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Archive 2 from The New Testament
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There are for modern man 3 basic philosophical options on the table as possibly true. One is a true Biblical New Testament spirituality, a second option is an outright atheism, and a third option is a false spirituality, the most interesting and intellectually engaging being (in my opinion) a false New Testament spirituality. (All of this on Bible Christianity is described here on this website as "do it, or don't do it, but don't re-do it). In truth, New Testament Christianity is true, reasonable, holy, and desirable (or, in essence, true, right, moral, and good). We are seeing these very same philosophical themes in Paul's letter to the Philippians, along with the very idea of "truth," which has fallen on such hard times in the radical subjectivity of so-called "postmodernism" in the last 50 years.And these Programs also have our 42 Program video miniseries (Programs 437-478) on New Testament and Bible philosophical themes on justice for the state and the moral life for the individual as well as on new spiritual life "in the Spirit" in Christ and on "end-time" prophecy as well as on the final battle for planet earth between the forces of light and the forces of darkness and even false "light" of deception, as well as on the philosophical and moral decline and spiritual confusion of the "last days" and how to "fight the good fight" in such circumstances with "all convincing, reproving, rebuking and exhorting in teaching with all longsuffering" as Paul advises Timothy to do before they cut off Paul's head...
Program 493: The New Testament
The theological truth and spiritual reality of the personal salvation, rebirth covenant offer, by reason... Part 3
We are currently moving from milk to solid food in the realm of philosophical theology.
Click on the links below for Program 493 of "The Story of The Great Books":
For the VIDEO in Broadband "High Speed" (cable, etc.):
Please note: These videos will generally not play with a weak wireless signal. You will get a notice, "Windows Media Player cannot connect to the server..." This is not true, you are connected, and it is not the fault of the server or your computer, but the weak signal shuts the video player down, and gives this false notice.
The point I am trying to make with my "3 spiritual laws" is that accepting Christ as Lord is as much a part of the Gospel as new spiritual life in Christ, which one gets in believing and receiving. In my opinion, because modern Christianity was born in the Reformation, where the issue of debate tended to be justification "by faith only" to produce a given existential state of salvation or reconciliation, and not particularly Christ as Lord (that was more assumed not stated), nor even new life in the Spirit, some things tend to get lost in the Gospel message. However, with time John Wesley is going to say that the point of the faith is new life in spirit and in the indwelling holy Spirit (Romans 8:12-17), and for Wesley the Lordship of Christ is, hence, a practical reality in the Spirit-led life in a way it was not previously in the Church or Body of Christ. (I hope this is not too confusing.) However for many modern Bible Christians the only issue sometimes becomes accepting Christís atoning sacrifice for oneís self in salvation, and then one accepts Christ later, if ever, as "Lord," and frequently there is little or no new spiritual life in the Spirit, as a practical matter, if not theological one. However, if you have such a false "salvation" with no holy Spirit present in your life and no Christ as Lord, you are still as "lost as a goose in a snowstorm," as Brother Adrian Rogers used to say; essentially you are a "Christian" in name only, not something you want to be?
Program 492: The New Testament
The theological truth and spiritual reality of the personal salvation, rebirth covenant offer, by reason... Part 2
I attempt to show today that the Gospel with the cosmology of the Christian faith is literally true, and it is proven by the letter to the Philippians, which cannot be (rationally) deconstructed by the Liberal to mean something else, nor in particular can the famous line "to live is Christ, to die is gain."
This is probably one of our most Christian apologetic Programs, and good bit of it is original with me, as far as I know. The Liberal argues the crucifixion is an example of loving others (which it is) but it is, he says, not really about a literal atonement as the conservative Bible Christian holds and as the text so clearly teaches. However, not to be a wise guy here, but the crucifixion can be an example of love of friends only if it is an atonement!!! (Otherwise, it is just a meaningless death on a cross.) This means for Liberalism to be true, it must be false!!! (God has given me a gift to do this, what else can I say?) At 32:10 minutes I mean to say "Liberal Christian" and not just "Christian." Also even Russell realizes that a return to rationality is manís only hope on earth, unfortunately his own materialist humanism (atheism) is itself not rational, and he is not ready to go there and simply cannot see it. In any case, though Russell correctly understands truth and rationality to be the philosophical issues of our time; he cannot explain our current crazy irrationality in terms of an obvious spiritual deception (but only intellectual failure), because he does not believe in any real "spirituality" at all to the human condition, and, further, spiritual deception, Scripture says, is frequently if not always, demonic, which of course is not even on the radar screen for Russell.
