Scholarship without Wisdom and Spiritual Discernment

Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

Academic Directive #27

Evangelical scholars seeking acceptance by the secular academia must demonstrate that their scholarship is “objective’ and “up to date.” This would require them to submit journal articles that are replete with copious footnotes which refer to a wide spectrum of ancient texts and archaeological sources, and comply with the critical presuppositions and methodology that are prevailing within the secular academia.

Credit may be given to evangelical biblical scholars who have taken up the challenge to match the terms and conditions set by the secular academia. They are unlike their theological cousins belonging to the “Old School of Medievalists and Puritans” who remain recalcitrant in purveying ancient superstitions as they continue to spout outdated scholarship learned from dusty tomes of ancient writers whom they reverently referred to the ‘Church Fathers’ or the ‘Scholastics’. It is irksome as these academic wannabees fail to separate their confessional faith and rigid tradition from objective, historical scholarship. May His Infernal Majesty reserve the hottest fire for these theological fools and fanatics for their academic fraudulence! Continue reading “Scholarship without Wisdom and Spiritual Discernment”

Calvinism Beyond 5-Points – Its Surpassing Vision of God’s Glory

By God’s grace and for his glory –  let every Calvinist be a God-intoxicated Christian!

A good friend posed this question to my earlier post, “SUPER” & “TULIP”CALVINISM: A Joyful Vision of God’s Supremacy and Sovereignty: “But have you succeeded in providing an “accurate and fair summary of Calvinism”? Have you not merely produced an adaptation of the 17th Century reply to the Remonstrants, however crucial that may be?”

Pardon me if I get a bit carried away and wax poetic in my response: How not to, when one meditates on the glory of God with the heart and mind of Calvin and his distinguished followers like Jonathan Edwards and B.B. Warfield?

Anyone one who has the slightest acquaintance with Calvin’s thought and its theological elaboration in the writings of Jonathan Edwards and B.B. Warfield would know that Calvinism offers a most comprehensive and intoxicating vision of God’s  glory and love in the world. This is what the last paragraph of my earlier post, “SUPER” & “TULIP”CALVINISM: A Joyful Vision of God’s Supremacy and Sovereignty points to. Was it not Abraham Kuyper who declares that for the Calvinist? – “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of my personal devotions and churchgoing over which Christ does not cry: mine!”

It would be an impoverishment of Christian faith if Calvinism is reduced to only 5-points. Calvinism is a whole way of life set before the glorious presence and lordship of God. Continue reading “Calvinism Beyond 5-Points – Its Surpassing Vision of God’s Glory”

“SUPER” & “TULIP”CALVINISM: A Joyful Vision of God’s Supremacy and Sovereignty

The acronym TULIP is used widely to describe the essence of Calvinism and Reformed Theology:
Total Depravity (also known as Total Inability and Original Sin)
Unconditional Election
Limited Atonement (also known as Particular Atonement)
Irresistible Grace
Perseverance of the Saints (also known as Once Saved Always Saved)

The TULIP acronym portrays a pretty blossom, but its artificiality betrays a lack of delicacy and fragrance of a real living flower. This would please critics of Calvinism who have judged Calvinism to be dark and distasteful, much like barren soil unfit for spiritual cultivation, which, not surprisingly, could only produce an artificial ‘flower’. Calvinism has been used as a term of abuse. Calvinists, like the early Christians have also been accused of causing social tyranny and cultural oppression. Hence, the celebrated American journalist, H.L. Mencken famously placed Calvinism next to Cannibalism in his “cabinet of horror”!

The essence of Calvinism described by TULIP comes across as an abstract construct that is driven by cold and remorseless logic. It was no accident that Calvinists prefer to use the phrase “marrow of Calvinism” rather than the “essence of Calvinism” since “marrow” describes the inner substance of the bone that produces blood cells, and hence typifies strength and vitality.

