Happy Anniversary to A Peculiar Pilgrim!


A Peculiar Pilgrim has survived heretics, critics, and even free-willies to make it to the big 0-ONE by God’s grace. A Peculiar Pilgrim was birthed into the blogosphere exactly one year ago today- and blogs everywhere trembled. My initial post Road to Reformation -Part 1 kicked off what has become for me a most wonderful and blessed experience (The jury is still out on just how blessed my readers have been). I love blogging, but I love comments from my readers even more (hint – hint!). Always feel welcome to leave your thoughts, even if they don’t agree with mine. It works to sharpen us all as we continue to come to a full knowledge of the truth.

There are several reasons I chose to start a blog. First, I desired to chronicle my story of turning away from my semi-Pelagian beliefs to Calvinistic ones. Secondly, I wanted to help others who were struggling with the whole Church-Growth/Purpose-Driven movement dominating modern Christianity.

In the beginning I actually had two blogs. My other one was titled Post Tenebras Lux (After Darkness, Light). I used it primarily as a discernment watchblog. After a couple of months I realized I barely had enough time to maintain one blog, much less two. I eventually merged the content of Post Tenebras Lux with this one. In April I posted Coming Out from Among Them – Part 1 (the story of leaving my old church) and my blog emerged from oblivion. To this day, that post has more views than any other – by a comfortable margin.

Another reason I blog is to crystallize my thoughts on various biblical topics. My mind is cloudier than a thick London fog. Writing helps to organize my thoughts as well as develop them more fully. Sometimes my posts are fairly lucid. At other times a post may be little more than a stream of thought put to digital text. in the end, blogging has helped to sharpen my convictions and cement my beliefs in the glorious truths of scripture.This may sound strange, but I look forward to reading my posts several years from now and observing how far I’ve come in my knowledge and wisdom of God’s word. Like the saying goes, I am reformed, yet always reforming. Continue reading

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The Righteousness of Noah


I must admit, my Sunday school class continues to stimulate and challenge my beliefs in the doctrines of Grace. This past Sunday our lesson ‘Aspire to Walk with God’ centered on the story of Noah and the Flood. I studied the passages in Genesis chapter 6 and had decided to focus in on the righteousness of Noah, anticipating that this would be a hot topic during discussion. Turns out I was correct. The teacher asked a question I think everyone has when first reading this passage. Here’s the text. Read through it and I bet the question that first pops into your mind is the same as mine.

Gen 6:5-22 The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (6) And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. (7) So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” (8) But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. (9) These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God. (10) And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (11) Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. (12) And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. (13) And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. …. (17) For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. (18) But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. (19) And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. (20) Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive. (21) Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them.” (22) Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.

I came away asking this: How could Noah possibly be righteous and blameless in a world corrupted by sin?

While you chew on that, here’s another question to ponder: Who is responsible for mankind’s redemption in this story? Did God redeem man or did Noah? Well, it looks like God desired to wipe out the whole human race because they were evil. Noah, because of his righteousness, was spared. If Noah had not been blameless in God’s sight we would not be here discussing this story. The world would be barren and lifeless. So, we are in fact indebted to Noah and some kind of inherent righteousness he somehow possessed that no other human had. Noah is our hero! All hail to the savior of us all! In spite of God’s will to destroy all flesh, man prevailed. Continue reading

Did God Create Evil?


Our Sunday school director asked a good question to open up class last week. We were preparing to study Genesis chapter three where the temptation and the fall of man is recorded. He simply asked, “Did God create evil? ”
Hmmm, good question. My knee-jerk reaction is to shout, “of course not! God is good, God is love! He absolutely could not create evil and even if he could, he would not. God is not the author of evil!”

Then again, as I pondered the question I began to consider a few things. Where did the serpent come from? If God is the Sovereign creator of all that exists then logically he must be the creator of evil, right? And what do I do with Isaiah 45:7;

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. (Isa 45:7)

After some initial mental scrutiny, I felt scripture supported God as the creator of evil. The class discussed it briefly without coming to a consensus. The question stuck with me throughout this past week. While I didn’t study it to any great depth, I have a handful of scriptures I would like to showcase that I believe clarify the matter somewhat. Continue reading

Divine Election or Mortal Selection?


