Monthly Archives: June 2007

Some time ago I purchased "The King James Only Controversy" by James R. White (LibraryThing doesn't include the "R" but I had a visitor to my library list ask me to add it because there's another James White out there). I had breezed through it then, but (with school and all) hadn't really absorbed it. One of the things that I want to teach my kids is that there is good doctrine and bad doctrine - and it matters. So when I see these controversies come up, I talk about them with my kids and I take the opportunity to read both side.

My goal is to be able to step up and tell what I believe and why. We live in a time when it is easy to allow somebody (whether it be individuals or organizations) do our thinking for us - I believe it is the responsibility of every Christian to educate themselves as well as they can and to evaluate new or different (or opposing) teachings against Scripture. we go.
I'll cover the introduction today.

The question is asked: why worry about the controversy?

  • The King James Only controversy, by its very nature, disrupts the community. It brings contention right into the pews of the church.
  • Due to the nature of the "King James Only" beliefs, the advocates believe that their message of "only one true Bible" needs to be heard loudly and quickly.
  • The King James Only controversy alleges grand and complex conspiracies" on the part of the more modern translators and distrust of other Christians who use other translations.
  • The strictest adherents to this extra-Biblical doctrine will go so far as to state that users of any Bible translation, other than the 1611 authorized version are of the devil.

Our relationship with Christ is not based on a particular translation, it is based on the blood of Christ. Men and women led Christian lives for 1500 years before the 1611 version, so it is obvious that the salvation is not dependent on the "authorized version".

This controversy, as with many others, feeds upon the ignorance among Christians regarding the origin, transmission and translation of God's Word. Those who have studied and made themselves truly knowledgeable are not likely candidates to be taken in by this doctrine.

It is vital to note that refuting "KJV-only-ism" does NOT make any claims that the KJV translation is not a fine Bible. It is. The point that White is making is that the claim that there is only ONE valid translation that God DEMANDS that we use is neither Biblical nor logical.

White asks that those people who picked up this book out of curiosity give his arguments full thought. He also asks that those who are committed to the AV (authorized version) ONLY examine their believes in light of logic, history and Scripture.

The last two sentences of the introduction:

Those who are blind to their own traditions are the least likely to be fully Biblical in their beliefs. We all must constantly test our faith by Scripture, and we must pray for a willingness to abandon those beliefs that are found to be contrary to God's revealed truth.

I'm a new Amazon affiliate (if you click on my link and buy...I get Amazon gift certificates!)

If you wonder how a person can pray for the destruction of his(or her) enemies, this book gives a good perspective.

Not that I really understand, but I made a good run at it...

Yet another book for my summer reading list

And another...

Thirteen Things I want to get done today:

1…. Start your list here!

  1. Clean the fridge inside and out (tomorrow is shopping day)
  2. change my sheets (that means more laundry)
  3. do more laundry
  4. get ALL caught up on dishes
  5. shine my sink (HT: flylady)
  6. Re-read and post on King James Only Controversy
  7. remember how to spell controversy the first time.  😉
  8. make lots of iced coffee
  9. take a good walk (something that I haven't done is several days
  10. resync my iPod (before I take my walk)
  11. got through my blog post and edit to put posts into categories (something I forget the first time around - my goal and limit is to edit 10 posts per day)
  12. Try a different disc golf course with Tom (the last one we tried didn't go so well)
  13. Enjoy my family!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

The short story is:

Fort Michilimackinac was at the center of the vast Great Lakes fur trade in 1763, when Native American dissatisfaction with the British erupted in a series of attacks—including the siege of Fort Detroit —called Pontiac's Rebellion. At Michilimackinac, local Ojibwa staged a game of baggatiway, or lacrosse, near the fort's gate. Warriors who chased an errant ball into the fort suddenly drew knives and tomahawks and took the fort by force.

Last week we were there and several times a day there was a game of baggatiway - fort employees (reenactors) invited visitors to join in. This is quite an amazing game - there are very few rules, people got killed, there was no limit to the number of players or the size of the field. There are recorded games (according to the guide) of games including over a thousand players, with a field 15 miles long.

I just thought this was a cool photo of Tom (and one of Manda below - I think she thought the ball was going to hit her)


Note - some of these I've had for a while, they just were not added

Looking for organization with this aspect also - and something that would give me specific exercises and stretches to help shin splints.

I've had this for a while but haven't sat down and read it cover to cover

A devotional to read before walking.

The true story of a Iraqi woman imprisoned and tortured under Saddam Hussein.

