theology for the living


57 Million Babies aborted, and it’s partly my fault

57 million infants were aborted since Roe v. Wade. That is the number we will have to wrestle with as a nation. Oh, we wrestle with it all right; by that, I mean we justify the horrific act by “woman’s rights”. This is how it goes: woman has a right to her own body, and she can decide whether to carry and give birth to the baby. Of course, we try to put some qualifications: the woman needs to be an adult, an underage would need her parent’s consent to abort the baby, etc. But at the end of the day, a woman’s right justify her choice to abort the unwanted baby.

One does not need a religious background to smell something wrong with this line of reasoning. It is to say the least: a simpleton’s argument. And if we are honest with our feelings, we know the deeper reason is more like the following:

  1. I love sex, sex bring me happiness, it made me feel loved and wanted. I want to have someone who adores me, who cherishes me, and having sex with someone I like/love/prefer is a happy, satisfying, wondrous thing.
  2. Unfortunately, although I know sex can produce babies, I still get pregnant by accident.
  3. Pregnancy is tiresome, nauseating, feet-swelling, expensive, and delivering and raising that baby is even more tiresome, and expensive, to the nth degree.
  4. Having a baby makes the man I love run away from me. Men don’t like women with babies, I will have less love, less sex, less money, less beautiful body, I would become a woman I don’t want to be: my mother.
  5. There must be a way to get rid of this “problematic byproduct” of sex, I just want sex, not babies. If prevention didn’t help, abortion seems to be the next “easy”, “clean”, and “healthy” way to get rid of my problem.
  6. Therefore, I am pro-choice, pro women’s right (ahem, actually, my right).

What other choice do we have? Deliver the baby and suffer the financial, familial, and life-long consequences?

There are multi-layered issues involved here. Simply making abortion illegal is not going to make this problem go away. Take a look at homicide rates, or arm-robberies. All these actions are illegal, but that does not make people less inclined to do them.

  1. First, the family/marriage stability issue. With such a high rate of adultery and divorce, how can a woman dare to dream to have a man whom she can love for life? How can she trust him to be present to care for her, provide for her and her children if she decides to give birth to the baby?
  2. Adultery is the direct cause of abortion, not women’s rights. Don’t place all the guilt on the women; where is the man? She can’t have pregnancies and commit adultery by herself. In John chapter 8, a woman who was caught in the act of adultery was brought to Jesus, and the crowd demanded justice from Jesus. The obvious question is: where was the guy when they ‘caught her in the act’?
  3. How do we as a community provide for the unwanted child if the mother decided to give birth to her? Do we simply say: oh well, you need to be responsible for your own decision? Can we as a church offer sympathy to sinners? How about funding adoption centers? How about providing food/child care assistance so the mother can still go to work while her child is cared for? Unless we reduce the immediate motivation for abortion, we will not be able to fully stem this problem/crime in our society.
  4. How do we reduce adultery/divorce rate? Ever since there was human society, there were adulteries. But can we reduce it? How? Less than giving people the gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit to regenerate their hearts, are there common-grace level of means to reduce divorce/adultery? Do we ban certain tv-shows, movies, novels, commercials that promote sex outside of marriage? Do we declare these things illegal to be more effective in reducing abortion, instead of permitting all these adultery inducers to have influence in the society?
  5. Banning movies and tv shows? Oh, yes, people will cry fault. What is this? 1645? North Korean regime? We are Americans. We are the embodiment of freedom: we promote human rights, we respect people’s choices, we are free individuals. No one gets to tell us what to read, what to watch, and what to listen to. However, isn’t this the same argument the women are using to abort babies? Why should man have all the fun, watch porn, have sex, get drunk, and walk away from it all, while the women had to suffer the lifelong consequences? They want the same freedom as well!
  6. Maybe, just maybe, the problem has to do with our view of freedom. I am not here promoting a dictatorship regime, but we cannot cast out all limitations to personal freedom and not create a mess at the same time. If there is a demand for freedom, there should also be a need for responsibilities. You make a girl pregnant? You marry her, you are not allowed to divorce her, you feed her and the baby, you go get 2 jobs, you work hard, to provide for your family. No society can survive without moral responsibilities. We need to reinstall moral norms in our university courses, grade school classes, and all levels of upbringing of our children.
  7. How about church? The Protestant/Evangelical churches are obsessed with one-dimensional church-growth: growth in number. Some churches mainly desire growth in number of attendance and amount of offerings. As the result, our messages became one-dimensional: sin/redemption (sin/repentance). The historical Christian church values sin/redemption, but also place great importance on loving our neighbors and caring for the poor, sick, and orphans. Historical churches build orphanages, hospitals, and schools; not big worship centers with loud music bands, with pastors dressing up in hip clothing speaking on ‘self-help’ topics. We are the problem. Churches are the problem, Pastors are the problem. Theologians are the problem. We have forsaken the Great Commission, to baptize and to teach the nations to trust and obey Jesus. Mainly, we have deserted the greatest commandment: to love God and love our neighbors. We are consumed with making our sanctuaries bigger and louder, turning our pulpits and classrooms into entertainment business. We as a church have failed America, and we have failed the women and children.

The state of New York legalizes late-term abortion, which angers many Christians nationwide. What can you and I do to reverse this trend, instead of just posting angry posts on our Facebook wall?


以賽亞書 40:29 疲乏的,他賜能力;軟弱的,他加力量。30 就是少年人也要疲乏困倦;強壯的也必全然跌倒。31 但那等候耶和華的必重新得力。他們必如鷹展翅上騰;他們奔跑卻不困倦,行走卻不疲乏。

我這兩年多來經歷了極大的憂傷,我行過了死蔭的幽谷。憂鬱症使我想自殺。 它如一片迷霧,揮之不去,趕之不走。我無能為力。 我吃了兩年多的藥 Celexa,(SSRI ),雖然能暫時控制病情,但一直無法緩解。 直到今年3月份我跌入谷底,萬念俱灰。 在這之前讀了許多屬靈書籍,但病情仍然無法根治。 我三月份有一天在平常喜歡散步的小路上走路,看到路邊的小河時卻有一個念頭想跳下去, 看到路邊的樹就想把自己掛上去。 我自己都嚇了自己一跳。 我立時呼求了主:主啊,不要用一個念頭來安慰我,因為我現在分不清哪個念頭是正確的。 平常很少人的小路,突然出現了一個好久不見的弟兄, 我們相談甚歡, 一下子把我從負面的念頭中給拉了回來。

我開始趕快聯絡醫生,也開始認真尋找有沒有醫藥無法治療的其他方法。 我知道再看醫生也不過是加重藥劑量,換藥也換過了,沒什麼用。 我在網上搜索,看到了另一個人如何成功擺脫和我一樣的藥(Celexa)的方法,我眼睛一亮,心想不妨一試。 他推薦了一本書:Mood Cure, by Julia Ross.https://www.amazon.com/Mood-Cure-4-Step-Program-Emotions-Today/dp/0142003646/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1529339024&sr=8-1&keywords=mood+cure+book+by+julia+ross 作者是加州一個輔導中心的專家,20多年來幫助了許多的病患擺脫了憂鬱症。 書中提到,人有一些mood(情緒)是正常的。當一個人失去了親人,丟了工作,面對考試,離婚,失戀等,會有憂傷,緊張,焦慮,恐懼,生氣,種種正常的情緒。但當一個人沒有這些事情發生,卻仍長期活在如此的情緒中,她稱之為“假性情緒” (False Mood), 這是身體內分泌失調時所產生的結果。 而假性情緒又分為四種,但我在此就不詳述那書了。我按照書中指示,發現我缺乏三種維生素/胺基酸:5-HTP, Trytophan, 和 Tyrosine。 這三種胺基酸提供身體主要的蛋白質來產生快樂和放鬆的激素(serotonin)。 在和我的醫生確認後 (這些胺基酸不需要處方簽),我開始使用它們。 奇妙的事發生了,我在吃了這些胺基酸15分鐘後,“眼睛就明亮”了, 頭腦好像加滿了油,啟動了,開始運轉了!連我的孩子們也立刻感到daddy 不同了!

三個月過去了,我完全康復了,也開始慢慢地恢復到正常的事奉,我的心中充滿了感恩! 上帝真的使我從新得力了。 我當然還是得注意,免得過度操勞又使我跌回那情形中。兩年多來,我學到了一些功課。

  1. 憂鬱症真的不一定是靈魂的問題,也有可能是身體機能失常所產生的。 請參考我前文:海德堡教理問答停產的一年。
  2. 我這兩年接觸到了不少基督徒也被憂鬱症長期困擾著,我也能更同情他們。我分享這篇文章,很大一部分也希望能幫助其他的患者。主讓我們遇見患難,使我們也可以幫助其他在患難中的人。(羅馬書 5章)
  3. 等候祂的人真是有福的,祂能使人重新得力。 感謝主,榮耀歸給主耶穌。


過去這一年我被診斷得了憂鬱症了。 我自己也不知道是什麼,我原來是不相信有憂鬱症的那種人。 大概從2年前開始吧 (2015年中),我開始覺得在工作時頭暈,臉麻,手麻,覺得全身不對勁了。 檢查後,發現有老花眼(我那時才36 歲誒!) 換上了眼鏡,頭還是暈,臉還是麻。 再檢查,發現血壓高了,150/100. 怎麼會呢?我又沒幹嘛,為什麼血壓高呢? 沒辦法,還是聽醫生的話開始吃血壓藥了。 同時,發現血糖也高,膽固醇也高,好吧,唉,認了,該好好鍛鍊運動了。 沒幾個月,晚上胸口劇痛,入了急診室,結果檢查出是膽結石。這下一折騰,手術摘除膽囊,(現在我是真的沒膽的人了),復原了幾個月,慢慢地才開始回到正常的工作了. 期間, 我們教會又買了新堂,許多的大小事發生,忙得不可開交。 到了2016年的4月左右,臉麻,手麻,又開始了! 哇, 我還以為膽囊手術完就結束了呢,怎麼又來了? 這下醫生也緊張了,腦部斷層掃描,全身檢查,心臟檢查,什麼病都沒有。 這下可慘了,查不出病因,但病徵還在。怎麼辦?醫生最後說還有一種可能:長期焦慮症。 『焦慮』? 我沒焦慮啊?我天天禱告把重擔都交託給主耶穌了,哪裡會有焦慮呢? 但沒辦法,頭暈臉麻就在那裡,想賴都賴不掉。 只好開始試著吃藥了。 焦慮症和憂鬱症原來是連在一起的,所以就只好連憂鬱症的藥也一起吃了。 可是慢慢發現,吃藥也沒有完全治癒的力量,畢竟是和心靈牽扯在一起的疾病,不是從化學藥物能完全根治的。 但我的心靈真的出了問題嗎? 在這過去一年中,我開始慢慢的的抽絲剝繭,內省,默想,我到底出了什麼問題了?結果發現了自己幾個問題了:

  1.  因為想要證明自己的能力,把自己的工作量不斷提高,導致的睡眠不足。 根源在於想要證明自己,怕自己默默無名,怕自己在這地上走這一遭一事無成。 這其實是一個很麻煩的罪。 因為自己就是牧師,很容易把自己的工作上的成功和對自我的評價轉化成『上帝的榮耀』。 裡面其實是屬靈的驕傲,而屬靈的驕傲正是法利賽人最可怕又可憐的地方。
  2. 缺乏睡眠。 累了就喝咖啡,咖啡不夠就喝人蔘,反正就是沒時間睡覺。 殊不知上帝要我們安息,要我們睡覺。只有耶和華是不打盹的上帝。我們不睡覺就是想當上帝,想藉著壓榨自己的健康來換取自己更大的成就,更多的虛榮。
  3. 不經常鍛鍊身體。 是的,保羅是說過操練身體益處還少,但不操練身體並不代表就更敬虔了。 結果我的體重上升,身體提早亮警示燈,再不停下調整步伐可能就得又再進場大修了。


