Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Matthew Henry on Pharaoh's Hardening


“Pharaoh continued obstinate. He had hardened his own heart, and now God justly gave him up to his own heart's lusts, permitting Satan to blind and harden him.”
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary 

The famous commentator, Matthew Henry, gives us a more Biblical, New Testament understanding of what took place in Pharaoh's hardening (see Rom. 1:28 and 2 Cor. 4:4).

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Monday, April 23, 2018

God's Character is Infinitely Holy by D. Fisk Harris


“Nothing can be more plain than the revelations of Scripture concerning God’s character as infinitely pure and holy—as a Being who not only can never sin himself, but can never be pleased to have others sin, and above all can never put forth his power to make them sin.”
Harris, D. Fisk Calvinism Contrary to God’s Word and Man’s Moral Nature (D. Fisk Harris, 1890), p. 238

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Saturday, April 21, 2018

Romans 9 is Not about Predestining Pharaoh for Destruction



Calvinist Proof-Texts Answered

“For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.” (Rom. 9:17)

Romans 9 is Not about Predestining Pharaoh for Destruction

“But, for this very reason, I have kept you from destruction, to make clear to you my power, and so that my name may be honoured through all the earth.” (Exodus 9:16; Bible in Basic English)

“And in very deed for this cause have I preserved thee through all the plagues and till the end, for to shew in thee My power; and that My name may be declared throughout all the earth.” (Exodus 9:16; E. W. Bullinger’s Companion Bible, 1909)

Commentary: “....the Hiphil is so much the more naturally translated, to allow to remain. It gives additional recommendation to this meaning, that the connection immediately suggests it; for Pharaoh might already have been carried off by the preceding plagues, and still more might this have happened in the threatened pestilence.” - August Tholuck, Exposition of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans (Philadelphia: Sorin and Ball, 1844), p. 326. The passage has nothing to do with God, before the beginning of time, predestining Pharaoh to be a vessel of destruction for his glory as some Calvinists falsely insinuate. On the contrary, God mercifully preserved and protected the undeserving Pharaoh when the plagues could have destroyed him.


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Friday, April 20, 2018

Protestant Reformer Philip Melancthon on the Hardening of Pharaoh


The hardening of Pharaoh's heart is a Hebrew figure of speech which signifies permission, not an efficient will; as, Lead us not into temptation, means, permit us not to be led into temptation.
Philip Melancthon (close friend and successor to Martin Luther)


For those who would like a source, this is quoted from the book Philip Melanchthon: The Protestant Preceptor of Germany by James William Richard (London: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1898), p. 233


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Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Ministry of Angels (Part 2)



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Romans 9 is Not a Denial of Free-Will



Calvinist Proof-Texts Answered

“For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” (Rom. 9:15)

Romans 9 is Not a Denial of Free-Will

“30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. 31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. 32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone” (Rom. 9:30-31)

“23 And they [Israel] also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.” (Rom. 11:23)

Commentary: The New Life Version says, “These good things from God are not given to someone because he wants them or works to get them. They are given because of His loving-kindness.” The passage is not denying freedom of choice but is stating that God’s gifts and callings for service are not based on human effort. Israel believed that their works earned them a place in God’s plan. They deceived themselves into believing that God was indebted to them. This is impossible since no one can earn God’s blessings (Rom. 4:1-6, 13-16; Eph. 2:8-9). The only way to enter into God’s plan is by faith in His mercy, a condition anyone can meet (Rom. 10:8-17). This is where Israel failed and the Gentiles succeeded.


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Sunday, April 8, 2018

Believing Satan's Lies against God by W.L. Parsons


"To believe the lies of Satan against God, involves an impeachment of the Divine character for veracity. It is to transfer the character of Satan to God, and that of God to Satan."
William Leonard Parsons Satan's Devices and the Believer's Victory (Boston: Gould and Lincoln, 1864), p. 71

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Saturday, April 7, 2018

The Ministry of Angels (Part 1)

We taught a series of lessons on angels at the local assembly that I pastor. While this has little to do with "Vindicating God" I thought that followers of this blog might still enjoy the series. Here is part 1 of a five part series.


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Cruel God Leads to Cruel Character by Fergus Ferguson


And we have sometimes thought that we could account, to some extent, for the sternness and harshness and injustice which we have detected in the conduct of certain theologians and professing Christians, both living and dead, by the errors in their respective theologies as to the character of God. If they deemed him to be cruel and unjust, what wonder that they should be cruel and unjust, and double-willed too!
Fergus Ferguson, The Character of God (London: Hamilton, Adams & Company, 1881), pp. 29, 30

We become like the God we worship: "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image" (2 Cor. 3:18a)

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