Doctrine of the Resurrection - RR126F11
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Almighty God our heavenly father we give thanks unto thee for the joy of the resurrection, and for the assurance that is ours in Jesus Christ. And we pray that day by day we may move in the blessed assurance of victory and the confidence that in Jesus Christ we are more than conquerors. Bless and prosper us, protect us and cause thy face to shine upon us in Jesus name, amen. Our scripture is first Corinthians 15:12-22. I Corinthians 15:12-22, and our subject the resurrection of the dead. I Corinthians 15:12-22. Now Christ be preached that He rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen, and if Christ be not risen then is our preaching vain, and your faith also vain. Yea and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ whom he raised, and not us, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not then is not Christ raised, and if Christ be not raised your faith is vain ye are yet in your sins. And they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished, if in the life only we have hope in Christ we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead and become the first fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death by man came also the resurrection of the dead, for as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. [00:03:00]
The doctrine of the resurrection is basic to the Christian...
The doctrine of the resurrection is basic to the Christian faith and central to the creeds. When we turn to the creeds we find it emphasized above anything else perhaps. In the apostles creed we read that we affirming our faith in Jesus Christ declare that the third day he rose again from the dead. I believe in the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. In the Nicene creed we declare I believe that on the third day he rose again according to the scriptures and I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. The word that is used is specifically resurrection, not immortality. Very commonly today in churches we are told that the Christian belief in immortality was vindicated by easter, and the doctrine of immortality is preached again and again, this is not biblical. The bible does not declare the immortality of the soul, the word immortality is used only a very few times in scripture, in romans 2:7 I Corinthians 15:53-54, I Timothy 1:17 and 6:16, and II Timothy 1:10. In those verses alone are the words immortal and immortality used. It is primarily used with reference to God, and Saint Paul tells us for example that God only hath immortality, dwelling in life unapproachable. Immortality is an attribute of God, the only reference to man made is the statement by Paul in I Corinthians 15:53 and 54, when Paul declared that this mortal shall put on immortality. In other words by the grace of God through Jesus Christ we who are mortal, we who are born to die whose soul and body alike have mortality, put on immortality. This then is not our natural attribute, it is the act of God. [00:06:03]
Why the distinction? The distinction is basic to the...
Why the distinction? The distinction is basic to the whole bible, the whole of paganism past and present has affirmed the immortality of the soul. This doctrine means that the soul is divine, or potentially divine, and therefor it has eternal life as a part of its being, as a part of its nature. According to all paganism, whether we go to the primitive tribes with their animism or to the more sophisticated philosophies, man therefor has two aspects to its being, the one immortal, his soul, and the other mortal his body. And his body is therefor destined to change and decay, it is going to perish it is going to be finished forever. But the soul by nature immortal is destined to live. Therefor evil does not belong to the soul, the soul suffers only because it is imprisoned within body, matter which in itself is seen sometimes as the principle of evil. Out of this position which is basic to all paganism, two kinds of consequences flow. The first is asceticism. In asceticism a person believes that the only way he can make progress is to free himself progressively from the body and from bodily appetites, and the way to virtue is to renounce these bodily appetites and to become more and more spiritually minded, to become more and more centered on the things of the spirit. He thereby forsakes that which is mortal in himself supposedly for that which is immortal and becomes more and more divine as he purges out the dross of mortality, the flesh from his being. This is asceticism, which is very powerful in all paganism, we have only to look for example to India to see it prevalent, but it has appeared in virtually every pagan culture. Whenever we find asceticism and ascetic practices within the church. [00:08:54]
It is a sign of the pagan influence particularly the...
