Monday, July 31, 2006

Back in California

Hey everyone,

I've made it back to California, and I enjoyed my time at the seminary. A week dedicated to study is always a treat. Several aspects of the class caused some concern though, as most of the week was spent discussing the nature of propositional truth, and how we know. The professor and I tendend to disagree on the nature of propositional truth. But this is to be expected as she is part of the emergent movement. When I get a bit more time I'm sure I will be fleshing out the the nature of the discussion, but for the time being I need to get my self back on track at home and work.

Thanks for your prayers,


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Social Constructivism

Okay, so today we moved on to knowing and how we know which explained why ritual and practice was being pushed as so important. The professor claims to be a social constructivist. First, I will give two definitions regarding this position from wikipedia, then I will follow it with a question.

1. Constructivist Epistemology

Constructivism is a recent development in philosophy which criticizes essentialism, whether it is in the form of medieval realism, classical rationalism, or empiricism. It originated in sociology under the term social constructionism and has been given the name constructivism when referring to philosophical epistemology, though constructionism and constructivism are often used interchangeably.

Constructivism views all of our knowledge as "constructed", because it does not necessarily reflect any external "transcendent" realities; it is contingent on convention, human perception, and social experience. It is believed by constructivists that representations of physical and biological reality, including race, sexuality, and gender are socially constructed (Hegel, Garns, and Marx were among the first to suggest such an ambitious expansion of social determinism).
The common thread between all forms of constructivism is that they do not focus on an ontological reality, but instead on the constructed reality.

2. Social Constructivism

One version of social constructivism contends that categories of knowledge and reality are actively created by social relationships and interactions. These interactions also alter the way in which scientific episteme is organized.

Social activity presupposes human beings inhabiting shared forms of life, and in the case of social construction, utilizing semiotic resources (meaning making and meaning signifying) with reference to social structures and institutions. Several traditions use the term Social Constructivism: psychology (after Lev Vygotsky), sociology (after Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann, themselves influenced by Alfred Schütz), sociology of knowledge (David Bloor), sociology of mathematics (Sal Restivo), philosophy of mathematics (Paul Ernest). Ludwig Wittgenstein's later philosophy can be seen as a foundation for Social Constructivism, with its key theoretical concepts of language games embedded in forms of life.

Can this be linked to a Biblical understanding of knowledge? Here is why I ask. If knowledge is constructed, then our knowledge that Jesus Christ is God is a social construct. Is there anything redeemable in this theory?

God Bless,


P.S. Once again I will not be able to respond to your comments but I will certainly read them.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Use of Signs and Symbols

Hey everyone,

The class I am taking is dealing with cross-cultural discipleship with an emphasis on contextualization. For those of you not familiar with that word it simply means making the Gospel understandable to someone from another culture. One of the areas that we spent quite a bit of time on today is the use of signs and symbols. But my question is this. How far is too far when it comes to the use of icons and rituals? For example, should we take rituals already in that culture and try to Christianize them in hopes that it will help them to understand the Gospel better?

Another question is what about the use of symbols and icons in communicating God special revelation and worship. Is there a difference in the communication of God's truth through them and the verbal communication of God's word? I ask this because some in the class seem to see them as equally valid. I will not have time to respond to your answers if you choose to leave one, but I will certainly read them.

God Bless,


P.S. If anyone has some insight into the icon controversy that took place in church history that would help also.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

I'm In Chicago

Hey everyone,

I've left sunny Southern California and I'm in Chicago this week. Well, actually I'm in Deerfield which is a suburb of Chicago, and I must admit it was a beautiful day. I will be taking a class at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School this week, so I'm not sure how much blogging I will get done. But I will do my best to keep you posted throughout the week.

God Bless,


Friday, July 21, 2006

More Great Theology Lectures on MP3

Here are two more links for some great lectures in MP3. Within these two links you can find lectures by men such as...

R.C. Sproul
Wayne Grudem
Alistair Begg
Paige Patterson
D.A. Carson
John Piper
Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones
and Os Guiness to name a few.

