Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Martin Luther's 95 Theses

495 years ago today, Dr. Martin Luther posted his infamous 95 Theses challenging the Roman Catholic Church and the selling to indulgence. Here are those 95 Theses'. My favorite is number 82: They ask, e.g.: Why does not the pope liberate everyone from purgatory for the sake of love (a most holy thing) and because of the supreme necessity of their souls? This would be morally the best of all reasons. Meanwhile he redeems innumerable souls for money, a most perishable thing, with which to build St. Peter's church, a very minor purpose. If the Pope really has the power to liberate someone from purgatory or hell, should he not do it out of love and not for a price?



Out of love and concern for the truth, and with the object of eliciting it, the following heads will be the subject of a public discussion at Wittenberg under the presidency of the reverend father, Martin Luther, Augustinian, Master of Arts and Sacred Theology, and duly appointed Lecturer on these subjects in that place. He requests that whoever cannot be present personally to debate the matter orally will do so in absence in writing.
  1. When our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, said "Repent", He called for the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.
  2. The word cannot be properly understood as referring to the sacrament of penance, i.e. confession and satisfaction, as administered by the clergy.
  3. Yet its meaning is not restricted to repentance in one's heart; for such repentance is null unless it produces outward signs in various mortifications of the flesh.
  4. As long as hatred of self abides (i.e. true inward repentance) the penalty of sin abides, viz., until we enter the kingdom of heaven.
  5. The pope has neither the will nor the power to remit any penalties beyond those imposed either at his own discretion or by canon law.
  6. The pope himself cannot remit guilt, but only declare and confirm that it has been remitted by God; or, at most, he can remit it in cases reserved to his discretion. Except for these cases, the guilt remains untouched.
  7. God never remits guilt to anyone without, at the same time, making him humbly submissive to the priest, His representative.
  8. The penitential canons apply only to men who are still alive, and, according to the canons themselves, none applies to the dead.
  9. Accordingly, the Holy Spirit, acting in the person of the pope, manifests grace to us, by the fact that the papal regulations always cease to apply at death, or in any hard case.
  10. It is a wrongful act, due to ignorance, when priests retain the canonical penalties on the dead in purgatory.
  11. When canonical penalties were changed and made to apply to purgatory, surely it would seem that tares were sown while the bishops were asleep.
  12. In former days, the canonical penalties were imposed, not after, but before absolution was pronounced; and were intended to be tests of true contrition.
  13. Death puts an end to all the claims of the Church; even the dying are already dead to the canon laws, and are no longer bound by them.
  14. Defective piety or love in a dying person is necessarily accompanied by great fear, which is greatest where the piety or love is least.
  15. This fear or horror is sufficient in itself, whatever else might be said, to constitute the pain of purgatory, since it approaches very closely to the horror of despair.
  16. There seems to be the same difference between hell, purgatory, and heaven as between despair, uncertainty, and assurance.
  17. Of a truth, the pains of souls in purgatory ought to be abated, and charity ought to be proportionately increased.
  18. Moreover, it does not seem proved, on any grounds of reason or Scripture, that these souls are outside the state of merit, or unable to grow in grace.
  19. Nor does it seem proved to be always the case that they are certain and assured of salvation, even if we are very certain ourselves.
  20. Therefore the pope, in speaking of the plenary remission of all penalties, does not mean "all" in the strict sense, but only those imposed by himself.
  21. Hence those who preach indulgences are in error when they say that a man is absolved and saved from every penalty by the pope's indulgences.
  22. Indeed, he cannot remit to souls in purgatory any penalty which canon law declares should be suffered in the present life.
  23. If plenary remission could be granted to anyone at all, it would be only in the cases of the most perfect, i.e. to very few.
  24. It must therefore be the case that the major part of the people are deceived by that indiscriminate and high-sounding promise of relief from penalty.
  25. The same power as the pope exercises in general over purgatory is exercised in particular by every single bishop in his bishopric and priest in his parish.
  26. The pope does excellently when he grants remission to the souls in purgatory on account of intercessions made on their behalf, and not by the power of the keys (which he cannot exercise for them).
  27. There is no divine authority for preaching that the soul flies out of the purgatory immediately the money clinks in the bottom of the chest.
  28. It is certainly possible that when the money clinks in the bottom of the chest avarice and greed increase; but when the church offers intercession, all depends in the will of God.
  29. Who knows whether all souls in purgatory wish to be redeemed in view of what is said of St. Severinus and St. Pascal? (Note: Paschal I, pope 817-24. The legend is that he and Severinus were willing to endure the pains of purgatory for the benefit of the faithful).
  30. No one is sure of the reality of his own contrition, much less of receiving plenary forgiveness.
  31. One who bona fide buys indulgence is a rare as a bona fide penitent man, i.e. very rare indeed.
  32. All those who believe themselves certain of their own salvation by means of letters of indulgence, will be eternally damned, together with their teachers.
  33. We should be most carefully on our guard against those who say that the papal indulgences are an inestimable divine gift, and that a man is reconciled to God by them.
  34. For the grace conveyed by these indulgences relates simply to the penalties of the sacramental "satisfactions" decreed merely by man.
  35. It is not in accordance with Christian doctrines to preach and teach that those who buy off souls, or purchase confessional licenses, have no need to repent of their own sins.
  36. Any Christian whatsoever, who is truly repentant, enjoys plenary remission from penalty and guilt, and this is given him without letters of indulgence.
  37. Any true Christian whatsoever, living or dead, participates in all the benefits of Christ and the Church; and this participation is granted to him by God without letters of indulgence.
  38. Yet the pope's remission and dispensation are in no way to be despised, for, as already said, they proclaim the divine remission.
  39. It is very difficult, even for the most learned theologians, to extol to the people the great bounty contained in the indulgences, while, at the same time, praising contrition as a virtue.
  40. A truly contrite sinner seeks out, and loves to pay, the penalties of his sins; whereas the very multitude of indulgences dulls men's consciences, and tends to make them hate the penalties.
  41. Papal indulgences should only be preached with caution, lest people gain a wrong understanding, and think that they are preferable to other good works: those of love.
  42. Christians should be taught that the pope does not at all intend that the purchase of indulgences should be understood as at all comparable with the works of mercy.
  43. Christians should be taught that one who gives to the poor, or lends to the needy, does a better action than if he purchases indulgences.
  44. Because, by works of love, love grows and a man becomes a better man; whereas, by indulgences, he does not become a better man, but only escapes certain penalties.
  45. Christians should be taught that he who sees a needy person, but passes him by although he gives money for indulgences, gains no benefit from the pope's pardon, but only incurs the wrath of God.
