The Gospel

The posts below deal directly with the gospel and its implications. There will also be short weekly devotions found below.

A Facebook Comment Could Render Wheaton College’s Statement of Faith Meaningless

A Facebook comment could render Wheaton College’s statement of faith meaningless if the member faculty council gets its way and the administration withdraws its efforts to fire Dr. Larycia Hawkins. I previously explained that Wheaton professor Larycia Hawkins was not suspended for wearing a hijab. Rather, she was suspended over the theological implications of stating that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. While Wheaton’s administration began the process of firing Hawkins, the faculty council disagrees potentially bringing more controversy on the school. In fact, Wheaton’s faculty council recommends the move to fire Hawkins be withdrawn. Now, Sarah Pulliam Bailey, writing for …keep reading »

5 comments

Sunday Considerations: Christmas After Christmas

What becomes of Christmas, when the day is gone? It is the gladdest day of the year. It is celebrated in all Christian lands. The churches observe it, sometimes with great pomp and splendor, with stately music and elaborate ceremonial, sometimes in simple, homely worship. It is kept in homes, with happy greetings and good wishes, and universal giving of gifts. Everyone, even the miser, grows generous at the Christmas time. Men who are ordinarily cold and unmoved toward human need, wax warm-hearted in these glad days. People everywhere rise to a high tide of kindly feeling. There is scarcely …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: After Church

All of us must go out from the sweet services of the Sunday—into a week of very real and very commonplace life. We must mingle with people who are not angels. We must pass through experiences that will naturally worry and vex us. Those about us, either wittingly or unwittingly, annoy and try us. We must mingle with those who do not love Christ. We all meet many troubles and worries in ordinary week-day life. There are continual irritations and annoyances. The problem is to live a beautiful Christian life—in the face of all these hindrances! How can we get …keep reading »

1 comment

The Wheaton College Professor Suspension Is Not About the Hijab but the Nature of God

Wheaton College, an Evangelical school, recently suspended Dr. Larycia Hawkins, Associate Professor of Political Science. Two issues are in view in this suspension: 1) she wore a hijab standing in religious solidarity with Muslims and 2) she claimed Christians and Muslims worship the same God. The Chicago Tribune gets it wrong by seeming to focus on Hawkins wearing a hijab. USA Today gets it right by focusing on Hawkins’ same God comment. Wheaton College did not suspend Dr. Hawkins because she wore a hijab, but over the nature of God. Her claims that Christians and Muslims worship the same God do not …keep reading »

2 comments

Sunday Considerations: True Love

Love is an affection of the soul, not a contract: it cannot rise from a mere agreement, nor is it so to be gained. It is spontaneous in its origin and impulse; and true love is its own satisfaction. It has its reward; but that reward is the object beloved. For whatever you seem to love, if it is on account of something else, what you do really love is that something else, not the apparent object of desire. St Paul did not preach the Gospel that he might earn his bread; he ate that he might be strengthened for …keep reading »

2 comments

Sunday Considerations: Suffering Christian

Suffering Christian! Jesus is at your side, witnessing your sufferings. He sympathizes with you in your sorrows, and will do you good by every pain. He is always present with His people — for He has promised that He will never leave them nor forsake them. He is especially present with them when they are suffering trials. It is our responsibility to accept by faith that He is with us, and to commune with Him for the good of our souls. But when we are in great pain or extreme weakness, we are apt to forget, or at least we …keep reading »

0 comments

Pastor Robert Jeffress On the Paris Attacks and Radical Islam

Dr. Robert Jeffress, Pastor of First Baptist Dallas, shares his view of how Christians should respond to the Paris terrorist attacks. He addresses the government’s role in protecting its citizens and how radical Islam (ISIS) should be bombed. In this short clip, it is not clear that Jeffress shares his thoughts on every aspect of the Paris attacks including its effect on the refugee crisis. Christians, per Romans 13, expect the government to seek justice on radicals like ISIS et al. Yet, caught in the middle are thousands of Syrian refugees who have been driven from their homes. These refugees …keep reading »

1 comment

Sunday Considerations: Craving Beauty

The beauties of this world whisper to our souls that there is someone ultimate. But the ultimate is never found in the wonderland of creation. We keep looking and longing for the beauty behind the beauty, the One who will satisfy the cravings of our soul. This explains why the drug addict keeps shooting up and the porn addict keeps looking and the materialist keeps buying and the thrill-seeker keeps jumping. On the other side of one thrill is the constant need for another. C. S. Lewis wrote, “We are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of …keep reading »

0 comments

Starbucks’ Terrible War on Christmas

Starbucks’ terrible war on Christmas has recently been revealed. Some guy made a video exposing this terrible war by rhetorically asking, “Do you realize that Starbucks wanted to take Christ and Christmas off of their brand new cups? That’s why they’re just plain red. In fact, do you realize that Starbucks isn’t allowed to say ‘Merry Christmas’ to customers?” Thankfully, he explains how to win this terrible war. Simply tell the Starbucks’ barista that your name is Merry Christmas forcing them to say your “name” out loud. This is like trying to get someone to say a sinner’s prayer and …keep reading »

1 comment

Sunday Considerations: My Precious Savior

Oh, my precious Savior What a blessed thing it is that we are not to live here always, that our existence is not bounded by this lower sphere! Holy Father, may our hearts, while aching, praise You that Your chastenings but wean us from this sinful and disappointing world, and fill our minds with holy joy, and longing hope for the blessed heaven to come. Oh, may Your love more completely fill these truant hearts! May Your ceaseless affection, changeless ever, when we wander, link our souls in closer union with You. Oh, my precious Savior, may that look of …keep reading »

0 comments

Jay Z: The Bible and Qu’ran Speak of the Same God

    The above clip is from an episode of Oprah’s Master Class which features “stories you’ve never heard from the people you thought you knew best.” Basically, the show is famous people sharing personal stories. And Jay Z shares an interesting belief about who God is. He thinks that “however you find God, that’s a fantastic thing” and “people that are reading the Qu’ran and people that are reading the Bible are really reading about the same person.” Sadly, Jay Z is wrong about God and he is influencing many. And even more with Oprah’s reach. If people simply …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: The Only Hope

Christ and him crucified, is the only hope of the sinner. Here is the only substantial, permanent foundation of all our hopes. “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” A crucified Christ is the only hope of the world. In vain do we hope for salvation from any other source. “Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains: truly in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel.” The Lord alone is the salvation and strength of his people. The Christian boldly exclaims, …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Be Holy

When God then directs us in the Bible, “Be holy, for I am holy”; when we are exhorted to “follow holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord”; when we are expressly told “God has not called us unto uncleanness–but unto holiness”–we are to know that by these words, God calls us unto godliness, or God-likeness, to be like God in all those moral qualities wherein we can walk in His ways, and copy His acts, and manifest His spirit. In the language of the Psalmist, it is setting the Lord always before us, just as the artist always …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Self Examination

Queries for Self Examination by John Angell James Do you regularly attend the public ordinances of religion, and feel the inward power of godliness while observing its outward forms? Do you attend the week-day services, and if not, is it from the lack of opportunity—or inclination? Are you more indifferent to the ordinances of religion now, than you were formerly? Do you keep up family devotion daily and seriously? And in addition to this, are you in the habit of solemnly and anxiously instructing your children in the principles of true religion? Do you set apart a portion of each …keep reading »

0 comments

Hillary Replaces Jesus and President Obama Is Inserted Into a Hymn

Voices from the Heart, a women’s alternative chorus, recently changed the words for a Christian hymn replacing Jesus’ name with Hillary Clinton’s. According to a Facebook post, they sang this alternative hymn to about 1,200 people. I would understand if this were a Weird Al Yankovic tune – there would have been some creativity and humor. But these women were serious! Yep, this chorus took the African-American hymn Woke Up this Mornin’ which is about Jesus and made it about Hillary. This alternative hymn certainly comes across as Hillary worship. I wish I were surprised, but I’m not. People have been worshiping …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Obey in Christ

How Can I Obey in Christ?—Faith Further, we must seek to know how, through Christ, we can walk in line with the gospel and render the obedience of faith. No obedience apart from faith is true obedience, and only by walking in line with the truth of the gospel do we perform the obedience of faith (Rom. 1:5, 16:26). Not only are we declared righteous by faith alone (justification), but we also grow in likeness to Christ by faith alone (sanctification). Thus, what every person needs from Scripture, believer and unbeliever, is the gospel. We cannot claim any of the …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Speak Peaceably

Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful. John 14:27 (HCSB) Another thing to be done in fulfillment of our duty is, to speak peaceably. The peace of neighborhoods is often destroyed by words. “Grievous words stir up anger.” Proverbs 15:1. “For lack of wood a fire goes out. Without gossip, a quarrel dies down. As coals are to hot embers, and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to kindling strife.” Proverbs 26:20, 21. “The words of …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Enemies of the Christian

The enemies of the Christian have been commonly divided into three classes—the world, the flesh, and the devil. But though these may be conceived of, and spoken of separately, they resist the Christian soldier by their combined powers. The devil is the agent; the world furnishes the bait or the object of temptation; and the flesh, or our own corrupt nature, is the subject on which the temptation operates. Sometimes, indeed, Satan injects his fiery darts, enkindled in hell, to frighten the timid soul and drive it to despair; but in this he often overshoots his mark, and drives the …keep reading »

1 comment

Men, You Are Only A Few Clicks Away From Being Josh Duggar

Josh Duggar has been caught in yet another sexual sin once the hacked Ashley Madison database was leaked. (His responses noted below.) On one hand, I am surprised at this revelation. On the other hand, I am not surprised because, sadly, any of us men are only a few clicks away from being Josh Duggar. It Could Have Been You Do you think you are better than Josh Duggar? Do you think nothing like that could happen to you? Think again. We live in a culture that is saturated in sexuality. Sex appeal was discovered long ago to be a key ingredient …keep reading »

6 comments

Sunday Considerations: The Mind of Jesus

 “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” Philippians 2:5 “Arm yourselves likewise with the same mind” 1 Peter 4:1 THE MIND OF JESUS! What a study is this! To attain a dim reflection of it, is the ambition of angel — higher they cannot soar. “To be conformed to the image of His Son!” — this is the design of God in the predestination of His people from all eternity. “We shall be like Him!” — this is the Bible picture of heaven! In a former little volume, we pondered some of the gracious Words …keep reading »

0 comments

Another Planned Parenthood Undercover Video

Planned Parenthood has been caught on video in another undercover sting. If you thought past undercover videos were bad, this time the Senior Director of Medical Services for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America has been caught selling body parts of aborted babies. Dr. Russell Moore, president of Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, weighed in on the video. Sadly, some have reported his article “Planned Parenthood and the Atrocity of Corpse-Selling” to Facebook as abusive thereby blocking the link. Dr. Moore writes: I must admit I was speechless for close to an hour. I saw a video …keep reading »

0 comments

The SCOTUS Ruling Reveals Christian Hate for Homosexuals

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) recently ruled that gay marriage is a right legalizing such marriages. thereby redefining marriage. The support for this decision among professing Christians has been striking but so has the backlash. The reaction to the SCOTUS ruling from some Christian circles has revealed a kind of hatred for the homosexual community. Let me explain. Jesus commanded Christians to love others. In fact, he taught that one of the greatest commandments is to love our neighbor as ourselves. But that was the second greatest commandment. The first is to love God with all our …keep reading »

4 comments

Loving Bruce Jenner

Bruce Jenner, the 1976 Summer Olympics men’s decathlon gold medal winner, recently declared himself a woman and changed his name to Caitlyn. As you might imagine, reactions from those supporting Jenner, as well as those disapproving, has been intense. I am one who disapproves. Yet, I have been praying for him. At the same time, I wonder how an Evangelical Christian, like myself, might love Bruce “Caitlyn” Jenner? There are at least three reasons: 1) he is made in God’s image, 2) he is a sinner, too, and 3) he needs the Savior, too. Jenner is made in God’s image …keep reading »

0 comments

Can Christians Be Happy?

Are Christians allowed to be happy in this life? I mean – is God okay with Christians being happy? There is a lot of doom and gloom in the world. There is a lot of negativity towards Christians and the Christian worldview today (and throughout history). Maybe a better question is: how can Christians be happy on this side of eternity? Dr. David Murray answers some of those questions in his new book The Happy Christian: Ten Ways to Be a Joyful Believer in a Gloomy World. If you would like to get a taste of The Happy Christian, consider the …keep reading »

3 comments

Wheaton Drinks the Kool-Aid by Larry Farlow

Wheaton College, a leading evangelical university, now sponsors a student group for homosexuals. This group, called “Refuge,” is designed to provide a “biblically faithful community” for homosexual students. According to an article on the Christian News Network: …the Wheaton Chaplain’s Office hired Julie Rodgers, a “celibate gay Christian,” to lead the group as student counselor. Rodgers believes God uses her homosexuality to glorify Him. “As God has redeemed and transformed me, he’s tapped into those gay parts of me that now overflow into compassion for marginalized people and empathy for social outcasts—he’s used my gay way of being for His glory …keep reading »

6 comments

Trials and the World Today by Robert Hudson

I am currently teaching through a series on the Book of James at church. We are only into the second chapter but one thing is certain, James is not bashful, he is not afraid of speaking the truth. James is the brother of Jesus and he did not believe his older half brother was his Savior until after Jesus’ death and resurrection. Reviewing James’ letter shows us that his faith was strong and he was determined that people would hear the rightful message AND how it should impact their lives. James’ faithfulness in speaking the Word of God eventually led to …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Beatitude for Sorrow

A great preacher has said, “It is worth our thought how small that audience must be that would assemble, life through, to listen to a gospel that said nothing to sufferers, nothing to sorrow.” An old theological professor said to his students, “Never go through a service without some word, in sermon or prayer, for the troubled; for in every congregation there will be at least one heart hungering for comfort.” The gospel is for all experiences. The religion of Christ is for our times of gladness—as well as for our days of trouble. It is not merely a lamp to shine in our dark nights. We never …keep reading »

1 comment

Sunday Considerations: Fear and Worship

Fear God Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. For a dream comes with much business, and a fool’s voice with many words. (Ecclesiastes 5:1-3 ESV) Meditate on the above verses as you prepare for corporate worship this …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: As Little Children

“I assure you,” He said, “unless you are converted and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3 (HCSB) When our Lord says, we must be converted and become as little children, I suppose he means also, that we must be sensible of our weakness, comparatively speaking, as a little child. Every one looks upon a little child, as a poor weak creature; as one that ought to go to school and learn some new lesson every day; and as simple and artless; one without guile, having not learned the abominable art, called dissimulation. Now in all these …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: After the Sermon

Fellow Christians, what will we do with sermon(s) we hear it this Sunday? What will we do with the sermon once we get home? On Monday morning? Below are some thoughts from Charles Spurgeon on “after the sermon.” Many think it is all right with them, when it is all wrong with them. They always hear the Gospel—how can they be castaways? They sit under a thoroughly evangelical Divine—how can they be reprobates? They know what is what—they will not consent to hear false doctrine—they have a discriminating faculty and will not abide unorthodox teaching. I am very glad they will not, but …keep reading »

1 comment

Sunday Considerations: Glorious Resurrection

Previously, I shared some pre-Christian Good Friday thoughts. My aim was to encourage people this Easter weekend to consider the sins – their sins – that put Jesus on the cross.  For further consideration this Easter, below are some insights from Charles Spurgeon on Jesus’ resurrection. His resurrection is glorious in its effects. He was “delivered for our offenses,” but, “He was raised again for our justification.” In death He discharged our debt. In Resurrection He exhibited the receipt of all our liabilities! He was Surety for us and, therefore, He smarted and went down to the prison of the grave. But by …keep reading »

0 comments

My Good Friday: When I was God

Every day was my Good Friday. Every day I was my own god. I loved my sin. Not a day went by that I was not planning another moment celebrating sin. What sins can I do tomorrow because today they were so satisfying? Which ones will fill my soul next? During the week I was a pretty good guy. I lived to make the most of myself for myself. I strived to be better both personally and in business dealings. I wanted more out of life to make the most of myself. A slight exaggeration here or there didn’t really …keep reading »

1 comment

Sunday Considerations: Christian Behavior

Christ is risen, and we have risen with Him and sit at the right hand of the Father with Him in spirit— and one of these days with a human body. In the meantime, we’re to act as if we are up there in heaven, but a little bit different. A farm boy comes to the city and acts different because he belongs on the farm. The city boy goes to the country and acts different because he belongs in the city. The man who has not been on a farm walks around gingerly, trying to keep out of the …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: What Will You Do with Jesus?

What Will You Do with Jesus? by A.B. Simpson, 1891. Jesus is standing in Pilate’s hall, Friendless, forsaken, betrayed by all; Hearken! what meaneth the sudden call? What will you do with Jesus? What will you do with Jesus? Neutral you cannot be; Some day your heart will be asking, “What will He do with me?” Jesus is standing on trial still, You can be false to Him if you will, You can be faithful through good or ill: What will you do with Jesus? Will you evade Him as Pilate tried? Or will you choose Him, whate’er betide? Vainly …keep reading »

1 comment

3 Tests for Assurance of Salvation

Are you sure of your salvation or could you be deceived? I’m sure this is a question with which many Christians have or do struggle. Many wonder if we can really be sure. In his book Blessed Assurance: How to Know That You Are Saved, Eric Douglas looks to God’s word in the writings of the Apostle John for the answer. He provides three biblical tests in which you can discern your salvation. First, there is the upward test of faith. This test will help us determine whether or not we have biblical faith. Everyone has faith in something; we just need …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Losing the Wonder

There are some Christians, and even preachers, who have lost the wonder of the Christian Life. They pray prayers that have no meaning and preach sermons that have no passion. The salt has lost its savor and it’s good for nothing but to be trodden underfoot; insipid, flat, tasteless (Matt. 5: 13). There ought to be something about our Christianity to smack the lips over. There ought to be a taste and a zest and a relish. I’ve seen more cheerful faces on iodine bottles than I’ve seen on some saints over America. Where is the blessedness I knew when …keep reading »

0 comments

Does World Vision Hate Homosexuals?

Update: World Vision reversed its decision discussed below. I think they have answered my question that they do not hate homosexuals, but love them enough to not affirm same-sex marriage. They love God enough to have their mistake corrected by the authority of Scripture and to stand on the biblical view of marriage.  World Vision president, Richard Stearns, recently announced a policy change to accept gay same-sex married couples. Given that World Vision identifies itself as a Christian humanitarian organization, this move causes me to ask: Does World Vision hate homosexuals? Stearns would not probably not answer affirmatively calling the …keep reading »

2 comments

Sunday Considerations: Everlastingness

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,and the Word was God. John 1:1 (HCSB) Every religion in the world had a beginning. You can trace it starting with its founder. All these religions have a beginning and they all have an ending. Christianity is different. Where does Christianity start? It has no beginning and it has no end. The human heart wants that which had no beginning and never can have any ending—namely, the Word, which was with the Father in the beginning; the Word, which was God; and the Word, which is God. Oh, how wonderful …keep reading »

0 comments

John MacArthur on Duck Dynasty and Theology

I have written on Duck Dynasty and baptism a few times on this blog (see below). I have even stood with Phil Robertson when he made his remarks about Christianity and homosexuality. In one sense, I am glad the Robertson’s are open about their faith, mention Jesus, etc. On the other hand, I am skeptical about their views on the necessity of baptism for salvation. In the video below, Todd Friel asks John MacArthur his thoughts on Duck Dynasty and their (church’s) view on baptism and salvation. Todd and I shared concerns about this topic a few months ago when …keep reading »

11 comments

Sunday Considerations: A Good Tree

Trees are beautiful objects. If we had never seen this part of the creation before, we would be filled with admiration at the sight. A stately oak or cedar is really a majestic object. It stands firmly by its own strength. It raises its head towards the heavens, and spreads out its arms on every side; and when verdant, affords a canopy and grateful shade to the weary traveler, and a secure habitation for the birds of the air. Trees are the handsomest ornaments of gardens and pleasure-grounds. Eden itself, without trees, would have been shorn of its glory. But …keep reading »

0 comments

Must Christian Art Be Evangelistic?

Over at the Gospel Coalition, Alex Medina asks in the title of his post Must Art Be Evangelistic to Be Christian? Since the question is really about art made by Christians, let me re-phrase the question. Must Christian art be evangelistic? Or, a fuller version of the question from a Facebook friend, “Does a Christian who does music have to talk about Christianity or anything about the gospel in their music?” I emphasized the words “must” and “have to” above to set-up my brief answer. No, a Christian artist does not “have to” only produce evangelistic art. Evangelistic art is …keep reading »

1 comment

The Missing Cross of the Christian Right?

It is no secret that Conservative Christians sometimes blur the line between their faith and politics. At times you might think Jesus had changed the good news from believing in him to voting Republican. David Rogers recently shared some good thoughts about this topic in his post The Worst of “the Christian Right”. Rogers basically points out the wrong-headed call for Christians to put political strategies over biblical mandates. He also asks the essential question, “Where is the cross of Jesus here?” Is the cross of Christ often missing in the politics of the Christian right? Consider the quote below …keep reading »

3 comments

Sunday Considerations: Cultivate Joy

There is an obligation upon a Christian to be happy. Let me say it again—there is a responsibility laid upon a Christian to be cheerful! It is not merely an invitation, but it is a command—“Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous.” “Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, Rejoice.” Gloomy Christians who do not resist despondency and strive against it, but who go about as if midnight had taken up its abode in their eyes and an everlasting frost had settled on their souls are not obeying the commands of God! The command to rejoice …keep reading »

2 comments

A Warning for Lent from Charles Spurgeon

Lent is here and more Protestants are participating. I am not a fan nor partaker Lenten activities. Fasting and other forms of self-denial for this season remind me too much of Roman Catholic piety. As a Protestant, I feel as though I am pointing fellow Evangelicals to Rome if I suggest some sort of Lenten practice. Though I am always curious what fellow Baptist Charles Spurgeon said about Lent. While Spurgeon was no fan or Roman Catholicism, he curiously did not say much (that I have found) explicitly about Lent. He did not call Lent a superstitious observance as did …keep reading »

7 comments

Debate: Christian Vs. Black Hebrew Israelite

Brother Saiko Woods recently debated a Black Hebrew Israelite (whose name I did not catch). The debate topic was Black Hebrew Israelites & The Authority of Scripture. I’m not sure how influential the Black Hebrew Israelites (BHI) are, but there are several YouTube videos showing them in public in a few big cities. The only person I know who has had any face-to-face with BHI’s is a Facebook friend who used to be one. Check out the debate below!

1 comment

Sunday Considerations: Peace of God

There are three words, pregnant with precious and important meaning, commonly used by the apostles in their salutations and benedictions, GRACE, MERCY, and PEACE. These words include everything which man needs or can desire. Peace is the legacy which Christ gave to his disciples: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.” And after his resurrection, the first time he met with his disciples when assembled together, he said, “Peace be unto you.” He gives peace not as the world gives. He is the PRINCE OF PEACE, and his gospel is the “gospel of peace.” It is …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Watch and Pray

“Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation.” Mark 14:38 As Christ is the church’s friend—so Satan is the church’s enemy: her greatest enemy, her cruelest enemy, her worst enemy, her continual enemy. He makes war against all who keep the commandments of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ, Revelation 12:17. The devil envies our happiness, and seeks our ruin: 1. By tempting of us, 1 Corinthians 7:5. 2. By persecuting of us, Revelation 2:10. 3. By accusing of us, Revelation 12:10. 4. By hindering of us, 1 Thess. 2:18. 5. By deceiving of us, 2 Corinthians 11:3. “Stay …keep reading »

1 comment

Sunday Considerations: Joy to Every Believer

Once more, there is joy to every Believer when he remembers that, as Christ said, “It is finished,” every guarantee was given of the eternal salvation of all the redeemed. It appears to me that if Christ finished the work for us, He will finish the work in us. If He has undertaken so supreme a labor as the redemption of our souls by blood and that is finished, then the great, but yet minor labor of renewing our natures and transforming us even unto perfection, shall be finished, too! If, when we were sinners, Christ loved us so as to …keep reading »

0 comments

Atlanta Storms: A Reflection on Life

The South is getting hit with unusual weather lately. In fact, a couple weeks ago I wrote about, and shared pictures of, the ice and snow storm that hit Metro-Atlanta. Now, as I write this, the ice is melting from another storm. The storm lasted two days and is hopefully over though its effects will last a bit longer. Thankfully, people, especially buses full of children, were not stranded on the roads this time. Unfortunately, people did lose power and there were some emergencies. Sadly, there have been about a dozen or so deaths in the South due to the …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: The Soul Needs Spiritual Rest

The soul needs spiritual rest: “The shadow of a great rock” in this “weary land.” It has tried many plans of worldly greatness — and found them vain! It has traversed many ways of promised pleasure — and found them painful! It has sought out many inventions to hold it up in the day of its prosperity — and found them “miserable comforters all.” It is the peculiar office of the Holy Spirit, to cause men to perceive the weariness and burdensomeness of sin. For so accustomed are we to sin, so infatuated with it, so blinded by nature to its evils and its sorrows — that unless made to …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Satan’s Subtle Devices

My fellow Christians, as you prepare for Sunday worship, consider the following words from William Tiptaft (1803 – 1864) on Satan’s subtle devices in light of your love for Jesus Christ. Satan is a very subtle enemy, and never spreads his snare in your sight. I hope you will not be induced to value any knowledge which does not cause you to love Christ more, and to live more decidedly as a member of His kingdom. Satan does not care how much knowledge you have in your head, so long as he can keep possession of the citadel of your …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Suffering Together

If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.  (1 Corinthians 12:26, ESV) We American Christians are not necessarily good at suffering though we are particularly gifted at celebrating the good in our lives. We have certainly not suffered the way the early church did nor as some Christians across the world in countries were Christianity is not welcomed. However, when we do suffer in various ways, we must do so together in as much as we rejoice together. But in order to suffer together as the church we must be together. In 1 Cor. …keep reading »

0 comments

Considering La Shawn Barber on the Theological Beliefs of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. is an American icon who is rightly remembered for giving his life working to advance Civil Rights. He was also a Baptist pastor though it seems not much is known or said about his theological beliefs. Below, King’s beliefs will be noted as La Shawn Barber laid them out in her article Assessing the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Her piece will help answer the question – what where Martin Luther King, Jr.’s theological beliefs? First, Barber’s whole article is worth reading to get a good sketch of King’s life under the following subtopics: “Kings Life …keep reading »

15 comments

Sunday Considerations: Fellowship in the Light

6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:6-7, ESV) Most of us Christians, on a normal Sunday morning, wake up, get ready, and go to corporate worship. Or, as we say, we go to church on Sunday. Not only do we worship together, but we fellowship together. How do we think about and prepare for that fellowship? …keep reading »

0 comments

Free Sanctity of Human Life Bible Studies

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated the third Sunday in January as the National Sanctity of Human Life Day. This designation continued with the presidents who followed Reagan. The third Sunday of January is upon us and LifeWay Christian Resources would like to help us think biblically about the sanctity of human life. The sanctity of life is something we should think about everyday. In fact, everyone thinks about the sanctity of their own lives everyday without realizing it. Each of us subconsciously act in ways of self-preservation because our lives are important to us. Self-preservation actions include visiting the doctor …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Impelled by Love

Impelled by Love, Follow Jesus The followers of Plato, Aristotle, or Bacon, are not supposed to be influenced by any personal attachment to those philosophers. But the followers of Jesus are not merely admirers of His teaching, but lovers of Himself. Christianity is not a creed, but a devotion; not a mere approval of a theology, but intense affection for Christ. The assent of the intellect may suffice for the adoption of an intellectual system; but much more is required to secure a persevering course of sacrifice and toil. There must be heart impulses, as well as logical convictions. The …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: A Pilgrim

When we look at the brevity and vanity of human life, we may well exclaim, in the beautiful and touching reflection of Edmund Burke, “What shadows we are, and what shadows we pursue!” And in the similar impressive language of Patrick Henry, “l am but a poor worm of the dust, as fleeting and unsubstantial as the shadow of the cloud that flies over the fields, and is remembered no more!” Or we may rather open the pages of Holy Writ, and say, with the wisest of men, “Vanity of vanities; all is vanity;” and with other inspired penmen, “As …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Of Pleasure

“I said of laughter: It is madness! And of mirth: What does it accomplish?” Ecclesiastes 2:2 Of natural gifts none is more rare than cheerfulness; that elasticity of mind, and buoyancy of spirit; that even temper, and sunshine disposition — which cheers the man himself, and all who know him. Cheerfulness, gilded with grace, and sanctified — savors most largely of the mind of Christ. It speaks . . of peace with God, of resignation to His will, and freedom from sordid appetites and cares. Who would reprove the beaming smile; or, in due season, the hearty laugh? In youth, especially, …keep reading »

0 comments

Start Small for Big Change by Ben Reed

Ben is the small groups pastor at Long Hollow, a multi-site church in the Nashville, TN area. In addition to pastoring, preaching, and writing, Ben has a great passion for coffee. Good coffee, that is. And CrossFit. But not at the same time! (He is also the author of Starting Small: The Ultimate Small Group Blueprint. Connect with him at his blog, book site, and on twitter.)  We can’t live the Christian life on our own. It’s just not possible. Not possible to do well.  You can’t love the Lord your God with all your heart, and soul, and might by yourself. You can’t …keep reading »

0 comments

Merry Christmas: An Unknown Workman

Christmas is a great reminder of God’s Gift to us of His Son, Jesus Christ. This time of year also reminds us of what we do with God’s Gift – believe in Him for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. God transforms us by His grace through our faith, but that is just the first step into our new life. We are to continue walking by faith. Furthermore, Scripture commands we do all things for God’s glory. So, why not use Christmas to consider for Whom you are living and working? Are you doing all things for the praise …keep reading »

0 comments

Santa Claus was Never a Savior

Some Christians refuse to lie to their kids by telling them about Santa Claus. Other Christians do not see harm in teaching young children about Santa to put some fun into Christmas knowing they will some day reveal the jolly truth. Yet, there is a way to tell your kids about Santa Claus with all the fiction and fun without lying to them. There are Christian parents that will not teach their kids about Santa Claus and all that comes with him. These parents worry that teaching their kids about Santa is actually lying to them in violation of Scripture. …keep reading »

0 comments

What You Believe About Homosexuality Matters

One United Methodist Youth Pastor, Tyler Smither, stated his position that What You Believe About Homosexuality Doesn’t Matter. He wrote the article in light of the recent Phil Robertson GQ interview and  Frank Schaefer’s defrocking over performing his son’s same-sex marriage. Smither is wrong that it does not matter what someone believes about homosexuality. The importance of what is believed on the subject is easily seen, for example, by how it divides each side, both for and against. The big issue Smither raises is the one he uses  as the reason why one’s position on homosexuality does not matter. He asserts that calling homosexuality …keep reading »

5 comments

Sunday Considerations: God’s Indescribable Gift

God’s Indescribable Gift If while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. —Romans 5:10–11 How do we practically receive reconciliation and exult in God? One answer is: do it through Jesus Christ. Which means, at least in part, make the portrait of Jesus in the Bible—the work and the words of Jesus portrayed in the New Testament—the essential content …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Life and Death at Christmas

LIFE AND DEATH AT CHRISTMAS “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” — John 10:10 As I was about to begin this devotional, I received word that Marion Newstrum had just died. She and her husband Elmer have been part of Bethlehem longer than most of our members have been alive. Marion was 87. They had been married 64 years. When I spoke to Elmer and told him I wanted him to be strong in the Lord and not give up on life, he said, “He has …keep reading »

1 comment

How Important is Unity in the Church? by Larry Farlow

Guest blogger Larry Farlow lives in Metro-Atlanta and is an elder and adult Bible study teacher at Grace Fellowship. Follow @larryfarlow Episcopal bishop, Peter James Lee once said “If you must make a choice between heresy and schism, always choose heresy.” Sadly, this has become the battle cry of large swaths of the church, Episcopal and otherwise, from the mid-20th century until today. I’ve seen echoes of this mindset recently as I’ve followed the coverage of the church trial of United Methodist minister Frank Schaefer over his support for same sex marriage. Unity at all costs. But is that as it should be? …keep reading »

2 comments

Ex-Gang Member Surrenders Life to Jesus Christ

The following is by guest blogger, Tommie Scott, who is the son of one of the first Crip gang members in the United States—Big Tommie from Watts Jordan Down Projects in Los Angeles, California. He is the author of “The Tommie Scott Story: From Gangs, Drugs, and Crimes To Soldier For Christ.” His documentary may be found on YouTube. Check out his story below! We live in a world that says, “Live for the here and now!” “It’s all about me.” “It’s all about my race, my group, my social standing.” A world that says, “Just go on and gain all …keep reading »

3 comments

Sunday Considerations: Bethlehem’s Star

BETHLEHEM’S SUPERNATURAL STAR “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” —Matthew 2:2 Over and over the Bible baffles our curiosity about just how certain things happened. How did this “star” get the magi from the east to Jerusalem? It does not say that it led them or went before them. It only says they saw a star in the east (verse 2), and came to Jerusalem. And how did that star go before them in the little five-mile walk from Jerusalem to Bethlehem …keep reading »

0 comments

Köstenberger on Plagiarism

In his book, Excellence: The Character of God and the Pursuit of Scholary Virtue (Good News Publishers, 2011.), Andreas Köstenberger addresses the topic of plagiarism. He tackles the subject under the sub-title “Diligence and Vices” encouraging the reader to be diligent in their work breaking sinful vices including laziness. In part, he writes that is is a form of theft. “If you plagiarize, you are engaging in a form of theft, stealing the intellectual property of others. What is more, once a scholar’s reputation has been marred by plagiarism, it is virtually impossible to regain credibility. Even if those whom you harmed by …keep reading »

3 comments

Sunday Considerations: Cannot Be Numbered

“That which is lacking, cannot be numbered.” Ecclesiastes 1:15 How simple is the truth here spoken, yet how deep! Of wounded hearts, of withered hopes it speaks — of losses, trials, and sorrows; some lighter, some more serious; yet in them all, the truth is still the same. Your favorite flower droops and dies; some keepsake gift is lost; some cherished member of the family has died. How often it rends the heart — it always costs a pang — to count one’s treasures over, and to find one lacking! Objects may still be found to fill the vacant place. But …keep reading »

0 comments

Being Ministers of Reconciliation Part II by Brandon Smith

In case you missed part one, read it here: Being Ministers of Reconciliation Part I by Brandon Smith. Hope In the end, we do not know the answers to every question about how and why God saves anyone, but his Word is very clear that the proclamation of the gospel is a key component to transformation (Romans 10). People’s hearts cannot be ultimately changed for the better by new legislature, war, personal enlightenment, or secret philosophies; it can only be changed by the sin-stomping, life-altering life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. He is the way, the truth, and the …keep reading »

0 comments

Being Ministers of Reconciliation Part I by Brandon Smith

In a world of subjective truths, tolerance, and acceptance, Christianity has become nothing more than ‘another’ religion in the eyes of many. Western culture, in particular, is grievously enamored with the idea of self-reliance, self-dependence, and self-worth. Christianity is extremely counter-cultural because it teaches the actuality of human depravity, the necessity for a savior, and an eternal focus for our temporal lives. For unbelievers at-large, this can be something that can seem intolerant and outdated, a tradition steeped in rigid tradition, and a stumbling block to the progress of the society and the world. For Christians, however, depraved humanity in …keep reading »

0 comments

When Christians Disagree

I took a short time-out to read Francis Schaeffer on the topic of Christian disagreements and love. The time-out was well spent as he offered refreshing and much needed advice. In part, Schaeffer explained how Christians must show the love of Christ through disagreements even to the point of suffering for each other. The quote below is longer than I might I normally share, but is well worth the read. What happens, then, when we must differ with other brothers in Christ because of the need also to show forth God’s holiness either in doctrine or in life? In the …keep reading »

3 comments

Sunday Considerations: Cannot Be Made Straight

“That which is crooked, cannot be made straight.” Ecclesiastes 1:15 Do what you may, crosses are crosses still. No are of man’s device can make the crooked, straight. The train, or ship, which bears some dear friend away; the quiet sea, after a night of shipwreck; the rain that robs you of a holiday; the broken pieces of some favorite vase — all say the same, “The crooked must be crooked, do what you will.” Oh, there is anguish in the thought, as disappointment, stealing over the mind, throws its dark shadows on the brow — that nothing can be …keep reading »

0 comments

Russell Crowe: Surprised by Noah?

