Friday, June 30, 2006

Pregnancy Ethics

A professor in a college ethics class presented his students with a problem. He said, “A man has syphilis and his wife has tuberculosis. They have had four children: one has died, the other three have what is considered to be a terminal illness. The mother is pregnant. What do you recommend?” After a spirited discussion, the majority of the class voted that she abort the child. “Fine,” said the professor. “You’ve just killed Beethoven.”

-HIS magazine, February 1984-

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Stand Against Error - Machen

Men tell us that our preaching should be positive and not negative, that we can preach the truth without attacking error. But if we follow that advice we shall have to close our Bible and desert its teachings. The New Testament is a polemic book almost from beginning to end.

Some years ago I was in a company of teachers of the Bible in the colleges and other educational institutions of America. One of the most eminent theological professors in the country made an address. In it he admitted that there are unfortunate controversies about doctrine in the Epistles of Paul; but, said he in effect, the real essence of Paul's teaching is found in the hymn to Christian love in the thirteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians; and we can avoid controversy today, if we will only devote the chief attention to that inspiring hymn.

In reply, I am bound to say that the example was singularly ill-chosen. That hymn to Christian love is in the midst of a great polemic passage; it would never have been written if Paul had been opposed to controversy with error in the Church. It was because his soul was stirred within him by a wrong use of the spiritual gifts that he was able to write that glorious hymn. So it is always in the Church. Every really great Christian utterance, it may almost be said, is born in controversy. It is when men have felt compelled to take a stand against error that they have risen to the really great heights in the celebration of truth.

-J. Gresham Machen-

The Book of Mormon and The Bible

Are the Book of Mormon and the Bible comparable?

Check out this outstanding free video

The Bible vs. The Book of Mormon.

God Bless,


Sean Dietrich

I wanted to give a quick heads up to Sean Dietrich, who stopped by my blog and had left a couple of comments. He is a singer and songwriter. If you like Keith Green influenced music you will want to give him a listen. He has a lot of free downloads to check out.

Keep up the great work Sean,


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

John Owen On Preaching

"A man preacheth that sermon only well unto others which preacheth itself in his own soul. And he that doth not feed on and thrive in the digestion of the food which he provides for others will scarce make it savoury unto them; yea, he knows not but the food he hath provided may be poison, unless he have really tasted of it himself. If the word do not dwell with power in us, it will not pass with power from us."

-John Owen-

The Enjoyment of God - Edwards

"The enjoyment of God is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, or children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows; but God is the substance. These are but scattered beams, but God is the sun. These are but streams. But God is the ocean."

-Jonathan Edwards-

Vacation Was Great

Hey everyone,

Vacation was great. Thanks for all the kind works you left while I was gone. It was a great time of refreshing as I spent a lot of time with my wonderful wife and kids. I also had some great personal time as I had some great bike rides in the mountains.

Devotionally it was great also. I read Edward's treatise on grace. Major portions of Luther's Bondage of the Will. The book of Hebrews, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John, along with several other passages of Scripture. I was able to read the Christian History magazine on Richard Baxter and the English Puritans, and as I was riding I was also able to listen to John Piper's lectures on John Calvin (twice), John Owen, Johnathan Edwards, Martin Luther, and Augustine. Needless to say I came back extremely inspired. God is great!

My mind has been reeling in what it means to be born again and it's relationship to eternal life, and how it relates to perseverance of the saints. Also, Luther piqued my interest on some arguments regarding the idea of libertarian free will, and a host of other things. I looking forward to getting back to blogging as you guys always help me work through the issues.

God bless,


Sunday, June 18, 2006

I'm On Vacation

Hey everyone, I am officially on Vacation. I will be spending a week in the mountains with my family. We usually do this once a year. It is a great way to have a lot of quality family time and R and R. I plan on doing a lot of mountain biking and reading Jonathan Edwards Treatise On Grace (which I'm sure I'll tell you about when I get back) along with some time for studying the Scriptures.

I'll Be back to posting on Tuesday, June 27th.