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary


Monergism Audio Resources



Easy Listening - Steve Taylor

Gather, me grandchildren if you love a good mystery
Gather, me grandchildren for a little church history
It's 2044, you're avoiding our turn-of-the-century ways
How did we strike it rich? Kissing up to the powerful
How did we make our pitch? Satellites by the towerful
Why do you young people have to go and get caught up in a radical phase?
My conscience was clear and my wallet was full
I didn't hear none of this 'sacrifice' bull
Tough times call for a backtrack
Gimme that old-time easy listening

Cuddle up, yeah, yeah, twelve hours, twice a day
Cuddle up, yeah, yeah, simmer down, atta way

Color me old-fashioned but I still remember when
The sermons were affirmin', 'cause the Lord liked us better then
It's 2044, and I don't want to be my brother's keeper no more
Color me chicken-yellow if I liked it in the ozone
Call me lemon jello if I lacked a little backbone
We're King's kids, dang it, and we used to know what a housekeeper was for
Tickle my ear and I'll pay for your show
Sing about stuff that I already know
Whisper sweet nothings, pour a night cap
Gimme that old-time easy listening

Cuddle up, yeah, yeah, twelve hours, twice a day
Cuddle up, yeah, yeah, simmer down, atta way
Cuddle up, yeah, yeah, order now, don't delay
Cuddle up, yeah, yeah, sleep it off, drool away

Gather-me-round children, 'cause your faith is a mystery
Gather, me grandchildren for a little church history
It's 2044, and I miss our turn-of-the-century ways
How did we strike it rich? Kissing up to the powerful
How did we make our pitch? Satellites by the towerful
Why do you young people have to go and get caught up in a radical phase?
I'm OK, you're OK, we're OK, so
I think I'm gonna buy my own radio show
Spread the good news and the Barry Manilow
Happy talk, no rock, non-stop easy listening
-Steve Taylor-

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Adoniram Judson; The Suffering Before The Success - John Piper

But there had been an enormous price to pay between the first convert in 1819 and this outpouring of God's power in 1831.

In 1823 Adoniram and Ann moved from Rangoon to Ava, the capital, about 300 miles inland and further up the Irrawaddy River. It was risky to be that near the despotic emperor. In May of the next year the British fleet arrived in Rangoon and bombarded the harbor. All westerners were immediately viewed as spies, and Adoniram was dragged from his home and on June 8, 1824 and put in prison. His feet were fettered and at night a long horizontal bamboo pole was lowered and passed between the fettered legs and hoisted up till only the shoulder and heads of the prisoners rested on the ground.

Ann was pregnant, but walked the two miles daily to the palace to plead that Judson was not a spy and that they should have mercy. She got some relief for him so that he could come out into a court yard. But still the prisoners got vermin in their hair amid the rotting food, and had to be shaved bald. Almost a year later they were suddenly moved to a more distant village prison, gaunt, with hollow eyes, dressed in rags crippled from the torture. There the mosquitoes from the rice paddies almost drove them mad on their bloody feet.

The daughter, Maria, had been born by now and Ann was almost as sick and thin as Adoniram, but still pursued him with her baby to take care of him as she could. Her milk dried up, and the jailer had mercy on them and actually let Judson take the baby each evening into the village and beg for women to nurse his baby.

On November 4, 1825 Judson was suddenly released. The government needed him as a translator in negotiations with Britain. The long ordeal was over - 17 months in prison and on the brink of death, with his wife sacrificing herself and her baby to care for him as she could. Ann's health was broken. Eleven months later she died (October 24, 1826). And six months later their daughter died (April 24, 1827).

While he was suffering in prison Adoniram had said to a fellow prisoner, "It is possible my life will be spared; if so, with what ardor shall I pursue my work! If not - his will be done. The door will be opened for others who would do the work better." But now that his wife and daughter were gone, darkness began to settle over his soul. In July, three months after the death of his little girl, he got word that his father had died eight months earlier.

The psychological effects of theses losses were devastating. Self-doubt overtook his mind, and he wondered if he had become a missionary for ambition and fame, not humility and self-denying love. He began to read the Catholic mystics, Madame Guyon, Fenelon, Thomas a Kempis, etc. who led him into solitary asceticism and various forms of self-mortification. He dropped his Old Testament translation work, the love of his life, and retreated more and more from people and from "anything that might conceivably support pride or promote his pleasure."