Yesterday, I posted the official movie trailer of Noah which stars stars Russell Crowe, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Jennifer Connelly and Emma Watson. I even posted brief insights about the stars’ religious views. I wondered about the biblical accuracy of the movie. I think Russell Crowe in the interview blurb below partially answers my inquiry. Crowe believes the audience is going to be surprised to find out what kind of person Noah is…. Ironically, Crowe implies that the movie is what teaches us the truth about Noah. He says: At one point in the story the son says, “I thought you were chosen …keep reading »

0 comments

Noah: Official Movie Trailer

The official movie trailer for Noah has been released. Noah stars Russell Crowe, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Jennifer Connelly and Emma Watson. It will be in theaters March 28th, 2014. The synopsis: After visions of an apocalyptic deluge, Noah, the world’s only righteous man, is chosen to undertake a divine mission to build a massive ark to save his family and all of creation before the impending rains fall and the flood waters rise. Check it out! Looks like a fantastic production with top rated actors. However, I am sure many of us will be watching closely for biblical accuracy. Whenever Hollywood …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Never Satisfied

“The eye is never satisfied with seeing, nor the ear with hearing.”  Ecclesiastes 1:8 The senses are but servants to the soul. The soul desires to look — and sets the eye to see. The soul desires to hear — and sets the ear to hearken. The soul is never wearied. It listens to sweet music, and lingers, longing still for more. When had the soul enough of a sweet flower? When was it ever filled to overflowing with viewing the masterpieces of nature? Nothing on earth can satisfy the soul! It leaves its pleasures, with a craving for more. It …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Full of Labor

“All things are full of labor.” Ecclesiastes 1:8 Reader, how many things remind you what you are — a fallen creature! Not least of these, the toil and trouble of this changing world. The sun and moon, and planets in their course — the restless wind — the ever-flowing, never-tarrying river — are pictures of the ceaseless toil of man. (verse 4-7.) The hum of cities; the labor of the field; the crowded factory; the cottage loom; the bread you eat; the clothes you wear; the house you live in; the fire on your hearth — all speak of labor! How …keep reading »

0 comments

Preach Off: Making a Mockery of the Church

Apparently, the guys from the Preachers of L.A. TV show had a “preach off.” A preach off is like a bad version of a rap battle for preachers. It has all the workings of stand-up comedy improv without the humor. I have no idea what someone is supposed to win in a preach off. Preachers preach the gospel to feed the sheep and win souls to Jesus Christ. Scripture also warns about the content of preaching. For example: For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of …keep reading »

1 comment

Happy Reformation Day: 95 Thesis Rap Video

“The Word did it all. Had I wished I might have started a conflagration at Worms. But while I sat still and drank beer with Philip and Amsdorf, God dealt the papacy a mighty blow.” ~Martin Luther~

0 comments

The Annual Christian Debate Over Halloween Post

As soon as candy in the trick-or-treat bag rings, a smile on a child’s face sings. It is Halloween again in America. Christians will discuss and debate whether or not they can or should participate in Halloween. In this post, I will offer some brief thoughts on Christians and Halloween. One thought that crosses my mind is: if Paul could eat meat sacrificed idols with a clear conscience Christians can take their kids trick-or-treating to get candy for fun. Some Christians object to Halloween regardless of whether or not some form of satanic promotion is involved. The claim sometimes made is that …keep reading »

5 comments

Sunday Considerations: Vexation of Spirit

“All is vexation of spirit!” Ecclesiastes 1:14 Who has not felt vexation? Who knows not what it means? The infant in its cradle, the schoolboy at his play; youth in all its freshness, manhood in its prime, and especially old age — all, all have felt vexation! My soul, you know it well! Your sins, your fallen nature, your infirmities — all lay you open to vexation. How easily irritated you get! How quick to feel offenses! How swift to gather sorrows to yourself through your excess of sensitivity! Often have you murmured at your lot, rising in mutiny against …keep reading »

0 comments

Preaching Hell Washed in Tears

A particular church in a hierarchical denomination had become well known as a graveyard for ministers. The internal conflicts of the church usually resulted in requests to transfer the pastors after a brief residence. A new bishop arrived on the scene and immediately sent to this church one of the brightest and apparently most capable ministers in the district. True to form, within a year the chairperson of the personnel committee called the bishop and informed him that the church wanted the minister moved on to another setting. “What’s the problem?” asked the bishop. “Well,” came the reply, “all he …keep reading »

0 comments

Charles Spurgeon: Private Prophecies and New Revelation

Charles Spurgeon has been mentioned a few times by both Christian cessationists and continuationists since Pastor John MacArthur’s recent Strange Fire Conference. Spurgeon is appealed to as a well-known and respected historic authority in this tense theological debate over spiritual gifts. Phil Johnson who has worked with MacArthur since 1981 and owns The Spurgeon Archive, addresses the question of Spurgeon and cessationism.1 Pastor Johnson’s article begins. Charles Spurgeon was a cessationist. He regarded the charismata as apostolic signs—unique gifts for a unique era. He taught (as did virtually every evangelical preacher of his era) that the miraculous gifts described in Acts and 1 Corinthians …keep reading »

5 comments

Sunday Considerations: Vanity of Vanities

“Vanity of vanities, all is vanity!” Ecclesiastes 1:2 My soul, why seek your happiness below — here in this fallen world, where “all is vanity?” Often have you tried it, anxious still to find someearthly good. As often you have found Solomon, the Preacher, right, that “all is vanity.” The worldling, too, can say that all is vanity — and yet pursues it still. Be it not so with you! Let all that is empty here on earth, lead you to what alone will satisfy — -the grace of God, the love of God, the Lamb of God; to “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and …keep reading »

0 comments

Can Cuss Words be Used to Share the Gospel?

I recently challenged Christians to boldness by not shying away from biblical language when talking publicly. I made the challenge using worldliness as an example explaining What Christians Can Learn from a Carefree Cussing World.  Jake Swink asked an interesting question in the comments on that post. The question also took into account cuss words, but from a different angle. Given the current societal moral decline in this ever-changing landscape of evangelistic opportunities, I thought the inquiry was worth a look. Jake commented and asked: What do you think overall if using cuss words can be used for sharing the gospel?? …keep reading »

3 comments

Sunday Considerations: Sermon All Week

“Why do you go to hear that minister preach? He is not a brilliant preacher.” “Very true,” was the sensible reply; “I know that his pulpit performances are not brilliant—but his life is a sermon to me all the week.” With a minister, as much as with the private Christian, character is of the greatest import. More than one pulpit orator has destroyed the effect of his discourses by his self-seeking egotism, or his unscrupulous practices, or his overbearing temper, or some other very unchristian trait. On the other hand, a full one-half of the power of some eminent pastors lies in their pure, unblemished piety. Everybody trusts them. …keep reading »

0 comments

What does Duck Dynasty Really Believe About Baptism?

In the video below, Todd Friel on the Wretched show addresses the topic, “Duck Dynasty: What EXACTLY do they believe?” I was recently in the Wretched studio and spoke with Todd about Duck Dynasty and baptismal regeneration. He told me he was going to cover the topic. I gave Todd the name of a mutual friend who has actually spoken to the main preaching elder at White’s Ferry Church of Christ, the church were the Robertson’s are members. The We Care Ministries Todd mentions in the video is headed by Larry West who he also mentions. Just so there is no …keep reading »

11 comments

My Podcast Appearance on Faith, Etc.

Friend and fellow Christian blogger Joshua Breland has started a podcast called Faith, Etc. For some reason he asked me to be his first guest. Then, for some reason – I said yes. Actually, I was honored to say yes. Joshua asked me some questions about my RLDS background and life leading up to becoming a Christian. Much more could have been said, but I tried to touch on the heart of the issues in the time available. I pray the podcast edifies some in the body of Christ. If you care – or dare – to listen click the …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Honey from Heaven

The most growing Christian never outgrows his Bible; in that exhaustless jewel mine, every stroke of the hammer reveals new nuggets of gold and fresh diamonds. Even as a mental discipline, there is no book like God’s book. Nothing else so sinews up the intellect, so clarifies the perception, so enlarges the views, so purifies the taste, so quickens the imagination, so strengthens the understanding, and so educates the whole man. The humblest day laborer who saturates his mind with this celestial schoolbook becomes a superior man to his comrades—not merely a purer man—but a clearer-headed man. It was the feeding on …keep reading »

1 comment

Sunday Considerations: Precious Faith

There is a legend that a traveler over the desert who was nearly perishing with hunger, came upon the spot where a company had lately encamped. Searching about for some article of food, he found a small bag which he hoped might be a bag of dates. Opening it, he discovered that it contained shells and silver coins. Throwing it down, in bitter disappointment, he exclaimed, “Alas! it is nothing but money!” A single date or a fig would have been worth more to him—than than a chest-full of gold. There is a time coming to all of us when …keep reading »

0 comments

Why are Southern Baptist Churches Hemorrhaging?

Guest blogger Jared Moore is the pastor of New Salem Baptist Church in Hustonville, KY. He is the author of 10 Sacred Cows in Christianity That Need to be Tipped and The Harry Potter Bible Study. You can stalk find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Why are Southern Baptist churches hemorrhaging? Let’s begin by asking a couple of pertinent questions. Should Southern Baptist churches seek to be entertaining? Should churches add entertainment to their worship services as a form of pragmatism in the name of attracting lost souls? I imagine many Evangelicals would shout an emphatic “yes!” But, from Scripture, there is no evidence that …keep reading »

23 comments

Preacher Arrested in Scotland for Street Preaching

Josh Williamson, pastor of Craigie Reformed Baptist Church in Perth, Scotland, was recently arrested in Scotland. The charge? A breach of peace. Some allegedly complained he was preaching too loudly. He wasn’t even using an amplification system. The arrest was captured on video. Read the whole story at: Jailed for Preaching Jesus in Scotland! Here I blog… Mark

4 comments

How Miley Cyrus Could Really Shock the World!

Given that her name seems to pop-up just about everywhere these days – I was thinking about how Miley Cyrus could really shock the world. It seems every other day Miley Cyrus is a top twitter trend. She is one of the top searched people on Google. One of her recent music videos broke a record for most views in 24 hours. Cyrus has seemingly shocked her way to attention with her recent actions. Many fans and onlookers tuned in and continue to do so with every new sexually suggestive Cyrus performance. And everyone is shocked! But why is everyone shocked? …keep reading »

6 comments

Sunday Considerations: Waiting on God

“Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint!” Isaiah 40:31. It is very easy to misunderstand this word “wait,” and regard it as meaning inactive passivity. There is a vast deal of nerve in the original Hebrew; it signifies to be strong enough to hold out. It expresses a solid endurability such as belongs to a stiff piece of oak, which never bends and never breaks under heavy pressure. The word signifies patience—as opposed to worry and …keep reading »

0 comments

What a Great Christian Testimony?

Christian testimonies can be powerful. They are often used in powerful ways to share the gospel. Imagine someone gave you the following testimony about the gospel of Jesus Christ. “You may be someone searching for truth and answers. The gospel of Jesus Christ has them. Regardless of your background, your lifestyle, or your current belief system, the gospel of Christ is for you, and you can accept it wherever you are. The truths found in the gospel of Jesus Christ will change your heart and give you the courage and strength to make good and needed changes in your lifestyle …keep reading »

2 comments

Sunday Considerations: So Little Joy

I shall now inquire into the reasons why so little of this joy is experienced by the majority of Christian professors. I assume that the multitude have far less than they might or should have. Look at the prosperous among them, and whence does their joy arise? From their religion? Or from their good spirits, their health, their family, their fiends, their success, and home enjoyment? Look at the afflicted—how oppressed with care; how tortured with anxiety; how overwhelmed with sorrow; how cheerless for the present, and how hopeless for the future, do they seem to be! How few appear …keep reading »

0 comments

Conclusion: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Several weeks ago I invited to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read together – What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White. We have finally reached the end of the read along. However, I still encourage you to grab a copy of the book and study it. Below are links to all the chapters. Today’s final post touches on White’s brief concluding chapter that is only six pages. Introduction: Why Study the Qur’an? Chapter 1a: The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca Chapter 1b: The Qur’an and …keep reading »

2 comments

Why Invite Unbelievers to Church?

Asking why a Christian would invite an unbeliever to church may strike some as provocative. Yet, it is a valid question. Consider a if a Muslim asked you, Christian, to come worship with him at the mosque. Wouldn’t you wonder why he thought you would consider worshiping Allah? When the church gathers for Sunday morning worship the primary audience is professing Christians. The very definition of the word church is the “called out ones” who are believers. Technically, no believers equals no church. Yet, we know there will be unbelievers in the pews on Sunday morning. Unbelievers should be welcomed …keep reading »

2 comments

Always Remember

I will always remember the September 11, 2001 attacks (9/11) that took place 12 years ago today. I will always remember the big screen TV I was watching in my office as the attacks were happening. I shared this information in 2011 in Never Forget. A lot has happened in the United States in the past 12 years since 9/11. That attack united Americans – for a short time anyway. No doubt we will express feelings that we are again united on this anniversary of the attacks. During our time of mourning and recovery, religions that do not go together …keep reading »

0 comments

My Sermons on Philippians

The 2nd VP of the Southern Baptist Convention, Jared Moore, asked me to preach at the church he pastors, New Salem Baptist Church in Hustonville, KY, at the end of this past June. I don’t get the opportunity to preach often so I was grateful for the opportunity. (And I hope these sermons don’t give me even less opportunities to preach!) I accepted Jared’s invitation even though time was short. The Lord helped me put these sermons together in about two weeks. The folks at New Salem were wonderful hosts to my wife and I. I pray these sermons are …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Grace is Everything

But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will. (Acts 15:11, ESV) Did you ever hear of a martyr dying in the triumphs of self-righteousness, giving glory to human nature, lauding his own ability, extolling his own works? All those faithful witnesses held one doctrine, namely—that works avail nothing, and grace is everything. Hear blessed old Tyndall: “If you would obtain heaven by the merits and deservings of your own works, you wrong and shame the blood of Christ. Faith alone justifies. In believing we receive the Spirit of God, …keep reading »

1 comment

Chapter 11: What Every Christian Needs to Know about the Qur’an

Several weeks ago I invited to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read together – What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, we’ve covered: Introduction: Why Study the Qur’an? Chapter 1a: The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca Chapter 1b: The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca by Ken Temple Chapter 2: The Qur’an: A Brief Introduction Chapter 3: Allah: Tawhid, Shirk, the Mithaq and the Fitra Chapter 4: “Say Not Three”: …keep reading »

1 comment

But Jesus Hung Out with Sinners!

Sometimes Christians disagree over participating in certain activities. One Christian may be convicted that a certain activity is sin or at the very least the appearance of evil so they avoid it. Another Christian may come to a different conviction about the same activity and feel free to participate. For example, the recent news out of Oregon where Christian bakery owners felt they would not be honoring the Lord by providing food for a same-sex wedding. (An event that inspired a recent post.) Since the owners refused service to the gay couple’s wedding, some in the LGBT did all they …keep reading »

2 comments

Infant Salvation in the Baptist Faith & Message

Some Southern Baptists have been disagreeing (imagine that!) over what the Bible teaches about infant salvation. Actually, some Southern Baptists don’t like what other Southern Baptists believe or might believe (imagine that!) about infant salvation. My point is not to take sides or even express a position, but to quote below exactly what the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 – the Southern Baptist confession of faith – states about infant salvation. –         – Here I blog… Mark

31 comments

Why is Rehabilitating Christians OK?

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) complained last year about a psychiatrist in Oregon who used reparative therapy. The SPCL complained that this type of conversion therapy – “literally converting from gay to straight” – is unethical and dangerous. But this year it is okay for Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries to seek a sort of conversion therapy if you are Christian business owners who seek to life and work by your Christian convictions. You must need help if you are Christians who run a bakery that refuses to promote a same-sex wedding with your product, right? Even if …keep reading »

2 comments

Sunday Considerations: Loving Christ’s People

We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. (1 John 3:14, ESV) So, Brothers and Sisters, if we can say that we love God’s people, as God’s people, because they are God’s people, that is a mark that we have passed from death unto life! Do you love them for Christ’s sake? Do you say to yourself, “That is one of Christ’s people. That is one who bears Christ’s Cross. That is one of the children of God and, therefore, I love him and take …keep reading »

0 comments

Chapter 10: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Several weeks ago I invited to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read together – What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, we’ve covered: Introduction: Why Study the Qur’an? Chapter 1a: The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca Chapter 1b: The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca by Ken Temple Chapter 2: The Qur’an: A Brief Introduction Chapter 3: Allah: Tawhid, Shirk, the Mithaq and the Fitra Chapter 4: “Say Not Three”: …keep reading »

0 comments

Can Christians Eat Black Pudding?

In his book, In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel Centered Life,  Sinclair Ferguson writes the following in chapter 37, “Eating Black Pudding.” It was years ago now, but I still remember the discussion. I was making my way out of our church building some time after the morning service had ended, and was surprised to find a small group of people still engaged in vigorous conversation. One of them turned and said to me, “Can Christians eat black pudding?” To the uninitiated in the mysteries of Scottish haute cuisine, it should perhaps be said that black pudding is not haggis! …keep reading »

6 comments

Sunday Considerations: Praying in the Spirit

Praying in the Holy Spirit is praying in fervency. Cold prayers, my Brothers and Sisters, ask the Lord not to hear them! Those who do not plead with fervency, plead not at all. As well speak of lukewarm fire as of lukewarm prayer! It is essential that it be red hot. Real prayer is burnt as with hot iron into a man’s soul, and then comes forth from the man’s soul like coals of juniper which have a most vehement heat. Such prayers none but the Holy Spirit can give. I have heard from this spot prayers which I never …keep reading »

0 comments

Chapter 9: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Several weeks ago I invited to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read together – What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, we’ve covered: Introduction: Why Study the Qur’an? Chapter 1a: The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca Chapter 1b: The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca by Ken Temple Chapter 2: The Qur’an: A Brief Introduction Chapter 3: Allah: Tawhid, Shirk, the Mithaq and the Fitra Chapter 4: “Say Not Three”: …keep reading »

2 comments

Now Free: Once Persecuted Christians in the Muslim World

Mike Huckabee briefly shares the story of the persecution of Marzieh Amirizadeh and Maryam Rostampour. Both women are former Muslims who converted to Christianity. In 2009, they were jailed and sentenced to death for their faith – locked up in the notorious Tehran prison, Evin. They were eventually given asylum in the United States upon their release due to international pressure. Read their remarkable story in Captive in Iran: A Remarkable True Story of Hope and Triumph amid the Horror of Tehran’s Brutal Evin Prison. Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com Here I blog… Mark

1 comment

Sunday Considerations: Superficial Religion

How many are there who never put their trust in Him who was slain for the sons of men? They love a superficial religion, but when a man talks deeper than that, they set it down for cant! You may love all that is external about religion, just as you may love a man for his clothes—caring nothing for the man, himself. If so, I know you are one of those who reject the Gospel. You will hear me preach. And while I speak about the externals, you will hear me with attention. And while I plead for morality and …keep reading »

0 comments

Chapter 8: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Several weeks ago I invited to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read together – What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, we’ve covered: Introduction: Why Study the Qur’an? Chapter 1a: The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca Chapter 1b: The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca by Ken Temple Chapter 2: The Qur’an: A Brief Introduction Chapter 3: Allah: Tawhid, Shirk, the Mithaq and the Fitra Chapter 4: “Say Not Three”: …keep reading »

2 comments

Help the Scott Family!

Imagine Imagine – you just celebrated 15 years of marriage along with 6 little blessings from the Lord. Despite the rough economy, you’re doing okay. Your wife resigns from her job to follow her dream of going to nursing school. You put down the $5,000 you saved on a late model car. Then – imagine losing your job. Thankfully, early retirement money saves you – for a few months – while you both look for new jobs. Your wife’s nursing school is on hold. Unfortunately, the car and rent payments don’t have a hold button. The bank gets the late …keep reading »

12 comments

Should Pastors Try to be Uncool?

Should pastors try to be cool? was published on the 9Marks ministry website. In response, I will provide a different perspective by asking the question – Should pastors try to be uncool? 1. Being an uncool pastor is not the power of God unto salvation—the gospel is. If your evangelistic success is thought to depend on a cultivated uncool image, your trust may not ultimately be in the Holy Spirit working through God’s word; but in the ability to attract people to said image because it is outwardly different from everyone else. 2. Being disconnected to the culture is a …keep reading »

3 comments

Why Christian Lawsuits?

So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers! (1 Corinthians 6:4-8, ESV) Why are Christians suing, or threatening so …keep reading »

8 comments

Sunday Considerations: Remember and Rejoice

Believer, the hour is fresh in our memory when the divorce was signed between ourselves and our lusts. We can rejoice that we have now dissolved our league with hell. But, oh, how much we owe to sovereign grace! for we had never left the garlic and fleshpots of Egypt if the Passover had not been slain for us. Our inward man rejoiceth greatly at the recollection of the hour which proclaimed eternal war between “the new creature in Christ Jesus” and the sin which reigneth unto death. It was a night to be remembered: we crossed the Rubicon—peace was …keep reading »

0 comments

Chapter 7: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Everyone was invited to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read together – What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, we’ve covered: Introduction: Why Study the Qur’an? Chapter 1a: The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca Chapter 1b: The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca by Ken Temple Chapter 2: The Qur’an: A Brief Introduction Chapter 3: Allah: Tawhid, Shirk, the Mithaq and the Fitra Chapter 4: “Say Not Three”: The Qur’an …keep reading »

4 comments

The Alabama Baptist and the Wrath of God

Bob Terry, president and editor of The Alabama Baptist, has responded to the PCUSA’s rejection of the hymn In Christ Alone, over a lyric that sung of God’s wrath. I am going to briefly address a few items in Terry’s article Why Disagree About the Words of a Hymn? as they relate to the Holman Bible Dictionary (HBD). Note that the HBD, published in 1991, was replaced in 2003 by the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (HIBD). Both books have the section “Expiation, Propitiation” from which Terry quotes. The HIBD more clearly explains the relationship between God’s anger and wrath, propitiation, …keep reading »

4 comments

Of Genealogies and Charter Church Members

While definitions may vary slightly, a charter church member is basically someone who was an original or founding member of the congregation. In some churches, charter members are celebrated, looked up to, or held in special esteem. Often, their family members share some of this esteem. There is no such celebration of charter church members in Scripture. However, Scripture does not precisely lay out every atom of church practice. However, there are thinks Scripture prohibits and charter church membership just may fall into one of those categories. In Sunday school this past weekend we studied Titus 3. After class, a …keep reading »

2 comments

Sunday Considerations: Thoughts of Home

Thoughts of Home by Anna Shipton O Lord, ’twas Thine to labor and wear the thorns for me; Thou sharest all my sorrows; Thou knowest what ’twill be To see the Father’s glory, to hear Thy welcome there, Where never cross or burden remains for us to bear.   I seem to pace the glittering street, and hear the harps of gold, The echo of the new song that never groweth old; I hear Thy praise, Lord Jesus, my Life, my Lord, my King, Until my worn heart pineth the strains of heaven to sing.   Safe in the better …keep reading »

0 comments

Chapter 6: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Everyone was invited to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read together – What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, we’ve covered: First Discussion: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter 1a: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter 1b: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by Ken Temple Chapter 2: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter …keep reading »

5 comments

Sunday Considerations: Faith Then Love

Does the condition of loving others mean that before we can claim a promise of future grace, we must already be what the promise is designed to help us become—namely, a radical, risk-taking person of love? Must we perform, before faith, what faith is meant to perform? The answer is no. The reason is that faith toward God and love toward man are not coordinate conditions; they do not arise side by side in the heart. Faith arises first and begets love. This is clear from Galatians 5:6: “In Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working …keep reading »

0 comments

Chapter 5: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Everyone was invited to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read together – What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, we’ve covered: First Discussion: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter 1a: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter 1b: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by Ken Temple Chapter 2: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter …keep reading »

3 comments

From Gangster to Christian Soldier

Below is a video introduction of the Tommie Scott story. Brother Tommie first sent me a video link of himself addressing Al Sharpton about the George Zimmerman trial. He certainly has a different perspective given his background. I then found his testimony on his YouTube channel and decided to share it. I hope his testimony blesses you! Here I blog… Mark

8 comments

Sunday Considerations: By Him

By Him creation consists. “For by him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created by him and for him” (Col. 1:16). How many Christians ever think of Christ as the One “by whom all things are created,” as Colossians puts it; “by whom all things were made: as John puts it; “by whom God made the worlds,” as Hebrews put it? Why did God make the universe, anyway? He made it that one day Christ might be …keep reading »

0 comments

Chapter 4: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

Everyone was invited to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read together – What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, we’ve covered: First Discussion: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter 1a: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter 1b: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by Ken Temple Chapter 2: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter …keep reading »

2 comments

Sunday Considerations: Glory Seen

In the Old Testament, God displayed his glory in typical, visual form as an awe-inspiring expanse of bright light (the shekinah, as later Judaism called it). This was the sign of his beneficent presence in both the tabernacle and the temple (Exodus 40:34; 1 Kings 8:10ff.). The essential and abiding revelation of God’s glory, however, was given by his great acts of merited judgment and unmerited love, and in his “name”—which was no mere label, as our names are, but a disclosure of God’s nature and character. Jehovah (Yahweh, as modern scholars render it) means “I am (and will be) …keep reading »

2 comments

Chapter 3: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

I recently invited everyone to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White together. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, the following has been covered: First Discussion: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter 1a: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter 1b: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by Ken Temple Chapter 2: What Every Christian Needs to Know About …keep reading »

13 comments

Loving Matthew Vines

Matthew Vines promotes the acceptance of “gay Christianity.” His approach includes changing Christian teaching on homosexuality by offering re-interpretations of long-standing biblical views on the subject. So how might Christians respond to Matthew Vines? How might the church love him? First, I am aware of two thorough responses to Vines’ interpretations promoting gay Christianity. The responses are listed below and they provide great apologetic responses worthy of study to correct Vines’ agenda and interpretations. Matt Slick at CARM offers a written response – Matthew Vines. James White at Alpha and Omega Ministries offers an audio response – Gay Christianity Refuted. …keep reading »

31 comments

Sunday Considerations: An Easy Hell

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11-13, ESV) Whatever affliction or trouble a child of God meets with—it is all the hell he shall ever have! Whatever eclipse may be upon his name or estate—it is a little cloud which will soon be …keep reading »

0 comments

Chapter 2: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

I recently invited everyone to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White together. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, the following has been covered: First Discussion: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter 1a: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter 1b: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by Ken Temple Today’s post covers chapter 2 “The Qur’an: A Brief …keep reading »

7 comments

Sunday Considerations: Trials

RESIGNATION IN TRIAL “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” “Yet I want Your will to be done — not Mine!” — Luke 22:42. Where was there ever resignation like this? The life of Jesus was one long martyrdom. From Bethlehem’s manger to Calvary’s cross, there was scarcely one break in the clouds; these gathered more darkly and ominously around Him — until they burst over His devoted head as He uttered His expiring cry! Yet throughout this pilgrimage of sorrow — no murmuring accent escaped His lips. The most suffering of all suffering lives …keep reading »

2 comments

Chapter 1b: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

I recently invited everyone to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White together. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! So far, we’ve covered the following: First Discussion: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Chapter 1a: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an Today, guest blogger Ken Temple leads the discussion through chapter 1b covering pages 36-49. Ken is very knowledgeable about Islam – much more than …keep reading »

68 comments

Sunday Considerations: Renewal of Heart

FOR RENEWAL OF HEART “In the morning, O Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You — and wait in expectation.” “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” — Psalm 51:10 Almighty God, who has mercifully preserved me during the unconscious hours of slumber, I desire to dedicate my waking moments and thoughts to You. Pre-occupy my mind with hallowed and heavenly things. May I be enabled throughout this day, by the help of Your Holy Spirit, to exclude all that is vain and frivolous and …keep reading »

3 comments

Chapter 1a: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

I recently invited everyone to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White together. Feel free to grab a copy of the book and join in at anytime! The first post covering the introduction is here – First Discussion: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an.This is the second installment covering chapter one, “The Qur’an and Muhammad of Mecca.” Due to length, I’ve broken chapter one into two parts – a and b. This post covers part a …keep reading »

7 comments

Christian Kindle eBooks: Free and Under $5

Currently On Sale 99¢ Wisdom & Wonder by Abraham Kuyper Baptist Foundations edited by Mark Dever Manhood Restored by Eric Mason Nothing Is Impossible with God by Rose Marie Miller $1.99 The Conviction to Lead by Albert Mohler Rooted & Grounded by Abraham Kuyper Why Believe the Bible? by John MacArthur The Three Wise Women by Christin Ditchfield The Invention of Lefse by Larry Woiwode $2.99 Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper One Small Candle: The Pilgrims’ by Thomas Fleming Beat God to the Punch by Eric Mason The People of God by Trevor Joy Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus by Nancy Guthrie The Dating Manifesto by Lisa …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Fatherhood of God

God brings before us the truths of his kingdom; we cannot see their beauty, we cannot appreciate them; we seem to be as if we were totally demented ignorant, unstable, weary, and apt to slide. But, thanks be unto God, we are his children still! And if there be anything worse that can happen to a father than his child becoming a lunatic or an idiot, it is when he grows up to be wicked. It is well said, “Children are doubtful blessings.” I remember to have heard one say, and, as I thought, not very kindly, to a mother …keep reading »

0 comments

First Discussion: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an

I recently invited everyone to a read along in Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together! The plan is to read What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White together. This post is the first installment covering the “Introduction: Why Study the Qur’an?” Under the subtitle of the chapter White quotes Imam Malik stating that whoever does believes the Qur’an is created and not from Allah and refuses to repent should have his head cut off. Quite a quote to begin with, but it does illustrate the high standing of the Qur’an within certain areas of …keep reading »

12 comments

Christianity: the New Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?

Could Christianity become the new don’t ask, don’t tell in the U.S. Military? If what Todd Starnes reports in Obama ‘Strongly Objects’ to Religious Liberty Amendment is true, the answer is – yes! Starnes gives the following sample list of “Christian service members and chaplains being punished for their faith.” The Air Force censored a video created by a chaplain because it include the word “God.” The Air Force feared the word might offend Muslims and atheists. A service member received a “severe and possibly career-ending reprimand” for expressing his faith’s religious position about homosexuality in a personal religious blog. …keep reading »

1 comment

Man of Steel: 20 Reasons Superman is Not Jesus

Ross McD over at Metro blogged Man of Steel: The top 20 reasons why Superman is Jesus. Some of the comparisons are silly and some are loose parallels. I get the comparison to Jesus which could be made in some sense anytime a singular hero saves the world. Life is filled with the creation, fall, redemption theme starting in the book of Genesis. Man’s sinful passion is to be God. Or more so – to be better than God. Superman is not Jesus though he may be a super man; he is not the God-Man. Jesus did not need a …keep reading »

1 comment

Baptists, Boy Scouts, & Homosexuality

Many Southern Baptists have decided to cut ties with the Boy Scouts of American since the Boy Scouts have officially welcomed openly homosexual scouts beginning 2014. Cutting ties over homosexuality is understandable, but ignores the larger, overlooked gospel issue of pluralism. Southern Baptists (I am one) passed a resolution in 1992 supporting the Boy Scouts for their “refusal to allow homosexuals as Scout leaders and its commitment to maintain references to God within its oath and literature.” As far as I know, these are still the Boy Scouts’ positions. Of course, they folded on allowing openly gay scouts (not leaders) …keep reading »

9 comments

Sunday Considerations: Sea of Sins

He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. (Micah 7:19, ESV) Another striking metaphor expressing the completeness of God’s forgiveness occurs in Micah 7:19. There the prophet Micah said of God, “You will tread our sins underfoot and hurl our iniquities into the depths of the sea.” When I was a naval officer I had an experience where equipment was lost in the depths of the sea through a small boat accident. I know what it is to drag grappling hooks across the …keep reading »

0 comments

Let’s Read About the Qur’an Together!

I’m stealing Tim Challies’ Reading Classics Together idea. However, we won’t be reading a classic Christian book. We will be reading What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur’an by James R. White. As Islam grows in the United States and worldwide, it is important for Christians to have an understanding of what the Qur’an teaches in order to engage our Muslim neighbors. White’s book will help Christians better understand Islam including what Muslims believe about Christian doctrines. Here’s the plan: Get a copy of the book. Read the introduction for next week. Discuss the introduction here on Friday, …keep reading »

20 comments

Sunday Considerations: The Shepherd

“The LORD is my shepherd; I have everything I need!” Psalm 23:1 The shepherd is a favorite Scriptural picture of the divine love and care. In the Old Testament, the twenty-third Psalm gathers the whole wonderful truth in exquisite lines, which are dear to young and old wherever the Bible is known. Then in the New Testament, when our Lord would give His friends the sweetest revealings of His heart toward them, and tell them what they are to Him and what He would be to them—He says, “I am the Good Shepherd.” The Hebrew shepherd lives with his sheep. …keep reading »

1 comment

Sunday Considerations: Memorial Day 2013

This weekend is Memorial Day weekend here in the United States. Memorial Day, originally named Decoration Day, is a day of rightful remembrance of all who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Many churches will pause Sunday morning to recognize those who have and who are currently serving in one of the branches of America’s Military. I’ve struggled over the years of how much patriotism is implanted into some worship services this time of year. The church gathers to worship God not man’s achievements and service to each other. However, many Christians have served in this country’s Armed …keep reading »

2 comments

Charles Spurgeon on God’s Judgment and Tragedies

In the wake of the recent tragedies from the tornado in Oklahoma, I thought sharing a 150 year old sermon from the Prince of Preachers might be appropriate. The sermon below was delivered by Charles Spurgeon on Sunday, September 8, 1861 in light of two disasters that hit close to home for him. In weeks prior to the sermon, two different train collisions happened weeks apart. The train wrecks took more than 38 lives and left hundreds injured. Some Christians replied that the lives taken in those wrecks were part of God’s judgment. In response, Spurgeon preached to refute the …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: The Only Message

In Acts 1:10–11 we read: “Two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” If you think that Jesus finished when He died and was buried, listen to the message of Luke, listen to this treatise written to Theophilus—it is written to you. He will come again, even as He went. He will return, in bodily, visible fashion, riding the clouds of …keep reading »

0 comments

Who Are You In Christ?

