Coming Up: Faith and Practice

gptsHere is a sampling of some of the questions that are scheduled to be answered on the November 7th edition of Faith and Practice with Dr. Pipa. This will be edition #31

If you would like to submit a question use this form to do so. All submissions used will receive a $10 off code for a purchase at the Banner of Truth online store.

Updated: January 24, 2017


I am more than a little confused on the timing of the Second Coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, pertaining mostly to two of the most-prominent eschatological views. (Correct me if I’m wrong…)

Amillienialists hold that there will be no Rapture, at least not in the sense of Pre-
Millienial. Dispensationalists. I’ve heard several views in this “no-millenium” doctrine, here’s one:

“Most of the Book of Revelation was fulfilled with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., with, of course, the exception of the Second Coming itself, the Great White Throne Judgment, etc.” Another teaching, which ties into this is: “Israel has forfeited the promises of God in the Old Testament by rejecting the Son of Man, and these promises have subsequently been inherited by the Church.”

My question(s) is this: If this eschatology is valid, what can be said about 1Thess. 4:17, John 17:36, and other popular Rapture/Pre-Millennialist views?

Also, if the Church has inherited eternally all the promises of Israel, why does Paul say in Romans 11:11 that the Gentiles have found salvation only because of the temporary stumbling, (or falling) of the Jews, and most of all to provoke Israel to jealousy?

The latter part of Ezekiel 16 seems to persuade me that Israel, as a nation, will never, absolutely ever, be able to forfeit a promise made not of their own selves, but of God. This, to me, seems a fair bit like the wolves who preach the possibility of lost salvation, which is merit-based and unbiblical to the highest degree (Romans 8:38, 39).

Dear Messrs. Hill & Pipa,

So happy to have 2 F&P episodes in one month (Nov 7 & Nov 21)! 🙂

Background of question: I heard a moving story of how the family of a boy who was killed in a crime donated his heart to a girl they’ve never met. Had she not received a new heart, she wouldn’t have had long to live.

Question: Should we avoid postmortem donation of body parts?

There are church members and leaders in Brazil who think contrary to pastors that have a secondary activity that help them to provide better for their families. In the book of Acts in its chapter 18, verse 3 we read that Paul
worked as a tentmaker, which apparently was a secondary work. What do you think about pastors that resort a second activity? What is your thought about this matter?

Hugs from Brazil!

Can you explain why who defends the observation of civil law (of the Old Testament) it’s considered theonomist but who defends death penalty it’s not? What’s the chief differences?

Dr. Pipa,

1) This year Christmas falls on the Lord’s Day, as I’m sure you’re well aware. Should
Christians celebrate Christmas on the Sabbath? By “celebrate” I mean the usual private activities such as gift giving, special family meals, etc. And just to be clear, I’m not suggesting that one could skip out on corporate worship which is obviously out of the question on the Lord’s Day.

2) I’ve been trying to track down a copy of Dr. Morton Smith’s commentary on the PCA BCO, but
with little success. Do you know where I might be able to locate a copy?

Thank you for taking my questions and may the Lord continue to bless your ministry.

Does BCO 58-4 require the
Lord’s Supper to be served after the sermon or is this language here because that is when it ismost often served?  My sister’s church serves communion very early in the service as does mine.  Is this a trend in the PCA?  If so, what it the theology behind it?  I have not heard of this until recently.

I really appreciate this podcast and look forward to every episode!  I haven’t listened to the most recent episode with Dr. Willborn, but I enjoyed an earlier episode where he spoke about the Confessional Presbyterian.

Dr. Pipa,

What is your interpretation of Ephesians 4:11, 12 relative to the so called “every member
ministry” position/teaching?  Are the verses speaking of the “gifts” given by Christ (i.e. Apostles…, pastors and teachers) equipping the saints to do the work of the ministry and thus as a result of that ministry edifying the body of Christ?

Or is it speaking of these same office bearers perfecting the saints, doing the work of the
ministry, and edifying the body of Christ with each clause being a fundamental aspect of their peculiar calling?

(Note: I understand that only the pastor and teacher are continuing offices today.)

In the interest of full disclosure, I believe and hold to the latter.  It would appear to be the
classical reformed position (Calvin, Owen, Hodge, etc.)  I also feel that it contradicts the
Westminster Standards at a certain level. Thoughts?

