Monday, July 30, 2007

Check out the New Reformation In Progress logo:

Above you'll see our new logo, designed by the very talented Jeremy Pelton. Thanks Jeremy!

What does everyone think?


Saturday, July 28, 2007

I've always heard horror stories about asian prisons, but I had no idea.....

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Defending the Deity of Christ

I'm involved in an e-mail discussion with an individual who I won't name since I don't have his permission, regarding whether or not Jesus is YHWH the God of the Bible or merely the Son of YHWH and human man designated as the Messiah, but not God. The individual gave me a link to an article that was Written by Dan Mages called "Trinity and Christology in Light of Modern Scholarship." The individual whom I am interacting with via e-mail said that this represents His view. I read the article and I will give you a link to do the same. I then wrote the following to the unnamed individual as my response to the assertion that the Bible teaches Jesus to be a human son of YHWH that is Israel's savior, but not God in flesh. If you have the time, read both Mages article and my response carefully and study the Scripture yourself to see what indeed the Bible teaches.

Here is the link to Mages article:

And here is my response:

Dear Friend,

I apologize that my letter to you was put off for so long. It has been quite a week getting moved into a new home and starting a new job with the anticipation of attending school once again this next month. But at last I have internet set up again and I have found time to take a seat in front of my laptop to write a response to you.

I took the time to read the article that you pointed me to by your friend Dan Mages. While I found the article interesting, I also found it to be seriously flawed and guilty of committing logical fallacies. We will talk more about that later.

In our brief exchange previously we discussed a few issues that you wished for us to take up. One was the issue of whether or not Jesus is "most certainly Yahweh." I of course contend that He is and you contend that He is merely the Son of Yahweh but is not indeed God Himself. So let’s go ahead and start our exchange on that point. The following reasons are why I believe that Jesus is indeed Yahweh, the God of the Bible.

1. The Scripture Clearly Refers to Jesus as God.

John 1: 1-3;14

"1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made."

"14And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth."

Interestingly enough there is a clear distinction made here. The Word was with God, which tells us of more than one person, but also the Word was God. Note that the Scripture does not say that the Word "was a God" it says that the Word "was God." So the word is both distinct in some way from God in order to be "with God" and yet the Word is also that same God.

Verse 14 clarifies any confusion one might have about who "the Word" is. He is Jesus. God become man taking on Human flesh. Jesus was with God in the beginning and was God from the beginning.

John 20:27-29

"27Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe." 28Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!" 29Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

Note that Thomas not only calls Jesus "Lord" but also "God."

Colossians 1:15,19

"15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation."


"19For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,"

Hebrews 1:3,8

"3He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,"

and the father speaking of the Son says,

"8But of the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. '

The Father himself refers to Jesus as "God"!

2. Jesus is Called the Creator, A Title that Alone Belongs to Yahweh.

John 1:1-3

"1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made."

Colossians 1:15-17

"15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together."

Hebrews 1:10-12, the Father says to the Son,

"10And, "You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands;11they will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment, 12like a robe you will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will have no end."

All of this and yet clearly we are told in Genesis 1 during the creation account that "In the
beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." (Gen. 1:1) From your position, the God who created Heaven and earth could only be Yahweh whom you say is the Father alone and not the son, but the Scripture clearly attributes the work of creation to the Son. As we have seen the Son is referred to as God, and is now credited with the work of creation which God does in Genesis 1. I think the Scripture has already painted a very clear picture about whether or not Jesus is indeed Yahweh, the God of the Bible. But there is more to see, let us look.

3. The Problem of Worship.

One thing that you and I agree on is that Judaism and Christianity are strictly monotheistic.
That is to say they worship only one God. Faithful Jews would recite the following several times a day:

"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one." (Deut. 6:4)

Also when the Lord Jesus rebukes Satan when Satan offers Him everything He sees in exchange for Jesus’ worship of him, the Lord says:

" Then Jesus said to him, "Be gone, Satan! For it is written, "'You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'" (Mt. 4:10)

So clearly in Both the Jewish faith and the Christian faith that’s foundation is in Judaism, there is but one God, and only He is to be worshiped. If this is the case and Jesus is not Yahweh as you contend then why is it that Jesus is worhiped, readily receives worship, and is commanded to be worshiped in Scripture?

Matthew 2:1-2,11

"1Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2saying, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him."