In his letter to the rambunctious church at Corinth Paul reminds us that Jesus Christ is our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption (1 Cor. 1:30). In Philippians we can find confidence with Paul that “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6). Our benefits in Christ are noted in the following chart.  Position (Standing)  Condition (State)  In heaven Spiritual Life New birth New man New nature New creature Justified Forgiven In Christ  On earth Physical Death First birth Old man Old nature Old creature Condemned Guilty In Adam Over …keep reading »

1 comment

Duck Dynasty: Some Clarity on Baptism

I wrote A Few More Things You Should Know About Duck Dynasty when I found out these fellows belonged to a Church of Christ – White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ. That post documents a ministry from White’s Ferry, that trains people in evangelism, explaining that people should be re-baptized for salvation who claim, “I am already saved; I was saved when I believed in Jesus” or “Were baptized to show [they] had already been saved.” I have had several conversations – online and off – on this topic. Several of my fellow Southern Baptists have concerns since the Duck …keep reading »

74 comments

Sunday Considerations: Priority of the Gospel

The gospel is the good news of how God reconciles his rebellious image-bearers to himself by the death and resurrection of his Son. This good news properly entails transformed living that touches all our horizontal relationships, but which is never reducible to horizontal relationships. The proclamation of this gospel that has freed us and prepared us to meet our Maker is our joyous privilege and solemn responsibility. When the discharge of this mission is met with God’s blessing, it produces men and women who are ready for both this life and the next. Thus Christian mission can never be reduced …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: On Hearing Sermons

Christian, how will you listen to and receive this week’s sermon? Consider the last two paragraphs of John Newton’s letter “On Hearing Sermons” as you think of your answer. Farther: I advise you, when you hear a Gospel sermon, and it is not in all respects to your satisfaction, be not too hasty to lay the whole blame upon the preacher. The Lord’s ministers have not much to say in their own behalf. They feel (it is to be hoped) their own weakness and defects, and the greatness and difficulty of their work. They are conscious that their warmest endeavours …keep reading »

3 comments

The Problem is Repentaphobia Not Homophobia

Much debate as ensued in the current push to redefine marriage as accepting same-sex couples. This redefinition of marriage is touted as a “homosexual rights” issue. Within this current climate of said debate a new mile stone for homosexual rights activists has come to pass – the first active male professional athlete has come out admitting he is gay. That athlete would be, of course, NBA player Jason Collins. OK, great! Now let’s play ball, right? Not so fast because – for some reason – the conversation quickly turned to religion. It appears that Collins claims to be a homosexual …keep reading »

4 comments

Chris Broussard Answers Questions on Homosexuality and Christianity

Today, on Power 105.1 FM, Chris Broussard, Christian and sports analyst for ESPN, called into the Breakfast Club radio show. He began explaining that he is not perfect, but strives to be Christlike. He then explains the mark of a Christian in light of falling into sin, willful sinning, the repentant, and the unrepentant. When challenged about the Bible condemning homosexuality, Broussard briefly explains where Christians stand in Christ today under the New Covenant vs. adhering to particular laws under the Old Covenant. Broussard handled himself well and was a great witness for the Kingdom despite some of the crass comments …keep reading »

6 comments

Sunday Considerations: Victorious Living

So we learn the story of all noble, cultured character. It is reached only through struggle; it is not natural—but is the fruit of toil and conquest; it bears the marks and scars of many a conflict. We often hear people say they would give large sums to have such a person’s contentment, or self-control, or sweetness of disposition, or submissiveness to God’s will, or power of giving sympathy. These are things that cannot be bought, and that cannot be learned in any school. Such qualities can be gotten only through victorious struggle during years of experience. We say that …keep reading »

1 comment

The Need for Preparatory Conviction by Andy Hynes

Guest blogger Andy Hynes (@ABHYNES) is a PhD candidate at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. Since man was dead in sin, and unable to move in a spiritual way toward God, something must take place.  God’s electing work guaranteed the sinner’s redemption, but God never says in His Word how long that process might take.  God was not going to magically redeem or convert someone.  The process of drawing an individual to the knowledge of his sin and need for grace was a genuine step.  There was great need for preparatory acts.  Flavel penned, The Spirit knocks by the gracious invitations …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: His Own

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. (John 13:1, ESV) Beloved, you are “His own,” now, because you have yielded yourselves to Him. You delight to think that you are His. There is no greater joy to you than to feel that you belong to Christ! The fact that you are truly Christ’s is the fountain of innumerable pleasures and blessings to your heart! Jesus calls us, “His …keep reading »

0 comments

Shai Linne Responds to Paula White Ministries

I recently wrote about Christian rapper, Shai Linne’s song in which he names false teachers in New Song Drops Names: “False Teachers” by Shai Linne. Some people asked Linne to explain why he considered those he named to be false teachers. I followed up with some examples of false teaches for each person Linne rapped about in Did Shai Linne Really Name “False” Teachers? Then, something you don’t see everyday happened, Paula White Ministries responded to Linne’s accusations with an Open Letter to Shain Linne from Paula White Ministries. The challenge to Linne, brought by White’s son, Brad Knight, was a …keep reading »

2 comments

Sunday Considerations: Father’s Everlasting Love

My father was known to be a generous man. He was quick to help people in need and those who had experienced serious reversals in their financial affairs. After his death, I was startled to receive unrequested and unexpected benefits from several of them. When I was in seminary, my wife and I were poor. Many weeks we subsisted on peanut-butter sandwiches. One afternoon I went to the mailbox, where I found an envelope with no canceled stamp on it. Inside the envelope was one hundred dollars in cash from a man I had not seen in more than ten …keep reading »

0 comments

Richard Sibbes on the Doctrine of Election by Andy Hynes

Guest blogger Andy Hynes is a PhD candidate at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. Follow him @ABHYNES on Twitter. Richard Sibbes would not conform to the ideals of the times.  Dewey Wallace considered Sibbes one of the eager pastors who believed that taking the Gospel of Grace to the common folk of England was the greatest urgency.[1]  Making a strong appeal for salvation to the lost described the center of Sibbes’ yearnings. He still held a Christ-only salvation while maintaining the need to promote Christ to the masses. Sibbes spoke about Psalm 28:4 and a longing for God.  The desire for God did …keep reading »

2 comments

Sunday Considerations: God Will Hear

“My God will hear me.” Micah 7:7. WHAT a charming sentence! Can you say it? Only five words, but what meaning! Huge volumes of poetry have appeared from Chaucer to Tennyson, but it seems to me that the essence of poetry lies hidden in a marvelously condensed form within these few words! It shall take you many an hour to suck out all their sweetness. There is an almost inconceivable depth of meaning in them—and of richness of assured experience and of sweet conclusions of a hallowed faith they are full to the brim! “My God will hear me.” There …keep reading »

1 comment

You Aren’t Who They Say You Are by Ray Carroll

Ray Carroll is author of Fallen Pastor: Finding Restoration in a Broken World. He blogs at Fallen Pastor and is a contributor to Provoketive Magazine. All of us have been called a horrible name at some point in our lives. Whether we cut someone off in traffic, hurt someone’s feelings, committed a major sin and caught the eye of the public, or someone just didn’t like us – we’ve all been called something bad. I can think of hundreds of names I’ve been called. Three years ago, while pastor of a Southern Baptist church, I committed adultery and disappointed a …keep reading »

3 comments

Sunday Considerations: The Resurrection

This Sunday Easter is celebrated here in America. Some Christians are bothered by the Easter holiday and prefer to call this time of year Resurrection Day. Others avoid any special celebration whatsoever. Of course, every Sunday is a celebration of the resurrection of our – the only – Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Like it or not, Easter is a special time of year and provides a potential to reach more people for Christ since many will attend a Christian who don’t normally attend. Be reminded by the Apostle Paul. Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I …keep reading »

1 comment

Good Friday: What Evil Has Jesus Done?

Herod had just sent Jesus back to Pilate. As Jesus stood before Pilate for a second time, Pilate addressed the chief priests, the rulers and the people. He explains to them that upon examination neither he nor Herod found Jesus guilty of the charges against him. Therefore, Pilate was only going to beat Jesus and release him, but that was not good enough. But they all cried out together, “Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas”—a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city and for murder. (Luke 23:18-19)1 Much like today, …keep reading »

0 comments

Covenant of Grace (foedus gratiae) by Andy Hynes

Guest blogger Andy Hynes is a PhD candidate at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. Follow him @ABHYNES on Twitter. Westminster Confession of Faith, 7.3 Man, by his fall, having made himself incapable of life by that covenant, the Lord was pleased to make a second, commonly called The Covenant of Grace: whereby He freely offereth unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ; requiring of them faith in Him, that they may be saved, and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal life His Holy Spirit, to make them willing and able to believe. (italics mine).[1] The Covenant of …keep reading »

2 comments

Duck Dynasty Inspired Question on Baptism and Salvation

Last week I wrote A Few More Things You Should Know About Duck Dynasty. As a result of that post, a question about baptism and salvation came up on my Facebook page. I would love to hear some thoughts on my answer, but first, a few observations. I did not realize the huge amount of interest the Duck Dynasty post would generate. Nor did I realize there would be such silence from the more influential Evangelical wing of blogdom. Please, don’t misunderstand, I’m not demanding anyone must Say Something Right Now, or Else! as Kevin DeYoung wrote. However, it is …keep reading »

30 comments

Sunday Considerations: By Contentment

By contentment we come to give God the worship that is due to him. It is a special part of the divine worship that we owe to God, to be content in a Christian way, as has been shown to you. I say it is a special part of the divine worship that the creature owes to the infinite Creator, in that I tender the respect that is due from me to the Creator. The word that the Greeks have that signifies, ‘to worship’ is the same as to come and crouch before someone, as if a dog should come …keep reading »

0 comments

Covenant of Works (foedus operum) by Andy Hynes

Guest blogger Andy Hynes is a PhD candidate at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. Follow him @ABHYNES on Twitter. Westminster Confession of Faith, 7.1, 2 The distance between God and the creature is so great, that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience unto him as their Creator, yet they could never have any fruition of him, as their blessedness and reward, but by some voluntary condescension on God’s part, which he hath pleased to express by way of covenant. The first covenant made with man, was a covenant of works, wherein life was promised to Adam, and in him to his posterity, upon …keep reading »

10 comments

A Few More Things You Should Know About Duck Dynasty

Joe Carter at The Gospel Coalition Voices blog gave us “9 Things You Should Know about Duck Dynasty.” Those nine things are pretty interesting and are far from the norm for a reality TV show. What other show has men with three foot beards wearing bandanas? Admittedly, I have never seen the show since I don’t have cable. I have seen clips and plenty of praise for the show on Facebook and twitter. The stars of the show seem pretty cool in a redneck sorta way. As best I can tell they are more down to earth than their appearance …keep reading »

374 comments

Open Letter to Chuck Swindoll and Stonebriar Church on Phillips, Craig & Dean

Update: Praise God! Phillips, Craig, and Dean have affirmed the Trinity. Click and read their signed statement – PC&D affirm the Trinity. Dear Elders of Stonebriar Community Church, Grace to you and peace in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I pray all is well with you. In October 2009, Pastor Swindoll wrote, “We never seek a fight, but we dare not remain silent when the claims of Christ come under assault.”[1] This line is from the article No Time to Remain Silent – an appropriate title since that time is now upon us. Pastor Swindoll writes …keep reading »

26 comments

Sunday Considerations: Thy Kingdom Come

Thy Kingdom come But what is the kingdom of God? Answer: Nothing else than what we learned in the Creed, that God sent His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, into the world to redeem and deliver us from the power of the devil, and to bring us to Himself, and to govern us as a King of righteousness, life and salvation against sin death, and an evil conscience, for which end He has also bestowed His Holy Ghost, who is to bring these things home to us by His holy Word, and to illumine and strengthen us in the faith …keep reading »

0 comments

Is There a Salvific Process? (by Andy Hynes)

Guest blogger Andy Hynes is a PhD candidate at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. Follow him @ABHYNES on Twitter. While studying the English Puritans many interesting ideas pop out.  One of the main ideas was their understanding of a salvific process.  That process began with three salvific covenants.  The first was the Covenant of Redemption or (Pactum Salutis).  They ended up giving credence to the doctrine in their Westminster Confession of Faith, 8.1 It pleased God, in his eternal purpose, to choose and ordain the Lord Jesus, his only-begotten Son, to be the Mediator between God and men, the Prophet, Priest, and King; …keep reading »

1 comment

No Pope for All Christians

“Why believers of all stripes should care about the new head of the Catholic Church,” begins Timothy C. Morgan in his Christianity Today article A Pope for All Christians. Historically there has never been a pope for all Christians and there is not today. Rome begs to differ, of course, claiming themselves the one true church that holds the keys to the Kingdom making the pope head of all Christendom. According to Rome, all other churches are not even true churches. Morgan claims the health of Roman Catholicism affects all Christians because of globalization. Globalization is knocking down walls that …keep reading »

3 comments

A Great Letter for Christian Husbands to Write Their Wives!

My mentor had me do an interesting exercise that involved writing a one page letter to my wife. The contents of the letter were me expressing to my wife what it is to be a Christian husband. I was to write what it should look like for me, Mark – not you, a pastor, a preacher, or anyone else – to be a Christian husband. The letter was a very fruitful exercise, but it was more than an exercise. I had to take a long, hard, prayerful look at what I had been, versus what Scripture says I should have …keep reading »

2 comments

Sunday Considerations: Father, Son, Holy Spirit

Consider these words from Herman Bavinck on the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as you prepare to worship the Triune God – the only God, an awesome God, a Holy God – on this Lord’s Day. This very special, this unique, relationship between Father and Son did not develop in time by way of the supernatural conception of the Holy Spirit, or of the anointing at baptism, or of the resurrection and ascension—though many have maintained this—but is a relationship which has existed from all eternity. The Son who in Christ assumed human nature was in the beginning with God …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Holiness Privileges

My soul is waiting upon God to be filled with His fullness! The hand of faith had enabled me to grasp the utmost limit of the privileges of holiness that the Lord Jesus purchased for me with His precious blood. I do not know what they are either in their nature or their effects. I do not know what it means what we are told that the body of sin was destroyed by the crucifixion of Christ and when we are commanded therefore to “reckon ourselves dead to sin.” But I do know that it means something which will enable …keep reading »

1 comment

Blog Brief: On Taming the Tongue

Quick and easy access to social media like blogs, twitter, Facebook et al. make it easy for Christians to pop-off with the fingers at a moments notice. Sometimes we may not even think about the repercussions of our words. I know because I’ve done it. After we catch ourselves we think we’ve got to be more careful with our words. We try harder. Yet, Scripture, in James 3:7-8 states, “For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is …keep reading »

2 comments

Video: Pastor Jeffress Speaks on Tim Tebow Controversy

Toward the end of the video Pastor Jeffress names several Evangelicals who have supported him during the controversy of Tim Tebow’s scheduled speaking appearance and abrupt cancellation. He then comments about those men who stood with him. “I am grateful for men of God like these who are willing to stand up and act like men rather than wimping out when it gets a little controversial and an inconvenient thing to stand for the truth. God bless men like that.” Now, there are some people who would say, “Well, God’s given me a different ministry. God has calle me to …keep reading »

1 comment

Church? No Thanks, Hypocrite!

People often dismiss the church because they claim Christians are hypocrites. And all non-Christians have a perfect symbiotic relationship between belief and practice, right? Wrong, but Christians need a better answer than, “You do it too!” A comment about Christians being hypocrites came up yesterday while teaching Sunday School. I was teaching from James 3 on taming the tongue. The gist of the comment was that if Christians would tame their tongue (through the power of the Holy Spirit) and stop gossiping, etc. unbelievers would not call us hypocrites. Generally speaking, are Christians really hypocrites? I don’t think so. First, …keep reading »

3 comments

Sunday Considerations: A New State

“Therefore since Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves, likewise, with the same mind: for he that has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin; that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have worked the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, drinking parties and abominable idolatries.” 1 Peter 4:1-3. Our Lord Jesus Christ has suffered for sin and He has …keep reading »

0 comments

Different Gospel Presentations: Who Gets Saved?

The following hypothetical conversations take place when evangelist A shares Jesus with unbeliever A while evangelist B shares with unbeliever B. The reason for this exercise are the recent assertions that Calvinists and non-Calvinists are promoting different gospels. Let’s see…. A B Evangelist A (EA) and Unbeliever A (A):EA: A, I’m glad we could meet today so I can share Jesus with you and explain how to be saved – how to be right with God. A: I told you I would listen to what you have to say about Jesus so here I am! EA: First, I want you …keep reading »

17 comments

One Step to Peace with God

Sometimes Baptists would come to our door in Ft. Lauderdale passing out gospel tracts. They would share Jesus and tell us all we had to do was believe. My mother and I would shake our heads holding to our RLDS beliefs that we must have faith and works to go to have peace with God. I don’t know if the Baptists at the door did a poor job explaining God’s plan of salvation; or if we just did not understand because our Joseph Smith lens. Scripturally speaking I know better today. We were spiritually blind and could not accept the …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: God’s Presence

God’s love is unfailing, His grace is always sufficient. But there is even more good news. He is with us in our troubles. He does not merely send grace from heaven to meet our trials. He Himself comes to help us. He says to us, “Do not be afraid … for I myself will help you” (Isaiah 41: 14). In Isaiah 43: 2, God says, When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; …keep reading »

3 comments

Unexpected, Expected Death

The Lord Jesus said,”Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”1 For Christians, anxiety shows a lack of trust in God. Anxiety can also be very unhealthy and can destroy a person. So many, some say most, things people worry about never turn out the way the person worried it would anyway. Yet, there is part of life that is unavoidable no matter how much worry is poured into it. No matter how filled with anxiety or how at peace one is there is the unavoidable …keep reading »

3 comments

Sunday Considerations: Our Protector

God Is Our Protector Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23: 4 David came to learn through years of being led by the Good Shepherd that his security did not lie in his environment, whether “green pastures” or “still waters” (Psalm 23: 2), but in his Shepherd. His words in today’s verse are, “You are with me.” Many read Psalm 23: 4 and immediately think of the grave; however, the word translated as death can …keep reading »

1 comment

JHMC: Session 3 – Walking Out of Our Prisons

This is a live blog of the Johnny Hunt Men’s Conference. You can find the conference on twitter @JHMensConf_FBCW and follow the official twitter hashtag here: #JHMC2013. The conference topic is: “ESCAPE PLAN: SIN IS A PRISON; LET’S BREAK OUT!” Session 3: Unspoken: I can’t Forgive Myself (Walking Out of Our Prisons) 1 JOHN 1:8-10 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, …keep reading »

2 comments

What if You Say the Sinner’s Prayer and Mean It?

There is a lot of disagreement among Christians over the use of the sinner’s prayer. Some are quick to point out abuse of the sinner’s prayer and all together dismiss it. Others seem quick to overlook its abuse and to point out its usefulness. Personally, I have witnessed its abuse. Yet, I often wonder if we will ever find a common ground on the sinner’s prayer. But yesterday’s ethics post about the sinner’s prayer raised a question in my mind. What if someone says the sinner’s prayer and means it? Of course, then questions about the question begin. People will …keep reading »

14 comments

Sunday Considerations: Liberal Giving

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word. (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 ESV) We ought to be free in our giving to others since God has been so free in His giving to us. As He has abounded toward us in infinite liberality, we ought to abound towards all with whom we come in contact up to the full measure of our ability in all love and kindness and mercy. In every benevolent …keep reading »

0 comments

On Theological Fighting: Proclaim Christ Instead of Grinding Out Your Theology

During the recent G3 Conference I live blogged there was a panel discussion Q&A. Questions were submitted months in advance of the conference. The first question was for Paul Washer. The question was on substitutionary atonement pitting limited atonement against general atonement. Washer’s answer modeled a great way to think in terms of Christian unity through all of our internal, and often public, theological battles. Brother Paul gave a wise answer. The submitted question. If substitutionary atonement is the true biblical doctrine, does it provide any room for a universal or general atonement as many Free-Will Baptists believe – that Jesus …keep reading »

1 comment

Sunday Considerations: Redeemed

The greatest of all transactions The costliest purchase price Father, Your Son’s atoning death Was given in payment for mine To buy me back from slavery To set me free from my chains Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb Redeemed through Your infinite mercy Your child and forever I am Now I’ll never know Your judgment My Savior was judged for me Jesus, Your death and Yours alone Has cancelled the debt that I owed You satisfied the law’s demands And new life’s been given to me Redeemed, how I love to …keep reading »

0 comments

G3: Paul Washer – Penal Substitution – The Core of God’s Saving Plan

I had to slip out and tend to some family matters so brother Len blogged this for me. Find him on twitter: @OneOver99. I appreciate his help. —- Pastors raise your hands. He read a passage about being established. He said he is blessed to be here and to hear these men preach. Some of the best in the ministry. He says pastor, if you are faithful you are worth your weight in gold. Pastor,  He will come one day…and you will see…your labor was not kn vain. The entire ocean in a cup of water. All the sand of …keep reading »

0 comments

G3: Paul Washer – The Priority of Prayer for Christian Life, Ministry, and Mission

This is a live blog of the G3 Conference. I will be updating along with the speakers. You can follow the line-up at: G3 Schedule. Some of what’s written are paraphrases of quotes that I am unable to catch. Pastor, if you truly want you people to serve you then present Christ before them crucified. It is the mystery of all godliness. Truly converted people do not need a whip, but need to know the justice and mercy of God. Every minister that preached at this conference could have preached on the same text, used the same manuscript and it …keep reading »

0 comments

G3: Donald Whitney – When God Turned His Back on Jesus

This is a live blog of the G3 Conference. I will be updating along with the speakers. You can follow the line-up at: G3 Schedule. Some of what’s written are paraphrases of quotes that I am unable to catch. Open the Bible to Matthew 27. Whitney opens with thankfulness for the conference. Those who accuse Christians of simply believing in God with a blind faith are totally unaware of how many times we question God. We wonder why God is doing what He is doing. We continue to trust in Him and His sovereign care despite circumstances. Though we do …keep reading »

0 comments

G3: Voddie Baucham – Doctrine Matters – Getting the Gospel Right

We hear much talk about the gospel. In some ways the gospel has become a fad. When something becomes a fad some people jump on the bandwagon and have no idea about what they are involved in. When some people say gospel they are celebrating social gospel. Others, when they hear gospel they are excited because they hear all the moral teachings of Jesus. Legalism. There’s another form of legalism going around – love God, love people. Love God, love people is actually an abbreviation of Jesus’ teaching on the two greatest commandments. The two greatest commandments are a summary …keep reading »

1 comment

G3: Joel Beeke – What Really Is the Gospel?

Turn to 1 Tim 1:15-17. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (1 Timothy 1:15-17 ESV) Five facets of answering the question – what is the gospel? [I lost …keep reading »

1 comment

G3: Friday Q&A Panel Discussion

Q: If substitution atonement is the true biblical doctrine does it provide any room for a universal atonement that Jesus died for the whole world without exception? Washer: I’m going to answer the question without really answering it. When he thinks about the glorious doctrine such as the atonement it upsets me that some people only think about it when they want to argue over Calvinism. The doctrine is best used proclaimed to the masses that Christ died and to call all men to repent. Even John 3:16 is not to argue a particular doctrine of the atonement but to …keep reading »

0 comments

G3: Steve Lawson – The Preaching of John Calvin and What We Can Learn

This is a live blog of the G3 Conference. I will be updating along with the speakers. You can follow the line-up at: G3 Schedule. Some of the words are paraphrases of quotes that I am unable to catch. Lawson explains that no man more loved or more hated or most misunderstood than John Calvin. Even so, Calvin is the most influential. To omit John Calvin from the history of western Christianity is to read history with one eye shut. Calvin stood at the top of the movement that shaped history. He has been estimated to be greatest theologian since …keep reading »

1 comment

G3: Tim Challies – Mission in a Changing World

This is a live blog of the G3 Conference. I will be updating along with the speakers. You can follow the line-up at: G3 Schedule. Tim begins by rightly making fun of how the South shuts down at the mere mention of ice and snow. A preemptive shutdown he called it. Tim going to speak about how the way we communicate the unchanging gospel will change. What are the specific challenges that come to us as Christians in a changing world? We are in the middle of a massive shift in communication – computer to internet. There has been a …keep reading »

0 comments

Why Do So Many Christians Live this Way?

The section quoted below was part of last night’s discipleship group meeting. The authors then asks the reader to reflect on the evidence for their own walk with Christ in relation to Luke 6:40. But the broad question of why so many who profess to be Christians, but don’t actually follow Christ as evidenced by a changed life is not addressed. When Jesus called His first disciples, they may not have understood where Jesus would take them or the impact it would have on their lives, but they knew what it meant to follow. They took Jesus’s call literally and …keep reading »

4 comments

Sunday Considerations: Overcome Evil

“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21 THIS is a very meaty verse and the form of it greatly assists the memory. It is worthy to be called a Christian Proverb. I would recommend every Christian to learn it by heart and have it ready for use, for there are a great many Proverbs which convey a very different sense and these are often quoted to give the weight of authority to unchristian principles. Here is an Inspired Proverb – carry it with you and use it as a weapon with which to parry the …keep reading »

2 comments

Warning: Mormon Acceptance Propaganda

On January 8, 2013, I was contacted through my blog by Eric Shuster. He is releasing a new book soon so he asked if I would like to help promote it via a blog tour. The book’s title alone – Where are the Christians? The Unrealized Potential of a Divided Religion – grabbed my interest. But this inquiring mind wanted to know more about it since I had never heard of the author nor the upcoming book. A quick check on Amazon and Shuster’s website answered the blog tour question for me – no! The author is a former Roman …keep reading »

33 comments

Does Sho Baraka’s Song “Jim Crow” (aka Nigga Island) Harm the Gospel?

Chrisitan hip-hop artist, Sho Baraka just release his latest album Talented 10th. Prior to the album release the single “Jim Crow” was released at Hip Hop DX. The official name of the song seems to be “Jim Crow,” but many also refer to it as “Ni**ga Island.” The title of the song alone is bound bring disagreements, especially, from a Christian artist. You can read the lyrics and listen below, but here is the hook: I feel I’m trapped in a crazy place. Asking the Lord for amazing grace. I see the masses wanna change me. I’m waiting for someone …keep reading »

50 comments

Sunday Considerations: Walk with God

“The commandment to walk with God is indefinite, without limitation, therefore must be understood to be a walking with him in all things, and that in all things, and, at all times, in all companies, and in all changes, conditions, and estates of your life, whatsoever. To walk with God in general and at large is not sufficient. You are not dispensed with for any moment of your life; but all the days of your life, and each day of your life, and each hour of that day, and each minute of that hour; you must pass the time, the …keep reading »

0 comments

Sadly, Giglio Withdraws from President Obama’s Inauguration

Jonathan Capehart is joyfully reporting at the Washington Post that Louie Giglio has withdrawn from President Obama’ inauguration.1 Just yesterday I defended Giglio from an attack by a Liberal at HuffPo. So I post with sadness that Giglio has removed himself from Obama’s inauguration. I know Christians are divided (what’s new?) over whether or not an Evangelical should participate in an event like the Presidential Inauguration. However, many of us saw Giglio giving the benediction as a great gospel opportunity. Maybe another Evangelical will replace him who is also not ashamed of the gospel. The full text of Giglio’s reasoning …keep reading »

10 comments

Join Me this Month at the G3 Conference in Metro-Atlanta!

Lord willing, later this month from January 24th – 26th 2013, I will be live blogging the G3 Conference. (G3 stands for Gospel, Grace and Glory – check out the website for more info.) The conference was created by Pastor Josh Buice of Prays Mill Baptist Church. The conference will be held in Metro-Atlanta or, more precisely, 20 miles west of Atlanta in Douglasville, GA at Prays Mill Baptist. The G3 speakers are Paul Washer, David Miller, Tim Challies, Steve Lawson, Donald Whitney, Voddie Baucham, Joel Beeke, Chip Thornton and Jon Payne. Pastor Buice is a friend and I am …keep reading »

0 comments

Intolerant Liberal Targets Louie Giglio

The liberal attacks against Louie Giglio are already starting.  Paul Brandeis Raushenbush at the Huffington Post goes after Giglio in his article “Obama, Inaugural Prayers and the Evangelicals Who Don’t Like Him.”1 As I’ve previously noted, Giglio has accepted President Obama’s invitation to give the benediction at his inauguration. Giglio is a Conservative, Evangelical Christian and some liberals like Raushenbush are not happy with the President’s choice of Giglio. Below I will quote and comment on the pertinent part of Raushenbush’s article showing his misrepresentation, inconsistency and political broad brushing. Rev. Louie Giglio, the conservative evangelical pastor of Passion City Church …keep reading »

4 comments

Word of Faith Vs. Reformed Baptist: A Theological Dialogue

Reformed Pastor Saiko Woods and Word of Faith Pastor Fred Price, Jr. enter the theological ring with the gloves off. Woods and Price candidly discussion their theological differences both turning to Scripture to defend their theology. This discussion is a breath of fresh air given the way theological disagreements are often carried out. I wish more face to face discussion like this could take place. I mean – I’d love to see James White sit down with T.D. Jakes to discussion the Trinity. I have not had time to note some of my thoughts on the following Woods-Price discussion, but …keep reading »

17 comments

Sunday Considerations: Be Wholly Thine

“Lord, our Heavenly Father, Eternal God! Blessed be Thy divine power and might; magnified Thy fathomless goodness and mercy; praised Thine eternal wisdom and truth. For Thou hast shielded me with Thy hand against the perils of this night, and hast suffered me to rest and slumber in peace under the shadow of Thy wings. Thou hast kept and safeguarded me with a father’s care against the Evil One and all his wicked designs and purposes. Therefore, I magnify Thy goodness and the wonders which Thou doest for the children of men. I will exalt Thee in the congregation. Thy …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Amazing Grace

Then King David went in and sat before the LORD and said, “Who am I, O LORD God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? And this was a small thing in your eyes, O God. You have also spoken of your servant’s house for a great while to come, and have shown me future generations, O LORD God! (1 Chronicles 17:16-17 ESV) Perhaps you’ll be surprised to learn that “Amazing Grace” is a New Year’s hymn. On Friday morning, January 1, 1773, John Newton, former slave trader and infidel, preached a New Year’s message …keep reading »

0 comments

Merry Christmas: Linus Explains

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17 ESV) Merry Christmas!

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Everybody that Celebrates Christmas

I wish everybody that celebrates Christmas this year, would keep it as the angels kept it. There are many persons who, when they talk about celebrating Christmas, mean by that, that they would never forget to go to church on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning, yet their way of celebrating the rest of the day is very remarkable; for it would be with gluttony and drunkenness. There are many who think Christmas cannot be celebrated, except with a lot of merriment and festivity in the house, and added to that the noisiness of sin. Now, my brethren, we being true …keep reading »

1 comment

Christmas Like Clouds and Wind

Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of a gift he does not give. (Proverbs 25:14 ESV) Gray clouds darken the sky. Gusts of wind moves trees like an invisible force. The sun is hidden yet still there. Check the weather report, put on a rain coat, grab an umbrella – prepare. Your hair blows wildly as you walk to the car, but everything else is in place in case you have to change plans. You’re prepared; prepared for rain. Rain is a glorious life-giving, life-sustaining act of nature – God’s nature. As a Christian, you …keep reading »

0 comments

Grief: Finding Hope Again

Grief: Finding Hope Again by Paul David Tripp (New Growth Press) is being offered online by the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). You can read it below and may find it extremely helpful if you are grieving or helping someone else who is grieving.   Open publication – Free publishing – More ccef

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Rest

Man, without God, is like the mariner in the story, condemned to sail on forever and never to find a haven. He is the real wandering Jew, immortal in his restlessness. Like the evil spirit, man by nature walks through dry places, seeking rest and finding none. Of our race, by nature, it might almost be said as of our Redeemer, varying but a little His words, “Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the soul of man has not where to lay its head.” I speak to many this morning to whom this has …keep reading »

2 comments

Death, Murder, Hope

Death Death is one of the few parts of life that is unavoidable. Death comes in various ways from natural to accidental to sometimes murderous. All death is sad, especially, to those close to the deceased. Yet, it is normally less difficult to mourn a natural death than an accidental or, especially, a murderous one. What happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School was neither natural nor accidental – it was murder. Pure evil. It is time to pray for all of those affected by the murder of the six adults and 20 children. Pray for the family, friends, and acquaintances. …keep reading »

1 comment

Is Erick Erickson Right on the Evangelists’ Failure?

Conservative political blogger and talk radio host Erick Erickson, in his article “The Evangelists’ Failure“on RedState.com, shares what he sees as one of Evangelical America’s biggest failures. Erickson is more than a conservative political pundit. He is also an Evangelical of the Presbyterian persuasion. I have listened to Erickson many times on the local radio station while sifting through Atlanta traffic. He is a sharp, insightful, and fair brother. Based on some of the information he provides to his listeners, he is also politically well-connected. I appreciate brother Erickson’s insights on culture and politics, but I’m not convinced of his conclusion …keep reading »

4 comments

Coexist: Truth or Fairytale?

 

4 comments

Field Trips and Work Detail

I want to make two general observations of the attitudes exuded by Christians ministering in the church. Those Christians range from pastor to deacon to those who sneak in late and sit on the last pew. The types of ministering ranges from preaching to teaching to walking an elderly lady to her car. Some Christians give the impression that they are on work detail when ministering to others. It’s as if they force a joyless smile just to get through a laborious task. Their motivation seems to flow out of a love for God as they dutifully serve their neighbor …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: In Prayer

In prayer God and the soul meet, and hold communion together; then the curtain of heaven is drawn aside, that I may look in, and see my large possessions. Then do I get a glance of the King in his beauty, and a glimpse of the excellences of the life above—so that I am filled with wonder, and desire to depart, and to be with Jesus! This is the well at which I drink the heavenly water, and am refreshed and strengthened for my journey. “Lord, while allowed to come into your presence with boldness, let secret sin, (ah! what …keep reading »

0 comments

Genius the Movie Featuring John Lennon

Living Waters ministry has put a new video called Genius. Check it out below!

0 comments

The Reach of Pornography in the Church

Denny Burk quotes Heath Lambert on pornography from the latest issue of JBWM. Pornography is the defining sexual sin of our day. In Christian circles adultery and homosexuality often capture more headlines, but I am persuaded that in terms of sheer numbers they cannot hold a candle to the devastation of pornography. Last year I counseled six people struggling with homosexuality and around eighteen caught in adultery and fornication. I don’t know exactly how many I helped who were locked in pornography, but the number is in the dozens. As bad as that number sounds those people are not the …keep reading »

0 comments

Not with Other Christians

“With whom is the Christian soldier meant to fight? Not with other Christians. Wretched indeed is that man’s idea of religion, who imagines that it consists in perpetual controversy! He who is never satisfied unless he is engaged in some strife between church and church, chapel and chapel, sect and sect, faction and faction, party and party — knows nothing yet as he ought to know. As a general rule, the cause of sin is never so much helped as when Christians waste their strength in quarreling with one another, and spend their time in petty squabbles.” – J. C. …keep reading »

2 comments

How Do You See Other People?

Apparently, the “Get Service” video below has been around since 2007 or so. I saw it for the first time yesterday. It offers an interesting perspective on self-centeredness and thinking about other people. As a Christian, this video hit home for me in light of the gospel. For example, driving everyday in Metro-Atlanta offers a buffet of frustration from inconsiderate and illegal driving – if I choose to eat from that platter. Unfortunately, some days I eat well to my own sinful demise. I can’t control other peoples’ driving or anything else for that matter. But I can control myself and …keep reading »

1 comment

Sunday Considerations: Greatest Need

Heavenly Father, help me realize today that You are more than enough to meet every need that I will be confronted with today. Help me feel with Your heart and touch with Your hand. I surrender afresh right now and bow in Your presence to confess, “You are Lord.” In Christ’s name, Amen. Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and …keep reading »

2 comments

Chemist James Tour: Nanotech and Jesus Christ

Dr. James Tour recently spoke at The Veritas Forum at GA Tech, a ministry in which a friend is involved. James M. Tour, a synthetic organic chemist, received his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Syracuse University, his Ph.D. in synthetic organic and organometallic chemistry from Purdue University, and postdoctoral training in synthetic organic chemistry at the University of Wisconsin and Stanford University.1 I’ve had two years of Spanish, one year of Japanese and two semesters of biblical Greek, but I can’t understand the scientific language brother Tour speaks. Dr. Tour is a smart man. An intellect. But you don’t …keep reading »

0 comments

Where Are You?

