Will A Revival Save Us?

In hopes of understanding my own blindness about race relations in America and what I (me me I I me me) might do to make the nation and me less racist, I listened to Thabiti Anyabwile’s discussion with Carmen Fowler LaBerge. Here’s what I learned. First, I need to acknowledge that whites have treated blacks badly:

We need to acknowledge the ways in which the church has intentionally, historically refused to be the Body of God along the lines of race. Whether it from Virginia’s enactment of laws that if a slave became a Christian did not mean they would be freed from slavery, to the segregation of congregations in the 1800s and into the 1900s, to the Evangelical church just missing the ball in the Civil Rights Movement and other areas. We have to tell the truth- the bone deep truth- about our complicity if we will ever be free from it.

When I taught colonial America last fall, I ended with the point that race is one of the lasting and darkest legacies of colonial slavery. I may need to do more in class. But I think I’ve got this part of it. I understand in part if not in full.

Second, I need to do something:

Pastor T says one tangible step is to pray for revival. Pray that God pours out his Spirit on His church, and that His spirit would graciously bring conviction of sin. That He would quicken His church in repentance and holiness. Pray that God would subdue the hearts of those hearts in rebellion against God and turn to Him.

Pastor T hopes the Lord would use the grief and mourning that has gripped the nation to break our hearts in repentance and so we would draw near to Him in revival.

Here I’m scratching my head. Does Pastor Anyabwile (and Carmen) not know that revivals were incredibly divisive throughout U.S. history? Revivals don’t unify. They divide churches between pro- and anti-revivalists.

If Pastor Anyabwile means that revival might bring sanctification, I appreciate the point. But in the case of cop shootings, does that mean city governments should only hire applicants who have made a profession of faith? If revival saves America, aren’t we still thinking about politics the way Constantinians, neo-Calvinists, Covenanters, and theonomists do? Can we only trust officials who are saved?

So what do we do if we are to live with non-Christians? Any policies? Interestingly enough, Pastor Anyabwile faulted Ta-Nehisi Coates in the latter’s piece on mass incarcerations for not recommending any policies:

Coates repeats the significant failure he recognizes in an earlier Moynihan. Coates tells us that the fatal flaw in Moynihan’s infamous report was Moynihan’s decision to omit specific policy solutions. Having seen that so clearly, it’s odd that Coates should repeat that failure so often in the important writing he now undertakes. A mind as formidable as Coates’s ought not stop with descriptive analysis, however compelling its portrayal of the problem. It should push itself to hazard a prescription, to call for some specific redress.

Pastor Anyabwile is of course right. He should also know that revival is not policy.

So what policy is out there? Maybe Peter Moskos is on to something about what California and Chicago police can learn from New York City’s patrol people and their supervisors:

Last year in California, police shot and killed 188 people. That’s a rate of 4.8 per million. New York, Michigan, and Pennsylvania collectively have 3.4 million more people than California (and 3.85 million more African Americans). In these three states, police shot and killed (just?) 53 people. That’s a rate of 1.2 per million. That’s a big difference.

Were police in California able to lower their rate of lethal force to the level of New York, Michigan, and Pennsylvania — and that doesn’t seem too much to ask for — 139 fewer people would be killed by police. And this is just in California! (And California isn’t even the worst state; I’m picking on California because it’s large and very much on the high end.)

Now keep in mind most police-involved shootings are not only legally justifiable, they are necessary and good at the moment the cop pulls the trigger. But that doesn’t mean that the entire situation was inevitable. Cops don’t want to shoot people. They want to stay alive. You give cops a safe way to reduce the chance they have to pull the trigger, and they’ll certainly take it.

I really don’t know what some departments and states are doing right and others wrong. But it’s hard for me to believe that the residents of California are so much more violent and threatening to cops than the good people of New York or Pennsylvania. I suspect lower rates of lethal force has a lot to do with recruitment, training, verbal skills, deescalation techniques, not policing alone, and more restrictive gun laws. (I do not include Tasers on this list.)

If we could bring the national rate of people shot and killed by police (3 per million) down to the level found in, say, New York City (The big bad NYPD shoots and kills just 0.7 per million) we’d reduce the total number of people killed by police 77 percent, from 990 to 231!

The thing is, we don’t need the Holy Spirit’s miraculous powers for this. Providential control is always appreciated.

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86 thoughts on “Will A Revival Save Us?

