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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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?


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »


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 »

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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 »


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!


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 »


Help Needed for Local Atlanta Mission

Dear Readers, I need your help! On November 21st, I’m going to join 30 other men and play in a golf tournament in Atlanta, Georgia. This is not a situation where those with money pay for an overpriced round of golf and a chance to miss work! It is, however, a charity event, where we hope to be amazed by what a group of people working together can accomplish. You can be a part of this effort by sponsoring me in the Sandy Springs Mission Golf Challenge. What this mission does Sandy Springs Mission ministers to children in our community …keep reading »


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 »


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 »


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 »


My Testimony Podcast

I started playing around with podcasting and figured that recording my testimony was a good place to start.  I don’t know what, if anything, I will do in the future with audio. Anyways, if anyone wants to hear my brief testimony you can listen or download it below. [display_podcast] For what it’s worth… Mark