On a recent Saturday morning, some of us from Sunday School class got to live out our faith a bit. A struggling, single mother needed a new roof on her house because it was leaking. That Saturday morning she received a new roof. She also received the gospel of Jesus Christ. Both were our pleasure. She knew the gospel and professed to be a believer. We kept talking to better understand her situation and how we could pray for her. She was hurting economically like many people right now. She was also hurting spiritually like many people right now. There …keep reading »

0 comments

R.I.P. Zig Ziglar: Zig Talks About Coming to Jesus at Age 45

Christian and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar has gone home to be with the Lord at 86 years old. Zig was a Southern Baptist Sunday School teacher at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Texas. In 1985-86, he even as first vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Zig is famously known for motivational speaking. He has helped many people throughout the years in their business and their personal lives. I started listening to Zig’s motivational tapes in the mid-90’s through the encouragement of a co-worker. I still occasionally listen today. In the video below Zig shares with talk show host Philippe Matthews …keep reading »

1 comment

Todd Friel Graciously Answers Critic During Open-Air Preaching Event

1 comment

Contentment: Philippians vs. Black Friday

Black Friday and all of its craziness has come and gone for another year. Now it’s Cyber Monday’s turn. It is a good thing that Black Friday has passed because of all of the crazy things it makes people do, right? Wrong. Black Friday isn’t the cause of peoples’ sinful behavior, but an avenue that draws it out. Black Friday allows people to show, to an extent, where many find contentment. Some people like comfort foods, some people like comfort buying. There is nothing inherently evil about Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Rather, it is people acting on their evil …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Then You Will Be Thankful

If you wish to be thankful, get a heart deeply humbled with the sense of your own vileness. A broken heart is the best pipe to sound forth God’s praise. He who studies his sins, wonders that he has anything, and that God should shine on such a dunghill: “I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man—but I was shown mercy!” 1 Timothy 1:13. How thankful Paul was! How he trumpeted forth free grace! A proud man will never be thankful. He looks on all his mercies as either of his own procuring or deserving. If …keep reading »

0 comments

Thankful Poem

Thankful Lord, I am thankful for so many things. You gave me new life of which my soul now sings. I am closer to going home with each breath. On my final day – eternal life through your death. Thankful Lord, I am thankful for so many things. I can trust you each day no matter what trouble it brings. When I am overcome and my soul in despair. You do not let me go Your saving hand is there. Thankful Lord, I am thankful for so many things. Until I reach Your presence You keep me on eagles’ wings. …keep reading »

1 comment

After Nearly 60 Years Nativity Scene Denied in Park

Funny, the actual Federal American holiday is Christmas, but some don’t want a Nativity scene displayed about the holiday. Maybe some Christians can take turns standing in the display spots and sharing the gospel via the Christmas story to passersby.

2 comments

New LifeWay Study on Selflessness and Spiritual Maturity

LifeWay Research has released a new study noted in the article below that links spiritual maturity and serving others. Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research is quoted below stating, “Growth leads to service and serving leads to growth – it’s deeply connected.” Stetzer’s statement is a great summary sentence correlating Christian service and growth. Of course, there are different types of growth and service. I’m not sure exactly what kind of spiritual growth the study measured that is taking place through serving others. Maybe the areas in which spiritual growth is taking place would be worth considering if LifeWay has …keep reading »

2 comments

Sunday Considerations: Keep His Law

I will keep your law continually, forever and ever. (Psalm 119:44 ESV) We speak of heaven; but oh! to be there! To be engaged throughout eternity in the service of love to a God of love! In one day’s continuance in the path of obedience even here, in the midst of the defilement which stains our holiest services, how sweetly do the moments roll away! But to be ever employed for Him, in that place, where “there shall in no wise enter anything that defiles”-this gives an emphasis and a dignity to the heavenly joy, which may well stamp it …keep reading »

2 comments

On How Christians Engage Each Other Online

If you have spent any amount of time engaging Christians on any type of social media it is not hard to conclude that some Christians have the gift of the cyber-hammer. Feeling the smashing blows of the cyber-hammer are unmistakable no matter how many internet connections away you may be. My fellow Christians, this ought not be since we are to live at peace with all while praying for our enemies (Rom. 12:14-21) and do good to all, especially, our fellow Christians (Gal. 6:10). I admit, I am guilty! I am also repentant. I am hoping the way I respond …keep reading »

7 comments

When a Roman Catholic Comes to Your Door

Dr. R. Scott Clark, a professor at  Westminster Seminary California, recently had a home visit from two Roman Catholics. Saturday morning a Roman Catholic laywoman and a male companion (who stood behind her with his rosary saying prayers) came to my door on behalf of St Mary Church in Escondido. She asked if there were any Catholics in the house. I said, yes and no. Yes, we confess the holy catholic faith of the Nicene Creed, the Definition of Chalcedon, the Apostles’ Creed, and the Athanasian Creed but no, we are not Roman Catholics, we reject the papacy. I told …keep reading »

0 comments

A Christian Politician, What If?

The U.S. presidential election is over. Many American Christians believe that we had to choose between two not-so-great candidates. We argued over what kind of person for whom a Christian should or should not and could or could not vote. When is the last time America had a solid Christian presidential candidate? What would such a candidate look like? Pulling together a few Scripture verses instructing Christians on how they ought to live their lives – I thought, what if? Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you …keep reading »

2 comments

Sunday Considerations: Daily Strength

But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31 ESV) Waiting on God not only gives strength, it gives inspiration. “They shall mount up with wings as eagles.” God means that every soul which waits on him, shall not creep in the muck and the mire, nor crouch in abject slavery to men or devils. When a soul has its inner life hid with Christ, and lives a life of true consecration, it is enabled …keep reading »

0 comments

Calvinism Undermines Evangelism, Right?

If I have heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times: “A Calvinist evangelist? Isn’t that an oxymoron? Calvinism undermines evangelism.” This accusation has been repeated so many times that few make the effort to argue it. Instead, it is simply assumed. Never mind that some of the church’s greatest evangelists have been Calvinists. One need only be reminded of men such as George Whitefield, David Brainerd, or “the father of modern missions,” William Carey. “Yes,” we are told, “these men were great evangelists and Calvinists, but that is because they were inconsistent.” But is this true? The fact of …keep reading »

19 comments

Election Thoughts: Christians Live Among Evil Choices

During this 2012 Presidential election cycle many Christians feel they are left with only two voting choices: a liberal, professing Christian and a non-Christian, Mormon. Therefore, many Christians feel they are left with a choice to vote for the lesser of two evils. Other Christians will not vote at all or choose a third party candidate effectively giving their vote to one party or the other. The overlooked issue? Christians often daily choose between the lesser of evils. Even though Christians often choose between the lesser of evils it seems that this dilemma only matters during Presidential election time. Two …keep reading »

6 comments

Sunday Considerations: Singing in the Rain

People often say that if they had only ease and luxury all the time—costly furniture, sumptuous meals, automobiles—that they would be gladder and would live more sweetly. But if our hearts are right—we should sing all the better, the more joyously—when life is hard, when we have heavy tasks and sharp trials, keen losses and bitter sorrows. An invalid who loved to hear the birds sing at her window said she liked the robin best of all the birds—because the robin sang in the rain. There are some people who have not learned to sing in the rain. They are …keep reading »

0 comments

Free Reformation Day Resources

First, my favorite Reformation Day tweet was by SooperMexican: “I got 95 theses but a Pope ain’t one.” Reformation Day Free Download: R.C. Sproul’s Luther and the Reformation R.C. Sproul’s recently released ten-part series, Luther and the Reformation in both audio and video formats with study guide. Free Calvin eBooks  by John Piper from Desiring God With Calvin in the Theater of God John Calvin and His Passion for the Majesty of God Portrait of Calvin by T. H. L. Parker (foreword by John Piper) Martin Luther Biography  Chris Rosebrough is offering FREE Reformation Day Books and Resources Here I …keep reading »

1 comment

Reformation Day Video: Post Tenebras Lux

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: God’s Offer

God says to us, Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. (Isaiah 55:1) The gospel is addressed to those who have no money or good works. It invites us to come and “buy” salvation without money and without cost. But note the invitation to come is addressed to those who have no money not to those who don’t have enough. Grace is not a matter of God’s making up the difference, but of God’s providing all the …keep reading »

2 comments

I was Almost Born this Way

It was a nice warm day like most days. I’m not sure if the sun was out or not. I have not actually experienced the warm glow of the sun – yet. I looked forward to it though. I heard so many things from the outside. I could only guess what they were. I looked forward to them all. Oh, I yearned to experience a life filled with love. I just knew that life was coming soon with the way you cared for me and fed me. I was so warm and comfortable all the time on the inside. I …keep reading »

1 comment

Matt Chandler Responds to Criticism of ‘David, Goliath and the Gospel’

In the video below Matt Chandler attempts to explain how the gospel runs through the David and Goliath story in a mere 3.5 minutes. Dr. Eric Hankins raised concerns about Chandler’s interpretive approach in the video in his recent critique of ‘Christ-centered homiletics’.1 However, back in January Mike Riccardi, using Chandler’s explanation in the video as an example, wrote a very thorough and gracious explanation of the problems with such an interpretation.2 Chandler was contacted for a response to Riccardi’s article and he replied. “Thanks for your encouragement and email.  I read Mike’s critique and agree with most of it.  The …keep reading »

13 comments

Sunday Considerations: Christ’s Love

Let us stand still, and admire and wonder at the love of Jesus Christ to poor sinners; that Christ should rather die for us, than for the angels. They were creatures of a more noble extract, and in all probability might have brought greater revenues of glory to God: yet that Christ should pass by those golden vessels, and make us vessels of glory, Oh, what amazing and astonishing love is this! This is the envy of devils. and the admiration of angels and saints. … Christ’s love is like his name, and that is Wonderful, Isa. ix. 6; yes, …keep reading »

0 comments

Muslims Protest at Google Offices Over Anti-Islam Video

The Telegraph reports that “Muslims protest ‘age of mockery’ as thousands descend on Google HQ.” Many Muslims are understandably offended by the anti-Islam video ‘The Innocence of Muslims’ published on YouTube. They do not care about free speech and plan to protest until the video is banned. At least one of these Muslim leaders wants to shut down free speech and the spread of ideas contrary to Islam. He even redefined terrorism to include hurt feelings and calls Google’s right to free speech anarchy. One of the speakers, Sheikh Faiz Al-Aqtab Siddiqui, told The Daily Telegraph: “Terrorism is not just …keep reading »

4 comments

Sunday Considerations: Christ a Guide

“Surely, I am with you always — even unto the end of the world!” Matthew 28:20 Christ is with us, as our guide. How deep our need of Him as such, and how endeared does it make Him! So blind are we, so dark is our future, so perplexing is our present path — that the very next step might be a false one — taking us into a wrong direction, entailing untold anxieties and sorrows, or hurling us from a precipice into total ruin! Yes, we need just such a guide as Christ! What Alpine traveler would attempt the …keep reading »

0 comments

Heroes in Black and White: Precious Puritans Vs. Martin Luther King Jr.

Christians are not immune to racial, cultural, or theological bias and blindness. Those types of bias and blindness may be more apparent in Christendom for the Puritans and Martin Luther King, Jr. – cultural and theological heroes to many Christians. Precious Dust Up The dust up over Christian rapper Propaganda’s lyrics in his song “Precious Puritans” recently brought some of these issues to the surface. Propaganda charged the Puritans, broadly defined, with certain racial moral failures charging white privilege against some pastors who quote the Puritans. Some Christians argued that Propaganda defined the Puritans too broadly and unfairly charged them. …keep reading »

3 comments

Introduction Video: The Gospel According to Barack

Check out the video below and my interview with Dr. Breshears: Five Questions with Dr. Breshears on His Book: The Gospel According to Barack. Author Jefrey D. Breshears gives a brief introduction and excerpt from his new book, “The Gospel According to Barack,” which sets out to answer the question – where did Barack Obama get his ideas about Christianity?

0 comments

Why Do People Go To Hell?

One answer given on twitter (HT: Ben Simpson): People go to hell not because God predestined them to go there, but because we as Christians don’t share the Gospel with them. — Steve Gaines (@bellevuepastor) October 8, 2012 While it is essential that Christians share the gospel; a few Scriptural proof-texts give another answer to the question of why people go to hell. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23 ESV) Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born …keep reading »

4 comments

How the Southern Baptist Convention Works

Check out the slideshow from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary explaining how the Southern Baptist Convention works. Find a few more files at the NOBTS website.

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: All Need Supplied

“My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:19 O God, my Heavenly Father, who has permitted me to see the light and to enjoy the comforts of a new day, I bless You for the liberty of access into Your presence. Rend Your heavens and come down; fill my heart with Your love, as I draw near to the footstool of Your Throne. I thank You for Your gracious assurance that these Gates of Prayer lead to an abounding treasury of spiritual blessing, out of which all my need shall …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: The Pursuit

Is it asked-What will most effectually “turn my eyes from vanity?” Not the seclusion of contemplative retirement-not the relinquishment of our lawful connection with the world; but the transcendent beauty of Jesus unveiled to our eyes, and fixing our hearts. This will “turn our eyes from vanity” in its most glittering forms. The sight of the “pearl of great price” dims the luster of the “goodliest pearls” of earth; at once deadens us to the enticements of the world, and urges us forward in the pursuit of the prize. And is not this our object? It is not enough, that …keep reading »

0 comments

A Christian Presuppositionalist Explains ‘Why I Believe’

My friend Brian Knapp who writes at Choosing Hats takes the presuppositionalist approach to defending the Christian faith.  (Actually, Choosing Hats is dedicated to presuppositional apologetics.) Brian recently engaged an unbeliever online and was encouraged to write a brief about the engagement. Brian then wrote an article titled, “Why I Believe” explaining why he is a Christian from a presuppositional perspective. So tell me about yourself. You aren’t a Christian, correct? Do you believe any sort of god exists? It seems like you are saying it is at least possible that the Christian God exists, the one described in the Bible. …keep reading »

0 comments

Why Every Head Bowed, Every Eye Closed?

Why, when and on what biblical basis did preachers begin altar calls with ‘every head bowed, every eye closed’? Whenever I have heard an altar call being with ‘every head bowed, every eye closed’ I always wonder why? I wonder what purpose it serves to ask everyone to bow their heads and close their eyes. Is the preacher trying not to embarrass someone who may respond to the gospel? Would not the person who just believed the gospel be over joyed with their new life in Christ that they would have no shame so that bowed heads and closed eyes …keep reading »

8 comments

Sunday Considerations: Rule of Peace

Nevertheless, we should mark well the lesson that one phase of Christian growth should be this – the spirit entering into more and more loving peace. If the peace of Christ is ruling at all in our hearts it should rule a little more fully today than yesterday, and tomorrow than it does today. We should be growing continually in al that belongs to peace. Worry is not only a sin – it is also one of the most disfiguring of the vices. It mars and spoils the beauty of a life. Discouragement is a sin, and discouragement hurts a …keep reading »

1 comment

LifeWay surveys Lord’s Supper practices of SBC churches By Carol Pipes

NASHVILLE, Tenn.— The majority of Southern Baptist churches permit anyone who has put their faith in Jesus Christ to participate in the Lord’s Supper, according to a recent survey by LifeWay Research. The survey also revealed that 57 percent of SBC churches observe the Lord’s Supper quarterly. “Denominational distinctives are often evident in how the Lord’s Supper is observed,” said Scott McConnell, director of LifeWay Research. “We sought to measure two attributes of Southern Baptists’ remembrance of Jesus’ death and resurrection: who may participate in the Lord’s Supper– with five distinct options listed– and the frequency it is observed.” The …keep reading »

6 comments

John Newton: Christians, True Patriotism and Government Involvement

John Newton (1725 – 1807), well-known for penning the hymn “Amazing Grace,” wrote a letter to a friend giving his views on Christian involvement in government affairs. Newton briefly defines true patriotism from a Christian perspective. Would Newton title his position today as – Gospel-Centered Patriotism? Dear friend, Allow me to say, that it excites both my wonder and concern, that a Christian minister such as yourself, should think it worth his while to attempt political reforms. When I look around upon the present state of the nation, such an attempt appears to me, to be no less vain and foolish, …keep reading »

10 comments

Sunday Considerations: Chasing God

“My soul follows hard after You—Your right hand upholds me.” Psalm 63:8 Did the question ever arise in your mind—how David composed the Psalms? Of course, the answer would be, “He composed them by divine inspiration.” But that is not my meaning. We will put the question in another form. Do you suppose that David wrote his psalms, as the college clergy and learned ministers prepare their sermons on a Saturday evening; that is, that he sat down with his pen in his hand, for the express purpose of composing a psalm? I do not think so. I believe that …keep reading »

0 comments

One Million Porn Free Christian Men?

Southern Baptist Pastor Jay Dennis has started a movement to address the problem of pornography in the church. The movement and website is called One Million Men Porn Free. Christian counselor Harry Schaumburg comments show the seriousness of the church’s pornography problem. For the last twenty years thousands of men from across America struggling with sexual sin have come to our intensive counseling workshop. Over half were pastors and missionaries. I wish our experience was unique. Several years ago a seminary professor told me: “We no longer ask our entering students if they are struggling with pornography, we assume every …keep reading »

0 comments

The Gospel Coalition, Carl Trueman and Complementarianism

Lydia McGrew makes some observations on Carl Trueman’s response to The Gospel Coalition leaders’ recent discussion on how complementarianism relates to the gospel. …Carl Trueman, who teaches Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, put up on his blog a series of posts in which he argues that, though he himself is a complementarian, a parachurch organization like TGC should not make complementarianism a foundational part of its identity by putting that position into its confessional statement. His posts can be found here and here. At first when I read Trueman’s posts and saw the video, I hadn’t noted the …keep reading »

0 comments

Why Do You Call Yourself a Christian?

Why do you call yourself a Christian? I said a prayer. Why do you call yourself a Christian? I walked the aisle at church. Why do you call yourself a Christian? I believe in God. Why do you call yourself a Christian? I read the Bible. Why do you call yourself a Christian? I pray everyday. Why do you call yourself a Christian? I feed the homeless and the hungry. Why do you call yourself a Christian? I take care of widows and orphans. Why do you call yourself a Christian? I’ve been baptized. Why do you call yourself a …keep reading »

6 comments

Sunday Considerations: More Excellent than Jesus?

Can you find a more excellent object for your love than Jesus? If you search through the whole creation, could you find any like him? Are riches, honors, pleasures, or other relationships comparable to Jesus, whom you ought to love supremely? Should not the highest good be the best object of your love? Can you love lesser things, and not the greatest good? Is not all the goodness in the creature but as a drop to the sea, as a candle to the sun, as a speck of sand to a mountain—when compared to the goodness that is in Jesus? …keep reading »

0 comments

Yes, a Pastor Should Have Close Friends in His Church

Yes, is my answer to Dave Miller’s question asked at SBCVoices.com, “Can a pastor have close friends in his church?”1 I’ll explain why my answer is yes that a pastor should have close friends in his church even if he feels like he cannot. Note my subtle switch answering whether a pastor can have close friends in his church with whether or not he should. My answer is based on three premises: 1. pastors are members of the local church too, 2. pastors must be known for the congregation to know they are biblically qualified, and 3. pastors must be …keep reading »

20 comments

Sunday Considerations: the Cross

The death of Christ on the cross may well be reckoned mysterious, for it was at the same time a cursed and a blessed death. Christ was “made a curse for us,” that he might deliver us from the curse of the law. And yet Christ’s death on the cross is the most blessed event which ever occurred in the world; for on the cross the price of our redemption was paid. Christ “bore our sins in his own body on the tree.” He died, “the just for the unjust,” to bring us unto God. This led Paul to say, …keep reading »

0 comments

Five Questions with Dr. Breshears on His Book: The Gospel According to Barack

Dr. Jefrey D. Breshears was gracious enough to answer five questions about his timely book, The Gospel According to Barack: Where Did Barack Obama Get His Ideas About Christianity? (available on Amazon). He also generously provided a copy of his book to giveaway – so check back tomorrow for a chance to win a free copy. (Click here to enter the giveaway.) Dr. Breshears is a Christian historian, apologist, and the founder and president of The Areopagus, a Christian education ministry and study center in the Atlanta area that offers seminars and forums in Christian history, apologetics, Christian spirituality, and …keep reading »

9 comments

Ralph Reed: Republicans Don’t Need Southern Baptists

Ralph Reed, founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, had a chat with Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Political Insider, blogger Jim Galloway. Reed spoke about bigotry against Mormons coming from the left. When chatting about “anti-Mormon prejudice” Southern Baptists came up. It’s okay – Southern Baptists don’t matter much anyway. Galloway noted Reed’s position that, “Not that Southern Baptists have changed their mind, Reed said. But politically, they don’t matter as much:” ”Remember, if you’ve got a grandma sitting in the third row of an independent Baptist , white sideboard church who can’t bring herself to vote for a Mormon because …keep reading »

6 comments

Fire Church Too Nice – LGBT Group Cancels Protest

On Sunday, August 26, 2012, a LGBT group cancels protesting Fire Church in Concord, NC. A local NC LGBT group set out to protest at Fire Church in Concord, NC. Fire Church is pastored by Scott Volk and is home of Dr. Michael Brown. Brown is a Christian apologist who is no stranger to LGBT issues. Many in the gay community are probably aware that Brown wrote A Queer Thing Happened to America: And What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been and has addressed the pro-homosexual lifestyle numerous times on his radio show, The Line of Fire. The LGBT group …keep reading »

5 comments

Golfing for God Mission Update

Yesterday, I had the privilege of playing in the Sandy Springs Mission 5th Annual Golf Challenge. It was a great time of golf and fellowship. Thankfully, the weather was pretty good and the heat didn’t wipe us out. The Chick-fil-a sandwich for lunch really hit the spot! Although I had a great time, raising money by playing golf doesn’t always make sense. Yet, for the past five years this golf outing has been vitally important to keeping the Mission running throughout the year. This year’s golf challenge has brought in over $20,000 so far with more pledges on the way. …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Lord, I Did Not Choose You

My Lord, I did not choose You, For that could never be; My heart would still refuse You, Had You not chosen me. You took the sin that stained me, You cleansed me, made me new; Of old You have ordained me, That I should live in You. Unless Your grace had called me And taught my op’ning mind, The world would have enthralled me, To heav’nly glories blind. My heart knows none above You; For Your rich grace I thirst. I know that if I love You, You must have loved me first.1

6 comments

Sunday Considerations: He is My Father

They are God’s “SONS.” I know no higher and more comfortable word that could have been chosen. To be servants of God, to be subjects, soldiers, disciples, friends–all these are excellent titles; but to be the “sons” of God is a step higher still. What does the Scripture say? “The servant abides not in the house forever–but the Son abides ever.” (John 8:35.) To be son of the rich and noble in this world, to be son of the princes and kings of the earth–this is commonly reckoned a great advantage and privilege. But to be a son of the …keep reading »

0 comments

If Pat Robertson Were Jesus

Be glad that Pat Robertson is not the Savior Jesus Christ, but imagine if he were. A female viewer wrote into The 700 Club with a question. This lady is a mother to three adopted children from foreign countries. She wanted to know why the men she dates always leave once they find out she has three adopted children from three different countries. Host Pat Robertson provided…an answer. “you just never know what’s been done to a child before you get that child; what kind of sexual abuse there has been, what kind of cruelty, what kind of food deprivation” …keep reading »

1 comment

Pray for Late Term Abortion Day

Kelly Clinger at LifeSiteNews shares a heart-breaking story about a woman who aborted her twins when she was about 20-weeks pregnant.1 Clinger reports that the abortion took place on a Wednesday – late term abortion day – at Orlando Women’s Center. The only mother’s warmth those twins had known was taken away from them by their mother. The woman also has daughters who will never know their twin siblings. How will her daughters react to the abortion? What will mom tell them? What do mom’s actions teach the daughters? Admittedly, the mother does not want her daughters. Those poor daughters, …keep reading »

0 comments

Want to Help Over 200 Children?

The life of a child is priceless, but helping children is not free. Sandy Springs Mission helps over 200 children year round and they need your help! The Mission helps kids in grades 1-12 through their After School Program, Life Skills Program and Summer Camps. These enrichment programs help many at-risk students from low-income families living in Sandy Springs, GA. The Mission, with your support, will give these young people help they might not otherwise receive. The Mission changes kids’ lives and helps them succeed. Mission volunteers help the kids: increase self-confidence, improve grades, and keep them working toward their diplomas. …keep reading »

1 comment

Sunday Considerations: Our Refuge

The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Psalm 18:2 ESV) On every side are hosts of enemies ever invading our souls—trampling down every good thing in our hearts—accompanied by a  flying troop of temptations, doubts, fears, guilt and bondage sweeping over our soul. And we, as regards our own strength, are helpless against them. But there is a refuge set before us in the gospel of the grace of God. The Lord Jesus Christ, as King in Zion, …keep reading »

0 comments

Register Today: 9Marks Workshop in Atlanta!

9Marks  is bringing a conference about the church and for the church to Atlanta, GA. The following topics will be covered: theological vision, preaching & biblical theology,  gospel, conversion & evangelism, membership, discipline & discipleship, leadership, covenanting together. Each session ends with a Q&A. More info and registration below. When? Monday, October 29, 2012, 9 am – Tuesday, October 30, 2012, 12 pm. Who is speaking? – Mark Dever – Matt Schmucker – Aaron Menikoff – Zach Schlegel How much? – General Registration: $45 – Student Registration: $35 Where? Mount Vernon Baptist 850 Mt Vernon Hwy NW Atlanta, GA 30327 …keep reading »

1 comment

Seven Years Ago Today My Life Changed

Seven years ago today on Burnside Island in Savannah, GA, I stood facing the window behind the pulpit at the front of a small church in Wesley Gardens. Through the window the famous Moon River could be seen still rippling from the end of the down pour. I stood next to my my bride as we each finished saying “I do.” I kissed my bride; then, the pastor, James White, presented us for the first time as husband and wife. Then, Steve Camp, struck the piano keys and began singing Luther’s A Mighty Fortress Is Our God as we walked …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: If Love be Lacking

“Now, dear friends, look at love—gaze upon its lovely form, its beautiful countenance, and its graceful actings; and observe its seraphic glow, its divine temper, until you are all enamored with its charms. But look at it not only as something to be admired—but to be possessed and practiced. Unless this be your temper, you are no Christians. I do not say you cannot be Christians unless you have it in perfection—but you must have the principle, and must be living in its exercise; and you are Christians no further than you live under its influence. Hear what the apostle …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: How Deep

How Deep the Father’s Love for Us (by Stuart Townend) How deep the Father’s love for us, How vast beyond all measure That He should give His only Son To make a wretch His treasure How great the pain of searing loss, The Father turns His face away As wounds which mar the chosen One, Bring many sons to glory

4 comments

Free Book Comparing the Methods of Charles Finney and John Nevin of Promoting the Gospel

Free on Kindle eBooks right now: Theology Drives Methodology: Conversion in the Theology of Charles Finney and John Nevin by  Karl Dahlfred. Don’t have a Kindle, but like free eBooks? That’s okay, there is a Kindle app for your Mac, PC, etc. – Free Kindle Apps. This looks like a very interesting book. The description states that Dahlfred examines the different theologies of Finney and Nevin and explains how their beliefs affected their methods of sharing the gospel. Finney’s beliefs led him to use high-pressure revival meetings to induce conversions. Nevin’s beliefs led him to emphasize preaching, catechism, and pastoral …keep reading »

2 comments

What do LGBT Rights Group Equality Illinois and Westboro Baptist have in Common?

LGBT Rights Group Equality Illinois wrote a petition against Chick-Fil-A and plans to have a “Kiss-In” where “LGBT supporters will show their disdain for Chick-Fil-A’s policies with public displays of affection in front of their restaurants.”1 The infamous ‘god hates fags’ Westboro “Baptist Church” that seems to protest just about anything American that draws attention to themselves.2 What could these two opposing groups possibly have in common? A few thoughts. Both act against God’s word. Both are intolerant of opposing views. Both need the gospel. OK, what else?  

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Jesus Dying and Rising

So it behoves us, if we would have Christ for a frequent guest, to fill our hearts with faithful meditations on the mercy He showed in dying for us, and on His mighty power in rising again from the dead. To this David testified when he sang, “God spake once, and twice I have also heard the same; that power belongeth unto God; and that Thou, Lord, art merciful (Psalm 62:11f). And surely there is proof enough and to spare in that Christ died for our sins and rose again for our justification, and ascended into heaven that He might …keep reading »

0 comments

Husbands Test Your Wives!

Christian husbands ought to give their wives a short biblical test every now and then. This post suggests the kind of biblical test husbands may want to take their wives through. (Hint: The test is really aimed at the husbands!) I recently took my wife through this test during our devotion time. This test may be easier for wives than for husbands; try it and see. Ready? To get started you will need: a Bible or two, a blank sheet(s) of paper, and a pen or pencil. Open your Bible(s) to Ephesians 5. Pray for this time together. Read and …keep reading »

6 comments

Gone Fishin’, a Sabbatical

In case some of you have noticed my absence and  have wondered where I have been, I’m going to tell you. I have been on a temporary sabbatical. Lord willing, I will return. During this time I’m going fishing in a sense by revisiting the time when Jesus reeled me in. This is a time of repentance, renewal, refreshing and a seeking of joy in Christ for my soul. Life can be overwhelming at times. For example, Christians have daily spiritual needs of which I have been lately neglectful. Sprinkle some recent financial issues on top and this time of …keep reading »

4 comments

Sunday Considerations: Psalm 51

Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God [1] Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. [2] Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! [3] For I know my transgressions,  and my sin is ever before me. [4] Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. [5] Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. [6] Behold, you delight in …keep reading »

1 comment

Sunday Considerations: Abide in Love

Christ underlines a further principle, “Abide in My love” (15:9), and states very clearly what this implies: the believer rests his or her life on the love of Christ (the love of the One who lays down His life for His friends, v. 13). This love has been proved to us in the cross of Christ. We must never allow ourselves to drift from daily contemplation of the cross as the irrefutable demonstration of that love, or from dependence on the Spirit who sheds it abroad in our hearts (Rom. 5:5). Furthermore, remaining in Christ’s love comes to very concrete …keep reading »

0 comments

Three Times in Modern History the Word “Person” Has Been Redefined

4 comments

Sunday Considerations: Stir Up Your Soul

Now, I say we must put heart in our worship. Do not venture to come to this beautiful place of worship, or whatever place of worship you attend, and just sit languidly down to see if the choir can stir you or to see if the preacher can stir you. Oh! stir up your own souls. It is your solemn duty when you go to engage with others in the worship of God-it is your duty to yourself, it is your duty to others, it is your duty to the pastor who wishes to lead your worship, it is your …keep reading »

0 comments

Congratulations Bubba Watson for Winning the Masters!

Bubba Watson has won the 2012 Masters golf tournament. This is Watson’s first win in a Major golf tournament and only his fourth on the PGA Tour. Watson won in a dramatic play-0ff against South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen. Both men hit errant drives at the second play-off hole. However, Watson’s ball landed in a tougher spot to play from than Oosthuizen’s though Watson was around 50-60 yards closer to the hole. Watson preceded to hit in incredible golf shot by hitting the ball out of the woods and curving it to land on the green. The shot was incredible! It is …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Easter, the Battle Won

The Strife is O’er, the Battle Won The strife is o’er, the battle done; The victory of life is won; The song of triumph has begun: Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! The powers of death have done their worst; But Christ their legions hath dispersed; Let shouts of holy joy outburst: Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! The three sad days are quickly sped; He rises glorious from the dead; All glory to our risen Head! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! He closed the yawning gates of hell; The bars from heaven’s high portals fell; Let hymns of praise His triumphs tell! Alleluia! Alleluia! …keep reading »

0 comments

Preparing For Easter

The Rev. Alfred W. Wishart, Jr., opened his Easter sermon at the Arlington Avenue Presbyterian Church of East Orange, N.J., with these words: “Did you ever stop to think how much time it takes to get all of you looking so nice for today? What with the shopping and all, I’d conservatively estimate that it took each of you four hours to get ready. Since there are about 500 of you here, that comes to 2,000 hours. Now if you divide that up into 40-hour workweeks and allow two weeks for vacation, it breaks down into a full year of …keep reading »

3 comments

Why is this Good News?