  1. The Finneyan (no-brainer), Wesleyan, Edwardsian, Azuza Street (no-brainer),and the latest pro-Revival program by the PCA, ‘Embers To a Flame’, are all flawed and unhealthy. Luther prayed for revival (in the Psalmic sense of the Lord reviving his people through the Gospel) years after the first events of the Reformation, in the sense of a sincere honoring of Christ in the church. Revivals seem to begin well but always have a bad ending – whereas, by contrast, continuing in sound doctrine and practice brings surety, steadiness, and lasting impact through the ‘ordinary’.

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  2. I think that the constant call and reliance our our revival to save the nation seems to show a self-absorption that either we approve of or are unaware of. Despite the revivals and this nation’s Christian consensus of the past, race relations did not improve. And now we think revival is going to save us.

    In addition, focusing on race relations alone will not improve them. Here, we might consider what Martin Luther King said as he spoke against the Vietnam War: (see http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article2564.htm )


    I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

    Whether one agrees or disagrees with King, we need to not two things. That racism cannot be eradicated by itself. For racism to eliminated, or even significantly reduced, we need to reduce both materialism and militarism. We should note from what King said elsewhere that materialism is just one side of a many sided object that also includes economic exploitation. The same applies to militarism being part of a many sided object that includes war.

    Second, what King is saying rather straight forward. It is that as long as society considers gadgets, profits, and property rights to be more important than people, we will have racism, materialism/economic exploitation, and militarism/war. In other words, our problems stem from a lack of sharing and thus a lack of concern for those who are not as well off as we are. We can’t address our racial issues without including providing economic uplift to those left behind. And this applies not only to those left behind here, it applies to those left behind from other nations:


    A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say: “This is not just.”

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  3. D G Harts say The thing is, we don’t need the Holy Spirit’s miraculous powers for this. Providential control is always appreciated.

    Why oh why do I always take the bait from mr. me me I I me me

    Which is it? 1) we don’t need God for everything or 2) His intervention is always appreciated?
    I should diagram OL ‘worldview’ as evidenced by the various sundry posts and see if the covolution can be deciphered and untangled, not to mention how it ties in with the word of God…

    which reminds me, as JESUS says: when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8
    ‘cause He also says:
    -with all prayer and petition, pray at all times in the Spirit, Eph 6:18
    -be anxious for nothing, but in everything pray Phil 4:6
    -pray without ceasing; 1 Thess 5:17
    – pray on behalf of all men, for kings,all in authority, 1 Tim 2:2

    ….This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior 1 Tim 2:3

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  4. …for what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! Matt 7:9-11

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  5. But Curt, don’t you need a “revival” to get people to abandon militarism and materialism? You need to change a lot of hearts of minds. Whereas, for people to find other property rights protection solutions the evil profit motive to abolish the police, you just have to watch and wait.

    http://faculty.msb.edu/hasnasj/GTWebSite/Obvious.pdf
    The section on police begins on page 122:

    To all outward appearances, when police services are supplied by a politically controlled monopoly, the public receives police services driven by political, rather than efficiency, considerations. Thus, disfavored, politically powerless groups are typically underserved, police resources are frequently directed toward politically favored ends (e.g., suppression of victimless crimes) rather than their most productive use (e.g., suppression of violence), and the nature of the service is determined by political budgetary concerns rather than actual need (e.g., SWAT teams in Wisconsin).

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  6. Curt, “Second, what King is saying rather straight forward. It is that as long as society considers gadgets, profits, and property rights to be more important than people, we will have racism, materialism/economic exploitation, and militarism/war. In other words, our problems stem from a lack of sharing and thus a lack of concern for those who are not as well off as we are.”

    Right. We never hear about the taking of innocent life or see outrage about it.

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  7. “Whether it from Virginia’s enactment of laws that if a slave became a Christian did not mean they would be freed from slavery, to the segregation of congregations in the 1800s and into the 1900s, to the Evangelical church just missing the ball in the Civil Rights Movement and other areas.”

    I assume at some point that pastor Thabiti would get around to talking about the sins and struggles that ordinary non-racist Christians have to deal with daily – “walk by the Spirit and not fulfill the lusts of the flesh” and all that. What a marvelous distraction from the ordinary pursuit of holiness; you simply redirect your efforts towards purifying the American Evangelical Church from sins committed in the 1800s and 1900s. When did joining The Civil Rights Movement become a Holy Sacrament? How does any of this apply to Christians of Korean, Nigerian, Syrian, or Haitian descent whose ancestors had nothing to do with enslaving others – are they exempt from needing a revival?