I've only read a few pages - I bought it before vacation and thought I'd have WAY more time than I really had.

and I have lots of pictures, but won't inflict them all at one time...

My "new sport" is disc golf (which I only play when I'm with my kids). We were in Mackinaw City and wanted to try a disc golf course in St. Ignace. Judy (my sister in law) didn't care to go so she stayed at an overlook to kick back a bit (good choice) and the rest of us (Deb - my other sister in law, Tom, Amanda and I) went to "Silver Mountain Ski Area", where they've put in 18 holes of disc golf. The guide said "wooded" and they really meant it.

On the 3rd hole, the mosquitoes found us. At one points there were 9 of them on my legs and they were swarming Manda. She went back to the van and the rest of us played the 4th hole and quit.

These were very straight holes about 15 feet wide with heavy woods on both sides. Tom has a very long drive, but it has the wonderful "s-curve" that all the best disc golfers look for. He didn't do well on this course because he hit the same trees I did. 😉

If it had not been for the insects (or if we had remembered repellant) it would have been a great course and we'll most likely hit it again the next time we're in the area.

June 12, 2007—Synod today encouraged Christian Reformed churches to become familiar with the Belhar Confession, a declaration focusing on justice, unity and reconciliation.

1. We believe in the triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who gathers, protects and cares for his church by his Word and his Spirit, as he has done since the beginning of the world and will do to the end.

2. We believe in one holy, universal Christian church, the communion of saints called from the entire human family.

We believe

  • that Christ's work of reconciliation is made manifest in the church as the community of believers who have been reconciled with God and with one another;
  • that unity is, therefore, both a gift and an obligation for the church of Jesus Christ; that through the working of God's Spirit it is a binding force, yet simultaneously a reality which must be earnestly pursued and sought: one which the people of God must continually be built up to attain;
  • that this unity must become visible so that the world may believe that separation, enmity and hatred between people and groups is sin which Christ has already conquered, and accordingly that anything which threatens this unity may have no place in the church and must be resisted;
  • that this unity of the people of God must be manifested and be active in a variety of ways: in that we love one another; that we experience, practice and pursue community with one another; that we are obligated to give ourselves willingly and joyfully to be of benefit and blessing to one another; that we share one faith, have one calling, are of one soul and one mind; have one God and Father, are filled with one Spirit, are baptised with one baptism, eat of one bread and drink of one cup, confess one name, are obedient to one Lord, work for one cause, and share one hope; together come to know the height and the breadth and the depth of the love of Christ; together are built up to the stature of Christ, to the new humanity; together know and bear one another's burdens, thereby fulfilling the law of Christ that we need one another and upbuild one another, admonishing and comforting one another; that we suffer with one another for the sake of righteousness; pray together; together serve God in this world; and together fight against all which may threaten or hinder this unity;
  • that this unity can be established only in freedom and not under constraint; that the variety of spiritual gifts, opportunities, backgrounds, convictions, as well as the various languages and cultures, are by virtue of the reconciliation in Christ, opportunities for mutual service and enrichment within the one visible people of God;
  • that true faith in Jesus Christ is the only condition for membership of this church;

Therefore, we reject any doctrine

  • which absolutises either natural diversity or the sinful separation of people in such a way that this absolutisation hinders or breaks the visible and active unity of the church, or even leads to the establishment of a separate church formation;
  • which professes that this spiritual unity is truly being maintained in the bond of peace whilst believers of the same confession are in effect alienated from one another for the sake of diversity and in despair of reconciliation;
  • which denies that a refusal earnestly to pursue this visible unity as a priceless gift is sin;
  • which explicitly or implicitly maintains that descent or any other human or social factor should be a consideration in determining membership of the church.

3. We believe that God has entrusted to his church the message of reconciliation in and through Jesus Christ; that the church is called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, that the church is called blessed because it is a peacemaker, that the church is witness both by word and by deed to the new heaven and the new earth in which righteousness dwells.

  • that God by his lifegiving Word and Spirit has conquered the powers of sin and death, and therefore also of irreconciliation and hatred, bitterness and enmity, that God, by his lifegiving Word and Spirit will enable his people to live in a new obedience which can open new possibilities of life for society and the world;
  • that the credibility of this message is seriously affected and its beneficial work obstructed when it is proclaimed in a land which professes to be Christian, but in which the enforced separation of people on a racial basis promotes and perpetuates alienation, hatred and enmity;
  • that any teaching which attempts to legitimate such forced separation by appeal to the gospel, and is not prepared to venture on the road of obedience and reconciliation, but rather, out of prejudice, fear, selfishness and unbelief, denies in advance the reconciling power of the gospel, must be considered ideology and false doctrine.