  46. Christians should be taught that, unless they have more than they need, they are bound to retain what is only necessary for the upkeep of their home, and should in no way squander it on indulgences.
  47. Christians should be taught that they purchase indulgences voluntarily, and are not under obligation to do so.
  48. Christians should be taught that, in granting indulgences, the pope has more need, and more desire, for devout prayer on his own behalf than for ready money.
  49. Christians should be taught that the pope's indulgences are useful only if one does not rely on them, but most harmful if one loses the fear of God through them.
  50. Christians should be taught that, if the pope knew the exactions of the indulgence-preachers, he would rather the church of St. Peter were reduced to ashes than be built with the skin, flesh, and bones of the sheep.
  51. Christians should be taught that the pope would be willing, as he ought if necessity should arise, to sell the church of St. Peter, and give, too, his own money to many of those from whom the pardon-merchants conjure money.
  52. It is vain to rely on salvation by letters of indulgence, even if the commissary, or indeed the pope himself, were to pledge his own soul for their validity.
  53. Those are enemies of Christ and the pope who forbid the word of God to be preached at all in some churches, in order that indulgences may be preached in others.
  54. The word of God suffers injury if, in the same sermon, an equal or longer time is devoted to indulgences than to that word.
  55. The pope cannot help taking the view that if indulgences (very small matters) are celebrated by one bell, one pageant, or one ceremony, the gospel (a very great matter) should be preached to the accompaniment of a hundred bells, a hundred processions, a hundred ceremonies.
  56. The treasures of the church, out of which the pope dispenses indulgences, are not sufficiently spoken of or known among the people of Christ.
  57. That these treasures are not temporal are clear from the fact that many of the merchants do not grant them freely, but only collect them.
  58. Nor are they the merits of Christ and the saints, because, even apart from the pope, these merits are always working grace in the inner man, and working the cross, death, and hell in the outer man.
  59. St. Laurence said that the poor were the treasures of the church, but he used the term in accordance with the custom of his own time.
  60. We do not speak rashly in saying that the treasures of the church are the keys of the church, and are bestowed by the merits of Christ.
  61. For it is clear that the power of the pope suffices, by itself, for the remission of penalties and reserved cases.
  62. The true treasure of the church is the Holy gospel of the glory and the grace of God.
  63. It is right to regard this treasure as most odious, for it makes the first to be the last.
  64. On the other hand, the treasure of indulgences is most acceptable, for it makes the last to be the first.
  65. Therefore the treasures of the gospel are nets which, in former times, they used to fish for men of wealth.
  66. The treasures of the indulgences are the nets which to-day they use to fish for the wealth of men.
  67. The indulgences, which the merchants extol as the greatest of favours, are seen to be, in fact, a favourite means for money-getting.
  68. Nevertheless, they are not to be compared with the grace of God and the compassion shown in the Cross.
  69. Bishops and curates, in duty bound, must receive the commissaries of the papal indulgences with all reverence.
  70. But they are under a much greater obligation to watch closely and attend carefully lest these men preach their own fancies instead of what the pope commissioned.
  71. Let him be anathema and accursed who denies the apostolic character of the indulgences.
  72. On the other hand, let him be blessed who is on his guard against the wantonness and license of the pardon-merchant's words.
  73. In the same way, the pope rightly excommunicates those who make any plans to the detriment of the trade in indulgences.
  74. It is much more in keeping with his views to excommunicate those who use the pretext of indulgences to plot anything to the detriment of holy love and truth.
  75. It is foolish to think that papal indulgences have so much power that they can absolve a man even if he has done the impossible and violated the mother of God.
  76. We assert the contrary, and say that the pope's pardons are not able to remove the least venial of sins as far as their guilt is concerned.
  77. When it is said that not even St. Peter, if he were now pope, could grant a greater grace, it is blasphemy against St. Peter and the pope.
  78. We assert the contrary, and say that he, and any pope whatever, possesses greater graces, viz., the gospel, spiritual powers, gifts of healing, etc., as is declared in I Corinthians 12 [:28].
  79. It is blasphemy to say that the insignia of the cross with the papal arms are of equal value to the cross on which Christ died.
  80. The bishops, curates, and theologians, who permit assertions of that kind to be made to the people without let or hindrance, will have to answer for it.
  81. This unbridled preaching of indulgences makes it difficult for learned men to guard the respect due to the pope against false accusations, or at least from the keen criticisms of the laity.
  82. They ask, e.g.: Why does not the pope liberate everyone from purgatory for the sake of love (a most holy thing) and because of the supreme necessity of their souls? This would be morally the best of all reasons. Meanwhile he redeems innumerable souls for money, a most perishable thing, with which to build St. Peter's church, a very minor purpose.
  83. Again: Why should funeral and anniversary masses for the dead continue to be said? And why does not the pope repay, or permit to be repaid, the benefactions instituted for these purposes, since it is wrong to pray for those souls who are now redeemed?
  84. Again: Surely this is a new sort of compassion, on the part of God and the pope, when an impious man, an enemy of God, is allowed to pay money to redeem a devout soul, a friend of God; while yet that devout and beloved soul is not allowed to be redeemed without payment, for love's sake, and just because of its need of redemption.
  85. Again: Why are the penitential canon laws, which in fact, if not in practice, have long been obsolete and dead in themselves,—why are they, to-day, still used in imposing fines in money, through the granting of indulgences, as if all the penitential canons were fully operative?
  86. Again: since the pope's income to-day is larger than that of the wealthiest of wealthy men, why does he not build this one church of St. Peter with his own money, rather than with the money of indigent believers?
  87. Again: What does the pope remit or dispense to people who, by their perfect repentance, have a right to plenary remission or dispensation?
  88. Again: Surely a greater good could be done to the church if the pope were to bestow these remissions and dispensations, not once, as now, but a hundred times a day, for the benefit of any believer whatever.
  89. What the pope seeks by indulgences is not money, but rather the salvation of souls; why then does he suspend the letters and indulgences formerly conceded, and still as efficacious as ever?
  90. These questions are serious matters of conscience to the laity. To suppress them by force alone, and not to refute them by giving reasons, is to expose the church and the pope to the ridicule of their enemies, and to make Christian people unhappy.
  91. If therefore, indulgences were preached in accordance with the spirit and mind of the pope, all these difficulties would be easily overcome, and indeed, cease to exist.
  92. Away, then, with those prophets who say to Christ's people, "Peace, peace," where in there is no peace.
  93. Hail, hail to all those prophets who say to Christ's people, "The cross, the cross," where there is no cross.
  94. Christians should be exhorted to be zealous to follow Christ, their Head, through penalties, deaths, and hells.
  95. And let them thus be more confident of entering heaven through many tribulations rather than through a false assurance of peace.

