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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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J. C. Ryle’s Rules For Reading The Bible

Quoting J.C. Ryle:

1. READ THE BIBLE WITH AN EARNEST DESIRE TO UNDERSTAND IT.

Do not be content to just read the words of Scripture. Seek to grasp the message they contain.

2. READ THE SCRIPTURES WITH A SIMPLE, CHILDLIKE FAITH & HUMILITY.

Believe what God reveals. Reason must bow to God’s revelation.

3. READ THE WORD WITH A SPIRIT OF OBEDIENCE AND SELF-APPLICATION.

Apply what God says to yourself and obey His will in all things.

4. READ THE HOLY SCRIPTURES EVERY DAY.

We quickly lose the nourishment and strength of yesterday’s bread. We must feed our souls daily upon the manna God has given us.

5. READ THE WHOLE BIBLE AND READ IT IN AN ORDERLY WAY.

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable.” I know of no better way to read the Bible than to start at the beginning and read straight through to the end, a portion every day, comparing Scripture with Scripture.

6. READ THE WORD OF GOD FAIRLY AND HONESTLY.

As a general rule, any passage of Scripture means what it appears to mean. Interpret every passage in this simple manner, in its context.

7. READ THE BIBLE WITH CHRIST CONSTANTLY IN VIEW.

The whole Book is about Him. Look for Him on every page. He is there. If you fail to see Him there, you need to read that page again.

George Washington On The Indispensable Supports Of Free Government

George Washington

Quoting George Washington (“Father of Our Country”):

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of man and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, “Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation deserts the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice?”

And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. It is substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who, that is a sincere friend to it, can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric? (Source: George Washington, Address of George Washington, President of the United States . . . Preparatory to His Declination (Baltimore: George and Henry S. Keating), pp. 22-23. In his Farewell Address to the United States in 1796.)

God, Relativism, And The Law Of Non-Contradiction

The God of the Bible is the God of perfect order and perfect logic. He has created this world and established the laws of logic in it. These laws are absolute and applicable to all men, in all times, and in all places. They are not relative because they are a reflection of the holy, righteous, and perfect character of God. The moral law of God is our rule of life. It is absolute objective truth.

37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” (John 18:36-38)

If you accept the philosophy of relativism; that there is no ultimate truth, then power becomes the arbiter of truth. Let’s take the idea of multiculturalism: It is a belief that each ethnic group must exist in their own little sections of society and their truth and their morality is right for them. The result is a fragmented society where there is no standard to bind everyone together. Such practices result in the destruction of that civilization, because no one is allowed (political-correctness) to stand up and say that the practices of some group are wrong. Those who advocate relativism want you to believe it is tolerant. It only allows, however, each man his own truth if that man doesn’t believe in absolute truth.

You must understand that relativism self-destructs logically. Perhaps you hear a relativist say, “There’s no such thing as absolute truth!” Ask him this question “Is that absolutely true?” If he says “Yes,” then he has admitted the reality of absolute truth. If he says “No,” he has denied the truth of his original statement.

So if the relativist has no truth apart from what he makes up for himself, then the only person he can lie to is himself. He may swear under oath to tell the truth, but he does not believe in absolute truth. The truth he tells may be absolute lies.

The relativist also has no basis for accusing someone of doing something wrong. Since, there are no standards by which to judge actions, he cannot call things right or wrong. It is impossible to ask for justice when there is no absolute standard of justice. The only world that can have objective, absolute truth and morals is a world created and governed by God. The Bible refutes the philosophy of relativism. The Bible gives us truth and morality. The Bible teaches us the truth about God. Absolute truth exists because God is a God of absolute truth.

The Bible also teaches us the truth about the world. The Bible tells us that God created the world and all of the laws that exist in the world. The laws God created are fixed. No one can make up his own laws and his own truth. There are laws of logic in the world because God created the world. God created the laws of nature and moral laws for all men. These laws are true because God is the ultimate source of absolute truth.

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