He refused to eat outside the mission. He destroyed all letters of commendation. He formally renounced the honorary Doctor of Divinity that Brown University had given him in 1823 by writing a letter to the American Baptist Magazine. He gave all his private wealth (about $6,000) to the Baptist Board. He asked that his salary be reduced by one quarter and promised to give more to missions himself. In October, 1828 he built a hut in the jungle some distance from the Moulmein mission house and moved in on October 24, 1828, the second anniversary of Ann's death, to live in total isolation.

He wrote in one letter home to Ann's relatives: "My tears flow at the same time over the forsaken grave of my dear love and over the loathsome sepulcher of my own heart." He had a grave dug beside the hut and sat beside it contemplating the stages of the body's dissolution. He ordered all his letters in New England destroyed on condition of returning a legal document his sister needed. He retreated for forty days alone further into the Tiger-infested jungle, and wrote in one letter than he felt utter spiritual desolation. "God is to me the Great Unknown. I believe in him, but I find him not.

His brother, Elnathan, died May 8, 1829 at the age of 35. Ironically, this proved the turning point of Judson's recovery, because he had reason to believe that the brother that he had left in unbelief 17 years earlier had died in faith. All through the year 1830 Adoniram was climbing out of his darkness.

And you recall that it was 1831 - the next year - when he experienced the great outpouring of spiritual interest across the land. Is that a coincidence? Or was that a God-ordained pattern for spiritual breakthrough in a dark and unreached place?

-John Piper

Adoniram Judson; God Was On His Trail - John Piper

A third source of his confidence in the goodness and detailed providence of God was the way God saved him. It is a remarkable story. He was a brilliant boy. His mother taught him to read in one week when he was three to surprise his father when he came home from a trip. When he was 16 he entered Brown University as a sophomore and graduated at the top of his class three years later in 1807.

What his godly parents didn't know was that Adoniram was being lured away from the faith by a fellow student name Jacob Eames who was a Deist. By the time Judson was finished he had no Christian faith. He kept this concealed from his parents until his 20th birthday, August 9, 1808, when he broke their hearts with his announcement that he had no faith and that he intended to go to New York and learn to write for the theater - which he did six days later on a horse his father gave him as part of his inheritance.

It didn't prove to be the life of his dreams. He attached himself to some strolling players, and, as he said later, lived "a reckless, vagabond life, finding lodgings where he could, and bilking the landlord where he found opportunity."

That disgust with what he found there was the beginning of several remarkable providences. He went to visit his uncle Ephraim in Sheffield, but found there, instead "a pious young man" who stunned him by being firm in his Christian convictions without being "austere and dictatorial." Strange that he should find this young man there, instead of his uncle.

The next night he stayed in a small village inn where he had never been before. The innkeeper apologized that his sleep might be interrupted because there was a man critically ill in the next room. Through the night he heard comings and goings and low voices and groans and gasps. It bothered him to think that the man next to him may not be prepared to die. He wondered about himself and had terrible thoughts of his own dying. He felt foolish because good deists weren't supposed to have these struggles.

When he was leaving in the morning he asked if the man next door was better. "He is dead," said the innkeeper. Judson was struck with the finality of it all. On his way out he asked, "Do you know who he was?" "Oh yes. Young man from the college in Providence. Name was Eames, Jacob Eames."

Judson could hardly move. He stayed there for hours pondering the death of his deist friend. If his friend Eames were right, then this was a meaningless event. But Judson could not believe it: "That hell should open in that country inn and snatch Jacob Eames, his dearest friend and guide, from the next bed - this could not, simply could not, be pure coincidence."

His conversion was not immediate. But now it was sure. God was on his trail, like the apostle Paul in the Damascus road, and there was no escape. There were months of struggle. He entered Andover Seminary in October, 1808 and on December 2 made solemn dedication of himself to God.

-John Piper, The Cost of Bringing Christ to Burma, Suffering and Success in the Life of Adoniram Judson-

Trials Ordered By Love - Judson

"If I had not felt certain that every additional trial was ordered by infinite love and mercy, I could not have survived my accumulated sufferings."

