BABY-MURDERERS are Confronted Here!

Babies Are Murdered Here signThe covenantally creative folks at Crown Rights Media have released their hard-hitting, anti-abortion/pro-life documentary, Babies Are Murdered Here.

Every Christian needs to watch this film!

Less than an hour long, it is refreshingly frank and candid in its treatment of the lamentable and execrable subject of the wholesale clinical extermination and “blood-sacrifice” of millions upon millions of unborn children in America — since the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision 41 years ago — who are being offered up on the modern-day equivalent of the altar of Moloch — by their own mothers and fathers — just like in the wicked old days!

It is also refreshingly non-graphic. There are no images of dismembered bodies and bloody fetuses to evoke visceral emotions and denunciatory cries of “gore-mongers!”

Descriptions, yes.  Depictions, no.  It’s all verbal, not visual.

But that doesn’t mean the results of the “bloodless” documentary production are without impact and effectiveness.  Far from it.  The fervent preaching excerpts interlaced with personal accounts and testimonials of God-and-Christ inspired commitment and conviction and images of large groups of MEN assembled outside the abortion mills, individually and collectively having an immediate influence on the outcome of events inside, give the documentary a more “masculine” — godly, manly masculine! — tone and feel to the effort than we are used to seeing.  What once was the domain of mostly women and youngsters gathered outside, quietly milling around outside the mills praying and being non-confrontational, is now heavily represented by BOTH men and women, courageously and fearlessly yet peaceably confronting and calling out the perpetrators for the egregious crimes they are about to commit.

R.C. Sproul, Jr., gives provocative and challenging commentary on the matter throughout, along with the young men of God who offer their perspectives on their experiences.  Long-time anti-abortion prayer-warriors and rescuer-protesters John Barros and Patti Smith are also featured.

But that is all I am going to say about the film here to avoid spoiling it for you.

Again, the viewing of this important and excellent work — highlighting biblical Christianity in action — thoughtfully and prayerfully, coupled with intentional follow-up and acting on what it is calling the church to do, is mandatory!

Thank you, Marcus Pittman, I V Conerly and Crown Rights!

 

Martin Luther King, Civil Rights and ‘Christian Resistance’

Martin-Luther-KingToday’s observance of Martin Luther King Day seems like a good time to compare the racial and political ideologies that gave rise to the civil rights movements of the 1950s and 60s — and the creation of the national holiday honoring King in the 1980s — with the biblical and historical motivations that undergird the theology and tactics of Christian Resistance.

King’s prominent role in the civil rights movement as an ordained Christian minister — and liberal Baptist preacher — certainly gave the movement its religious, righteously indignant tone and flavor in the media.  But it was always a political movement, first to last.  And the goal was always a political one: equal rights under the law. Which was another way of saying blacks had a right to the same unequal and unfair treatment under the same bureaucratic and corrupt system of tyranny and excessive taxation that whites enjoyed.  “Now, that’s worth marching for!”

The civil rights movement and especially the Civil Rights Act of 1964 were originally championed on the right, believe it or not, by conservatives and Republicans.  But, of course, once its political potential as a catalyst for the justifiable expansion in the role of government — meaning the expansion in the role and power and enrichment and career enhancement of government-paid employees: politicians — to intrude into the lives and wallets of private citizens for the sake of “equality” became apparent, the movement was co-opted by members of the Left and adopted as their own cause, and a new ideological banner was created to wave in their opponents’ faces and cast in the teeth of conservatives.  “Take that, you bigoted, civil rights proponents, originators and pioneers!”

It was not “Christian resistance” per se.  At best, you could say it was baptized political activism.  Sort of like “liberation theology,” but without all the guns and Marxist trappings.

Christian resistance, as defined and presented in the following two books, is quite different.

Rather than providing a blueprint to seize and utilize the levers of tyrannical power and political mobilization to right wrongs and correct injustices, it offers a grassroots, theologically- and biblically-motivated, broad-based effort that begins with this: resisting the tyranny lawfully and peacefully while exposing and opposing the erroneous, unbiblical and ungodly theories and ideologies that caused the problem in the first place.  It then moves to providing Bible-based alternatives and solutions that will, in the long run, fix what is broken.

But first, as you will see, the nature of the problem — how we got here — has to be stated and understood, along with the principles and doctrines and biblical examples that validate and warrant, and even mandate, the proffering and strategic implementation of a “Christian” solution.

Let’s look at the backdrop.  In the 1970s, the civil rights movement nationally had pretty much run its course and faded from the public consciousness as a political force and nightly news-maker.  Now, war, military escalations, economic unrest, social and cultural turmoil that began in the decade before and continued as a thriving counter-culture, the spread of a militant atheism and secular humanism using the tax-funded institutions of government and public education to spread its poison and consolidate and expand its power, the erosion of traditional morality and values, etc., all combined to expose the obvious void and very noticeable absence of a self-consciously biblical, systematic Christian strategy and game plan to combat these problems and address these issues.

By the early 1980s, the nascent school of historic, orthodox, Calvinistic, eschatologically optimistic, theological school of thought known as Christian Reconstruction, was coming into its own and beginning to make its presence felt — a very unwelcome presence as far as many conservative evangelicals and fundamentalists were concerned!