  1.  讀書。讀有關憂鬱症的書,開始發現這真的是一種病,不但是心靈的病,也影響身體。 對我最大幫助的書是 ”司布真的憂鬱“ (麥種出版有翻譯)。 藉著讀到我相當尊敬的一位牧師的憂鬱症,我看到了他長期的和憂鬱症的抵抗,和他心靈身體上受到的折磨,我不再天真的相信:『只要多禱告,多讀經,多唱讚美詩,一切的憂鬱就會消失了。』 如果真是這麼簡單,司布真禱告比我多,聖經比我熟,靈命比我更敬虔都還長期受到憂鬱症的壓迫,我憑什麼會比他好呢?
  2.  工作減量。 以前我是週三帶弟兄神學組,週四跑到大學生小組,週五帶小組長預查經,週六帶家庭組查經,主日帶禱告會和講道,平常在加上探訪和一對一門徒培訓。 這些工作都需要預備, 家人孩子也需要我。那怎麼辦,就不運動了,少睡點了,惡性循環後,終於出問題了。 所以現在要做的就是工作減量,有些事情是非要我做的, 如講道和帶領教會長執開會。有些事情不一定要我做,其實我不做讓別人有發揮恩賜的機會更是好。
  3. 睡覺。 睡滿8個小時。 別吵我, 哈哈。
  4. 跑步。 我現在每天跑5英里,(8公里),希望有一天能跑馬拉松。
  5. 吃藥。 有一次我自己隨便停藥,結果弄得很慘。現在在醫生指示下,藥量已經可以減半了。我不急,慢慢調整。
  6. 認罪。 承認自己工作狂的習慣是一種真正懶惰的罪。 懶得處理心靈裡最深處的罪,用工作成果來填滿自己,結果越填越空虛,事奉的喜樂也不知不覺地消失了。 認罪,認我自己屬靈驕傲的罪,忘掉自己不過是人的罪。
  7. 固定和老婆一週一次約會。和老婆關係弄好就快樂了。 哈哈,英文俗話說: “Happy wife, happy life.” 是有點道理的。 在忙碌的生活裡,常常連跟老婆講句話都沒耐心,『我現在沒心情談那個問題』是我常用的藉口。 在我憂鬱症嚴重時,我老婆常說,她希望她能找回她原來的老公。 在我把步調慢下來後,我慢慢和老婆的關係也更甜美了。我們有時間講話,談心,彼此代禱。

    以上大概就是我過去這將近兩年來的生活,感謝主,我慢慢從憂鬱症中出來了,生活也找到了盼望。 也願我的經歷能成為對大家的一些幫助。 願主與你同在。




1. 改革宗的特色:多特信經。 其實就是保護神本福音的柵欄。 闡述人完全的墮落,罪的可怕,以及悔改的必要。 防止福音變成「信主有許多好處,趕快來信啊」的人本福音。

2. 改革宗的危機:冰冷的正統。清教徒(約翰。歐文)所倡導的聖靈充滿,對主的熱誠

3. 向下一個世代傳福音:抓穩福音的正統不變的本質,強調禱告事工的必須性,學習現代人的語言,最後達到培養門徒的大使命。

我們教會是一個獨立無宗派的教會,上面沒有母會,旁邊沒有姐妹教會,是由一群愛主的弟兄姊妹成立的查經班開始建立的。其實大部份北美的華人教會都是如此成立的。 但說我們完全無宗派也不對,畢竟我們有受一些宗派的神學影響。 在我來之前, 我們教會大致是保守派浸信會的思想體系。 浸信會不但是要洗禮時浸泡在水裡, 其教會治理也是以獨立教會為主,沒有總會的管理; 或就算有總會,總會的權柄是非常有限的,如編印主日學教材,成立宣教機構等等。 但後來我們教會也開始受了一些其他的宗派影響,而且因此必須做出回應。 首先我們教會面對的衝擊就是大概十幾年前極端靈恩運動的影響,因而我們教會制定了對靈恩教派的看法,至今還放在教會網站上。 接著我們教會也受到改革宗和亞米念不同神學思維的影響,但當時沒有做出正式的回應。 我在2009年底來了之後,開始正式的教導改革宗的救恩論,從改革宗的鬱金香 (TULIP) 著手來處理救恩論裡一些非常棘手的神學問題。 當教會為我在2011年底在投票成為主任牧師的過程中,此改革宗神學浮現到其中很重要的爭議之一。 當我正式上任之後,反對改革宗神學的一位長老就漸漸地離開了我們教會。 我和他平常私人感情其實還不錯, 他也是一位在平常生活上很好相處的一位弟兄。 可是在此神學問題上,我們卻無法達成一致的共識。在他離開之後,我們教會就漸漸地往改革宗神學的路線進行下去。 改革宗的鬱金香 TULIP 並不是改革宗神學的總綱,也不是核心,更不是其全部,接受鬱金香TULIP 的人不一定是改革宗,但對很多人來說,甚至我自己也是,它的確是改革宗的入門。

我自己的神學路線背景其實也很複雜。 小時候參加的教會是Quakers, 貴格會。 他們當時在英國成立時是以禱告時會晃動,發抖為著名,所以叫做 Quakers. 他們強調沒有神學,沒有牧師,沒有解經書,只要任何人在聚會時有感動,都可以站起來發表演說。 我們在台灣的教會沒有這麼極端,還有牧師和師母,也有使徒信經,但師母禱告時會前後搖擺還是保留了。 我很尊敬那師母,我也受了她很多的栽培,我很多禱告的功課都是她教的。 後來到了高中,我們舉家移民到中美洲, 參加了一個聚會時會講方言的靈恩派教會。他們很強調長達一小時的敬拜讚美,按手醫治,通宵禱告,世界宣教。 我在當中也投入很多的事奉, 不過我得到方言的恩賜倒是在台灣的貴格會就有了。 後來我父親慢慢看到了這教會的偏差,就帶我們到了一個長老會聚會。那就沒什麼方言可言啦,他們主日崇拜的禱告詞是先寫好的,寫得也還算優美,可是總覺得少了點什麼活力。 我一開始時可不習慣了,悶啊!但後來也慢慢看出了一些可取之處。 我至少領悟到了一點,就是敬拜神並不是只在教堂裡熱鬧一下,彈吉他打鼓就叫敬拜神;敬拜神是每時每刻,上學上班,回家開車,都可以來敬拜。

我讀的大學是極端保守浸信會, 女人不能穿褲子,裙子不能短過膝蓋,男人聚會一定要穿西裝打領帶,不這樣做的人就不敬畏神! 再加上不能看電影,音樂不能有打鼓,詩歌一定是古老詩歌,男女朋友結婚前不能牽手,不能有任何身體接觸。在這樣的環境中泡了四年之後,等到我大學畢業後,看到女生穿短褲去教會就非常不能接受,花了我好久的時間才慢慢適應。

我大學畢業後開始在一間華人教會當英文傳道,一當就是六年。就在其中的過程裡接觸到了改革宗神學,讀了一本 R C Sproul 的「認識預定論」,他在書中介紹了鬱金香。 我讀了以後很有天翻地覆的感覺,覺得以前好像是倒著讀聖經一樣。 但到底什麼是鬱金香呢?這神學真有這麼重要嗎? 我在當時教會為了這神學爭執時,我捫心自問,我到底在堅持什麼? 真的有必要吵這個嗎? 教會就不能大家和和氣氣的相處嗎?我就不能退一步海闊天空嗎? 在我思考的過程中,我突然覺悟到了,這個所謂的鬱金香不是別的,就是我們所傳的福音啊! 我怎麼能在福音真理上退讓呢? 別的事情一切好說,但這是福音真理,我如果不是來傳福音的,那我是來做什麼的呢?我如果傳了另一個福音,保羅在加拉太書裡有對「另一個福音」嚴厲的警告,我能不注意嗎? 加拉太書 1: 8 但無論是我們,是天上來的使者,若傳福音給你們,與我們所傳給你們的不同,他就應當被咒詛。9 我們已經說了,現在又說,若有人傳福音給你們,與你們所領受的不同,他就應當被咒詛。

所以,問題就在於,鬱金香的神學是保羅所傳的福音嗎? 我在經過我極大努力的研究後,我堅信這是的。


Total Depravity

Unconditional Election

Limited Atonement

Irresistible Grace

Perseverance of the Saints

Total Depravity: 全面性的墮落。 我們真的相信我們如同保羅在聖經上所說:「沒有行善的,連一個也沒有。他們的喉嚨是敞開的墳墓;他們用舌頭弄詭詐,嘴唇裏有虺蛇的毒氣」(羅馬書 3:12-13)我們人類真的有這麼壞嗎? 施洗約翰稱我們為毒蛇的種類,耶穌稱我們為魔鬼的兒子。 你說,啊,那是在講法利賽人。記得耶穌說什麼?你們的義若不勝過法利賽人的義,斷不得進天國!(太5:20) 你真的比法利賽人好嗎?那你可以憑自己的義進天國囉? 你不需要信耶穌囉? 我們有覺悟到我們是完全沒救的罪人嗎? A wretch, a pervert, 一個不堪的變態嗎? 還是我們覺得自己只是小壞壞,不是大壞壞? 有的時候調皮,大部份的時候還是很有救的? 我們若不承認聖經對罪人的評斷,我們就不承認耶穌為我們犧牲的必要性。 這時候我們傳的福音自然就變質了。我們認為來聽道的人只是小壞,我們給他們一點膏藥敷,信耶穌很好噠,得永生,得平安,得喜樂,得媳婦,快快信啊,看我信了以後多好啊?其實一邊講一邊心虛,自己才沒有那麼平安喜樂呢! 早上還跟丈夫吵了架,晚上就說信主多好。難怪人家聽了將信將疑的。

明白了我們全面性的墮落後,我們思想,感情,意志,靈魂體都蒙了罪的污穢,我們才知道無條件的揀選的重要。 Unconditional Election. 神揀選我,不是因為我多麼好,不是因為我會信他才選我,而是祂在創立世界以前就揀選了我。 (弗1:3-14) 在我行善行惡之前,祂就愛我,揀選了我 (羅馬書 9:11)祂的愛永不變,祂的揀選不後悔,這才是我要的愛啊!這才是十字架的大愛啊!如果我變心了,祂也不要我了,那我有什麼盼望呢? 如果我跌倒了,祂還張開雙臂在門口等著我回家,這才是愛啊!這是福音啊!這是感動我一輩子跟隨祂的愛啊! 不是嗎?

Wait wait wait, 等一下?那麼人的自由意志呢? 我們從Total depravity 就看到,我們的意志並不自由,我們只有犯罪的自由選擇,卻沒有不犯罪的自由。 就是這樣。篇幅有限,無法多談。 有興趣的可以讀小弟另一篇文章:http://www.timothypeng.org/預定論:絕對的必然,有條件的必然,和可能的宇/

那麼有限的救贖呢? 簡單的說就是基督為祂所愛的教會捨命,祂的死不是沒有目標的,不是死了復活了,然後等等看誰會上鉤!好像祂在天上緊張地搓著手,不知道誰最後會信,不知道他是不是白死了,最後根本沒人信。 改革宗的教導就是: His atonment is sufficient to save all, efficient only to the elect. 他的死和救贖是足夠救全人類的,但只對蒙揀選的人有功效。

Irresistible Grace 不可抗拒的恩典。 神對祂所揀選的,祂兒子的血所買贖的人,祂就用祂的恩典吸引他們,使他們最後無法拒絕神的感動,在自己都不敢相信的情形下,居然就信主了。 難道不是嗎? 我們有多少人信主的經驗不也正是如此嗎?連保羅也是如此,正在去逼迫基督徒的路上反而信主了! 我們有多少人抱著升官發財的夢來美國,結果信主了! 不可思議,我們最後只能見證說,是的,在我還無知的時候,神就派了許多人跟我傳福音,感動我,使我最後不得不信了!

Perseverance of the Saints. 祂所愛的,揀選的人,必蒙祂聖靈的保守,直到永生。跌倒的必爬起,冷淡的必再火熱,沉睡的必被主喚醒,犯罪的必被聖靈責備而悔改。若不是如此,誰能夠保守自己信主後不犯罪,不冷淡,不沉睡,不跌倒呢?你敢這麼開口保證嗎?從今以後我永不跌倒!我告訴你,今日雞叫以前,你要三次不認我!記得那人嗎?求主憐憫我們,保守我們。

以上所談的是我所認識的福音, 也是歷代聖徒所承認的。 The canons teach a pastoral doctrine of grace and provide a model for the stewardship of the Gospel. 多特信經教導的是充滿了牧者心腸的恩典教義,也提供了一個持守福音正統的模範。 --Scott Clark, http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/canons-dordt/

然而,教會不能只有純正的信仰,也要有聖靈來的火來焚燒我們。 我在16歲時就開始想這個問題了,難道教會一定要分福音派和靈恩派嗎? 福音派也需要靈恩,靈恩派也需要正統的福音,不是很好嗎? 為什麼要變成這樣呢?喜歡追求聖靈充滿,通宵禱告的,去這個教會。喜歡正統神學,感情內斂的,去那個教會。 使徒保羅不是說他講方言比眾人更多嗎? 他寫神學不比其他使徒們更深更豐富嗎? 他傳福音的熱誠不比其他人更火熱嗎? 為什麼我們會有這麼多派呢?

