Articles

Do the Old Testament Commandments Apply to Christians Today?

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

The Promise Keeper

Salvation, the reconciling of man to God, has its roots in the unconditional Promise God gave to Abraham and his seed when He told him, “in you all the nations of the earth will be blessed” (Gen. 12:3; Gal. 3:16). It was unconditional in the sense that God promised to do this regardless of what Abraham or his descendants would do. In contrast, the Law, told to the Israelites by God through Moses and summarized in the Ten Commandments, was given 430 years later (Gal. 3:17a) as a conditional covenant.

The Israelites agreed with God to enter into this conditional covenant which, if obeyed, guaranteed blessing and security for them in the land of Canaan (Deut.


Was the Messiah Predicted in the Old Testament?

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

In Galatians Paul wrote that the Law served as a “tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith” (Gal. 3:24). Even though Paul was specifically referring to the Mosaic Law, the same could be said concerning the Old Testament as a whole. The Messiah, His person, His work, and His ministry were anticipated through allusion and imagery, not the least of which was the establishment of a theology concerning substitutionary atonement. This laid the groundwork for understanding our need for a Messiah because it explained how we came to be the wretched beings that we are, why God’s moral righteousness means our situation is so dire, and what must be done to reconcile us back to the loving relationship with God we were created for.


A Review of After Virtue by Alasdair MacIntyre

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

In his seminal work After Virtue, Alasdair MacIntyre argues that our Western society has lost the conceptual context for and foundation within which moral language makes sense. In the premodern world moral judgments were understood as governed by impersonal standards justified by a shared conception of human good. That context was lost in the Enlightenment when Aristotelian Scholasticism and Christian theology were discarded and, with them, the idea of teleology. After teleology was discarded, several conceptual systems attempted to provide a new account of morality which would maintain the status, authority, and justification of moral rules.


What Did the Early Christians Think About Abortion?

By Randy Ellis

Randy Ellis earned his Bachelor of Religious Education from Baptist Bible College in Clark Summit, Pennsylvania. He originally wrote this paper in 2000 while attending Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. Randy was born and raised on Long Island and currently resides in Tega Cay, South Carolina, with his wife Christine. He has three daughters and two grandsons.

Introduction

On January 22, 1997, the 24th anniversary of the U. S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, American Vice President Al Gore gave a speech in Chicago, Illinois, to the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL).


My Response to William Lane Craig’s Critique of My Divine Love Theory

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

First, I’ll provide key quotes from Craig’s podcast. Craig said he has reservations about my Divine Love Theory because “it proposes that the love between the members of the Trinity is the source and foundation of morality, and I think that is a distorted and lopsided view because, as important as divine love is, it also equally belongs to God’s moral perfection to be just and to be holy.”


Defending the Protestant Position of Salvation by Faith Alone

This is a serious issue because one of the most important things a person should know is how he can become a Christian. When someone becomes a Christian, they are saved from the punishment of hell that we all deserve, forgiven, reconciled back to God, and welcomed into heaven to spend eternity loving God and loving others. If the Catholic position on faith and works is incorrect, then they aren’t telling people the correct way to become a Christian. In fact, if Protestants are right that someone is saved by faith alone apart from works, then adding works to salvation is a serious mistake. Paul even wrote that “[y]ou have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace” (Gal. 5:4).


If Life Ends at Death, Then Eat, Drink, and Be Merry, for Tomorrow We Die

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

The book of Ecclesiastes is notoriously difficult to interpret. In this article I share my best attempt at understanding and explaining what this book is about. Many have argued that the main message of Ecclesiastes is that we shouldn’t look for meaning and purpose in this world or in this mortal life. While that might be a valid application of the truths found in Ecclesiastes, I don’t think that is its primary message. It seems to me that the main purpose of Ecclesiastes is to teach the following conditional: If life ends at death, then life, and the toil of this life, is vanity because it’s fleeting, futile, meaningless, and absurd.


Calvinism vs. Molinism: A Commentary on the Debate Between James White and William Lane Craig

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

Who won the debate? Can you find Calvinism in the Bible? Was Molina trying to undermine the Reformation? Does God predestine everything? Is God limited by counterfactuals? This commentary on the James White vs. William Lane Craig debate covers these questions and more.


Election: God’s Right to Choose

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

How does God choose who will be saved and who won’t? Historically there have been two major positions; today most call these two positions Calvinism and Arminianism, but they’ve gone by other names throughout history. There are other positions, but these two are the most common. Calvinists generally put more emphasis on God’s sovereignty to choose who will be saved, and Arminians put more emphasis on our responsibility to choose to trust in Christ. For some denominations, this issue is one of their distinctives; most all Presbyterians are Calvinists, and most all Methodists are Arminians. But other denominations are different; for example, Southern Baptists don’t hold this issue as one of their distinctives.


What is the Meaning of Life?

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

Ancient philosophy began when people started thinking about ultimate reality. These early philosophers proposed theories about the ultimate elemental stuff which everything else comes from or is made of. Some of the early theories were earth, air, fire, or water. One ancient philosopher, Democritus, even suggested that everything is made up of tiny particles he called atoms. However, if Christianity is true, and I believe it is, then when the final curtain of reality is pulled back, we won’t find earth, air, fire, water, or atoms. Instead, we’ll find loving relationships between three divine persons. Ultimate reality, from which everything else comes, is a God which exists as a Trinity: three divine persons united in one essence and united in Their loving relationships with Each Other.