    What a sorry mess the Quest for Cosmic Justice has become. Thabiti needs to read Thomas Sowell.

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  8. I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society…For racism to eliminated, or even significantly reduced, we need to reduce both materialism and militarism

    Curt, you (and King) sound like a Pelagian revivalist: overcome in the here and now by, well, just doing it. Do it! Now! Five-four-three-two-one-shazam! Funny how prosperity gospel and social gospel share that trait.

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  9. Ali, the author of miraculous power and providential control is one and the same triune God. Creational life requires the latter and redemptive life the former. The problem is when that mixed and matched. The only way to see that as convoluted is to be, well, convoluted.

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  10. ” Which is it? 1) we don’t need God for everything or 2) His intervention is always appreciated?”
    Who here ever said we don’t need God for everything? Or do you assume that God is not involved in providential (non miraculous) events in the world?

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  11. what’s wrong with dividing and being honest about it?

    if you have not done the reading assigned for class today, don’t bother to come to class

    There’s this person who did a work
    and before you know if that work was for you,
    you must know and agree with the doctrine
    of what He did

    His death was for as many as believe,
    and not for those who will never believe the gospel doctrine
    if you don’t know what the person did,
    you do not know the person

    commitment to the imperative
    to unity cannot come
    before we know the indicative
    who He is and what He got done

    even Abraham had two sons, and they were not both his children
    sometimes instead of reform
    there needs to be eviction or exodus
    exile then silence

    we are not called to a tragic imperative
    unity with the lesser evil against the greater evil
    or reform in preference to revival
    sheep don’t follow the wrong person with the wrong doctrine

    i still want to know,
    how did a nice man like Jesus
    get Himself killed
    divided by His doctrine

    they hated His doctrine
    so much they wanted Him dead
    but that was a long time ago
    now He comes privately into our revived hearts

    and why go public with the personal?
    when we can hold onto the center
    with people who merely acknowledge a common creator
    even if there is no redemption, maybe we hold onto the past a little longer

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2016/06/28/in-his-new-book-eric-metaxas-whitewashes-george-whitefield-on-slavery/

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  12. Zrim,
    Do you know in which sphere I am speaking?

    And it is a matter of facing reality. If we choose to prefer things over people, we can expect racism, materialism/economic exploitation, and war/miltiarism. That is just like if we polluting the environment, we can count on more severe effects from climate change. That is simply cause and effect.

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  13. D.G.,
    Actually, Black Live Matter has been protesting the taking of innocent life. Certainly they do not protest the taking of very innocent life, but they protest the taking of some. Which innocent lives were you thinking of?

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  14. ” If we choose to prefer things over people, we can expect racism, materialism/economic exploitation, and war/miltiarism. ”

    So basically, as the planet is populated by sinners, they will sin. All the best to you in your effort to change people who don’t know the transforming grace of Christ.

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  15. Curt, ok, I choose to face reality and prioritize people over things. That was easy. Now I can expect to be free of racism and materialism, right? Don’t have enough money? Pray for more money! Shazam!

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  16. sdb says: ” Which is it? 1) we don’t need God for everything or 2) His intervention is always appreciated?” Who here ever said we don’t need God for everything? Or do you assume that God is not involved in providential (non miraculous) events in the world?

    Hi sdb.

    What is DG actually saying here – DG Hart say: The thing is, we don’t need the Holy Spirit’s miraculous powers for this. Providential control is always appreciated.

    I’m not even sure. Can you explain?
    To the human, all that God does miraculous. Providence IS miraculous, occurring by miraculous power. If you don’t think so, you try it, which you might have already with you kids :).
    miracle – an unusual or wonderful event that is believed to be caused by the power of God….egs……
    He upholds all things by the word of His power Heb 1:3, works all things after the counsel of His will Eph 1:11; causes all things to work together for good to His people Rom 8:28; uses things meant for evil for good Gen 50:20

    DG says above, in summary:
    1. .race is one of the lasting and darkest legacies of colonial slavery. I think I’ve got this part of it. I understand in part if not in full.
    2.I need to do something: pray for revival. Pray that God pours out his Spirit on His church, and that His spirit would graciously bring conviction of sin. That He would quicken His church in repentance and holiness. Pray that God would subdue the hearts of those hearts in rebellion against God and turn to Him. Pastor T hopes the Lord would use the grief and mourning that has gripped the nation to break our hearts in repentance and so we would draw near to Him in revival.
    3.Here I’m scratching my head. Revivals don’t unify. They divide churches between pro- and anti-revivalists. If Pastor Anyabwile means that revival might bring sanctification, I appreciate the point.
    4.But in the case of cop shootings, does that mean city governments should only hire applicants who have made a profession of faith? Can we only trust officials who are saved?

