I was sitting down to write and noticed the following comment in my “spam” section. The woman posted this on my “About” page so I’m assuming she is responding to the post, Abortion Is Murder. That post is more than 30 days old, therefore it will not take any more comments, so she posted on the only place she could find that would let her. Her comments didn’t make the cut, however, because she put her link in it, and it went to spam. I’m grateful for that. I would give you her link to her page, but I found it quite troubling. She is a member of the Worldwide Church of God, and one who espouses the only true Bible is the King James Version. So I’m not looking to dialogue with her, that would be unfruitful. I do like the challenge of answering her though, and do so on my terms. I hope you don’t think that is unjust or unfair, but save any judgment concerning this until after you have read the post.
In the Reformation, the Reformed Churches appealed to the unrevoked divine promises to Abraham, “I will be a God to you and to your children, which the Apostle Peter reiterated in Acts 2:39 and thus confessed infant baptism as essential to the Reformed faith and practice. In contrast, as Denault observes, the Baptists wanted to know who were the regenerate and to restrict the visible church to them. The two traditions read Jeremiah 31:31–34 quite differently.
R. Scott Clark, The Reformed Churches Confess Infant Baptism.
It is only gross ignorance of the requirements of God’s law which makes people undervalue the Gospel. The man who has the clearest view of the moral law, will always be the man who has the highest sense of the value of Christ’s atoning blood.
J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on Mark, Chapter XII, 28–34.
The Gospel is transcultural and in a sense, hyper-cultural, or above all cultural interpretations, judging them all. The Gospel is identical in every culture into which it comes and has no cultus as a referent which is not subordinate. As such there is no “Chinese Gospel” and a “European Gospel” an American Gospel and an African Gospel. There is exactly one Bible, one Gospel, one Christ and one Church, and these have no shift nor can they be, contextualized. These rather, are the context for every other thing that claims to be, Christianity.
In this, the ordained practice of the Church, prayer and praise, sacraments and worship, preaching and teaching, singing and believing, are identical in every true church. For them to differ does not mean that a church has a different cultural context, it implies that some church has a misunderstanding. Difference in the carpet color and the style of the architecture are the effects of applied human reason; it is hard for them to be “wrong” in the significant sense.
But differences in theology raise the necessity of someone being wrong. In the laws of God, the Gospel and the signs of a true church (the right preaching, right administration of the sacraments and the exercise of church discipline) these are either in accord with the divine mandate, or not. It matters not upon which continent they occur.
Taken from Christopher Neiswonger’s Facebook post, which can be found here.
In other words, on interpreting Scripture:
Is it proper/appropriate to interpret according to our own wishes or standards? No, arbitrary interpretation does not generally extract the meaning of a passage, it merely reflects the reader’s biases, not the author’s intentions. The notion that we are free to interpret a text by our arbitrary wishes is self-contradictory; anyone espousing such a view would have to assume that his statement would itself not be subject to arbitrary interpretation. The “correct interpretation” is defined to be the one that matches the meaning of a passage — the author’s intentions. The one-meaning principle is the fact that a given proposition generally has exactly one primary meaning, and thus exactly one correct interpretation.
Do words have meaning? Yes. The statement “Words do not have meaning” is self-refuting because it presupposes that words do have meaning. If it is true, it’s false. Therefore, it’s false. To deny that words have meaning is the deconstructionist fallacy.
On the face of it, the claim that there is “gender apartheid” in NAPARC is not only implausible but even offensive. First, those who make the claim did so on their own, public podcast. Under apartheid black South Africans were not freely, without government interference, doing the equivalent of podcasts. Our podcasters were in no danger of authorities breaking down the door of their studio. Indeed, our podcasters have the ability to control with whom they will talk—they block on social media even the mildest critics and potential dialogue partners. Further, our female podcasters were theologically educated or had other advanced academic degrees. Again, for prosperous females in North America, who have earned masters and doctoral degrees, to complain of apartheid is just silly. It is offensive because it demeans the very real oppression that black South Africans suffered under apartheid. It is the equivalent of comparing standing in line at Starbucks to standing in a chow line in prison. It is not a thoughtful way to argue.
R. Scott Clark, “Gender Apartheid” And “Toxic Masculinity” In NAPARC?
Can truth be relative to the individual? No, because the statement “truth is relative” is an absolute statement. If it’s true, it’s false. Therefore, it’s false. To deny the absolute nature of truth is the relativist fallacy.
Dr. Jason Lisle Understanding Genesis: How ot Analyze, Interpret and Defend Scripture.