The very word God implies and requires sovereignty. This is why the word gods implies a contradiction: because the so-called gods imply by that title sovereignty, which they do not possess, they can only be seen as partially gods, i.e., one god controlled sea voyages; another, sexual matters; still another, warfare; and so on and on. Polytheism has many partially ruling spirits, but no God.
Over the years, with a rare exception or two, the books I have cited in this column are all ones I believe you will find worth reading. This is not true of Michael Drosnin's The Bible Code (New York, 1997). I regard it as morally lower than pornography. Stay away from false evangelicals who gush over it. The author's thesis is that computers have unlocked a code long hidden in the Hebrew text of the Bible and can now predict the future. The only future events he sees predicted thus far in his study is the possible assassination of Netanyahu, and an earthquake in Los Angeles (which geologists have also predicted).
The Protestant Reformation recovered the gospel of God's free grace that had been obscured in the medieval church by a moralism that dismissed man's deep depravity, by a sacerdotalism that interposed a religious caste between men and God, and by an ecclesiasticism that erased the Creator-creature distinction the church itself became the new Incarnation.
I received most of my education at Arminian, free will schools. I am grateful for the impact they had on me, and for the genuine, loving Christian spirit of those under whom I sat.
In considering the subject of evangelism, the church must face the fact that all too often its face is not a reflection of the Triune God, but of a clown. Worse, we are seen as one of those clowns that perform so horridly that we do not elicit laughter and applause but a painful grimace and a quick grab for the TV remote. When the average unbelieving American thinks of evangelical Christianity, I wonder how many of them think of fat hicks, purpled-hair chicks and that guy with the funny hair knocking people down at the altar Not exactly images that elicit serious reflection, are they?
What if there was no God, or, at best, He hated us? What if values were indeed relative due to either Fate or Truth? What would our options be?
I have no toleration for people who abuse others. I have friends who have suffered terribly at the hands of others physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse. One friend is currently spending thousands of dollars on dental work to repair problems that are the direct result of beatings she endured years ago. I have seen women being treated shamefully by their supposedly Christian husbands in public places. I have wondered what their lives were like when they went home and the door was closed to the outside world. And I have become angry when this occurs and the men who also witness this behavior do not go to the man and tell him that his wickedness must stop.
Speaking of history, let's move on to it. For the regulativist has imposed his RPW assumption not only on the Bible's history, not only on the Westminster Assembly's actual teaching, not only. on the Second Commandment, but he's also sought to impose it on Continental Reformed churches.