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Showing posts from June, 2015

humanism and arbitrary laws

It appears the momentum for political decisions being made these days in the U.S. -- no matter what the social issue -- really seems to be the logical outcome of American humanism of the second half of the twentieth century.  Below is a quote from Francis Schaeffer, speaking in a lecture in 1982, over 30 years ago.  He saw then where this was all heading... [quote photo courtesy of Tony Felich ]

short term, long term

Dr. Russell Moore quote from a year ago...

banner of truth giveaway

Puritan Paperback Set, Romans Set, and Lectures to my Students – Giveaway by Banner of Truth .

applying Scripture

Here are a few questions to ask yourself when applying what you've studied in the Word.  The questions are grouped in three areas: Learning (knowledge), Worship (heart issues), and Action (practical and relational response)...

rich toward God?

"And I will say to my soul, 'Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.'  But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?'  So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God." (Luke 12:19-21 ESV) In the past I have limited this reference of "treasure" only to monetary matters. As Kuyper notes below, this principle -- being rich or poor toward God -- is more expansive than just applying to money.  Read on... To understand what constitutes riches in God, imagine for a moment that all your earthly riches had taken wings, and that bereft of all you had, you are forgotten by those who once knew you. In this utter forsakenness of soul ask yourself: What have I left? What do I now possess? This will be our state in the hour of death. We will go into eternity alone. What will we take with us? We must leave money and

the soul, a work of art

"The destruction of one’s own soul, or of the soul of his children or of others by example or willful temptation, is always the spoiling of a Divine work of art, a creation of God, which wounds him in his own handiwork, corrupting the traces of himself in it... "We should not poison the soul by continuance in sin, but that we should favor it, and spare it, and shield it from corrupting influences, because it belongs to God on the ground that He has made it... "The saving and uplifting power of this confession is only felt when each morning is begun anew with the vivid realization of the inspiring thought that the soul in us is a work of art, made by the High and Holy One, on which his Honor hangs, over which therefore He watches with holy jealousy..."  -- Abraham Kuyper, Near to God .

must we always comment

"Must we always comment on life? Can it not simply be lived in the reality of Christ's terms of contact with the Father, with joy and peace, fear and love full to the fingertips in their turn, without incessant drawing of lessons and making of rules?"   (Elisabeth Elliot)

known and loved

“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.”    ― Timothy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God

let us have courage

"But the ways of the world are cruel. Its cruelties have assumed finer forms, but this refinement has made them more intolerable. In former days there was much that reminded people of the sanctities of life, that made them think of higher things, and kept eternity before their eyes. All this is mostly gone. In the busy life of the world today there is little to keep in memory the things that are holy and eternal.  "In public life all thought of God is ignored. In some places church-bells are no more rung. Few days of prayer are appointed. God’s name is no more spoken. No memento mori  ["remember that you will die"] any more reminds us of death. Cemeteries are turned into parks. Sacred things are scorned. That which in private conversation and in the public press gives tone to theories is the delusion that heaven reaches no higher than the stars, that death ends all, that life without God is more apt to bring prosperity than life in the fear of the Lord. The habit

sermon notes and quotes

“Our God is a Consuming Fire” (Hebrews 12:25-29) Sermon outline :  There are to be 3 basic responses to the truths of the book of Hebrews... • Watchfulness --  being careful not to turn away. (v 25-27) • Gratitude – being thankful for his great salvation. (v 28a) • Reverence – being pleasing to him in worship and service. (v 28b-29).  “The God who ‘spoke to the fathers by the prophets’ (1:1) is the same God who ‘has spoken to us by his Son’ (1:2) and the same as ‘him who is speaking’ today by his Word (3:7-11; 4:12; 12:25).”   Can Christians lose their salvation?   Of all those the Father gives to the Son, none are lost (Jn 6:39).  They will never perish and no one can snatch them from Jesus and the Father’s hands (Jn 10:28-29). The very same ones God “calls” and “justifies” are the same ones he “glorifies” (Rom 8:29).   And “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:6).  We are “guarded by the power of God throu

the pastor as scholar

"If I am scholarly, it is not in any sense because I try to stay on the cutting edge in the discipline of biblical and theological studies. I am far too limited for that. What 'scholarly' would mean for me is that the greatest object of knowledge is God and that he has revealed himself authoritatively in a book; and that I should work with all my might and all my heart and all my soul and all my mind to know and enjoy him and to make him known for the joy of others. Surely this is the goal of every pastor."  -- John Piper,  The Pastor as Scholar and the Scholar as Pastor: Reflections on Life and Ministry (Crossway Books, 2011) And here's Martin Lloyd-Jones with a similar viewpoint: 

the same God

The God who " spoke to the fathers by the prophets " (Heb. 1:1) is the same God who "has spoken to us by his Son" (1:2) and the same as "him who is "speaking" today by his Word (3:7-11; 4:12; 12:25).

characterized by seriousness

“There is always a fundamental seriousness about the men and women who are born again. I mean something like this: they are never flippant, never light, never superficial... they are fundamentally serious people.  "Let me hasten to add that I am not saying that they are solemn or pompous people. God forbid that anyone would think I am saying that! No, no, they are happy, they can even be humorous. But their humor never runs away with them. It is a manifestation of life; it is the showing of one of the attributes that they have received by nature...   "We have suggested that when someone is born again, that is the most obvious thing about him; it must be, for it is the life of God in him. He is also conscious of being dealt with, of having been humbled; he is also aware of a true repentance, and he is characterized by a fundamental seriousness.” -- Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Experiencing the New Birth (Crossway, 2015)

the church as counterculture

quotes, links on transgender

Sin is and has always been the denial of reality : the serpent in the garden not only questions God's word ("Did God really say? [Gen 3:1]) but contradicts it ("You will not certainly die" [3:4]). It is hard not to see the transgender liberation movement as a transgression: an overt rebellion against the binary divide between male and female bodies and behavior.  The sex-change operation is a radical surgical intervention into an otherwise healthy body.  As such, it is a bad improvisation in which, forgetting what happened in Act One (creation), one strikes out in one's own technologically clever (but self-determined) direction, ontologically ad-libbing, laughing all the way to the organ bank.  To perform sex reassignment surgery is to encourage the worst kind of playacting: hypocrisy.  The irony, as with all sin, is that in trying to find oneself, one loses oneself.  Those who seek to rewrite their roles make God a bit player in a drama that exchanges the gospel

calvin's view of the church

I think that when I say that I hold to Calvin's view of the Church, I would need to specify which Calvin ... (Thanks to Harry K for sending this along!)

the preservation of God's people

See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. (Hebrews 12:25 ESV) And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. (Romans 8:30) In considering the warning passages in the book of Hebrews it is important that they be placed within the context of what the Bible teaches about the security and preservation of God's people.  Before we speak of our perseverance, we must think about it from God's point of view.  The key issue is, does God preserve in faith those whom he has saved ?  J. I. Packer answers... "Let it be first said that in declaring the eternal security of God's people it is clearer to speak of their preservation than, as is commonly done, of their perseverance.  Perseverance means persistence under discouragement and contrary