我想不是這樣的。 至少我看我們改革宗的前輩不是如此的。 約翰歐文是改革宗神學家中寫聖靈最完整的其中一位。 當然還有其他許多的改革宗聖徒前輩,如 Thomas Goodwin 如此說: “There is a general omission in the saints of God, in their not giving the Holy Ghost that glory that is due to his person…. The work he doth for us in its kinds is as great as those of the Father or the Son.” 神的百姓有從整體上忽略聖靈該得的榮耀,祂所做的工作和聖父與聖子一樣的偉大!1

歐文在他的聖靈論中談到聖靈的工作之一是推動我們的禱告。 他引用了撒迦利亞書12:10 來論述聖靈的工作: 「我必將那施恩叫人懇求的靈,澆灌大衛家和耶路撒冷的居民。他們必仰望我,就是他們所扎的;」



  1. 在我們裡面造成恩典的傾向來完成這個責任。 我們天生地厭惡與神有任何地交往談話;而且在重生之後我們裡頭仍然有一個隱藏的老我工作著,使我們與神的直接交通的任務斷絕。 唯獨聖靈祂來預備,轉化,使我傾向於以愉悅,滿足來禱告。
    1. 賜下禱告的能力,使人的心思與禱告的恩賜連結,給人力量,使自己和別人在禱告之恩中得到益處。

“He is, as thus poured out, ‘a Spirit of supplications’, that is, of prayer for grace and mercy; and he is so:

  1. By working gracious inclinations in us to this duty. We are naturally wholly averse from all intercourse with God; and there is still a secret alienation working in us from all duties of immediate communion with him: it is he alone who prepares, disposes, and inclines us to pray with delight and spiritual complacency.
    1. By giving an ability for prayer, communicating a gift to the minds of men enabling them, profitably to themselves and others, to exercise all his graces in that special way of prayer. 2


1. 我們重生後的基督徒仍然有肉體來的性情,使我們不傾向於親近神,而傾向於遠離神。我們是厭惡與神談話的。 禱告是不自然的。歐文對「全然的敗壞」的認知使他能清楚地指出為什麼基督徒知道該禱告,還是不想去禱告。

2. 聖靈來不但重生我們,更每天積極地賜下禱告的恩典, 使我們裡面有願意禱告的感動。

3. 禱告的責任因著聖靈的工作不再是一樁苦差事,而成為喜樂滿足的一份工作。

4. 聖靈賜下禱告的能力,使禱告的人和被代禱的人都得益處。

歐文的話深深地表達出他對禱告的重視:”Prayer is that singular duty, in which every grace is acted, every sin opposed, every blessing obtained; the whole of our obedience is concerned in it, and much of our present and future blessedness depends upon it.” 3


改革宗在19世紀的北美受了普林斯頓幾個教授的影響,成了今天很多人以為的「冰冷的神學論述」。其中以 B.B. Warfield 和 Charles Hodge 教授最為著名。4 19世紀是後啟蒙運動 (Post-Enlightment) 的時代,是個理性至上的時代,其時代的精神也滲透入了神學院。 可是在17世紀的改革宗牧者如歐文或Goodwin這些人身上,改革宗是強調喜樂熱情的禱告的! 我到了加爾文神學院讀書時也發現,在荷蘭改革宗體系裡面,並沒有如此地擁抱啟蒙運動,也沒有在神學上整體性地排斥所有靈恩的運動。 我的一位新約教授 Dean Deppe 就在課堂上提到他年輕時就有講方言的恩賜,這讓我當時受了很大的震撼。我原來以為所有的改革宗都是像 John MacArthur 一般的認為說方言不是被鬼附就是精神有問題的。 5 可是我在這位新約教授身上看不出鬼附或精神有問題的症狀,他的新約希臘文段落工具書我到今天每個禮拜準備講道都還在使用,他給我看到一個改革宗和靈恩派不必互相排斥的一條路。 這條路也正像 GK Chesterton 所說的: “But granted that we have all to keep a balance, the real interest comes in with the question of how that balance can be kept…Paganism declared that virtue was in a balance; Christianity declared it was in a conflict: the collision of two passions apparently opposite…Christianity sought by this same strange expedient to save both of them. It separated the two ideas and then exaggerated them both…Christianity got over the difficulty of combining furious opposites, by keeping them both, and keeping them both furious.” 6 徹斯特頓提到,我們達到平衡不是把兩個極端減弱,反而是把兩個極端加到最強。耶穌基督既是猶大的獅子,又是被殺的羔羊。基督徒不是要少用一點理性,少放一點感情;反而是我們要把理性提升到最強,又把最深的感情投入在我們的信仰裡。

最後,我們必須來思考如何往前走,把福音帶入21世紀的人群內。 我們至少可以總結:1. 我們要深深明白我們的福音,知道自己所信的內容,合乎歷代聖徒所傳的福音,不離開多特信經所給我們留下的框架。 2. 我們要深深的投入我們的感情,花時間來禱告,在禱告中享受從聖靈來的喜樂和滿足。 3. 我們需要聆聽這個時代的聲音,使我們可以最有效的對症下藥。

Mark Driscoll 牧師在和愛爾蘭的牧師們提到事工發展時,他舉出在這個時代中我們傳福音要注意到三個文化:高文化 (high culture), 民間文化 (folk culture), 和流行文化 (pop culture). 這三種文化同時出現在許多國家裡。美國如此,中國也如此。 高文化的人群通常是高等學歷的知識份子,民間文化的族群通常存在於教育水平較低的職業人群中。 至於流行文化通常是年輕人為主。

我們在明白了福音真理,聖靈充滿的禱告之後,我們必須認識我們周圍的人群。 你若用高文化的語言和民間文化或流行文化傳福音,他們是聽不懂的。 每一個文化有他喜歡的語言,音樂,和藝術。 你只有認識他的語言,音樂,藝術之後,你才能有效果的和他談福音。

  1. Thomas Goodwin, The Work of the Holy Ghost in Our Salvation, in The Works of Thomas Goodwin, D.D., ed. Thomas Smith (1861–1866; repr., Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2006), 6:3. ↩︎
  2. Owen, John. The Holy Spirit, Christian Focus Publications. p.352  ↩︎
  3. Owen, p. 360 ↩︎
  4. “Systematic Theology… is a science, and is to be conceived as a science and treated as a science.” 1 B. B. Warfield, “The Idea of Systematic Theology,” The Presbyterian and Reformed Review Vol. 7 No. 26 (1896), 244.
  5. John MacArthur, Charismatic Chaos.  ↩︎
  6. Chesterton, G. K. (Gilbert Keith). Orthodoxy (p. 85-88). . Kindle Edition.  ↩︎



詩篇 147
7 你們要以感謝向耶和華歌唱,
8 他用雲遮天,為地降雨,
16 他降雪如羊毛,
17 他擲下冰雹如碎渣;
18 他一出令,這些就都消化;


我們今天稍微有一點科學頭腦的人都知道,天氣的冷暖是和地球自轉軸傾斜23.5度角有觀的。當地球繞著太陽公轉, 這傾斜角就產生了春夏秋冬的變化。 所以呢,哪裡是上帝降雪呢?不過是地球如此如此云云罷了。 這種的世界觀使我們在讀詩篇時毫無味道,甚至嘲笑古人寫詩時這種落後的世界觀。 「哈哈,誰還信這個呢? 」我們想著。 其實,這不是還沒信主的人如此想而已,許多基督徒信了主之後仍然是這麼在讀經解經的。

好像你有機會得知了一個人燒菜的秘方,找到了他用的秘密調味料,然後就再也不稀罕他燒的菜了。「我也會做了」你心裡想著, 然後對他燒菜的仰慕之心就消失了。 上帝容許我們窺見了宇宙之中一點點的奧秘,知道了地球如何運行,給我們看到了祂製造雨和雪的方法,然後我們就對祂失去敬畏了。「有什麼了不起,不過就那樣那樣然後雪就出來了。」我們心裡這麼嘀咕著,然後讀聖經就開始視而不見了。 我們看見了宇宙的奧秘,反而瞎了,看不到上帝了。

我們怎麼不想想,地球傾斜的角度是巧合的呢?還是上帝微調的結果呢?地球繞太陽的距離是巧合呢?還是上帝的擺設呢? 地球繼續以同樣的速度和距離自轉和公轉是巧合呢?還是那是上帝的「護理」呢? 我們看宇宙像是參觀可口可樂工廠一般,走馬看花,買過紀念品,照個自拍, 然後就回家幹自己的事了。 我們讀經也是如此, 翻來翻去,卻像瞎子,什麼也看不懂。

古人讀經可不是如此,他們在宇宙中看到上帝的手的作為,然後在聖經中發出對祂的讚嘆。 詩篇 147:1 「你們要讚美耶和華!因歌頌我們的上帝為善為美;讚美的話是合宜的。」 古人寫的教理問答也是如此:衛斯敏小教理問答十一问:上帝的护理之工是什么?答:上帝的护理之工乃是:他极其圣洁地、智慧地、有权能地,继续保守,并统管他所创造的万有及其一切行动。诗145:17,诗104:24,来1:3,尼9:6,弗1:19-22,诗36:6;103:19;箴16:33;太10:29-30。

難道我們不該是這樣讀經的嗎?上帝不仍然用祂的「老方法」維持著地球的運轉和宇宙的和諧嗎? 我們怎麼多知道了一些反而不多敬畏祂卻藐視祂呢? 下次讀經時先注意一下自己的前設,和自己已有的世界觀。我們該用聖經的世界觀來看人生,而不是用現有的世界觀看聖經。

天堂的理財法 2 喜樂的利息

Lesson 2 喜乐的利息

主旨:奉獻是特權, 是投資天國的 IPO (initial public offering), 是馬其頓教會們(腓立比,帖撒羅尼迦,庇哩亞)求來的權利。

林後 8:1 弟兄們,我把上帝賜給馬其頓眾教會的恩告訴你們,2 就是他們在患難中受大試煉的時候,仍有滿足的快樂,在極窮之間還格外顯出他們樂捐的厚恩。3 我可以證明,他們是按著力量,而且也過了力量,自己甘心樂意地捐助,4 再三地求我們,准他們在這供給聖徒的恩情上有分;5 並且他們所做的,不但照我們所想望的,更照上帝的旨意先把自己獻給主,又歸附了我們。