For more:
Martin Luther (1483-1546)  
The 95 Theses, 490 Years Later
Sola Fide and the Early Church: Quotes From the Patristics
For Reformation Day:  An Insightful Documentary  
Douglas Bond on the Legacy of John Knox 
"John Knox" by Rosalind K. Marshall  
The Mighty Weakness of John Knox 
Was Calvin a Calvinist?  Helm Weighs In 
He Turned the Water Into Wine: MacArthur, Alcohol, & Christian Liberty
Theology Thursday | Calvin on the Redemptive Necessity of the Resurrection
Calvinist Baptists and the Many (False) Misconceptions
The Real Divide:  Luther, the Reformation, and the Fight Over Perspicuity - Part 1
The Real Divide:  Luther, the Reformation, and the Fight Over Perspicuity - Part 2
The Real Divide:  Luther, the Reformation, and the Fight Over Perspicuity - Part 3
The Real Divide:  Luther, the Reformation, and the Fight Over Perspicuity - Part 4
The Real Divide:  Luther, the Reformation, and the Fight Over Perspicuity - Part 5
The Real Divide:  Luther, the Reformation, and the Fight Over Perspicuity - Part 6 
"Without the Gospel": A Gem From John Calvin
Calvin on God in Theology and the Christian Life
Calvin on Providence
Calvin on Treasures in Heaven
Calvin on Fasting
Calvin on Prayer: Why Bother?
"Young, Restless, and Reformed"
The Theology of the Reformers  
The Unquenchable Flame  
"On the Necessity of Reforming the Church" by John Calvin
John Calvin:  A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, & Doxology 
Christianity's Dangerous Idea 
"Five Leading Reformers"

Reviews in Brief - Martin Luther and the Reformation

A few years ago, I took a class on the Reformation and wrote a paper on Martin Luther and his understanding of the perspicuity (clarity) of Scripture (see link below to read the paper). The class involved a lot of reading and time prevented me from writing a full review of each book. Thus below is some of those books I read with a few comments. In addition, at the end is a list of books on the Reformation that I have given a full review on.

Happy Reformation Day.


Bondage of the Will, TheThe Bondage of the Will - Luther considered this book to be among his most important and for good reason.  This is the famous debate between Luther and Erasmus over the issue of free will.  This is Luther's side of the debate.  Erasmus argued that the will is free whereas Luther argued that our will is in bondage to our sinful nature.  Luther is at times sarcastic and mean, but his deep concern over this issue bleeds through on every page.  Luther offers biblical proof for his theology and destroys Erasmus' weak argument.  For those wanting to know more about Luther, his personality, and his theology, this is an excellent primary source.


Three Treatises PaperThree Treatises Paper - In 1520, Martin Luther wrote . . . a lot.  Three of his most famous works were published that same year:  The Babylonian Captivity of the Church, The Freedom of the Christian, and To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation.  Each of these works are must reads for everyone who wants to know more about Luther.  This is a helpful book as it puts these three famous treatises together in one book.  Perhaps my favorite of the three is The Freedom of the Christian as I find its thesis important for today:  A Christian man is the most free lord of all, and subject to none, a Christian man is the most dutiful servant of all, and subject to every one.



Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings (w/ CD-ROM)Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings (w/ CD-ROM)  - For those wanting a taste of some of Luther's greatest theological works, sermons, etc., perhaps the first place to turn is this book.  It contains sections from the four books already mentioned above and offers readings from Luther as a pastor, theologian, debater, professor, catechizer, etc.  The CD is helpful and is worth the price itself.  Before each reading, the editors provide the reader with an introduction to the reading with a full discussion of its context, history, and impact.  This is a great resource and a must have for everyone that studies and enjoys Luther.