Sam Storms has an excellent article on the controversial subject of divine election over at Monergism. Here is an excerpt:

In the final analysis, Calvin believes we should study divine election primarily for its ability to tell uslottery.jpg why one person who hears the gospel comes to saving faith in Jesus Christ and why another does not. To whom or what, ultimately, do we attribute the distinction? When all is said and done, how do you explain why one person believes unto eternal life and another does not? Who makes one person to differ from another: the person or God? That question can only be answered by looking more closely at the “how” and “why” of God’s sovereign choice. I’ll take that up in the next lesson.

Look with me at John 17:1b-2. Here Jesus prays to the Father and says, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him” (ESV).

There is so much in this passage that I run the risk of getting de-railed from my primary purpose. But I can’t leave it without making a couple of comments. We must take note that not everyone is given eternal life. Only those whom the Father has “given” to Jesus are granted eternal life. The idea of people being “given” by the Father to the Son is standard Johannine language for divine election (see especially John 6:37-65).

Note also that God has not utterly cast off the world of mankind, although it would have been entirely fitting and just had he done so. He has given ultimate authority over all flesh, over every man, woman, and child to Jesus Christ. Jesus has unassailed, unchallenged, comprehensive authority over all human beings: over red and yellow, black and white; over male and female, young and old; over the powerful and the weak; over the rich and poor; over the educated and the ignorant; over those down under in Australia and those up over at the North Pole; over those who live in caves and those who walk in marble corridors.

As Edwards himself pointed out in a sermon on 1 Peter 2:9, whether they are elected or not, they belong to God. He didn’t lose his rights to humanity because of the fall nor did he forfeit his power and authority to dispose of them as he sees fit. They are still in his hands. Neither did he lose his ultimate end or goal in having created them in the first place (see Prov. 16:4).

Out from among those over whom he has sovereign rights as Creator and Lord, the Father has given some to the Son in order that the Son might give to them eternal life.

Click HERE to view the entire article. It is a great read!

 

The Fall of Man, the Rise of Evil and the Seed of the Woman


This past weekend our Sunday school class discussed what I believe to be one of the most fundamentally important passages in all the bible. We looked at Genesis chapter 3 where Adam and Eve committed sin and forever altered the course of human history. It is the single most devastating event the world has ever known. It is more cataclysmic than the fall of the Roman Empire, more disastrous than the black plague, more destructive than both World Wars combined, more sorrowful than the Nazi concentration camps. The decision Adam made in allowing the serpent to tempt his wife, the lack of fortitude he exuded when the devil contradicted God’s own word, the complacency he exhibited when Eve took hold of the forbidden fruit and finally the yielding of his will to the desire to taste of it himself trumps every global catastrophe that succeeded it. Why? All the suffering, sorrow and madness the world has experienced over the past 6,000 years finds its root cause in the Garden of Eden. Continue reading

An Essay on the Gospel of Jesus Christ


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My friend and brother in the Lord over at the Spice Mines of Kessel has recently written a compilation of essays entitled Retrospect, Faith and Grace. They beautifully detail the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and how it has impacted him. The essays are both a teaching and a testimony. He has really poured out his heart into this body of work and I am pleased and honored to recommend it for your edification. The multiple essays have been combined to form one document, which is available in PDF format. Click on the image above to read his introduction. At the bottom of the post you will find the link to download the PDF. Read and be blessed!

The Diminishing Doctrine of Sola Scriptura


The Protestant Reformation in the 16th century recovered many pivotal Christian doctrines that had become buried beneath an avalanche of time-honored traditions and blatantly anti-biblical teachings. The doctrine of Sola Scriptura helped to restore orthodoxy back to the visible church. Sola Scriptura (or Scripture Alone) is the conviction that the bible alone is God’s authoritative and infallible message to his people, sufficient for all faith, life and godliness. This doctrine has come under intense fire over the past century. it has suffered immeasurably at the hands of liberal theologians who question the authenticity of the bible as God’s word and also false prophets, who utter extra-biblical revelations, claiming that God is doing a ‘new thing’. Well, despite the attempts of many a heretic, Sola Scriptura has stood firm her ground, even if multitudes fall away from belief in it. Check out this post at Herescope concerning the latest volley of fiery arrows falling upon this fortified bunker of divine truth. The shocking part is that we may be a victim of friendly fire! Here is an excerpt: Continue reading