Dear readers, read the following Scripture. “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. (Acts 2:22-24 ESV) Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, …keep reading »

5 comments

Sunday Considerations: Bitter and Sweet

Bitter and Sweet by John Newton Kindle, Saviour, in my heart, A flame of love divine; Hear, for mine I trust thou art And sure I would be thine; If my soul has felt thy grace, If to me thy name is known; Why should trifles fill the place Due to thyself alone? ‘Tis a strange mysterious life I live from day to day; Light and darkness, peace and strife, Bear an alternate sway:

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Lord, Strengthen Us

Grant, Almighty God, that as we are prone to every kind of wickedness, and are so easily led away to imitate it, when there is any excuse for going astray and any opportunity is offered, – O grant, that being strengthened by the help of thy Spirit, we may continue in purity of faith, and that what we have learnt concerning thee, that thou art a Spirit, may so profit us, that we may worship thee in spirit and with a sincere heart, and never turn aside after the corruptions of the world, nor think that we can deceive thee; …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: All of Your Mind

If Jesus Is Not Worshiped, God Is Not Loved Jesus is the fullest revelation of God. “Whoever has seen me,” he said, “has seen the Father” (John 14:9). This means that knowing and loving Jesus is the test of knowing and loving God. So Jesus said, “I know that you do not have the love of God within you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me” (John 5:42–43). His adversaries “do not have the love of God within [them]” because they do not  receive him. “The one who rejects me rejects him who sent …keep reading »

0 comments

Bisagno On Extending the Gospel Invitation

One of the books assigned to read for one of my classes is Pastor’s Handbook by John R. Bisagno which offers a lot of practical advice. The advice is mostly pragmatic seemingly from a consequentialist perspective. That is, Bisagno writes from experience with little Scriptural support for his advice. Bisagno’s advice is not intrinsically good or bad, right or wrong, but at times questions arise when experience seems to be his authority. Bisagno offered an interesting perspective on extending the gospel invitation during corporate worship. I am not convinced the reasoning in the advice given about extending the invitation is …keep reading »

8 comments

Sunday Considerations: The Saints Reward

Nothing besides God can be the saints’ reward. Nothing on earth can be their reward. The glittering of the world dazzles men’s eyes; but, like the apples of Sodom, it does not so much delight as delude. The world is gilded emptiness. The world is made circular; but the heart is a triangle. A circle cannot fill a triangle. The world is enough to busy us, not to fill us. Job 20:22, “In the fullness of his sufficiency he shall be in straits.” It seems a riddle to have sufficiency—yet not have enough. The meaning is, when he enjoys most …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Go Speedily

“And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord,and to seek the Lord of Hosts: I will go also.” Zechariah 8:21 (KJV) When the angels serve God they never do it as though they were half asleep. They are all alive and burning like flames of fire. They have six wings and, I guarantee you, they use them all! When the Lord says, “Gabriel, go upon My bidding,” he outstrips the lightning! O, to exhibit some such ardor and zest in the service of God! If we pray, let …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Many Mansions

In my Father’s house are many mansions. (John 14:2a NKJV) But the mansions in God’s house above are everlasting mansions. Those that have seats allotted ’em there, whether of greater or lesser dignity, whether nearer or further from the throne, will hold ’em to all eternity. This is promised, Rev. iii. 12: “Him that overcometh I will make him a pillar in the temple [of my God, and he shall go no more out].” If it be worth the while to desire and seek high seats in the meeting-house, where you are one day in a week, and where you …keep reading »

0 comments

Franklin Graham on President Obama’s Christianity

Below is a one minute clip cut from a longer interview (see below) where Franklin Graham is asked whether or not he believes President Obama is a Christian. Check it out. The MSNBC hosts call Graham out for inconsistent answers. On the one hand, Graham will not definitively say whether or not he believes Obama is a Christian, but leaves the question for Obama to answer. On the other hand, Graham has no problem believing that Rick Santorum is a Christian. However, the above clip does not tell the whole story. In the actual interview Graham says the following. [Obama] has …keep reading »

5 comments

Sunday Considerations: Betrayed and Disappointed Confidence

One you thought a friend, tender and true, has deserted you; a judgment upon whose guidance you leaned has misled you; a source upon whose supplies you depended has failed you; a confidence in which you too implicitly reposed has betrayed you; and thus you are learning the lesson Jesus learned when, “all His disciples forsook Him, and fled.” Cheer up, my soul! there is One who has promised never to leave you. When father and mother, husband and wife, lover and friend, forsake you, the Lord will take you up. He who was deserted by friends and followers, will …keep reading »

1 comment

Woody Harrelson On Christianity

GQ magazine published an interview with actor Woody Harrelson. In the interview, Harrelson is asked about the Gospel and his Christian upbringing.1 He was raised in church studying the Bible and preached his first sermon at age 17. GQ: Can you tell me about when you preached the Gospel as a child? Woody Harrelson: I was very religious growing up. My mom still is. We went to church all the time, went to Bible study; we even did Bible study at my house. I went to a Presbyterian college, you know, I was in….all the way, and so I remember …keep reading »

14 comments

Sunday Considerations: Sins on Jesus

I Lay My Sins on Jesus I lay my sins on Jesus, the spotless Lamb of God; He bears them all, and frees us from the accursèd load; I bring my guilt to Jesus, to wash my crimson stains White in His blood most precious, till not a stain remains. I lay my wants on Jesus; all fullness dwells in Him; He heals all my diseases, He doth my soul redeem: I lay my griefs on Jesus, my burdens and my cares; He from them all releases, He all my sorrows shares. I rest my soul on Jesus, this weary …keep reading »

1 comment

Sunday Considerations: Comparing Lives

J.C. Ryle offers some advice to help rightly count the cost of the Christian life. Consider the words below as you prepare for and worship corporately with the body of Christ. Count up and compare, for another thing, the life that now is and the life to come, if you are a true-hearted and holy Christian. The time present, no doubt, is not a time of ease. It is a time of watching and praying, fighting and struggling, believing and working. But it is only for a few years. The time future is the season of rest and refreshing. Sin …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Forsaken by Man

Consider Jesus– as Forsaken by Man “Then all the disciples forsook Him, and fled.” –Matt. 26:56 What a sad contrast does this picture present to the one we have just been viewing–“Jesus, our fellow-sufferer.” His time of suffering has now come, but, lo! “all His disciples have forsaken Him, and fled.” Is there nothing, my soul, in this affecting and significant fact from which you may gather much that is instructive and consolatory concerning your own condition? We have been contemplating the sympathy of Jesus with His afflicted saints. And oh, what heart can conceive, or imagery portray, the reality, …keep reading »

2 comments

TD Jakes Reviews: Elephant Room and 11 Various Books

First, James White weighs in on his Dividing Line radio show for two hours. There were so many listeners that the servers crashed.  Find the link and a description below. A Mega-Friday DL on TD Jakes and Elephants in the Room In any case, I addressed the TD Jakes: is he a Trinitarian? issue head on during the first hour, and then took calls on the topic for a full hour after that. The callers were wide ranging, and while none defended the ER or Jakes, they did provide some good insights. Lots of positive feedback on Twitter and FaceBook. …keep reading »

5 comments

Angry Apostles and the Trinity

On the Trinity First, Pastor Tom Chantry has provided a actual transcript of T.D. Jakes words on the Trinity from The Elephant Room 2, session 4.1 Chantry then made a follow-up post in which he shares his thoughts in the following five points.2 1. Jakes masterfully deconstructs the entire practice of theology. 2. Driscoll and MacDonald are too much in awe of Jakes’ massive numeric success to call him on this. 3. James MacDonald is angry. 4. The mega-pastors are one big lovin’ family! 5. If you aren’t defined at least somewhat by what you are against, you aren’t really …keep reading »

9 comments

Sunday Considerations: My Lord and My God

Thomas, one of Jesus’ chosen twelve Apostles, initially doubted that Jesus had risen from the dead. Thomas’ story is recorded in the gospel of John chapter 20. He was not with the other disciples when they saw Jesus. Thomas declared that unless he could see and touch Jesus he would not believe. Thomas did see and touch Jesus. John records the exchange between Thomas and Jesus that followed. Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John …keep reading »

5 comments

On Public Rebuke

As far as I know, being rebuked is not something to which most Christians look forward, especially, being publicly rebuked. However, Scripture says it is good for rebuke (2 Tim. 3:16). Scripture even includes the well-known example of one Apostle publicly rebuking another Apostle (Gal. 2:11, 14). Today, there is no shortage of Christians rebuking one another online. Though direct, public rebukes in person is not often carried out. Occasionally, one might hear a public rebuke about  a particular person, but the more popular route is to address poor teaching in general leaving the teacher unnamed. In the past, I …keep reading »

7 comments

Sunday Considerations: Outdo One Another

Competition moves, feeds, and entertains the world. Competition can be a positive or a negative in life. I would like to encourage a biblical competition that I fail at often. Christian, think about your attitude and actions toward those in your own home and in the household of faith. How do you think about those family members? How do you treat them? Have you followed the Apostle Paul’s admonition to outdo them? Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. (Romans 12:10 ESV) Have you considered to then owe them nothing but love? Owe no one …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Called to Die

Christians are called to come together for corporate worship with one another. As many of us prepare for corporate worship I’d encourage each Christian to ask themselves what else Christ has called you to. Christ has called us to die to self and take up our cross daily. The cross is laid on every Christian. The first Christ-suffering which every man must experience is the call to abandon the attachments of this world. It is that dying of the old man which is the result of his encounter with Christ. As we embark upon discipleship we surrender ourselves to Christ …keep reading »

3 comments

Sunday Considerations: This Year Also

In preparation for the new year, Charles Spurgeon wrote the following sermon excerpts from his bed while he was sick. The sermon is based on three words from Luke 13:8,  “this year also.” Spurgeon’s words put new year’s resolutions and goals into a Kingdom perspective. However, there should be no dispute that a kingdom is in view with new year’s resolutions, but whose kingdom, yours or God’s? The interceding vinedresser pleaded for the fruitless fig tree, “let it alone this year also,” dating, as it were, a year from the time wherein he spoke. Trees and fruit-bearing plants have a …keep reading »

0 comments

What Will You Do with the Christmas Gift?

Another Christmas has come and gone and a new year is around the corner. A year lies ahead both to use this year’s Christmas gifts and think about next year’s. However, some gifts are all ready used up although some are advertised as gifts that keep on giving. There is only one gift that keeps on giving. This gift was given to all, but did you receive Him or reject Him? What will you do with the Christmas gift? The Christmas gift given, but not received by all is Jesus Christ. Yet, His birth is celebrated by millions on Christmas …keep reading »

1 comment

Sunday Considerations: What is Christmas? A Spoken Word

[Note: I wrote the poem below in the spirit of spoken word poetry.] What is Christmas? “What Child is This?” we sing, He is the One who is to be King. It’s the time of year to celebrate His birth, Which began His life of eternal worth. This baby Jesus was born to die, And we sinners might ask, “Why?” Why would God send His Son to save us, From the sin in which we ourselves enslaved us? A gift so great that the world can’t fathom, Compared to Santa’s gifts, you can have them! The true meaning of Christmas …keep reading »

1 comment

Sunday Considerations: Prepared for the Lord

In the excerpt below, Spurgeon is preaching on the past phrase of Luke 1:17 (ESV) “To make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”  During this Christmas season as non-Christians are invited to and attend various Christmas services, these words are a great reminder that sinners bring nothing to Christ for salvation. Just as the birth of Jesus was a work of God so is the re-birth of the lost soul. The fact is, dear friends, that to get men to come to Jesus just as they are, is not an easy thing. To get them to give up the …keep reading »

0 comments

Is Tim Tebow a Religious Hypocrite?

In his article, “Tim Tebow Trivializes Religion” Bill Press uses Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:5 to call Tim Tebow a hypocrite. 1 In light of Press labeling Tebow a hypocrite he also wishes that Tebow would “STFU”.2 Press, a Roman Catholic, attended a Catholic university and earned a degree in theology.3 The 71 year old Press, then, would be considered an older more learned man than Tebow who, it seems, should have some wisdom to share. Did someone say hypocrisy? In Matthew 5, Jesus did say: “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love …keep reading »

18 comments

Preaching On Sin and Responsibility

Sin and responsibility may not be the most comfortable topics about which to talk or preach. No one really wants to consider that they are responsible for something they did i.e. sin. It is much easier to blame sins on someone else as if they some how caused the sin and, therefore, avoid personal responsibility. It is much easier to compare one’s sin to another person’s much worse sin in order to minimize sin and personal responsibility. Is taking personal responsibility of sin minimized because of the way sin is expressed at times from the pulpit? Is the sinner a …keep reading »

5 comments

Sunday Considerations: Heaven Desired

O MY LORD, May I arrive where means of grace cease and I need no more to fast, pray, weep, watch, be tempted, attend preaching and sacrament; where nothing defiles, where is no grief, sorrow, sin, death, separation, tears, pale face, languid body, aching joints, feeble infancy, decrepit age, peccant humours, pining sickness, griping fears, consuming cares; where is personal completeness; where the more perfect the sight the more beautiful the object, the more perfect the appetite the sweeter the food, the more musical the ear the more pleasant the melody, the more complete the soul the more happy its …keep reading »

0 comments

The Gospel in the Liquor Store

The following true story is about a seminary student sharing the gospel in a liquor store. The student is an acquaintance and the story is shared with permission. This is all that will be revealed of this student. One of the most divisive disagreements among conservative Christians is the subject of Christians drinking alcohol. Tim Challies highlighted and commented on some of the recent disagreements about Christians and alcohol.1 Challies provides a big picture view of the subject with a caution to younger Christians to use their freedom wisely when it comes to alcohol. I pray the following story is …keep reading »

15 comments

Sunday Considerations: With Thanksgiving

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6 ESV) Always must we offer prayer and supplication with thanksgiving. No matter though the prayer should struggle upward out of the depths, yet must its wings be silvered o’er with thanksgiving. Though the prayer were offered upon the verge of death, yet in the last few words which the trembling lips can utter there should be notes of gratitude as well as words of petition. The law saith: “With all thy sacrifices thou shalt offer …keep reading »

1 comment

Sunday Considerations: Pure and Holy

Grant, Almighty God, that as we are prone to every kind of wickedness, and are so easily led away to imitate it, when there is any excuse for going astray and any opportunity is offered, – O grant, that being strengthened by the help of thy Spirit, we may continue in purity of faith, and that what we have learnt concerning thee, that thou art a Spirit, may so profit us, that we may worship thee in spirit and with a sincere heart, and never turn aside after the corruptions of the world, nor think that we can deceive thee; …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: But in the Cross

Then seeing Christ and his dear disciples have glorified God with their tribulations, let us also embrace them joyfully, saying with Saint Paul, God forbid that I should glory but in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. And let us work and behave ourselves in such sort that the world (to his own hurt) may know and see with his eyes the marvellous effects that God worketh in them that sincerely embrace the grace of the Gospel; let the man of the world (I say) see with how much tranquillity and quietness of mind the true Christians sustain the …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: The Special Consideration

It is a special consideration to enhance the love of God in giving Christ, that in giving him he gave the richest jewel in his cabinet; a mercy of the greatest worth, and most inestimable value, Heaven itself is not so valuable and precious as Christ is: He is the better half of heaven; and so the saints account him, Psalm. 73:25, “Whom have I in heaven but you?” Ten thousand thousand worlds, says one, as many worlds as angels can number, and then as a new world of angels can multiply, would not all be the bulk of a …keep reading »

0 comments

Reformation Day 2011: Luther on the Power of God’s Word

Love, therefore, demands that you have compassion on the weak, as all the apostles had. Once, when Paul came to Athens, a mighty city, he found in the temple many altars, Acts and he went from one to the other and looked at them all, but did not touch any one of them even with his foot. But he stood in the midst of the market-place and said they were all idolatrous works, and begged the people to forsake them; yet he did not destroy one of them by force. When the word took hold of their hearts, they forsook …keep reading »

2 comments

Sunday Considerations: Behold Each Other’s Graces

It is sad to consider that saints should have many eyes to behold one another’s infirmities, and not one eye to see each other’s graces, that they should use spectacles to behold one another’s weaknesses, rather than looking-glasses to behold one another’s graces. Flavius Vespasian, the emperor, was more ready to conceal the vices of his friends than their virtues. Can you think seriously of this, Christians, that a heathen should excel you, and not blush? Erasmus tells of one who collected all the lame and defective verses in Homer’s works—but passed over all that was excellent. Ah! this is …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: The Paymaster

Sin is a debt–Jesus paid it when He bore our sins in His own body on the tree. Obedience is a debt–Jesus paid it when, by the obedience of One, many were made righteous. Death is a debt–Jesus paid it when He bowed His head on the cross and gave up the spirit. And when thus we behold Him dragged into the court of human justice, and sentenced to a felon’s death–and when we follow Him to the garden of His sorrow, sweating great drops of blood, and thence to Calvary, and see Him nailed to the accursed tree–suffering, bleeding, …keep reading »

0 comments

What I Wish TV Hosts Would Ask Christians

Trevin Wax has an excellent post on how he wishes the homosexuality debate would go between TV hosts and pastors.1 Trevin offers an example of good dialogue with the Christian re-directing the conversation so it is not concentrating on homosexuality. The dialogue could actually work with a dose of patience, focus and enough time. I wish the homosexuality debate would be as Trevin described too, but I also wish something else. TV show hosts like to press on hot button. Some of the on going hot button issues are just about anything on homosexuality, on whether Mormonism is Christian, or …keep reading »

2 comments

Sunday Considerations: A Thankful Meditation

Meditation May 11, 1661 by Anne Bradstreet My thankful heart with glorying tongue Shall celebrate Thy name, Who hath restored, redeemed, recured From sickness, death, and pain. I cried, Thou seem’st to make some stay, I sought more earnestly And in due time Thou succour’st me And sent’st me help from high. Lord, whilst my fleeting time shall last, Thy goodness let me tell, And new experience I have gained My future doubts repel. An humble, faithful life, O Lord, Forever let me walk; Let my obedience testify My praise lies not in talk. Accept, O Lord, my simple mite, …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Overlooking the Gospel

How long has it been since you looked up from the earthly details of life and came face to face with the Grand Canyon of what God has done for us in the gospel—his unfathomable grace in forgiving people who have rebelled against him, his breathtaking plan to send his Son to suffer and die in their place, to establish the throne of the resurrected Jesus over a kingdom of perfect righteousness, and to bring those who are saved and redeemed by his blood into a new heavens and new earth where sin and evil will be forever conquered! How …keep reading »

0 comments

Book Review: The World-Tilting Gospel

Phillips, Dan. The World-Tilting Gospel: Embracing a Biblical Worldview and Hanging On Tight. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 2011. 320 pages. Dan Phillips is probably best known to the Christian blogging world from his writing at Pyromaniacs as well as his personal blog, Biblical Christianity. Phillips, now an author, was more than just a blogger. He holds an MDiv from Talbot Theological Seminary, has pastored four churches, has taught college and seminary classes and presented at Bible seminars. In The World-Tilting Gospel (TWTG) Phillips explains how the gospel is antithetical to the natural world and actually changes (or should change) the …keep reading »

9 comments

iHeaven: Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

The creative genius of Steve Jobs has left its mark on the world. Jobs’ ideas and implementation of those ideas raised the bar significantly in technological advancement. He left us with Apple products that have changed the ways information is used, accessed and shared. His ideas will live on and most likely continue to spur competition providing continued advances in technology. These advances will continue to change the way many work and live. It might be said that Steve Jobs left us with an iHeaven. The idea of iHeaven is one of here and now because it will not be …keep reading »

0 comments

Did Mark Dever Withdraw from Elephant Room 2?

I my previous post I shared that I leaned toward Mark Dever withdrawing from participating in Elephant Room 2(ER2) due to T.D. Jakes scheduled participation.1 A commenter on that post informed me that Dever’s bio, pictured above, is missing from the ER2 website. If Dever does or did withdraw from the event it should not come a surprise. In 2008 he was challenged on the issue of biblical separation. Dever answered the challenge explaining that he does practice separation. Others may be able to learn from his practice. The following quote is part of Dever’s article on separation which applies …keep reading »

47 comments

Sunday Considerations: Blessing of the Trinity

THE BLESSING OF THE TRINITY A true and accurate knowledge of the Trinity is a blessing in and of itself. Any revelation of God’s truth is an act of grace, of course, but the Trinity brings to us a blessing far beyond the worth normally assigned by believers today. Why? Because, upon reflection, we discover that the Trinity is the highest revelation God has made of himself to His people. It is the capstone, the summit, the brightest star in the firmament of divine truths. As I will assert more than once in this work, God revealed this truth about …keep reading »

1 comment

Sunday Considerations: Humility

Humility makes a man peaceable among brethren, fruitful in well-doing, cheerful in suffering, and constant in holy walking (1 Pet. 5:5). Humility fits for the highest services we owe to Christ, and yet will not neglect the lowest service to the lowest saint (John 13:5). Humility can feed upon the lowest dish, and yet it is maintained by the choicest delicacies, as God, Christ, and glory. Humility will make a man bless him who curses him, and pray for those who persecute him. An humble heart is an habitation for God, a scholar for Christ, a companion of angels, a …keep reading »

1 comment

Sunday Considerations: Contentment

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. (Philippians 4:11 ESV) Timeless words from A.W. Pink on contentment. Discontent! Was there ever a time when there was so much restlessness in the world as there is today? We very much doubt it. Despite our boasted progress, the vast increase of wealth, the time and money expended daily in pleasure, discontent is everywhere. No class is exempt. Everything is in a state of flux, and almost everybody is dissatisfied. Many even among God’s own people are affected with …keep reading »

0 comments

Never Forget

I will never forget September 11, 2001. I was sitting in the office with my colleagues waiting for the stock market to open watching the news on the big screen TV. Around 8:45 am the news channel’s focus moved from stock to shock as it reported that a plane had hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. We were glued to the TV not understanding what just happened. About fifteen minutes later we watched the second plane hit the South Tower. We sat stunned not knowing that at that moment the U.S. was under …keep reading »

1 comment

Sunday Considerations: Comfort In Affliction

This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life. (Psalm 119:50 ESV) The worldling clutches his money bag and says, “this is my comfort”; the spendthrift points to his gaiety, shouts, “this is my comfort”; the drunkard lifts his glass, and sings, “this is my comfort”; but the man whose hope comes from God feels the giving power of the word of the Lord, and he testifies, “this is my fort.” Paul said, “I know whom I have believed.” Comfort is desirable all times; but comfort in affliction is like a lamp in a dark place. …keep reading »

0 comments

Would You Pray at Ground Zero?

An interfaith prayer vigil will be held at the National Cathedral for the tenth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. It seems that no Evangelicals were invited to participate along side the “dean of the Cathedral, the Bishop of Washington, a rabbi, Buddhist nun and incarnate lama, a Hindu priest, the president of the Islamic Society of North America and a Muslim musician.”1 Should Evangelicals have been invited? Carl Trueman addressing Southern Baptists seems to think that not being invited is a good thing since no invitation means no compromise.2 Mike Horton weighs in with a thoughtful response asking …keep reading »

9 comments

Sunday Considerations: Look Backward and Forward

Living between the two comings of Christ, Christians are to look backward and forward: back to the manger, the cross, and the empty tomb, whereby salvation was won for them; forward to their meeting with Christ beyond this world, their personal resurrection, and the joy of being with their Savior in glory forever. New Testament devotion is consistently oriented to this hope; Christ is “our hope” (1 Tim. 1:1) and we serve “the God of hope” (Rom. 15:13). Faith itself is defined as “being sure of what we hope for” (Heb. 11:1), and Christian commitment is defined as having “fled …keep reading »

3 comments

Preach the Law to Rest In the Gospel

5. Those who already believe. We must teach them: (i) The gospel: the biblical teaching on justification, sanctification and perseverance. (ii) The law: but as it applies to those who are no longer under its curse, so that they may be taught how to bear the fruit of a new obedience in keeping with their repentance (Rom. 8:1; 1 Tim. 1:9). Here Paul’s teaching in Romans serves as a model. (iii) Although someone who is righteous and holy in the sight of God should not be threatened with the curse of the law, the opposition of the law to their …keep reading »

16 comments

Sunday Considerations: End of All Love

The end of all love is the good or the happiness of its object, as that happiness is conceived of by its subject. The great end which Christian brotherly love contemplates, is the well-being of its object, viewed as a Christian man; his deliverance from ignorance, and error, and sin, in all their forms and all their degrees; his progressive, and ultimately his complete, happiness, in entire conformity to the mind and will of God; the unclouded sense of the Divine favor, the uninterrupted enjoyment of the Divine fellowship, the being like “the ever-blessed” Holy, Holy, Holy One. It does …keep reading »

0 comments

Israel, A Christian Idol?

In the following video Mormon Glenn Beck sits with Evangelical David Barton who introduces hyper-dispensationalist, prosperity preacher John Hagee1. These men are together for the sake of supporting the modern day state of Israel. Supporting Israel is not a bad thing, but are they supporting Israel in a biblical sense? For starters, Hagee, a professing Christian, asks God to bless Glenn Beck, a professing Mormon, for their work together supporting Israel. I, too, ask God to bless Glenn Beck though in a different manner. I pray God would bring Beck to repent of his Mormonism and believe the true gospel …keep reading »

16 comments

A Rough Seminary Semester, Part II

In part I, I shared about some of the issues my family and I faced during the 2011 spring semester which ran from January – May. God taught me a lot during that time. Some of what He taught me I’m still digesting while other lessons He taught me I’m not sure exactly how to put into words. In this post I will share some of what I am able to express that I believe God taught me through this time as well as some of the activities He lead me through. Running over the potholes of life describe in …keep reading »

4 comments

A Rough Seminary Semester, Part I

This past 2011 spring semester (January – May) was rough. A lot happened in that five month span. I knew it was going to be busy since I was taking four classes in addition to my family, job, deacon duties, my daughter’s high school graduation and a teaching assignment at church. I began to feel the weight of the semester at the beginning when I found out how much reading and writing two of the classes required (these were week long intensive classes). Not long after being home from the one week intensives a friend’s father committed suicide. In light …keep reading »

5 comments

Sunday Considerations: Earthly Comforts

Meditate upon the uncertainty of all earthly comforts. Creature-delights have their flux and reflux. How oft does the sun of worldly pomp and grandeur goes down at noon. Xerxes was forced to fly away in a small vessel, who but a little before lacked sea-room for his navy. We say everything is mutable; but who meditates upon it? The world is resembled to “a sea of glass mingled with fire” Rev. xv. 2. Glass is slippery; it has no sure footing; and glass mingled with fire is subject to consume. All creatures are fluid and uncertain, and cannot be made …keep reading »

0 comments

Servant Evangelism: Gimmick or Grace?

Steve Sjogren is know for what is called Servant Evangelism which, as I understand it, is a way of doing outreach through acts of kindness in hopes of sharing the gospel. At SermonCentral.com Sjogren has an article titled 94 Servant Evangelism Ideas for Your Church. The ideas he lists are certain good, kind things to do for your neighbors. How should we think about such acts in light of evangelism? When this topic comes up it reminds me of something I call Amway Evangelism. This involves churches hosting events to draw non-Christians and then at some point unexpectedly springing the …keep reading »

14 comments

Sunday Considerations: Hearing the Word

We may bring our bodies to the preaching of the Word with ease—but not our hearts, without offering violence to ourselves. When we come to the Word preached, we come to a business of the highest importance, therefore should stir up ourselves and hear with the greatest devotion. Luke xix. 48. “All the people were very attentive to hear him.” In the Greek it is “they hung upon his lip.”—When the Word is dispensed, we are to lift up the everlasting doors of our hearts, that the King of glory may enter in!1 _________________

0 comments

Anders Breivik Needs to be Crucified

After Anders Breivik went on a killing spree various media sources identified him as a fundamentalist Christian. Many Christians rejected that claim, not only because of his actions, but because of the words he wrote in his manifesto. I even quoted Breivik’s manifesto in Was Anders Breivik a Christian? to refute the claim that he was any kind of Christian. Defending the name of Christ in light of those claiming Breivik was a believer was the right thing to do. Yet, in defending Christ many of us missed an opportunity in the moment. Of course, Breivik is still being talked …keep reading »

3 comments

IMB Missionary Interview for LovingMuslims.com

The International Mission Board (IMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention recently launched a website to encourage Christians reach out to their Muslim neighbors. The website is LovingMuslims.com and the timing of the launch was no mistake as the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 approaches. I had the privilege to send a few question to the person behind the vision for the website. That person is, Lil Brooks, the IMB Project Coordinator for Loving Muslims. Lil Brooks may be reached via the email linked here. I pray the interview is helpful and the website useful to help Christians reach their Muslim …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Hidden Treasure

When you read the Word, look on it as a soul-enriching treasury. Search it as for hidden treasure! Proverbs 2:4. In this Word are scattered many divine sayings; gather them up as so many jewels. This blessed book will enrich you; it fills your head with divine knowledge, and your heart with divine grace; it stores you with promises: a man may be rich in bonds. In this field the pearl of price is hidden! What are all the world’s riches compared to these? Islands of spices, coasts of pearl, rocks of diamonds? These are but the riches that reprobates …keep reading »

0 comments

Discipleship Through Judgement

Look at the word discipleship. There within it is the word disciple, which is obviously related to the word discipline. In view of the next section on corrective church discipline, I would point out that discipleship is the other side of the coin—it is formative church discipline. These words, discipleship/discipline/ disciple, all connote ideas of training, and all training sometimes feels like punishment (cf. Heb. 12:7–11). The training in view here involves being taught to obey everything Jesus commanded. The commands of Jesus 4 often go against our instincts, impulses, inclinations, and desires. Sometimes they seem to make no sense. …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Read the Word

Read the Word as a book made by God Himself. It is given “by divine inspiration” 2 Tim. iii.16. It is the library of the Holy Spirit. The prophets and apostles were but God’s amanuenses to write the law at his mouth. The Word is of divine original, and reveals the deep things of God to us. There is a sense of deity engraved in man’s heart, and is to be read in the book of the creatures; but who this God is, and the Trinity of persons in the Godhead, is infinitely, above the light of reason; only God …keep reading »

6 comments

Sunday Considerations: Glory of Redemption

Faith is a sensibleness of what is real in the work of redemption; and as we do really wholly depend on God, so the soul that believes doth entirely depend on God for all salvation, in its own sense and act. Faith abases men and exalts God, it gives all the glory of redemption to God alone. It is necessary in order to saving faith, that man should be emptied of himself, that he should be sensible that he is “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Humility is a great ingredient of true faith: he that truly …keep reading »

0 comments

Dear Same-Sex Marriage

Dear Same-sex marriage, May I call you SSM? Thanks! So, what are you? And what have you done with marriage? Actually, you haven’t done anything with marriage. I’m here writing you. Yes, this is Marriage sending you a note. I’m a little upset that you’re trying to do away with me by re-defining me. However, I am not some novelty act, but a staple of society. Men and women use me to build families by bringing children into the world who then repeat the cycle. I am still here today, but not if it were up to you, SSM. For …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Alive or Dead

Sunday Considerations attempts to offer something edifying for Christians to consider as they prepare to come together as the body of Christ to worship. Below are a few words from J.C. Ryle to consider. I speak to you yourself, and to none else—not to your neighbor—but to you, not to Africans or New Zealanders—but to you. I do not ask whether you are an angel, or whether you have the mind of David or Paul—but I do ask whether you have a well-founded hope that you are a new creature in Christ Jesus, I do ask whether you have reason …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Humility

Labor to be clothed with humility. Humility makes a man peaceable among brethren, fruitful in well-doing, cheerful in suffering, and constant in holy walking (1 Pet. 5:5). Humility fits for the highest services we owe to Christ, and yet will not neglect the lowest service to the lowest saint (John 13:5). Humility can feed upon the lowest dish, and yet it is maintained by the choicest delicacies, as God, Christ, and glory. Humility will make a man bless him who curses him, and pray for those who persecute him. An humble heart is an habitation for God, a scholar for …keep reading »

1 comment

Sunday Considerations: Christian Citizenship

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 3:20 ESV) So with Christians here. They are content very much to let the potsherds strive with the potsherds of the earth. Their politics concern their own country, they do not care much about any other. As men they love liberty and are not willing to lose it even in the lower sense. But, spiritually, their politics are spiritual, and as citizens they look to the interest of that Divine republic to which they belong. They wait for the time when, having …keep reading »

2 comments

A Response: Patriotism and Christian Worship

Pastor David Brumbelow recently posted Patriotism and Christian Worship at SBC Voices. I will admit upfront that I disagree with Brumbelow on this topic. I’ve even written about patriotic worship in the past on more than on occasion. Christians will probably continue to disagree about this topic this side of heaven. Make no mistake that even though I disagree with Brumbelow on patriotic worship, I am not anti-American. I love America and am very thankful that I was born here. I will say the Pledge and sing patriotic songs with a warm heart. I just won’t do so during corporate …keep reading »

3 comments

Freedom: More Than An American

Christian, what will be at the forefront of your mind during corporate worship this 4th of July weekend? (HT: John Strickland)

0 comments

Sunday Considerations: Make Me Ashamed 6/26/11

As many Christians prepare for corporate worship I offer an excellent prayer to consider from Charles Bridges’ exposition of Psalm 119:25* which states: My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word! O Lord, make me more deeply ashamed, that “my soul should cleave to the dust.” Breathe upon me fresh influence from Your quickening Spirit. Help me to plead Your word of promise; and oh! may every fresh view of my sinfulness, while it prostrates me in self-abasement before You, be overruled to make the Savior daily and hourly more precious to my soul. For …keep reading »

1 comment

Transcript and Commentary: Al Mohler On Homosexuality at the SBC

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, President of Southern Seminary, recently answered a question from Dr. Peter Lumpkins concerning alleged comments he made about Evangelicals and homosexuality. The question was answered from the floor of the 2011 Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting during his report on Southern Seminary. Dr. Mohler confirmed that the statements in question were his and further expressed some of his views on the topic of Evangelicals and homosexuality. His answer has attracted much attention in parts of the internet world. For example, Al Mohler’s Response to Peter Lumpkins: The Complete Video at SBC Voices received over 350 comments …keep reading »

7 comments

A Teenager On Youth Ministry

I’m recycling a post about a teenager named Erica who was given an assignment to write an editorial on the subject of her choice. She choose youth ministry. Youth ministry is difficult. Questions are often asked about how to best reach and minister to youth. It can be hard to get into the mind of a teenager. Adults may be surprised of the wisdom that may be found in those young, developing minds. The article offered below may be one such surprise. Erica’s editorial is republished below exactly as it was sent to a friend of mine who is also …keep reading »

4 comments

Sunday Considerations 6/19/11 Come Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Spirit, heavenly Dove, With all Thy quick’ning powers; Kindle a flame of sacred love In these cold hearts of ours. Look how we grovel here below, Fond of these trifling toys; Our souls can neither fly nor go To reach eternal joys. In vain we tune our formal songs, In vain we strive to rise; Hosannas languish on our tongues, And our devotion dies. Dear Lord! and shall we ever live At this poor dying rate? Our love so faint, so cold to Thee, And Thine to us so great! Come, Holy Spirit, heavenly Dove, With all Thy …keep reading »

0 comments

NFL Star David Tyree On Gay Marriage

A few highlights and comments. At the beginning of the video Tyree offers a question which all Christians can apply to their lives regardless of profession. He asks, “Do our fans mean more than our position in eternity?” He then explains that marriage is the “only relationship that actually mirrors a relationship with God. It’s very unique in that way.” He also states that society permeates three things on males 1) sexual conquest, 2) economic prowess and 3) athletic prowess. Further, he explains that those three things aren’t intrinsically bad, but they can become that way if they are the …keep reading »

9 comments

The Southern Baptist Phantom Menace

Imagine for a moment that a church friend comes to you and expresses his frustration over another member of the church. Your friend mentions that he is tired of Sunday School at various times. He does not like the way things are taught sometimes or some of the methods used in the lessons. In his frustration he mentions that he may just stop tithing for a while and maybe stop attending Sunday School too. Realizing that you are in the same Sunday School class and that you sometimes teach, you think to yourself, “Who or what exactly is he talking …keep reading »

15 comments

Sunday Considerations 06/12/11 Joys of Heaven

There is no good in this life but what is mingled with some evil; honours perplex, riches disquiet, and pleasures ruin health. But in heaven we shall find blessings in their purity, without any ingredient to embitter, with everything to sweeten them. O! who is able to conceive the inexpressible, inconceivable joys that are there? None but they who have tasted of them. Lord, help us to put such a value upon them here, that in order to prepare ourselves for them, we may be willing to forego the loss of all those deluding pleasures here. How will the heavens …keep reading »

0 comments

Sunday Considerations 06/05/11 Be Stripped

Let us “look off unto Jesus.” Away from past failure and success; away from human applause and blame; away from the gold pieces scattered on the path, and the flowers that line either side. Do not look now and again, but acquire the habit of looking always, so that it shall become natural to look up from every piece of daily work, from every room, however small, from every street, however crowded, to his dear, calm, sweet face; just as the sojourner on the northern shores of Geneva’s lake is constantly prone to look up from any book or work …keep reading »

0 comments

Did Mark Richt Make Me A Dawgs Fan?

Being a graduate of Georgia Southern University (GSU) hasn’t really influenced me to be a Georgia Bulldogs (UGA) fan. I was actually not a fan for a few years after I got to see how poorly Dawg fans treated GA Southern fans when played against each other. See, UGA and GSU play each other every four years in what is essentially a money game. GSU is a smaller school and so UGA is expected to win, but a lot of money is raised and the smaller school gets larger than normal exposure. At the game I attended you would have …keep reading »

2 comments

Lord’s Day 5/29/11 Let All the Nations Sing

O God, to us show mercy and bless us in Thy grace; Cause Thou to shine upon us the brightness of Thy face; That so Thy way most holy on earth may soon be known, And unto every people Thy saving grace be shown. O God, let all men praise Thee, let all the nations sing; In every land let praises and songs of gladness ring; For Thou shalt judge the people in truth and righteousness, And through the earth the nations shall Thy just rule confess. O God, let people praise Thee, let all the nations sing, For earth …keep reading »

0 comments

Camping Missed It: Judgement Day is Everyday

Unfortunately, by now Harold Camping is probably a household name. A household name that is probably not widely cherished among households. Camping will most likely be known as that false Christian Judgement Day teacher until the day he dies. Since he is approaching 90 years old he probably will not be with us much longer. But is there still time for him to get it right? Yes, there is still time for Camping to get it right. I don’ t mean that his third time for predicting the end of the world later this year will be the charm. Maybe …keep reading »

3 comments

Lord’s Day 05/08/11 Spurgeon On Mothers

Happy Mother’s Day! Below are some excerpts from the section “Early Religious Impressions” found in Charles Spurgeon’s Autobiography. I thought they would be appropriate for Mother’s Day. Yet I cannot tell how much I owe to the solemn words of my good mother. It was the custom, on Sunday evenings, while we were yet little children, for her to stay at home with us, and then we sat round the table, and read verse by verse, and she explained the Scripture to us. After that was done, then came the time of pleading; there was a little piece of Alleine’s …keep reading »

2 comments

Hell Now

Whatever change of trouble a child of God meets with, it is all the hell he shall have. Whatever eclipse may be upon his name or estate, I may say of it, as Athanasius of his banishment, it is a little cloud that will soon be blown over, and then his gulf is shot his hell is past. Death begins a wicked man’s hell, but it puts an end to a godly man’s hell. Think with thyself, what if I endure this? It is but a temporary hell: indeed if all our hell be here, it is but an easy …keep reading »

0 comments

Daily Appropriating the Gospel

When we look at Paul’s letter to the Galatians, we realize that it is easy for us to follow false gospels of various kinds. We need to remind ourselves that all of us follow and lean on various false gospels. Detecting them is difficult because they often are below our theological radar. Few well-churched Christians would actually claim that good parenting, punctuality, etiquette, physical fitness, and active church involvement would be a way of achieving peace with God, but we live as if these are proven ways of gaining God’s love and favor. We need to begin with an assumption …keep reading »

4 comments

Universalism: Rob Bell and Paul Dean

Even before the release of his latest book, Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, Rob Bell set the blogosphere ablaze. The biggest charge against Bell is that of him being a universalist. In a recent interview with Newsweek’s Lisa Miller, Bell first states, with qualifications, that he is not a universalist. Then, moments later denies the charge again. (Thanks to Denny Burk’s partial transcript.) Miller: So this sort of universalism that you are preaching that’s exclusive and inclusive… Bell: That I just denied? Yeah, that one. Okay. Kevin DeYoung does …keep reading »

5 comments

Lord’s Day 03/13/2011 Mourning Hearts Revive

Now let our mourning hearts revive, And all our tears be dry; Why should those eyes be drowned in grief Which view a Savior nigh? What though the arm of conquering death Does God’s own house invade? What though the prophet and the priest Be numbered with the dead?