"11And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and

Matthew 14:33

"33And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."

Matthew 28:8-9, 17

"8So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9And behold, Jesus met them and said, "Greetings!" And they came up and
took hold of his feet and worshiped him."

"17And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted."

Luke 24:52

"52And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy,"

Hebrews 1:6

‘6And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, "Let all God’s angels worship him."

Revelation 14:6-7

"6Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to
those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. 7And he said with a loud voice, "Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water." (Remember who we were told the Creator was?)

Revelation 5:13-14, Jesus receives worship along with the Father.

"13And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!" 14And the four living creatures said, "Amen!" and the elders fell down and worshiped."

So one of a few things has just happened here. 1. A bunch of Jews blasphemed God and gave worship to another. 2. The Bible is fallible and inconsistent. 3. God changed His mind about worshipping only Him. 4. Jesus was a sinner who sought to take worship away from God.


Jesus is Yahweh in the flesh and there is no problem with what has taken place in these passages.

It’s noteworthy that Angel’s rebuke people for trying to worship them: Rev. 19:10, 22:8-9.

Peter rebukes people for trying to worship him: Acts 10:25-26.

Paul and Barnabas stop people from worshiping them: Acts 14:11-15.

King Herod dies because he receives worship that is due to God alone: Acts 12:22-23.

And yet Jesus, whom you say is not God but only the God’s son, receives worship and welcomes it, what a conundrum unless Jesus actually is Yahweh as much as the Father is.

4. The Problem of Preexistence.

Some of the verses we are going to look at, I have already mentioned here, but there is another side to them that I believe is worth mentioning. The other side is the fact that they teach Jesus existed before He came to earth.

Philippians 2:5-8

"5Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."

John 1:1

"1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

John 8:57-59

"57So the Jews said to him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?"
58Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am." 59So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple."

Not only does Jesus clearly say that He existed before Abraham, but also He clearly asserts Himself to be the Great I AM of the Bible. YHWH.

The issue of Jesus being said to preexist before becoming a man is another real problem for the position that denies His deity. Those who deny Jesus as Yahweh must decide whether Jesus is another God like the Mormons claim, perhaps an angel like the Jehovah’s Witness claim, or that He is just a man who happened to preexist. Although no man has ever been called God and the Creator of all things beside Jesus.

5. Jesus demonstrates God’s Attributes:

Jesus shows His omniscience:

Jesus knows the thoughts of man: Mt. 9:4; 12:25; Luke 5:22; 11:17.

Jesus shows His omnipotence:

By Walking on Water: Mt. 14:22-33

By Raising the Dead: Lk. 7:11-17; Jn. 5:21; 11:43-44

Cursing the fig tree: Mt. 21:18-19

Calming storms: Lk. 8:22-25

And need I remind yet once again that Jesus is attributed the work of Creation?

6. The Old Testament Alludes to the Trinity:

In Genesis 1 we see that the Spirit of God hovers over the face of the water’s (Gen. 1:2) showing a distinction between God’s Spirit and the Father. Also we se that is says:

"Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness...." (Gen. 1:26a)

God, singular, said "Let us", plural. Well who is He speaking to? Angels? Are we made after the likeness of God and angels? Is He speaking to preexistent human beings? Are we made after the likeness of God and man? No that wouldn’t work would it? Perhaps there is more to God than one might think. And that is exactly what the Scripture goes on to reveal as Scripture begins to unfold and more is revealed by God’s Prophet’s and Apostle’s.

"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one." (Deut. 6:4)

Interestingly enough, the monotheistic Shema that is foundational to the Jewish and Christian faith, alludes to the trinity. Lord is the Hebrew word "Adonai" and God is the Hebrew word "Elohim". Elohim is actually a plural word for God, and yet it is used in this monotheistic statement.

7. Closing Thoughts:

I have some serious disagreements with the article your friend wrote, as you can tell. And here are a few more problems I have with his logic and argumentation.

First of all the title of the article throws out serious red flags. "Trinity and Christology in Light of Modern Scholarship." That kind of phraseology always makes me cringe. Whenever someone says, "yeah, you know that thing that faithful Christians have believed for 2,000 years? Well in light of modern scholarship, I’ve found that all of those theologians are wrong. Not to mention the people only a generation or two removed from the time Christ actually walked the earth."