這是聖經裡最感人的奉獻故事,極窮的人再三的求使徒,懇求使徒,讓他們有奉獻的機會。 馬其頓省的首都是腓立比教會,腓立比和其他眾教會渴望能奉獻。


  1. 他們明白上帝樂意接納你的奉獻是他們何等大的尊榮。 當上帝不要一個人的奉獻時是何等大的羞辱和悲哀.
    1. 使徒行傳 8:18 西門看見使徒按手,便有聖靈賜下,就拿錢給使徒,19 說:「把這權柄也給我,叫我手按著誰,誰就可以受聖靈。」20 彼得說:「你的銀子和你一同滅亡吧!因你想上帝的恩賜是可以用錢買的。當西門給的錢被上帝咒詛,叫他與他的錢一起滅亡,那是何等可悲的事!
    2. 還有舊約的乃曼,神也不收他的錢。 王下 5:15 乃縵帶著一切跟隨他的人,回到神人那裏,站在他面前,說:「如今我知道,除了以色列之外,普天下沒有上帝。現在求你收點僕人的禮物。」16 以利沙說:「我指著所事奉永生的耶和華起誓,我必不受。」乃縵再三地求他,他卻不受。
    3. 小結:由此可見,上帝要收你的奉獻之前,一定要問你的動機。當你奉獻的動機錯誤時,或是你不清楚奉獻的意義時,上帝是不要你的奉獻的。 行邪術的西門想跟上帝買法術,乃曼看病看好了想付醫療費用。有些人來到教會後覺得我使用了這裡的一些設施服務,有兒童看護,又剛買了大教堂,有冷暖空調,是該付一點使用費的。這都是錯誤的奉獻觀念。
  2. 他們明白神擁有一切,他們只是神財產的管理人。
    1. 經文:約伯記 41: 11 誰先給我甚麼,使我償還呢?天下萬物都是我的。詩篇 24:1 地和其中所充滿的,世界和住在其間的,都屬耶和華。哈該 2:8 萬軍之耶和華說:「銀子是我的,金子也是我的。申命記 8:18 你要記念耶和華-你的上帝,因為得貨財的力量是他給你的。
    2. 海德堡教理問答: 问1:你生与死的唯一安慰是什么?答:在生和死两者之中,我的身体、灵魂1都不属于我自己,乃是属于我信实的救主耶稣基督。
    3. 你不是你的!當你信主,受洗,跟從主時,你就有一個新的主人。 僕人是沒有任何的財產的,僕人本身就是主人的財產,所以當主人竟然肯讓僕人有從他們的薪水中有投資產業的機會時,他們就立刻投入了!
    4. 因為:箴言 19:17憐憫貧窮的,就是借給耶和華; 他的善行,耶和華必償還。
    5. 我的這些課是從 Randy Alcorn 的書:”The Treasure Principle” 所整理出來的。書中他講了他自己的故事:他原來是在一個大教會裡當主任牧師13年了,教會發展的非常好,給他的薪水也不錯, 他寫書得到的稿費也不少,他的人生看來很不錯。 但主開始感動他需要為美國這些被墮胎的嬰孩來抗爭。(美國到今天有將近5000萬個嬰孩被墮胎死了,是納粹屠殺猶太人的8倍)當Randy 牧師開始和他的會友們到墮胎診所外面開始非暴力抗爭,散發嬰孩在母親肚子裡超聲波照片,讓母親們知道這個孩子不是一團鬆散的胎盤,而是一個有頭,有手腳,心臟會跳的孩子時,很多母親都會再三考慮甚至放棄墮胎的念頭。 這時墮胎診所請來了警察把Randy 牧師逮捕了,並控告他(罪名是什麼他沒詳細講),最好法庭裁決他要賠償墮胎診所 $8.3 million (八百三十萬刀)。 他如果不付罰款,法庭就會從他教會的薪水裡每個月扣,他說他絕對不肯把錢給這些殺嬰孩的兇手,所以他跟教會辭職了。 他的稿費也全部捐給他所組織的機構,100%的由機關奉獻給所有的宣教和慈善事業。 他只能拿到最低貧窮線下的工資,所有那之上的工資都會被法庭拿去。 他把房子車子都過到妻子的名下。 他說他真的學到了 「天下萬物都是耶和華的」,他名字底下什麼財產都沒有了。 可是, 神卻開始賜福他的出版,他自從100%的稿費都得捐出後,他的書開始賣的特別好, 他有一年奉獻了五百萬刀。 他說他每天晚上睡覺時都特別開心, 從來沒有犧牲奉獻的感覺,而知道那些錢本來都是上帝的。 他覺得上帝幫他賣書就是要把錢給那些上帝要支持的宣教工作。
  3. 他們明白奉獻不但帶來許多喜樂,更有意想不到的好處。
    1. 林後 9:7 各人要隨本心所酌定的,不要作難,不要勉強,因為捐得樂意的人是上帝所喜愛的。8 上帝能將各樣的恩惠多多地加給你們,使你們凡事常常充足,能多行各樣善事。
    2. “Commentator R. C. H. Lenski, describing how the Macedonians gave, said, “They made a joy of robbing themselves.” ” 一個解經家說,馬其頓的眾教會以 ”搶劫自己為樂!“
    3. “The less I spent on myself and the more I gave to others, the fuller of happiness and blessing did my soul become.” HUDSON TAYLOR 戴德生:我在我自己身上花的錢越少,而奉獻出去的錢越多時,我的靈魂裡的幸福和快樂就更得到了滿足。
    4. 克芬先生 (Jerry Caven) 是個成功的商人。他擁有一個業務蒸蒸日上的連鎖餐館, 兩間銀行, 一個牧場,一個農場, 並許多的房地產。 他59歲的那年開始找一個在風景優美的湖邊的老人退休中心。 但他財產真正的主人有其他的計劃。 「上帝開始感動我們把金錢和時間放在海外的宣教事工」。 他說到: 「這段經歷實在是很興奮!以前我們的奉獻只是意思一下,現在我們把大部分的錢都投在宣教工作上,我們也經常去印度做宣教的工作。」是什麼改變了克芬弟兄的奉獻呢? 他解釋道:「當我們明白了我們用上帝的錢來做上帝的事工時,我們得到的喜樂和平安是我們以前以為錢是我們自己的時從來沒有經歷過的。」
    5. 有一天,一個人很著急的跑來跟約翰衛斯理牧師說: 你家燒掉了! 衛斯理很冷靜的回答說,「不,那是上帝的房子燒掉了,我的責任少了一個。」
    6. 一個人這麼說: 「我們奉獻時是我們最像神的時候。」 為什麼呢? 因為父神不但給了我們一切,甚至把他的獨生子也給了我們,為了要拯救我們。羅馬書8:32 上帝既不愛惜自己的兒子,為我們眾人捨了,豈不也把萬物和他一同白白地賜給我們嗎?
    7. 奉獻的一些好處:
      1. 禱告蒙垂聽: 箴言 21:13 塞耳不聽窮人哀求的,他將來呼籲也不蒙應允。
      2. 與神更親近:馬可是個律師, 他每年把他所有收入的一半奉獻出去。 他說:「我對金錢的追求使我遠離神, 但當我開始奉獻給祂時, 一切都變了,奉獻使我更靠近神,甚至超過其他一切的屬靈操練。」 商人Thomas 這麼說:「當我奉獻時,我是在說:主啊,我愛祢!。」
      3. 使我們的孩子更上進。 他們知道我們貪不貪財。 我們嘴裡說要信神,可是他們知道我們真正在乎的是什麼。 當我們的錢都投資在他們身上時,首先他們覺得理所當然,不覺得需要努力。 從小就在衣食無缺的日子裡,就失去了努力的動力。 再來他們也可能覺得很大的壓力。鋼琴,小提琴,科學比賽,數學比賽,跆拳道,溜冰,網球,足球,樣樣都來,先不說這些都要錢,他們更是壓力山大, 有誰有可能樣樣精通呢? 不如把你該給神的先給神,剩下看看孩子的興趣學一樣或最多兩樣課外活動。你們親子的關係不會一直活在一種緊張的關係裡,你是他的工頭,天天逼他做工。 信靠神,把孩子帶到神面前,祂會指引你孩子的方向。

二戰之後聯軍在歐洲各地給在戰火中失去父母的幾百萬個孤兒們開了孤兒院,這些孤兒得到了住所,衣服,食物,並一切盡可能有的照顧。 但在一切物質都得到滿足之後,他們發現了這些孤兒們晚上還是活在恐懼中睡不著覺。 他們就開始訪談輔導這些孩子們。 他們很快就找到了解決的方案:他們讓孩子們睡覺前人人手中都可以拿一塊麵包, 幾天後每個孩子都睡的很好了。 他們短短的人生經驗告訴了他們,今天有吃的不代表明天還有,但當他們可以手握麵包睡覺時,他們覺得明天也有保障了。  我今天在結束時也給你們手中一塊麵包:腓立比書4:19 我的上帝必照他榮耀的豐富,在基督耶穌裏,使你們一切所需用的都充足 。 Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”


天堂的理財法 第一課 埋在地裡的財寶

Lesson 1 埋在地里的财宝 (These lessons are taken from Randy Alcorn’s “The Treasure Principle” )

马太福音 13:44 天国好像宝贝藏在地里,人遇见了就把它藏起来,欢欢喜喜地去变卖一切所有的,买这块地。


A.故事开始了,有一个人在有一次在走路时不经意的发现了埋在地里的宝藏了。 (这个故事在今天这个可以贷款买土地的社会里有一点不适用)(今天可能比较好的比喻是一个穷学生有一天逛古董店时发现了一个价值连城的宝物,老板也不识货,只要$8000刀。 这学生一看,这个东西可能是上亿的美金啊!我哪里去找$8000呢?银行存款就只有三位数字,加小数点有五位数字。好吧,我先跟老板给个订金,给他500, 我两天后来取货。然后这穷学生回家后就开始卖他所有的东西了,微信群,craiglist, 老爷破车,手机,床铺,家当,全在网上卖了。同学开始好奇啊,干嘛了?才刚开学,你去哪?我没有去哪啊, 你开始装傻, 就就觉得东西旧了呗,想换换心情。 两天后,东西全卖完了, 筹足了钱,脸上表情还得藏着心里的快乐,跟老板把古董给买了回来。 不知道事的同学就问,干嘛了,看你这两天乐的,什么喜事? 中奖了?恋爱了?


C.在耶稣所有对门徒的教导里,金钱的教导是占了15%,超过了对天堂和地狱加起来的教导。 为什么?因为我们的属灵生活和我们用钱的方式是分不开的。 我们也许想把我们属灵的生命和金钱分开,但在神眼中这两者是分不开的。

•马太福音 6:19 “不要为自己积攒财宝在地上;地上有虫子咬,能锈坏,也有贼挖窟窿来偷。20 只要积攒财宝在天上;天上没有虫子咬,不能锈坏,也没有贼挖窟窿来偷。21 因为你的财宝在哪里,你的心也在那里。”

•路加福音年轻的财主 18:18

•路加福音 16:19 财主和拉萨路

•Mark 10: 25 骆驼穿过针的眼,比财主进上帝的国还容易呢。

•29 耶稣说:“我实在告诉你们,人为我和福音撇下房屋,或是弟兄、姐妹、父母、儿女、田地,30 没有不在今世得百倍的,就是房屋、弟兄、姐妹、母亲、儿女、田地,并且要受逼迫,在来世必得永生。31 然而,有许多在前的,将要在后,在后的,将要在前

•施洗约翰在问题解答时如此回答:(路加福音 3:8-14)你们要结出果子来,与悔改的心相称。不要自己心里说:『有亚伯拉罕为我们的祖宗。』我告诉你们,上帝能从这些石头中,给亚伯拉罕兴起子孙来。 现在斧子已经放在树根上,凡不结好果子的树就砍下来,丢在火里。众人问他说:“这样,我们当做什么呢?” 约翰回答说:




约翰给的三个答案都和金钱有关。 约翰为什么不谈其他属灵生活的操练呢? 难道没有别的可以谈的吗?可见在神的心中金钱在一个人悔改的生活中有多么中心的地位。

路加福音 19: 8 撒该站着对主说:“主啊,我把所有的一半给穷人;我若讹诈了谁,就还他四倍。”9 耶稣说:“今天救恩到了这家,因为他也是亚伯拉罕的子孙。10 人子来,为要寻找、拯救失丧的人。”撒该对金钱的态度的转变反应出他属灵生命的改变,耶稣说:今天救恩到了这家。

使徒行传里圣灵充满的记号不是只是说方言(灵恩派),而是: 2:44 “信的人都在一处,凡物公用,45 并且卖了田产、家业,照各人所需用的分给各人。46 他们天天同心合意恒切地在殿里,且在家中擘饼,存着欢喜、诚实的心用饭,47 赞美上帝,得众民的喜爱。主将得救的人天天加给他们。” 

徒 4:32 那许多信的人都是一心一意的,没有一人说他的东西有一样是自己的,都是大家公用。33 使徒大有能力,见证主耶稣复活;众人也都蒙大恩。34 内中也没有一个缺乏的;因为人人将田产房屋都卖了,把所卖的价银拿来,35 放在使徒脚前,照各人所需用的,分给各人。

马太福音里面这个变卖了一切所有的后去买了这块地的人,我们常常没注意到他是 “欢欢喜喜地去” 变卖了一切所有的。 他不需要痛痛苦苦,忧忧愁愁地去卖一切所有的。因为他知道他换来的是超过他所卖的! 

(他也不是像康德所说的为了尽义务,duty,为了责任,不为报答,而坚强的去奉献。 他是欢喜地做一个买卖,因为他赚到了! 

诗篇 119:162 我喜爱你的话,好像人得了许多掳物。 得了许多的财物,好像打仗时抢得的财宝!



2. 钱该存哪里?

所以耶稣给我们的宝藏原则是如此:不要把钱存错地方了! 不是不要存钱, 是不要存在地上。 为什么?因为地上的财富不能长久。 

马太福音 6:19 “不要为自己积攒财宝在地上;地上有虫子咬,能锈坏,也有贼挖窟窿来偷。20 只要积攒财宝在天上;天上没有虫子咬,不能锈坏,也没有贼挖窟窿来偷。21 因为你的财宝在哪里,你的心也在那里。

箴言 23:5 你岂要定睛在虚无的钱财上吗?因钱财必长翅膀,如鹰向天飞去。 (我自从生了小孩以后这个感受就很强烈了)

假如你是在美国南北战争时的人,你住在南方,拥有许多南方的纸钞,你听到了确定的消息,战争快要结束了,北方最多再几个月就要赢了,南方快输了。 请问你这时会如何处理你的南方钞票呢? 你难道不是会把大部份的钱都兑换成北方的钱,(也就是美金啦), 只留下一点点生活够用的南方钱让你这几个月短期之可以用吗?


所以,耶稣就是给我们最基本常识的投资建议:这个世界快要灭亡了,你看到的一切事物都要过去了, 你要去的地方是永远的,你难道不该把钱转过去,兑换天上的财富吗?

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” -Jim Elliot “用那留不住的东西换那不能失去的东西的那人不是个傻子!” 在厄瓜多殉道的宣教士 艾略特。

3. 金钱的重量 问题来了:我们在天上需要用钱吗?不是吃喝都靠天父吗? 是真正的啃老族吗?天父上帝给我们一切所需的,耶稣去为我们预备地方,我们为什么还要把财宝存到天上呢? 我在这里比较需要钱啊!不是吗? 到天上黄金拿来铺马路,珠宝拿来砌城墙, 我们何必担心天上的财富呢?何必转帐呢?还不如我就把钱存在这里,在南方过个好日子,到天上反正都有了,干嘛把钱放天上呢?