-Adoniram Judson (Missionary)-

The Trial of Your Faith

"The trial of your faith."
--1 Peter 1:7

Faith untried may be true faith, but it is sure to be little faith, and it is likely to remain dwarfish so long as it is without trials. Faith never prospers so well as when all things are against her: tempests are her trainers, and lightnings are her illuminators. When a calm reigns on the sea, spread the sails as you will, the ship moves not to its harbour; for on a slumbering ocean the keel sleeps too. Let the winds rush howling forth, and let the waters lift up themselves, then, though the vessel may rock, and her deck may be washed with waves, and her mast may creak under the pressure of the full and swelling sail, it is then that she makes headway towards her desired haven.

No flowers wear so lovely a blue as those which grow at the foot of the
frozen glacier; no stars gleam so brightly as those which glisten in the
polar sky; no water tastes so sweet as that which springs amid the desert sand; and no faith is so precious as that which lives and triumphs in adversity. Tried faith brings experience. You could not have believed your own weakness had you not been compelled to pass through the rivers; and you would never have known God's strength had you not been supported amid the water-floods. Faith increases in solidity, assurance, and intensity, the more it is exercised with tribulation. Faith is precious, and its trial is precious too.

Let not this, however, discourage those who are young in faith. You will have trials enough without seeking them: the full portion will be measured out to you in due season. Meanwhile, if you cannot yet claim the result of long experience, thank God for what grace you have; praise Him for that degree of holy confidence whereunto you have attained: walk according to that rule, and you shall yet have more and more of the blessing of God, till your faith shall remove mountains and conquer impossibilities.

-C.H. Spurgeon-

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Tertillian, Baptism, and Roman Catholic Last Rites

It is always interesting to track down certain rituals that are practiced under name Christian which have no founding in scripture in order to find out where they originated. One specific ritual worth looking into is the Roman Catholic practice of giving someone on their deathbed their last rites.

To find out where this practice came from we have to go back to Tertillian who was a theologian who lived during the second and third century AD. Tertillian was as materialist. Not the kind of materialist we think of today, but the kind of materialist who believes that even spirit, including God himself, is material even though it was clearly a higher more refined type of material. This is close to what Mormons believe even today.

This played heavily into his views on baptism. Tertillian believed that the more refined spirit matter could bond quite well with the lower types of matter such as water. So when a person was baptized, the Holy Spirit would bond with the water and somehow wash the person clean who was being baptized. Thus making baptism part of regeneration.

Tertillian also believed that children should not be baptized. This is why many Baptist like to point to him in the early church. But the reason he did not think children should be baptized had nothing to do with Baptist beliefs as they are held today. Tertillian believed that once you were baptized you could no longer sin. If you did sin willingly, you would loose your salvation and have no chance of getting it back. Thus you should not baptize children because they are certainly going to sin as they grow up. So Tertillian suggested that a person wait until they were about 30 years old before being baptized.

Many people in the church were influenced by Tertillian’s beliefs, but they realized that people would still sin even after the age of 30. In order to protect people from sinning and losing their salvation, the church started performing deathbed baptisms. This is why Constantine was not baptized until the end of his life, if you’ve looked into his history.

Needless to say the Church eventually began to see more scripturally regarding baptism. This correction began to put baptism in a more biblical light which corrected the practice. But something the latin Church never let go of was the need to continue doing some ritual at the deathbed, and this is from where the practice of last rites comes. It all stems from Tertillian’s bad theology regarding baptism.

Doug Eaton

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The Lord is a Man of War (part 2)

Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, "Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe." So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped. Then another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, "Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe." So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses' bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.

Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete. And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God. They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: "Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested."3

Rev. 14:14 – 15:4

Monday, July 17, 2006

George Mueller on Reading Scripture

Now in brotherly love and affection I would give a few hints to my younger fellow-believers as to the way in which to keep up spiritual enjoyment. It is absolutely needful in order that happiness in the Lord may continue, that the Scriptures be regularly read. These are God's appointed means for the nourishment of the inner man. . . .Consider it, and ponder over it. . . . Especially we should read regularly through the Scriptures, consecutively, and not pick out here and there a chapter. If we do, we remain spiritual dwarfs. I tell you so affectionately. For the first four years after my conversion I made no progress, because I neglected the Bible. But when I regularly read on through the whole with reference to my own heart and soul, I directly made progress. Then my peace and joy continued more and more. Now I have been doing this for 47 years. I have read through the whole Bible about 100 times and I always find it fresh when I begin again. Thus my peace and joy have increased more and more.