Newsletters gave birth to books, which gave birth to more books.  Volumes and volumes of literary “blueprints” written explicitly for Christians to begin getting a theological and intellectual grip and handle on things.  Not a moment too soon.  Conservatives, especially Christians, having rediscovered political activism, were lulled into a false sense of victory in 1980 thinking they had “won” the grand prize when they got Ronald Reagan into the White House.  Wrong!   The battle was only escalating and intensifying.

For this reason, in 1983, the following two volumes were published in the Christianity and Civilization series of the Geneva Divinity School:

The Theology of Christian ResistanceTactics of Christian Resistance

Edited by Dr. Gary North and Rev. James B. Jordan, these two books were meant to be handbooks and manuals for Christians to read and understand, (a), what it is we are facing — and have been facing for quite some time! — and, (b), what it is we can, and must, do about it.

Their content and message are no less relevant and no less required reading for us today.

And so, on the occasion of Martin Luther King Day 2014, and in light of the growing liberty movement and slow but steady political awakening of the public to the across-the-globe problem of tyranny, it seems like an awfully wise and timely thing to do to embark on (for some) a new reading of these now-thirty-year-old books!  For those of us who are not waiting around biding our time hoping for a certain imminent cataclysmic event to deliver us instantly and mercifully from the exigencies and weighty and urgent responsibilities of building Christ’s kingdom by first deconstructing Satan’s counterfeit kingdom and its corrupt influences, the task of taking the time to identify the nature and causes and history of the problem, and then systematically and patiently but proactively and confidently addressing and dealing with them and ultimately, by God’s grace, power and wisdom, solving them once and for all, is not such a tall order.

Both of these books are free and can be downloaded right here:

The Theology of Christian Resistance

Tactics of Christian Resistance

Multiple authors contributed numerous articles and essays that comprise these two very informative and insightful volumes. But their individual viewpoints do share one common theme:

Crown rights, not civil rights!

I suppose if we had to think of a composite title for these, we could call them, Rules for Christian Radicals!

Happy reading and Happy MLK Day! 🙂

The Book of Revelation and ‘The Days of Vengeance:’ A Fresh Look at David Chilton’s Path-Breaking Commentary

The Days of Vengeance (David Chilton) book coverAccording to my one-year Bible-reading plan, I should have finished reading the book of Revelation sometime around New Year’s Eve.

Well, as luck God’s providence would have it, that didn’t happen.  I am still reading, still making my way through the final chapters.

That’s good.  Because, in doing so, I felt compelled to pull out (and dust off) my hardcover copy of David Chilton’s block-buster magnum opus: his 700-page, verse-by-verse commentary on the book of Revelation, The Days of Vengeance.

Holy interpretive maximalism, Batman!

Just kidding.  I will not join the throngs of Reformed — and not-so-Reformed — critics who dismiss the views expressed in this bulky but highly readable tome as springing from the fevered imagination of an otherwise gifted pastor and theological-hermeneutical heavyweight such as Chilton.

I am not worthy to loose the sandal strap — had I been anywhere near his vicinity while he was still alive — of this former missionary kid and Southern California transplant turned likable lightning-rod of biblical, postmillennial eschatology.

Let me say at the outset that this book, The Days of Vengeance: An Exposition of the Book of Revelation, belongs on every Christian’s book shelf and in every pastor’s library.  Period.

Why?

Because whether you read it or not, whether you agree or disagree with Chilton’s provocative and evocative analysis and invariably consistent interpretive approach to Scripture, you need this book in your midst if for no other reason than to bear witness to the fact that, Yes, Virginia, there is an evangelically uncompromising, conservative, Calvinistic, Bible-believing commentary on the most misunderstood, misinterpreted and scrupulously avoided (by many pastors and commentators) of all the 66 books of the Bible, that ISN’T either amillennial or premillennial!

Chilton pays excruciatingly close attention to every word in the text, seeking to uncover not only what it says, but why it says what it says.

The mark of a good Bible teacher is that he is constantly asking: Why is the story told in this particular way? Why is this particular word or phrase repeated several times? (How many times?) What does this story have in common with other stories? How is it different? Why does the text draw our attention to seemingly unimportant details? How do the minor incidents fit into the argument of the book as a whole? What literary devices (metaphor, satire, drama, comedy, allegory, poetry, etc.) does the author use? Why does the book sometimes depart from a strict chronological account (e.g., placing some stories “out of order”)? How are these stories related to the larger Story that the Bible tells? What does this story tell us about Jesus Christ? What does this story have to do with our salvation? Why did God bother to give us this particular information?

Hard to argue with that.

Like his previous (and equally polarizing) book, Paradise Restored, The Days of Vengeance raises the bar, sets the course and bends the arc of biblical hermeneutics towards an eschatologically optimistic, dominion-oriented, presuppositional and covenantal perspective of Scripture for all future commentaries that might and should be written, not only on the Revelation of St. John the Divine but also on the other sixty-five books of the Holy-Spirit-breathed, self-authenticating text of God’s holy Word!