0 comments

Lord’s Day 2/27/11 Forever

“Forever with the Lord!” Forever in His will, The promise of that faithful word, Lord, here in me fulfill. With You at my right hand, Then I shall never fail; Uphold me, Lord, and I shall stand, Through grace I will prevail. So when my latest breath Breaks through the veil of pain, By death I shall escape from death, And life eternal gain. That resurrection word, That shout of victory: Once more, “Forever with the Lord!” Amen, so let it be! James Montgomery, Forever with the Lord, 1835. (Last two stanzas.)

0 comments

Lord’s Day 2/20/11 Pray for Kingdom Advancement

As you are gathered together for worship this weekend and are thinking about prayers and prayer requests, remember Jesus’ words (emphasis mine). Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:9-10 ESV) If you don’t have a habit of doing so, ask that God’s Kingdom would be advanced in addition to your regular prayers and prayer requests. Seek out how the Lord might use you both corporately as a local church and individually.

0 comments

Open Email: SBC Pastors’ Conference 2011 Doctrinal Concern

Please note: Mr. Jones’ name and the link to the Potter’s House website have been removed from the Pastor’s Conference website. On Feb. 17th I sent an email to Vance Pitman, President of the 2011 Southern Baptist Pastors’ Conference about a doctrinal concern. The email is posted below and contains within it the first email that I sent on Feb. 16th to Jamal Jones who serves under T.D. Jakes at The Potter’s House. Jones is set to participate in this year’s SBC Pastors’ Conference. My concerns may be understood by reading the emails below. I thought I’d post this for …keep reading »

21 comments

Michael Horton: What is the Gospel?

(Source: What is the Gospel?) Horton states that the Gospel is “a very precise term. It is not equivalent to whatever is good and important in Christianity. Gospel is a very particular word, or kind of speech in the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation the Gospel is God’s promise of a Son who will crush the serpents head, forgive the sins of His people, raise them from the dead, and give them ever lasting life solely on the basis of His grace for the sake of Christ.” He also states that the Gospel “never tells us something to do. The …keep reading »

2 comments

“Live the Gospel” Charles Spurgeon Advised

Can anyone but Christ live the gospel? Disagreements on the answer to this question can be seen from Open Letters to The Fear of Antinomianism. I wonder if the disagreements lie within what one means when challenging others to “live the gospel.” I don’t know of anyone who uses this phrase to mean that Christians should literally live Christ’s life. Nevertheless, it is interesting that Spurgeon used this phrase on a few occasions. Some (all?) of these occasions are quoted below, bold emphasis mine. To be prepared for the coming conflict, we have only to preach the gospel, and to …keep reading »

9 comments

Lord’s Day 1/6/11 Persuaded To Love

Let us be persuaded to love God with all our heart and might. O let us take our love off from other things, and place it upon God! Love is the heart of religion, the fat of the offering; it is the grace which Christ inquires most after, John xxi. 15, “Simon lovest thou me V Love makes all our services acceptable, it is the musk that perfumes them. It is not so much duty, as love to duty, God delights in; therefore serving and loving God arc put together, Isa. lvi. 0. It is better to love him than …keep reading »

0 comments

Lord’s Day 1/30/11 Other Christians

How should we think of our fellow Christians? As many of us prepare to worship corporately with our fellow Christians it may be a good question to consider. While it”s always a good question to consider we often see people in corporate worship who we don’t see at other times during the week. Yes, even those Christians who might annoy us of whom you might be one. Below are a few good thoughts on this topic. Our attitude and response to every fellow Christian must be consciously dominated by the thought that he or she is indwelt by the same …keep reading »

4 comments

Wisdom of Solomon, Obama and Abortion

Obama and Solomon1 There has been much past discussion about Obama concerning his stance on abortion.  This discussion is not going to end anytime soon and rightly so.  I’ve made the point and so have two other bloggers recently that as Christians we must pray that Obama seeks God’s direction and changes his position on abortion.  The wisdom Obama has shown thus far is what he said at a Planned Parenthood event earlier this year. “The first thing I’d do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act” (source) I don’t see any wisdom in that statement.  For more …keep reading »

3 comments

Lord’s Day 01/01/11 Another Year Is Dawning

Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be In working or in waiting, another year with Thee. Another year of progress, another year of praise, Another year of proving Thy presence all the days. Another year of mercies, of faithfulness and grace, Another year of gladness in the shining of Thy face; Another year of leaning upon Thy loving breast; Another year of trusting, of quiet, happy rest. Another year of service, of witness for Thy love, Another year of training for holier work above. Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be On earth, or else in …keep reading »

3 comments

Paul Washer: The Great Sin of the American Pastor

Below is an excerpt of Paul Washer from the DVD Divided by Philip Leclerc. Because we have dumbed-down the gospel. Because we’re not preaching the true gospel and we are using carnal means to attract people. If you use carnal means to attract men you’re going to attract carnal men and you’re going to have to keep using greater carnal means to keep them in the church. So, what has happened is this; we have these large churches filled with many unconverted carnal people, but in those churches we also have this small group of people that honestly want Christ …keep reading »

6 comments

Lord’s Day 12/26/2010 Joy Born at Bethlehem

“‘Twas mercy filled the throne, And wrath stood silent by, When Christ on the kind errand came To sinners doomed to die.” Rejoice, ye who feel that ye are lost; your Saviour comes to seek and save you. Be of good cheer ye who are in prison, for be comes to set you free. Ye who are famished and ready to die, rejoice that he has consecrated for you a Bethlehem, a house of bread, and he has come to be the bread of life to your souls. Rejoice, O sinners, everywhere for the restorer of the castaways, the Saviour …keep reading »

1 comment

Lord’s Day 12/19/10 The Real God

God the Father is altogether Jesus-like!—it is the most breathtaking news that anyone can ever hear. But do we attend to what is revealed? I fear not.Imagination takes over again. What do we do? We imagine a clash between the presentations of God in different parts of the Old Testament, and between the entire Old Testament presentation and what we imagine Jesus to have been. What sort of person do you think of him as? Gentle, meek, and mild? Kind, and endlessly ready to be entreated and forgive? True—but only half the truth, and a half-truth treated as the whole …keep reading »

0 comments

Lord’s Day 12/12/10 A Son Given

Bright and joyful is the morn, For to us a Child is born; From the highest realms of Heaven, Unto us a Son is given. On His shoulders He shall bear Power and majesty, and wear On His vesture and His thigh, Names most awful, names most high.

0 comments

Lord’s Day 12/05/10 Knowing Forgiveness

“So let us be clear about this. It is no sign of humility, no mark of saintliness, to go into the presence of God doubting whether God is forgiving you. That is unbelief, lack of faith. That is a failure to understand the truth. So, my friend, never again try to give the impression that you are such a sensitive Christian that you do not like to be certain that your sins are forgiven. It is our business to know that our sins are forgiven! We derogate from the grace and the glory of God and the wonder of this …keep reading »

5 comments

Lord’s Day 11/28/10 Thanks Feeling

“There is such a thing as thanks-feeling—feeling thankful, and this ought to be the general, universal spirit of the Christian. Suppose, my dear brother, you are not rich, be thankful that you have to eat and to drink, and wherewithal you may be clothed. Suppose, even, that you had not a hope of heaven, I might say to a man, “Be thankful that you are not in hell.” But to you, Christian, I would add, “Be thankful that you never will be there, and that, if just now your present joys do not overflow, yet “there remaineth a rest for …keep reading »

1 comment

Gee, Thanks

It’s The Hurt That Counts Marie Paule Thielle of Metz, France, who is only 3 years old, has received the Bronze Medal for “an act of courage and dangerous sacrifice.” But the one she rescued does not like her. The story: When Marie’s playmate, two-year-old Denis fell into the municipal pool, she grabbed him by the hair and held his head out of the water until her screams for help were answered. Said Marie: “He doesn’t like me now because it hurt when I pulled his hair.” [Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 illustrations : A treasury of illustrations, anecdotes, facts …keep reading »

1 comment

Lord’s Day 11/21/10 Fellowship

If you would walk with God, you will associate and keep company with those that do walk with him. ‘My delight’, says holy David, ‘is in them that do excel’ in virtue. They were, in his sight, the excellent ones of the earth. And the primitive Christians, no doubt, kept up their vigor and first love, by continuing in fellowship one with another. The apostle Paul knew this full well, and therefore exhorts the Christians to see to it, that they did not forsake the assembling of themselves together. For how can one be warm alone? And has not the …keep reading »

1 comment

Lord’s Day 11/14/10 Burden Bearer

Jesus Christ gives eternal life for all those believing in Him. Below is a hymn by Fanny Crosby that is a great reminder of life without Christ and then with Him that comes from His work on the cross. When the Burden Bearer Came On a desert wild and lonely, Where no hope I dared to claim, I was troubled, sad and lonely, When the Burden Bearer came. Refrain Christ the Burden Bearer came, Hallelujah to His Name! All my sins He rolled away, Now rejoicing every day, I am trusting in the Savior’s precious love.

0 comments

Lord’s Day 11/07/10 Hypocritical Prayer

Hypocritical Prayer I knelt to pray when day was done, And prayed, “O Lord bless every one, Lift from every saddened heart the pain, And let the sick be well again.” And then I woke another day, And carelessly went upon my way. The whole day long I did not try To wipe a tear from any eye.

1 comment

Lord’s Day 10/31/10 A Mighty Fortress

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, written by Martin Luther in 1529, is an appropriate hymn for Reformation Sunday. This hymn is special to the Reformation as it was also called The Battle Hymn of the Reformation. It is also a great hymn on its own and the first song my wife and I heard as husband and wife as brother Steve Camp played the piano and sang it for us as we exited the church. A Mighty Fortress Is Our God A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing; Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal …keep reading »

3 comments

Poll: Is the Reformation Over?

Reformation Day 2010, October 31, falls on this coming Sunday. In light of this, I thought this would be an interesting question to ask. Are the theological positions of the Protestant Reformation and the Council of Trent now reconciled? Or are we still divided? Does it matter? What do you think? Discussion welcomed.

6 comments

Lord’s Day 10/24/10 the Gospel Mystery

…because the most comfortable thing we know in the gospel is that it is the will of God to save sinners. Mark what I say – if you knew all that God knows (which is saying something very great) but you not know that His mind and will were to save sinners, you would be undone; the knowledge of this is worth all the rest. To know that God is merciful in his nature is not enough. You might have known that and despaired, for it might have been said, “It is true, He is merciful in his nature, but …keep reading »

1 comment

Is Your Church White?

Is your church white? That is the disturbing question what was email to a church in Apex, NC. Ken Keathley recently shared this inquiry over at Between the Times in his post A Shocking Question. The context of this disturbing question was: We know the Lord loves all of us, but we believe in honoring the Culture the Lord gave us, so we are seeking a traditionally ‘White’ church as opposed to Multi-cultural. Is your church White? Read the whole post to find out how the pastor answered this disturbing question. A question that I’m mostly surprised about, but not …keep reading »

7 comments

Lord’s Day 10/17 The King’s Child

A Child of the King by Harriet E. Buell, 1877. My Father is rich in houses and lands, He holdeth the wealth of the world in His hands! Of rubies and diamonds, of silver and gold, His coffers are full, He has riches untold. Refrain I’m a child of the King, A child of the King: With Jesus my Savior, I’m a child of the King. My Father’s own Son, the Savior of men, Once wandered on earth as the poorest of them;

3 comments

A Letter From Hell

Pastor Jeremy Rhode of  Faith Lutheran Church in Capistrano Beach, CA has graciously allowed me to publish the text of his sermon A Letter From Hell. This sermon is based on the parable of The Rich Man and Lazarus from Luke 16:19-31. Pastor Rhode offers what a letter from the rich man writing from hell may look like. Though not a rich man, the materialism in the letter really hits home. It is scary just how easy it is to identify with the rich man. Yet it is eternally comforting that Christ offers forgiveness of those sins and a new identity for …keep reading »

14 comments

Lord’s Day 10/10/10 Christ is All

In preparation to worship with your church family this weekend, I offer some wonderful words from Jeremiah Burroughs to reflected on concerning contentment in Christ, that He is all in all. If Christ is all in all, then let us bless God that ever we knew Christ, and that the great mystery of the gospel has been revealed to us. For otherwise we would have been without God in the world, and what would have become of us had not this grace of God in the gospel been revealed to us? Could it ever have entered into your heart? Certainly …keep reading »

3 comments

Thabiti On the Gospel and Witnessing, Secrets and Tricks

Desiring God 2010 National Conference Thabiti Anyabwile’s topic was Thinking for the Sake of Global Faithfulness: Confronting Islam with the Mind of Christ. Of all the good words Thabiti shared one thing stood out as a great reminder for all Christians. Although he was speaking about witnessing to Muslims, any type of person or group may be easily substituted and Thabiti’s words applied. It is an especially good reminder as we think of how to witness to non-Christians today. (Hint: It is the same as it was in the 1st Century.) What I fear is a lack of confidence in …keep reading »

0 comments

Lord’s Day 10/03/10 Walk Cheerfully

Ought Christians glorify God in their attitudes? We should. We have so much to be thankful for. Just think , Christ was nailed to a cross and hung there to die for us; all we are called to do is pick up our cross. What a great time to reflect on our attitudes through the lens of what Christ has done on our behalf in preparation for corporate worship. Thomas Watson’s A Body of Divinity contains a sermon titled “Man’s Chief End is to Glorify God,” where he asks, “What is it to live to God?” 

2 comments

Thomas Brooks’ Four Prime Things

I did some quote mining from Thomas Brooks Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices from the chapter ‘The Epistle Dedicatory’. I found Brooks’ words to be very insightful, practical and challenging. The ‘The Epistle Dedicatory’ is a letter he wrote to his congregation. He was very humble in the letter which can be seen in the prayers he asked for concerning himself. However, the quotes I chose are focus on his exhortations to his congregation of which the universal congregation may benefit. We live in a different culture and time than did Brooks. Yet, it just seems like we don’t think as …keep reading »

2 comments

A Six-Word Memoir of the Christian Life

Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway was once challenged to write a six word short story. The result was: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” That’s quite a story in six words. Along that line of thought, SMITH Magazine, who believes everyone has a story, challenges people to tell theirs in six words or less. A six-word memoir is an interesting concept. I figured I’d give it a try

3 comments

Lord’s Day 09/26 Set Free

My soul is filled with joy and gladness Since Jesus came to me. His love has banished all my sadness, From sin I am set free. The Comforter divine is dwelling Within my soul today; His love to others I am telling Since Jesus came to stay.

0 comments

Describing the Rejoicing of the Heart

The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart. (Psalm 19:8a, ESV) Last night in men’s Bible study we used this verse in part of the lesson. One of the things our teacher asked us is to explain what it is for God’s word and the gospel to rejoice the heart. Several of us tried to describe the rejoicing with words such as: joy joyful carefree burden-less free worry-free It seems that such rejoicing can be difficult to describe or explain. Yet, it’s not difficult to experience when the gospel first changes your life and continues to change your …keep reading »

0 comments

Lord’s Day 09/19 Love Jesus

Will­iam R. Fea­ther­ston wrote My Jesus, I Love Thee in 1864 when he was on­ly 16 years old. When singing hymns like this during certain season in life it makes me stop and think. I search my heart and think – Do I really love Jesus? I know I’m singing that I do, but do I? I do because He first loved me. Jesus taught me what love is. He loves me in spite of myself and He’s all I have. My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine; For Thee all the follies of sin I resign. …keep reading »

3 comments

Help Request for a Metro-Atlanta Mission

The Sandy Springs Mission is at that point of the year again where they need help! Yes, it is fund raising time. Praise the Lord as He has blessed and continues to provide for this Mission. The challenge is to raise $50,000 by Friday, October 8, 2010. The money is needed to continue the work of the their after-school enrichment program in Sandy Springs, Georgia. So I’m reaching out again as I’ve done the last two years. I appreciate the past donations and hope you will prayerfully consider giving if you’re able. Believe me, I know times are tough, but …keep reading »

0 comments

Lord, Help Me Submit to the Pain

Below is a guest post from my wife. She is also my best friend, my partner, my joint heir of grace and my crown so it is difficult for me to read. As my family, church family, friends and many readers know my wife suffered back injuries from a car accident in August 2008. It’s been a long two years; two years of needles, meds and prayer. The Lord has guided us to a procedure that may finally give my wife some pain relief. The first half of the procedure will be done this Tuesday to one side of her …keep reading »

13 comments

Lord’s Day 09/12 Adopted Life

Grant, Almighty God, that as thou hast once adopted us, and continues to confirm this thy favour by calling us unceasingly to thyself, and dost not only severely chastise us, but also gently and paternally invite us to thyself, and exhort us at the same time to repentance, — O grant that we may not be so hardened as to resist thy goodness, nor abuse this thine incredible forbearance, but submit ourselves in obedience to thee; that whenever thou mayest severely chastise us, we may bear thy corrections with genuine submission of faith, and not continue untameable and obstinate to …keep reading »

0 comments

Did Jesus Preach Paul’s Gospel?

As I was thinking recently about faith and justification a commenter made an assertion about a conflict between Jesus’ and Paul’s gospel. I was reminded John Piper’s excellent talk from T4G 2010 where he answers the question: Did Jesus preach Paul’s gospel? The text Piper spoke on was from Luke 18:9-14 about the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by …keep reading »

4 comments

Justification: Through Faith Not To Faith

It can be difficult to explain that salvation comes by grace through faith in the gospel. Faith being the instrument by which God’s grace is received. Understanding this helps us not to ground our faith in our faith. For example, if I am struggling with my standing before God and I look to my faith which I am already struggling with for comfort, I am attempting support my weak faith upon itself. Rather, that weak faith is that which holds onto Christ for strength and perseverance trusting in Him not in itself. I thought Horatius Bonar has some helpful words …keep reading »

7 comments

Lord’s Day 09/05 Example of Christ

The Example of Christ We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with …keep reading »

0 comments

Thoughts on Moore on Glenn Beck and the Gospel

Glenn Beck as been a recent driving force for (neo?) Conservative politics in America. His big push is to bring God back to the center of American life both politically and socially. I understand his sentiment. There is a sense in which I agree. In recent times when Glenn Beck has spoken on the issue of putting God back into American culture he mentions God, Jesus, the atonement, etc. On the surface, these sound like something Christians should embrace. And they should

27 comments

Lord’s Day 08/29 Pass Me Not

Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior Pass me not, O gentle Savior, Hear my humble cry; While on others Thou art calling, Do not pass me by. Savior, Savior, Hear my humble cry; While on others Thou art calling, Do not pass me by.

0 comments

Study Your Sin

Should Christians study their sin? Do we have a tendency to take sin for granted? Each person must answer that question for themselves. The answer may become clear upon an individual’s study of their sin. It reminds me of hearing Paul Washer’s challenge, “Do you have a new relationship with sin? Because, if you don’t have a new relationship with sin, you don’t have a new relationship with God.” In light of this I’ve recently thought about a question that Christians might challenge one another with, “How is your private sin life?” Then, I came across the excerpt below which …keep reading »

3 comments

Lord’s Day 08/22 Thy Will

I am no longer my own, but thine. Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt. Put me to doing, put me to suffering. Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee, exalted for thee or brought low for thee. Let me be full, let me be empty. Let me have all things, let me have nothing. I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal. And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it. And the …keep reading »

1 comment

Don’t Waste Your Life Sentence Livestream Tonight

Don’t Waste Your Life Sentence Voices from the Louisiana State Penitentiary This video will be streamed live tonight at 7:30 CT/ 8:30 EST. Click here for the live stream location. I’m looking forward to it. If you want to know more about this powerful trailer, below is the description from the Desiring God website. The Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, LA is one of the largest and historically one of the most bloody maximum-security prisons in the USA. In 2009, Desiring God and John Piper were invited to Angola to learn about prison life, hear from men who have been …keep reading »

0 comments

Lord’s Day 08/15 Glorified Fruit

Grant, Almighty God, that since thou art pleased kindly to invite us to thyself, and hast consecrated thy word for our salvation, — O grant that we may willingly, and from the heart, obey thee, and become so teachable, that what thou hast designed for our salvation may not turn to our perdition; but may that incorruptible seed by which thou dost regenerate us into a hope of the celestial life so drive its roots into our hearts, and bring forth fruit, that thy name may be glorified; and may we be so planted in the courts of thine house, …keep reading »

0 comments

Lord’s Day 08/08 Adversities

Grant, Almighty God, that since we are by nature so prone to rash judgement, we may learn to submit to thee, and so quietly to acquiesce in thy judgements, that we may patiently bear whatever chastisements thou mayest daily allot to us, and not doubt but that all is done for our well-being, and never murmur against thee, but give thee the glory in all our adversities; and may we so labor to mortify our flesh, that by denying ourselves we may ever allow thee to be the only true God, and a just avenger, and our Father, and that …keep reading »

0 comments

Lord’s Day 08/01 Wonderful Jesus

I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me, Confused at the grace that so fully He proffers me; I tremble to know that for me He was crucified— That for me, a sinner, He suffered, He bled, and died. I marvel that He would descend from His throne divine, To rescue a soul so

0 comments

Lord’s Day 07/25 Christ Is All

The exhibition of the Christ-life in the saints is the legitimate inference from the fact that Christ is all to them. If Christ is all, and yet I being a Christian am not like Christ, my Christianity is a transparent sham, I am nothing but a base pretender, and my outward religiousness is a pompous pageantry for my soul to be carried to hell in—nothing more. It is a gilded coffin for a lifeless spirit. I shall perish with a double destruction, if I have dared to profane the name of Christ by

1 comment

Lord’s Day 07/18 About Sin

We argue endlessly over matters of religion and philosophy, about ethics and politics but each person must ultimately face the personal issue squarely: “What do I do about my sin?” That I sin and that you sin is debated by none save the most dishonest of men. We sin. We violate each other. We assault the holiness of God. What hope do we have in such dreadful turmoil? We can deny our sin or even the existence of God. We can exclaim that we are not accountable for our lives. We can invent a God who forgives everybody without requiring …keep reading »

1 comment

Lord’s Day 07/11 Tune of Life

Some years ago, musicians noted that errand boys in a certain part of London all whistled out of tune as they went about their work. It was talked about and someone suggested that it was because the bells of Westminster were slightly out of tune. Something had gone wrong with the chimes and they were discordant. The boys did not know there was anything wrong with the peals, and quite unconsciously

0 comments

The Center of Christian Union

The doctrine of Christ crucified is the grand centre of union among true Christians. Our outward differences are many without doubt: one man is an Episcopalian, another is a Presbyterian; one is an Independent, another a Baptist; one is a Calvinist, another an Arminian; one is a Lutheran, another a Plymouth Brother; one is a friend to Establishments, another a friend to the Voluntary system; one is a friend to Liturgies, another a friend to extempore prayer: but after all, what shall we hear about most of these differences in heaven? Nothing, most probably: nothing at all. Does a man …keep reading »

0 comments

Lord’s Day 07/04 Fourth of July Prayer

O God, whose Name is excellent in all the earth, and Thy glory above the heavens; who on this day didst inspire and direct the hearts of our delegates in Congress to lay the foundations of our national peace, liberty, and safety; We bless and adore Thy glorious Majesty for all Thy loving kindness manifested towards this land and people; and we humbly beseech Thee to continue Thy goodness to us, that the heritage received from our fathers may be preserved in our time, and be transmitted unimpaired to the generations to come; that all nations of the earth may …keep reading »

1 comment

The Political Gospel of Glenn Beck and Liberty University?

Glenn Beck recently gave the Commencement Speech at Liberty University’s 2010 graduation. In light of Liberty’s statements of being Christ-centered and how this relates to their goals, mission, vision, etc. I wrote critiquing Beck’s speech in Liberty University, Glenn Beck and the Gospel. Beck’s speech had more theology than some sermons in the pulpit on Sunday. It was very disturbing for a Mormon like Beck to speak theologically as he did at the world’s largest Christian university. Some have said that it it not uncommon for places like Liberty to have a non-Christian conservative speak at such events. This is …keep reading »

14 comments

Lord’s Day 06/27 counted free

The verses below from the hymn Before the Throne of God Above were written in 1863 by Charitie L. Bancroft. Almost 150 years later these verses are an wonderful summation of what Jesus accomplished on the cross for all who would believe in Him. How can a sinner like me deserve an innocent Jesus to die for my sins so I may be forgiven? The beautiful part is that I don’t deserve such forgiveness, but it’s only by God’s grace that I have it. How does one reflect on the incomprehensible? Because the sinless Savior died My sinful soul is …keep reading »

0 comments

Father to Father to Father

A Father’s Day Limerick At this time of year I’m not sure what to say, A time to honor dads in a special way. So I think really hard End up buying a card, All just to say “Happy Father’s Day!” I wrote that limerick for my father inside his Father’s Day card. It’s hard to know

1 comment

Lord’s Day 06/20 forsake me not

I will keep your statutes; do not utterly forsake me! (Psalm 119:8 ESV) Forsaken we may be—but not utterly. David was forsaken, not like Saul. Peter was forsaken, not like Judas, utterly and forever. What foreboding have you of such desertion? Is your heart willing to forsake Him? Have you no mournings and thirstings for His return? “If, indeed, you forsake Him, He will forsake you.” But can you forsake Him? ‘Let Him do as seems good to Him (is the language of your heart); I will wait for Him, follow after Him, cleave to His word, cling to His …keep reading »

0 comments

Lord’s Day 06/13 awake my soul

Awake, my soul, and with the sun Thy daily stage of duty run; Shake off dull sloth, and joyful rise, To pay thy morning sacrifice. Thy precious time misspent, redeem, Each present day thy last esteem, Improve thy talent with due care; For the great day thyself prepare. Heav’n is, dear Lord, where’er Thou art,

0 comments

Liberty University, Glenn Beck and the Gospel

On April 23, 2010 Liberty University announced that Glenn Beck would deliver the Commencement speech for Liberty University’s Class of 2010. The graduation took place on Saturday, May 15. Beck’s speech can be viewed online at The Rightscoop. Success came early for Beck when just before his speech, Liberty conferred an honorary Doctorate of Humanities degree upon him. Beck then went on to speak to the more than 4,000 students present. The result of the Commencement speech? “Best commencement we’ve ever had,” said Jerry Falwell, Jr.,

167 comments

Lord’s Day 06/06 my Redeemer

I will glory in my Redeemer Whose priceless blood has ransomed me Mine was the sin that drove the bitter nails And hung Him on that judgment tree I will glory in my Redeemer Who crushed the power of sin and death

2 comments

Black Church White Church

Below is a hip-hop song dealing with something we are all familiar with. Racial segregation on Sunday morning in our local churches. The song is from Voice’s new album Christ the King. Black Church White Church by avoice Below is the third verse of the song. Whatever version of American English you speak, whatever your

3 comments

A Memorial Day Prayer

Heavenly Father, as an American, thank you for this great country. I am not proud, but humbled, that in Your sovereignty I was born in such a Nation. Thank You for those serving in the military that you have used to help raise up and protect America. Thank you for those men and women in our military who were willing to give their lives and who gave their lives to fight to keep this country free. It is a great service to lay down one’s life for others. Father, as a Christian, this is a great reminder of the incomparable …keep reading »

1 comment

Lord’s Day 05/30 life’s battle

To us, also, in due time, shall be brought the message, “The Master is come and calls for you.” My ear hears a voice crying aloud, “Set your house in order; for you shall die and not live.” Will not you hear it? Will any one of you refuse the voice which speaks from Heaven? Death evidently pays no respect to character, age, or hopefulness. A man may addict himself to the service of his country, but his patriotism will not protect him.

1 comment

Lord’s Day 05/23 Christian needs

Oh! it is impossible relief can now come; What? Are not all things possible to him that hath all things in his hand? Yea, “All things are possible to him that believeth;” and it is possible for you to do all things through Christ strengthening you, even to overleap the highest walls, to break bows of steel in pieces, and wade through the deepest fords in your way. “What ailed thee, O sea! that thou fleddest? and thou Jordan, that thou wast driven back? Tremble thou earth at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of …keep reading »

0 comments

My take: On fear, faith and being a sinner

The CNN Belief Blog recently published My Take: On fear, faith and being gay by Jennifer Knapp. So I thought I’d give my take. As a young boy I learned to take risks. Climbing trees and jumping ramps on a bicycle will do that to a boy. Falling down from a tree or flying off the bicycle in the air ties the stomach in knots as the ground approaches to stop the fall. But I learned to rely on myself and try harder. Climbing 10 feet up and jumping from one tree to another or jumping a ramp stacked three …keep reading »

4 comments

Lord’s Day 05/16 death transformed

Death was transformed for the believer when God sent His Son into the world and placed Him on the cross. Jesus Christ experienced the second death on behalf of His people – second death is biblical shorthand for the eternal judgment and punishment that awaits those who have not trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ. After the believer experiences the first death, he does not taste the second death. For the Christian, death is no longer a precursor to the final judgment and separation of God; instead, death is now transformed to the portal into the presence of God. – …keep reading »

1 comment

Lord’s Day 05/09 mothers

I praise the Lord for the mother He has given me. (Ephesians 6:2a “Honor your father and mother” [ESV]) I praise Him even more the mother He has given me in my wife. (Proverbs 31:28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: [ESV]) The blessings that the Lord gives through various people in life are wonderful! Sometimes these special people can be taken for granted.  I’m reminded that our time here is short. Give It Now! If you have a smile for Mother, Give it now. If you have a kindly word, …keep reading »

2 comments

Lord’s Day 05/02 meditation

I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds. Psalm 77:12 (esv) I will meditate also of all thy work. Sweet work to enter into Jehovah’s work of grace, and there to lie down and ruminate, every thought being absorbed in the one precious subject. (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David)

1 comment

Lord’s Day 04/25 remember the message

Remember. The message. There is but one message that can include the whole world, in spite of all divisions and distinctions. There is but one power that can bring all men together and unite them and bring them to true brotherhood. There is but one solution to the problem of individual man and of the whole world. It is the ‘gospel of Christ which is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.’ We have but to believe on Him, to yield ourselves to Him, and to begin to make of Him our only boast here and …keep reading »

1 comment

Lord’s Day 04/18 Jesus, my life

All I Have Is Christ1 First verse I once was lost in darkest night Yet thought I knew the way The sin that promised joy and life Had led me to the grave I had no hope that You would own A rebel to Your will And if You had not loved me first I would refuse You still Second verse But as I ran my hell bound race Indifferent to the cost You looked upon my helpless state And led me to the cross And I beheld God’s love displayed You suffered in my place You bore the wrath …keep reading »

0 comments

Note on T4G 2010

Together for the Gospel 2010 is over. It was fun while it lasted. Seriously, it was a great time. I was thankful to even be able to attend. Even more, I was thankful I was able to attend with my church’s staff and a couple other church members. This was my first time attending. I would do it again if the Lord provides away. The speakers were great. The free books I brought home pictured above were great. (See larger picture here.) I know my wife will really appreciate me bringing home more books! (Note: T4G may actually weaken your …keep reading »

2 comments

Lord’s Day 04/11 conformed to Christ

Consider Christ upon the cross as a public person, that when He was crucified, and when He died, He died for your sins, and this knowledge of Christ will be a crucifying knowledge. This will stir up your heart to use your corruptions as your sins used Christ; as He hated your sin, so it will work the same disposition in you, to hate this body of death, and to use it as it used Christ. As we see this clearly, it will conform us to Christ. – Richard Sibbs

0 comments

Passing of Michael Spencer the iMonk 1956-2010

Sadly, this week Michael Spencer, the Internet Monk, passed away. He was no stranger to expressing his views and stirring up conversations on them, both for and against, in the blogosphere. It is no surprise that his death is stirring up the blogosphere. This time though the conversations are that of grace and appreciation. It was in June of 2009 at the Advance09 Conference. I was upstairs talking with my good friend Russ while checking out the display tables. Then, I saw Michael walk by.

2 comments

Three Questions

As I consider my upcoming attendance in the 2010 Band of Bloggers, the topic Internet Idolatry and Gospel Fidelity really stick out in my mind. Why? Because it’s so easy to create idols using the internet and live in infidelity to the gospel. Is this especially so over the internet? Maybe. Which brings me to the three questions.

1 comment

Lord’s Day 04/04 He is risen!

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, …keep reading »

0 comments

John Piper and Rick Warren on the gospel

Recently it’s been stated as confirmed that Rick Warren will be speaking at John Piper’s National Desiring God Conference for 2010. I thought it would be interesting to hear each of them on the gospel. I believe the videos are a few years old. I’m curious about whether or not people think we can be comfortable with these two men at a conference together. Are the differences in the videos theologically substantial? Is one more applicable than the other? More biblical? Does the presentation and application matter that much? Any other thoughts? What can we learn from each man? John …keep reading »

22 comments

Lord’s Day 03/28 God our help

Our God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Our shelter from the stormy blast, And our eternal home. A thousand ages in Thy sight Are like an evening gone; Short as the watch that ends the night Before the rising sun. Time, like an ever rolling stream, Bears all its sons away; They fly, forgotten, as a dream Dies at the opening day. Our God, our help in ages past, Our hope for years to come, Be Thou our guard while troubles last, And our eternal home. Selected verses from Our God, Our Help In …keep reading »

2 comments

Faith Alone and world religions

Below is a brief thought on a practical implication of how justification by faith alone helps to differentiate Christianity from other world religions. Most world religions have a component of a works-based justification built into them. Evaluating such religious systems outside the revelation of the Christian Scriptures would call for an honest appraisal of one’s works. In this type of appraisal would be shown the constant shortfall of such works to justify anyone in any light, especially, before a holy, divine creator. This type of religion would have to continue adding more works to the previous works that were not …keep reading »

13 comments

Lord’s Day 03/21 every blessing

It’s such a blessing to be able to worship God and be together with His people on the Lord’s Day. Every blessing is from Him and because of Him. It’s amazing that Jesus seeks and saves undeserving sinners like me. No matter how hard I tried to pay Him back, if I did try, I would still die owing Him a debt. How thankful I am that I don’t have to pay Him back. I’m reminded of a couple of stanza’s of Ro­bert Ro­bin­son’s Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing. The “prone to wander”

0 comments

Lord’s Day 03/14 the Lord’s care

Lord, it belongs not to my care by Richard Baxter Lord, it belongs not to my care whether I die or live; to love and serve thee is my share, and this thy grace must give. If life be long,O make me glad the longer to obey; if short,

1 comment

Lord’s Day 03/07 worshipping who?