    DG disagrees with the prayer in # 2?
    Revivals only divide?
    God isn’t the source of any/all good in whoever- saved or unsaved?
    If it’s someone else is the source of good and if someone else should be petitioned for subduing rebellious hearts, please let me know who so we can all thank and glorify them.

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  17. Zrim,
    So are you saying that if you make people more important than money, you won’t have enough money? And that would be enough money for what?

    King’s statement is as good as it is valid and what it does is to make us aware of the consequences of our choices.

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  18. mrbfree,
    The trouble with your disagreement is that we have both Christians who place a higher value on things than on people and we have nonChristians who place a higher value on people than things. In addition, it is simply a cause and effect relationship King states which I see no problem in repeating.

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  19. Curt, but what is actionable? You can’t force people to abide by these teachings. Or maybe you can but that isn’t Christianity. I agree with your observation that there are non Christians that are more charitable and selfless than some professing Christians. So what? They still need Christ.

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  20. Noah’s Ark won’t save us:

    I pull out my phone to check Twitter and find headlines about yet another tragedy that quickly moves me to tears. My morning inside the ark had felt like a vacation from the real world, a brief distraction from the overwhelming brokenness and pain that permeates our communities. I agree with Ham in one sense: We are to go into the world, preach the gospel, and do business until Christ comes. But whereas Ark Encounter aims to fulfill this mission by drawing people in through its turnstiles, I tend to think we experience and share God’s presence best when we weep with those who weep, care for the orphans and the widows, and love our neighbors as ourselves. This means entering into and engaging with cultures, communities, and places where we may not always feel welcomed or encouraged.

    Many people will have a genuine experience with God at Ark Encounter. Their faith will be strengthened, and they will walk away with a renewed appreciation for the Bible and a desire to speak boldly about their beliefs. But for the skeptic or the atheist who might be drawn to the park out of curiosity, there is little to make them stop and think about the point of it all: Jesus, our savior who left heaven, came down to earth, lived a sinless existence, and died so that we may have life abundantly.

    People are searching for answers to life’s biggest questions: Why am I here? Am I loved? What do I do with my pain? Any beliefs we have about Creation, Noah’s ark, or the Bible as a whole are beneficial only insofar as they help us point a hurting world to the one who provides the true answers to the longings of our hearts. A 100-million-dollar, biblically accurate wooden replica of Noah’s ark can find its true value only by directing us to the wood of the Cross and the one who died on it for the sake of the world.

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  21. D. G. Hart says: Ali, God gave us magistrates and the police forces to preserve order. I thank God.

    oh, ok thanks, I’ll incorporate that into the venn diagram of your 2k propositions to keep untangling it, ( which may take longer than it took to build the ark though , but that’s ok ) 🙂

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  22. DG says It’s not that complicated.

    that’s what I thought. Would you please send me those books and I’ll see if it’s so….

    in the meantime, I’ll incorporate into the venn diagram of your 2k propositions to keep untangling it, which may take longer than it took to build the ark though , but that’s ok… this:
    DG’s endorsement, quote above, Noah’s Ark :This means entering into and engaging with cultures, communities, and places where we may not always feel welcomed or encouraged.

    ps:
    CT article:Gatliff I’m fascinated by some of the quirkier ways fellow Christians express their faith. I agree with Ham in one sense: We are to go into the world, preach the gospel, and do business until Christ comes.

    Ken Hamm witnesses in his way in/to the world (science, answers in Genesis) and Cort Gatliff witnesses in his way( journalism,English literature) , both I’m sure with the testimony of Jesus?

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  23. Curt, I’m saying what animates social gospel also animates prosperity gospel. They both speak as if our best (political or personal) life is now and all we have to do is employ the right steps and formula by sheer acts of will and POW! Utopia. You’ve never picked up on that?

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  24. Providence IS miraculous, occurring by miraculous power.

    Ali, more convolution. If providence is miraculous then there is no miraculous. When I take a breath and it keeps me alive, that’s not a miracle, it’s providence. But when I die and breath comes back to me, it is. Providence comes from divine power, but that doesn’t make it miraculous. Do you also think the natural is supernatural, everything is grace, all of life is worship?