-George Mueller, Narrative-

He was 71 years old when he wote this and went on to live to be 92. It is estimated that he read the complete word of God nearly 200 times in his lifetime. This means he picked up his pace the older he was getting. In all of his reading he said he never reached the full depths of God's word. It was always fresh and new.

May we read the word with the same zeal,


Sunday, July 16, 2006

Waiting - F.B. Meyer

God has his set times. It is not for us to know them. Indeed, we cannot know them. We must wait for them. If God had told Abraham in Haran that he must wait all those years until he pressed the promised child to his bosom, his heart would have failed him. So in gracious love, the length of the weary years was hidden. And only as they were nearly spent and there were only a few more months to wait, God told him, according to the time of life, “Sarah shall have a son.”

If God told you on the front end how long you would wait to find the fulfillment of your desire or pleasure or dream, you’d lose heart. You’d grow weary in well doing. So would I. But He doesn’t. He just says, “Wait. I keep my word. I’m in no hurry. In the process of time I’m developing you to be ready for the promise.”

-F.B. Meyer, Abraham-

Friday, July 14, 2006

One New Covenant or Two?

In Jeremiah’s oracle the new covenant is to be made “with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.” In the New Testament fulfillment it is not confined to them, but extends to all believers of every nation—and indeed, in the Old Testament itself indications are not lacking that it was to have this all-embracing character. Whether Jeremiah consciously envisaged the wider extension of the new covenant or not, its wider extension is really implicit in his prophecy: national origin and racial descent must also be included among those externalities from whose control true religion is released by the new covenant. “It is one thing to say that Jeremiah was not given to see what the new covenant would mean for the world, it is entirely another to say that by Israel and Judah he really meant the Church…On the other hand we must not fall into the opposite error of supposing that the new covenant will mean something else for ‘all Israel’ than it does for the Church, that saved Israel will be saved in some other way than is the Church. God does not abolish physical Israel, but in saving it transcend it, just as He does not scrap this earth but renews it.”

F.F. Bruce – The Epistle to the Hebrews

One interesting note, early dispensationalist used to argue that there are really two new covenants and the one to Israel does not apply to the Church, but this idea is foreign to the scriptures.

God Bless,


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Just Added: Audio Resources (MP3)

Hey everyone,

I have just added a list of links to some of my favorite audio resources on the side bar. If you love great theological lectures be sure to check it out. And if you have some that you like, I would love to hear about them.

God Bless,


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The New Covenant

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away. (Hebrew 8:10-12)

Here, then are the “better promises” on which the new covenant is established: (a) “I will put my laws in their mind”; (b) “they will all know me”; (c) “I will remember their sins no more.” The covenant at Sinai involved divine promises, but not promises like these. The fulfillment of such promises gives a new meaning to the ancient covenant-words; “I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” It has, indeed, been maintained more than once that covenant concept, with its suggestion of a contractual obligation, is inadequate to convey the religious relationship subsisting between God an his people. This however, is to concentrate on the form to the exclusion of the substance. It is true, no doubt, that as far as its form is concerned the early biblical covenant has close affinities with the treaties which bound vassal-states to their imperial overlords in the second millennium B.C. But it makes all the difference in the world to the substance of the covenant when it is God who takes the initiative in his grace, bestowing his promises freely on those whom he has called to be his people, and binding them to himself with bands of love. When analogies are drawn from human life to illustrate God’s covenant with his people, it is from the family circle and not from the field of international politics that they are drawn—from the relation between husband and wife, or that between a father and his children.

F.F. Bruce; The Epistle to the Hebrews

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A Priest Forever - F.F. Bruce

Heb 7:25 Wherefore he [Christ] is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Those who have Christ as their high priest and mediator with God have in him a Savior whose saving power is available without end, not liable to the mischances of mortal life. He lives eternally, eternally engaged to bless and protect those who have committed themselves to him. The way of approach to God through him is a way which is always open, because in the presence of God he represents his people as “a priest for ever.” He is no mediator in the ordinary sense, a go-between who places his good offices at the disposal of two parties in the hope of bringing them to agreement. He is the unique Mediator between God an mankind because he combines Godhead and manhood perfectly in his own person; in him God draws near to men and women and in him men and women may draw near to God, with the assurance of constant and immediate access.

