Monday, May 30, 2011

What would Karl Barth say to Rob Bell?

Not sure exactly. But we do know what he did write about the question of universalism.

See here.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Andrew Fuller on Genesis 2 and the creation of woman

"The place assigned to the woman in heathen and Mahomedan countries has been highly degrading; and the place assigned her by modern infidels is not much better. Christianity is the only religion that conforms to the original design, that confines a man to one wife, and that teaches him to treat her with propriety. Go among the enemies of the gospel, and you shall see the woman either reduced to abject slavery, or basely flattered for the vilest of purposes; but in Christian families you may see her treated with honour and respect; treated as a friend, as naturally an equal, a soother of man's cares, a softner of his griefs, and a partner of his joys."

Friday, May 06, 2011

Andrew Fuller on Genesis 2 and the Sabbath

"It is a Jewish tradition, and seems to have generally prevailed, that, as there is a harmony of times in the works of God, this seventh day of rest is prefigurative of the seven thousandth year of the world being a rest to the church. We know that years were divided into sevens, and seven times sevens. Every seventh year the land was to have its sabbath, and every fiftieth year its jubilee: and thus it may be with the world. If so, we are not at a great distance from it; and this will be the period when a great number of prophecies of the universal spread of the gospel shall be fulfilled."

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Great rows and God's hammer

"...There is not a situation in Christ's church in the whole wide world that cannot be dealt with by the Word of God. There is nothing else to deal with it. What other authority or means have we for dealing with evils but God's Word? That Word, if we ransack it from cover to cover, has the very word for our situation. I am amazed at the ineptitude not only of individuals, but of whole schools of thought, and even denominations, in respect of evils which beset and bedevil their work. I have been saying to some for years that the way to deal with the evil of certain secret societies which have sapped the vitals of Christian denominations for years with their subtle, but ridiculous evils, is to bring them out into the open. What the Christian church needs in so many situations is great rows! The Holy Spirit in the Acts of the Apostles is not afraid of disturbance. Sometimes it is necessary.

I know that that will shock many, and they will dismiss what I am saying out of hand because it appears to them blantantly unchristian. I have seen many causes of strife which cannot be dealt with but by prayer; but major evils, radical departures from biblical orthodoxy, deep corruption, bitter feuds, and adamant worldliness may not be dealt with by prayer without action. Trace the course of our Lord's three years' ministry and you will see that in the end He brought everything out into the open, the climax of which is seen in the Gospel according to Matthew from chapter 21 onwards, especially chapters 23 and 24. If anyone every used the Word of God as a hammer to break the rock in pieces, or as wildfire to set the straw, or as we say in Scotland, the heather on fire, it was Jesus."

Letters of William Still, April 1970

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Andrew Fuller on Genesis 1 as Scripture

"The account given by Moses relates not to the whole creation, but merely to what it immediately concerns us to know. God made angels; but nothing is said of them. The moon is called one of the greater lights, not as to what it is in itself, but what it is to us. The Scriptures are written, not to gratify curiosity, but to nourish faith. They do not stop to tell you how, nor answer a number of questions which might be asked; but tell you so much as is necessary, and no more."

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Andrew Fuller on Genesis 1 and theism

"In this account of the creation nothing is said on the being of God; this great truth is taken for granted. May not this apparent omission be designed to teach us that those who deny the existence of a Deity are rather to be rebuked than reasoned with? All reasoning and instruction must proceed upon some principle or principles, and what can be more proper than this? Those writers who have gone about to prove it, have, in my opinion, done but little, if any, good; and in many instances have only set men a doubting upon a subject which is so manifest from every thing around them as to render the very heathens without excuse, Rom.i.20."

Friday, April 15, 2011

Andrew Fuller

In the last few months I’ve been introduced to the life and writings of Andrew Fuller. Fuller was an English Baptist preacher teacher writer dude around the late 18th / early 19th century. I keep wondering why I’ve not been introduced to Fuller sooner. Why on earth are Fuller and his writings not better known?

I’d recommend Michael Haykin’s selection from Fuller’s letters to anyone who enjoys reading historic letters. I’d certainly encourage any Christian reader to get a copy of the book. It was a real tonic to my weary soul recently.

At the moment I’m reading parts of Fuller’s Expository Discourses on the Book of Genesis. Fuller, in the dedication, describes how the work is the fruit of his expositions through Genesis during Lord’s day morning public worship. The habit of systematic exposition, usually one chapter at a time, allowed for “a more connected view of the Scriptures” compared to sermons on particular passages.

Here is an example of Fuller's writing taken from his exposition of Genesis chapter 4 verses 6,7. The style may not delight but the clarity and depth of Fuller's reflections is brilliant and helpful:

"Observe how things are ordered in the dealings of God with men. Abel was not accepted of God for his well-doing; neither faith nor obedience was that on account of which he was justified, but the righteousness of him in whom he believed. Yet it was in well-doing that he obtained eternal life, Rom. ii.7. Though faith was not the cause of the Lord’s having respect to him, nor his having offered in faith the cause of his having respect to his works; yet each was a necessary concomitant. And this, while it secures the interests of righteousness in the righteous, serves to silence the wicked, and make them feel the justice of their condemnation. Thus, at the last judgment, though every one who is saved will be saved by grace only, yet all will be judged according to their works. Things will be so ordered that the righteous will have nothing to boast of, and the wicked nothing to complain of, inasmuch as the decision in both cases will proceed according to character."