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EDITIONS:

1. CLASSIC-CHRISTIANITY DEFINED
2. CORPORATE PRAYER
3. AUTHORITY OF THE WORD
4. INTERPRETING THE WORD
5. UNDERSTANDING THE WORD
6. END TIME FERVOR
7. LOVING NOT OUR SOULS TO DEATH
8. KEEPING ALIVE THE ORIGINAL SPIRIT
9. RECOGNIZING REVIVAL
10. HINDRANCES AND CATALYSTS TO REVIVAL
11. TESTING THE SPIRITS
12. INTERCESSION
13. INTERCESSORY PRAYER WARFARE
14. THE CROSS-LIFE
15. WORSHIP
16. WORSHIP II
17. THE INCARNATION
18. DIVINE PROTECTION
19. DIVINE GUIDANCE
20. WILL OF GOD
21. THE FEAR OF GOD
22. WHAT IS TRUTH?
23. JESUS THE ULTIMATE TRUTH
24. LIVING A LIFE OF TRUTH
25 SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT
26. THE OLD TESTAMENT AND NEW
27. THE WHOLE COUNSEL OF GOD


CLASSIC-CHRISTIANITY
THE E-ZINE

First published by Christian Publications, Inc.,
3825 Hartzdale Drive,
Camp Hill, Pennsylvania 17011

Republished by www.kneillfoster.com 2005.
K. Neill Foster, Publisher
Paul L. King, Editor
A.W. Tozer, 1897-1963,
Editorial Voice

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE:
NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by the International Bible Society. Scripture labeled KJV is from the King James Version.

Welcome to Classic Christianity

First published by Christian Publications, Inc., 3825 Hartzdale Drive,Camp Hill, Pennsylvania 17011 Republished by www.kneillfoster.com in 2005. K. Neill Foster, Publisher. Paul L. King, Editor. A.W. Tozer, 1897-1963, Editorial Voice.


WELCOME TO:
CLASSIC-CHRISTIANITY/THE E-ZINE


#5 CLASSIC-CHRISTIANITY/THE INDEX
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1) THE PUBLISHER ON "PERSPICUITY OF THE WORD OF GOD"
2) THE EDITOR ON "KEEP IT SIMPLE!"
3) A.W. TOZER ON "UNDERSTANDING THE SCRIPTURES"
4) CHURCH FATHER IRENAEUS ON "THE CLARITY OF SCRIPTURE"
5) JOHN CALVIN ON "NATURAL INTERPRETATION"
6) MARTIN LUTHER ON "THE FOOLISHNESS OF THE WORD"
7) RECOMMENDED READING
8) CHARLES SPURGEON ON "UNDERSTANDING THE PLAIN MEANING"
9) A.B. SIMPSON ON "A NATURALLY SUPERNATURAL BOOK"
10) WATCHMAN NEE ON "GOD'S WORD IS NOT A PUZZLE"
11) LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
12) RECOMMENDED READING


1) THE PUBLISHER ON "PERSPICUITY OF THE WORD OF GOD"

Scripture, plainly read by plain people, should be plainly understood. That is one way to explain the perspicuity of Scripture. For example, the lostness of mankind is one of the New Testament's uncomfortable and unpleasant doctrines. Not surprisingly, it is on this doctrine that many have fallen away from the plainess of Scripture. The human heart desperately wants to differ from the plain statements of the Bible. Jesus spoke of those "who will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life" (Matthew 25:46). Eternal life--of course-- no problem there--but eternal punishment? Nevertheless, plainly read, this text plainly teaches eternal punishment.

Another text in point. "Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. (Notice now the change to present tense in this verse). They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire" (Jude 7). Again, plain Scripture plainly read leads us to the very plain truth. The unpleasantness of the lostness of humanity is apparent. This doctrine tickles the ears of no one. But it solidly rests upon the plain words of Jesus Christ, the plain statements of the biblical text. Yielding to the temptation to explain this away is an interpretation fraught with danger. Though it is being done on all sides, we indulge it at immense peril.


2) THE EDITOR ON "KEEP IT SIMPLE!"

I have found from personal experience that we can unnecessarily complicate the Word of God and confuse the saints. As a Northeastern intellectual pastoring in a small, rural Colorado cowboy town, I discovered I was talking over the heads of my congregation, simple ranchers and farmers. But God set me up to learn from children how to communicate the Word simply and clearly. The church had a tradition of having the pastor give a children's sermon each Sunday. I struggled and struggled to come up with a good children's sermon! But after a while, the whole congregation liked my children's sermons better than my adult sermons!

Jesus taught with simple illustrations from life which communicated to people where they are. I finally learned to do the same. While there are many things even scholars do not comprehend about the Scriptures, the essence of the Word of God can be understood by all. Even children and the mentally handicapped can understand. The renowned theologian Karl Barth, when asked, "What is the most profound theological truth?" is reputed to have replied, "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so." This is "the plain truth."


3) A.W. TOZER (1897-1963) ON "UNDERSTANDING THE SCRIPTURES"

The textualism of our times is based on the same premise as the old-line rationalism, confidence in the ability of the human mind to do that which the Bible declares it was never intended to do and consequently is wholly incapable of doing. The internal kernel of truth has the same configuration as the outward shell. The mind can grasp the shell, but only the Spirit of God can lay hold of the internal essence. Our great error has been that we have trusted to the shell, and have believed we were sound in the faith because we were able to explain the external shape of truth as found in the letter of the Word.