好问题! 这个问题是基督徒不把钱放在天上的主要原因,我们不知道天上是什么样子,我们不知道天上的财宝是什么。我们甚至不知道财宝是什么,才会问出这样的问题:

1.我们不知道财宝是有重量的,它会把我们拉向天堂或拉向地狱。 所以,你的财宝在哪里,你的心就在哪里。 不是反过来的,你的心在哪里,你的财宝就会去哪里。 不是的,因为也许你的心知道要上天堂,要爱主,可是你爱不了,因为你的心被财宝往下拉着,知道却做不到。 只有你反向操作,reverse engineering, 把财宝先丢过去,你的心就被拉过去了。 希伯来书 12:1 我们既有这许多的见证人,如同云彩围着我们,就当放下各样的重担,脱去容易缠累我们的罪,存心忍耐,奔那摆在我们前头的路程,2 仰望为我们信心创始成终的耶稣。

2.我们不知道天上真的是有财宝的,但是完全不同的汇率常让我们昏头。 就像我每次到中国吃饭时我都不觉得贵,其实我吃的东西可能是很贵的,但我换美金就觉得还行。 天上也有财宝的,我们的财宝到了天上真是成为建材,不怎么值钱, 但并不因此就代表天上没有真正有价值的东西了。 “灵里贫穷” 和 “灵里富足” 路加福音 12:21 凡为自己积财,在上帝面前却不富足的,也是这样。” “在神面前不富足” 有一种财富是在神面前的富足。

3.Christ is the treasure. 基督是天国真正的宝藏。 Loving God = Treasuring God. You love what’s precious to you. Smegle called the Lord of Rings, the ring that rules them all, my precious.

在新约圣经中,有一个同工本来是和路加同列的重要人物,路加写了两本书,占了新约厚度的一半。 但另外这个同工后来就消失了。 歌罗西书 4:14 所亲爱的医生路加和底马问你们安。腓利门 1:24与我同工的马可、亚里达古、底马、路加也都问你安。  提后 4:10因为底马贪爱现今的世界,就离弃我往帖撒罗尼迦去了。11 独有路加在我这里。你来的时候,要把马可带来,因为他在传道的事上于我有益处。



     首先, 我们得看看什么是“决志祷告”。  大部分的基督徒带别人做决志祷告时都相信当那位朋友做了个决志祷告后,他就“重生得救”了。 圣经根据是什么呢? 当然就是罗马书 10: 9-10, 和13 节了。 也就是你只要 “口里认耶稣为主,心里信 神叫他从死里复活,就必得救。” “因为,人心里相信就可以称义,口里承认就可以得救。” 就是这么简单啦! 还有啊,千万别忘了 13节 “因为「凡求告主名的就必得救」。”
      但是,不知道我们有没有想过,耶稣自己批判过这种“呼求主名就得救”的教导。 耶稣说: “凡称呼我『主啊,主啊』的人不能都进天国;惟独遵行我天父旨意的人才能进去。”(马太福音 7:21)  所以,我们是该好好想想我们带人信主的方式,在我们的主对这方式都有保留的情形下,我们就对做了决志祷告的人宣布说: “你得救了!” 我们会不会太冲动了?
     尼哥底母来找耶稣时,耶稣有带他决志吗? 木有。 (约翰福音第三章)
     那,那个撒马利亚妇人呢?耶稣給她 “个人谈道”那么久,有没有做决志呢?木有。 耶稣唯一叫她做的事,就是“你去叫你丈夫也到这里来。”当然啦,那个女人丈夫的问题是很纠结滴,她有那那那那么多丈夫,要叫叫叫哪哪一个呢? 其实耶稣不过就是要她面对自己的罪,而不是故意要給她难堪的。 (约翰福音第四章) 所以啦,又没做决志祷告。 他为什么不就留下一个决志祷告的典范哩? 做一个带人信主的完美典范岂不是更好?
     耶稣最“失败”的典范可能就是当那个年轻的少年财主,少年官来找他时,他也不带他决志祷告。“有一个官问耶稣说:「良善的夫子,我该做什么事才可以承受永生?”   请问一下哦,如果有人问你这个问题,你会怎么回答? “同学,我该做什么事才能得永生呢?”   哦哇,太高兴了!机会来了!终于可以带人信主了! 平常别人的问题总是 “有没有神啊?”   “真的有神迹吗”   “耶稣真的复活了吗?”  “你们基督教和佛教有什么差别哩?”   “信什么不都是一样的吗?”   “信则灵,不信则不灵”。 反正绕来绕去总是不问你 “我该如何得永生哩?”    碰到这种问题,你会不会想赶快把 “福音要义”简单的说一遍,然后就带他坐下来,跟着你正经八百的念决志祷告词呢? 耶稣怎么处理这个人的问题呢? “耶稣听见了,就说:「你还缺少一件:要变卖你一切所有的,分给穷人,就必有财宝在天上;你还要来跟从我。」”  (路加福音18:18-23)然后耶稣就看着那人 “忧忧愁愁地走了” (马太福音19:22)  耶稣怎么了?他怎么会这样不合理的要求一个 “虔诚的慕道朋友”呢? 为什么不带他先决志,让他信了,以后再做“跟进”的工作呢?先信了再做门徒培训嘛。
      决志祷告是从什么时候才开始的呢? 其实,它是一个很美国化的一个传福音方式。 它是源起17-18世纪当时很多欧洲的基督徒移民来到美国,又历经了工业革命,许多人从乡下农村里来的了城里的工厂打工, 成了 “民工”。 这些“民工” 小的时候都是在教会中受了婴儿洗礼, 成了名义上的基督徒。 (当时称为professor, 就是profess 口里承认耶稣的意思,后来这词变成了教授,语言这东西。。。)。 这些”基督徒民工“到了城里,离乡背井,生活苦闷,就常常过着放荡的生活,一点也不像基督徒。所以当布道家如卫斯理 (John Wesley),芬尼 (Charles Finney), 怀特菲 (George Whitefield) 来讲道时,他们这些听过摩西十诫但又不照着生活的人,就感到了深深的罪恶感,接着传道人就会叫他们举手,到台前,做一个悔改认罪的祷告,在聚会中把他们的生命重新交给主,过着一个重生的生活。这些人都是从小受过洗礼的人,所以这些传道人不给他们洗礼,只叫他们悔改,认罪,祷告,然后重新回到教会中。 这就是我们一直沿用到今天的 ”决志祷告“的由来。 但问题就出在,他们当时已经受过洗,我们今天听道的朋友没有。 他们是 “基督徒”的认罪悔改,我们则应该要 ”悔改受洗“ 归入主的教会。
     所以,我觉得比较好的方式是省掉决志祷告,直接邀请人信主,然后受洗。 这其实也是使徒们所惯用的方式。
     第二章 37「弟兄们,我们当怎样行?」38 彼得说:「你们各人要悔改,奉耶稣基督的名受洗,叫你们的罪得赦,就必领受所赐的圣灵;39 因为这应许是给你们和你们的儿女,并一切在远方的人,就是主—我们 神所召来的。」40 彼得还用许多话作见证,劝勉他们说:「你们当救自己脱离这弯曲的世代。」41 于是领受他话的人就受了洗。
      8:12 及至他们信了腓利所传 神国的福音和耶稣基督的名,连男带女就受了洗。
      8:35 腓利就开口从这经上起,对他传讲耶稣。36 二人正往前走,到了有水的地方,太监说:「看哪,这里有水,我受洗有什么妨碍呢?」38 于是吩咐车站住,腓利和太监二人同下水里去,腓利就给他施洗。
      9:17 亚拿尼亚就去了,进入那家,把手按在扫罗身上,说:「兄弟扫罗,在你来的路上向你显现的主,就是耶稣,打发我来,叫你能看见,又被圣灵充满。」18 扫罗的眼睛上,好像有鳞立刻掉下来,他就能看见。于是起来受了洗;
     10:44 彼得还说这话的时候,圣灵降在一切听道的人身上。45 那些奉割礼、和彼得同来的信徒,见圣灵的恩赐也浇在外邦人身上,就都希奇;46 因听见他们说方言,称赞 神为大。47 于是彼得说:「这些人既受了圣灵,与我们一样,谁能禁止用水给他们施洗呢?」48 就吩咐奉耶稣基督的名给他们施洗。
      我想这些经文已经足够了,圣经给我们还没有受洗礼的人的要求就是,相信,悔改,受洗。  如果你已经受过洗,那么做个认罪的祷告也不是不可以,就如大卫王在诗篇51篇也写下了他的认罪祷告一般。
       所以,如果你做了决志祷告了怎么办呢?也没关系啦,我总是告诉人那就像是第一次给天上的爸爸拨一通电话,说 ”爸爸,我迷路了,我错了,我想回家了,你可以原谅我吗?”  我想天父也还是很高兴的。  但我还是觉得直接教导人要受洗更合乎圣经,而不要把 “决志祷告” 提升到如同另一种洗礼一般。 (乾洗?) 那可就超过了圣经的教导了。


以弗所書 5:6 不要被人虛浮的話欺哄;因這些事,上帝的忿怒必臨到那悖逆之子。7 所以,你們不要與他們同夥。8 從前你們是暗昧的,但如今在主裏面是光明的,行事為人就當像光明的子女。9 光明所結的果子就是一切良善、公義、誠實。10 總要察驗何為主所喜悅的事。11 那暗昧無益的事,不要與人同行,倒要責備行這事的人;12 因為他們暗中所行的,就是提起來也是可恥的。13 凡事受了責備,就被光顯明出來,因為一切能顯明的就是光。14 所以主說:你這睡著的人當醒過來,從死裏復活!基督就要光照你了。

15 你們要謹慎行事,不要像愚昧人,當像智慧人。16 要愛惜光陰,因為現今的世代邪惡。17 不要作糊塗人,要明白主的旨意如何。18 不要醉酒,酒能使人放蕩;乃要被聖靈充滿。19 當用詩章、頌詞、靈歌彼此對說,口唱心和地讚美主。20 凡事要奉我們主耶穌基督的名常常感謝父上帝。

帖撒羅尼迦前書 5:16 要常常喜樂,17 不住地禱告,18 凡事謝恩;因為這是上帝在基督耶穌裏向你們所定的旨意。

羅馬書 1:18 原來,上帝的忿怒從天上顯明在一切不虔不義的人身上,就是那些行不義阻擋真理的人。19 上帝的事情,人所能知道的,原顯明在人心裏,因為上帝已經給他們顯明。20 自從造天地以來,上帝的永能和神性是明明可知的,雖是眼不能見,但藉著所造之物就可以曉得,叫人無可推諉。21 因為,他們雖然知道上帝,卻不當作上帝榮耀他,也不感謝他。他們的思念變為虛妄,無知的心就昏暗了。22 自稱為聰明,反成了愚拙,23 將不能朽壞之上帝的榮耀變為偶像,彷彿必朽壞的人和飛禽、走獸、昆蟲的樣式。

24 所以,上帝任憑他們逞著心裏的情慾行污穢的事,以致彼此玷辱自己的身體。25 他們將上帝的真實變為虛謊,去敬拜事奉受造之物,不敬奉那造物的主-主乃是可稱頌的,直到永遠。阿們!26 因此,上帝任憑他們放縱可羞恥的情慾。他們的女人把順性的用處變為逆性的用處;27 男人也是如此,棄了女人順性的用處,慾火攻心,彼此貪戀,男和男行可羞恥的事,就在自己身上受這妄為當得的報應。28 他們既然故意不認識上帝,上帝就任憑他們存邪僻的心,行那些不合理的事;29 裝滿了各樣不義、邪惡、貪婪、惡毒;滿心是嫉妒、凶殺、爭競、詭詐、毒恨;30 又是讒毀的、背後說人的、怨恨上帝的、侮慢人的、狂傲的、自誇的、捏造惡事的、違背父母的、31 無知的、背約的、無親情的、不憐憫人的。32 他們雖知道上帝判定行這樣事的人是當死的,然而他們不但自己去行,還喜歡別人去行。