God Bless,


Friday, June 16, 2006

God Stirs Up Our Nests - John Gill

Deut. 32:11 As an eagle stirreth up her nest...

"As an eagle stirreth up her nest,.... Her young ones in it, to get them out of it: Jarchi says the eagle is merciful to its young, and does not go into its nest suddenly, but first makes a noise, and disturbs them with her wings, striking them against a tree or its branches, that so they being awakened may be fitter to receive her: with respect to literal Israel, Egypt was their nest, where they were who were then in their infant state, lay like young birds in a nest; and though it was a filthy one and where they were confined, yet they seemed sometimes as if they did not care to come out of it; until the Lord made use of means to get them out, by the ministry of Moses and Aaron, by suffering their taskmasters to make their bondage heavier, and by judgments inflicted on the Egyptians, which made them urgent upon them to depart: with respect to spiritual Israel, their nest is a state of unregeneracy, in which they are at ease, and do not care to be awakened and stirred out of it; but the Lord, in love to them, awakens them, stirs them up, and gets them out, by sending his ministers to arouse them, by letting in the law into their consciences, which works a sense of wrath, by convincing them by his Spirit of their sin and danger, opening their eyes to see their wretched and miserable estate and condition, and by exerting his almighty power, plucking them as brands out of the burning."

-John Gill-

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Nature and Knowledge of Christ - Calvin

We must hold therefore that Christ, being the eternal Son of God, and of the same essence and glory with the Father, assumed our flesh, to communicate to us by right of adoption that which he possessed by nature, namely, to make us sons of God. This is done when ingrafted by faith into the body of Christ, and that by the agency of the Holy Spirit we are first counted righteous by a free imputation of righteousness, and then regenerated to a new life: whereby being formed again in the image of our heavenly Father, we renounce the old man.

-John Calvin-

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Our Enemy - Tolkien

As I was reading through The Hobbit a couple years ago this stuck out at me. It seems to be a great anology of our enemy Satan and his demons.

“Now goblins are cruel, wicked, and bad-hearted. They make no beautiful things, but they make many clever ones. They can tunnel and mine as well as any, when they take trouble, though they are usually untidy and dirty. Hammers, axes, swords, daggers, pickaxes, tongs, and also instruments of torture, they make very well, or get other people to make to their design, prisoners and slaves that have to work till they die for want of air and light. It is not unlikely that they invented some of the machines that have since troubled the world, especially the ingenious devices for killing large numbers of people at once, for wheels and engines and explosions always delighted them, and also not working with their own hands more than they could help; but in those days and those wild parts they had not advanced (as it is called) so far. They did not hate dwarves especially, no more then they hated everybody and everything, and particularly the orderly and prosperous; in some parts wicked dwarves had even made alliances with them. But they had a special grudge against Thorin’s people, because of the war which you have heard mentioned, but which does not come into this tale; and anyway goblins don’t care who they catch, as long as it is done smart and secret, and the prisoners are not able to defend themselves.”

-J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit-

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
-Ephesians 6:12-

As Honey Tasted - Ryle

"As honey tasted, seems to make all other things seem tohave no taste at all; so does the cross seen by faith,take all the sweetness out of the pleasures of the world."

-J.C. Ryle (The Cross of Christ)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Truth These Days Seems Up For Grabs.

Truth these days seems up for grabs,
When at God Word they take their jabs.
The truth of God, it will not fail
Though so many against it rail.

They will someday, bear the shock
When they stand before the God they mock
“How can we know” is their battle cry
Ignorance is bliss, is what they imply.

If we cannot know, we can’t be charged.
With immorality enlarged
God is not fooled by sinful games
And everyone, He knows their names.

For all men know, is what He said
Still they suppress the truth instead.
Without excuse, they stand and wait
To face the Law they desecrate.

Yet truth can still break the Lock
When they meet the Stumbling Block
His mercy’s there for all who come
When to Truth, they do succumb.

