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A Study of Dispensationalism
by Arthur Pink

"But there is further reason, and a pressing one today, why we should write upon our present subject, and that is to expose the modern and pernicious error of Dispensationalism. This is a device of the Enemy, designed to rob the children of no small part of that bread which their heavenly Father has provided for their souls; a device wherein the wily serpent appears as an angel of light, feigning to "make the Bible a new book" by simplifying much in it which perplexes the spiritually unlearned. It is sad to see how widely successful the devil has been by means of this subtle innovation."

Culture
Cultures Trump Courthouses

P. Andrew Sandlin | The Judge Moore Confrontation


Judge Roy Moore has been suspended from his post, and the Ten Commandments monument has been evacuated in Montgomery, Alabama. These events are conforming testimony of the profoundly cultural (as opposed to chiefly legal) crisis that we confront. It is an equal confirmation of the Center for Cultural Leadership’s basic contention: legal and jurisprudential reform (though sorely needed) is not strategically central today; it merely reflects the real problem, which is cultural (externally religious) apostasy.

Ten Commandments and the Founding

The Unites States was not founded as a theocracy or Biblical republic (the founders were too influenced by Greco-Roman classical notions to be consistently Christian), but it was shaped by a few basic Christian truths: religious liberty, mistrust of power, and protection of minorities from majorities. The Founders, mostly Christians who took their Faith seriously (see M. E. Bradford’s fine essay “Religion and the Framers” ), were often enamored, too, of the Enlightenment mindset that surrounded them. Without the benefit of historic hindsight, they did not grasp the incompatibility between the novel Enlightenment surrounding them and Christianity; in fact, they often seemed to want to synthesize the two.

Moore is a godly, courageous man who recognizes the role Christian revelation played in the Founding, notably in the nation’s law base. When the Declaration of Independence spoke of “the laws of nature and of nature’s God,” the deist Jefferson had in mind the Christian God and His laws (whether “natural” or Biblical), not some other religion’s. Moore knows this, and he has stood for the symbolic appearance of the Ten Commandments in his court. He is to be commended for his resolve and courage. We must support his Biblical convictions.

Ten Commandments and Moore’s Christian Critics

None of this is to suggest that the devout Christian critics of his strategy (like Pat Robertson) are enemies of religious liberty or providing aid and comfort to Moore’s secular enemies. Even if Robertson and other critics are wrong, they are grappling with the right strategy by which to create a Christian culture; and we should listen to their voices, even if we disagree with their suggestions.

Ten Commandments and Cultural Victory

More importantly, we must recognize that the Ten Commandments monument is largely symbolic of the deeper cultural issue, and we must never suppose that civil law is that central issue of Christian concern. This is the mistake Christian conservatives have made for about three decades, and the fact that they have won numerous political victories as they have concurrently suffered cultural defeats should impel them to reconsider their strategy.

Ours is not — and never has been — a society driven by law and politics. These are only aspects of culture, and they are subordinate to the more vital aspects, like the arts.

Judge Moore did not lose his battle this week. He lost his battle in the Sixties and Seventies with John Lennon, Steven Spielberg and Jane Fonda. The arts trump law and jurisprudence, because humans are more intuitive and irrational than discursive and rational. They are “holistic.” Law is the legal rationalization of religion (it certainly is in the Bible).

Ten Commandments and The Great Stand

This is why the Great Stand will never be on the steps of an Alabama courthouse or at the door of abortion clinics — vital though a stand there is. The Great Stand must be in Hollywood, in the major universities, on Broadway, and in the newsrooms of cable TV networks. Law will change when the culture changes; and the culture will change when the TV and the silver screen and the music changes. Culture trumps politics and law every time. This is why Judge Moore was destined to lose — and why his disciples will continue to lose in the near future.

When the songs of Zion (the steel-guitar syncopation variety!) are on a populace’s lips; when major cable news is replete with a Christian perspective on everything (yes, everything); and when the largest grossing movies of the year are suffused with Christian truth (The Two Towers to the third power), we’ll have more than Ten Commandments monuments in courthouses. Every case will be argued with a Christian rationale.

When we create the culture, capturing the courthouse will be a cakewalk.

 

  P. Andrew Sandlin, an ordained minister, is president of the Center for Cultural Leadership, a Christian educational foundation dedicated to reclaiming contemporary culture for Jesus Christ. An interdisciplinary scholar, he holds academic degrees or concentrations in English, English literature, history, and political science. He has written several monographs and books, including The Full Gospel: A Biblical Vocabulary of Salvation and Totalism, and hundreds of essays and articles, both scholarly and popular. Andrew and his wife Sharon have five children.  

 

 

ALWAYS BEING READY TO MAKE A DEFENSE

In the first century the axiom of the church was: "Contend for the Faith" (Jude 3), but regrettably that has changed. The Apostle Paul tells the church to: "Refute those who oppose sound doctrine" (Titus 1:9). If Christians do not speak out against false teachings that confuse as well as deny definitive Christian theology; the false teachings will be construed as truth. To be sure, essential substantive Christian doctrine is not the popular message that is pervaded in most mega-Christian revivals. The doctrines that fill the pages of Scripture, however, are: the Tri-Unity of God, the full Deity of Jesus Christ, and Justification through faith alone.
 
CONTRIBUTORS
Rev. Paul Alexander
Rev. Greg Bahnsen
Nat Carswell
Gordon H. Clark
Edward Dalcour
Rev. William Einwechter
J. C. Evans
Kenneth Gentry
Perry A. Hess
Michael S. Horton
Ronald Kirk
Amanda Krystaponis
Rick Martin
Charles A. McIlhenny
Larry J. Michael, PhD.
Wil Pounds
Eunice V. Ray
Colonel Ronald D. Ray
Ernest Reisinger
P.Andrew Sandlin
Steve M. Schlissel
Geoff Thomas
Sarah Thomas
K. Cody Vest
Peter J. Wallace
 
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