It is not that I believe that ALL in the church are not to engage in some degree of “ministry” within the context of the local body of Christ (Eph. 4:16; 1 Cor. 12).  I’m just not convinced that such a teaching can be supported from this particular passage.  Finding myself in a shrinking minority on this matter, I’m very much interested in your point of view.

Always appreciative of your opinion.

Hello, Dr. Pipa and Rev. Hill. I trust this
finds y’all well. In discussing this passage with someone during a Bible study he made the claim that Paul was unconverted at this point.

While I disagreed with him and pointed to the chronology of Paul’s conversion along with other language he uses in Acts and Romans, the larger issue became clearer, namely that this person held to the view that Christians cannot willfully sin.

While I know that this person’s view of Paul in Romans 7 is not without supporters the “classic” Reformed view is that Paul was converted at this point. My question is twofold: First, could you give some explanation of Paul’s state in Romans 7? Second, how would you engage with the broader issue of Christian “perfectionism?” I would like your perspective because not only does iron sharpen iron with regards to theological conviction but also delivery, and if I can more clearly explain things it’s possible that my ministry to this person can be more fruitful, by the Spirit’s application.

Blessings to you both. Thank you for this ministry.

I’ve recently been asked by a friend to pray for wisdom for
decisions she needs to make regarding her job. She attends a Reformed church but does not profess personal faith in Christ. Intellectually, she acknowledges the truth and power of God – a sort-of head knowledge without heart knowledge.

Does God answer prayers of the unbeliever? What is the best way for me to


I’ve been listening to all the back episodes of Faith and Practice, and several of the other old episodes. Confessing Our Hope is my favorite podcast of the dozen to which I’m subscribed. Thank you so much for this ministry, Dr. Pipa.

My question:

I’m fascinated by personality systems. I’ve been trained in one system (BANK), and I’m familiar with several others (Meyers-Briggs, Fascination Advantage, DISC, and the Enneagram).

They have been eminently helpful to me in understanding myself and in empathizing with others. I understand that I personally thrive when my friendships are healthy, that I need physical touch (hugs, hearty handshakes) to feel loved, and that I really fall apart when I’m under pressure, etc., etc. Some of these things are common sense, but now I see how they fit together, how many of my tendencies have roots in certain personality foundations.

Also, in the business world these systems are fantastic for helping me determine what certain people are looking for. Some people will buy my product out of love for their family, so I want to play to that. Others will buy from a motive of fiscal responsibility. For those people, I don’t want to talk about their family, I want to talk about their budgetary concerns. See? There are several types of people who generally have motives that fall into respectively different categories, based on their type. Knowing their type helps me know how to speak

in “their language.” I hope that makes sense. Finally, I understand where other people are coming from when they act differently from me. I used to look down upon people who are loud and boisterous, but there’s a certain personality type where that’s normal. Now it makes sense, and I have a lot more grace and empathy for them. This is just one example.

However, there are two temptations with these systems. One is to categorically avoid certain activities (that God might be calling me to) that require behavior that is my “weakness” according to my  type (and according to my real inadequacies!!), such as high pressure situations, commitments to execute within a certain timeframe, or very analytical activities. But I think of 2Cor 13 here, “when I am weak, then I am strong.” The other temptation is to see some sinful tendencies in myself and in others (such as pleasure-seeking, manipulation, etc.) as somewhat natural and therefore somewhat excusable, given the personality type of the person. That is wrong as well, of course.

Do you see any place for personality systems in helping us live godly lives, and if so, how?

I’m sorry for the very long question. If you can summarize this well, on the air, please do. Otherwise, do what you will as far as reading it.

Thank you so much.

Hi Faith and Practice team,

My question is regarding the proper use of Mark 16:9-20 and John 7:53- 8:11. Specifically, what is the proper role of these more passages in the church?

These two verse are frequently bracketed off and designated as absent from the earliest manuscripts available in most Bibles.

While these aren’t the only verses absent from the earliest manuscripts (John 5:4 for example), both passages remain in all major translations of the Bible.

With that in mind, should these two passages be relied on for doctrine, preaching, and teaching by the church?

Or should these passages be kept out of the category of inerrant scripture, and placed alongside other texts as simply historical and contextual, like the Apocrypha and the Didache?

Love the show, and thanks for answering!