The Omnitemporality of God: Why God Can Forgive the Sins of Old Testament Saints Because of the Death of Jesus Before the Actual Death of Jesus Occured

trinityBadmanna has written a fantastic blog on the omnitemporality of God and why this attribute allows him to forgive the sins of Saints which occurred before the atonement of Christ. This is a solid read, be sure to click through and visit the entire blog.

“The Omnitemporality of God or why God can forgive the sins of the Old Testament saints because of the death of Jesus before the actual death of Jesus occured in time”

“How old is God? One popular answer is to say that God is infinitely old. However that is incorrect. God does not have an age as such, not even an infinite age. What time is it for God? There are 24 time zones in the world. Which one does He dwell in? To specify an exact time is to mis-understand what God is like. An atheist, no doubt, would exploit such conundrums about God and time and assert that God cannot exist. Some believers might dismiss such questions as esoteric or trite. However, God’s relationship to time is an important theological issue that Christians have wrestled with since the days of the early church.”

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A Survey of Church History by Dr. W. Robert Godfrey

Ligonier Ministries has put together a comprehensive lecture series on early church history that will help you develop an understanding of how God has sustained his church from it’s inception. This series is simple, solid, and affordable. If you are looking to develop a strong apologetic concerning attacks against the early church, this is the series for you.

Part 1, A.D. 100-600

Many committed, knowledgeable believers still know little about the history of the church. As a result, they’re missing a testament to God’s steadfastness over the centures. Now, a monumental new teaching series sheds crucial light on church history, demonstrating God’s promise to build and preserve his church so that “the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18).

Join Dr. Robert Godfrey as he takes believers through the first twelve lectures of what will be a sixty-lecture series covering theology, apologetics, notable church fathers, and much more.

For access to all 12 lectures in part 1 click here. Each lecture is made available for $2.00 and can be downloaded separately. Both video and audio are available.

Click here for a free study guide.

Wonderfully Made? A Response to Doug Pagitt

Back in 2008, Doug Pagitt wrote a book titled, “A Christianity Worth Believing“. In the book he undermines the biblical notion of depravity by contrasting it with the biblical mention of being “wonderfully made”, as if the two concepts are somehow contradictory. Normally it’s best to let sleeping dogs lie, however Pagitt’s work has been reprinted in a recent article from Faith and Fitness, which can be read here. Understanding the concept of man’s sinful condition is paramount to understanding and receiving God’s salvation by grace through faith. Furthermore without such a condition, words such as “grace” and “mercy” are redefined and concepts such as “redemption”, “atonement”, and “salvation” take on different subjective meanings. So there’s a lot riding on what the bible has to say about man’s sinful state and the idea of depravity.

In true emergent fashion, the article kicks off with an emotional story about bullying. Pagitt recalls a time back in junior high when a young girl was bullied and ridiculed while riding the bus to school. Of course we’re all appalled at the bully’s behavior and we all feel for the girl. This story seems like an odd way to intro until you continue reading and realize the story is the backdrop for Pagitt’s comparison of man being wonderfully made vs. man’s sinful depravity. Guess who gets to be the bully in Pagitt’s comparison…the church of course.

As ridiculous as this false dichotomy Pagitt attempts to draw is, it’s a good question and it deserves a discussion. I should say it deserves a look at the biblical text, free from nonsensical stories which attempt to pull the reader into emotion and out of what the verses actually say. Does the fact that man is “fearfully and wonderfully made” as Psalm 139:14 puts it, contradict or undermine the biblical assertion of total depravity? Not only does it not, but contextually it’s not possible. Let’s take a look.

Psalm 139:14 is about man’s physical form, not his nature.

Pagitt makes a mistake a lot of people tend to make which is importing their own definition of what they think a word or phrase means rather than looking at all the verses in context. “Hey look everyone this verse says we are wonderfully made, this must mean we’re all genuinely good people, we aren’t depraved.” A simple look at Psalm 139:14 and the verses after it confirm that the psalmist is speaking about God’s craftsmanship in relation to creating man’s physical being, not man’s inward nature. How do we know this?

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.” Psalm 139:14-16

So contextually speaking it’s not possible for Pagitt to compare and contrast “wonderfully made” vs. “man’s depravity” and pit them against each other because they’re two different subjects dealing with two different aspects of man, namely man’s physical form and his inward nature. Pagitt spends much of the article speaking about a “bully” kind of Christianity where we are taught that we live with a sin nature and comparing it with the notion of being wonderfully made, which presents a false dichotomy that isn’t possible if the reader simply keeps reading past verse 14. This should be enough to establish the idea that man can be crippled with a nature to sin and yet his physical form be wonderfully made by God’s purposeful hand, however since Pagitt wants to speak about the church as if we have depravity all wrong, lets simply take a look at what the bible has to say about depravity and man’s sinful nature,

Is man’s inward nature bent towards good or evil?

among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” Ephesians 2:3

for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” Genesis 8:21

For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” Mark 7:21-23

just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned – for before the law was given, sin was in the world.” Romans 5:12-13

For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.” Romans 5:19

Are all men sinful in nature or just a few?

