.” Paul, to the self-perceived intellectual elites of Athens, said they exist in times of ignorance. They don’t know things. They are void of true knowledge. So they should stop thinking they know things, and realize they’re ignorant. It’s time to stop the ignorance.

But he goes further. He doesn’t stop at calling out their ignorance. He warns that if they don’t repent, Jesus will judge them on the day of judgment (Acts 17:31). How do we know that to be true, Paul? It’s true because Christ rose from the dead (Acts 17:31). So what is required of the intellectual effetes? That they repent (Acts 17:30). How’s that for contextualzation?

People reacted. “Some mocked,” “others said, ‘We will hear you again about this,’” and “some men joined him and believed” (Acts 17:32-34). That’s Pauline contextualization.

CONCLUSION

To be clear I think contextualization is needed. But I think bringing context to biblically based contextualization is needed more. Much of what’s called “contextualization” is blubbering, gibberish, prattling, babbling, drivel, twaddle, idle talk, and mumbling. So, I’ve gone to Paul who wrote every contextualizer’s favourite proof text, and I’ve explained what he did. He gained entry into crowded places. He preached the biblical message clearly. He called people to repent. He made enemies, and he saved some. That is not what passes for contextualization in many places. Instead of making the gospel clearer, many never preach it and call it “contextualization.” Frankly, contextualization is often code for cowardice.

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