A visiting minister was substituting for the famed pastor Henry Ward Beecher. A large audience had assembled to hear the popular pastor. At the appointed hour, the visiting minister entered the pulpit. Learning that Beecher was not to preach, several began to move toward the doors. The visiting minister stood and called out, “All who have come here today to worship Henry Ward Beecher may now withdraw from the church! All who have come to worship God, keep your seats!” No one then left. —————————— Tan, P. L. (1996). Encyclopedia of 7700 illustrations : A treasury of illustrations, anecdotes, facts …keep reading »

11 comments

Lord’s Day 02/28 confidence in Christ

You don’t have to go worship God this weekend with His people. You get to go worship God this weekend with His people. You get to do what God’s past people could only dream of, worship God openly, directly and corporately through the Messiah. Think and reflect on the words below as you savor the opportunity to worship God through Christ. “We have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh” (Hebrews 10:19-20). Without Christ the holiness of …keep reading »

1 comment

Lord’s Day 02/21 feeding on Christ

“Bread of Heaven! on Thee I feed, For Thy flesh is meat indeed! Evermore my soul be fed With this true and living Bread! Day by day with strength supplied Through the life of Him who died. “Vine of Heaven! Thy blood supplies This vast cup of sacrifice. ’Tis Thy wounds my healing give; To Thy cross I look and live. Thou my life! oh let me be Rooted, grafted, built on Thee!” – Octavius Winslow (Thanks to the new Octavius Winslow site)

0 comments

Lord’s Day 02/14 loving Jesus

If Christ has our love, he has our all; and Christ never has what he deserves from us, till he has our love. True love withholds nothing from Christ, when it is sincerely set upon him. If we actually love him, he will have our time, and he will have our service, and he will have the use of all our resources, and gifts, and graces; indeed, then he shall have our possessions, freedom, and our very lives, whenever he calls for them. In the same way, when God loves any of us, he will withhold nothing from us that …keep reading »

0 comments

Lord’s Day 02/07 crumbs of mercy

Never was a poor sinner more unworthy of favor from God or His people than myself. I deserve not a name and a place among the children, but am as vile as a dog, and would be glad for crumbs of mercy that fall from the children’s table. But such is the free grace of God towards me, through the slain Lamb, that He deals with me as a child, a dear child, and feasts me as a prince with Him according to the royalty, the dignity of His own infinite state. If salvation in all its parts were not …keep reading »

1 comment

Lord’s Day 01/31 rejoice in suffering

In the face of suffering, the believer is not to look for the “hidden God”-that is, God in his secret majesty. We cannot even attempt to figure out by speculation why we are suffering. We can only, with Moses, look upon God’s “back-side,” his compassion and mercy as revealed in Christ and his cross. While God’s hidden will in suffering cannot be found, and searching for it can only drive one to depression or delusion, his revealed will is displayed in the suffering of Christ, in which his people are called to share. Suddenly, in light of this, the dark,

0 comments

Lord’s Day 01/24 Jesus our priest

Many people offer up sacrifice, and they think that is enough; but the people of God they rest not only in the duty, no, nor in the spirituality of the duty, though that be counted a great matter: but they go one step higher, and so must you in all the duties you tender up to God, and that is, not only to be careful that your duties be spiritual, but you must

0 comments

Lord’s Day 01/17 poor sinners

Poor sinner, something to consider as you undeservedly get to worship the Savior with other poor sinners. Christ’s Love to Poor Sinners Let us stand still, and admire and wonder at the love of Jesus Christ to poor sinners; that Christ should rather die for us, than for the angels. They were creatures of a more noble extract, and in all probability might have brought greater revenues of glory to God: yet that Christ should pass by those golden vessels, and make us vessels of glory,-oh, what amazing and astonishing love is this! ~Thomas Brooks sermon excerpt.

1 comment

Lord’s Day 01/10 trusting Jesus

This week many have been in an uproar for Brit Hume simply telling Tiger Woods that he needs to turn to Christ for forgiveness and redemption. This is true as it is what Jesus taught. Through all of lives trials Jesus is the only consistent thing in the Christians life. It seemed appropriate to post the hymn below as a reminder that

1 comment

Lord’s Day 01/03 the story

It is the first Lord’s Day of the new year. The first day many will gather together to worship corporately.We will gather together to worship God because of Jesus’ story – the gospel. Many times this year we will come together because of this story, but will we tell it? Will we tell it daily to ourselves? Will we tell it to others? Lord willing, this new year brings us another year of opportunities to tell

5 comments

New Year’s Unity

On January 1, 1865, Charles Spurgeon preached a sermon entitled True Unity Promoted. Given the recent disagreements over signing The Manhattan Declaration this is a very interesting sermon on unity. In the first paragraph Spurgeon states, “It is an old saying that England never prospers so well as when the Pope curses her. I hope to see

1 comment

Lord’s Day 12/27 Immanuel

From The Squalor Of A Borrowed Stable (Immanuel) From the squalor of a borrowed stable, by the spirit and a virgin’s faith; to the anguish and the shame of scandal came the Saviour of the human race! But the skies were filled with the praise of heav’n, shepherds listen as the angels tell of the Gift of God come down to man at the dawning of Immanuel King of heaven now the Friend

0 comments

Merry Christmas: Christ is King

Santa has come once again. He comes in Jesus’ name. If there were no Christmas there would be no Santa. Yet, Santa remains popular regardless. The Christ in Christmas is Jesus. Yet, it is Santa who gets the focus and even makes the cover of The Wall Street Journal (Dec. 24th). Why is Santa so popular? If a Santa jingle was written about Jesus is might sound a bit like this. He knows when you are sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows that you’ve been bad, not good! So repent for Jesus sake! No wonder Jesus message isn’t …keep reading »

4 comments

Convert or die?

I’ve often wondered if Christians in the USA have freedom to their detriment. There are so many churches that they can leave one for another for whatever reason they like. Many start campaigns and stand against national department stores for not saying Merry Christmas. It is easy to complain about the world not holding to a Christian standard found in this phrase during this national holiday. For some reason Christians do not start national campaigns to hold Christians

3 comments

Lord’s Day 12/20 poor and needy

Below is a great poem/hymn by Joseph Hart. It is a great evangelistic call and a great reminder that even Christians need to continue to rest upon Christ. A Christian’s need for the Savior never ends. It seem appropriate so I moved the refrain of this hymn to the end as the last stanza as a response. What a blessed reminder! Come, ye sinners, poor and needy, Weak and wounded, sick and sore; Jesus ready

1 comment

Lord’s Day 12/13 first and best

While preparing to gather with a local body of believers, Who will you worship? Pause for a moment and contemplate-try to wrap your mind around-Who. Who is this that we worship? The Baptist Catechism asks about Who God is and gives some Scriptural insight. What a wonderful question, answer and,

0 comments

I am Tiger Woods

‘I am Tiger Woods’ is a popular slogan repeated by several kids in a Nike commercial. Given Woods’ recent transgressions that phrase is even more true today. Except the adults are missing. GASP?! It’s true, as I mentioned in another article, Tiger Woods and the Cross, he is just like the rest of us. I am not talking about the money or the golf. I am talking about the transgressions. The sin. Woods’ sin might look different in manifestation than yours, but your sin is still sin. Even the slogan ‘I am Tiger Woods’ can push people to idolatry and …keep reading »

1 comment

On serving others

Fellow Southern Baptist and blogger Trevin Wax tweeted something today that really stuck. The world estimates your importance by how many people are serving YOU. God estimates your importance by how many people YOU are serving. First, the world does measure one’s importance by their popularity in one vein or another. Tiger Woods is a recent example of this. (I pray Tiger Woods would turn to Christ.) If Woods was just some local golf club pro no one would really care. That is, except his family and those closest to him which actually speaks on the second part of the …keep reading »

1 comment

Tiger Woods and the Cross

Tiger Woods makes news. Usually it is a victory or an amazing golf shot. Sometimes it is a loss. Recently, the news has been about loss. Maybe the biggest loss of his career. Unfortunately, this loss is not a golf tournament. While it is uncertain if this will cost Woods’ any future sponsor earnings, this loss affects Woods’ family. It may cost him his family. The loss is Woods’ integrity in his marriage covenant. He betrayed his wife and kids with extramarital affair(s). This loss is not like a loss where Woods’ did not perform as well as somone else. …keep reading »

0 comments

Lord’s Day 11/06 righteousness

Je­ho­vah Tsid­ke­nu is a name for God which means “The Lord Our Right­eous­ness.” This is easily forgotten today with the emphasis on doing good deeds for God. Preaching the Gospel to yourself is a great reminder that deeds do not save. It is the Gospel of grace through faith alone that saves. Jesus Christ is our righteousness not our good works. The poem below by

4 comments

Internet fellowship

The internet can be used for good, bad, stupid, indifferent, etc. like many things in life. The more sinful people get involved with these things the more we mess them up. Please, don’t look around the internet. Take my word for it. Funny, we still cannot stand in God’s way. God sovereignly works through the internet where Christians

0 comments

Thanksgiving Grace

Life. It is busy and demanding. Each day can bring new challenges. Some easy and routine. Some hard. Others life changing. How these challenges and demands are received can make all the difference in one’s attitude and thought life. During this time around Thanksgiving Day every year people are asked to think about life and to have an attitude of thankfulness. While this might seem routine, it can be hard to be thankful depending on life’s circumstances. Even during “normal”

3 comments

To Faith Or Through Faith

Just have faith. Keep the faith. Faith is important. Everyone needs faith in something. These types of statements about faith can be found just about anywhere. What does having faith actually do? Faith gives hope. It is something to rely on in times of need. It gives comfort. But

1 comment

Lord’s Day 11/22 Hard Worship

Life is hard. Worshiping God can be harder. At times life seems to get in the way of God. Actually, it is our sinfulness that is in the way. The problem only gets bigger because without God there is no way for us. Thankfully, Jesus Christ has done for us in the Gospel what we cannot do for ourselves. How ever hard life seems there is always rest and forgiveness through faith in Jesus. Life’s trials should not cause us to abandon worshiping God. We should seek Him more fervently in hard times! When we are in pain and difficulty, …keep reading »

1 comment

Comfort in God’s Sovereignty and Goodness

My good friends John and Shannon Jordan are going through one of those unexpected trials of life. On October 31 their six year old son Gideon was diagnosed with a brain tumor. They started a Facebook group (link at the end) for prayers and updates on Gideon. In less than a month, over 1,800 members joined the group. This group allowed people to pray, keep up with Gideon’s progress and even gave a way for people to donate to the Jordan’s to help them financially. The bad news is that

3 comments

Do Scott Hahn’s Book Endorsements Offer Protestants Validity?

Covenant and Communion: The Biblical Theology of Pope Benedict XVI by Scott Hahn has a few Protestant endorsements. The biggest stir was caused by Michael Horton’s endorsement. People are asking – Why endorse such a book? Would the Apostle Paul have endorsed a book on metaphysics by Aristotle? Dr. Horton has responded in his post Horton on Hahn. He explained that

24 comments

Lord’s Day 11/15 Petition and Confession

Confession and Petition Holy Lord, I have sinned times without number, and been guilty of pride and unbelief, of failure to find Thy mind in Thy Word, of neglect to seek Thee in my daily life. My transgressions and short-comings present me with a list of accusations, but I bless Thee that they will not stand against me, for all have been laid on Christ. Go on to subdue my corruptions, and grant me grace to live above them. Let not the passions of the flesh nor lustings of the mind bring my spirit into subjection, but do Thou rule …keep reading »

3 comments

Lord’s Day 11/08 Faith Undeserved

Many Christians around the world are preparing to worship. Nothing as powerful as God’s word to reflect on worship. When we understand just how sinful we are it is easier to truly appreciate God’s grace in saving us. It is a blessing to gather together as a community of Christians petitioning God directly. An undeserved blessing made possible only through Christ’s life, death and resurrection. Just how undeserving are we? How much

0 comments

Christmas On 20 Bucks

You might be thinking – Can I really do Christmas for 20 bucks? Yes, you can. You can do it for someone else. Children. Children in need. The Christmas list for these children does not include an Xbox, Wii, iPhone, Karaoke machine, laptop, remote controlled helicopter, a robot, DVD, etc. etc. They will not complain nor be disappointed if they get clothes instead of toys. These are Compassion children and you can read the story, Giving Christmas Back, about how a small (by our standards) gift made a difference. Read more in the archived stories area. It is tough to …keep reading »

4 comments

Lord’s Day 11/01 Faith and Doubt

Doubt sees the obstacles, Faith sees the way! Doubt sees the darkest night, Faith sees the day! Doubt dreads to take a step, Faith soars on high! Doubt questions, “Who believes?” Faith answers, “I!” ~author unknown

1 comment

Happy Reformation Day 2009

On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther kicked off the Protestant Reformation. His purpose was to reform the church. That did not work, however, and the Catholic church instead responded with the Council of Trent. Today the protest continues as Trent stands in opposition to the biblical and Protestant understanding of the Gospel. Many of us are thankful what the Lord did through Martin Luther and the other Reformers. Today is a day of celebration for many. For others it is hard to tell if the Reformation really mattered or not. For example, Protestant Timothy George praises

3 comments

Poll: Can Evangelism Be An Idol?

In An Idol Called Evangelism Dr. Roy Hargrave states that evangelism rather than the glory of God is driving many churches today. That might be too strong a position for some to fathom. Maybe unbiblical for others. It is not often that evangelism is spoken of in terms of idolatry. It is an uncomfortable question. Evangelism is very important, but people are good at making just about anything into an idol. So – Could there be a valid concern in this area? Dr. Hargrave understands that evangelism is the “highest and loftiest” in importance for fulfilling the church’s mission. The …keep reading »

10 comments

Lord’s Day 10/25 Gospel and Legalism

Christians are good at replacing the gospel with religious duties. There is a performance aspect to the Christian life that says-I got saved and now I’m going to do all this stuff to give back to God. It is a tendency to become either practical or actual legalists. Consider this definition of legalism in light of your own life and religious duties. Truly consider your motivations. Legalism is

0 comments

Trent: Let Me Be Anathema

The sixth session of the Council of Trent,the Canons Concerning Justification, anathematizes me how many times? Else where in the meta Dan Phillips mentioned to me that we should have a contest. “How many Romish anathemas can you rack up?” I decided to count the number of anathemas that I am under from the 33 canons on justification. My count is

15 comments

Lord’s Day 10/18 Joy

Joy and Peace in Believing By John Newton 1. Sometimes a light surprises The Christian while he sings; It is the Lord who rises With healing in his wings: When comforts are declining, He grants the soul again A season of clear shining, To cheer it after rain.

2 comments

Blog Action Day 2009: Climate Change

Today is Blog Action Day 2009. The topic this year is climate change. The most talked about in this area may be global warming. Global warming is here to stay. The question becomes – What are we going to do about it? Global warming is here, but not necessarily in a literal sense. It exists as an assertion both politically and socially. Recently, Al Gore was asked some inconvenient questions

3 comments

Lord’s Day 10/11 the Incarnation

Praise for the Incarnation by John Newton Sweeter sounds than music knows Charm me in Immanuel’s name; All her hopes my spirit owes To his birth, and cross, and shame. When he came, the angels sung, “Glory be to God on high;” Lord, unloose my stamm’ring tongue, Who should louder sing than I? Did the Lord a man become, That he might the law fulfil, Bleed and suffer in my room, And canst thou, my tongue, be still? No, I must my praises bring, Though they worthless are and weak; For should I refuse to sing, Sure the very stones …keep reading »

0 comments

One Nation Under A Mormon God?

The painting One Nation Under God by Jon McNaughton promotes a Mormon author. My initial reaction to the painting was that another Christian is using Jesus and the Bible for political propaganda. It seems I was wrong. The evidence points to the artist, Jon McNaughton, as being a Mormon. The name Jon McNaughton can also be found as a speaker at several Book of Mormon Prophecies Conferences. The photo on the left is taken from McNaughton’s online image of the painting using the zoom feature. As the caption indicates the book on display is The 5000 Year Leap by Mormon …keep reading »

48 comments

Q&A with Atlanta Church Planter Leonce Crump, Jr.

The name Leonce Crump, Jr. may be familiar to some as All-American Oklahoma Sooner wrestler, Sooner defensive tackle or professional football player for the New Orleans Saints. Today, Crump can be found in Atlanta, GA not as a sportsman, but as a churchman. This godly man has a heart for Jesus to match his 6’ 4” former heavyweight wrestling frame. Crump is in the process of planting Renovation Church in downtown Atlanta. He was gracious enough to make some time for lunch and to answer some questions for me. Mark Lamprecht: Describe how you came to vocational ministry. Leonce Crump, …keep reading »

0 comments

Poll: Does Christian Hip-Hop Harm the Gospel?

My friend and brother Nathan and I have had a short twitter discussion on whether Christian hip-hop harms the Gospel. This issue came up in reference to Mark Dever’s recent interview with Christian rappers Shai Linne and Voice. I actually interviewed Christian hip-hop Artist Sho Baraka. Then, I attended the the Don’t Waste Your Life tour concert and posted a review. This should give the readers an idea of where I stand. The verdict? I do not think Christian hip-hop harms the Gospel. However, Nathan believes that the medium of hip-hop music contradicts and is inconsistent with the message of …keep reading »

44 comments

Gospel Then Morality: Lesson From Abortion Counseling

What can Christians learn about the Gospel and change from abortion counseling? I recently attended a fundraiser for Cobb Pregnancy Services (CPS). It was a great night of fellowship and celebration of what God is doing at this organization. A young pregnant lady gave her testimony of how God used CPS to convince her to return to Christ and keep her baby. Great news, but she

0 comments

Tullian Tchividjian to Stay at Coral Ridge: Lessons?

Tullian Tchividjian will stay as pastor of  Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church per a congregational vote of 69%-31% this morning. “I’m staying!!,” wrote pastor Tchividjian in the title of today’s blog post about the future of his pastoral role at Coral Ridge.The pressure on this new pastor must have been unbelievable in anticipation of this vote. A great example of trusting God can be seen in a previous post saying, “I am not afraid.” in reference to today’s vote.  His mission is

33 comments

Lord’s Day 09/13 Unity

The Apostle Paul on unity and community in the local church. Volumes have been written about the text of the Bible. Sometimes Scripture gets overlooked for these volumes about Scripture. Sometimes Christians get too caught up in reading these other works. Upon returning to Scripture they find that there is nothing as sweet as reading the God’s inspired word. All that is

1 comment

Book Review: Christianity in Crisis The 21st Century

Christianity In Crisis: The 21st Century By Hank Hanegraaff.  Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2009. 432 pages. Hank Hanegraaff has updated the 1993 edition of Christianity in Crisis to keep up with the “Word of Faith” movement and its teachers. The author exposes the continued growth and danger of these teachings. The book is divided into seven parts and three appendices. It is well documented with 54 pages of footnotes and 17 pages of bibliography. In his usual style, the author provides several acronyms to help the reader remember key themes. In this edition, Hanegraaff leaves

2 comments

Lord’s Day 09/13 You

Mirror, mirror on the wall. How can God accept me at all? As Christians grow in their walk with Jesus they become more and more aware of their sinfulness. This is certainly my experience. As Christians gather to worship corporately what does each person bring with them? Do Christians gather with others in mind? With God in mind? What will you bring to worship with your church family? What motivates you? What makes your worship acceptable? How are these questions answered in light of your sinfulness? It is only through

2 comments

Westboro Baptist Revealed: Evangelized, Interviewed, Reviewed

If the messages on the signs are not disturbing enough, how about the people holding them? They are children! My heart breaks to see a picture like this just hoping it is a photo-shopped picture. Unfortunately, it is not. Last week I wrote Westboro Baptist To Share Hate In Atlanta to give folks a heads up. There are several recent church plants in Atlanta that are trying to save the city, so to speak, that it is sad that the Westboro folks come here allegedly in the name of Christ. It just ruins the witness of what Christians are seeking …keep reading »

12 comments

Lord’s Day 09/06 Love Each Other

It’s Sunday morning and you have just whacked your alarm clock with a hammer. The alarm keeps buzzing. You continue wielding the hammer until the alarm clock is in 100 pieces. The alarm still will not stop! Finally, you awaken to realize that it was only a dream and it’s time to get ready for church. Thoughts of Bedside Baptist cross your mind.

0 comments

Great Night: Don’t Waste Your Life Concert

It was an awesome night! We took some of our youth group and they really enjoyed it. One of my pastors even attended who is a few generations removed from the hip-hop era. It was a good night of Christ-centered music and fellowship – it was the Don’t Waste Your Life Tour. The Don’t Waste Your Life Tour Atlanta took place Saturday night August 29. The artists accomplished sharing their music and, more importantly, sharing the Gospel. As Sho Baraka expressed the music and its content, the quality of the night’s music was excellent and the content Christ-centered. The diversity of the crowd certainly showed the …keep reading »

1 comment

Lord’s Day 08/30 Humble Joy

Below is an excerpt of the sermon A Penitent Heart The Best New Year’s Gift by George Whitfield. The humility that Jesus’ love brings when realizing no one deserves it is astounding. Can we really even begin to consider what He has done in dying for such sinners as us? Do we feel joy in our souls? Does the world really have anything to offer? Let us rejoice in the grace that God has worked in our lives. Let the love of Jesus to you, keep you also humble; do not be high-minded, keep close unto the Lord, observe the …keep reading »

0 comments

August Devotion MP3

I gave this devotional for our Sunday evening service on August 16. My previous devotion was the evening of April 5 if you’d like to listen. My text for this devotion was Isaiah 24:23 The moon will be abashed, the sun ashamed; for the LORD Almighty will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before its elders, gloriously. (NIV) I hope this is edifying to those who listen. I would love to hear any feedback whether encouraging or constructive.

0 comments

Senator Ted Kennedy Dies at 77

Senator Kennedy has left this world to face whatever is next on his path. He was 77 years old. Was he really old? He wasn’t young. Life is fleeting. It’s here today and you wonder where yesterday went. I have almost 40 years before I reach 77, if the Lord so allows. Seems like a long time. How many of us feel like just yesterday we were 18 or 25 or 35 or 45? Where did the time go? What will you do with the time left? Of all the battles in life Sen. Kennedy fought this last one had …keep reading »

15 comments

Help Needed for Local Atlanta Mission

I need your help! Sandy Springs Mission needs your help! Who? What? The Sandy Springs Mission needs help for their after-school program. They minister to low-income elementary and middle-school children and their families in this Metro Atlanta community.These young people get help they might not otherwise receive. The mission helps in these areas.

1 comment

Lord’s Day 08/23 Holy Inability

What do we do to be holy? What abilities do we have to achieve holiness? None! It is Jesus who is holy. It is He who makes us holy. It is only because of Him and his work on the cross for us. As we go to worship this weekend here is something to think about from The Complete Works of Thomas Brooks, Vol 4, pages 241, 244. Think of your life before and without Christ. What could we do on our own to be pleasing to God? To be holy? Object. We have no power to make ourselves holy; …keep reading »

1 comment

Michael Horton Interviews Robert Schuller

A Conversation with Dr. Robert Schuller* The following are highlights from a two hour discussion between Dr. Robert Schuller and Dr. Michael Horton on the White Horse Inn radio broadcast, Nov. 1992. Michael Horton: Would you be willing to address your congregation as a group as sinners? Robert Schuller: No I don’t think I need to do that. First of all, my congregation is a very mixed audience. MH: But our Lord’s audiences were mixed with disciples and unbelievers both. RS: Oh yes, but I’ll tell you, the audience is quite different that I talk to than what the Lord …keep reading »

24 comments

Book Review: Dear Timothy Letters On Pastoral Ministry

Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry edited by Tom Ascol. Cape Coral: Founders Press, 2004. 384 pages. Many times in life we wish we had a practical “how to” guide for the various activities of which we are involved (i.e. new job, volunteer work). Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry edited by Thomas Ascol is a book that could certainly be characterized as a “how to” for pastoral ministry. The book is not a “how to” in the sense of giving answers for every single issue a pastor might face. However, it does cover a wide range of that will …keep reading »

0 comments

Lord’s Day 08/16 the Gospel

Last week I offered some thoughts on preparing for the Lord’s Day by meditating on the sufferings of Christ and understanding your own brokenness. During our worship services we will all (I hope) hear the Gospel. Many times there is this idea that Christians don’t really need the Gospel anymore. The Gospel is really just for evangelism. However, just the opposite is true. Christians will always need the Gospel and not just for evangelism. We need it for our daily living. So how should we think about the Gospel as we prepare for worship?

2 comments

Les Paul Will Strum On

The great Les Paul has passed away at 94 years old. He leaves behind a list of accomplishments and a name that will seemingly never fade away until the Lord’s return. He left quite a legacy. Even up to the end where he won two Grammys for an album he released after his 90th birthday according to this Fox News article. I suppose he didn’t waste his retirement if he even had one. Mr. Paul certainly used the talents and gifts that God gave him. He used them to the very end. Now other people will continue to use and …keep reading »

3 comments

John Hagee Clarifies: Jesus is Messiah

Not long ago many people came to the conclusion that John Hagee denied that Jesus was the Messiah in his book In Defense of Israel. I was one of those people. What drove my conclusion was reading parts of the book and listening to audio of Hagee. Despite our theological disagreements this alleged belief of his was very disconcerting. Especially, given the amount of people he reaches each week. Hagee has now offered some clarification explaining that he does not deny Jesus is the Messiah. He published his response in the article

29 comments

Lord’s Day 08/09 Preparation

In my last post I offered how to meditate on Scriptures. That post focused on the personal time we spend with the Lord. In similar fashion we should be encouraged to meditate to get ourselves ready to worship at our church meeting place. I offer some words by Thomas Boston from his The whole works of the late Reverend and learned Mr. Thomas Boston, Minister of the Gospel at Etterick, 1851. Ponder thy manifold sins, on the one hand, and the rich mercies with which thou hast been visited on the other. This is a proper mean to bring the …keep reading »

4 comments

How To Meditate On Scripture

How do you meditate on Scripture? I’ve heard the question many times. I’ve even asked it myself many times. Even when the question is answered it isn’t always clear. The real question is – What is the process for meditation? What exactly do I do? In this post I’m going to (hopefully) give you the how to meditate on Scripture with 1) a summary and 2) a point-by-point breakdown. I’ve adapted this instruction from Dr. Joel Beeke’s chapter, Learn from the Puritans I, in Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry, edited by Dr. Tom Ascol, pages 226-230. The points I’m …keep reading »

8 comments

Rejoice On the Lord’s Day

The Lord’s Day is approaching. I won’t be with my local church family due to celebrating my anniversary. However, I will still worship with my larger church family in the area in which we are staying. I leave you with these thoughts from The complete works of Richard Sibbes ( 74), as we all prepare our hearts and minds for worship. And rejoice in Christ. The word ‘ rejoice ‘ implies a boasting or glorying of the heart, manifesting itself in outward countenance and gesture, as also in speech. It also implies a resting on and contenting in the thing …keep reading »

0 comments

My Wife, My Helper

It’s that time of year again. A time that men love to hate and always forget. That is, if you believe the comedians. I mentioned it last year and it’s hear again. My wedding anniversary! Contrary to the funny people I do remember and look forward to my anniversary. We will be in a little town away from all the “stuff” in metro-Atlanta. There will be no email, blogging, twitter, facebook, etc. It will be a nice getaway with my lovely bride. Aside from being the good looking part of the us she is an unbelievable blessing from God! She …keep reading »

1 comment

De-baptism Thoughts

The title of a recent USA Today article says it all Atheists choose ‘de-baptism’ to renounce childhood faith. I’m not sure that Hemingway could have said it better. When a person becomes a Christian they repent and believe the Gospel. There is a renunciation of the previous life and a proclamation that we belong to Jesus. I imagine this is why we see this reverse of events as far as these de-baptisms go. This is actually another borrowing of the Christian worldview by atheists. Of course, they had another religious element, a de-sacrament.

8 comments

Why Worship?

As you go to worship tomorrow or whenever the next Lord’s Day is think about why your worshiping. Are you worshiping as a means to find total satisfaction in God? What might be some wrong motivations? Below I’ve reformatted a paragraph from Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper, page 240. Read this list and consider your reasons for worshiping.

0 comments

Book Review: Brothers We Are Not Professionals

Brothers, We Are Not Professionals: A Plea to Pastors for Radical Ministry by John Piper. B&H Publishing Group, 2002. 286 pages. The Review Brothers We Are Not Professionals by John Piper is a very encouraging book. It is written to pastors as a call to for Jesus Christ to be the center of every aspect of a pastor’s “life and ministry and culture”. (xi) Piper biblically challenges pastors with his ministerial convictions after 22 years of experience (at the time of publication) as a pastor. The book is a call to go against the cultural norms of people pleasing for …keep reading »

2 comments

Walking with God

Jesus saves us from ourselves, our sin and His wrath.  He does this inspite of ourselves.  Think on this as you worship with your brothers and sisters on the Lord’s Day.  Love Jesus, love your church family.  Think about where you were or where you would be if it weren’t for Jesus.  Go. Worship together. Be fed by His grace.  And don’t forget this on Monday. WALKING WITH GOD.—Genesis v.24. by William Cowper(1731-1800) Oh! for a closer walk with God, A calm and heavenly frame; A light to shine upon the road That leads me to the Lamb!

0 comments

Gospel Coalition or Assertions?

David Fitch has asked if we agree or disagree with his views on the work of The Gospel Coalition (TGC).  His views are expressed at Christianity Today’s Out of Ur blog post: Gospel Coalition or Expedition? How effective will The Gospel Coalition be in post-Christendom? One of the problems with Fitch’s approach can be seen in his introduction. 

5 comments

Be Happy God Says

Did you know that God commands you to be happy? Serve the LORD with gladness! Psalm 100:2 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 The best news in the world is that there is no conflict between your greatest possible happiness and God’s perfect holiness. Being satisfied with all that God is for you in Jesus magnifies him as the greatest treasure and brings you more joy—eternal, infinite joy—than any other delight ever could. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of …keep reading »

0 comments

Fatherhood: Appreciation, Humility, Ministry, Reflections

Another year.  Another Father’s Day.  A useless holiday that we made up to spur the economy i.e. to get people to spend money.  That’s just about what I used to think anyways.  Not so much anymore. Today when I think of Father’s Day I think of my father, myself as a father and my heavenly Father. 

2 comments

Who Is Watching Your Life?

Ride to Live, Live to Ride is the motto you’ll find on biker t-shirts.  It’s really a cool saying.  The motto can be changed to reflect whatever is primary in your life from riding motorcycles to sports to your job.  In reality the motto is about self.  The primacy of me we might say.  So what do you say?  How about something better? 

0 comments

Alcholism Vs Legalism

If you’ve read my testimony you’ll see that I grew up in a legalistic religion.  I could never be good enough.  I was the on the receiving end of the the never ending road of legalism.  Whether it was a cuss word or a beer, I was done. 

59 comments

Should “Celebrity” Pastors Offer Disclaimers?

Warning.  Caution.  Disclaimer.  These are popular words.  We see them on everything and everywhere today.  They are good, bad, indifferent and life saving.  Should we have something of those words at our Christian conferences where “celebrity” pastors and theologians speak?  Maybe. There are many good, Gospel-centered conferences offered these days.  I was at one of the last week.  The Advance09 Conference.  I even took notes.  I did think about the issue of the men speaking, who speak often, and if some sort of spiritual caution or reminder is in order. Two men more qualified than I have broached the topic.  …keep reading »

17 comments

Advance09 Makes Local News

How awesome is it to for a Christian conference to make the local news?  The final day was good.  I’m too tired to write out any notes.  I hope to have some final reflections on the event soon.  I was certainly blessed by the messages and fellowship.  Check out the news story. There’s about 2,900 miles between Mike Anderson’s home in Seattle, Washington, and Durham. But something drew him here this weekend. “I think God’s doing some things that are pretty special right now,” he said. “He’s both focusing on theology, which lots of times has been kept in the …keep reading »

0 comments

Advance09 Day Two

Today was day two at Advance09 here in Durham, NC.  It was another good day.  To catch up you can find all of the uploaded audio for you to download here: Advance09 Session MP3’s. Order of Events

42 comments

Advance09 Day One

I’m having a great time at the Advance09 Conference.  A great time of learning and conviction.  I’m rooming with a brother named Kris from NC who also put some notes up. I’m going to give you today’s line-up and some highlights from my notes.  You can go over to DesiringGod.org and download The First Three Advance09 Messages. The Line-Up Mark Driscoll – What is the Church? Tyler Jones – Decline and Resurge Bryan Chapell – Communicating the Gospel Through Preaching Matt Chandler – Preaching the Gospel to the De-Churched Q&A Panel

4 comments

Considering Death

Do you consider death?  After death?  It’s not the most comfortable thing to think about even for Christians.  It’s even tougher to talk about.  There is one such talk that you want to hear,  Rachel Barkey’s.

1 comment

Memorial Day 2009 Worship Service

It was a mostly normal Sunday morning.  My wife and I left for church wondering if it would happen.  It did.  The Pledge of Allegiance was said.  The National Anthem was sung.  Everyone stood.  We sat.  It was uncomfortable, I admit.

10 comments

The Trinity Working Together In Salvation

I was listening to this on the way to work this morning.  It speaks of how the Trinitarian God works together in salvation.  This is a subject I don’t hear talked about much.  How often to we think of  how the Trinity works together in salvation?  This song made me think about just that!

5 comments

Dear President Obama – No!

Amen! Spread the word. The world needs to watch.

21 comments

Heavy Hearts Good Words

Five minutes to leave.  We’ve got to go!  We’re going to be late. C’mon traffic!  Move cars! The interview is in a week.  How do I answer those questions again?  I’ve got to say it just right. What if I don’t get that job.  I need it.  I should check my email again to see if a decision has been made.  I wonder if I have a new voicemail?

2 comments

Angels and Demons A Novel Idea

The folks at Westminster Seminary have shined some light for truth.  They’ve put together a great new site responding to the movie “Angels and Demons” based on Dan Brown’s novel.  The site is The Truth About Angels & Demons.

1 comment

Good Enough To Be A Saint

Who is a saint?  A holy person?  One who is above and more deserving than others?  One who stands out because of their works?  Specific Christians who’ve reached a certain level of holiness in their walk?  Recently in my small group we touched on this very topic as we discussed Ephesians 1:1. Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: (ESV)[Emphasis mine.] How often do you read right through this verse?  It’s just a greeting, right?  Would we all pay more attention if Paul …keep reading »

0 comments

Preparing To Worship

As I think about and prepare for worship tomorrow on the Lord’s Day it is a blessing.  I’m going to  worship God.  To give Him something.  I’m going to sing for Him.  Will I like the songs?  What if we sing that really slow one?  Or the one that’s too contemporary?    Or what if..whatever…?  See, I don’t  normally think about those questions before hand.  If I think about them at all I think about them afterward.  Did we sing my favorite hymn?  When are we going to bring back that one song?  Why did we stand so much?  Why …keep reading »

0 comments

Prayer and Devotion Online

I can’t believe that I will have been blogging for five years come June 2009.  Blogs and websites come and go.  I’m not sure how or even why I’ve perservered so far.  Looking back, I’ve come a long way.  Looking ahead, I’ve got a long way to go. Two Quick Items There are so many great Christian resources online today.  I just keep giving my small contribution to whoever will have me.  I continue to try to improve my writing skills and, more importantly, edify those who stop by for the body of Christ.  I want to share with you …keep reading »

0 comments

When I Hear Southern Baptist

What do you think when you hear “Southern Baptist”?  This was the question from Thom Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, that came across Twitter last week.  My answer in Twitter fashion was: @ThomRainer ‘Southern Baptist’? 1-my church.Then sad-easy believism, weak Gospel overshadowed by “conservative” politics but much potential. Dr. Rainer weighed in on his son Sam’s blog breaking down the Twitter replies at When You Hear Southern Baptist, You Think… and Tony Kummer also gathered some additional replies at Southern Baptist Branding.  Below are the replies Wordled by Thom Rainer. Apparently, my answers weren’t as popular as …keep reading »

1 comment

10 Reasons You Might Be A Watchblogger If

10 Reasons you might be a Watchblogger if… 10. You constantly Google yourself. 9. You Google your spouse’s name to try and win an argument. 8. Family devotions consist of reading your kids your recent blog posts so they can meditate on “truth.” 7. Your two-week vacation consists of taking your laptop to Starbucks to keep your blog going. 6. You have HRESY HUNTR tattooed across your knuckles, in temporary ink, of course. 5. You are glad James, in chapter one, didn’t mention “blogging” when he wrote, “quick to listen, slow to speak.” 4. You have a separate cell phone …keep reading »

11 comments

Christ Our Righteousness Is Risen

We have finished the doctrine of Christ’s humiliation, wherein the Sun of righteousness appeared to you as a setting sun, gone out of sight; but as the sun when it is gone down to us, begins a new day in another part of the world, so Christ, having finished his course and work in this world, rises again, and that, in order to the acting another glorious part of his work in the world above. In his death, he was in a sense totally eclipsed; but in his resurrection, he begins to recover his light and glory again. An angel …keep reading »

0 comments

Proposition What? Rick Warren Did Not Lie

If  you watch this video: News & Views 10/23/2008 Part 3 (Prop 8 ) at about the 30 second mark you will hear the following. “We support Proposition 8 and if you believe what the Bible says about marriage, you need to support Proposition 8.” If you read this transcript Interview with Pastor Rick Warren (Aired April 6, 2009) you read: PASTOR RICK WARREN, DELIVERED PRAYER AT OBAMA’S INAUGURATION: Yes, you know, Larry, there was a story within a story that never got told. In the first place, I am not an anti-gay or anti-gay marriage activist. I never have …keep reading »

29 comments

Financial Omniscience

Below is a great quote by Ben Stein on knowing the future, especially, the future of financial and economic markets. I am bemused because I have long noticed that almost all economic pundits and soothsayers – whether on television, in newspapers, or at brokerage firms and conferences, are asked to tell the future. And most of them agree to try to do so, and the really successful ones actually say they can do it – and they say it with extreme conviction. Some of them are stunningly well paid for their efforts, even though they are wrong decade after decade. …keep reading »

0 comments

April Devotion MP3

My pastor said something I found funny while introducing me.  He mentioned that I was a blogger.  I was still too nervous at that point to comment. Below is a recording of the devotion I gave that I wrote about yesterday.  I hope it’s edifying.  If not, then shoot the messenger (me) because the message of the Gospel was clearly given to us. Any feedback whether positive or constructive is appreciated.