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  25. D. G. Hart says: Ali, don’t hold your breath.

    oh, if it’s ‘cause you don’t have my address, I will gladly send it. If you send them, I will read them, then maybe all my misunderstanding about your positions will be cleared up? 🙂 Besides as you see below from zrim being given breath is no big thing, easy, anyone can give it, so to hold it is nothing either.

    Zrim says: Providence IS miraculous, occurring by miraculous power. Ali, more convolution. If providence is miraculous then there is no miraculous. When I take a breath and it keeps me alive, that’s not a miracle, it’s providence. But when I die and breath comes back to me, it is. Providence comes from divine power, but that doesn’t make it miraculous. Do you also think the natural is supernatural, everything is grace, all of life is worship?

    Zrim, Is God ‘pretty good’? How come I get the impression some are always trying to reduce God’s glory. No, I’m not just talking about some RCs.
    Providence = God ordains whatever comes to pass.

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  26. best I can tell, DG, that would set me back ~$60, and as my dad always said a penny saved is a penny earned 🙂

    saw that painful moment live and it was painful. I see on the clip even Mario Lopez seemed pained. Anyway, though enough deflection cw, ‘cause of that is different than when I believe I used the ‘such as’ (which got you going), because my ‘such as’ was, of course, legit and clear, using it to wonder about ‘such as’ ones ‘such as’ hidden reefs, cw. 🙂

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  27. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,
    but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Matt. 6:19-20

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  28. @Ali
    The scriptures clearly teach that God created and actively sustains all of creation. Not a single hair can fall from my head apart the will of my Father in heaven. This ordinary providence, much of which no human ever experiences (say the clouds swirling on a distant planet), is not miraculous. In addition to God’s ordinary providence (by which unbelievers can plant crops, build cities, and raise their families), God also in his mercy engages with creation to reveal himself in a special way. Ordinarily ax heads don’t float, soggy logs aren’t consumed by fire, the lame walk, blind see, and dead rise from the dead. These occur outside of God’s normal providence. These exceptional acts of God we refer to as miracles. God instituted government to restrain evil according to his ordinary providence. It isn’t a miracle that Japan has such a low crime rate or that the US has seem it’s crime rate return to mid 20th century. It is the result of God’s providence. The problem of race relations in the US could be corrected by a miraculous intervention by God. I doubt that will occur. More likely is that God in his providence will bend our leaders choices to accomplish his purposes.

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  29. Zrim,
    First, whose version of the Social Gospel are you talking about?
    Second, as for the comparison, doesn’t the prosperity Gospel imply that they are working in the same sphere as those who preach the Gospel? Those who are secular or who look for a basis for a civic morality are working under sphere? And doesn’t 2KT allow for a civil morality that can be shared by both Christians and nonChristians?

    And, btw, why do you think people like me are expecting Utopia? Why not just be content with improving on where we are now?

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  30. D. G. Hart says: Ali, so you’re frugal and dumb. That’s not the Reformed Protestant way.

    Your books are the thing that would make me smart?. sheesh. …
    Thus says the LORD, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD. Jer 9:23 -24
    Anyway, I do hope to read them some day (maybe)

    Sdb, thanks, but I think its ok to think of all His way as miraculous and some even more miraculous…. today thinking how ..
    1) we are not consumed.
    2) He speaks with man, yet he lives.
    3) He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. ..despite that unrepentant hearts are storing up wrath ;despite that no man is righteous, through the obedience of Jesus, many are made righteous.
    And thinking, in this day now, in general, how we need a much higher view of God

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  31. Ali, come on…” All of His ways are miraculous and some are even more miraculous”…. Are some even more miraculous than the more miraculous ones?

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  32. mrbfree says: Ali, come on

    morning mrbefree, just to reiterate…. thinking, in this day now, in general, how we need a much higher view of God

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  33. ” Ali, so you’re frugal and dumb. That’s not the Reformed Protestant way.”
    Whoa, whoa, whoa… now you’ve gone too far. You mean to tell me that the Presbyterianism that emerged from SCOTLAND isn’t frugal?!?!! Or that the DUTCH are spendthrifts? I’ve choked down enough stale coffee cakes and washed them down with watery coffee to know better.

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  34. Ali, I think sdb has ably demonstrated your line of reasoning doesn’t get us to a higher view of God. If everything is miraculous, nothing is.

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  35. Ali, books cost money. You save pennies. You don’t read books.