-F.F. Bruce; The Epistle to the Hebrews-

The Lord Is A Man Of War

"I will sing to the Lord, For He has triumphed gloriously!
The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!
The Lord is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation;
He is my God, and I will praise Him;
My father's God, and I will exalt Him.
The Lord is a man of war;
The Lord is His name.
Pharaoh's chariots and his army
He has cast into the sea;
His chosen captains also are drowned in the Red Sea.
The depths have covered them;
They sank to the bottom like a stone.
"Your right hand, O Lord,
has become glorious in power;
Your right hand, O Lord,
has dashed the enemy in pieces.
And in the greatness of Your excellence
You have overthrown those who rose against You;
You sent forth Your wrath;
It consumed them like stubble.
And with the blast of Your nostrils
The waters were gathered together;
The floods stood upright like a heap;
The depths congealed in the heart of the sea.
The enemy said, 'I will pursue,
I will overtake,
I will divide the spoil;
My desire shall be satisfied on them.
I will draw my sword,
My hand shall destroy them.'
You blew with Your wind,
The sea covered them;
They sank like lead in the mighty waters.
"Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods?
Who is like You, glorious in holiness,
Fearful in praises, doing wonders?
You stretched out Your right hand;
The earth swallowed them.
You in Your mercy have led forth
The people whom You have redeemed;
You have guided them in Your strength To Your holy habitation.
"The people will hear and be afraid;
Sorrow will take hold of the inhabitants of Philistia.
Then the chiefs of Edom will be dismayed;
The mighty men of Moab,
Trembling will take hold of them;
All the inhabitants of Canaan will melt away.
Fear and dread will fall on them;
By the greatness of Your arm
They will be as still as a stone,
Till Your people pass over, O Lord,
Till the people pass over
Whom You have purchased.
You will bring them in and plant them
In the mountain of Your inheritance,
In the place, O Lord, which You have made
For Your own dwelling,
The sanctuary, O Lord,
which Your hands have established.
"The Lord shall reign forever and ever."

-Moses' Song; Exodus 15:1-18 (NKJV)-

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Law is Spiritual - Martin Luther

In Romans 7, St. Paul says, "The law is spiritual." What does that mean? If the law were physical, then it could be satisfied by works, but since it is spiritual, no one can satisfy it unless everything he does springs from the depths of the heart. But no one can give such a heart except the Spirit of God, who makes the person be like the law, so that he actually conceives a heartfelt longing for the law and henceforward does everything, not through fear or coercion, but from a free heart.

Martin Luther (1483-1546), "Preface to the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans"

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Slaves of Sin Set Free to Worship

Exo 5:1 And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.

As we know, the exodus teaches us many things about our own situation as Christians. Like the Israelites we are in bondage and slavery to sin. And like the Israelites God in His infinite wisdom and power is setting us free. But why are we being set free? The answer I believe can be found in this passage. The Israelites were to be set free to go have a feast in the wilderness. What this simply means is that they were to worship Him and bring Him glory. Likewise, we too as we are being delivered from the bondage of sin, are to glorify God by being living sacrifices.

Exo 5:2 And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.

But just like the Israelites we have and enemy who defies God and wants to keep us in slavery and under heavy burdens. Though our justification is complete, and we truly are God’s children, Satan and his world system does everything possible to keep us from being set free from our old nature. And just like the Israelites, we are powerless to set ourselves free. So who can save us from this body of death? Praise God, it is Jesus our Lord. He is the God of all power, who sent many plagues upon the enemy of His people to show His strength. Not to mention God could have easily set the Israelites free without any plagues or struggles with Pharaoh. Let’s not forget that it was God who hardened pharaoh’s wicked heart so that he would withstand Moses for a longer time. Why did God do this? Why was it that God caused a struggle for His own people? It was because He wanted them to know Him better and strengthen their faith. Let us never forget who is really in charge when it comes to our struggles to be set free from our own bondage. It is our almighty God, and if in his sovereignty He let us struggle with an enemy that He could easily crush, it is because He is in the process of setting us free in a greater way than we could even imagine. Setting us free from our flesh, and strengthening our faith. And that is something for which it is always worth the struggle. And as God shows His glory, He sets us free from our bondage, and we come out ready to worship Him even if we are still in the wilderness.

Though we struggle with our sin, helpless in ourselves, God cannot and will not fail to work in us to set free. He will complete the work He has started in us.