Honestly, the assertion that Mages makes in his opening statements that there is "much confusion" surrounding "the question of how Jesus is related to YHWH, the God of Israel" is ridiculous. In fact the majority of denominations and even the Roman Catholic Church who I otherwise disagree with on much, have clearly defined in their doctrinal statements that Jesus is YHWH, part of the trinity. Mages makes it sound like there is a massive split in Christendom about whether Jesus is God or not. This couldn’t be further from the truth. This has always been a foundational truth of Christianity, taught from New Testament times until now.

It is a big red hearing to act as if nothing was ever said about Jesus being God until the 3rd Century when Athanasius was battling it out with Arius about whether or not Jesus was of the same or similar essence to the Father. That fight came about because Arius, a wolf in sheep clothing, was challenging what had been taught since Christ came to earth. As we have seen the New Testament clearly calls Jesus God, presents Him as Creator, gives Him worship and commands that He be worshiped as God, demonstrates His God attributes, Etc. And such teaching continued from the 1st century until now.

Mages asserts that there would be much confusion and riotous response against the message of Jesus being God. Has he read the New Testament? They try and stone Jesus when He tells them "Before Abraham was, I AM." (Jn. 8:58) The Apostles message was constantly ignored, got them beaten and stoned and all but one of them (John) eventually killed.

Not only were their logical fallacies in the arguments made but also it seemed more as though Mages was arguing against polytheism rather than the doctrine of the trinity. This leads me to wonder if Mages, or perhaps you yourself understand the Trinitarian position. In no way shape or form is the Trinitarian position suggesting that Jesus is a different God than the Father, we believe that the Bible teaches them to be the same God, yet different persons. 1 being shared by three persons.

Therefore Mages whole section entitled "Follow the Pronouns" is quite irrelevant to this discussion. If you were speaking to someone who believed that Jesus was a separate God from the Father, that would be different, but we who hold to the doctrine of the trinity do not in any way shape or form believe that. God may speak of Himself in personal pronouns all day long and that doesn’t contradict the Trinitarian view of God.

The teaching of the Bible is clear, Jesus is YHWH. I pray that you will study further, be convicted by the Spirit of God and repent and believe in the Biblical Jesus.

In Christ,

-Jacob Allee

Sunday, July 22, 2007

"There are plenty of 'other' Bible churches around here"

I had quite the experience today. As my regular readers know, my family has moved just recently to central Kansas in a town called Hillsboro. As this is quite a drive from where we were living in western Kansas, we are looking for a new church home.

It's our desire that we find a good church that is Elder led and expositional in it's teaching style. Today was the first Sunday since we moved here that we have had the chance to look for a church, we chose a Bible Church to visit in a near by town and decided to check it out.

We went, of course, and the service was alright. All traditional hymns, which is ok although I perfer a mix of modern worship and hymns both, but not a big deal really. The pastor had a decent sermon and all that, and several people we talked to were very welcoming and friendly. By the end of the service I was pretty well decided that I'd be willing to visit again and we'd see if it was a fit for us as time went on.

However, that's when something changed my mind. An older gentlemen in the church came over to me and in no so subtle of a style he proceeded to tell my wife and I that there are "other" Bible churches that we shoould check out. I found this kind of odd that someone would tell us that when we were visiting their church. But as the conversation continued it became obvious that he was telling us that we wern't welcome their and should look elsewhere. To be honest I was speechless. (A first time I assure you)

I was so taken back that someone would be so forward as to tell us that. I'm not even entirely sure why, but I can only assume it is because I have earrings. Nevermind the fact that I was wearing a suit and tie. I was, and am, pretty upset by this. I don't think He represents the church as a whole, but I also don't think that my wife and I will be going back there and I intend on letting the Pastor know why tomorrow when I give him a call.

I share this mainly to vent, but also to ask, what should be the grounds for one believer (Supposedly anyway) telling another believer that they cannot fellowship in the same building with them? I guaruntee you, it's not a guy having earrings. Only unrepentant sin is a disqualification for fellowship and that is after a series of church discipline (1 Cor. 5; Mt. 18:15-17).

People such as this are what you might call "cancer" to what appeared to be an otherwise healthy church. And in my opinion this is a great example of why church discipline is necessary, because people like this gentleman are destructive to the body of Christ.