  1. 從以弗所書的經文我們可以看到:我們原來是“悖逆之子”, 不順服上帝的人,但今天神要我們過著光明之子的生活,被聖靈充滿, 唱歌讚美主,凡事感謝父神。 
  2. 從帖撒羅尼迦的經文我們可以知道:“凡事謝恩” 是基督徒生活最核心的部份。 海德堡教理問答分成三部份:人的愁苦, 耶穌的救恩, 和我們感恩的生活。 如果有人問, 基督徒該怎樣來生活:我們可以說,過一個感恩的生活。 
  3. 從羅馬書1:21“因為,他們雖然知道上帝,卻不當作上帝榮耀他,也不感謝他”我們可以看到,還沒有信耶穌的人和我們最大的差別就在於他們不感謝神。 他們感謝父母,感謝黨,感謝幫助過他們的朋友和老師,但不感謝神。 
  4. 所以: 感恩, eucharist, 是我們與神聯合的奧祕。 奧祕的希臘文原文是(mysterion) 被翻譯為拉丁文的 sacrament,聖禮。  什麼是奧祕? 奧秘,可以說是在這自然界中透過物質與神交流。提前3:16 大哉,敬虔的奧祕,無人不以為然!就是上帝在肉身顯現,被聖靈稱義,被天使看見,被傳於外邦,被世人信服,被接在榮耀裏。16 Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. 
  5. 我們在教會裡所領用的聖餐就是 Eucharist (感恩), 又是sacrament (奧祕,聖禮)。聖靈藉著這餅和杯(物質)來充滿我們,與我們同在, 把我們與基督聯合的奧秘再此顯給我們看。 我們不像天主教認為這餅和杯被轉化成耶穌的身體,乃是聖靈藉著這聖禮充滿我們。
  6. 羅馬書1:18-32 這段經文常常被基督徒斷章取義的拿來攻擊同性戀者。但若仔細看的話,這段經文是在指責所有的(all,every)罪人。 
    1. 26 因此,上帝任憑他們放縱可羞恥的情慾。他們的女人把順性的用處變為逆性的用處;27 男人也是如此,棄了女人順性的用處,慾火攻心,彼此貪戀,男和男行可羞恥的事,就在自己身上受這妄為當得的報應。28 他們既然故意不認識上帝,上帝就任憑他們存邪僻的心,行那些不合理的事;29 裝滿了各樣不義、邪惡、貪婪、惡毒;滿心是嫉妒、凶殺、爭競、詭詐、毒恨;30 又是讒毀的、背後說人的、怨恨上帝的、侮慢人的、狂傲的、自誇的、捏造惡事的、違背父母的、31 無知的、背約的、無親情的、不憐憫人的。32 他們雖知道上帝判定行這樣事的人是當死的,然而他們不但自己去行,還喜歡別人去行。
    2. 我從來沒有聽過人上街遊行,大聲疾呼的說 “背後說人”的是當死的! 我們在引用經文的時候要公平一點。  those who practice “such things” deserve to die。 複數詞,不是只有同性戀者是當死的。
  7. 同性戀是一種罪,它不是最大的罪,是這許多罪中的一種。這罪很明顯,所以被排在前面,但其他不明顯的罪可能更可怕,因為那些罪不會使你覺得你是罪人。 
  8. 這裡所有的罪有一個根源:不榮耀神,不感謝祂。那才是真正的罪根,其他所有的罪,包括同性戀,不過是病徵,不是病的本身。  我们人最大的罪就是不把神当神,然后把性 (sex)当神,把爱情当神,把钱当神,把自己当神,神就任凭我们,让我们放纵于自己所爱的欲望里,直到我们灭亡了。还好神派他的儿子介入我们的生命中,救了我们,要不然我们都会变成如此。(請看 Tree of Vices 死罪之樹)
    1. 這樹是早期的基督徒對聖經中所有提到的罪所做的整理,在St. Gregory 時大致上就定型了。
    2. 人的罪就如同這棵樹,在罪的根部是驕傲,自我中心。我們自認自己是宇宙的中心,我們認為我自己是世界是最可愛的人,最值得尊重的。我們對自己的愛和容忍是沒有限度的。世界上只有一個人你是天天對他不滿意,嫌他太矮,鼻子太扁,耳朵太長,一大堆缺點,但你卻無條件的接納他,那人就是你自己。
    3. 這樣的對自己的愛聖經稱為“驕傲”。 它是在這罪惡之樹之根。 樹上面結了七個果子,又稱“七宗罪”, “七大死罪”, “Seven Deadly Sins”, “Seven Vices”. 
    4. 在這樹的下面的幾個罪“嫉妒”“貪財”是隱藏的最深的,上面的 “淫慾”“貪吃”“懶惰”是最明顯的。
    5. “嫉妒”最經典的定義就是 “因別人的快樂而感到憂傷”。你見不得別人比你好。 
    6. “貪財”聖經告訴我們是 “萬惡之根”。 買菜總是多要根蔥,下飛機把枕頭棉被都帶下去,這都是貪財的一些表徵。 
    7. “懶惰”的經典定義是“缺乏愛” “lack of love” 拉丁文的 “acadia”. 你對你所愛的人,事,物絕對不會懶惰。 你愛的女朋友住的很遠你還是會開車去找她。 你只對你不愛的東西懶惰。 (讀書, 上班)。  聖經裡的愛是愛上帝,愛鄰舍,可是這些我們都懶得愛。 我們最愛的,就是自己。
    8. 所以,這些所有的罪都是病徵,不是病根。 淫亂,同性戀都是由淫慾而產生的,而淫慾只是病徵。 就像如果你頭痛一個禮拜,你不要只吃同痛藥,可能要去檢查有沒有其他的病,要找到病根治療才行。
    9. 我們既然都是有同樣罪根--驕傲,的罪人,那我們只攻擊某一種罪是沒用,也是不公平的。 

  9. 在我自己與罪惡鬥爭,成聖的過程中,發現貪財,懶惰,嫉妒等罪一點也不比淫慾更容易對付。 若不是靠聖靈,聖經,教會,小組分享,代禱,並主的耐心饒恕,我們什麼罪也無法勝過。 
  10. 我們引用羅馬書時千萬不可停在第一章而忘掉了後面所提的福音。 5:8 惟有基督在我們還作罪人的時候為我們死,上帝的愛就在此向我們顯明了。9 現在我們既靠著他的血稱義,就更要藉著他免去上帝的忿怒。10 因為我們作仇敵的時候,且藉著上帝兒子的死,得與上帝和好;既已和好,就更要因他的生得救了。11 不但如此,我們既藉著我主耶穌基督得與上帝和好,也就藉著他以上帝為樂。
  11. 教会是接纳罪人的地方。主耶稣是来找罪人,不是找义人。路加福音5:30 法利赛人和文士,就向耶稣的门徒发怨言,说,你们为什么和税吏,并罪人,一同吃喝呢?31 耶稣对他们说,无病的人用不着医生。有病的人才用得着。32 我来本不是召义人悔改。乃是召罪人悔改。
  12. 問題:可是上帝不是很討厭所多瑪與蛾摩拉裡面的同性戀的罪所以才把那兩城毀滅掉嗎? 
    1. 創 18:20 耶和華說:「所多瑪和蛾摩拉的罪惡甚重,聲聞於我。21 我現在要下去,察看他們所行的,果然盡像那達到我耳中的聲音一樣嗎?若是不然,我也必知道。」
    2. 創 19:1 那兩個天使晚上到了所多瑪;羅得正坐在所多瑪城門口,看見他們,就起來迎接,臉伏於地下拜,2 說:「我主啊,請你們到僕人家裏洗洗腳,住一夜,清早起來再走。」他們說:「不!我們要在街上過夜。」3 羅得切切地請他們,他們這才進去,到他屋裏。羅得為他們預備筵席,烤無酵餅,他們就吃了。4 他們還沒有躺下,所多瑪城裏各處的人,連老帶少,都來圍住那房子,5 呼叫羅得說:「今日晚上到你這裏來的人在哪裏呢?把他們帶出來,任我們所為。」6 羅得出來,把門關上,到眾人那裏,7 說:「眾弟兄,請你們不要做這惡事。8 我有兩個女兒,還是處女,容我領出來,任憑你們的心願而行;只是這兩個人既然到我舍下,不要向他們做甚麼。」9 眾人說:「退去吧!」又說:「這個人來寄居,還想要作官哪!現在我們要害你比害他們更甚。」眾人就向前擁擠羅得,要攻破房門。10 只是那二人伸出手來,將羅得拉進屋去,把門關上,11 並且使門外的人,無論老少,眼都昏迷;他們摸來摸去,總尋不著房門。
    3. 可是聖經上說所多瑪蛾摩拉的罪到底是什麼呢?以西結書 16:46 你的姊姊是撒馬利亞,她和她的眾女住在你左邊;你的妹妹是所多瑪,她和她的眾女住在你右邊。47 你沒有效法她們的行為,也沒有照她們可憎的事去做,你以那為小事,你一切所行的倒比她們更壞。48 主耶和華說:我指著我的永生起誓,你妹妹所多瑪與她的眾女尚未行你和你眾女所行的事。49 看哪,你妹妹所多瑪的罪孽是這樣:她和她的眾女都心驕氣傲,糧食飽足,大享安逸,並沒有扶助困苦和窮乏人的手。50 她們狂傲,在我面前行可憎的事,我看見便將她們除掉。51 撒馬利亞沒有犯你一半的罪,你行可憎的事比她更多,使你的姊妹因你所行一切可憎的事,倒顯為義。52 你既斷定你姊妹為義,就要擔當自己的羞辱;因你所犯的罪比她們更為可憎,她們就比你更顯為義;你既使你的姊妹顯為義,你就要抱愧擔當自己的羞辱。」
    4. 馬太福音 11: 20 耶穌在諸城中行了許多異能,那些城的人終不悔改,就在那時候責備他們,說:21 「哥拉汛哪,你有禍了!伯賽大啊,你有禍了!因為在你們中間所行的異能,若行在泰爾、西頓,他們早已披麻蒙灰悔改了。22 但我告訴你們,當審判的日子,泰爾、西頓所受的,比你們還容易受呢!23 迦百農啊,你已經升到天上,將來必墜落陰間;因為在你那裏所行的異能,若行在所多瑪,它還可以存到今日。24 但我告訴你們,當審判的日子,所多瑪所受的,比你還容易受呢!」
    5. 所以,所多瑪的罪有許多,但同性戀好像不是最讓上帝受不了的,讓上帝受不了的,是驕傲, 是貪吃,是懶惰,是虛榮,是自私, 讓上帝更受不了的,是不願意悔改的心。 
  13. 問題:可是我的同性戀傾向是天生的,我要如何改呢?
    1. 首先,目前的基因學還無法證明同性戀是天生的。 
    2. 但我們退一步說,就算同性戀的傾向真的是天生的,它還是一個需要悔改的罪。 
    3. 因為,羅馬書第一章裡面所有的罪都是“天生的”。 我們都是被亞當的罪所污染的人。我們有的人天生貪財,有的人天生脾氣不好,有的人天生好色,有的人天生貪吃,有的人天生有暴力傾向。但我們都要在耶穌基督的恩典裡悔改。“天生如此”並不是讓我們繼續活在罪中的借口。 
    4. 羅馬書5:12 這就如罪是從一人入了世界,死又是從罪來的,於是死就臨到眾人,因為眾人都犯了罪。13 沒有律法之先,罪已經在世上;但沒有律法,罪也不算罪。14 然而從亞當到摩西,死就作了王,連那些不與亞當犯一樣罪過的,也在他的權下。
  14. 可是,我還是覺得聖經這樣定同性戀者的罪還是很殘忍。
    1. 好吧,那我們就暫時不從聖經的角度來看同性戀的問題。
    2. 從進化論的角度來看吧。假如進化論是真的,那麼同性戀者就會是人類的 “有害的突變”。 (Harmful mutations). 人類如果有太多這種突變我們就會停止生育,而導致滅種。 
    3. 既然是有害的,那麼我更不該同情同性戀者。(希特勒是這麼想的)
    4. 所以,離開聖經的福音,同性戀者更沒有地位生存。
    5. 聖經告訴我們耶穌來是來找有罪的人。約翰福音3:16 「 神爱世人,甚至将他的独生子赐给他们,叫一切信他的,不致灭亡,反得永生。17 因为 神差他的儿子降世,不是要定世人的罪,乃是要叫世人因他得救。
    6. 只有在真正明白福音的教會裡同性戀者才有可能得釋放和解救。
    7. 注意: 聖經沒有一定要求同性戀者變成異性戀者,而是要求同性戀者和異性戀者過者感恩,聖潔,榮耀神的生活。 
  15. Professor Rosaria Butterfield 原來是 Syracuse University 裡面 GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender) 組織的導師,也是長期的與另一個女人同居過著同性戀的生活。她被耶穌的福音改變了。 在她的書中“The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert” (一個不太可能悔改的人心中的秘密)提到了她的見證。
    1. 她原來是 professor of English and women’s studies。她在1997 年時在Syracuse當地的報紙發表了一篇支持同性戀並攻擊基督教的文章,引起來很大的迴響。 她拿出兩個紙箱來放所有給她的回信,一箱是恨她的郵件,另一箱是粉絲的郵件。
    2. 但其中有一封信她不知道放哪兒。 是當地一個改革宗長老會的牧師寫的一封信。 “It was from the pastor of the Syracuse Reformed Presbyterian Church. It was a kind and inquiring letter. Ken Smith encouraged me to explore the kind of questions I admire: How did you arrive at your interpretations? How do you know you are right? Do you believe in God? Ken didn’t argue with my article; rather, he asked me to defend the presuppositions that undergirded it. I didn’t know how to respond to it, so I threw it away.”
    3. “Later that night, I fished it out of the recycling bin and put it back on my desk, where it stared at me for a week, confronting me with the worldview divide that demanded a response. As a postmodern intellectual, I operated from a historical materialist worldview, but Christianity is a supernatural worldview. [Pastor] Ken’s letter punctured the integrity of my research project without him knowing it… Christians who mocked me on Gay Pride Day were happy that I and everyone I loved were going to hell was clear as blue sky. That is not what [Pastor] Ken did. He did not mock. He engaged. So when his letter invited me to get together for dinner, I accepted. My motives at the time were straightforward: Surely this will be good for my research.”
    4. 她回憶說到,牧師那天吃飯時沒有像賣車的銷售員跟她傳福音,他們聊文學,聊許多的東西,牧師甚至沒邀請她下禮拜天去教會。“ And because Ken and Floy did not invite me to church, I knew it was safe to be friends.”(因為他們沒有邀我去教會,我反而感到我可以安全地和這人交朋友。”
    5. 她也感覺到,她覺得牧師和師母沒有因為和她吃飯而感到 “被污染”了。 Something else happened. Ken and his wife, Floy, and I became friends. They entered my world. They met my friends. We did book exchanges. We talked openly about sexuality and politics. They did not act as if such conversations were polluting them. When we ate together, Ken prayed in a way I had never heard before. His prayers were intimate. Vulnerable. He repented of his sin in front of me. He thanked God for all things. Ken’s God was holy and firm, yet full of mercy.
    6. 經過了兩年,她自己也開始讀聖經,她才最後鼓足了勇氣踏入了教會。她原來一開始把車停在教會隔壁的修車廠前,怕自己車後面支持同性戀者的貼紙會引來注目。她說她是 “Christian Stalkers”. 
    7. 長話短說,她後來自己信了主,與許多敬畏主的姐妹們分享生命,她們不斷的為她禱告,她開始認識人不是為了 “性” 和 “戀” 而活著,她慢慢的變了,得了醫治。她沒有隱藏自己的罪,也無法隱藏,因為大家都認識她。這反而使她更容易的面對自己的罪,教會也更多的為她禱告和愛她。她被原來的GLBT組織給開除了,還是一個本科生開除了她,說她背叛了他們。她後來也辭了tenure 教職, 和她的女愛人分了手,最後只剩下她的忠狗 Murphy 陪伴她。 (當然還有一個愛她的教會)。 
    8. 她後來甚至嫁給了一個牧師,當了師母,又成為 Foster parent, 領養了4個孩子,現在在家裡做homeschool。 
    9. 雖然在她的書前面也提到她的故事不見得會在其他人身上重複,但她的故事真正給了所有的同性戀者一個盼望:基督耶穌的饒恕和醫治是我們所有願意悔改都有的盼望。


