Helpful definitions – polemicist

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Sometimes polemicists can sound cranky – get past this, they have work to do!


“Yes, pastors can be polemicsts. Furthermore, pastors must be polemicists.

“First, a definition. A ‘polemicist’ is one who does polemics, and polemics is the field of theological study in which we contend for the truth (Jude 1:3) by demolishing arguments raised against God (2 Corinthians 10:5), always being careful to train the powers of our discernment with constant practice (Hebrews 5:14). In particular, polemics – as opposed to the broader field of apologetics – is typically contending with those who claim to be Christians, recognizing that there are many anti-christs who all bear His name, but are opposed to His mission, message and purpose (1 John 2:18).”

J D Hall

PolemicsReport

“A Pastor and a Polemicist?”


Jude 1:3

Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.

2 Corinthians 10:5

We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

Hebrews 5:14

But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

1 John 2:18 

Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.

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Go read! Armchair Theologian


“The claim of some is that you don’t find the teaching of Justification Sola Fide (Faith Alone) in the Church until the reformation. As before, it is not just Roman Catholics that assert this. So to put this accusation to rest I have assembled a sample of Patristic quotes below from the same source used in my prior post. . .

“. . .The point is this, Sola Fide can be demonstrated very easily in the writings of the early Church. The truth of the Reformation is not a truth added to Christianity but the very Gospel itself restored. Don’t let anyone tell you that Sola Fide is a new doctrine. . .”

Church Fathers on Sola Fide

ACTheologian

About ACTheologian
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“I am a layman who blogs my Biblical studies. Enjoy, please read with an open Bible and do double check with your pastor.”
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ACTheologian is a Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Christian and a former Seventh Day Adventist.
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Quote of the day – William Carey, missionary to India

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File:William Carey.jpg“In one period the grossest ignorance and barbarism prevailed in the world; and afterwards, in a more enlightened age, the most daring infidelity, and contempt of God; so that the world which was once over-run with ignorance, now by wisdom knew not God, but changed the glory of the incorruptible God as much as in the most barbarous ages, into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Nay, as they increased in science and politeness, they ran into more abundant and extravagant idolatries.”

William Carey

An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens (1792)

HT: Wikiquotes

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What if we began over again on an island paradise . . .?

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. . . And had a fresh start at being Christians in this sinful, sad world. Could we do better than those who went before us if we made a change? 


It’s been more than a week since I read a post that concerns me, and at last I’ve decided to respond. Mel Wild, of In My Father’s House blog, posted about a hypothetical island where we could start again by preaching a minimal Gospel (four passages about God’s love) to the inhabitants and with it build a vibrant Christian community from the ground up. 

Everything you need to know in ten minutes

“What if you only had ten minutes to show a group of people on a remote island everything they needed to know in order to grow into a vibrant Christian community, and you could only give them four Bible verses (they have no Bibles)? What would you share with them?  To keep it simple, we’ll assume these islanders have heard about Jesus and a few popular Bible stories…

“Here’s what I would share. And I believe, if they followed it, I could reasonably expect to come back 2o years later and find a strong authentic Christian community, filled with believers living out a vibrant faith in Christ…”

16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. (1 John 3:16)

19 We love because he first loved us.  (1 John 4:19)

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.  (John 15:9)

23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17:23)

Questions and thoughts. 

Has the Church truly failed? Have God’s children down through the ages failed to win the world because we’ve preached that man is a sinner instead of chiefly stressing God’s love? Did William Carey, pioneer of modern missions, fail because he saw so few converts initially? Did the Apostle Paul fail when Agrippa wasn’t persuaded to be a Christian? And ultimately, knowing how many people rejected the Lord Jesus Christ, did He fail? 

Will more people come to the Lord if we simply major on love? This passage from Romans is the testimony of Scripture about unregenerate human nature, and since it is true of all people, it will be true of the islanders – those Mel would be preaching to.

Romans 3

10 As it is written:

“There is none righteous, no, not one;
11 There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God.
12 They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one.”
13 Their throat is an open tomb;
With their tongues they have practiced deceit”;
“The poison of asps is under their lips”;
14 “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways;
17 And the way of peace they have not known.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

We were all blind to our sinfulness before the Lord drew us to Jesus. How can people be saved unless they learn of their guilt and need for the Saviour? The Cross is our message. It is the demonstration of God’s love to sinners. 

Romans 5:8

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

1 Corinthians 15

15 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.

To be loving is to preach both our need and God’s Good News, and we can’t do this with a few verses. We certainly can’t make disciples that way because this contradicts Jesus’ command: “19 ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.”

So preaching about sin is essential. The Lord commands all men everywhere to repent for He has fixed the day when He will judge us. We must warn others. This is love.

Acts 17

30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31 because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

Again, if all that the people on the island have are a few verses instead of the whole counsel of God, they will not grow up into Christ. In the comments on the post, one reader stated, “Like you said they have no bible and neither did the early church,” and Mel agreed with this. But the early church did have Scripture, the God-breathed Old Testament, and the epistles and Revelation as they were written and disseminated.

Mel is optimistic about his Christian ‘experiment’ that “. . .I could reasonably expect to come back 2o years later and find a strong authentic Christian community, filled with believers living out a vibrant faith in Christ.” But because of human nature – as well as the reality that there will be tares among any wheat – we can be sure that the island community will have the same evils as we have. 

Men will hate love itself when love must be on God’s holy terms, and we need to warn them of judgment and not give them a false sense of security in ‘God’s unconditional love.’ 

Hebrews 12

28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.

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Preachers, are you studying to be zealous for the Lord? A Spurgeon Quote

Please read this short and important post – it is essential for pastors and teachers, but truly helpful for all of us!

The Domain for Truth

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In Charles Spurgeon’s Lectures to My Students the famous Victorian Era preacher he has a chapter on “Earnestness: Its Marring and Maintenance.”  I appreciated how Spurgeon talked about how the preacher could have his zeal or earnestness marred through various predicaments.  Among them is the lack of studying.

I’ll let Spurgeon speak for himself as he said it better than I could:

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