-Doug Eaton-


Saturday, June 10, 2006

On Worship - Burroughs

"When you come to worship, take heed that you do not come in your own strength, for there is more required in sanctifying the name of God than your strength is able to carry you on in. And therefore, act your faith upon Jesus Christ every time you come to worship God"

-Jerimiah Burroughs,
Gospel Worship, 182-

Thursday, June 08, 2006

"Postmodern Pilgrims" Critical Book Review

The Purpose of the Book

In the book Postmodern Pilgrims by Leonard Sweet, the author sets out to discuss the nature of the postmodern culture and how the Church should respond. Sweet feels that there has been such a dramatic change in the culture that if the Church does not change the way it does things, it will lose the culture. Sweet quotes Romano Guardini who said, “Today the modern age is essentially over” “The church was on the right track, he argued, but riding the wrong train” (XIII). Sweet believes that the modern period with its strong focus on propositions, and rationality, was a mere stint in time, which is now over, but not without taking a firm hold on the Church. In this book Sweet wants to call the Church to return to what he believes the original Church was intended to be. He argues that if the Church is going to be authentic in its worship and reaching the postmodern culture it’s going to have to make some significant changes, which will be dealt with in detail shortly.

In attempting to lay out his foundation for this book, he makes a few statements regarding it. (1)”Postmodern Pilgrims is an attempt to show the church how to camp in the future in the light of the past” (XVI). (2) Postmodern Pilgrims argues that ministry in the twenty-first century has more in common with the first century than with the modern world that is collapsing all around us” (XVII). (3) Postmodern Pilgrims aims to demodernize the Christian consciousness and reshape its way of life according to a more biblical vision of life that is dawning with the coming of the postmodern era” (XVII). With these in mind, he states that the point of this book is to introduce the EPIC model of “doing church”. Before moving on he makes a clear warning that as Christians we are not to embrace a postmodern worldview, because there are aspects of postmodernism which are in direct contradiction with the truths of Christianity.


The book has two significant underlying premises. (1) The first one is that the modern period has ended. The culture has changed significantly. It is no longer concerned with rational thought and logical argumentation. We live in a culture that does not try to figure everything out. Mystery is embraced; reason has been critiqued, and found to be wanting. Terms like foundationalism and rationalism are now suspect. Therefore people are more concerned with the experiential and less concerned with propositional truth, if there even is such a thing. To add clarity to this premise, Sweet is clear to let us know that the focus on propositions were products of modernism and now we are returning to a more Biblical understanding. A more “eastern” understanding is the way the Bible was originally meant to be read. (2) The second main premise that he deals with, is that the Church is stuck in its modern trappings and needs to shaken free of them. If it does not, it will fail, besides it is not what the church was intended to be.

The conclusion of these premises is that the church needs to change the way it does church. The first real problem with the book is that both premises contain serious error, but are never really addressed. The majority of the book is spent trying to tell us why the Church ought to follow the EPIC model by using examples of successful businesses and other postmodern groups that are making an impact. An interesting aspect of this is that the beginning of the book starts out by decrying the crass commercialism that the Church has bought into, and then uses Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and eBay as examples of how the church should change if it wants to be successful. If these are not pure examples of commercialism then what is.

The book starts off with an introduction called “Kiss and Tell” (1). Sweet tells three romantic stories and tries to let us know that we are pushing away the culture when we should be trying to love it. He says that our method of dealing with the culture is to tell it to change and then it will start to love it. He says that we should not do this, instead we should love it and then it may change. The problem with this argument is that he never specifies what aspect of the culture he talking about. If he’s talking about the people in the culture then he is right. Scripture has been telling us to do this since it was written. We are to love others, even our enemies. But if he is talking about the postmodern worldview that teaches the there is no real truth, and ethics are feelings, then he is wrong because we cannot, nor should we love it. Since context is talking about the postmodern worldview it is never made clear what he means exactly.

After about 20 pages with headings like “The Holy Kiss” (11) and “Two Great Kisses”(9) and quoting all kinds of music groups from Hootie and the Blowfish to Sixpence Non the Richer, he has somehow made his case that the church needs to change the way it “does church.” The only really significant analogy as to why the church needs to change is because of the way that Who Wants to be a Millionaire has become successful.


