Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Monday, June 26, 2006
For those who are interested, here are the books that I am currently reading (yes, I know it is a lot, and I probably should not be reading this many at once):
Disciplines of a Godly Man by R. Kent Hughes
The Incomparable Christ by John Stott
God is the Gospel by John Piper
The Heart of Evangelism by Jerram Barrs
The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? by F.F. Bruce
The Old Testament Documents: Are They Reliable & Relevant? by Walter Kaiser, Jr.
Understanding the Bible by John Stott
Jesus Driven Ministry by Ajith Fernando
Scripture Alone by R.C. Sproul
Seeing With New Eyes: Counseling and the Human Condition Through the Lens of Scripture by David Powlison
Who Will Be Saved?: Defending the Biblical Understanding of God, Salvation, and Evangelism edited by Paul House and Gregory Thornbury
Humility: True Greatness by C.J. Mahaney
Authority by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
The Providence of God by Paul Helm
Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church by D.A. Carson
The Deliberate Church: Building Your Ministry on the Gospel by Mark Dever
A Display of God's Glory: Basics of Church Structure: Deacons, Elders, Congregationalism & Membership by Mark Dever
Saved from What by R.C. Sproul
Brothers, We are Not Professionals by John Piper
Taste and See: Savouring God in All of Life by John Piper
The Life and Diary of David Brainerd edited by Jonathan Edwards
Biblical Preaching by Haddon Robinson
Feed my Sheep: A Passionate Plea for Preaching featuring such authors as R.C. Sproul, John Piper, and James Boice
"True for You, But Not For Me": Deflating the Slogans that Leave Christians Speechless by Paul Copan
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Did you know that there are over 1.5 billion people who have never heard the Gospel of Christ and have no missionary reaching out to them? This is World A, the part of the world that many Christians - though they have ample resources to reach it - do not even think about. For more information on this scandal, on World A Countries, and on the most unreached people groups see here.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Luther Advertising Relics
The following is an extended quote from a brief article on Martin Luther, proving that the use of sarcasm and satire are time-tested and proved methods of preaching against heresy and false doctrine.
In addition, newly discovered relics would be exhibited, with a special indulgence offered by Pope Paul lilt The new relics included:
- A nice section from Moses' left horn (Exod. 34:29, Vulgate: "his face was horned from the conversation with the Lord");
- Three flames from the burning bush on Mount Sinai (Exod. 3 :3);
- Two feathers and an egg from the Holy Spirit;
- A remnant from the flag with which Christ opened hell;
- A large lock of Beelzebub's beard, stuck on the same flag;
- One-half of the archangel Gabriel's wing;
- A whole pound of the wind; which roared by Elijah in the cave on Mount Horeb (1 Kings 19:11 );
- Two ells (about ninety inches) of sound from the trumpets on Mount Sinai (Exod. 19:16);
- Thirty blasts from the trumpets on Mount Sinai;
- A large, heavy piece of the shout with which the cildren of Israel tumbled the walls of Jericho (Josh. 6:20);
- Five, nice, shiny strings from David's harp;
- Three beautiful locks of Absolom's hair, which got caught in the oak and left him hanging (2 Sam. 18:9).
The author concluded by sharing a tip he had receives from a friend in high places: Archbishop Albrecht had willed a trifle of his pious, loyal heart, and a whole section of his truthful tongue to the existing collection. Whoever paid one guiler at the exhibition would receive a papal indulgence remitting all sins committed up to the time of payment and for ten more years, thus giving the people of the Rhineland a unique opportunity to attain a special state of grace.
The author was Martin Luther, of course. He revealed his identity after the pamphlet had been widely circulated. The old issue of indulgences had once more cropped up, and his way of annoying Archbishop Albrecht, the most notorious advocate of the indulgences traffic, one more time.
Taken from TWO FEATHERS FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT? , By: Gritsch, Eric W., Christian History, 08919666, 1993, Vol. 12, Issue 3
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Martin Luther, the famous church reformer said this:
'I am more afraid of my own heart than of the pope and all his cardinals. I have within me the great pope, Self.'
'If I am not allowed to laugh in heaven, I don't want to go there.'
'Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave.'
'Pray, and let God worry.'
'Who loves not women, wine and song remains a fool his whole life long.'
'I am afraid that the schools will prove the very gates of hell, unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures and engraving them in the heart of the youth.'
Thanks to Wes.
Monday, June 19, 2006
Our goal is not to make much of the child,
but live and teach and lead in such a way
that the child grows up making much of God.
Our aim is not to take a child’s low views of self
and turn them into high views of self.
Our aim is to take a child with low views of God
and replace them with high views of God.
Our aim is not to take a child with little sense of worth
and fill him with a great sense of worth.
Rather, our aim is to take a child who by nature
thinks the world revolves around himself
and show him that he was made to put God at the center
and get joy not from seeing his own tiny worth,
but from knowing Christ who is of infinite worth.