Calvinism as a Practical Spiritual Discipline
A good start to address these widespread prejudice and stereotypical distortions of Calvinism would be to highlight the comprehensive vision and dynamic spirituality of Calvinism which has bequeathed the world a lasting legacy in free and public education (Harvard, Yale and Princeton Universities were founded by Calvinists). Continue reading ““SUPER” & “TULIP”CALVINISM: A Joyful Vision of God’s Supremacy and Sovereignty”

Systematic Theology Vindication of the Gospel

Prologue: Benjamin Breckinridge (B.B.) Warfield (1851-1921) – Professor of Theology, Princeton Seminary: a.k.a. Lion of Princeton.
There was perhaps no theologian in the world as deeply and as widely equipped for the theological task as this “leading ornament” of Princeton’s Theological Seminary. Warfield was well learned in all departments related to biblical studies – the original languages, Old Testament, New Testament, the new biblical “criticism,” theology, historical studies, philosophy, science. He stood out as a giant even in a Princeton land of giants, and was referred to as the “lion of Princeton.” It was said by those who knew him that not only did he know more than his great predecessors – he knew more than all of them put together. His learned grasp was as wide as it was deep, and in his own lifetime he was recognized for it. In all this God had prepared a spokesman, a defender of the faith who could take all comers – Fred Zaspel 

THE MANDATE OF SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY

With full acknowledgement and tribute to B.B. Warfield [*Vindication: justification with evidence and rational argument]

“False ideas are the greatest obstacles to the reception of the gospel. We may preach with all the fervour of a reformer and yet succeed only in winning a straggler here and there, if we permit the whole collective thought of the nation or of the world to be controlled by ideas which, by the resistless force of logic, prevent Christianity from being regarded as anything more than a harmless delusion.” (John Gresham Machen)

We live in an age where traditional Christian teaching is challenged, and if possible, subverted and rejected in the name of modern scientific knowledge and historical criticism. It is no small temptation for some Christian scholars to become intimidated and capitulate to the ‘superior’ truth claims pronounced by the new priests in the academia, and to accommodate the gospel so that it is more acceptable to the learned despisers of Christian faith. Continue reading “Systematic Theology Vindication of the Gospel”

The Historicity of Adam : A Biblical Defence (With 4 Supplementary Scientific Articles)

Related Post – If Evolution, No Adam, No Fall, No Salvation, No Savior

The Historicity of Adam : A Biblical Defence (Collated With Scientific Articles)

Contemporary Denial of Historicity of Adam
Many critics declare that the church’s teaching of the historicity Adam has been discredited by recent advancements in science. It is purportedly impossible to reconcile the doctrine of Adam as a recent historical individual with fossils remains of ancient hominids pointing to a long process of evolution of humans who share a common ancestry with apes. Furthermore, recent studies of population genetics conclude that a historical pair (Adam and Eve) is insufficient to account for the genetic variations in DNA sequences found in the present human race.

A corollary of denial of the historicity of Adam is denial of the doctrine of original sin. Without a historical Adam there would be no historical Fall in which Adam suffered a fractured relationship and lost his power of communion with God, with the consequence of sin and death spreading to all humanity. Continue reading “The Historicity of Adam : A Biblical Defence (With 4 Supplementary Scientific Articles)”

Meditation and Mind-Body Therapy: Health and Higher Reality

Precis: Shamanic healing and meditation mind-body therapy, along with other forms of Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM), are alive and doing well in Malaysia. Modern people who assume that mysticism, machinery and medicine simply cannot be mixed may be shocked to find out that some hospitals are incorporating mystical rituals like meditation mind-body therapy into their services.

What are some of the reasons for the rising popularity of Meditation and Mind-Body Therapy? Can these treatments be scientifically tested and verified? What physiological and psychological bases underlie reported mystical-meditational ‘extra-sensory’ experience? Finally, how should Christians evaluate meditation and mind-body therapy from a Biblical-theological perspective? Continue reading “Meditation and Mind-Body Therapy: Health and Higher Reality”

Being Tough-Minded in an Age of Credulity

Not too long ago, I listened to a friend of mine speak enthusiastically about some food supplements which he was convinced would clear the toxins that ravage the bodies of polluted city dwellers like us. Knowing that he had some medical problems, I tried to be sensitive to his anxieties and refrained from making any comment that might undermine his hopes to have his health restored.

Being Tough-Minded in an Age of Credulity 

By Dr. Ng Kam Weng

Asking troubling questions can irritate friends. More seriously, speaking the truth can lead us to challenge intolerant authorities. Unless we have moral courage we end up hedging our positions and lapse into fuzzy thinking. Taking responsibility and acting with integrity are indispensable conditions for tough-mindedness. Continue reading “Being Tough-Minded in an Age of Credulity”