It is a sign of the pagan influence particularly the Greek influence, and most specifically the neo-Platonic philosophy. The other aspect of this pagan feeling that the soul is immortal and the body has no destiny but decay, is to remove the body from the ground of moral values, and the body is treated as the matter of moral indifference, and therefor total license with regard to the body becomes permissible, for example in the Corinthian letters Paul deals with some of the moral problems in the Corinthian church among Greek converts. And one of the things that appears is that fornication was not considered by them to be a sin in any degree and this we find commonly in many pagan cultures. Nothing that pertained to the body was a sin. Socrates for example could consider himself to be as it were the voice of God and the incarnation virtually of God, and the Greek moral arbiter of his age, but Socrates at one and the same time could indulge not only in homosexual practices but indulge in them publicly. Anything he did with the body had nothing to do with morality. It was a matter of total moral indifference to him because the body did not belong to the realm of the spirit, and the spirit was the realm of immortality and the realm of that which was important, which dealt with moral value, so that you find in paganism a total indifference to moral values as far as the body and material life is concerned. Now against both these opinions the bible from start to finish stands resolutely opposed. Man was created body and soul, his soul is not immortal it was a creation of God together with his body. Body and soul God created man to be wholly good, man fell by his sin, by his rebellion against God, by his desire to make himself his own God, so that man body and soul apart from Christ is fallen and in sin, totally depraved. [00:12:00] In Jesus Christ man is redeemed body and soul, and Jesus Christ manifested this victory as very man of very man, by destroying the power of sin spiritually, by destroying the power of death materially, by opening up righteousness and everlasting life to those who are members of him, so that in Jesus Christ we have the assurance of victory over the power of sin and death, we are redeemed body and soul, and this is the significance of the doctrine of the resurrection. [00:12:55]
In our scripture Paul speaks to the Corinthians concerning...
In our scripture Paul speaks to the Corinthians concerning their faith, and he says to those who say oh we believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, but of course this is not for us, we can look forward to the immortality of the soul but the body, that is finished forever, when it dies it is dead forever. And Saint Paul declared that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is inseparably linked with the resurrection of all believers. That if Christ is risen then then believers shall rise, if believers are not to have the resurrection of the dead as their inheritance then Christ is not risen, the link is that inseparable in scripture, in all the promises of God. Moreover he declared without the resurrection of Jesus Christ our faith is in vain, we are of all men most miserable, because we are creatures body and soul, and without the resurrection we are doomed; there is no hope for us. Furthermore, Paul declared, contrary to all of paganism, it is not flesh that is sinful; Jesus Christ did not condemn sinful flesh but sin in the flesh, so that when we are in Christ we are regenerated. Our salvation is spiritual and material. We are not perfectly saved from sin in this life because our sanctification is not complete, at death it is completed by the grace of God so that we enter into heaven perfectly sanctified. [00:15:14]
At the general resurrection our body is resurrected...
At the general resurrection our body is resurrected and given perfection throughout all eternity. Jesus Christ therefor as the second Adam has opened up for his members a glorious destiny, the curse is removed from body and soul in time in part and in eternity in all its fullness. Whereas in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. Paganism saw as man’s problem change and decay, the bible sees as man’s problem sin and death as the consequence of sin. All paganism without exception because it sees change and decay as the problem, is perpetually concerned with arresting history, with bringing history to a stop with creating the perfect social order and whether it be the civilization of ancient Egypt and of the pharaohs or of the civilization of Marxism, the idea is to end history, to bring it to a halt, because change is what they fear. But the bible sees change not as something to be feared but something which progressively unveils Gods work and brings us one step closer to his ultimate triumph. The problem of history is not change but sin. We can understand the significance of the doctrine of resurrection- of the resurrection by looking at its consequences in the early church. The early church because it believed in the resurrection faced the world with confidence, it was not afraid of change and decay. Others as they saw Rome fall were filled with horror, to them there was no future, no hope. But men like Salvian the presbyter could see the fall of Rome coming and say it has to come, and let us welcome it. [00:18:14]
Because the ground has to be clear judgment must come...
Because the ground has to be clear judgment must come because God is God and the future is not in the hands of Rome but of God. Moreover by the doctrine of the resurrection the Christians could view this world as Gods world, this is my Fathers world. As a result, science only truly developed and flourished in Christian civilization. In every other civilization science has gone so far and no further because in every other civilization this world, the body, the material world is depreciated, hated and despised, and it is no accident that in Christianity alone has science had an unimpeded growth and it will perish ultimately under any other kind of civilization because every other civilization hates ultimately this material world, hates change, and tries to create a final order which will destroy the world. Among the early church fathers Tertullian is often accused of having the most Greek influence in his thinking, and of Ascetic tendencies. To a measure this was true, but I think we can appreciate the extent to which even in a man whose thinking was at some points defective, the doctrine of the resurrection gave a power and a breath by examining his thinking. Tertullian said emphatically, no one can be a Christian without this doctrine, the doctrine of the resurrection Tertullian declared is the Christians trust, his hope his confidence. Moreover, Tertullian declared, this doctrine is the logical conclusion of the doctrine of creation, God having created all things wholly good is now in process of redeeming the whole creation and his redemption of us is a total redemption body and soul, and therefore we can face the world with confidence and that all things shall be put under the feet of Christ, be placed under his dominion. [00:21:11]
And as Tertullian pointed out, the pagans hated the...