For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.” Romans 11:32

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6

What about man’s heart and mind? Is that depraved too?

Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.” Ecclesiastes 9:3

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.” Colossians 1:21

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.” Romans 7:18

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9

to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.” Titus 1:15

Apart from Christ, can man change his sinful inward nature?

Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.” John 8:34

For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.” Titus 3:3

Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods.” Galatians 4:8

For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.” Romans 6:6

These verses are just a drop in the proverbial bucket when it comes to the biblical description of man’s depravity towards himself, others, and to God. Furthermore if Pagitt wants to compare and contrast wonderfully made, he can’t even make it out of the same book he misinterprets from without it contradicting his premise.

The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies.” Psalms 58:3

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Psalm 51:5

Man’s depravity, God’s power.

Man’s depravity is the backdrop by which God displays his power unto salvation and is the precursor by which we begin to understand his grace, mercy, and love towards us. Isaiah 53:10 says the Lord was pleased “to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt…“. It was the Lord’s will to offer Christ as a what? A guilt offering. How do we know God loves us? As Romans 5:8 says, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Guilt, sin, love, offering…these are inescapable terms.

Pagitt claims man’s true destiny, “has been papered over by a version of the creation story I like to call “From Very Good to Really, Really Bad.” Other people call it “The Fall.” However he never presents anything other than a piece of one verse to make his point. And even then his interpretation of that verse contradicts the following verses making it impossible for it to mean what he claims it means. So who is doing the “papering over” here? On one hand we have verse after verse describing man’s sinful and depraved state and 2000 years of orthodox interpretation and on the other hand we have a piece of one verse taken out of context and a lot of pictures and stories of irrelevant issues such as bullying and children. Pagitt then ends by saying, “But the deeper I go in my Christianity, the more I feel compelled to be the bus driver. I can’t sit by as someone tells me, my children, my friends, that they suck, that they are evil to the core. And I certainly can’t stand to have that perverted message be the imposter of the gospel of Jesus. I need to be someone who steps between the abusive accusations and the victim. I need to be someone who whispers the truth.

What Pagitt seems to miss is all throughout the scriptures God himself is the one telling us we are evil to the core. Verse after verse of God describing man as fallen, wicked, alienated and in need of a new nature. Can anyone turn on the news or take a simple honest look at themselves without acknowledging that something is terribly wrong within man’s own heart? Pagitt calls the notion of Christ’s redemption of man’s depraved nature “a perverted message of the gospel of Jesus“. However, Paul says in the intro to Galatians the true message of Jesus is that he, “gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father“. So not only is the gospel of Jesus salvation from our sin, but it was God the Father who ordained it. Paul has strong words for whoever seeks to pervert this message. “Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!” Pagitt claims that the notion of depravity perverts Christ message, but Paul condemns and curses those who try to undermine it because they distort God’s plan of redemption through salvation. Pagitt goes on to play the victim/hero card by saying, “I need to be someone who steps between the abusive accusations and the victim.” I wonder if Pagitt has thought through the blasphemous implications of his statement and worldview considering the Holy Spirit’s role in our lives is to, “prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment.

So who’s the real victim here? You? Me? Pagitt? According to Psalm 51:4 the real victim in all of our depravity is God. “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.” The whole premise of this article is Pagitt’s insinuation, “hey we’re not so bad after all”. Ironically the article only underscores man’s depravity by highlighting the depths that man plunge in order to get out from under God’s truth. Those who can’t bring themselves to reject God outright, seek to redefine him.

1600 Martyn Lloyd-Jones Sermons Available for Free

Don’t pray for healing, don’t try to hold me back from the glory.” Martyn Lloyd-Jones

1600 Martyn Lloyd-Jones sermons are now available for free to download. Incredible resource. Click here.

This is probably the biggest announcement the MLJ Trust will ever make. Starting from tomorrow, April 12th, all 1,600 recorded sermons by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones will be available to download, at no cost, to anyone who wants to listen to them! There are no exceptions, so the Ephesians sermons, Romans sermons, etc. will all be available (it will take a few days to make sure that they are all included in the library). All one has to do is join the MLJ Library (membership is free of course) and start to download! Simply go to our newly updated site at http://www.mljtrust.org and click on “MLJ Library”.” – Jonathan Catherwood

HT: The Gospel Coalition

A Quick Introduction to the New Testament by D.A. Carson and Douglas Moo FREE on Amazon Kindle

Zondervan has released an 80 page book titled, “A Quick Introduction to the New Testament” by D.A. Carson and Douglas Moo. This is available for free on Amazon Kindle.

Click here to download the book

Derived from D. A. Carson and Douglas J. Moo’s widely adopted textbook, An Introduction to the New Testament, this digital short surveys key critical and interpretive issues in New Testament study. Attention is given to original manuscripts, interpretative traditions, biblical theology, historical criticism, postmodernism, linguistic and social-science approaches to the text, and more. Students of the New Testament will find A Quick Introduction to the New Testament to be a handy yet complete reference tool.