The first way that Sweet believes that the church should change is that it needs to become more experiential and less propositional in its liturgy. One of his clearest examples of what this means is explained in a metaphor of two signs with arrows. “The right arrow says, ‘this way to heaven’ the left arrow says, ‘this way to a discussion about heaven.’ The modernist took the fork to the discussion. Guess which fork the postmodernist took” (31)? Sweet here is trying to say that modernists in the church worship the propositions about God while the postmodernist actually have an experience with God himself. There are clearly some who don’t know God but love theology, but there is a major problem with this idea, because it is never explained what is meant by experience. The best that can be derived from the book is that it is some sort of emotional or spiritual experiences. Some how the postmodernist is actually in heaven while the modernist is discussing it. But in reality neither is in heaven. In fact, a counter example could be made using the two arrow signs. The sign pointing to the right says “this way to heaven,” the sign pointing to the left says “this way to feelings of heaven.” The modernist takes the sign to the right. Guess which one the postmodernist took?

One major problem that seems to get to the root of the issue, is that Sweet uses the following quote by Kant. “There is no doubt that all our knowledge begins with experience” (32). Two major points about this is, (1) it is doubtful that Sweet understands what this is talking about and uses it out of context, (2) or worse he does know what this means and uses it anyway. Kant was an empiricist and believed that you could not know anything that you could not experience with your five senses. Kant then taught that if there is a god you could not know it because you could not sense him.

Sweet also quotes a BMW ad that says, “Engineering. Science. Technology. All worthless unless they make you feel something” (35). The be all and end all for the postmodernist is the feeling you get from the experience. They seem to think this is the truth because they can sense it. This also has many flaws because sometimes our feelings are wrong. The Mormon has the burning in the bosom, the Buddhist has his peace, but neither is true. Not to mention it is never mentioned what actually causes the experience. As Christians, emotions and experiences are important, but only if they brought on by truth, which is not a feeling, but that which corresponds with reality.


The next point Sweet addresses is that the culture we live in is a participatory culture. People want options and don’t want to be controlled. They like to be the ones making the decisions which may be true, but he goes on to say, the “’We preach it/You hear it’ is over. Every congregation must become a participant-observer congregation” (72). But hasn’t the church always been doing this? We come together to worship. We sing songs, hymns, and spiritual songs. We study the Word of God as it is preached and we participate in the sacraments. Sweet does bring to mind the importance of small groups where a person can be involved and known personally. It is easy to get lost in a large commercial driven church and not have any participation, but it seems that Sweet sees this as the norm when the truth is that most churches are small churches of about 300 members who have smaller classes and time together. Regardless of the size, there will always be people who will not get involved because they have no interest, and if they were given some say as to the way things should be done, their ideas would have nothing to do with church.


The next change Sweet believes the Church should make is to be more image driven. His argument is that we should move from a word-based system to a more image-driven system. People today are more moved by images than they are by words. Our MTV generation, with its quick images and news clips say more than words. He then spends several pages writing on the failure of propositional truth and goes on to talk about the importance of metaphors. This was probably the most unclear of the chapters. Why we would want to stop using words and starts using metaphors, which are “word pictures,” doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense.

This Chapter actually contains some serious dangers, because it begins to expose some of the underlying philosophies that he seems to hold to. He says, “Propositions are lost on postmodern ears” (86). Beside the fact that it is self-refuting because he says it with a proposition in a book he has written full of propositions, the statement is simply not true. Everywhere you turn people are telling you what they believe. The conservatives, the liberals, the feminists, and even postmodern philosophers all use them. But what Sweet is getting at is actually more dangerous than he lets on. At one point he actually says that creeds and statements of faith are actually a modern phenomenon, but the Apostles, Athanasius, and Nicene creeds are anything but modern. Doctrine goes back to Jesus himself who the people where astonished with because they had never heard such doctrine (Matt. 7:28). Beside the fact that metaphors are actually propositions because they communicate something that is either true or false, the Word is to be preached. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

Another problem with this idea is that the Church does and has always used images to teach the Word. That is what the sacraments are all about. The bread and the wine represent the body and blood of Christ. Baptism shows the death burial and resurrection of Christ, and how we have died to our old self and raised to our new man. Images are an important aspect of our worship and will always be.