In Him


Monday, July 16, 2007

We Made It.

Well, we made it. My family and I have moved into our new place in Hillsboro KS. I appreciate those of you who have been praying for us. Our house sold this last week (God's perfect timing). I start my new job at Radio Shack on Wednesday and begin school in a little over a month. That said, there are still a lot of new and upcoming things headed my family's way. Your prayers are still appreciated for our future and our financial situation as we will be on a much tighter budget now.

In Him,

-Jacob Allee

Saturday, July 7, 2007

What does the word "day" mean in Genesis?

As an apologist, one of my great pleasures is to get to answer questions from my brother's and sister's in Christ as well as unbelievers. One brother had the following question and I thought it was worth posting here with a reply. This is a subject that I feel needs to be given more attention by Christians.

My brother in Christ,

In response to your question:

"Explain to me the word day in Genesis, does it mean day or something else?"

This is a great question! I assume that you specifically have Genesis 1 in mind when you raise this question. If you have some other passage from Genesis in mind, do let me know.

As you are probably aware there are several different views on the subject of the creation account amidst those who are Christians. One view is that we should take Genesis 1 and 2 quite literally. That is to say that God created the earth and all that we know to exist in 6 literal days and rested on the seventh day. He made man out of the dust of the ground and Eve from the rib of Adam, etc.

Another view (that seems to be growing in popularity) is that the creation account in Genesis 1 & 2 is speaking figuratively and/or metaphorically. Under this line of thinking there is a large range of ideas about what Genesis 1 & 2 is really teaching and how we should interpret it. I won’t go into large detail about this as it does not specifically pertain to your question. However it is this second category where the question pertaining to the word "day" comes up. In the non-literal camp of the creation account, the majority of those who call themselves Christians believe that the earth is truly millions of years old as "modern science" boasts it to be. The problem that this creates for them is that if the earth is truly million’s of years old then the Genesis account cannot be taken literally. If God actually created the universe in the course of a week then the earth could only possibly be anywhere from 6,000 to 9,000 years old depending on who you ask. But agreeably it couldn’t be in the millions.

It is because of this that the question regarding the word "day" has come up in Christian circles. Let me tell you here and now where I stand, and then I shall tell you why.
I believe that Scripture very clearly teaches that God made the earth and all it’s inhabitants and the stars in the sky, etc, in 6 literal, 24 hour days. So in short, yes the word "day" in Genesis 1 actually means "day."

While I have great respect for Wayne Grudem and some others who hold to a non-literal view of the creation account, I must strongly disagree and dare I say "refute" their teaching on this subject.

The Hebrew word that is translated "day" here in Genesis 1 is "yom." Now let me tell you that it is indeed true that the word "yom" does not necessarily have to be translated "day." It can also refer to an undetermined amount of time. This is true with many words in Hebrew and Greek, they can have different meanings depending on the context. But indeed context is everything. Let’s take a look at the Scripture.

Genesis 1:3-5

"And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day."

Now let me just ask you, what does it sound like to you? I mean take the Hebrew word "yom" which can mean "day" or a undetermined period of time. Put it in context, what make sense to you? You see basically the non-literal camp tries to force the creation account to be an undetermined amount of time. That way they can say that each "day" is really a long period of time. An "age of time" if you will. This then allows each "day" that is referred to in Genesis to possibly be millions of years. This is how some Christians try an compromise with "modern science." They still credit God as the creator but they just claim that He took a very long time in doing so, and therefore they harmonize their view of the Bible with science.

Many people point to the Scripture verse that says "For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night." Psalm 90:4. They try and make the point that God can refer to creating something in a day and have it really be a thousand years because it is all the same to Him.

This, however, is a terrible argument. The above verse tells us how a thousand years seems to God, it does not imply that God doesn’t know the difference. God breathed out this Scripture (2 Tim. 3:16-17) in Genesis 1 & 2 just like the rest of the Bible and when He inspired the text He did so in a simple and straightforward way. There is surely a lot that God chose not to describe about the Creation account, it is after all a very short account when you think of the vastness of creation. But what God did say, He said clearly.

The context of Genesis 1 makes it ever so clear that God referred to days as we know them. "There was evening and there was morning, the first day." Would it make sense to insert "There was evening and there was morning, the first million years."? Or the "first undetermined time period?" It’s rather absurd to even talk about it.