Program 490: The New Testament
Personal Salvation, new being, and new life in the holy Spirit of Truth, as the point of the Faith, Part 12
I try to wrap up Philippians today and do quite a bit on the reality of Christian spirituality and its philosophical implications, and even what might be called the mystery of the Kingdom, which Jesus talked so much about: "Rejoice in the Lord always Again I say rejoice. Let your gentleness (or reasonableness) be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
And, of course, the above passage is then followed by philosophically-laden and very practical, and famous, Philippians 4:8, which is a clear, specific instruction to the Christian dealing with the metaphysical nature of things and ontological reality of things: "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-- meditate on these things..." Paul then say as you learned, received and heard from him, and so saw in him, so also do, and he then says, if you so do, you will have the peace of God with you (an interesting promise even assurance, no doubt).
Program 482: The New Testament
Personal Salvation, new being, and new life in the holy Spirit of Truth, as the point of the Faith, Part 4
Today, a little philosophical fun on old themes and developing them philosophically, theologically, politically, linguistically, etc.... the Good, the Right and the True are real, objective, and rational, humanists notwithstanding. And, today, a little bit on the fact that there is a spiritual reality behind philosophies and religions, be they good or bad, and that there is a spirit of truth and of error. Is "the spirit of truth" the Holy Spirit? I do not know by Scripture, presumably it is (C. S. Lewis so says and I agree) and, so therefore, of the God of Genesis 1:1 (though it would not seem to be a personal relationship Holy Spirit)? And, also, today, how all of this relates to the truth of the Gospel, as such... Cool, man...
Click on the links below for Program 482 of "The Story of The Great Books":
For the VIDEO in Broadband "High Speed" (cable, etc.):
Program 410: The New Testament
Ephesians & John 3-4 In the Kingdom in spirit & truth: rebirth, salvation by faith, & indwelling Spirit, XI
Today, again, what I take to be a common misreading of First John, and then on to the relationship of a Bible Christianity to all other religions, and then on to how the Natural Revelation/ philosophy of "Athens" relates to the two Special Revelations of "Jerusalem" (of the Old and New Testaments) and even how these things play out thru history! Plus, "the mystery of the Kingdom," and "the mystery of iniquity," all in 42 minutes!
Click on the links below for Program 410 of "The Story of The Great Books":
For the VIDEO in Broadband "High Speed" (cable, etc.):
First John says "if we keep Godís commandments" and do what is "pleasing in His sight," we have confidence we have right relationship with God by faith, meaning we should not be under a sense of constant condemnation, at least as I read the text, and as Luther does, no less, (and as Wesley will centuries later) which means todayís Evangelical frequently misreads First John 1:8 taken in isolation as a constant condition of the believerís existence, and, hence, todayís Evangelical is also unable to make sense out of almost the entirety of this Epistle, which is primarily about not sinning and walking in the Light, loving one another, and so forth. In short, in essence, First John, more than any other letter probably, deals with the practical dynamic of walking in the Spirit and loving one another by "believing and receiving" and living it out, which is what Paul is always exhorting us to, with lists of exhortations or "commandments" as his letters end.
Program 409: The New Testament
Ephesians & John 3-4 In the Kingdom in spirit & truth: rebirth, salvation by faith, & indwelling Spirit, X
Today we look briefly at other, various New Testament themes as well as at the idea of covenant in the Bible, and again to the covenants and promises made with Abraham of justification by faith, and also to be the father of Gentile nations in justice and righteousness as well as the Hebrew nation as we usually think of Abraham, and in fact America with 1776 becomes the model for this fulfillment of prophecy (in my opinion, anyway, and I would say that of the American founders).
And, today, we look, yet again, at the crucial issue of the "authority of God" or, as we more often tend to say today, "Jesus as Lord." Over and over this all tends to be getting it right, as it were, in "spirit and truth" or "heart and mind," etc., and this tends to create real or true religious authority and teaching versus false religious authority and teaching. In any case, the point of the New Testament Christian faith is to "walk in the Spirit" and "please God," and when we are doing that, we are not "in sin" as so many teach today, wrongly in my opinion. Almost all I have said, in the last week, or so, is specifically developed in Luther, and I was not aware of that and, hence, have developed it as more out of Wesley, where many of these themes certainly are also.
Program 407: The New Testament
Ephesians & John 3-4 In the Kingdom in spirit & truth: rebirth, salvation by faith, & indwelling Spirit, VIII
Today, one of our better philosophical/ theological and historical overviews, not just in "spirit & truth" Kingdom points of rebirth, salvation by faith, & indwelling Spirit but how almost all such themes are interrelated and depend upon each other to form a package deal of the New Testament and the entire Bible and how they relate to the practical end goal for the Christian, namely, to live or "walk in the Spirit" with the Spirit in you. But also, in history, this new spiritual life in Christ includes the wisdom of the moral good life and justice for the state.