Therefore, we reject any doctrine which, in such a situation sanctions in the name of the gospel or of the will of God the forced separation of people on the grounds of race and colour and thereby in advance obstructs and weakens the ministry and experience of reconciliation in Christ.

4. We believe that God has revealed himself as the one who wishes to bring about justice and true peace among men; that in a world full of injustice and enmity he is in a special way the God of the destitute, the poor and the wronged and that he calls his church to follow him in this; that he brings justice to the oppressed and gives bread to the hungry; that he frees the prisoner and restores sight to the blind; that he supports the downtrodden, protects the stranger, helps orphans and widows and blocks the path of the ungodly; that for him pure and undefiled religion is to visit the orphans and the widows in their suffering; that he wishes to teach his people to do what is good and to seek the right;

  • that the church must therefore stand by people in any form of suffering and need, which implies, among other things, that the church must witness against and strive against any form of injustice, so that justice may roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream;
  • that the church as the possession of God must stand where he stands, namely against injustice and with the wronged; that in following Christ the church must witness against all the powerful and privileged who selfishly seek their own interests and thus control and harm others.

Therefore, we reject any ideology which would legitimate forms of injustice and any doctrine which is unwilling to resist such an ideology in the name of the gospel.

5. We believe that, in obedience to Jesus Christ, its only head, the church is called to confess and to do all these things, even though the authorities and human laws might forbid them and punishment and suffering be the consequence.

Jesus is Lord.

To the one and only God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be the honour and the glory for ever and ever.


I haven't paid much attention to the whole thing and now I'm curious. One of the churches that I've visited is PCA (Presbyterian Church in America), so why don't I just find out what the controversy is all about!

Joseph Minich wrote a paper and the question that he wants to ask (and answer) is NOT whether or not Federal Vision is correct, but whether it is acceptable.

That question really caught my eye - how can something I believe is incorrect, be acceptable? Then I read on and I understand.

There are a lot of doctrines that we don't think are "correct", but that are "acceptable" - Mark Driscoll put it sort of like this. We have two hands and there are doctrines that we hold in our right hand - and we hold them tightly. We believe they are not only correct, but are essential to our faith - like belief in salvation by grace, through faith, not of works, and like belief in the Trinity, the eternal existence of God, the deity of Christ and the crucifixtion and resurrection. I believe that religions such as Latter Day Saints and Jehovah's Witnesses are NOT beliefs that hold these "essentials" and I do NOT believe that they are Christians.

In the left hand we hold other beliefs that we believe are correct (and important), but not essential. For the "Reformed", that might be TULIP, for Roman Catholics it might be prayer to Mary, for Arminians it might be "free will", for Charismatics it might be tongues, for others it might be infant baptism, full immersion, complementarian vs. egalitarian, etc. Because they are not essential, we can hold that hand a little more loosely. What is important is that the person that will be sitting next to us at the table in heaven may not hold the same things in their left hand - we still consider those who hold to our "right hand" beliefs to be brothers and sisters in Christ, regardless of what their "left hand" beliefs might be.

What that leaves us with is that we have our essentials in order - these are all the "right hand" things that we, all Christians, hold onto dearly. It also leaves us with differences that are "acceptable" for other Christians to believe, but that we believe are incorrect.

How does this apply to the PCA and "Federal Vision"?

PCA doctrine conforms to the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms and they stand on the belief that these confessions and catechisms accurately reflect Biblical doctrine. So how does "correct" vs. "acceptability" apply?

"Correct" means that "Federal Vision" then it adheres fully with the confessions and catechisms, all that is in "Federal Vision" is in those confessions and catechisms and there is nothing in "Federal Vision" that is NOT in the confessions and catechisms. If this is true, then all PCA members must accept "Federal Vision" as true doctrine.

"Acceptable" means that "Federal Vision" does NOT adhere FULLY to the confessions and catechisms, and that there are statements that do not appear in the confessions and catechisms, but there is nothing that contradicts the confessions and catechisms. If this is true, then a PCA member can belief that "Federal Vision" is correct - or incorrect - and still fully comply with the confessions and catechisms.

This is an important distinction - as it allows individuals to examine the belief against Scripture and decide for themselves (as the Bereans did) whether stacks up against God's Word.