    You follow the logic.

    Ever heard of public libraries? Interlibrary loan? No. You expect authors to send you books. And then you quote the Bible.

    Make it really stop.

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  36. D. G. Hart says: Ali, books cost money. You save pennies. You don’t read books. You follow the logic. Ever heard of public libraries? Interlibrary loan? No. You expect authors to send you books. And then you quote the Bible.Make it really stop.

    DG,
    1) if Columbus saved a penny in 1492 in a 6% interest-bearing account, left untouched = >$120B today
    2) ever heard of thrift store book shelves and why aren’t your books ever there too
    3) you are an author (but not of the Bible) so your opinion is prejudiced
    4) you would be thrilled to have someone always quoting your books; probably would tell them never to stop 
    🙂

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  37. Ali says:
    July 23, 2016 at 9:02 am
    …for what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! Matt 7:9-11>>>>

    Great ref., Ali. Thanks. Here’s the parallel passage.

    ESV If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

    And this:
    James 4:2You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.

    Here is a Catholic prayer that I don’t think you will have trouble with.
    “Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
    Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And you shall renew the face of the earth.”

    You are doing just fine, Ali. These guys seem to me to be advocating for what some call “practical deism.” It is not even standard Reformed faith and practice, as Greg the big sweetheart sometimes points out.

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  38. Tiribulus says: I just wanted to pop in for a minute to give Ali a word of brotherly encouragement.

    GREG!, a voice of reason, where have you been?! Thanks for the encouragement. I need it. Did you see DG thinks I would no longer be dumb if I would just read his books. And too, back to the post topic, did you see, the proposition here that the Holy Spirit really isn’t needed for all that much stuff in the world, prayer for revival is not really such a good idea at all, and God is pretty good ,but just usually not very miraculous or anything. 🙂

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  39. I haven’t really read the thread. I’ve been occupied elsewhere. I just know how these can be.
    I do wish you’d drop me a line. Everything doesn’t need to be out on this blog. With your husband’s knowledge of course.. tiribulus@yahoo.com
    I’ve been trying to get Darryl to do it for a couple years, but he won’t.

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  40. ” Sdb, thanks, but I think its ok to think of all His way as miraculous and some even more miraculous…”

    Wel, “l there is a way that seems right…”

    Do you really want to say that there is no difference between looking down in the shower and seeing that some hair fell from your head and seeing Jesus walk on water? There is a reason that teachers of Scripture have distinguished God’s providential rule of creation and miraculous intervention and why we should not expect to observe miracles today. B.B. Warfield is worth reading here. While you may not agree with his cessationist viewpoint, you might find that it clarifies why the distinction between providence and miracles matter (I seem to recall McArthur having worthwhile thoughts on the topic as well). To reiterate, the claim is not that God is actively involved some times and not others. Rather the distinction is between how that involvement is manifested. It is akin to the difference between general revelation and special revelation.

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  41. D.G.,
    But that is not all the cops do in those areas. Some cops abuse their responsibilities through brutality, the selective enforcement of the law, racial profiling, and even framing people for crimes by planting evidence themselves. And unfortunately, with the ‘All Lives Matter’ and ‘Blue Lives Matter’ mantras, these actions are not receiving the public attention due to them. We basically need accountability.

    And going back to King’s quote, we need a set of societal moral values that challenge practices like racism. There is no political or economic system or is there a society whose success is independent of society’s moral values. This is an observation made by those both on the left and the right.

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  42. DG Hart Ali, did you see that the Holy Spirit is the answer to Roman Catholic converts’ delirium?

    Best I am learning here, DG (which I appreciate), in that system, though, it the Holy Spirit in the ‘church’; the One inhabiting the ‘institution/hierarchy of man’, as opposed to the personally indwelling one within each person as the Lord promised, that is the answer? Is that a fair assessment?

    mrswebfoot says What we loosely call “protestantism” has no head, no one person under whom all “protestants” unite.

    And DG, along the same lines, it looks like it is more appealing to unite around a ‘ man’ , a human ‘holy’ father, human vicar of Christ, then one can avoid the constant messy difficult seeking/search after God Himself with all one’s own heart and all one’s own soul.? Then, rather than ‘unite around’ Jesus, God, the Head, (was there ever in the Bible a uniting around a single man?), Jesus can be relegated to second place and be freed up to just keep being a stone of stumbling.