I, David Chilton, was in Tyler, Texas on the Lord’s Day

If I were to attempt a real, honest-to-goodness, thorough book review of Days of Vengeance, it would probably either turn this into a 5,000-word blog post, or else an interminable series of installments that would drag out like a D. Martin Lloyd Jones sermon series, and seem like I’ve got nothing else to write about!  (I do, really.)  So, I’ll be brief.

After a Foreword by British theologian Gordon J. Wenham, his Author’s Preface, Publisher’s Preface by Gary North and then a lengthy (and highly informative) Introduction, Chilton divides the book into five parts.

Did you get that?  Five parts.  He does this deliberately.  VERY deliberately!

These five parts correspond exactly with the five-part covenant model that Rev. Ray Sutton had discovered shortly before Chilton finished writing the book, which caused him to rejigger the manuscript and complete it a few months later after three and a half years of work.  It fits beautifully with the five-part covenant structure found in Deuteronomy and (as Dr. North discovered) in the Ten Commandments and throughout Scripture.

So, in the final published edition, here is how the book is divided:

  • Part One, the Preamble: Revelation chapter 1.
  • Part Two, Historical Prologue: letters to the seven churches (Rev. 2-3).
  • Part Three, Ethical Stipulations: the seven seals (Rev. 4-7).
  • Part Four, Covenant Sanctions: the seven trumpets (Rev. 8-14).
  • Part Five, Covenant Succession and Continuity: the seven chalices (Rev. 15-22).

That pretty well constitutes the lion’s share of the contents, obviously.  After this, there is Chilton’s epilogue, “Conclusion: The Lessons of Revelation,” followed by three very helpful appendixes (appendices) which should be read just as earnestly as the rest of the book:

  • Appendix A, “The Levitical Symbolism in Revelation,” by Phillip Carrington
  • Appendix B, “Christian Zionism and Messianic Judaism,” by James B. Jordan
  • Appendix C, “Common Grace, Biblical Eschatology and Common Law,” by Gary North

A bibliography and three separate indexes (indices!) push the book past the 700-page mark when all is said and done.

Something that Chilton makes crystal-clear as far as his methodology is concerned, right up front in the first two pages of his Author’s Preface, he refers to the five “crucial interpretive keys” which he uses to guide his textual exposition throughout the commentary.

They are:

  1. Revelation is the most “Biblical” book in the Bible. (He explains why.)
  2. Revelation has a system of symbolism. (He refers to the “systematic structure” and unique biblical “language” in which it was written.)
  3. Revelation is a prophecy about imminent events. (This places him squarely in the preterist camp of biblical prophecy.)
  4. Revelation is a worship service. (He places great emphasis on the “very considerable liturgical aspects of Revelation.” calling attention to it because “the worship of God is central to everything in life.”)
  5. Revelation is a book about dominion. (It’s “not a book about how terrible the Antichrist is, or how powerful the devil is.”  It is about Christ’s lordship over all things and “our salvation and victory in the New Covenant.”  Amen to that.)

Contrary to popular opinion, Chilton states emphatically that the book of Revelation is NOT an “apocalyptic” book.  It is not intended by God (or John) to be a cryptic and obscure, mysterious, nearly-impossible-to-understand -without-a-dispensationalist-prophecy-professional-to-help-you-understand-it collection of weird, scary symbols and “secret” code words.   No, the symbolism and language that were used by St. John were commonly understood in his day, being “rooted firmly in the Old Testament” — which is why we 20th and 21st-century readers (even evangelical and Reformed) have such a hard time trying to figure it out!

Speaking of scary, Chilton points out that, “though John depicts evil realistically, his book is fundamentally optimistic.”  He contrasts the contemporary apocalyptic literature of the day with the biblical prophetic literature, summing up their stark difference in this way:

The apocalyptists said: The world is coming to an end: Give up! The Biblical prophets said: The world is coming to a beginning: Get to work!

Yes!

It is this unsinkable, unflappable tone of historical optimism and victorious confidence in the triumph of the Gospel and the Christian church prior to the Lord’s returns that permeates all of Chilton’s commentary on Revelation, and is what sets it apart from all the others.

Also, his very illuminating inclusion of excerpts and important historical details from the works of Flavius Josephus (The Jewish War) and Alfred Edersheim (The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah) make his case for first-century fulfillment of the majority of the prophecies in Revelation that much more compelling.

So, if you’re looking for a book on the Book of Revelation that will help you truly understand the unfamiliar biblical language and symbolism of it — even though Pastor Joe Morecraft (whom I respect and admire greatly) says DON’T go near Chilton’s book, Paradise Restored, or the interpretive maximalist school of interpretation he adheres to — you can either buy the book (somewhere) as a hardcopy, or else download it FOR FREE in a number of places.

Or, you can download it right here:

The Days of Vengeance

Either way, I think you will be encouraged, edified and instructed quite profitably by reading it.

Surely all those folks on Amazon.com and Goodreads can’t be wrong!

(Reading The Days of Vengeance and taking the time to write this brief review has allowed me to veer from my one-year Bible reading plan for a good reason, leaving me with a clear conscience void of offense towards God and towards men!)

Enjoy the book.  Happy New Year!