2 comments

Behind the Pulpit

Last night I had the opportunity to lead my church in a devotion for our evening service.  (A devotion is like a mini-sermon and mine was about 14 minutes.)  It’s been several years since I’ve preached at all.  I’ve taught classes and done a few presentations, but no sermon-like activities.  I was very honored when my pastor called me to ask if I would be willing to give a devotion.  My date ended up being April 5th, Palm Sunday.  As excited as I was to do this as the time drew near I wasn’t so sure.  I will share some …keep reading »

6 comments

Wisdom From A Teenager On Youth Ministry

A teenager, named Erica, was recently given an assignment to write an editorial on the subject of her choice. Her topic? Youth ministry.  Below is the editorial exactly as sent to a fellow blogger who is also a family friend of Erica.  Did I mention that she is only 15? Wow! ——————————————————— A new phenomena is going on in churches these days. Picture this: You enter into the youth group of a church on a Sunday or Wednesday night. You see at least fifty kids around. Some are off talking or playing a game, but most are in a circle …keep reading »

6 comments

How James White Made Me Roman Catholic

This will come as a shock to many of you who know the work of James White and team concerning Roman Catholicism as well as those who know me.  I’ve been acquainted with Dr. White since 2001 and he did something very special for my family in the years following. He’s helped me a lot in my faith, but through all of his apologetics I fear he’s driven me to become Roman Catholic.  I know he’s received emails and such telling him that the Protestant doctrine of Scripture Alone drove them to Rome.  However, that didn’t drive me.  That would …keep reading »

7 comments

Twitter Church and Classroom

Life is full of distractions.  Reading this blog right now might be one of them.  Though I hope it’s not.  Aside from whether or not you actually like this blog, it really depends on prioritizing as to whether or not something is a distraction.  In our sinfulness it’s easy enough to make time for prayer and Bible study secondary in our lives.  Between playing and watching sports to movies, TV and video games we manage to squeeze God in here and there. Think about it: How many times have people (you too!) been unprepared for Sunday School?  Yet when there …keep reading »

11 comments

Helping Baby Hannah

There are times in our lives when we don’t understand the greater purposes of God in our lives.  These can be very hard and trying times, especially, when it comes to our children.  When your child is only 14 months old and a rare cancerous brain tumor is discovered the pain only gets worse.  Yet through the pain and tears you praise God and covet the prayers of your brothers and sisters in Christ.  This is where my friend, Pastor Yogi Taylor, and his wife, Kelli, are right now. Please pray for them and read the letter below to see …keep reading »

1 comment

Jesus the Answer

Enjoy worshiping on the Lord’s Day with His people.  Below are some wonderful words to think on from John Newton which were written a few years after he wrote Amazing Grace. I heartily sympathize with you in your complaints; but I see you in safe hands. The Lord loves you, and will take care of you. He who raises the dead, can revive your spirits when you are cast down. He who sets bounds to the sea, and says “Hitherto shalt thou come, and no further,” can limit and moderate that gloom which sometimes distresses you. He knows why he …keep reading »

4 comments

Ask John Piper: Pornification of the Pulpit

John Piper is taking questions again: Ask John Piper a Question on Twitter (Note: you don’t have to use twitter, check the link.) My question via twitter is: @desiringgod #apj Pastor John, what did you think of Phil Johnson’s recent sermon on “Pornification of the Pulpit”? Why ask this?  If you aren’t familiar with this “controversy” go and listen to Phil Johnson’s sermon from almost two weeks ago at the Shepherd’s Conference.  Download it here: Sound Doctrine; Sound Words Titus 2:7-8. Phil Johnson tackle some of the current issues surrounding some of the language and imagery used in the pulpit …keep reading »

11 comments

Devotion On Grace

Our Bible passage for this devotion is Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (ESV) In today’s culture, much like the time when this passage was written, there is a fundamental misunderstanding of God’s grace towards mankind, especially, as it relates to salvation. In America, for example, there is a prevalent attitude that doing more gets you more. Or that doing good will give you more “good” into your life and that …keep reading »

0 comments

9 Marks Journal: Young Pastors

Church members: read these articles to help see where you may be a problem and how you may help with the solution for your pastor and the health of your local church. The latest 9Marks eJournal is out.  The topic is young pastors and it looks very good.  It’s good for the church to understand what pastor’s go through in their own lives in the pastoral role.  It’s nice to see my pastor writing for 9Marks again.  A portion of the editor’s note. “Clear vision but little depth perception.” That’s how I’ve heard Mark Dever characterize young pastors. Young pastors see their doctrine …keep reading »

0 comments

How Is Your Marriage? Deal of the Week

When Sinners Say “I Do”: Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage by Dave Harvey looks like an excellent book.  This week Westminster Bookstore has the book for only $8.37 which is 40% Off.  You can purchase it at Westminster Bookstore online and read excerpts, an author interview and endorsements.  Check out the table of contents below. Chapter 1 What Really Matters in Marriage 17 Chapter 2 Waking Up With the Worst of Sinners 33 Chapter 3 The Fog of War and the Law of Sin 45 Chapter 4 Taking it Out for a Spin 61 Chapter 5 Mercy …keep reading »

0 comments

Starting the Week

I started this morning reading Psalm 116 and 117. Go read Psalm 116. Even if you don’t get to read it right now, 117 is such a great, profound yet simple summary of praising the Lord. Psalm 117 (NASB) A Psalm of Praise. 1 Praise the LORD, all nations; Laud Him, all peoples! 2 For His lovingkindness is great toward us, And the truth of the LORD is everlasting. Praise the LORD!

0 comments

Sheep Stink A Pastoral Thought

I was talking to a pastor friend about the work of the ministry and the local church.  We were talking about the work the Bible describes, the hard work.  He summed it up nice and succinctly. People are sheep. Sheep stink and bite. Feeding them isn’t really hard, living with them is. For what it’s worth… Mark

10 comments

Good Buys On Good Books

Someone buy the name of drpuritan is selling some very good Chrisitan books on ebay.  As of now there are 379 titles available which include individual books and various volumes.  Starting bids range from $.99 to $120. I don’t know why these books are being sold.  Speculation leads to me think it may be due to the tough economic times. There are many good authors listed. Check out the books here: drpuritans books for sale. Mark

0 comments

Shut Up Christians!

The movie is actually called Speechless: Silencing the Christians.  Just watch the video and ask yourself – Is there a pro-homosexual agenda at work?  If so, is it affecting families, our nation, and religious freedoms? In the video you will also see reference to and quotes from the book After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90’s by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen which does seem to spell out a pro-homosexual agenda. What do you think? Is there an agenda? Mark

1 comment

A Story of Conversation, Witnessing and Theology

In light of my recent post on contextualization, I wanted to share something interesting that happened on the way to work last week. I got to talk to an unbeliever where I interjected theology into our conversation.  This opened the door to witnessing.  OF course, theology and witnessing should go hand in hand, but I’m making distinctions to remind folks to not be afraid of theology.  Don’t be afraid to think about it nor speak about it. The Scene As I pulled out to drive to work I saw a man leaving my neighborhood. It looked like the same man …keep reading »

1 comment

John Newton On Our Hope

A gem to meditate on for the Lord’s Day. “Our righteousness is in Him, and our hope depends, not upon the exercise of grace in us, but upon the fullness of grace and love in Him, and upon His obedience unto death” – John Newton Grace to you, Mark

0 comments

Talking Theology with Non-Christians: Contextualization

Mention the word contextualization today and that spark ignites a fire among the evangelical crowd.  Christians do need to be able to communicate with non-Christians.  There may be some forms of what people call contextualization that go too far though.  Whatever you call it I believe Van Til expresses well our need to bridge the communication gap.  While Van Til is speaking within the realm of apologetics proper the quote below is applicable for all Christians when engaging non-Christians. Men in general do not use or even know our theological terms.  But, to the extent that they are educated, they …keep reading »

4 comments

LifeWay Reads With Discernment

Update: The Baptist Standard reported that LifeWay backs off ‘read with discernment’ label for books. Apparently the label was irrelevant to their customers. So all of the links below have been removed since they were dead. LifeWay, the Christian bookstore of the Southern Baptist Convention, has a new warning label out. It’s called Read With Discernment.  You can read more about it at their Read With Discernment page where they explain what they’re doing. Our Challenge to be Discerning We want you to know that the authors of books marked Read with Discernment may have espoused thoughts, ideas, or concepts …keep reading »

11 comments

Miss America Interview

On Feb. 10, Pastor Wilken interview the new Miss American, Katie Stam, on the Issues, Etc. radio show.  I’m assuming Wilken got the interview because Ms. Stam is a Lutheran and her mother teaches at a Lutheran school.  Though I may be wrong.  I wanted to make a few observations about the interview. Slight Rant I think Wilken asked her some good questions.  He even asked her if the Miss American Pageant exploits women.  As tempted as I am to go there I don’t want to spend time on this topic.  Stam’s answer is a “no” here because of the …keep reading »

0 comments

Get Outta My Face! – Book Review

A review of Get Outta My Face!: How to Reach Angry, Unmotivated Teens with Biblical Counsel by Rick Horne. Wapwallopen: Shepherd Press, 2009, 176 pages. The book is divided into three main parts:  I. What You Must Understand to Connect with You Teen, II. What You Must Do to Help Your Teen and III. How to Make the Changes Stick.  These parts are further divided amongst 11 chapters.  There is also a handy Helpful Reminders appendix that summarizes each of the three sections as a quick reference guide. This might seem like a lot of information to cover in only …keep reading »

4 comments

Instant Millionaire!

When I first got the email I’ve share below I was just going to post it to show share the attempted scam.  It’s either a scam or someone is actually willing to give me $4.5 million!  Yeah, I’m holding my breath.  I’ve seen stories on investigative reporting shows about such scams.  Then I thought, why do people continue mailing and emailing these fraudulent requests?  Why did so many people fall for the current Wall Street scandals?  Why do people attempt to commit this fraud to begin with?  The main reason these things happen is because the perpetrators and the victims …keep reading »

2 comments

Free Atlanta Area Worship Conference With Don Kistler

Thanks to the alert by fellow blogger Brian Thornton at Voice of the Sheep.  It is Brian’s church that is hosting this conference.  This looks like a great conference.  Its’ in my backyard and I plan on being there! WHO: Don Kistler, Founder of SDG Books & The Northampton Press WHAT: Winter Bible Conference – A Theology of Worship WHERE: Rockdale Community Church, Conyers, GA WHEN: Feb. 6th-7th, 2009 (Friday 7pm – 9:30pm & Saturday 9am – 5pm) WHY: Because He is Worthy Click To Register & For More Information Schedule ’09 RCC Winter Bible Conference: A Theology of Worship …keep reading »

0 comments

Apostle Paul On Inauguration Day

There’s been mixed reviews of Rick Warren’s Inauguration Day prayer (a transcript) for President Barack Obama.  The reviews have been critical and grateful.  Like the mixed reviews I have mixed feelings.  I don’t want to talk about my reaction though.  I read what Mark Driscoll said and thought about one of Driscoll’s points. If you want to criticize him, of course you can. But remember, if you lived your life under the scrutiny that he does, you would likely be even easier to criticize. (Source) I have other issues concerning what Driscoll wrote, but to the above I thought, “scrutiny?”  …keep reading »

8 comments

Spiritual Warfare Sunday School

This past Sunday I got to substitute teach in Sunday School.  I was jumping in the middle of teaching on spiritual warfare.  The topic I was to cover was spiritual warfare and church leaders.  I was asked if I would share my notes here so I will.  I wasn’t sure at first, but someone may find something helpful. Approach Given the time constraints I decided to do an overview will the intention of spurring conversation. Since we’ve all ready covered the general aspects of spiritual warfare from the Christian perspective I wanted to look at the same issues considering pastors/leaders.  …keep reading »

2 comments

My Awesome Wife At Christmas

My awesome wife got me Richard Muller’s Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics for Christmas!  Now, my wife isn’t awesome because she got me these volumes.  It’s because she is awesome in more ways than I can count that she got them for me!  What a great gift. For those not familiar with this set here’s the description from Monergism Books which still has them for the great price of only $79. Description: Contending that the theology of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries is often misrepresented in church histories and scholarly treatments, Richard Muller has undertaken this exhaustive study of specific doctrines to …keep reading »

5 comments

Christmas Jingle: Jesus Christ Is Coming To Town

I’ve (attempted to) put together a little Christmas jingle this year.  It is sung to the tune of Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Jesus Christ is Coming to Town You better repent You better have faith Better not relent So you will be saved Jesus Christ is coming to town He’s writing a book And it’s a book of life He’s gonna write down who is justified Jesus Christ is coming to town He sees you when you’re sinning He knows when you forsake He knows if you’re still under the curse So repent for your soul’s sake Oh, …keep reading »

2 comments

A Christmas Meditation

The Fall of Man Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, …keep reading »

0 comments

Santa Nicer Than Jesus?

The last post with quotes from Michael Horton is similar to these below from Dr. Packer.  They both deal with a misunderstanding and even neglect of who God is.  Below Packer points out that the severity of God is passed over in favor of viewing God as only delivering goodness.  In all of the things taught to kids about Santa Claus it all boils down to being good and get something or be bad and get nothing.  Even Santa has standards of “bad” with the standard being a type of moralism.  The “bad” from Santa never really comes since most …keep reading »

1 comment

Jesus and Santa Claus

Does evangelicalism have a problem of treating Jesus like He is Santa Claus?  The quote below from Dr. Horton are not addressing this, however, I believe they are applicable to this topic.  In a way, I think Santa Claus gets more respect.  At least with Santa the morality of being good or bad is in view.  Granted, this morality is ultimately about serving self with the consequences being either getting something you want or not.  On the other hand, Jesus is just supposed to give all you want regardless of what God commands in His holiness. As we lose a …keep reading »

0 comments

Christian Criticism

I’m not very good at receiving compliments as my wife can attest.  I’m equally not very good at receiving criticism.  I suppose this makes me like a wooden dummy that just spits out information where people are listening or not.  Thankfully, the Lord sanctifies me and conforms me more and more to be like Christ.  I’ve grown in these areas, but I still have much growing to do. Funny thing is, I don’t really mind the criticism…later on.  In other words, it’s the initial receiving that can give me a hard time.  This makes a really good case for keep …keep reading »

1 comment

Christless Christianity Q and A With Michael Horton

On October 31 Michael Horton appeared live on washingtonpost.com’s Viewpoint.  Horton was answering questions about his new book Christless Christianity that was released on November 1.  The book has been doing well selling over 7,000 copies and the live chat at Viewpoint was the best so far.  This is great news!  It would be nice if a book like this would have some impact in the same way Warren’s Purpose Driven Life.  For some reason though, I just don’t think I will be driving by various churches with Christless Christianty Study displayed on their signs. If you’re unsure about getting …keep reading »

7 comments

Praising God When Your Baby Passes Away

Could you praise God in all things? Do you?  Could you praise God if He took a 3 month old infant to go home with Him?  Could you preach the funeral of this child?  How about preaching the Gospel at the funeral including mentioning that all are sinners?  Could you speak about the glorifying God and enjoying Him forever?  Could you speak of God’s grace in such a way?  Could you trust in the goodness and sovereignty of God?  Could you speak about it? Could you do all of the above if you were the father of the 3 month …keep reading »

1 comment

Spurgeon: Liberal or Landmarker?

Does who you serve the Lord’s Supper with make you either a Landmarker or a liberal?  I suppose it depends on who you ask.  Maybe the answer would be more along the lines that one might lean one way or the other without actually being either.  In other words, if, as a Southern Baptist, you have no trouble serving communion to a Presbyterian you have liberal leanings.  Or, if you think that only those baptized by immersion should be served communion you have Landmark leanings.  If we use the slippery slope argument then we should probably abandon both practices.  Of …keep reading »

25 comments

John 3:16 Conference, Together for the Gospel and Poor Arguments

One of the concerns raised by Steve Lemke at the John 3:16 Conference (J316C) is the current trend of baptists organizing conferences with Presbyterians.  As I lived blogged, Dr. Lemke mentioned that when baptists team up with Presbyterians is causes confusion.  As Lemke explained in an email to Ed Stetzer one aim of this conference was to respond to the Building BRidges conference and the Together for the Gospel (T4G) conference.  My understanding is that the remark about baptists and Presbyterians working together and causing confusion is a reference to T4G.  Lemke’s remark about confusion over who is baptist vs. …keep reading »

6 comments

Ten Indictments Against the American Church by Paul Washer

A practical denial of the sufficiency of Scripture. An ignorance of God. A failure to address man’s malady. An ignorance of the gospel of Jesus Christ. An ignorance of the doctrine of regeneration.* An unbiblical gospel invitation. Ignorance regarding the nature of the Church. A lack of loving and compassionate Church discipline. A silence on separation. Lack of children being taught in the home. Praise God for men like Paul Washer who aren’t afraid to preach such truths attacking the elephants in the room. Mark *Mr. Washer said “fourth” twice so I am re-numbering them accordingly. 🙂

5 comments

Giving Thanks

O Lord, remember not, How I once stood. Before mine own reflection, Worshiping what I thought was good. Long did I look, For life’s answers I sought. Only emptiness grew, Only death was I taught. I saw death as inevitable, A hopeless situation. Laboring for self in this life, This was my salvation. Grabbing hold of my sin, Oh, how it was glorious. Accepting my flesh, How I felt so victorious. One day without warrant, My vision re-arranged. God’s perfect Law came, My reflection was changed. My victory was over, As I clearly saw. How black my heart was, Against …keep reading »

0 comments

The Holy Spirit Is Not An It

I have heard the Holy Spirit called “it” more times that I’d like.  It’s usually in the form of, “We must rely on the Holy Spirit.  It can help guide you.”  It’s usually in those terms and I want to tell you something.  It drives me absolutely crazy!  Consider this.  How would you feel if someone said following? You have a cute child.  What’s its name? I met your spouse yesterday.  What does it go by again? I can’t wait to see your new born baby.  What did you name it? Sorry about your father’s passing.  Are you having a …keep reading »

6 comments

Book Review: Knowing God

I recently had the opportunity to write a book review for our church newsletter.  I was very appreciative to be asked do so.  And a big thanks my wonderful wife for being editor who helped me condense the review from 1,200 words down to less than 800.  Below is the review. Knowing God by J.I. Packer InterVarsity Press, 1993, 286 pages. Overview Do you know God or just know about Him? Do you seek to know God through Scripture or through personal experience? Are you skeptical about the Bible being divine revelation from God? In Knowing God, J.I. Packer sets …keep reading »

10 comments

A Calvinist Helping Missions?

Dear Readers, I still need your help in being sponsored and this is the last week! This Friday, November 21st, I will be joining 30 other men to help raise money for the Sandy Springs Mission in Atlanta, GA.  I found out last week that this mission will most likely run out of money in March 2009. What this mission does Sandy Springs Mission ministers to children in our community by: after-school programs (designed to help increase the literacy rate among low-income families) helping these young people learn to – read – write – communicate effectively (to help them thrive …keep reading »

0 comments

A Lord’s Day Reflection: Richard Baxter

This is a wonderful poem to meditate upon.  It reminds me of how short I fall and how great a Savior we have in Jesus! Lord, it belongs not to my care Lord, it belongs not to my care Whether I die or live; To love and serve thee is my share, And this thy grace must give. If life be long, O make me glad The longer to obey; If short, no labourer is sad To end his toilsome day. Christ leads me through no darker rooms Than he went through before; And he that to God’s kingdom comes …keep reading »

1 comment

A Calvinist Missionary and Other Notables

When it comes to missions and evangelism in the Southern Baptist Convention today’s hot button is Calvinism and it’s resurgence among younger Southern Baptists.  Is the concern that Calvinism does and will stifle missions and evangelism in the SBC valid?  The answer seems to depend on who you ask.  Regardless of theology, it’s a Gospel issue and  a sin problem.  One of my dead horses is a concern of pelagianism which I’ve mention recently. So what does a Calvinist missionary say ON BEING A SBC CALVINIST (& MISSIONARY)? Patterson gave me Calvinism When I entered The Criswell College in 1990, …keep reading »

0 comments

A Seminary Student’s Thoughts on the John 3:16 Conference-Update

Update: Todd Burus shares a great letter written prior to the conference. Read it: Calvinism in the SBC- An Open Letter to Johnny Hunt and Jerry Vines One of the people I was at the John 3:16 Conference with is a seminary student working towards an M.Div.  He attends an SBC seminary and was asked to give his thoughts on the conference for one of his classes.  He’s allowed me to post his brief thoughts below. Note: Thanks to Peter for influencing me to make this clarification.  The paragraphs below are a brief overview of my friend’s initial thoughts that …keep reading »

11 comments

Southern Baptist Pastors: A Must Read Letter

Open Letter to All Pastors of Churches in the SBC Dear Pastor, Let me first clarify that this letter is for Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) pastors in general. I am well aware that what you are about to read does not include all pastors – at least not in totality. …What is really so remarkable about the question of SBC decline is not the decline itself, but rather the simple answer that is so obvious no one will talk about with any seriousness openly in the SBC. Read the whole thing!

5 comments

John 3:16 Conference 60 minute Q&A

John 3:16 Conference live blogging links in order Welcome Part 1 Part 2 (T) Part 3 (U) Part 4 (L) Part 5 (I) Part 6 (P) Part 7 And the downloadable handout from Dr. Allen with updated cleaner charts thanks to Tony Byrne. UPDATE: James White and Phil Johnson have answered David Allen concerning the charge that James White is a hyper-Calvinist according to Phil Johnson’s definition. —————————————————————————- Paige Patterson had to leave early so Malcom Yarnell is sitting in for him on the panel. The format is one question for TULIP from a Calvinist and a non-Calvinist. 1. Total …keep reading »

16 comments

John 3:16 Conference Charles Stanley – John 3:16 to the World

Dr. Stanley starts telling that he grew up in a pentecostal holiness church.  He wasn’t raised with the belief that we can have assurance of salvation.  He then came to understand in the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ. Stanley doesn’t like this new move of talking about raising up “leaders” and such.  Instead we need to grow godly men.  He tells the story of his salvation and that he just loved Jesus.  He didn’t have a theological description.  He asks, how can you be saved and be lost?  Referencing those who don’t believe in eternal security. The world is looking for …keep reading »

3 comments

John 3:16 Conference Ken Keathley – Perseverance of the Saints

Quote from I.H Marshall – 2 Tim. 1:12 – Two components – One is presently saved – you can know that you are saved – One who in a state of grace will remain in the state of grace –>This is the perseverance What is the basis for assurance? Asahel Nettleton says “I think it possible I may get to heaven.” – Quotes D.A. Carson WTJ. 54. 21. – “Arminianism and Calvinism meet in strange and sad ways.” Three views on knowing if we are genuinely saved? Roman Catholic: Assurance is not possible; Canon 15 at the Council of Trent; …keep reading »

4 comments

John 3:16 Conference Steve Lemke – Irresistible Grace

Desires to go forward in unity. Those these discussions are appropriate. References Dordt and it being a response to the Remonstrance. Reads some long quotes of God’s grace that man has not saving grace within himself, etc. that we can’t do anything that is good. All good deeds must be ascribed to the grace of God in Christ.  Then, tells everyone that this was the Remonstrance and what the Calvinists were reacting against. We should not confuse hyper-Calvinists and Calvinists just as we should not call Arminians pelagian.  We should all do better with these labels. SBCer’s are not Pelagians …keep reading »

6 comments

John 3:16 Conference David Allen – Limited Atonement

Dr. Allen starts with John 3:16.  He plans on quoting only Calvinsts to prove his case against limited atonement.  Calvinists are going to be “shocked.” What two things to these men have in common – Calvin, Bunyan, Bullinger, Watts, Brainerd, Hodge, Edwards, Shedd, Barnes, Strong, etc. etc.? (I couldn’t get them all)  Dr. Allen wants to be firm but fair.  Answering the questions of must a Calvinist hold to the L, did they all hold to it and does Scripture teach it. He mentions Tony Byrne at theologicalmeditations.com  who is a four-point Calvinist.  Dr. Allen gave a six page hand-out.  …keep reading »

297 comments

John 3:16 Conference Richard Land-Unconditional Election

Dr. Vines starts the morning explaining that disagreeing is not a bad thing. He has many Calvinist friends with whom he disagrees. He claims man can still make a choice and that though depraved not so much to as to say our capacity to chose is ruined. He does not mention God’s grace and how He acts in our “choice” in salvation.  (He mentions that Ergun Caner might be here.) Dr. Land Congruent Election: Understanding Salvation from An Eternal Now Perspective We believe in an infallible word of God that does not contradict itself. We must seek knowledge and insight …keep reading »

13 comments

John 3:16 Conference Paige Patterson-Total Depravity

The most hated doctrine in the world today is the exclusivity of Christ.  The second is total depravity. He says thank God that our Calvinistic brethren for preaching the word of God. We have so much total depravity in our churches today because the word of God is neglected in preaching today. Dr. Patterson starts with reading Romans 1 through 3:26.  He says you won’t hear this preached in this post-modern world. What does depravity mean? There is not a single human being on the face of the earth that is right with God.  None, not one regardless of religion …keep reading »

8 comments

John 3:16 Conference Jerry Vines-John 3:16

Dr. Vines, as far as I can tell, is preaching the same message on John 3:16 that he preached at SBTS chapel earlier this year.  You can listen here: “The Inexhaustible Love of God” (John 3:16).  Since you can go and listen I may not say too much on this.  We’ll see.  From what I remember there is nothing contrary to what a Calvinist would believe in Dr. Vines sermon. God’s love is global.  If you’ve not heard this sermon Vines goes through the greek and some historical understandings of love, world, God, etc. He does mention that some hyper-Calvinists …keep reading »

3 comments

John 3:16 Conference Welcome Message by Johnny Hunt

As I blog through the John 3:16 Conference I will try to follow the schedule. Jerry Vines introduces the conference and Johnny Hunt.  He says this conference is designed to be a biblical and theological response to five point Calvinism. Johnny Hunt gets a show of hands and about 90% of the attendance are pastors and the rest lay people.  He starts with reading Psalm 119:33-40.  He emphasizes the “teach me” and “make me” in the verses.  We come to hear and obey the word of God.  Not intellectually, but to learn and apply it.  God grants the content and …keep reading »

3 comments

President Obama: Another View of the Election

The United States has elected it’s new President.  A President election that marks a milestone achievement concerning race in this country.  Our first black, or African-American, President.  I hope this will help in the healing process of race relations in this country.  However, for myself and many other this election was never about race. It was about who, either McCain or Obama, would best serve this country and her people.  I hope that was atleast one main point of focus!  The main point of contention is that Obama was thought to be the most pro-abortion candidate ever.  He even referred …keep reading »

0 comments

John 3:16 Conference Questions

As many of you know (or maybe not) I will be attending the John 3:16 Conference this week.  The very last item on the schedule is a 60 minute Q&A. So… I’d love to hear from blogdom out there as to what questions you’d like answered.  Maybe, just maybe I could get to ask or submit some of them for you.  I don’t know the set-up for everything yet so we’ll see. I may also get the chance to live blog the conference. Hopefully, this conference will build rather than tear down. Mark p.s. I recently reviewed a sermon from …keep reading »

5 comments

Reformation Day 2008: Protestant Courage

I remember several years ago while talking to a Roman Catholic about doctrine.  Though she had just left the convent and would no longer be in process to become a nun, she was a devout Roman Catholic as far as I could tell.  She left the convent and married a friend of mine.  We were all having dinner and I don’t quite remember what exactly we were talking about, but I can tell you how the conversation ended.  After a few minutes of dialogue, in her frustration, she finally said, “We’re Catholic, we don’t use the Bible!” Today, I fear …keep reading »

2 comments

Highway to Heaven

While driving on the interstate across state lines you never know what you might see.  While driving behind a semi on the doors to the trailer we saw two things.  On the left was a very large Icthus aka fish symbol.  On the right door were the words “Psalm 22:19.”  In the NASB, that verse reads: But You, O LORD, be not far off; O You my help, hasten to my assistance. Then, as we passed the semi there was a quote in very large letters on the side of the trailer.  I thought it was sort of interesting. If …keep reading »

2 comments

Deeper Conference, First Baptist Woodstock: Paul Washer

In a previous post I blogged about the Deeper Conference.  I didn’t get to attend as I’d hope, but below is one of Paul Washer’s presentations that is quickly becoming very popular. Play the audio above or download MP3 here. Enjoy! Mark

7 comments

Piper On Christian Voting As Though You Were Not

How should Christians think of voting as that time is upon us in the USA?  John Piper unpacks this with something we can often forget about during times like these.  Scripture! Voting is like marrying and crying and laughing and buying. We should do it, but only as if we were not doing it. That’s because “the present form of this world is passing away” and, in God’s eyes, “the time has grown very short.” Here’s the way Paul puts it: The appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they …keep reading »

0 comments

BICR About the Gospel

The Problem Think about a time when you’re at work or some other place you frequent with non-Christians.  They know you’re a Christian and you get into a discussion about religion.  It feels really good to be thought of and accepted as a Christian.  You feel like you can fit in without hiding your faith. Then, you’re asked, “What’s this Gospel I always hear Christians’ talking about? I always hear, Gospel this, Gospel that and was wondering.”  You freeze and think for a moment!  Maybe you think of John 3:16 and what you’re actually going to say, but you still …keep reading »

5 comments

Modalism Revisted: Phillips, Craig & Dean

Modalism probably hasn’t been a hot topic lately, but there is some new (to me at least) and concrete information on Phillips, Craig and Dean’s position on their position on the Trinity. If you search and read the various apologetic websites you’ll find how tough it was for many to get straight answers on their position on the doctrine of the Trinity. The PC&D website, for example, doesn’t have a statement of faith. Taking a look at their church websites doesn’t make finding their beliefs too much easier. On Dan Dean’s The Heartland Church I can find no statement of …keep reading »

54 comments

Lord’s Day Reflections: God’s Glory Among Us

This is a shot from the patio in the back of my office building.  It’s a beautiful sight.  Sometimes I forget what’s right outside my door while I am working all week.  Then, I remember and I go outside, slow down and just take it all in.  I get so caught up on all of the hussle that I don’t even realize God’s glory revealed all around us.  I am thankful that I have a view such as this and I thank God for it.  I just wish I remembered more often. Psalm 19:1-6 The heavens are telling of the …keep reading »

0 comments

Reformation Day Reflections 2006

The famous quote attributed to Johan Tetzel, “As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs” probably doesn’t mean much to many in the church today. If it weren’t for my own studying and reading, as a layman, it probably wouldn’t mean much to me either. The struggle today is similar to that of Luther’s day in that it is internal though not necessarily against Rome. Oh, there is still a battle with Rome, but few people in the pews even know the difference between Protestantism and Roman Catholicism. The battle is so far off …keep reading »

3 comments

Grace No More

In a recent Barna Group article the title One-Quarter of Self-Described Born Again Adults Rely On Means Other Than Grace to Get to Heaven says it all. It’s an interesting read. The article states Overall, 80% of adults in the U.S. call themselves “Christian.” In comparison, the phrase “a committed Christian” is embraced by two out of every three adults (68%). The words “born again Christian” are adopted by just less than half of the population (45%). Why should these three descriptions have different connotations? I do understand to a point since we do use qualifiers in language. But c’mon! …keep reading »

3 comments

Please welcome James Swan to the blogging world!

I have known/interacted with James Swan on the net for probably around four years. Well, now our friend has decided to join the blogging world with his new blog Beggars All: Reformation and Apologetics. Glad to see he’s making time to join the bloggers. I believe he can contribute much to the blogging world. He’s written some good papers on Luther that I linked too recently and is usually a good read. Just read this blog first and his posts will always be a good read. So…the original “TertiumQuid”…asked if I would promote his blog. Of course I will! Although, …keep reading »

0 comments

50 Cent 50 Shekel

One of my co-workers sent me something about Jewish hip-hop yesterday. I just remembered tonight that one of these groups was called “50 Shekel” so I googled it. Here is some of his testimony. MY TESTIMONY Note: For those of you who have already read this page before I put this note up and made the assumption that because you see that I had “1 bad experience in Orthodoxy” and that is the reason that I left “Judaism” please not that for 29 years I have been experiencing what “Judaism is” on many levels (Orthodoxy to Conservative to Reform to …keep reading »

0 comments

Islamic Calvinists: Flattery through imitation?

First, I want to say that this is truly not flattery as they are not imitating Calvinism merely stealing the name. Second, I am glad, but surprised that the anti-Calvinists out there haven’t used this information to try and discredit Calvinism. Give them time though. III. ISLAMIC CALVINISTS A. Max Weber in Kayseri No visitor to Kayseri could fail to notice that this is both a deeply religious society, and one where change and modernisation are eagerly embraced. There is a large new mosque in the centre of the university, and an even larger one in the industrial zone, where …keep reading »

3 comments

SBTS, Mohler & Moore: Alcohol &

First, I want to thank my good friend Russ for pointing me to this issue over at Steve McCoy’s blog. And thank you, Steve and all the others for the good and brotherly insight and engagment on this issue. Dr. Russ Moore opens with a wonderful prayer and thanks all for being there and being part of the forum. He talks about the importance of the issue with which I agree. He starts off positioning the issue from the cultural perspective and questioning how we should best handle alcohol. He touches on the effects alcohol has on today’s culture and …keep reading »

8 comments

Is the sermon about Jesus?

I often listen to Todd Wilken on the Issues, Etc. radio show. He evaluates sermons of various preachers and he has three “rules” that he uses. Below I am going to put them in my own words. They are: 1. Is Jesus mentioned in the sermon and how much? 2. If Jesus is mentioned, is He the subject of the verbs or is He the object of the verbs? In other words, is the sermon about what Jesus has done for you or what you will do (have done) for Jesus. 3. If Jesus is the subject, what are those …keep reading »

2 comments

The Albert Mohler Program

I listened to The Albert Mohler Program episode entitled The Pope: Taking the Measure of the Man. This is just a part of the program where he answers a caller’s question about the Pope’s salvation. Mohler said some interesting things and did not sacrifice the truth in order to be politically correct. Dr. Mohler said that we are justified by faith alone and not faith plus works or anything else. And that the only righteousness that will save you is the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. While defending sola fide he also said that we don’t believe we are saved …keep reading »

11 comments