Reformation Debate, AA Reformation Debate - This little book is the collection of two letters.  The first is from the Catholic Jacopo Sadoleto written to those in Geneva calling them to reject the Reformation and return to Roman Catholicism.  The second letter is from the pen of John Calvin who defends the cause of Reformation.  Calvin's letter is much longer and lays out the basic tenants of justification by faith and the problems he has with the Church of his time.  An introductory chapter is given by the editor to fill the reader in on the context and history of the letters and their impact.  This is an interesting little book that says a lot in such little space.



Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther (Hendrickson Classic Biographies)Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther (Hendrickson Classic Biographies) - This is by far the best biography on Martin Luther and history has revealed that.  Some say that the more recent Luther: Man Between God and the Devil by Heiko Oberman is better but I beg to differ.  Bainton offers great scholarship, insight, and great writing as he tells the story of this great Reformer.  If you only read one biography on Luther, let it be this one.  The author has since passed away, but provides the reader with the best introduction to his life, writings, and theology.




Luther's Works, Volume 54: Table Talk Luther's Works, Volume 54: Table Talk - If you ever want to read Luther, "off the record," his Table Talk is the place to go.  These are a collection of says recorded by those at Luther's dinner table.  Luther is all over the map giving his opinion on virtually every topic.  Some of the sayings seem random and without purpose, but Luther is quit quotable in his table talk.  There are many different versions of the Table Talk out there, some more abridged than others.  If you want the unabridged version, go out and buy the English version of Luther's works.




A Reformation Reader: Primary Texts With IntroductionsA Reformation Reader: Primary Texts With Introductions - This is a great resource for primary readings from the Reformation.  Admittedly, the section on Martin Luther could have been longer, but the editors goal is to provide the reader with primary sources from all over the Reformation including and beyond the German monk.  For those wanting to read from the sources itself, this is a good place to start.





Originally posted on August 23, 2010.


Reviewed Books on the Reformation:
"The Reformation for Armchair Theologians" by Glenn S. Sunshine: A Review
The Theology of the Reformers
"Five Leading Reformers"     
The Unquenchable Flame 
Luther: Man Between God and the Devil 
The Trial of Luther 
Martin Luther:  The Christian Between God and Death  
"On the Necessity of Reforming the Church" by John Calvin
John Calvin:  A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, & Doxology 
Christianity's Dangerous Idea
"The School of Faith" by Thomas F. Torrance: A Review
"The Wit of Martin Luther": A Review


For more on the Reformation:
Why the Reformation Matters: A Lecture By Stephen Nichols
On the Reformation: An Interview With Glenn S. Sunshine
Martin Luther (1483-1546)  
The 95 Theses, 490 Years Later
For Reformation Day:  An Insightful Documentary
Was Calvin a Calvinist?  Helm Weighs In 
He Turned the Water Into Wine: MacArthur, Alcohol, & Christian Liberty
Theology Thursday | Calvin on the Redemptive Necessity of the Resurrection
Calvinist Baptists and the Many (False) Misconceptions
"Without the Gospel": A Gem From John Calvin
Calvin on God in Theology and the Christian Life
Calvin on Providence
Calvin on Treasures in Heaven
Calvin on Fasting
Calvin on Prayer: Why Bother?
The Story of Martin Luther: An Interview With Michael Haykin
The Real Divide:  Luther, the Reformation, and the Fight Over Perspicuity - Part 1
The Real Divide:  Luther, the Reformation, and the Fight Over Perspicuity - Part 2
The Real Divide:  Luther, the Reformation, and the Fight Over Perspicuity - Part 3
The Real Divide:  Luther, the Reformation, and the Fight Over Perspicuity - Part 4
The Real Divide:  Luther, the Reformation, and the Fight Over Perspicuity - Part 5
The Real Divide: Luther, the Reformation, and the Fight Over Perspicuity - Part 6 
Christ Is The Head of the Church: MacArthur, Huss, & History's Sea of Blood


For more on John Knox and the Scottish Reformation:
"John Knox: An Introduction to His Life and Works" - A Review
"John Knox & the Reformation" by M. Lloyd-Jones & Iain Murray: A Review
"The Mighty Weakness of John Knox" by Douglas Bond: A Review
"John Knox" by Rosalind K. Marshall
Douglas Bond on the Legacy of John Knox
An Introduction to the Life and Works of Scottish Reformer John Craig
A Short Summary of the Whole Catechism: A New Translation - Introduction
A Short Summary of the Whole Catechism: A New Translation - Chapter 1
A Short Summary of the Whole Catechism - Chapter 2
A Short Summary of the Whole Catechism - Chapter  3
A Short Summary of the Whole Catechism - Chapter 4.1
A Short Summary of the Whole Catechism - Chapter 4.2
A Short Summary of the Whole Catechism - Chapter 4.3
A Short Summary of the Whole Catechism - Chapter 5.1
A Short Summary of the Whole Catechism - Chapter 5.2
A Short Summary of the Whole Catechism - Chapter 6.1
A Short Summary of the Whole Catechism - Chapter 6.2  

For Reformation Day: An Insightful Documentary

Every year while most are celebrating Halloween, many Christians, especially among the Reformed tradition, celebrate the nailing of the 95 Theses by Martin Luther on the Wittenburg Castle Church in Wittenburg, Germany in 1517.  This moment in history is considered by most to be the official birth of the Great Reformation that changed the world.

Martin Luther is one of the most significant historic figures in the past 500 years.  He changed the world and there is no doubt about that.  His ideas and his reformation rediscovered the transcendent, pure gospel and for that he deserves the attention he has been granted.

In honor of this important figure on this important anniversary (493 years later!), I encourage you to watch this 2-part documentary on the life, ministry, and theology of Martin Luther.  I have seen most of it and from what I have seen I am impressed and I enjoyed it very much.  Among the scholars interviewed for this PBS special is Alister McGraff who I consider to be among the smartest men and theologians/philosophers in the world today.


