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New Horizons

March, 2001: The Fear of God

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The Fear of the Lord

In verse 9 of Psalm 19, we read that "the fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever." The comment on this verse in the once popular Scofield Reference Bible is typical of statements that are still too commonly made, I'm afraid—and not only in consciously dispensationalist churches. Scofield's comment is this: "The 'fear of the Lord' [is] a phrase of Old Testament piety."

Now, what does such a comment imply? That "the fear of the Lord" is a phrase of Old Testament piety is obviously true and undeniable. But one fears that the implication of the comment (and indeed the reason for making it) is that "the fear of the Lord" was a characteristic of Old Testament piety as distinguished from New Testament piety. I want to remind you that that is false and to be rejected clearly and vigorously. Read more

The Heart of the Reformed Faith

The heart of the Reformed faith—the heart of biblical Christianity—is God-centeredness: the conviction that God himself is supremely important. We define all our doctrine in a God-centered way. Sin is horrible because it is an affront to God. Salvation is wonderful because it brings glory to God. Heaven is heaven because it is the place where God is all in all. Hell is hell because it is the place where God manifests his righteous wrath. That God-centeredness is the distinctive feature of the Reformed faith. A Christian may say lots of true things, say, about sin (sin is damaging, sin leads to wretchedness, etc.), but if there is not the God-centered perspective, the most important emphasis of all has been missed.

I remember how struck I was years ago, reading an essay by Leon Morris, asking, "What is the most common word in Romans?" (I presume he's omitting such words as "the"—I'm not sure.) What would you guess? Grace? Faith? Believe? Law? No—the most frequent word in Romans is God. Read more

Live in the Fear of God

Live in the Fear of God

Lawrence R. Eyres

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Remember Lot's Wife

There are few warnings in Scripture more solemn than this. Our Lord Jesus Christ says to us, "Remember Lot's wife" (Luke 17:32).

Lot's wife professed the true religion. Her husband was a "righteous man" (2 Peter 2:8). She left Sodom with him on the day when Sodom was destroyed. She looked back towards the city from behind her husband, against God's clear command. She was struck dead at once and turned into a pillar of salt. And our Lord Jesus Christ holds her up as a warning to his church. He says, "Remember Lot's wife." Read more

Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats?

An evil is in the professed camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence, that the most shortsighted can hardly fail to notice it. During the past few years, it has developed at an abnormal rate, even for evil. It has worked like leaven until the whole lump ferments. The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them.

From speaking out as the Puritans did, the church has gradually toned down her testimony, then winked at and excused the frivolities of the day. Then she tolerated them in her borders. Now she has adopted them under the plea of reaching the masses. Read more

Harry Potter: Good for Children?

Harry Potter is a big hit. Written by J. K. Rowling, the first four books are a publishing phenomenon. The fourth book (in a projected series of seven) was published last summer amidst wild enthusiasm, with children camping outside bookstores in sleeping bags in order to be first in line.

Harry Potter is an ordinary little boy. Perhaps that is why so many identify with him. Being orphaned, he goes to live with his aunt and uncle, Petunia and Vernon Dursley, and their greedy, obese, selfish, spoiled brat of a son, Dudley. Life with this family is miserable. Harry is not loved. He is bullied, neglected, and made to live in the cupboard under the stairs. Then, at the age of eleven, everything changes. It turns out that he is a wizard, and has been granted a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Read more

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