- John Piper
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Substitutionary atonement, the biblical idea that Jesus died in our place, bearing the wrath of God the Father because of the punishment that our sins deserve, is not popular these days, especially among emerging-type evangelicals. Mark Driscoll observes: "This is the growing hot issue among emerging-type evangelicals who see the cross as too bloody, too violent, and too male for itching postmodern ears. In the fall of 2005, I preached a lengthy series on the accomplishments of Jesus’ crucifixion and came to realize that the cross was as foolish and offensive as ever. We had to call 911 for a woman who passed out during the sermon on blood. We had more than one angry person try and get on the stage to fight me during the propitiation sermon, which resulted in beefing up our security on Sundays and having a police officer on site." For more on this subject, including a brief biblical defence of substitutionary atonement by Driscoll, go here.
O GOD OF THE HIGHEST HEAVEN,
occupy the throne of my heart,
take full possession and reign supreme,
lay low every rebel lust,
let no vile passion resist thy holy war;
manifest thy mighty power,
and make me thine for ever.
Thou art worthy to be praised with my every breath,
loved with my every faculty of soul,
served with my every act of life.
Thou hast loved me, espoused me, received me,
purchased, washed, favoured, clothed, adorned me,
when I was worthless, vile, soiled polluted.
I was dead in iniquities,
having no eyes to see thee,
no ears to hear thee,
no taste to relish thy joys,
no intelligence to know thee;
But thy Spirit has quickened me,
has brought me into a new world as a new creature,
has given me spiritual perception,
has opened to me thy Word as light, guide, solace, joy.
Thy presence is to me a treasure of unending peace;
No provacation can part me from thy sympathy,
for thou hast drawn me with cords of love,
and dost forgive me daily, hourly.
O help me then to walk worthy of thy love,
of my hopes, and my vocation.
Keep me, for I cannot keep myself;
Protect me that no evil befall me;
Let me lay aside every sin admired of many;
Help me to walk by thy side, lean on thy arm,
hold converse with thee,
That henceforth I may be salt of the earth and a blessing to all.
Taken from: Arthur Bennett, ed., The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth), 47.
Saturday, June 17, 2006
A Wretched Man I Am
Today I was again reminded of the depravity of my own heart, my lack of love for God, and for those around me. God, please deliver me from myself! Please help me to see others better than myself. Please deliver me and cleanse me from my wicked, sinful, and hard heart, my depraved mind, my selfish will, and my unrighteous deeds, through Jesus Christ my Lord and by the power of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Here are some quotes that represent how I feel today and my condition as a fallen son of Adam:
This was on William Carey's tombstone:
WILLIAM CAREY, BORN
A wretched, poor, and helpless worm,
On Thy kind arms I fall."
This is what the apostle Paul said:
Romans 3:10-12, 16-18: "10 As it is written: "There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one." 16 ruin and misery mark their ways, 17 and the way of peace they do not know." 18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes.""
Romans 7:18: "I know that nothing good lives in me."
John Newton, Amazing Grace:
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.
Friday, June 16, 2006
Augustine perfectly states the constant struggle of my own heart:
"I was astonished that although I now loved you . . . I did not persist
in enjoyment of my God. Your beauty drew me to you, but soon I
was dragged away from you by my own weight and in dismay I
plunged again into the things of this world . . . as though I had sensed
the fragrance of the fare but was not yet able to eat it"
Taken from: Augustine, Confessions, trans. R. S. Pine-Coffin (New York: Penguin, 1961), 152 (VII.17); quoted from John Piper, When I Don't Desire God: How to Fight for Joy (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2004), 14; found at http://www.desiringgod.org/media/pdf/books_bwdd/bwdd_ch1-3.pdf.
O Father in heaven, who didst fashion my limbs to serve Thee and my soul to follow hard after Thee, with sorrow and contrition of heart I acknowledge before Thee the faults and failures of the day that is now past. Too long, O Father, have I tried thy patience; too often have I betrayed the sacred trust Thou hast given me to keep; yet Thou art still willing that I should come to Thee in lowliness of heart, as now I do, beseeching Thee to drown my transgressions in the sea of Thine own infinite love.
My failure to be true even to my own accepted standards:
My self-deception in the face of temptation:
My choosing of the worse when I know the better:
O Lord, forgive.
My failure to apply to myself the standards of conduct I
I demand of others:
My blindness to the suffering of others and my slowness
to be taught by my own:
My complacence towards wrongs that do not touch my
own case and my over-sensitiveness to those that do:
My slowness to see the good in my fellows and to see the
the evil in myself:
My hardness of heart towards my neighbours' faults and
my readiness to make allowance for my own:
My unwillingness to believe that Thou hast called me to a
small work and my brother to a great one:
O Lord, forgive.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and give me the strength of a willing spirit. Amen.
Taken from: John Baillie, "Second Day, Evening," A Diary of Private Prayer (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1955), 15.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Here is an amusing blog from Adam Winters:
Here's a preacher's story that I absolutely loved.
Some of you will be rolling over in your chair when you hear this.Others (maybe most of you) will probably sympathize with the punch line:
When Jesus heard that Karl Barth, Rudolf Bultmann, and Paul Tillich (the 3 most influential German theologians of the 20th century) had died, He decided to hold an audience with them. Jesus asked them, "Who do you say that I am?"