Click on the links below for Program 407 of "The Story of The Great Books":
For the VIDEO in Broadband "High Speed" (cable, etc.):
Also, " salvation by faith" includes, as a central feature, putting oneís self under the authority of God. This does not make for a "works salvation" because it does not save one, but rather it is what one is committing to in Christian salvation, and it is the central place where dear Satan, along with the humanist and even spiritual liberal, has so many "problems," shall we say?
Program 406: The New Testament
Colossians & John 3-4 In the Kingdom in spirit & truth: rebirth, salvation by faith, & indwelling Spirit, VII
Today, we wrap up Colossians in terms of worshipping, actually living, in true and desirable "spirit and truth." We all live or exist in some spiritual reality, but the one of the Gospel, or no, is the ultimate question. Paul ends Galatians by contrasting humanistic hedonism not (simply) with the moral good life as the classical philosophers Solomon, Socrates, and Cicero do but with new life in the Spirit in Christ! And this, again, in its various applications is how Paul ends this letters of Colossians.
The two undesirable extremes laid out by Paul in Colossians are the religious idea that the body and all passion and pleasure are bad, on the one hand, and the overt humanist hedonist idea of simply indulge yourself as good. These are, in fact, the two common false extremes of humanism in history, and they are the two specific extremes (and, supposedly, only two possibilities for life, no less), which the great German novelist Herman Hesse develops in his novels! I have made this point in videos for 3 years plus, no less. However, Paul beat me and Hesse to the punch on this debate by almost 2000 years! These two false extremes of humanism (hedonism and asceticism) are just wrong! That is, "wrong" for true fulfillment and happiness in human life as God has designed it! In any case, when you come to see these patterns of philosophical thought and argument over the centuries and even millennia, it virtually knocks you off your feet, figuratively speaking, and "everything" then starts to make sense, just as Paul told us almost 2000 years in Colossians!!! The more things change, the more they remain the same, for the whole story of mankind on earth for all history and, apparently, for all philosophy?!
Program 405: The New Testament
Colossians & John 3-4 In the Kingdom in spirit & truth: rebirth, salvation by faith, & indwelling Spirit, VI
Today, more on the remarkable parallels between Galatians and Colossians, but Colossians is on false spiritualities, philosophies, and doctrines of the world, while Galatians is on the problem of imposing the Old Testament Jewish ritual law. Otherwise, extremely similar! And for this website this makes Colossians much better for our purposes of philosophical analysis...
Ultimately, the hinge issue (for the Christian faith) is not just what "truths" one holds to, but is oneís heart/spirit to God, or against God, and that is an actual spiritual reality of your being and not simply an abstract truth.
Program 404: The New Testament
Colossians & John 3-4 In the Kingdom in spirit & truth: rebirth, salvation by faith, & indwelling Spirit, V
One way to start thinking about different basic philosophical worldviews is to think in terms of "patterns of thought" in history. There tend to be a basic handful of ways of thinking about things, which, in fact, fall into various patterns, apart from their validity and at times even specific philosophical substance. It is, in my view, these patterns that lead one to seeing that there is a "philosophical worldview" behind them. Regardless, much of philosophy, again and again, is a matter of some "spirit" and some "truth" (for good or ill). And for the Christian, as Paul says today, this is Christ as "Lord," and that we are to walk (in Christ) in Spirit. Pretty straightforward?
Important note: No one who is deceived thinks he is deceived or he would not be deceived. And most people in rebellion to God and His authority (in essence, in Satanís camp) do not see themselves as in a demonic spirit of rebellion as a practical matter. The false religious leaders of Jesus' day and Isaiahís day do not so see themselves in a rebellious to God spirit, but infamously both the Grand Inquisitor (for Dostoevsky, though probably not in reality) and Saul Alinsky and his community organizers see themselves, quite consciously, to be in Luciferís or, that is, Satanís camp. Lucifer means "light bearer," but clearly it is a false light, though obviously he and his followers do not think so! In any case, the humanist is generally "worshipping" (so to speak) in a "spirit and truth," but the "spirit of rebellion" to God(!) and the supposed "truth" that "man is the measure of all things" (the classic definition of humanism). So, again, over and over and over everything is a matter of "spirit and truth," of one sort or another (for good or bad, etc.).
Program 403: The New Testament
Colossians & John 3-4 In the Kingdom in spirit & truth: rebirth, salvation by faith, & indwelling Spirit, IV
In philosophical debates, especially the major ones as the middle Stoic Cicero versus the Epicureans (such as Lucretius) both sides tend to think that they are being "reasonable" and most "enlightened." Indeed this is the human condition concerning virtually any supposed position of "knowledge" and "understanding," no matter how false or nutty it is! Or, one would not hold to his position. So, the self-evident truths of Jefferson and of the American Revolution of 1776, and which served as its foundation for the Revolution (which we celebrate tomorrow), were not at all self-evident and foundational to the humanists in the French Revolution of 1789. In a real sense, 2 opposing philosophical worldviews were at stake, as many have pointed out (from Solzhenitsyn to Schaeffer to Engels). And we are still debating these issues today, and the Left still tends to embrace the ideas and ideals of the French Revolution and not the American... (O' the tragedy of it all...)