    Still thinking yesterday’s thought (that airhead, airbubble ‘such as’ thought, cw) is still good for today too- in this day now,how we need a much higher view of God

    So..here’s a prayer of Paul’s for us – not to/thru Mary nor to/thru any dead-live person, but directly to God, through Jesus alone:
    17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. Eph 1

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  43. sdb says It is akin to the difference between general revelation and special revelation.

    Not sure I fully understand what you are saying, sdb. For example, we would not know a thing about how God feels/acts about your hair that falls out in the shower except by special revelation.

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  44. Curt, you ask why I think people like you are expecting Utopia. When you say things about racism being eliminated and “getting on the right side of the world revolution,” it sound pretty utopian.

    mrbfree, I was the first to diagnose Ali’s providence/miraculous convolution. Sheesh, where’s the cred?

    Ali, since you make the miraculous swallow up the providential, what does ordinary even mean anymore? Every day is a birthday? I woke up today and rose to my feet. Amazing (after a few days of a battering virus), but not a miracle (though it felt miraculous).

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  45. Curt, “we need a set of societal moral values that challenge practices like racism.”

    It’s 20friggin’16. Where do you live?

    Ever heard of Jimmy the Greek?

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  46. Day, you really are a pathetic propagandized plebe, ya know that? When are you gonna stop pretending you care anything for the gospel or the Word of God and just join those unholy Jesus hating pagans you have so much in common with? People like you are an affront and an embarrassment to the cause of Christ.

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  47. zrim says Ali, since you make the miraculous swallow up the providential, what does ordinary even mean anymore?

    weelll, not this zrim below ; weep at the beauty of our miraculous God, zrim :)

    Chapter V Of Providence
    I. God the great Creator of all things does uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by His most wise and holy providence, according to His infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of His own will, to the praise of the glory of His wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.
    II. Although, in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first Cause, all things come to pass immutably, and infallibly; yet, by the same providence, He orders them to fall out, according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.
    III. God, in His ordinary providence, makes use of means, yet is free to work without, above, and against them, at His pleasure.
    IV. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God so far manifest themselves in His providence, that it extends itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men; and that not by a bare permission, but such as has joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding, and otherwise ordering, and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to His own holy ends; yet so, as the sinfulness thereof proceeds only from the creature, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin.
    V. The most wise, righteous, and gracious God does oftentimes leave, for a season, His own children to manifold temptations, and the corruption of their own hearts, to chastise them for their former sins, or to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption and deceitfulness of their hearts, that they may be humbled; and, to raise them to a more close and constant dependence for their support upon Himself, and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for sundry other just and holy ends.
    VI. As for those wicked and ungodly men whom God, as a righteous Judge, for former sins, does blind and harden, from them He not only withholds His grace whereby they might have been enlightened in their understandings, and wrought upon in their hearts; but sometimes also withdraws the gifts which they had, and exposes them to such objects as their corruption makes occasion of sin; and, withal, gives them over to their own lusts, the temptations of the world, and the power of Satan, whereby it comes to pass that they harden themselves, even under those means which God uses for the softening of others.
    VII. As the providence of God does, in general, reach to all creatures; so, after a most special manner, it takes care of His Church, and disposes all things to the good thereof.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Greg, careful with that embarrassment charge (pot, kettle, black).

    Ali, yeah, so? Nothing about the providential being miraculous.

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  49. Zrim says: Ali, yeah, so? Nothing about the providential being miraculous.

    ah zrim,why the withholding of due praise to the Lord???! You need to get out of your insulated, nonchalant, ‘meh, whatever, no big deal’ ‘tell-me-something-impressive bubble more. Try pulling this off with your kids. If you could – miraculous.

    God upholds, directs, disposes, governs all things according to His own will
    All things come to pass immutably, infallibly to His own holy ends
    God makes use of means, yet is free to work without, above, against them, at His pleasure.
    God takes care of His Church (His people, His children, the saved), and disposes all things to the good of it
    It comes to pass that the wicked and ungodly (the unsaved) harden themselves and are righteously judged

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  50. Ali, as expected. Your problem is using loose language for strict meaning. Sort of the way people say they’re “addicted to chocolate.” They’re not actually addicted in a clinical or real sense, they just really like chocolate a super duper whole lot. Loose language has its place, but nobody has checked into rehab for chocolate yet. Going on your reasoning, a chocolate lover should be able to check into rehab no questions asked, instead of being told he’s confused about how language works.