以弗所書2:3 我們從前也都在他們中間,放縱肉體的私慾,隨著肉體和心中所喜好的去行,本為可怒之子,和別人一樣。4 然而,上帝既有豐富的憐憫,因他愛我們的大愛,5 當我們死在過犯中的時候,便叫我們與基督一同活過來。你們得救是本乎恩。6 他又叫我們與基督耶穌一同復活,一同坐在天上,7 要將他極豐富的恩典,就是他在基督耶穌裏向我們所施的恩慈,顯明給後來的世代看。8 你們得救是本乎恩,也因著信;這並不是出於自己,乃是上帝所賜的;9 也不是出於行為,免得有人自誇。10 我們原是他的工作,在基督耶穌裏造成的,為要叫我們行善,就是上帝所預備叫我們行的。

Infralapsarianism or Supralapsarianism?

Francis Turretin and His Case for Infralapsarianism

Francis Turretin was born at Geneva in 1623, son of an Italian immigrant Turrettini, he received his theological education from Jean Diodati, Theodore Tronchin, and the elder F. Spanneim, the first two Geneva’s official representatives at the Synod of Dort. He became the pastor of the Italian church in Geneva. He declined the chair of philosophy, and in 1653 became professor of theology and one of the city pastors, holding both titles until his death in 1687. Turretin vigorously supported the scholastic orthodoxy, against all efforts for the modification of Canons of Dort. He also played an important role in the formulation of Helvetic Consensus Formula of 1675.[1] Francis Turretin is virtually synonymous with the term Protestant scholasticism. Muller comments: “Turretin’s work, the Institutio theologiae elencticae (1679-1685), stands at the apex of the development of scholastic theology in the post-Reformation era, prior to the decline of Protestant system under the impact of rationalism, pietism, and the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century.[2]

Turretin is known for his defense of Infralapsarianism against Supralapsarianism. Almost eighty years after the Synod of Dort, Francis Turretin wrote his treatise on the topic of lapsarianism in Institutes of Elenctic Theology under the title “The Object of Predestination: Whether the object of predestination was man creatable, or capable of falling; or whether as created and fallen. The former we deny; the latter we affirm.”[3] The Canons of Dort (1618) had taken the Infralapsarian view to be the standard position of the Reformed churches although the synod did not rule against supralapsarianism as a heresy. One of the main reasons why the Synod held up Infralapsarian view was due to the majority number of delegates were Infralapsarianists. Fesko noted, “The infralapsarians simply possessed more influence by virtue of superior numbers.”[4] Fesko also noted another reason would be that some prominent Supralapsarianists such as Gisbert Voetius, Johannes Bogerman, and Johannes Maccovius did not voice their view in the discussion over infra- and supra- lapsarianism.

The debate of Supra and Infra-lapsarianism focused on the issue of God’s decree of predestination (election and reprobation), namely, whether God’s decree of predestination preceded the decree of creation or fall (supra view) or his decree of predestination follows the decree of creation and fall. (Infra view). Muller explains: “Both views arise out of consideration of an eternal, logical ‘order of the things of the decree,’ or ordo rerum decretarum, in the mind of God.”[5] Put in the simplest forms, the logical order of God’s decree could be summarized as:

Infralapsarianism: Creation, Fall, Predestination.

Supralapsarianism: Predestination, Creation, Fall.

Muller adds: “The infralapsarian view…places the divine will to create human beings with free will and the decree to permit the fall prior to the election of some to salvation.”[6] On the other hand, Supralapsarianists teach that “the election and reprobation of individuals are logically prior to the divine decree of creation and the divine ordination to permit the fall.”[7] Moreover, it is important to note that the order of God’s decree is a logical order and not a chronological order. The entire order of creation, fall, predestination happened in God’s mind before the actual creation occurred in time. Muller explains. “ordo rerum decretarum refers to the arrangement (oro) of the entire causality of salvation under the divine decretum. [The term] arose out of the concern of the Reformed to construct an order of divine saving causality resting upon the logical priorities in the eternal decree as they arise out of the nature and purpose of God.”[8]

One of the points of contention between Supralapsarians and Infralapsarians is on the object of predestination, or to be exact, the status of the object of predestination. The Supralapsarianist claims that in the divine mind, the human object of predestination is “creabilis et labilis, creatable and fallible, i.e. as a possibility for creation and as capable of falling.”[9] On the other hand, the Infralapsarians view the object of predestination as “creatus et lapsus, created and fallen”, in the divine mind.[10]

The other point of contention is the end of man’s existence, namely, whether the end of man’s existence is for the displaying of God’s glory (as the Supralapsarians claimed) or the end was man’s salvation (as the Infralapsarians claimed). With different ends in view, the means to the ends also differ from one another. In Supralapsarian view, the means to the end are creation and fall, while in Infralapsarian view, the means to the end is predestination. Muller explains: “In [Supralapsarian] view, the prior purpose of God is the manifestation of his glory in the mercy of election and the justice of reprobation, while the creation itself and the decree to permit the fall are secondary purposes, or means to the end, of election and reprobation… In [Infralapsarian] view, the prior purpose of God is the creation of human beings for fellowship with himself, and the decree to elect some to salvation appears as a means to the end of that fellowship.”[11] The scope of this paper is to briefly examine the arguments Turretin presented in the chapter “The Object of Predestination” of his Institutes of Elenctic Theology and compare with arguments for Supralapsarianism, especially by William Twisse (being the champion of Supralapsarianism[12]).

Turretin in his chapter on the Object of Predestination offers five arguments for Infralapsarianism: 1) A non-entity cannot be the object of predestination. 2) Man creatable is only one of the many possible creations; therefore they are not eligible for predestination. 3) Man creatable is not eligible for predestination or reprobation because they have not yet fallen. 4) Creation and fall are not means of predestination. (means and condition distinguished.) 5) Supralapsarianism would have had God reprobated men before they were reprobatable through sin.[13]

His first argument is: “A non-entity cannot be the object of predestination.”[14] He points out that predestination (salvation and destruction) are the ends of the existing subject, and it is illogical for the Supralapsarians to claim that there would be ends to the “creatable yet non-existent” object. He explains:

“that the salvation and destruction which are intended by predestination are the ends which are introduced into the subject (which moreover is supposed already to exist)…so the decree concerning the salvation or damnation of man ought to regard man as fallen (because redemption or destruction was destined for him). Moreover, every subject is conceived to be before its adjuncts.”[15]

This is a logical argument from Turretin, that God could not decree to predestine an object that has not been decreed to exist, and it is therefore illogical for Supralapsarians to claim that the object of predestination was “man creatable.” Beardslee comments Turretin’s argument: “Turretin argues largely within the framework of scholastic speculation, declaring that nothing can be decreed concerning a non ens.”[16]

Turretin emphasized that the end of man’s existence is predestination unto salvation. He assumes that the end of man’s existence is salvation without offering any arguments for it. In fact, Turretin’s argument of non ens would be valid if the end of man’s existence was indeed salvation (fellowship with God). It is logical that if an end is to exist for an entity, then that entity must first exist.

However, Supralapsarianists like Twisse does not think that salvation is the end of man’s existence, but rather the Glory of God. Twisse acknowledged that the end of man’s existence does indeed determine the order of God’s decree. He writes: “The ordering of God’s decrees of Creation, Permission of the fall of Adam, giving or denying Grace, salvation or damnation…the resolution whereof, depends upon the right definition of these decrees, in reference to the end, and the means tending to that end.[17] A different end will naturally alter the order of decrees and the means to the end.

Twisse contends that the Glory of God is the ultimate end of man’s existence, and thus predestination, creation, and fall are all means to that ultimate end.

“But if salvation and damnation be no ends intended by God, but means rather, as well as creation, and permission of all to sin in Adam, together with the raising of some therehence, and leaving some therein, tending to some farther end, namely, the manifestation of God’s glory in a certain kind, as the Scripture together with manifest reason doth justify. For God being the supreme efficient, must necessarily be the last end.”[18]

For Twisse, God is the Supreme Being who must necessarily be the final end of all. On the other hand, Turretin argued (under his fourth argument) that creation and fall is not the means for predestination. Twisse would agree with him on this, except he would argue that predestination itself is not an end but also a mean to an end. Twisses explains:

“So that if God be please to manifest his glorious beneficence on man in the highest degree, and that in the way of mercy mixed with justice; this end requires and bespeaks both creation (no glory at all being manifestable without this) and permission of sin (otherwise it could not be manifested in the way of mercy) and satisfaction for sin (otherwise this mercy could not be mixed with justice exactly) and faith and repentance (otherwise the good which God intends could not be bestowed by way of reward) and last of all salvation, under which we comprehend, the highest and most blessed condition that the nature of man, continuing a mere man, is capable of.”[19]

Thus he categorized all these decrees as means to the end, the glory of God. Furthermore, Twisse categorize all these decrees under one mean, and one decree, which he named “one formal decree” or “the decree of the means.”

“Herehence we conclude, that in case the end is such as hath been specified, and all these actions following, congruous means tending to that end, therefore the decree of manifesting God’s glory, as above specified, is first with God, and secondly the decree of the means; which means although they are many materially, yet they come all under one formal notion of means tending to a certain end, which according to the several parts thereof bespeaks them all, and consequently they are all to be considered, as making up the object of one formal decree, called the decree of the means: and the intention of none of them is before another, but all intended at once, as means tending to that end which is first intended.”[20]

The last sentence is the most fascinating part. He states that these orderings of decrees are not be a matter of contention, because they are all decreed at once and they all belong to one decree, namely, the decree of the means. Why should one argue endlessly on the ordering of these decrees when they all belong to one formal decree? He expounds:

“The means…required are, creation, permission of sin, and damnation unto punishment, and all three makes up the object of one formal decree, which is to be called the decree of the means. So that likes as God doth not intend the creatures creation, before he intends his damnation, in the same respect he cannot be said to intend his damnation, before he intends his creation, or the permission of his sin.”[21]

All these decrees are inter-dependent of each other. God cannot decree creation without predestination in mind, and God cannot decree predestination without creation in mind. Therefore, Turretin’s first argument of non-entity is not so much invalid, but it is irrelevant. For a Supralapsarianist like Twisse, the order of decrees is an irrelevant issue, but God’s glory being the end is the relevant issue.