The final point that Sweet makes is that in a postmodern culture, community is vitally important. He goes on to make some important insights to the fact that we are to love one another and that we need each other. He also spends some time speaking about how we are all connected. Some of which sound something like John Donne’s devotion “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, which is true, but he goes even further and begins to sound more and more existential. Even in this chapter he decries propositions and rules, and lifts relationship to new levels. At one point he goes on to say, “They’re [postmoderns] convinced the world needs less of religion, not more. They want no part of obedience to sets of propositions and rules required by some ‘officialdom’ somewhere. Postmoderns want participation in a deeply personal but at the same time communal experience of the divine and the transformation of life that issues from that identification with God” (112). This is nonsensical because how do you have a community with which you identify, if that community has no rules or propositions that it sets it apart. Even if that is the group you identify with, you at least have one self-contradictory rule, that there are no rules.

Relationship is important to Christianity. We have relationships with God, with our fellow Christians and even non-Christians. But what Sweet is talking about here is harkening back to Kierkegaard, who used to argue that sin is not breaking a rule it’s betraying a relationship. Though this is true, that sin is betraying a relationship, if you have no rules it is impossible to betray that relationship.

Sweet then speaks of love as the highest law, which it is, but he speaks of it as trumping all other laws when in fact it lives in perfect harmony with them. If all other rules are gone then love in turned into a warm feeling, because without laws, rules, and propositions how would we ever know how to express our love. Love is looking out for the other persons best interest even if it means denying our own. Without laws, we would never know if our loving a person is helping or hurting them. To see a homosexual couple and say, “I love you and I just want you to be happy,” this is not loving them, because you are actually helping them continue in a manner that will bring the judgment of God upon them. We are to lovingly help them out of that relationship. God’s moral law is an expression of His love. Whenever we have something that we call “love” that trumps those laws, we’ve deceived ourselves.


Sweet closes the book with what he calls the entroduction. Here he goes into the theoretical background, and his true colors are shown. His epistemology comes out as he says things like, “The other [postmodern] way (more biblical, more Eastern) of ‘knowing” is really a way of ‘unknowing’: to be ‘empty’ of oneself and to let the flower reveal itself as it is” (145). In other words propositions are constructs. He goes on to say that we are bound to our cultural constructions. “Divine revelation has occurred. There are universal moral truths. Yet knowledge about these truths is socially constructed” (146). He quotes an old Jewish proverb that says, “We do not see things as they are but as we are” (148). Sweet seems to hold to the idea that we can’t really know, because it is we ourselves who are bound to our created truths, as we understand. “Observation itself is impossible without some interpretation, that is understanding” (154). Then to keep all the orthodox readers happy he closes with this line, “in a world of Cheshire-cat absolutes, one absolute remains absolute. That absolute is Jesus: the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (155). But how can this be, he has just argued for the last 20 pages that we cannot know without our constructs and interpretation. How can Jesus be an absolute when we know him through our constructs and interpretations?

Method of Argumentation

Sweet’s method of argumentation is a hard one to pin down. Like any good postmodern work, logical syllogism are not encouraged. If I where to pick one method of argumentation that he uses to try and convince his reader of his points, it would be argument by analogy. Sweet uses stories and metaphors, hundreds of them, to make his point. Since I don’t believe there is a method of argumentation call argument by metaphor I will stick with argument by analogy. The problem is that the majority of the analogies are neither quantitatively nor qualitatively viable.

Evidence Adduced in favor of the Arguments

The evidences he uses to make the majority of his points are the successes of many businesses that are using postmodern methods to create thriving businesses. He does try to use scripture, but the majority is out of context when it is used. He also uses quotes from people like Kant and other philosophers who agree with him, but this is not really evidence.

Postmodern Pilgrims has many problems. Sweet seems to have embraced many of the tenants of the worldview that contradict Christianity, like truth is unknowable, and it is not inherently propositional. The problem with this claim is that if it is true, then the Bible is not of much use to us since it is filled with propositions that we will then construct based on our social conditioning. If God was trying to tell us something, He should have found a better way.