    So if you want to summon forth wonder, then yes, God’s creation and providential governance is a wonder. But that doesn’t make it miraculous, unless you’re speaking loosely, which in your sloppy case might help. His miracles are also cause for wonder, but what’s left to describe his miracles if you’ve used up all the breathless adjectives on the ordinary? And what’s a miracle in the first place if you have effectively erased the ordinary? A miracle by definition is that which supersedes the natural or ordinary laws of nature.

    Did you miss this in your zeal without knowledge: “III. God, in His ordinary providence, makes use of means, yet is free to work without, above, and against them, at His pleasure.” The difference between providential and miraculous is at work here. Are you getting any clues?

    But you don’t really care. It’s all about sentiment and affect–who can yell “God is great!” the loudest is the most pious. You and Greg, peas in a pod.

    Liked by 1 person

  51. Good gravy, Terriblus — I think Curt is wrong about a bunch of stuff but I’m not ready to stone him. Calm down. You are surely not running this schtick on the mean streets of Detroit. If so you’d be full of holes.

    Liked by 1 person

  52. Zrim says: Ali, as expected.
    -Ditto, back at ya

    Zrim says Your problem is using loose language for strict meaning.
    -And maybe your strict language is fogging sight and awe? suggestion: Luke 18:17 . You’re reminding me of a conversation I had with my first small group leader. I said : I’m kindof worried about the day when I read His word or think about Him saving me and saying: oh, yeah… whatever.

    Zrim: And what’s a miracle in the first place if you have effectively erased the ordinary? A miracle by definition is that which supersedes the natural or ordinary laws of nature.
    -Zrim, perspective. it’s all easy for God, it’s all miraculous to His creatures. We could come up with whatever words we want if we’re into ranking. Matthew 9: 5 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, and walk’?

    Zrim says Did you miss this in your zeal without knowledge: “III. God, in His ordinary providence, makes use of means, yet is free to work without, above, and against them, at His pleasure.”
    -And did you miss “yet is free to do whatever He pleases”, yet have it all perfectly consistent with everything else He says, even though that seems impossible to us

    Zrim says: But you don’t really care. It’s all about sentiment and affect–
    -Zrim I guess…..
    “The Lord, He really has a way with the ladies,” Kilner added. http://babylonbee.com/news/college-sophomore-loses-third-girlfriend-jesus/

    🙂 love, from ‘one of those, them-kind/type’ pious peas in a pod

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  53. “mrbfree, I was the first to diagnose Ali’s providence/miraculous convolution. Sheesh, where’s the cred?”

    Zrim, I am not worthy that you would address me. Please accept my humble apologies. No, my more than humble apologies.

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  54. Ali, when Jesus forgave the paralytic of his sins, the scribes didn’t see that as a miracle, they saw it as blasphemy. Jesus then performed a miracle to demonstrate his authority. They weren’t both miraculous acts. Miracles had a very specific role in Jesus’ and the Apostles ministries. Seeing everything as miraculous cheapens the actual miracles. It’s like using the word awesome. If a skate trick is awesome (dude), well that’s a little different than our God being awesome.

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  55. I believe I originally heard the “awesome” skateboard analogy taught by John MacArthur many years ago. Just trying to avoid stealing an idea.

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  56. Ali, what conversation? Multiple folks repeatedly and accurately articulate your categorical confusion and all you do is spit back inarticulate pious effusions that show no attempt to engage but only bait into more opportunity to effuse. And toss out irrelevant verses. Relentless zeal without knowledge only ever earns my last remark to you. Boo hoo.

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  57. “sdb says It is akin to the difference between general revelation and special revelation.

    Not sure I fully understand what you are saying, sdb. For example, we would not know a thing about how God feels/acts about your hair that falls out in the shower except by special revelation.”

    A beautiful sunrise is part of God’s general revelation, but it is not the gospel or even his word. Similarly, miraculous does not mean awe-inspiring. Miracles are not providence. Providence is God’s action as helpfully summarized in the confession you quoted. Miracles are a different class of God’s action – his action where he explicitly reveals his power (usually to confirm his prophet/apostle). Elijah not establish his bona fides by pointing to his hairloss (which was part of God’s action in this world). He called down fire from heaven to consume soggy logs. This is different from using flints to spark kindling and get a fire going. Both only occur because of God’s power. One is a miracle and the other is providence.

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  58. Greg, then why throw stones? You sure are confusing. You remind me of my Human Communications prof once described how women communicate with men with one simultaneous come hither/go away gesture.

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