And as Tertullian pointed out, the pagans hated the body, and he declared is not their burden from beginning and everywhere and infected against the flesh? Moreover he said they dislike the whole doctrine of creation and resurrection and they fought against it because it placed man firmly under God, if God created us body and soul and if God redeems us body and soul and we have the glory of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and our resurrection at the end in and through Him, then man is completely under the government of God and this the pagans could not accept. And so Saint Paul- er Saint Tertullian said after Saint Paul, they will not hear this doctrine. And Tertullian went on to cite the things they believed, they will believe in reincarnation, the transmigration of souls, they will believe in the immortality of the soul, they will follow every kind of cult no matter how ridiculous and he said some of them will turn vegetarian because having accepted some of these doctrines they are afraid they may be eating their grandmother who was reincarnated as a cow, and he let on and listed all these beliefs that I am citing, one of the points he made, and he said there is no end to the absurdity of these people. But, and I quote: “but if a Christian promises the return of a man from a man, and the very actual Guayas, a common Roman name, from Guayas the cry of the people will be to have him stoned, they will not even so much as grant him a hearing.” They were ready to believe in any absurdity as he said because as long as it was the immortality of the soul it was they who were divine. The only form in which they would consider the doctrine of the resurrection was in the one other form that exists outside of the bible, the Egyptians, where the resurrection of the body is not a resurrection but the immortal soul according to Egyptian religion, immortalized as the body. In other words, the man being a God makes his body a part of the God, and so saved himself totally body and soul. But to believe in creation and the resurrection, that it is the grace of God, this they would not accept. Let a man but preach it he said, and they will have him stoned, they will not even so much as grant him a hearing, because it tells them they are not gods, they are sinners who are under judgment, and therefor there is no hope for them apart from Jesus Christ. [00:24:56]
Can you understand therefor why it is that the eatern...
Can you understand therefor why it is that the eatern message is gradually being destroyed and subverted from the doctrine of the resurrection to the doctrine of the immortality of the soul? From a doctrine that places man firmly under God to one that makes him his own god? Moreover said Tertullian this doctrine tells us that man is the sinner, not the body. And the body having been created wholly good by God is destined to become again wholly good in the resurrection, and it becomes very greatly good in our redemption. It is the purpose of God said Tertullian, quoting: “to clear the gold of our flesh from all the taint by purging the original substance of its dross.” Notice the language, the gold of our flesh. Only a Christian can truly enjoy his body and soul. He knows it to be a gift from God, and that life itself is the grace and a gift from God, and man is to enjoy himself under God and to praise Him for His goodness. Hence it is that the apostle’s creed twice speaks of the doctrine, first in speaking of Christ that he rose again from the dead and that we believe in the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. And then again in the Nicene Creed even more emphatically because the joy of the church grew as they came to understand the meaning of this doctrine more, from the Nicene Creed after speaking of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the creed concludes, I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come, amen. [00:27:45]
Let us pray. Our Lord and our God we thank thee that thou hast separated us unto thyself in Jesus Christ, and that thou hast given us so glorious a destiny, we thank thee that in Christ we are heirs to the grace of life, called to serve thee and to enjoy thee, and to enjoy life body and soul in Jesus Christ. We thank thee for the glorious destiny of the resurrection and we praise thee our God for so glorious a provision for us in time and in eternity in and through Jesus Christ our Lord. In His name we pray, amen. Are there any questions now? Yes.
(Rushdoony) Yes, now first of all there are two states of the believer after death, first is the period in heaven, when our souls go to be with the Lord, when at the point of death our soul is resurrected and we go to heaven. Then at the end of the world there is the general resurrection of the dead when the new creation is ushered in, a physical creation, and as resurrected bodies, soul and body united we dwell eternally there in a physical existence, in a perfect physical existence.