A.W. Tozer, THE PURSUIT OF MAN (Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publications, 1950, 1978), 79-80.


4) CHURCH FATHER IRENAEUS (120-202) ON "THE CLARITY OF SCRIPTURE"

It is absurd to make applications according to one's own discovery or inclination which are not clear or evident interpretations. . . . For in this way no one will possess the rule of truth. . . . The entire Scriptures, the prophets, and the Gospels, can be clearly, unambiguously, and harmoniously understood by all.

Irenaeus, "Against Heresies," Chapter XXVII, ANTE-NICENE FATHERS, ed., Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1979), 1:326.


5) JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564) ON "NATURAL INTERPRETATION"

I will give an interpretation, not subtle, not forced, not wrested, but genuine, natural and obvious.

John Calvin, INSTITUTES OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION, 4:1,1


6) MARTIN LUTHER (1483-1546) ON "THE FOOLISHNESS OF THE WORD"

The great men and doctors understand not the Word of God but it is revealed to the humble and to children, as is testified by the Savior in the Gospel of Matthew 11:25, "O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes" [KJV]. Gregory says, well and rightly, that the Holy Scripture is a stream of running water, where alike the elephant may swim, and the lamb walk without losing its feet. . . .

I admonish every pious Christian that he take not offense at the plain, unvarnished manner of speech of the Bible. Let him reflect that what may seem trivial and vulgar to him, emanates from the high majesty, power and wisdom of God. The Bible is the book that makes fools of the wise of this world; it is understood of the plain and simple-hearted.

Martin Luther, THE TABLE TALK OF MARTIN LUTHER, ed. Thomas S. Kepler (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book, 1952), 10-11, 36.


7) RECOMMENDED READING:

CHRISTIAN PUBLICATIONS, INC., IS PLEASED TO OFFER A. W. TOZER'S BOOKS, BOOKLETS AND AUDIO ITEMS.

Order from Christian Publications by calling 1-800-233-4443 (in North America) or fax 1-717-761-7273 or web: www.christianpublications.com.


8) CHARLES SPURGEON (1834-1893) ON "UNDERSTANDING THE PLAIN MEANING"

Search the Word, get the true taste of it in your mouth and acquire discernment so that when you say, "It is written," you may not be making a mistake. Texts of Scripture out of context, twisted and perverted, are not "It is written." The plain meaning of the Word should be known and understood. . . .

If you do not understand a book, do you know the best way to reach its meaning? Write the author and ask him what he meant. If you have a book to read and you have the author always accessible, you need not complain that you do not understand it. The Holy Spirit has come to abide with us forever.

Charles Spurgeon, SPIRITUAL WARFARE IN A BELIEVER'S LIFE, compiled and edited by Robert Hall (Lynnwood, WA: Emerald Books, 1993), 82-83.


9) A.B. SIMPSON ON (1844-1919) "A NATURALLY SUPERNATURAL BOOK"

The character of the Bible is not a study of literary skill, wrought with any preconceived plan to create an ideal, but it is developed incidently out of a thousand common occurrences in actual life, unfolding day by day. . . . It grows naturally out of facts as they develop and it bears the impression of simplicity, genuineness and absolute reality. No man can candidly read these Gospel narratives and not feel that he is standing in the presence of a Life that is supernatural and divine, . . . [I]t must be the Word of God. . . .

Beloved, when all other senses fail, you can read and understand the Bible with your love. It is not a Book to talk about. It is not a book to play with. It is not a Book for intellectual discussions or brilliant exhibitions of our exegetical acuteness. It is a Book to love! It is a Book to translate into living copies and holy example.

A.B. Simpson, PRESENT TRUTH OR THE SUPERNATURAL (Harrisburg, PA: Christian Publications, 1967), 30, 33-34.


10) WATCHMAN NEE (1903-1972) ON "GOD'S WORD IS NOT A PUZZLE"

Simply put, the word of the Bible has two characteristics: one, it can be easily understood, and two, it is high in quality. God's Word is so plain that even the blind will not lose his way nor will the cripple miss his step. The parables in God's word are never puzzles. God does not intend to make His Word a puzzle, hence His Word is clear and easily understandable. . . . God never says anything superficial, that is to say, God never says anything that is pleasing to men but lacking in spirit.

Watchman Nee, THE MINISTRY OF GOD'S WORD (New York, NY: Christian Fellowship Publishers, 1971), 267-268.


11) LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

The current passion to appoint women elders is a very live example of "agenda hermeneutics" in action. In the early Church women prayed, prophesied and taught and ministered in many ways, as they do today. They just never were elders, nor is there a shred of evidence in the New Testament that they should be . . . . Prior to the pressures of today's feminist furor, myriads of godly women have serve the Lord and blessed His Church and I doubt the idea eldership ever entered their heads!--Bert Warden


12) RECOMMENDED READING:

CHRISTIAN PUBLICATIONS, INC. IS PLEASED TO OFFER A. W. TOZER'S BOOKS, BOOKLETS AND AUDIO ITEMS.


HAVE A BLESSED CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR!!
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VOL. I, ISSUE 5, December 1, 1999. Published every other month 2/1; 4/1; 6/1; 8/1; 10/1; 12/1. Archives on www.kneillfoster.com.
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Copyright 1999, Christian Publications, Inc. Republished by www.kneillfoster.com 2005.