Thursday, December 27, 2012

Natural death, which results from illness or degenerative processes, is the antithesis of mercy killing. Even when life could be prolonged by medical treatment and is not, the death that may ensue is a death from the underlying illness, not a result of the withdrawal of care. The withholding of medical therapy is reasonable when the treatment is disproportionately burdensome (that is, the therapy - not the disease - is hard on the person) and relatively ineffective ("futile"). In other words, we are not ethically bound to use unwanted, non- beneficial therapies that serve to only prolong a person's dying. In fact, not doing so shows profound respect for the boundaries of natural life.

Read more at A Christian Response to Euthanasia

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Don’t Be a Scrooge This Christmas

FROM  Dec 19, 2012 
Bah! Humbug!” These two words are instantly associated with Charles Dickens’ immortal fictional anti-hero, Ebenezer Scrooge. Scrooge was the prototype of the Grinch who stole Christmas, the paradigm of all men cynical.
We all recognize that Ebenezer Scrooge was a mean person - stingy, insensitive, selfish, and unkind. What we often miss in our understanding of his character is that he was preeminently profane. “Bah! Humbug!” was his Victorian use of profanity.
Not that any modern editor would feel the need to delete Scrooge’s expletives. His language is not the standard currency of cursing. But it was profane in that Scrooge demeaned what was holy. He trampled on the sanctity of Christmas. He despised the sacred. He was cynical toward the sublime.
Christmas is a holiday, indeed the world’s most joyous holiday. It is called a “holiday” because the day is holy. It is a day when businesses close, when families gather, when churches are filled, and when soldiers put down their guns for a 24-hour truce. It is a day that differs from every other day.
Read more at Ligonier Ministries

Monday, December 17, 2012

What is a Reformed Baptist?

The term ‘Reformed Baptist’ best refers to those who adhere to the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith (1689) in practice as well as in theory.

The name ‘Reformed’ refers to the distinctive historical and theological roots of these Baptists. There is a body of theological beliefs commonly referred to as the ‘Reformed’ faith. Such great biblical truths as sola fide (justification by faith alone), sola gratia (salvation by God’s grace alone), sola scriptura (the Bible alone is the basis for faith and practice), solus Christus (salvation through Christ alone), and soli Deo gloria (the fact that God alone is to receive glory in the salvation of sinners) are all noted hallmarks of the Protestant and Reformed faith.

Yet, the Reformed faith is perhaps best known for its understanding that God is sovereign in the matter of man’s salvation. This is to say that God has, before the foundation of the world, chosen or elected certain sinners for salvation. He has done so sovereignly and according to His own good pleasure. Additionally, the Reformed faith teaches that, in time, Christ came and accomplished salvation by dying for the sins of those elected by God. Furthermore, the Reformed faith teaches that the Holy Spirit, working in harmony with the decree of the Father and the death of the Son, effectually applies this work of redemption to each of the elect in their personal conversions.  As a result of this emphasis on the sovereignty of God in salvation, the Reformed faith also promulgates the ‘doctrines of grace’: doctrinal truths which set forth the total depravity of man, the unconditional nature of God’s election, the limited or particular nature of Christ’s atonement, the irresistibility of the effectual call and the perseverance and preservation of the saints.