(Audience) Well one of the things that was confusing me is that we were reading in Matthew (?) that (?) came to Christ and said suppose a man had a wife and he died and she (?) with his brothers, and they (unintelligible) and Christ answered that there is no marriage in heaven.
(Rushdoony) That’s right. In the eternal kingdom neither in heaven or the new creation is there marriage or giving in marriage or generations. This is a part of this life, but it doesn’t mean that the life is not physical. It transcends anything we know, just as it is hard to tell from a seed what the tree is going to be like if you don’t know the tree, so the body is planted as it were a seed, and in the eternal kingdom there is but we cannot imagine because it is beyond our imagination, it would be like trying to describe color to a blind man, because it staggers the imagination to try to comprehend a physical life without any of the limitations that our physical life has today. [00:31:37]
(Rushdoony) Yes it’s in this chapter, the fifteenth chapter of first Corinthians. Yes.
(Audience) (Unintelligible) Don’t most churches that call themselves evangelical preach immortality in the pulpit?
(Rushdoony) Yes, most churches today preach immortality of the soul, this has definitely infiltrated the churches, it is nothing but Greek paganism, they are scarcely a church where this is not preached. But this is paganism, it is paganism. Ours is the doctrine of the resurrection. Yes.
(Audience) Don’t they also preach that (unintelligible)
(Rushdoony) Right, they- many of the churches because they are tainted with this asceticism decry healthy normal pleasures. There is no harm in being beautiful, there is a lot of advantage. There is no harm in being well dressed and a great deal of advantage. Now the text that is often used is from Peter and its well to look at that because I had this thrown at me so many times by people who are shocked that I tell them there is no harm in such things. [00:33:31]
First Peter 3. And many a woman has felt that she had an obligation virtually to be plain and to decry jewelry because of this passage and the way it has been interpreted to her. First Peter 3: likewise ye wives be in subjection to your own husbands, that if any obey not the word they may also without the word be won by the conversation of the wives. Now conversation there is in the old sense of general behavior and conduct including speech. While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear, whose adorning that it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair and of wearing of gold or putting on of apparel, but let it be the hidden man of the heart and that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of the meek and quiet spirit which is in the sight of God a great price, for after this manner in the old time the holy woman also who trusteth in God adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands and so on. Now we are told this is against adornment, so that women shouldn’t have jewelry or anything special in the way of hairdos or clothing. This is totally misreading the text. What Paul is saying is this. Your confidence, your trust is not to be in appearance but in a heart that is at peace with God, and the conduct that is in terms of the word of God. This is your truest jewelry and your truest adornment so that it is a false confidence to feel that you are going to get by in terms of the appearance when your conduct as a wife and your inner disposition are totally false. Now he is not speaking against attractive clothing or jewelry, what he is condemning, the misuse of them. That these things take the place of a good conscience towards God, there is a world of difference between saying a thing is to be abolished or a thing is to be used in a place. [00:36:14]
And over and over again the bible speaks of the good...
And over and over again the bible speaks of the good things of life, of jewelry, of land of possessions, of material goods as a blessing from the Lord. Yes.
(Audience) What is the difference between (unintelligible)
(Rushdoony) Uh who was this?
(Audience) The communists.
(Rushdoony) Oh the communists.
(Rushdoony) Yes, communism is dialectical, and it is dialectical materialism but basically it is hostile to matter and it hates the fact that matter perishes, so it is a system which tries to bring an end to history. Now one of the things for example in the Soviet Union that a great deal of money has been expended on is to try to do away with death, and Stalin in particular poured vast sums of money into research to destroy aging and death because he could not accept the fact and did not want to die of course. And this has not ceased, it is still going on. It is because they basically hate matter, they don’t like the fact of change, of decay. They cannot accept reality. Now, when you cannot accept something you have two courses of action. First: to say it doesn’t matter by neglecting it and the other by abusing it. One is the aesthetic way and the other way is the way of total immoralism, and you find both very commonly practiced in radical circles.
(Audience) That brings up the point of (unintelligible)
(Rushdoony) Yes, yes it’s been in the papers lately it’s going to quite a legal battle so that by the time they are through fighting for it and win there won’t be anything. Yes. [00:38:54]
(Audience) In answer to the first question you said that we would all go to heaven, and remain there, and yet in the bible there are many people who interpret the (?) of hell as something predestined, and other terms. When we get to heaven and we are (unintelligible).