In Exodus 20 when God gave the Ten Commandments, look what He says in regard to the Sabbath!

Exodus 20:8-11

"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."

You see that even when God speaks to His people directly, giving them the 10 commandments, he refers to the creation account in a literal fashion. The very reason why the Jews took the Sabbath laws so seriously as to stone the person in their midst who ignored the law is because they took God for what He said. They did their work in 6 days and rested on the seventh because that is what God Himself did. Had you asked Moses what day meant (The one who probably wrote Genesis) he would have told you... "a day."

Indeed this is how "day" (yom) has always been understood by orthodox Jews, by believing Christians up until just recently. There has never been this question until very recent history. This should lead us to ask, "Why should we have any reason to understand it differently now?" My personal answer is, we don’t. But let’s be honest, the reason the question about the word "day" has come about is because to many Christians feel the need to try and make what the Bible teaches line up with modern Science. This I believe is extremely dangerous.

In fact it is due to this need to harmonize the Bible and science that we now have what is called "theistic evolution" as a theory some "Christians", if you can call them that, now hold to. The idea of course being that God guided/created the process of evolution. This view is completely incompatible with Scripture hands down. However it is this kind of thing that comes up when we start to "fictionalize" the creation account and insist that we cannot interpret it in a literal fashion. The very idea that we should change our interpretation of Scripture based off of what Modern science teaches is foolish. In fact I think it is such human wisdom that we are warned against in 1 Corinthians 1-2.

The brightest minds once thought the earth was the center of the universe, and they thought that the world was flat, all these things that were once modern science were found weighed and wanting eventually. True science always agree’s with the Bible. That is why there will never be found a "missing link" that conclusively proves evolution.

One other thing to keep in mind when discussing the creation account and how old the earth is, etc. God made Adam with an appearance of age. It’s clear that Adam must have been made a full grown man for him to "know" his wife. He certainly did not start out as a zygote, or embryo. In turn then, it makes just as much sense that the earth, plants, animals and everything else would also have an appearance of age. This would mean that when scientist measure the layers of the earth and guesstimate it’s age, they might be right if it weren’t for the fact that God made the earth to have such an appearance to begin with. Not to mention the possibilities of a world wide flood and what that might do to the physical appearance of the earth and it’s layers.

There is certainly a lot more we could discuss on this issue, and I do recommend that you read the differing views that are out there. But you must ask yourself a couple of questions.

1. What does the Scripture seem to clearly and plainly say? God is not trying to be tricky in what He says to us.

2. Does the narrative context of Genesis suggest that we should look at the creation account as metaphorical or as poetic rather that literal?

3. How have followers of the living God always understood this word "day" (yom) and is there any good reason to understand it differently now?

4. Would anyone understand the creation account to mean an undetermined amount of time if it weren’t for "modern Science?"

5. Should our interpretation of Scripture be conditional on human wisdom, especially that human wisdom that has not been proven?

It’s clear to me that the non-literal view of Genesis 1&2 comes from a foolish need to compromise with worldly wisdom. Where does this compromise stop? Should we take Genesis 3 non-literally also? Perhaps sin isn’t as serious as the Bible seems to say. Perhaps Christ has not raised from the dead and Hid crucifixion was metaphorical and symbolic as the "Jesus Seminar" claims. No the Bible is straightforward and means what it says. Though there are certainly places where there is Hebrew poetry like Psalms, and there are times where authors use hyperbole, and exaggerate, and use figurative and comparative language, we must be consistent in our interpretation of Scripture. We must always let the context define our interpretation, and we must always interpret the Bible by the Bible rather than by "modern science."
What does day mean in Genesis? It means day.

In Him,

Jacob Allee

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

10 Ways To Grow a Church Without God

The following article is written by Pastor Ray Baumann. It's a good reminder that you can build a big church using the wisdom of the world, but it'd be better to be a congregation of 40 people rather than 40,000 if it means the difference between pleasing God or not.

Monday, July 2, 2007

I've been gone...


I was gone all week at youth camp in Salina Kansas. I may be back now, but I wouldn't expect it to seem like it if I were you. I'm moving a week from Saturday and have a lot of loose ends to tie up. After I move it may be a little while until I have Internet set up, so I don't really know when I'll get back to regular blogging.

Please pray for me that our house will sell this week!!!

God bless.