Part 1:





Part 2:





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Part 11:





Part 12:





Originally posted on October 31, 2011.


For more:
Martin Luther (1483-1546)  
The 95 Theses, 490 Years Later
Sola Fide and the Early Church: Quotes From the Patristics
For Reformation Day:  An Insightful Documentary  
Douglas Bond on the Legacy of John Knox 
"John Knox" by Rosalind K. Marshall  
The Mighty Weakness of John Knox 
Was Calvin a Calvinist?  Helm Weighs In 
He Turned the Water Into Wine: MacArthur, Alcohol, & Christian Liberty
Theology Thursday | Calvin on the Redemptive Necessity of the Resurrection
Calvinist Baptists and the Many (False) Misconceptions
The Real Divide:  Luther, the Reformation, and the Fight Over Perspicuity - Part 1
The Real Divide:  Luther, the Reformation, and the Fight Over Perspicuity - Part 2
The Real Divide:  Luther, the Reformation, and the Fight Over Perspicuity - Part 3
The Real Divide:  Luther, the Reformation, and the Fight Over Perspicuity - Part 4
The Real Divide:  Luther, the Reformation, and the Fight Over Perspicuity - Part 5
The Real Divide:  Luther, the Reformation, and the Fight Over Perspicuity - Part 6 
"Without the Gospel": A Gem From John Calvin
Calvin on God in Theology and the Christian Life
Calvin on Providence
Calvin on Treasures in Heaven
Calvin on Fasting
Calvin on Prayer: Why Bother?
"Young, Restless, and Reformed"
The Theology of the Reformers  
The Unquenchable Flame  
"On the Necessity of Reforming the Church" by John Calvin
John Calvin:  A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, & Doxology 
Christianity's Dangerous Idea 
"Five Leading Reformers"

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Providence and Prayer: Carson Response

Theologian and author DA Carson on the subject of prayer and providence.  Plenty here to think about:





Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Prolegomena 1 
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Prolegomena 2 
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Prolegomena 3
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Prolegomena 4  
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Prolegomena 5

Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 1
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 2 
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 3
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 4
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 5
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 6
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 7
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 8  
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 9
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 10

"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 1
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 2
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 3 
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 4
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 5 
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 6
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 7
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 8
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 10
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 11
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 12
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 13
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 14
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 15
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 16
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 17
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 18
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 19
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 20

"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 1
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 2
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 3
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 4
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 5 
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 6
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 7
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 8
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 9 


For More on Erickson:
Where to Begin?: Calvin on the Starting Point of Theology - The Knowledge of God & the Knowledge of Man
Wherefore Art Thou Theological Giants?
On Special Revelation: Dreams, Visions, Theophanies, and the Word of God 
Is Hell Real?: The Difference Between Emergent Agnostic Doctrine & Orthodoxy
Condemnation But No Justification: The Purpose of General Revelation
The Reservoir & Conduit of Divine Truth: Carl FH Henry on Revelation
Where is the Gospel? Charles Hodge & the Insufficiency of Natural Theology 
Exegetical Theology or Theological Exegesis?: DeYoung on the Both/And
A New Kind of Christianity . . . Indeed: The Authority Question - Part 2
Grudem on the Problems With Denying Inerrancy
Inerrancy and the Early Church
Divine Simplicity: Theology Proper For Liberals & Calvinists
The Immutability of God: Its Truth and Relevancy - Introduction
The Immutability of God: Its Truth and Relevancy - Scriptural Foundations
The Immutability of God: Its Truth and Relevancy - Scriptural Challenges
"Their God is Too Small": A Review
Tozer on Holiness  
"Knowing God": A Review
Justice and the Implications of Atheism: Doug Wilson Hits the Nail on Its Head
"The God Who Loves" by John MacArthur: A Review
"Godly Jealousy" by Erik Thoennes: A Review
Ryrie on the Names of God
"The Sovereignty of God" by A. W. Pink: A Review
DeYong on the Trinity
Does God Suffer?: Aquinas on Divine Impassibility
If God is Sovereign, Why Pray?: A Few Voices From the Past & Present - Part 1
If God is Sovereign, Why Pray?: A Few Voices From the Past & Present - Part 2
Some Things Never Change: Why Evolution Is Contrary to the Gospel


For more on Creation & Providence:
A Must Read: Evolution's Theory of Perhapses and Maybes
Some Things Never Change: Why Evolution Is Contrary to the Gospel
Doubting Darwinian Fundamentalism: Olasky on Evolution's Heresy Hunters
On Why Darwin Still Matters
"Does Revelation Teach Us Evolution?": The Prince of Preachers on the Question of Evolution
Expelled: A Film About Freedom, Evolution, and Intelligent Design
The Mising Story: Ida and the Search For Secular Validation
There Is No Such Thing As Atheists: Hawking's Curious Theism
Before There Was Time: Hawking on the Origina of Everything
Evolution Animated & Refuted
"Our Beliefs Are Formed First": Michael Shermer and the Truth About Science
"In the Beginning God" by John Lennox
We're a Bunch of Idiots: The Extent of Vanity Fair's Argument Against Creationism
Does God Suffer?: Aquinas on Divine Impassibility

"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 11

Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Prolegomena 1 
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Prolegomena 2 
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Prolegomena 3
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Prolegomena 4  
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Prolegomena 5

Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 1
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 2 
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 3
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 4
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 5
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 6
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 7
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 8  
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 9
Christian Theology: Blogging Through Erickson - Bibliology 10

"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 1
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 2
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 3 
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 4
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 5 
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 6
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 7
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 8
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 10
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 11
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 12
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 13
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 14
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 15
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 16
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 17
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 18
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 19
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Theology Proper 20

"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 1
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 2
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 3
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 4
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 5 
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 6
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 7
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 8
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 9
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 10
"Christian Theology": Blogging Through Erickson - Creation/Providence 11