(Rushdoony) Yes I was speaking of course of all believers.
(Audience) Yes. I realize that (?).
(Rushdoony) Yes. Unbelievers of course go to hell. But once saved always saved, so when we go to heaven we aren’t going to lose heaven ever.
(Audience) We have no personal guarantee that we know we’re saved in this life.
(Rushdoony) Yes we do. Because if we are truly believers in Jesus Christ it is his work in us and not ours, and therefor if we know that we love him it is the evidence of His grace in our hearts and this is our confidence. Because increasingly the more we grow in grace the more it becomes evident to us, this is our way of life, and anything that is not conformable to it we are in rebellion against even though it may still have dominion over us, so we are progressively moving in terms of one thing, we want to conform ourselves to Christ. And this is a sign that it is His life in us, it is his spirit in us that is operative, and therefore we are His and once saved always saved, it cannot be lost. Yes.
(Audience) My little boy asked me a question that I didn’t know, what SOS was for and it stands for Save Our Souls. Now when did that originate, and (?).
(Another audience member) It would have be the general use of the word soul, it was very common in England to say this was a village of so many souls and I think that it would be that interpretation.
(Rushdoony) Yes, well there you have an older usage of the word soul, and in the bible of course we are told that when God created man out of the dust of the ground and breathed into him he made him a living soul so that we are living souls, and- It’s a Christian usage there yes. It’s an old fashioned usage that has unfortunately disappeared.
(Audience) In Morse its three dots and three dashes, a very simple thing to remember, I imagine that the simple tapping of the S O S O S O, and I don’t think that it adds any implications beyond (unintelligible)
(Rushdoony) Yes, this business, I’m glad you brought that up, that’s a very very important point. This business of saying the ten commandments are negative and we should update it and make in its place ten positive commandments, thou shalt do this that and the other thing. Now consider the implications of it, that is the most totalitarian kind of proposal ever imagined. Because when God gives you a limited number of thou shalt nots he says alright this area is spent, the rest of life is yours. [00:43:27]
But supposing they come around in this brave new world...
But supposing they come around in this brave new world and new world religion and here are ten thou shalts, and the rest of the world is thou shalt not to you. Where are we going to be you see? It sounds so positive but the positive aspect of the Christian faith is our liberty in Jesus Christ, so the thou shalt nots are there but the whole of the rest of life and all its glory is ours, free. And they are going to reverse that. Yes.
(Audience) I saw a very good many ministers out there just fall right into this (?) that if they don’t preach the judgments of God, but maybe just slightly. (unintelligible) they don’t preach the sincerity of Christ where he says you should never do this, I mean it’s always a positive you know… and particularly on Easter ohh (unintelligible) and our problem is we (unintelligible)
(Rushdoony) Yes most of your sincere ministers today because they have had no systematic doctrine, systematic theology of any sort in their training are totally unprepared to meet this type of subversive thinking, and what you need is a radical reconstruction of education from the ground up, and well consider for example the average clergyman today. His education all the way through college is very defective. He hasn’t had much Christianity, and if he has it hasn’t been too good because first of all in the public schools he doesn’t get anything but subversion, in many of the colloquial schools what he is getting is not good doctrine. [00:46:00]
Then he goes to seminary finally, and there is scarcely...
Then he goes to seminary finally, and there is scarcely an adequate seminary in the country, and in three years’ time he is supposed to learn enough to counteract a lifetime of false teaching, and what he gets never challenges what he’s gotten to for (??). So he goes out a good man often with the best of contentions and he has no awareness of what he is preaching.
(Rushdoony) Yes, yes. Right. Apologetics is the defense and proclamation of the faith as against other systems. In apologetics what you do is to point out why our position holds water and the others do not, so that you are both expounding your position and pointing out how the other position has no ground. It seems to be related to the word apology and it basically is when you trace it back to its origins, but it is totally different, apologetics is not apologizing for our faith but pointing out how no other faith holds water or can stand. So that what you have in getting is apologetics and some systematic theology as well. It has to be that.
(Audience) So you would preach from the pulpit that way?
