ReFormed Living
Does Baptism save? a study of 1 Peter 3:21 ESV PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Wednesday, 04 August 2010 18:25

20  ... God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.  21  Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,  22  who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.

21  Baptism, which corresponds to this [what the ark did for Noah], now saves you,

In the NIV the Flood water symbolizes the water of Baptism, but the comparison of Baptism and Ark is better. The  water [the Flood] brought judgement and death for the world.  The ark saved Noah from that judgment and death. This is the context which determiens the meaning of what follows.  As with the flood waters, the water of Baptism is judgment and death. By Baptism we are saved from judgement and death that Christ went through.  Alternatively, our Baptism was a judgment on our sin and by it we did die in union with Christ (Rom 6:1-14)  This harmonizes with the concept that Baptism replaces and functions as Circumcision- Col 2:11-12

The Antithesis: PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Wednesday, 31 August 2011 13:19

The word “Antithesis” commonly means: opposite (thesis à anti-thesis à syn-thesis à thesis) but in Reformed Theology, particularly Neo-Calvinism, there is a deeper dynamic involved.   Antithesis is not only opposite, it is  also means “in opposition”.
Specifically, a consciousness that divides Christians and non-Christians.  A. Kuyper writes  ‘ . . .we have to acknowledge two kinds of human consciousness: that of the regenerate and the unregenerate; and these two cannot be identical. . . .it is an impossibility that both should agree, and that every endeavor to make them agree must be doomed to failure.’ Because a Christian and a non-Christian start from completely different pre-suppositions (or should, at least), the conclusions they come to about things they observe in the world will be different. The doctrine of the antithesis explains the radically different conclusions Christians and non-Christians can come to in all...fields (even where there are areas of agreement).

Genesis 3:15-- I will put enmity between you [Satan] and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel."

'Death With Dignity' Claims Another Victim PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Friday, 24 May 2013 19:00

"Nearly 30 years ago, Arnold Schwarzenegger's "Terminator" character made famous the phrase "I'll be back," the implacable cyborg assassin's response to a setback. Today, similarly relentless terminators are among us, also with a deadly mission: to move America toward acceptance of physician-assisted suicide.

"On Monday, the terminators gained a victory when Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin signed into law the "Patient Choice and Control at End of Life Act." The bill had been passed by the state legislature the week before without consulting the electorate, possibly because the lawmakers had seen what happened last fall next door in Massachusetts, where voters rejected a similar initiative. Now Vermont doctors will be able to prescribe lethal medication to patients as the state joins Oregon, Washington and Montana in supporting the practice."


Last Updated on Friday, 24 May 2013 19:08
Why we must use the grammatical-historical method to interpret Scripture PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 07:03

"We know we are influenced by contemporary values and personal biases when we come to the Bible.  Some one who is fascinated by the City or the Poor or Racism or Missions or the End Times or the Environment will find all kinds of passages that are relevant to those interests in the Bible- or more accurately, will interpret all kinds of passages in the light of those interests brought to their reading of the Bible. Someone with other interests will tend not see these topics in the Book.  Someone who is depressed or struggling with tragedy or marriage or money problems or seeking forgiveness of sins and assurance of Eternal Life will come to the Bible and read it with these issues in mind.

Someone who is an Artist or a Scientist or an “Intellectual” or a CEO of a large business who has traveled extensively will certainly approach the Bible differently than those who have limited formal education or life experiences.  People of various age and ethnic groups from various parts of the world, speaking different languages, extremely poor or extremely wealthy, people with power and those without bring different expectations and assumptions to their Bible study.

If a reader believes all these variables and influences and biases make objectivity impossible, for the original writers and readers as well as himself, the effort to understand any book, not only the Bible, is completely undermined. The would-be reader is left with total skepticism.  For all the above reasons, the conservative Evangelical continues to use the time honored “historical –grammatical” method.

The historical-grammatical method is a good bulwark against  this negative outcome.  It enables the reader to recognize personal bias and resist subjectivity when we study the Bible- if we use it!  Here are the basic rules:


Written by Calvin Fox   
Tuesday, 13 August 2013 14:00

This is an excellent article by Simon Chan about the necessity of calling God "Father"-

"For at least the past 40 years, traditional language for God has come under fire. While formal feminist theologians disagree about what language to use instead, they are unanimous that masculine words for God, especially Father, must be expunged from our theological vocabulary. For the church to be inclusive, they argue, it must replace man-centered language with language that accounts for both male and female. Furthermore, since our human words cannot adequately portray God's fullness, no single characterization will suffice. God could be addressed as father and/or mother in order to bring out his multifaceted nature."


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