Erickson helpfully divides the doctrine of God's providence into two categories: The Sustaining of Creation and the Governing of Creation. The former regards God holding creation in His hand. He holds it together and it is because of God's sustaining work in creation that the laws of nature are predictable and we can live. The latter category will consume our time here. Erickson rightly suggests that God is actively directing the whole of reality and the course of history to God's ends. It is the actual execution, within timeof his plans devised in eternity. (420)

It is helpful, then, to lay out the case where Scripture clearly affirms that God exercises His providence over creation. Below shows, from Scripture, what God is provident over:

  1. Nature (1 Kings 17:4-6; Job 9:5-9, 37; Psalm 104:14, 21-29; 135:5-7; 147:8-15; Matt. 5:45; Matt. 6:25-30; Mark 4:39; Luke 8:25) - God is described as controlling nature, so much so that its elements are personified as obeying his voice. (420)
  2. Satan, Demons, and Supernatural Creation (Job; Matt 4:11; 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-17)
  3. Human History and the Destination of Nations (Job 12:23; Ps. 47:7-8; 66:7; Isa 10:5-13; Daniel 2:21; 4:24-25; Acts 17:26) 
  4. Individual Persons (Hannah in 1 Samuel 1-2; Ps. 31:14-15; 75:6-10; Luke 1:52; Rom. 12:3-6; Gal. 1:15-16; 1 Cor. 4:6-7; 12:4-11)
  5. Accidental Occurrences (Exod. 21:13; Esther 4:14; Prov. 16:33; Jonah 1:7; Acts 1:23-26)
  6. Free Actions of Humans (Exod 3:21; 12:35-36; 1 Samuel 24; Ezra 7:27; Ps. 16:1; 19:21; 33:15)
  7. Sinful Actions of Humans (2 Samuel 16:10-11; 24:1; 1 Chron. 21:1; Acts 2:23; 2 Thess 2:10-12) 
God is provident. The above list is crucial. Whenever people speak of human autonomy, oftentimes in Pelagian terms, they are doing so apart from the clear revelation of Scripture. Even the sinful actions of man are under the providential control of God. This is not the place to discuss some of the implications of that (God does not rejoice in sin), but it is crucial to see that there are no limits on the providence of God.


For More on Erickson:
Where to Begin?: Calvin on the Starting Point of Theology - The Knowledge of God & the Knowledge of Man
Wherefore Art Thou Theological Giants?
On Special Revelation: Dreams, Visions, Theophanies, and the Word of God 
Is Hell Real?: The Difference Between Emergent Agnostic Doctrine & Orthodoxy
Condemnation But No Justification: The Purpose of General Revelation
The Reservoir & Conduit of Divine Truth: Carl FH Henry on Revelation
Where is the Gospel? Charles Hodge & the Insufficiency of Natural Theology 
Exegetical Theology or Theological Exegesis?: DeYoung on the Both/And
A New Kind of Christianity . . . Indeed: The Authority Question - Part 2
Grudem on the Problems With Denying Inerrancy
Inerrancy and the Early Church
Divine Simplicity: Theology Proper For Liberals & Calvinists
The Immutability of God: Its Truth and Relevancy - Introduction
The Immutability of God: Its Truth and Relevancy - Scriptural Foundations
The Immutability of God: Its Truth and Relevancy - Scriptural Challenges
"Their God is Too Small": A Review
Tozer on Holiness  
"Knowing God": A Review
Justice and the Implications of Atheism: Doug Wilson Hits the Nail on Its Head
"The God Who Loves" by John MacArthur: A Review
"Godly Jealousy" by Erik Thoennes: A Review
Ryrie on the Names of God
"The Sovereignty of God" by A. W. Pink: A Review
DeYong on the Trinity
Does God Suffer?: Aquinas on Divine Impassibility
All Aspects of Our Lives Are Preordained: Grudem on Providence & God's Plan
If God is Sovereign, Why Pray?: A Few Voices From the Past & Present - Part 1
If God is Sovereign, Why Pray?: A Few Voices From the Past & Present - Part 2
"Lofty" by Propaganda, Beautiful Euology & Joel
Some Things Never Change: Why Evolution Is Contrary to the Gospel
Calvin on Providence  


For more on Creation & Providence:
Calvinism on Providence
Providence and Prayer: Carson Response
Repost | "A Sweet & Bitter Providence" by John Piper
Tony Evans on God and Purpose
September 19, 2010 - God is Provident
April 29, 2012 | Ruth 1:1-22 - Better or Bitter: When Providence Means Suffering
May 6, 2012 | Ruth 2:1-13 - And It Just So Happened ...: When God's Invisible Hand Becomes Visible 
May 20, 2012 | Ruth 2:14-23 - Grace in Abundance: That's Why Its So Amazing
May 27, 2012 | Ruth 3:1-9 - Resting in the Providence of God - Part 1
June 10, 2012 | Ruth 4:1-15 - When Providence and Grace Kiss
May 29, 2011 | Habakkuk 2:2-20
August 1, 2010 - Matthew 6:25-34 - Worry and the Providence of God: What Our Anxiety Says About What We Believe About God

Monday, October 29, 2012

"Salvation" by Lewis Sperry Chafer: A Review

Should you, reader of this book, be uncertain of your salvation, or know that you are not saved, will you not respond to the loving invitation of your God and come to Him by the way He has provided in the Person and cross of His Son? Think not that He expects anything from you but your whole trust in Him until He has first saved you by His grace. He will faithfully do according to His Word the moment you have chosen positively to rest your salvation in His saving power and grace alone. After you have thus believed, he purposes to supply all the enabling power to meet all the problems and the needs of your daily life. You need not fear, only believe His Word. His wisdom, strength and bounty are sufficient for you. -117

That is how the final chapter of Lewis Spery Chafer's classic book Salvation: God's Marvelous Work of Grace begins. The book, as the final chapter is called, is an appeal for the sinner to come to Christ and to embrace the gospel. This classic is an evangelistic in its nature, but it certainly is not a track where the gospel is over-simplified. Instead, the theologian walks the reader through every basic aspect of the gospel from sin to the cross to the atonement to the resurrection to redemption to the sinner's response to the believers benefits to the assurance of salvation to eternal salvation and to our final destination.