(Rushdoony) Exactly. Today the preaching you get from the pulpit is by and large entertainment or little inspirational pep talks. The pep talks and psychological self-help are ninety nine percent of the preaching whether it’s conservative or liberal, and all of this has nothing to do with what the bible teaches, and so people are unprepared. Now I have seen the kind of study material that communists are given before they are taken into the party, here in the United States. [00:48:24]
I have seen copies of Lenin’s works as they were handed...
I have seen copies of Lenin’s works as they were handed, and Lenin was a very voluminous writer. Now it wasn’t his entire works but certain of the works of Marx and certain of the works of Lenin that were given to Lorne Charmin, whose ability was not too great, but he had to sit down and puzzle out Marx and Lenin and Marx is as difficult a writer as you can find because he’s so stupid, and yet uses such involved language as though he were talking about something profound when he really has nothing to say so he makes very painful reading. Now this Lorne Charmin had to sit down and master those books and take an examination before a group of men before he could join the party. What happened when he mastered them? He could come up against college students and because he had been drilled and re drilled in certain areas. He could floor them because he had a systematic body of ideas, and if you just began with a materialistic premise that he was given, everything else would follow. And all he had to do was run across any of these students who had materialistic premises or environmental premises and he could start pushing them and pushing them and pushing them and he had them in a corner, simply because he had a systematic body of doctrine, and he knew that it was a system, and that anyone who started with any of those premises he could make them go to his conclusion. Now we don’t even require that of the clergy, is it any wonder that we are in a bad way? We don’t require this kind of training of any person who is a citizen. Is it any wonder that we are in a bad way? And until we get back a sense of systematics and apologetics into education we are going to continue to be putty in the hands of anyone who wants to move us around. Yes. [00:50:45]
(Audience) I have a feeling that the passage in the Sermon on the Mount where we are cautioned to love our enemies is being misused by a lot of people, it seems to be contrary to that which we are taught that we should not be yoked with unbelievers. Now what kind of answer do you give to somebody that says you’ve got to accept the communists because they are your enemies and you have to love them and you have to pray for them, and you cant spitefully abuse them.
(Rushdoony) Yes, and the answer to that is that scripture also says that for such a one we are not even to pray and do not I hate them that hate thee, yea I hate them with a perfect hatred. In other words if they are going to quote bible let them quote the whole of it, not out of context. What they are doing is to take something completely out of context, they are not understanding the context first of all, the statement in the Sermon on the Mount, because that statement simply says that. In the situation where the person is compelled to go with someone a mile, he is to go twain in a situation of compulsion. Then love of enemies and love of neighbor is defined as fulfilling the second table of the law, not to kill, commit adultery, steal bear false witness or covet, that is the fulfilling of the law to love our neighbor and our enemy, to respect their right to life, property, home, reputation in thought word and deed, so they cannot take the bible and misuse it that way and tell them you are twisting scripture. You are just picking and choosing things you like.
(Audience) Quickly, where is that scripture that He hates them that hate you?
(Rushdoony) Let’s see, that’s in the psalms, there’s several passages like that, I’ll check them out and give you a list of them if you will remind me. Yes.
(Audience) one thing that confuses me is (unintelligible) so many times when a person shows their ability (unintelligible)
(Rushdoony) Right, if you think positively that you are going to succeed and that you are going go ahead if your car is out of gas, you’re not thinking very realistically, and this power of positive thinking is really nonsense, and it simply doesn’t work, it leads people into a dead end. For every one who says it works there are thousands who say it does not work. [00:54:00]
I think one of the funniest books I have ever read...
I think one of the funniest books I have ever read are a couple of books are Norman Vincent Peals(?) books, the absurdities he goes into there, he actually says that if you think positively you will catch more fish. How in the world is your mind going to affect the fish when you are thinking positively, but he affirms that. Now this is to believe in magic, that your positive thinking is going to govern reality, and this is nonsense, and it does well at times to think negatively, I wish a lot more parents did a little more negative thinking where their children were concerned, because we’d have a lot better situation with regard to the younger generation, there is just a little too much positive thinking in our day and age. Yes.
(Rushdoony) Yes, there are some such men, you can only wait because sooner or later their positive thinking isn’t going to work and then you make your works(?). Yes.