Turretin’s second argument is: man creatable is one of the many possible creations; therefore they are not eligible for predestination. He explains: “there were innumerable possible men who never were to be created, and, consequently, neither to be saved, nor damned.”[22] He argued that if the decree of predestination precedes the decree of creation, then within that decree of predestination many creatable men would be predestined but yet never to be created. “It is absurdity”[23], declared Turretin. “For besides the absurdity of saying they were creatable (if they could not be created), no reason can be brought why as many as were creatable did not fall under the object of predestination.”[24]

Again Turretin offered quite a logical argument, if the order of decrees were linear in the order of predestination-creation-fall, then it would indeed be absurd for God to predestinate the creatable-yet-never-would-be-created men. However, if Twisse was correct in presenting Supralapsarianism, (that there is only one formal decree of means) then it would be perfectly logical for Supralapsarians to assert that man creatable and man-created-and-fallen are one and the same. They are not two different groups of men under two different decrees, but same group of people under the same decree. Twisse’s words are still relevant here: “So that likes as God doth not intend the creatures creation, before he intends his damnation, in the same respect he cannot be said to intend his damnation, before he intends his creation, or the permission of his sin.”[25] It is futile for Turretin to separate creatable and created man here and build an argument on it. Once again Turretin’s argument fell short.

Turretin’s third argument is: man-creatable is not eligible for predestination or reprobation because they have not yet fallen. He writes: “The object of the divine predestination ought to be either one eligible through mercy or reprobatable through justice. This cannot be said of man creatable and liable to fall, but only man as created and fallen.”[26] Here Turretin introduces the concept of mercy and justice into the discussion. Turretin argues that if Supralapsarians were right, then God would have to predestine man who are not yet fallen to destruction and man who are not yet fallen to salvation. Men who are not yet fallen cannot be justly destroyed and men who are not yet fallen do not need salvation through mercy. He develops the issue of justice and mercy fuller in the fifth argument, so we will look at this issue of justice and mercy in detail along with the fifth argument. It suffices to say that Turretin made a sound argument here that men who are not yet fallen are not eligible for just punishment or merciful salvation. A man who is not sick does not need a physician.

In Turretin’s fourth argument he readdressed the issue of means and the ends. He argued that Creation and fall are not the means of predestination, but they are the conditions under which predestination operates. He gives four reasons why creation and fall are not the means to the end of predestination.

  1. The Scripture never speaks of them as such.
  2. Means has connection with the end, but neither creation nor fall are necessary connected with election or reprobation.
  3. The means ought to have same order and dispensation. Creation and fall belongs to natural order of dispensation and providence, but election and damnation belongs to the supernatural order of predestination.
  4. If they were means, it is absurd for God to decree saving and destroying them before he had decreed anything about his futurition and fall.[27]

It is interesting for Turretin in (c.) to place creation and fall under the natural order (providence) and predestination under supernatural order. Whether these are the correct categories to place them under is beyond the scope of this paper, but there is nothing illogical to have the natural order to be the means of the supernatural end. God could have used anything to be the means of his supernatural ends. Jesus became flesh in the natural order to be the means of the supernatural end, that is, our salvation. However, since Turretin did not elaborate on this subject, but moved on quickly to distinguish means from conditions, so we will also move on to examine his differentiation between means and conditions.

Turretin stressed that creation and fall are not means to the end of predestination, but they are only the conditions that are necessary for men to receive salvation and punishment. He writes:

“For although sin and creation are required antecedently to the illustration of mercy and justice, it does not follow that they were means, but only the requisite conditions…thus existence and ductility are supposed in clay as the condition for making vessels for honor or for dishonor, but it is not the mean. Disease in the sick is the previous condition without which he is not cured, but it is not the mean by which he is cured.”[28]

Here Turretin made a strong argument against the Supralapsarianists. According to Twisse, creation, fall (sin), and predestination are all means to the ultimate end—God’s glory. Turretin argues here that creation and fall are not means to anything, but they are the necessary conditions for predestination to operate. Like a disease is the condition on which healing can be done, so creation and fall are just the condition on which salvation and reprobation can be done. However, a question which Turretin does not anticipate must be raised here: is predestination contingent upon the fall and therefore is necessitated by the fall? If creation is the necessary condition for the fall, and the fall the necessary condition for predestination, then predestination is indeed a contingent event that is necessitated by the fall. If the fall had not happen, then predestination would not have happened either. If the salvation of man is indeed the end according to Turretin, is that end dependent on a contingency?

Twisse addressed this question from a slightly different angle. His question for Infralapsarianists was: is sin the cause of predestination? Or more to be precise: is sin the cause of reprobation? Although causes and conditions are not exactly identical terms, but Turretin does argue that God cannot decree salvation unless man falls first. Man’s action of sin must be logically prior to God’s action of election and reprobation. God cannot reprobate a sinner unless the sinner commits sins first. Man’s action (or condition) of sin becomes the efficient cause of God’s reprobation; God’s decree is held back by the free will of man and until man acts first God cannot act at all. Twisse thinks it is mad for any man to claim that the fall is the cause of reprobation. “Now as touching the act of predestination never any man (saith Aquinas) was so mad as to say that the merits of man are the cause of predestination.”[29] Twisse builds an argument for his claim.

  1. That the moving cause of reprobation, is the alone will of God, and not the sin of man original or actual.
  2. This is true in proportion to election, that lie as no good work of man is the moving cause of election, but only the will of God; so no sin or evil work of man is the cause of reprobation, but only the will of God.[30]

Twisse first states that man’s sin cannot be the moving cause of God’s act of predestination. God did not predestinate man because man had sinned; God predestined man according to His will and His pleasure. (Eph. 1:5) This is the fundamental concern of the whole debate, because God’s predestination of the elect is never based on the actions of the elect. No Infralapsarianists would ever agree that God’s election of man is based on the foreseen faith, and Twisse argues here that it is equally absurd to claim that God reprobates man on the condition of foreseen unbelief (sin). For this is the position of the semi-Palegians which Turretin vehemently speak against.[31] In other words, Twisse is essentially saying that God with His absolute will did not need man-fallen to be the condition of predestination. God decreed creation, fall, and predestination, and actualized them in time for His own Glory. There were no conditions or moving causes for God to create, to decree the fall, and to decree election/reprobation.

Twisse cites Romans 9 to further supplement his argument: “And proveth thus, before Esau and Jacob were born, or had done good or evil, it was said, the elder shall serve the younger; therefore election is not of works (that is of good works) but of him that calleth.”

Here on this point Turretin asserts that the twin brothers Esau and Jacob are already in the fallen condition: “The mass of which Paul speaks (Rom. 9:21) is the …corrupt mass.” However, whether Paul speaks of a corrupt mass or not is irrelevant here, because the condition of the mass is not the moving cause of God’s election and reprobation. Esau was reprobated (or passed-on as Turretin would say) not because he was corrupt (for Jacob was equally corrupt), and Jacob was chosen not because he was in anyway better than Esau. God’s election of Jacob and reprobation of Esau is entirely based on His eternal will. Twisse is simply arguing that God does not need man to be a corrupt mass to reprobate them and elect them. Twisse concludes: “therefore reprobation stands not of works, (that is of evil works) but of the mere pleasure of God… as the Apostle afterwards professeth, He hath mercy on whom he will.[32]

The fifth argument Turretin used was: Supralapsarianism would have had God reprobated men before they were reprobatable through sin. He writes:

“This opinion is easily misrepresented (eudiabletos), as if God reprobated men before they were reprobatable through sin, and destined the innocent to punishment before any criminality was foreseen in them. It would mean not that he willed to damn them because they were sinners, but that he permitted them to become sinners in order that they might be punished. And it would imply he determined to create that he might destroy them.”[33]

This argument is essentially the extension of the fourth argument of condition, (although it also involves the third argument’s mercy and justice issue.) Turretin argues that according to the Supralapsarianists, God would have reprobated man before they were in the reprobatable condition and in doing so God is essentially creating man so that he could destroy them. However, Turretin seemed to overlook the fact the same thing can spoken of the Infralapsarianism here. God’s decree of fall is a decree to have man to become creatus et lapsus, created and fallen. The fall of man is in the eternal decree of God; no matter whether you were a Supralapsarianist or an Infralapsarianist, you would have to deal with the fact that God willed (or decreed) man to fall. Infralapsarianists would still have to answer the question: why would God decree man to fall and then bypass them by not electing them to salvation? Turretin the would argue that it is just for God to pass over the reprobate. But the question still remain, is it just for God to decree the fall of man in the first place? If God did not decree the fall then He would not have to “justly” pass over the reprobates. The issue Turretin raised here in his fifth argument certainly is not the issue only the Supralapsarianists had to deal with. The semi-Palegians would definitely have an answer for it, but both the Infralapsarianists and Supralapsarianists would condemn such an answer.

Twisse’s point on the cause of God’s predestination is still relevant here. God did not reprobate some people according to the foreseen crimes, and men do not have to be in the reprobatable condition for God to reprobate them. God’s act of election and reprobation is not caused by man’s actions, and God’s will alone is the moving cause for his act of predestination. Twisse adds more reasons for his point and I will only quote two which are relevant here.

  1. Predestination and reprobation are eternal, but good works and evil works of the creature are temporal; but impossible it is, that a thing temporal, can be the cause of that which is eternal. 2. The act of predestination and reprobation is the act of God’s will, and the act of God’s will, like as the act of his knowledge, is the very essence of God even God himself; and therefore to introduce a cause of God’s will, is to bring in a cause of God himself.[34]

The two reasons can be summarized as: 1. Temporal things cannot be the cause of eternal act. 2. God’s will is the essence of God, and since God cannot be caused then His will cannot be caused either. Turretin had created a scenario in which God’s eternal will and justice are questioned and his Infralapsarianism cannot solve the problem either.

In conclusion, the debate between Supralapsarianism and Infralapsarianism should be re-focused on the end of man’s existence. Is man created to be elected or is man created to glorify God and enjoy him forever? The focus of the debate should shift away from the order of decrees to the topic of means and ends. The endless debates on the order of decrees will only bring exhaustion, but finding out the chief end of man and the means to the end is edifying. The Westminster Larger Catechism addresses this issue as the first and foremost issue.

Infralapsarianism and Supralapsarianism have co-existed within the Reformed tradition for many centuries. Although the Synod of Dort took a deceive Infralapsarian view, it did not rule out Supralapsarianism as a heresy. Very able men like Turretin and Twisse have argued for their cases very well. Although Turretin’s argument seemed inadequate at times, Infralapsarianism is in no wise an error. The church catholic will continue to have debates on this important subject, but the close examination of both Turretin and Twisse indeed helped us to understand the core issues here. I hope that investigations in this paper offers a context on which both the Infralapsarianists and Supralapsarianists can humbly continue the discussion that brings unity and exaltation of God’s glory.

[1] See John Walter Beardslee, Theological Development At Geneva Under Francis Turretin, (Ph.D.

diss., Yale University, 1956), 1-4.

[2] Richard A. Muller, “Scholasticism Protestant and Catholic: Francis Turretin on the Object and Principles of Theology” in Church History, Vol. 55, No. 2 (Jun., 1986), Cambridge University Press on behalf of the American Society of Church History pp. 193.

[3] Francis Turretin, Trans. George Musgrave Giger. Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Volume 1. Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Publishing, 1992, IV, ix.

[4] J. V. Fesko, Diversity within the reformed tradition : supra- and infralapsarianism in Calvin, Dort, and Westminster, (Ph.D diss., University of Aberdeen, 1999), 243.

[5] Richard A. Muller, Dictionary of Latin and Greek theological terms : Drawn principally from Protestant scholastic theology. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1985, 292.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid., 215

[9] Ibid., 292.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid.

[12] See William Young, “The Life and Work of William Twisse” PRC Magazine, Spring, 1993.

[13] Turretin, 343-44.

[14] Ibid., 343.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Beardslee, 404.

[17] William Twisse, “The riches of God’s love unto the vessells of mercy, consistent with his absolute hatred or reprobation of the vessells of wrath…” Early English Books Online – EEBO. http://eebo.chadwyck.com/search/full_rec?SOURCE=pgimages.cfg&ACTIO, pp. 10.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Ibid., 11.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Turretin, 343.

[23] Ibid.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Twisse, 11.

[26] Turretin, 343.

[27] Ibid. 344

[28] Ibid.

[29] Twisse, 36.

[30] Ibid., 35

[31] Turretin, 342.

[32] Twisse, 36

[33] Turretin, 344.

[34] Twisse, 36.

© 2019 全能者的蔭下

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