Sinners in the Hands of a Wishy-Washy God? Daniel Wallace Responds to Al Hsu

Daniel B. Wallace does a masterful job responding to a recent article by Al Hsu in Christianity Today regarding Mark 15:34, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Hsu explains that verse 34, “horrifies” him and casts doubt on the goodness and trustworthiness of God’s character. Wallace not only explains the atonement, but also points out where questions like Hsu’s are coming from.

If you have not already done so, be sure to check out Dr. Wallace’s blog. It’s well worth your time.

Two days before Good Friday, Al Hsu posted a provocative piece in the online version of Christianity Today. Entitled, “He’s Calling For Elijah! Why We Still Mishear Jesus,” Hsu’s article has gone viral among evangelical Christians. He opens his essay by asking the following questions:

“Is God the kind of God that turns his back on his Son? Does God abandon those who cry out to him? How could God forsake the perfect God-man, the only one who has ever served him perfectly? Because if Jesus was truly forsaken by God, what’s preventing God from forsaking any of us? How could we ever trust him to be good?”

Hsu spends the rest of the article answering these questions, but his answers may surprise you: God did not turn his back on his Son, he did not forsake the perfect God-man, he did not pour his wrath out on Jesus Christ as he hung on the cross.

Hsu’s argument focuses heavily on cultural perceptions of the Christian faith and how our global culture has shifted in recent years. Truth claims about Christianity have become passé, pragmatic claims have proved insufficient to deal with suffering that marks virtually everyone’s experience, and questions related to authenticity—spawned mostly by postmodernism—have proved inadequate. The question that is foremost in today’s world is whether the Christian faith is good.

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Erasing Hell by Francis Chan Available for Free on Amazon Kindle

Erasing Hell by Francis Chan is available for free on Amazon Kindle. Click here to download

How could a loving God send people to hell? Will people have a chance after they die to believe in Jesus and go to heaven?

With a humble respect for God’s Word, Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle address the deepest questions you have about eternal destiny. They’ve asked the same questions. Like you, sometimes they just don’t want to believe in hell. But as they write, “We cannot afford to be wrong on this issue.

This is not a book about who is saying what. It’s a book about what God says. It’s not a book about impersonal theological issues. It’s a book about people who God loves. It’s not a book about arguments, doctrine, or being right. It’s a book about the character of God.

Erasing Hell will immerse you in the truth of Scripture as, together with the authors, you find not only the truth but the courage to live it out.”

This book is Chan’s rebuttal to Rob Bell’s book Love Wins. Chan also released a video explaining his reason for writing Erasing Hell:

Resource: Christian Classics Ethereal Library

Christian Classics Ethereal Library is an online library of classic Christian literature including Irenaeus, Calvin, Luther, Augustine, Edwards, Spurgeon and Owen. The works are available to view online for free, and can also be downloaded in various formats, or you may purchase the works for yourself. The site is one of the most comprehensive resources available and will aid you immensely in your studies.

Themelios: A Free Evangelical Theological Journal

Three times a year The Gospel Coalition publishes a free journal discussing important theological issues titled, “Themelios”. It’s edited by D.A. Carson, Charles Anderson, Michael J. Ovey, and Andrew David Naselli. The newest issue is a 180-page PDF, includes 3 essays, columns by Carson and new regular contributor (Michael Ovey), and 66 book reviews. This journal is a great resource.

Click here to view the current issue of Themelios, as well as back issues of the Themelios Journal.

Themelios is an international evangelical theological journal that expounds and defends the historic Christian faith. Its primary audience is theological students and pastors, though scholars read it as well. It was formerly a print journal operated by RTSF/UCCF in the UK, and it became a digital journal operated by The Gospel Coalition in 2008.

Themelios is published three times a year exclusively online at The Gospel Coalition. It is presented in two formats:PDF (for downloading and citing pagination) and HTML (for greater accessibility, usability, and infiltration in search engines). Themelios is copyrighted by The Gospel Coalition. Readers are free to use it and circulate it in digital form without further permission (any print use requires further written permission), but they must acknowledge the source and, of course, not change the content.

Rid of My Disgrace by Justin Holcomb FREE on Amazon Kindle

Rid of my Disgrace by Justin Holcomb is available for free on Amazon Kindle for the next two days only. It’s hands down the best book I’ve ever read on sexual abuse and assault.

If you have been a victim of sexual assault or abuse, please take some time to read this free book. If you are a pastor, or church leader, or counsel in any capacity, you need to read this book.

Click here to download Rid of My Disgrace.

The statistics are jarring. One in four women and one in six men are or will be victims of sexual assault in their lifetime. But as sobering as the statistics are, they don’t begin to speak to the darkness and grief experienced by these victims. Because sexual assault causes physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual pain, victims need clear help, hope, and healing. In Rid of My Disgrace, a couple experienced in counseling victims of sexual assault explains how the grace of God can heal the broken and restore the disgraced.

Justin and Lindsey Holcomb outline an approach for moving from destruction to redemption. While avoiding platitudes and shallow theology, Rid of My Disgrace combines biblical and theological depth with up-to-date research. This book is primarily written for those who have been assaulted (either as children or adults) but also equips family, friends, pastors, and others to care for victims in ways that are compassionate, practical, and informed. Part of the Re:Lit series.