You can’t always take an author by what they say they believe, you have to go deeper into what they are really arguing for. Sweet says that he defends traditional Christianity and that Christ is an absolute, but he spend the rest of the book arguing contrary to the traditional understanding of those statements. By doing so he shows us that he means something completely different when he says traditional Christianity.

Did the Author Accomplish His Goal-Strengths and Weaknesses?

The strengths and weaknesses were discussed throughout the explanation of Sweet’s arguments, and since every main section had serious flaws, it seems that the book does not accomplish its goal. Only if someone has already bought into postmodernism, will this book seem convincing, but even then I’m not sure how they would know since they can only know the propositions that he wrote through their social constructions.

The Most Valuable Points Learned from This Book

Besides a better understanding of the emergent church movement, I was reminded of the importance of several aspects of Church worship. The experiential nature of Worship is important. The Church should not downplay the emotional and spiritual aspect of worship, but that experience must be truth driven. For instance, when the church sings a hymn like “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” and is moved emotionally as we think about the greatness of our God, and that we do have “the right man on our side, the man of God’s own choosing.” It is truly moved spiritually, but the truth of that song is not made true because the church is moved. It’s true whether or not it’s moved. Experience is important, like Spurgeon said in The Soul Winner, if you want people to feel your sermons you must feel them too. But we must not get this backwards as some in the church have done, because many try to set up emotional experiences in hopes that we will find truth, when in fact we must have truth and respond to it.

I am also reminded of the importance of participation in worship. Not to mention the importance of the images that God has given us in His divine ordinances, and the connectedness that is needed in the Church. I’m also reminded of the trouble we can get into if we raise these things above the truth of God’s special revelation. These must be conformed to the truth, we are not to conform the truth to these things.

Finally this book did remind me that, as the Church, we are to reach out to our culture. The Church is not just to stay in our pews and try to get them to come to us; we are to go into the highways and byways to reach them. The better we understand where they are coming from the better we will be able to go to them and walk them back to the truth, but we must never forget the culture does not alter the truth of God’s special revelation, God truth alters the culture.

-Doug Eaton-


My soul at times will not be still,
And tremblings with, my heart doth fill
Yet perfect bliss was not His pledge
Nor paradise within His hedge.
But every trial will be endured.
The victory has been secured
And death itself’s a vanquished foe
By Resurrection’s mighty blow

-Doug Eaton-


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Truth of Biblical Language Must Be Vigorously Protected With Non-Biblical Language - John Piper

Athanasius’ experience was critically illuminating to something I have come to see over the years, especially in liberally minded baptistic and pietistic traditions, namely, that the slogan, “the Bible is our only creed” is often used as a cloak to conceal the fact that Bible language is used to affirm falsehood. This is what Athanasius encountered so insidiously at the Council of Nicaea. The Arians affirmed biblical sentences. Listen to this description of the proceedings:

The Alexandrians . . . confronted the Arians with the traditional Scriptural phrases which appeared to leave no doubt as to the eternal Godhead of the Son. But to their surprise they were met with perfect acquiescence. Only as each test was propounded, it was observed that the suspected party whispered and gesticulated to one another, evidently hinting that each could be safely accepted, since it admitted of evasion. If their assent was asked to the formula “like to the Father in all things,” it was given with the reservation that man as such is “the image and glory of God.” The “power of God” elicited the whispered explanation that the host of Israel was spoken of as dunamis kuriou, and that even the locust and caterpillar are called the “power of God.” The “eternity” of the Son was countered by the text, “We that live are alway (2 Corinthians 4:11)!” The fathers were baffled, and the test of homoosion, with which the minority had been ready from the first, was being forced (p. 172) upon the majority by the evasions of the Arians.