Chafer pounds the pages with Scripture references. He helpfully provides a Scriptural index in the back of the book which reveals just how prevalent the Bible is in this book. Oftentimes Chafer will state and thesis and essentially list a number of passages that defend his argument.

There were many moments where I was shouting, "Amen!" In the third chapter of the book Chafer deals with those who challenge the doctrine of penal substitution. It reads as if he were writing today. He points out the empty rhetoric of his day and ours that suggests that the cross makes Christ a victim of an abusive, vindictive Father (the cross is "divine child abuse" for example). Chafer rightly condemns and corrects any notion of immorality in believing in substituionary atonement.

Though there were many Amens, there is one section in particular that highly disappointed me. Chafer was a leading voice in the Lordship controversy that argued that one only needs to believe, but not repent. This is not the place to fully lay out everything regarding the Lordship controversy of a few decades ago. However, Chafer dedicates a large section of one chapter to this issue. He painstakingly suggests and tries to defend the notion that repentance is not necessary for salvation. His argument is weak. One is hard pressed to read the Old or the New Testament without seeing that God demands repentance from His children.

Overall, however, this is a great book. Though I have some reservations in certain sections, this is an extremely helpful book in laying out the gospel. Although I would not put it into the hands of a lost person for various reasons, it is a helpful guide to those who might be considering embracing the gospel and also to believers who need to hear that message again (and we all need to daily!). If you can get by the Lordship issue (and that is an important issue to say the least), this is an excellent read.


This book was given to me courtesy of Kregel Publications for the purpose of this review.


For more:
"Precious Blood": A Review
The Problems With Penal Substitution: McLaren on the Atonement
Brian McLaren and Emergent Soteriology:  From Cultural Accommodation to the Social Gospel 
God as Butcher: McLaren on Penal Substitution
Its Not Just a Theory: Stott on Penal Substitution
Theology Thursday | Does McLaren Reject Penal Substitution: A Review of the Evidence
"Salvation Brings Imitation": Piper on Christus Exemplar 
The Postmodern Social Gospel:  Brian McLaren Proves My Point  
Allison: A History of the Doctrine of the Atonement  
Where Theology and Life Intersect: A Theological Case for Christus Exemplar and Why It is Necessary - Part 1 - Introduction
Where Theology and Life Intersect: A Theological Case for Christus Exemplar and Why It is Necessary - Part 2 - Christus Exemplar and the doctrine of sin and depravity
Where Theology and Life Intersect: A Theological Case for Christus Exemplar and Why It is Necessary - Part 3 - The History of Christus Exemplar
Where Theology and Life Intersect: A Theological Case for Christus Exemplar and Why It is Necessary - Part 4 - Christus Exemplar and Humility
 Does McLaren Reject Penal Substitution:  A Look at the Evidence
"Death by Love" by Mark Driscoll
"In My Place, Condemned He Stood"
"It is Well"
"The Lost Message of Jesus"

All Around the Web: Links For Your Monday - October 29, 2012

Ligonier Ministries - The Importance of God's Immutability | My favorite Theology Proper doctrine.

Which, in the end, is why His immutability is so vitally important. This attribute is that which enables us to depend on God to be God. It is why we can be certain that every excellency, every perfection, indeed every promise of God is utterly inviolable. He shall not be moved. Jonathan Edwards wisely pointed out that this is one of the reasons the heathen hate him so much. They have other potent enemies. But those enemies can grow weak. They have other angry enemies, but they can be calmed. They have other knowing enemies, but they can be fooled. The God of heaven and earth, on the other hand, will never cease to be all-powerful. His wrath will never turn from sin. And His eyes will never grow dim.

This same attribute, however, redounds to the good of those who love Him. Last night, as with many nights, I gathered my two littlest boys, Reilly and Donovan, before bed. I read to them a rather silly story about a robot and a goat in search of a missing sock. They snuggled up to me as we read, and later as we said our bedtime prayers. Finally, I sang to them their lullabies, one of which comes, in our evening liturgy, complete with shaking, squeezing and giggling. It is a precious time for all three of us, and they go to bed at peace having heard me pray these words, “Lord help these boys to know that daddy loves them, mommy loves them, mommy and daddy love each other, and you love them.”


The Blaze - Man Who Jumped From ‘Edge of Space’ Describes What It Felt Like |




CNBC - Here's How Much Candidates Spend to Get Your Vote |

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are spending a combined $26.86 every second this election cycle, as a binge of campaign spending deluges voters with rallies, banners, and of course, TV ads.

The figure comes from a grand total of nearly $1.5 billion spent by both sides just through September. And that works out to about $70 million per month, and more than $2.3 million every day, according to data provided by the Federal Election Commission.
No wonder both candidates spend so much time in fundraisers
.


Trevin Wax - What Happens if the Electoral College is Tied? |




Jimmy Kimmel does it again:

Saturday, October 27, 2012

"The Choice 2012": A Documentary

PBS has put together a helpful 2 hour documentary looking at the life of both Presidential candidates called The Choice 2012.