(Rushdoony) Yes, there are some people in unity who are interested in the private school movement, and there are also Christian scientists who are conservatives, this is very illogical on the part of both of them. If they were faithful to their premises they would not be involved in such things. Lets hope they’ll become more inconsistent. Yes.
(Audience) I read your book on Dan Hill (?) you take a more positive attitude about the discipline of apologetics and you (?) others do more than most pastors and ministers that I (?) because of their lack of the study of the discipline or (?) [00:56:14]
(Rushdoony) Right, Van Til makes the point that apologetics would show to every other system that they had absolutely no ground to stand on, that if the non-Christian and the non-biblically minded Christian were consistent with their thinking they would have to admit they cannot think, that they cannot have science, they cannot have knowledge about anything. And so Van Til says push them to their presuppositions, and he says of course they will fight this because they do not want epistemological self-consciousness. Yes.
(Audience) In as far as fishing goes I always wondered why the Orientals caught more fish and I finally figured it out, and they had their line in the water more often. (Laughter)
(Rushdoony) Yes! (Laughter)
(Audience) Rush I copied this paragraph from a reading from the Nicene and post Nicene fathers and thought you might comment on it, and I hope you can read it.
(Rushdoony) From whom in particular?
(Audience) Well this is the first series by Clyde, and-
(Rushdoony) You don’t remember who the author of this statement is?
(Audience) Uh (?) is the editor.
(Rushdoony) Oh the editor. Oh, it’s an editorial comment.
(Audience) Right: Whosoever therefor in Gods most providential ordering of foreknown predestined, called, justified, glorified, I say not even all the not yet born again, but even the not yet born again at all are already shown of God and absolutely cannot perish. From him therefor is given also perseverance of good even to the end for it is not given save to those who will not perish, but they who do not persevere shall perish. I speak thus of those who are predestinated for the kingdom of God, whose number is so certain that one cannot be added to them, or taken from them, not of those who when he had announced and spoken, were multiplied beyond number, for they be said to be called, but not chosen because they are not called according to the purpose.
(Rushdoony) Well that’s a good statement of the doctrine and it is one that you’ll find over and over again in the apostolic fathers, and very well substantiated from scriptures so he’s really summarizing what a great many have said, and the council of Jerusalem according to the book of Acts said known unto God are all his works from the foundation of the world. So that God form all eternity has a wise master builder not only for new, but foreordained all things that should come to pass. Now from the human perspective of course we are- have the freedom of creatures, in fact there is no freedom possible without predestination. And the matter of perseverance yes, you know who the true believers are by- in terms of perseverance because many people come in and crowd in outwardly because they find it attractive and advantageous to be a Christian. I’ve known a number of such and the bible gives us a classic example in Demos(?). now Demos was an associate of Paul through the years as a fellow missionary and yet Demos because he was not conspicuous as Paul was, he was never persecuted or harmed, and when the real persecution broke out and there was a possibility of being touched, he just walked out, and Paul sadly said that Demos hath forsaken me. [00:60:30]
So Demos was one of the apostolic company and yet obviously...
So Demos was one of the apostolic company and yet obviously not regenerate. I’ve seen men come into the church who never seem to have any problem, oh yes I believe the whole bible from cover to cover and don’t see why any sensible man doesn’t. Well everything was going along well with them, God had blessed them on every side, it looked like a good world, no reason why I shouldn’t believe it. But the minute they are put under test and every man’s faith shall be tested, then the reality of their faith appears, and when he was tested he couldn’t get out of the church fast enough. So the matter of perseverance is simply this, the test of is it real or is it a matter of appearances, so that many people are in the church simply for advantage. Now this becomes less and less true as the dividing line appears, as there is a sharp issue between those who are standing for the faith and those who are not. But every faith sooner or later is tested, and that test reveals that the man has the faith within as well as outwardly, because a man may grow up and just accept these things, hey why not, the thing that makes sense to me, it’s all I’ve known most of my life, but reality is he going to live in terms of it under stress? Is he going to make a stand in terms of this? Does he begin to separate himself from his family or his friends in terms of the faith? Now he can be weak and frail and sinful, but if this becomes increasingly the governing principle, then you can say indeed he is one of the elect, because this is what governs his life. But for these who fall by the wayside it isn’t what governed their life, it was just convenient for them to be there.