R. P. C. Hanson explained the process like this: “Theologians of the Christian Church were slowly driven to a realization that the deepest questions which face Christianity cannot be answered in purely biblical language, because the questions are about the meaning of biblical language itself.” The Arians railed against the unbiblical language being forced on them. They tried to seize the biblical high ground and claim to be the truly biblical people—the pietists, the simple Bible-believers—because they wanted to stay with biblical language only—and by it smuggle in their non-biblical meanings.

But Athanasius saw through this “post-modern,” “post-conservative,” “post-propositional” strategy and saved for us not just Bible words, but Bible truth. May God grant us the discernment of Athanasius for our day. Very precious things are at stake.

-John Piper, The Life and Ministry of Athanasius-

More Great Teaching MP3's

Here is another link to more great free MP3's. Most of them are by John Piper. You can listen to his lectures on great people of faith such as Athanasius, David Brainerd, Charles Spurgeon, etc., or any of the other great topics.

Also, Don't forget to check out the Church History lectures by Thomas Neslon.

God Bless,


PS. I found this link on another blog and have been enjoying it all week, but I forgot at which blog I found it. If you know, or if it was yours, let me know and I will link it.

I've Been Tagged

I've been tagged by Pastor Josh Kari. Here you go Josh.

I am: Trying to figure out how to finish this sentence.

I said: way too much, but a man who holds his tongue can at least appear wise.

I want: To be a great husband, father, friend, and most of all follower of Christ.

I wish: I would stop wishing and start praying more.

I hear: Jesus calling (John 10:27) Praise God!

I wonder: as I wander.

I regret: regretting things for which I’ve been forgiven.

I am not: worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which God hast shewed me (Gen. 32:10).

I dance: Sometimes when teaching the youth at our church.

I sing: Old hymns a lot.

I cry: out to the Lord and He hears me (2 Sam. 22:7).

I am not always: The person I should be.

I make with my hands: big piles of books.

I write: in order to clarify my thoughts.

I confuse: others when I write.

I need: thee every hour, is one of my favorite hymns performed by Fernando Ortega.

I should: be working.

I start: getting excited when I hear the Word Preached.

I finish: nothing. But God is faithful and just to finish the Work He has started in me.

I love: worshipping God with my family.

God Bless,


God Searches the Heart and Knows What is Best

Men are so ignorant of their own hearts that they are incapable of determining what is best for them. Even regenerate men are but partially sanctified and enlightened. But God searches the heart. He understands our whole case. He knows what is most for our good. He sees our strong corruptions and sad deficiencies. When, in mercy to His child, He comes to heal his spiritual maladies, He does not take counsel with human reasoning or desires. It is right, it is best that He should act according to the wisdom which is infallible. He employs the requisite remedies. Often they are distasteful to flesh and blood. Sometimes they are frightful to contemplate, and terrible to endure.

Then man, in his ignorance, too often says, "If God loved me--He would not give me so bitter a cup to drink!" But this is man's folly. Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? Shall human weakness control divine power? Shall finite knowledge prescribe to omniscience? It is the height of wickedness for a worm of the dust--to revise the decisions, or pre-judge the justice of the Almighty. We would expect that God would deal with us in an incomprehensible way--if we did but remember how base, sordid, and narrow are our views and plans; and how holy, glorious, and eternal are His purposes and designs.

We are quite prone to magnify both the good and evil things of time--to the disparagement of those of eternity. But when God thwarts, afflicts, and mortifies us--He makes us look at the things which areunseen and eternal. If He racks this body with pain--it is that we may think of our house, not made with hands, eternal, and in the heavens. The shaking of this clay tabernacle forces upon us the recollection thatthis present world is not our rest--and that we ought to be seeking a heavenly country. If the godliest man on earth had his own way without divine guidance--he would soon be in full march towards destruction!

How kind is God in wisely and mercifully deciding so many things for us! God very mercifully marks out our course for us. God is governor. We are servants. To us belong obedience, submission, acquiescence. It is not ours . . .
to guide,
to decide what is best,
to rule the world,
to shape the course of events.