For more:
Three Weeks Until the Election: My Electoral Map Prediction
Obama vs. Romney: Round 1
Obama vs. Romney: Round 2

All Around the Web: Links For Your Weekend - October 27, 2012

The Cripple Gate - 40 reasons to be part of a local church | Here are the first 20

  1. Stimulate one another to love and good deeds (Heb 10:24)
  2. Confess your sins to one another (James 5:16)
  3. Build up one another (1 Thess 5:11)
  4. Be of the same mind as one another (Romans 12:13, 15:5)
  5. Comfort one another in the face of death (1 Thess 4:18)
  6. Employ your spiritual gifts in serving one another (1 Peter 4:10)
  7. Pray for one another (James 5:16)
  8. Be devoted to one another (Romans 12:10)
  9. Be at peace with one another (Mark 9:50)
  10. Encourage one another (1 Thess 5:11)
  11. Greet one another (2 Cor 13:12)
  12. Don’t become boastful in challenging one another (Gal 5:26)
  13. Be kind to one another (Eph 4:32)
  14. Abound in love for one another (1 Peter 1:22)
  15. Live in peace with one another (1 Thess 5:13)
  16. Love one another (2 John 5)
  17. Fervently love one another (1 Peter 1:22)
  18. Have fellowship with one another (1 John 1:7)
  19. Don’t judge one another (Romans 14:13)
  20. Take communion (the Lord’s Table) with one another (1 Cor 11:33)

Trevin Wax - 10 Questions a Pro-Choice Candidate Is Never Asked by the Media |

2. In 2010, The Economist featured a cover story on “the war on girls” and the growth of “gendercide” in the world – abortion based solely on the sex of the baby. Does this phenomenon pose a problem for you or do you believe in the absolute right of a woman to terminate a pregnancy because the unborn fetus is female?
3. In many states, a teenager can have an abortion without her parents’ consent or knowledge but cannot get an aspirin from the school nurse without parental authorization. Do you support any restrictions or parental notification regarding abortion access for minors? . . .
5. Currently, when genetic testing reveals an unborn child has Down Syndrome, most women choose to abort. How do you answer the charge that this phenomenon resembles the “eugenics” movement a century ago – the slow, but deliberate “weeding out” of those our society would deem “unfit” to live?
6. Do you believe an employer should be forced to violate his or her religious conscience by providing access to abortifacient drugs and contraception to employees?
7. Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King, Jr. has said that “abortion is the white supremacist’s best friend,” pointing to the fact that Black and Latinos represent 25% of our population but account for 59% of all abortions. How do you respond to the charge that the majority of abortion clinics are found in inner-city areas with large numbers of minorities?




Dr. Thom Rainer - Bullentin Bloopers . . . Again | These never get old.

It's Drug Awareness Week: Get involved in drugs before your children do.
Illiterate? Write to the church office for help.
The class on prophecy has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances
.


Christianity Today - Ted Haggard says gay marriage should be legal | In other news, we breath air.

Evangelical pastor Ted Haggard appears to have changed his earlier position against same-sex marriage.

In an online debate, the pastor who was involved in a sex and drug scandal six years ago said that while biblical law was against homosexual marriage, the state should allow it.

"We've reached a point where human dignity and mutual respect is so important," Haggard said in a recent online debate with Rabbi Benjamin Hecht, director of Orthodox Jewish think tank Nishma.

Responding to the question, "Should same-sex marriage be allowed by the state?" he went on to say, "If someone is dealing with same-sex attraction or homosexuality, and they want someone to be their life partner of the same gender, though we would oppose that in our churches, it should be allowed by the state
."


Euangelion - William Lane Craig “Eastwooding” Richard Dawkins | This is good. Beyond the empty chair bit, this is a helpful video that defends the moral argument for the existence of God.




Novus Lumen - Reviewing Brian McLaren’s New Book “Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?”—Introduction | Here is part 1 of a helpful review of McLaren's new book. I post it only because it is a good critique. McLaren is irrelevant.

Brian McLaren reminds me a lot of Thomas Jefferson: He conveniently ignores large portions of the Holy Scripture that do not conform to His worldview.

Jefferson is known to have cobbled together a Bible that cut out the miracles of Jesus and supernatural elements of the Gospels, because they didn’t conform to his modern, Enlightenment worldview. Similarly, in his newest book, Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?: Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World, McLaren has ignored entire portions of the Bible that don’t conform to his postmodern, pluralism worldview.

He has ignored the Lord’s command to Israel to not worship any other God but YHWH. He has ignored the anger and judgement of God over Israel’s pervasive pattern of idolatry throughout the Old Testament. He has ignored the New Testament’s teachings that Jesus Christ Himself is the only one true God. He has ignored Scripture’s teachings on salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone, that there is no under name under heaven by which a person can be rescued.

Like Jefferson, McLaren has conveniently ignored the Bible in favor of a Christian religious identity that isn’t actually Christian. Instead, it is fundamentally foreign to the Holy Scripture and historic Christian faith
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NT Blog - The Bible Series, History Channel, 2013 | This sounds promising.

In Spring next year, History Channel will be airing a new ten-part series entitled The Bible.  It dramatizes key narratives from the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, and it is executive produced by Mark Burnett (The Voice, Survivor, The Apprentice) and Roma Downey (Touched by an Angel).  It is produced by Lightworkers Media.  There are short Wikipedia and IMDB entries which will no doubt get expanded as the air date approaches.


Washington Times - U.N. report calls for decriminalizing prostitution | The title says enough. I found the following the most ridiculous.

The report also called for euphemisms.

“The terms ‘prostitution’ and ‘prostitute’ have negative connotations and are considered by advocates of sex workers to be stigmatizing,” said the 210-page report, authored by Australian human rights lawyer John Godwin.

“The term ‘sex work’ is preferred,” said the report, issued by the UNDP, the U.N. Population Fund, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and several nongovernmental organizations across Asia
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This is a real ad from the President of the United States appealing to the American people for a second term.