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Doing Providential History PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Wednesday, 09 August 2017 10:43

I am currently studying US History, focusing on the period after the Civil War up to WWI (1860's to 1910) What was God doing in America during that Period (it could be other Periods, too)?  Why should I do this?

I am very interested in seeing God's Hand in "events" that transpire. This is known as pursuing Providential History [PH].  Many professional Evangelical Historians, such as George Marsden and Mark Noll, Jay Green, John Fea, Timothy Larson and Carl Truman reject PH as such (because it is not subject to objective verification or falsification). These Historians, like their secular colleagues, are committed to a “scientific”, empirical Methodology. They believe in God but in everyday practice they process historical events as Philosophical Naturalists (which does not make allowances for any God)  However, some professional Historians do believe in PH, eg- Steven Keillor, Tom Nettles, Rodney Stark, Roger Schultz, Larry Schweikart, Cornelius vanTil and Gregg Singer.

Here are Reasons why I am convinced that Providential History is not only valid but necessary-

• A Biblical World View  requires PH

• The nature of God, especially the truth that He is both transcendent and immanent at all times and places requires it.

• The Kingdom of God as His dynamic Rule gradually subjecting all to His control and purposes requires PH

• The Sovereignty and Providence of God over all, everywhere and at all times to His ultimate Glory requires it

• The authority of Christ over all things, including the affairs of Nations requires it.

• The Doctrine of the Creation of Time (and therefore of History itself) by God to accomplish His Purposes requires PH

• The reality of efficacious Prayer at all times and places requires it

• The phenomena of fulfilled Prophecy also requires Providential History

Of course all these Reasons are derived from Scripture, the ultimate external Source and major reason for being committed to PH. Each one of these Doctrines (above) under-girds and requires Providential History

CAVEAT Beware! Caution! Doing PH, we must be excellent scholars and be honest and humble researchers. when applying Biblical Principles to History, seeking to explain cause and effect about what happened, especially if we are looking to see the Hand of God at work. (Popular proponents of PH are often weak in these things and mislead many).

We also must be very humble about our deductions [our “take aways”] from particulars as we read History, as well as expanding those particulars into universal “truths”.

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MISUNDERSTANDING OF FREE WILL AND BEING HUMAN PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Thursday, 31 December 2015 16:04

Many hold that freedom of will, also defined as freedom of choice, is what makes us human beings. It is this that makes us "Persons" and the degree to which we are denied free will or choice is the degree to which we are less human or demeaned as persons. Is this true? Is it Biblical?

What makes us Persons and gives us our true value as humans is the fact we image God. We are made is His image and as such represent Him in the world. 1 Cor 11:7 a man ...is the image and glory of God ...cf James 3:9, Psalm 8

“Man” (male & female) is created to be as God is- Rational, Creative, Moral and Communal. These are the standout characteristics of God drawn from the Genesis

A. Rational- God created the heavens and the earth. He created order out of chaos. He formed the unformed and filled the empty. Doing all this, God demonstrated great mental ability: analyzing, reasoning, problem solving, planning.

B. Creative- God, the Creator, is artistic. He uses imagination, shapes, forms, colors, materials, sound and motion. We are like God when we do likewise. He created us to be artists, loving and using shapes, materials, lights, colors as well as movement and sound. We are to value and cultivate the arts and the works of our hands, just as God does.

C. Moral- God is revealed as righteous with an abhorrence of sin in later chapters of Genesis. This, too, is the original basis for the traditional definition of the Image. God has created all human beings with a sense of moral-oughtness. Morality is part of the human DNA. It is called “Natural Law” and Paul describes it in Rom 1:32 and 2:15. Thus God can hold even non-Christian individuals and nations accountable for their moral decisions and behavior.

 

D. Communal- The second chapter of Genesis reveals that God is concerned with communicating with human beings, as well as human beings themselves communicating and having companionship with themselves. He does not want Adam to be alone. (The first thing mentioned in the Bible that is “not good”.)

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Last Updated on Thursday, 31 December 2015 16:11
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GOOD READING ON ISLAM PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Monday, 13 May 2013 15:57

A Bibliography

http://www.worldmag.com/2013/05/good_reading_on_islam

 

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Talking to the Animals: Natural Revelation PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Monday, 27 October 2008 08:52
TALKING TO THE ANIMALS-   HOW DID THEY HEAR GOD? HOW DO WE HEAR HIM TALK TO US?  

Genesis 1:20 And God said, "Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens." 21 So God created … 22 And God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply …
God said: “Birds, fly and multiply” and they do.  Exactly to whom did God speak?  What language did He use?

Job 38:8 "who shut in the sea with doors … 10 and prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors, 11and said, 'Thus far shall you come, and no farther… 12 "Have you commanded the morning… and caused the dawn to know its place…?
 
Job 39:26 "is it by your understanding that the hawk soars and spreads his wings toward the south? 27 Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up and makes his nest on high? [God is saying that it is by His understanding, His command, not Man's]

Here God speaks to, the sea and the sun and the birds, telling them what to do and were to go.  Literally?  What language?  How do the sea and the sun hear?  Do these creatures have innate (instinctual) understanding of God’s commands or does God give commands immediately, directly and verbally to each creature (in this case, the hawks and eagles)?   God did not actually utter words? No. This is figurative, poetic language.  Sometimes, the “the Word of God” is non-verbal, but real, effective communication from God.   Sometimes the references to God “speaking” are metaphorical, not literal.
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What is the Word of God? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Calvin Fox   
Monday, 22 September 2008 15:16
WHAT IS THE WORD OF GOD? Jeremiah said, 20:7 O LORD, You induced [persuaded] me, and I was persuaded; You are stronger than I and have prevailed. I am in derision daily; Everyone mocks me. 8 For when I spoke, I cried out; I shouted, “Violence and plunder!” Because the word of the LORD was made to me a reproach and a derision daily. 9 Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name.” But His word was in my heart like a burning fire, shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back and I could not. NKJV

Jeremiah warned Judah that its enemies would soon subdue the Nation. This message, this knowledge, came to Jeremiah from God. It was “the word of the Lord” to him and to them. When he preached this Word- “Violence and destruction are coming”- he was derided; indeed he was arrested for being a danger to Israel, an enemy. He wished he could stop preaching this Word, but God made him continue. When he suppressed this Word (the Message, this prophecy, this knowledge) within his heart, not speaking it, it burned within him and would not be denied.

The Word of God in this passage was not the Bible or any part of it. It was a message from God given directly to the prophet to be preached to Israel. It was within the man, to be preached by him, out loud. It would not be suppressed. It was knowledge of what was going to happen and he was driven to tell it to everyone, using verbal, propositional statements. Those statements were not the Word, the Message was. However, can the Message be separated from the method or messenger? Jeremiah had a revelation from God. He expressed it in human, personal, historically conditioned, Hebrew terms. The former, the knowledge (revelation) was infallible, i.e.-reliable, dependable and true. The latter, the method was not, unless the Spirit of God was in control of that method, inspiring the very words ultimately used by Jeremiah to orally deliver the Message. In that case, those words would be inerrant, i.e.- without error or mistakes. How could erroneous words deliver an infallible Message without corrupting it, making it unreliable or fallible? [This requires that the original written copies of the inerrant words of the infallible Message, that was delivered orally, be themselves inerrant and the translations we use be, at least, trustworthy copies of them.] In this way, conservative Christians argue that the written and inerrant words conveying the infallible oral Message are themselves infallible.
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Last Updated on Thursday, 02 October 2008 10:23
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