At 30:17 minutes I mean to say after the "Church Age" (and the prior Jewish Era and pre-Abrahamic one) not after the "Kingdom Era," which follows the, seemingly or roughly, 6000 year story of Godís interaction with man. Indeed, after the proverbial, and presumably literal, 1000 year spiritual reign of Christ in the Kingdom Era, the demons are released from the pit, and for a brief time regain control of the world. Then, as I read Scripture, Christ returns in the clouds, and the saints rise to meet Him in the air and at that point the world is destroyed by fire, after which God makes a "new heavens and a new earth." (At this "end time" the Final Judgment takes place.) This is pretty clear, to me at least, in both Isaiah and Revelation, and in the teachings of Paul as well as Christ himself. Interestingly, Paul adds to this "the great falling away" from the faith by the Church as well as the last great false messianic leader as signs of the end of the Church Age. In any case, the fact is the Bible cosmology from the Creation by the Father in and through Christ to the Final Judgment is very reasonable if Christ walked out of the grave, which we have very good reason to believe He did, and if we have no idea how a First Cause caused the ordered (no less) universe, and if there is totally unexplainable life (as all good faith scientists say), and if there is a self-evident Good, Right, and True in the Natural Revelation as Jefferson, Cicero, and countless others maintain. Bottom-line? All of this will, presumably, seem very reasonable to everyone in the Kingdom Era, so much so that they will not be able to imagine how irrational and nutty we became after the 1960s, though that postmodern humanism did follow inevitably from its modern humanism forerunner, which was itself never justified in the first place.
Program 401: The New Testament
Galatians & John 3-4 In the Kingdom in spirit & truth: rebirth, salvation by faith, & indwelling Spirit, II
At 10:21 minutes I mean to say (of course) spiritual son and daughter "in Christ" not "of Christ." That is, we are, as born again human beings, spiritual sons and daughters of the Father in Christ.
The "sinful nature" is the NIV translation of the previous term "flesh" as used in the King James Version and New King James. "Flesh" tends to create all kinds of dualistic problems and misunderstandings of body as bad/ spirit as good, so later translations use other terms such as sinful nature, fallen nature, evil or sinful desires, etc. And when we are "born again" by trusting in Christís atoning sacrifice, we get or are given a new nature or new heart to God, and, hence, we are now by nature children of God (as Peter says) and, hence, we are joint heirs with Christ, as Paul says. This is all very basic stuff and part of the whole Gospel, but often not taught in its complete form even in many conservative Bible Churches, let alone in other groups and churches with their own particular agendas, not Bible based. Finally, a main first point is "true worshipers worship in spirit and truth," that is, the correct spirit and truth of the Kingdom. However, in fact, we all worship or at least live in some "spirit and "truth," but not necessarily a correct or desirable spirit, and not necessarily an accurate "truth." In short, we all believe something is "true," whether it really is, or not! And, we all have some kind of heart or spirit but not necessarily a good or desirable one to and of God! Obviously?
Program 400: The New Testament
Galatians & John 3-4 In the Kingdom in spirit & truth: rebirth, salvation by faith, & indwelling Spirit, I
There are re-occurring Kingdom themes throughout the New Testament and indeed the entire Bible, and the specific four we are going to look at are, first, the main theme of in "the Kingdom of God" in "spirit & truth" with the three sub-themes of 1.) spiritual rebirth, 2.) salvation or justification by faith, & 3.) the indwelling Spirit, Who we walk in fellowship with, not fulfilling the unrestrained lusts of the flesh (or world), as the hedonist or self-centered lost soul.
The end game or goal is understanding our lives in terms of spirit and truth, but not just any spirit or supposed "truth," but holy Spirit-filled lives and living, based on the Good, Right, and Truth of God. All this Kingdom reality of Jesus is established by "believing and receiving" of the Apostles, but we have a hard time with this because modern and postmodern humanist man does not see or appreciate the fact that we are in reality spirit beings of some sort, for good or bad, as a naturalistic phenomenon and, hence, the nature of our lives is all a matter of the heart, again, for good or bad, as manís given condition on earth. And the nature of one's being is all determined by oneís heart toward God and his good and authority, or against it... This determines everything from morality, to culture, to education, to politics to law and human rights. However, Christianity in particular is specifically about new spiritual life in Christ and not simply the naturalistic wisdom of virtue found in Solomon, Socrates, and Cicero of fear God and keep His commandments because all things will be brought into Judgment.