"But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to him who formed it--Why did you make me like this?" Romans 9:20

-William S. Plummer-

Monday, June 05, 2006

Chuck Smith on the Emergent Church

Eric at Authentic Truth pointed to an interesting letter by Chuck Smith, the founder of the Calvary Chapel movement, regarding the emergent church. I'm glad to see that Calvary Chapel is taking a stand on this issue.

You can read the letter here.

God Bless,


Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
And with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly minded,
For with blessing in His hand,
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
Our full homage to demand.

King of kings, yet born of Mary,
As of old on earth He stood,
Lord of lords, in human vesture,
In the body and the blood;
He will give to all the faithful
His own self for heavenly food.

Rank on rank the host of heaven
Spreads its vanguard on the way,
As the Light of light descendeth
From the realms of endless day,
That the powers of hell may vanish
As the darkness clears away.

At His feet the six wingèd seraph,
Cherubim with sleepless eye,
Veil their faces to the presence,
As with ceaseless voice they cry:
Alleluia, Alleluia
Alleluia, Lord Most High!

-Li­tur­gy of St. James, 4th Cen­tu­ry-

God Working in Us Unto Obedience - Hoekstra

Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Phi_2:12-13)

We have been considering from various perspectives the great truth that God wants us to grow in obedience to His will. The lordship of Jesus makes disobedience unacceptable. "But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do the things which I say? " (Luk_6:46). Also, our Lord taught His early disciples to be instructing all future disciples concerning obedience: "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you" (Mat_28:20). Our present passage offers profound insight on this matter by describing God working in us unto obedience. "It is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure."

This subject is introduced by a call to "work out your own salvation." Notice, we are not called to work for our salvation. Salvation is a gift of God's grace, freely received by faith. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast" (Eph_2:8-9). Still, this gift of salvation that God has placed within us by His grace is to be worked out (developed outwardly) unto an obedient life, a life that fulfills "His good pleasure."

This calling is to be approached in "fear and trembling." Initially, our temptation may be to approach this request with unabashed self-confidence. Eventually, we begin to understand that we must respond in "fear" [a reverential awe] and "trembling" (a profound sense of inadequacy). The next phrase explains why we are to engage this responsibility with such unusual attitudes: "for it is God who works in you." If the salvation that God has placed in our inner man is to ever become a visible walk that pleases Him, it will always be a result of us allowing Him to do an ongoing work deep within us. "I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts . . . you are manifestly an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart" (Jer_31:33 and 2Co_3:3). This is the wonder of true Christian living. It is based upon God working within our hearts.

-Bob Hoekstra-

Friday, June 02, 2006

LOVEST THOU ME?—William Cowper

Hark, my soul! it is the Lord:
‘Tis thy Saviour, hear his word;
Jesus speaks, and speaks to thee:
“Say, poor sinner, lovest thou me?

“I deliver’d thee when bound,
And when bleeding, heal’d thy wound;
Sought thee wandering, set thee right,
Turn’d thy darkness into light.

“Can a woman’s tender care
Cease towards the child she bare?
Yes, she may forgetful be,
Yet will I remember thee.

“Mine is an unchanging love,
Higher than the heights above;
Deeper than the depths beneath,
Free and faithful, strong as death.

“Thou shalt see my glory soon,
When the work of grace is done;
Partner of my throne shalt be:—
Say, poor sinner, lovest thou me?”

Lord, it is my chief complaint,
That my love is weak and faint;
Yet I love thee and adore:
Oh for grace to love thee more!

William Cowper

On The Church and Doctrine - McGrath

A Church that takes doctrine seriously is a Church that is obedient to and responsible for what God has entrusted to it. Doctrine gives substance and weight to what the Christian Church has to offer the world. A Church that despises or neglects doctrine comes perilously close to losing its reason for existence and may simply lapse into a comfortable conformity with the world—or whatever part of the world it happens to feel most at home with. Its agenda is set by the world; its presuppositions are influenced by the world’ its outlook mirrors that of the world.

Alister E. McGrath, Doctrine and Ethics, from the book Reading in Christian Ethics Vol.1

Thursday, June 01, 2006

On Sin - Piper

"Sin is what you do when your heart is not satisfied with God."

John Piper, Future Grace, 9