Karl Barth replied, "You are the unreachable, unknowable, impenetrable Holy Other!"
Rudolf Bultmann said, "You're the unaculturated, demythologized essence of kerygmatic truth!"
And Paul Tillich said, "You're the unverbalized, the unfathomable, the untraceable ground of our being!"
And Jesus replied:"Huh?"
Good day to you all. And my hope and prayer is that you can say with Peter in Matthew 16:16 that Jesus is "the Christ, the Son of the living God." Oh, the goodness of God our Father who illuminates our dark, dull minds to behold the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ and to be transformed into His image from glory to glory. Amen!
Monday, June 12, 2006
Are the Lost Really Lost?
Inclusivists, those who believe that people can be saved through Christ without a conscious knowledge of Christ or a personal faith response to Christ have to deal seriously with Romans 10.
Let's look at Romans 10:9-17. The context is the salvation of the Israelites (see vs. 1). What Paul is arguing is that this salvation for the Jews, or for anyone that matter, does not come unless one "confesses with [their] mouth, 'Jesus is Lord'", unless one "believes in [their] heart that God raised him from the dead" (cf. vs. 9-10) (notice the specific cognitive knowledge that is needed: "raised from the dead"). This salvation is avaliable to anyone who "trusts in [Jesus], whether Jew or Gentile," but the condition of salvation is for those who "call on him" (vs. 12), for "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (vs. 13). However, someone can not believe and be saved if "they have not heard" (vs. 14). They need someone to preach to them (vs. 14). Faith, which is necessary for salvation (cf. Rom ), comes from hearing the message of Christ, through the preacher (vs. 17). Therefore, one can not be saved unless they hear the gospel of Christ.
In the context of Romans, chapter 1 speaks of general revelation. General revelation is enough to condemn us, but not to save us. If even the Jews could not be saved by trusting in the law, then how will someone be saved by trusting in another "god." Paul wants to make it clear that in Romans 10 that people will not be saved unless they hear about Jesus Christ; therefore, it should stir up within us a passion to preach Christ where he has never been heard before.
Intelligent Design Books and Articles for Scientists
by Michael J. Behe
Free Press; ISBN: 0743290313
The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed for Discovery
by Guillermo Gonzalez
Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2004; ISBN: 0895260654
The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance Through Small Probabilities
by William Dembski
No Free Lunch: Why Specified Complexity Cannot Be Purchased without Intelligence by William Dembski
Theism, Atheism and Big Bang Cosmology
By William Lane Craig and Quentin Smith
On Common Descent
By Paul A. Nelson
Nature, Science, and Design: The Status of Design in Natural Science
By Del Ratzsch
Rea, Michael C. World Without Design: The Ontological Consequence of Naturalism.
Naturalism: A Critical Analysis
Edited by William Lane Craig and J.P. Moreland
Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth?: Why Much of What We Teach about Evolution is Wrong
by Jonathan Wells
Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2001; ISBN: 0895262002
Uncommon Dissent: Intellectuals Who Find Darwinism Unconvincing by William Dembski, ISI, 2004
Mind of God : The Scientific Basis for a Rational World
by Paul Davies
Law, Darwinism, and Public Education : The Establishment Clause and the Challenge of Intelligent Design
by Francis J. Beckwith
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2003
by Michael Ruse
The Evolution-Creation Struggle
by Michael Ruse
Evolution : A Theory In Crisis
by Michael Denton
Adler & Adler, 1986; ISBN: 091756152X
Nature's Destiny: How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe
New York: Free Press, 1998
Nature's Destiny: How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe
Mere Creation: Science, Faith and Intelligent Design
Edited by William A. Dembski
InterVarsity Press, 1998
The Design Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions About Intelligent Design
by William A. Dembski
InterVarsity Press, 2004
Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science & Theology
by William A. Dembski
InterVarsity Press, 2002; ISBN: 083082314X
Michael J. Behe, “Self-Organization and Irreducibly Complex Systems: A Reply to Shanks and
Paul A. Nelson, “Is ‘Intelligent Design’ Unavoidable – Even by Howard Van Till? A Response,” Zygon 34 (1999).
William A. Dembski and Stephen C. Meyer, “Fruitful Interchange or Polite Chitchat? The Dialogue Between Science and Theology,” Zygon 33 (1998).
William A. Dembski, “Randomness by Design,” Nous 25 (1991).
William Lane Craig, “Barrow and Tipler on the Anthropic Principle vs. Divine Design,” British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 39 (1989).
William Lane Craig, “God, Creation, Mr. Davies,” British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 37 (1986).
John Leslie, “Anthropic Principle, World Ensemble, Design,” American Philosophical Quarterly 19 (1982).
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
For those of you who can not afford to go back to school or do not like to write papers, but want to grow in their understanding of God, His Word, and His world, you might be interested in these two sites: Biblical Training.org and Covenant Seminary World Wide. These sights feature some of the best evangelical seminary professors and all of them are actual recordings of taught classes at such excellent schools as Wheaton College Graduate School, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Covenant Theological Seminary. Enjoy! (Thanks to Uche Anizor for the Covenant tip).