Praise God,


Saturday, July 08, 2006

On False Prophets and False Teachers - Brooks

"The prophets who lead my people astray." Micah 3:5

Satan labors by false teachers, who are his emissaries to deceive, delude, and forever undo the precious souls of men! They seduce them, and carry them out of the right way into by-paths and blind thickets of error and wickedness--where they are lost forever!

As strumpets paint their faces, and deck and perfume their beds, the better to allure and deceive simple souls; so false teachers will put a great deal of paint and garnish upon their most dangerous principles and blasphemies, that they may the better deceive and delude poor ignorant souls. They know sugared-poison goes down sweetly. They wrap up their pernicious, soul-killing pills in gold! "Peace, peace!they say, when there is no peace." Jeremiah 6:14

"Beware of false prophets, for they come to you in sheep's clothing--but inwardly they are ravening wolves!" These lick and suck the blood of souls! These kiss and kill! They cry, 'Peace, peace!' until souls fall into everlasting flames!

False teachers handle holy things with wit and trifling, rather than with fear and reverence. They are soul-murderers! They are like evil surgeons, who skin over the wound--but never heal it. False teachers are hell's greatest enrichers! Such smooth teachers are sweet soul-poisoners! This age is full of such teachers--such monsters!

They eye your goods more than your good; and mind more the serving of themselves--than the saving of your souls. So they may have your substance--they care not though Satan has your souls! That they may the better pick your purse--they will hold forth such principles as are very indulgent to the flesh.These are Satan's great benefactors, and such as divine justice will hang up in hell as the greatest malefactors!

-Thomas Brooks-

Friday, July 07, 2006

The Power of a Praying Mantis


Thursday, July 06, 2006

Look at God's Word

It will be a superficial, weak, carnal, disunited church; where people are playing fast and loose with their Bibles. Reading their newspaper, watching their television, looking, looking, looking, looking at what the world is commending and only giving a minute here and a minute there to look at God’s Word.

-John Piper-

Covenant Seminary Courses MP3

Here are some great links for free downloads of courses from Covenant Seminary.

Be sure to check out these outstanding series.

Calvin's Institutes

Ancient and Medeival Church History

Reformation and Modern Church History

Biblical Theology

and many more. Just check out the side bar on any one of these links.

God Bless,


Happy In Holiness - Spurgeon

The happiest state of a Christian is the holiest state. As there is the most heat nearest to the sun, so there is the most happiness nearest to Christ. No Christian enjoys comfort when his eyes are fixed on vanity-he finds no satisfaction unless his soul is quickened in the ways of God. The world may win happiness elsewhere, but he cannot. I do not blame ungodly men for rushing to their pleasures. Why should I? Let them have their fill. That is all they have to enjoy.

-Charles Spurgeon-

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Common and Saving Grace -Edwards

From what has been now observed from the Holy Scriptures of the nature of the Holy Spirit, may be clearly understood why grace in the hearts of the saints is called spiritual, in distinction from other things that are the effects of the Spirit in the hearts of men. For by this it appears that the Divine principle in the saints is of the nature of the Spirit; for as the nature of the Spirit of God is Divine Love, so Divine Love is the nature and essence of that holy principle in the hearts of the saints.

The Spirit of God may operate and produce effects upon the minds of natural men that have no grace, as He does when He assists natural conscience and convictions of sin and danger. The Spirit of God may produce effects upon inanimate things, as of old He moved on the face of the waters. But He communicates holiness in His own proper nature only, in those holy effects in the hearts of the saints. And, therefore, those holy effects only are called spiritual; and the saints only are called spiritual persons in Sacred Scripture.

Men's natural faculties and principles may be assisted by the operation of the Spirit of God on their minds, to enable them to exert those acts which, to a greater or lesser degree, they exert naturally. But the Spirit doesn't at all communicate Himself in it in His own nature, which is Divine Love, any more than when He moved upon the face of the waters.

-Jonathan Edwards-

To fully understand what Edwards is saying here you might need to follow his train of thought up to this comment which is toward the end of his Treatise on Grace. It is well worth the read. Here is a link if you would like to read the entire treatise.

Treatise on Grace By Jonathan Edwards

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Finish Line - Steve Taylor

Once upon an average morn
An average boy was born for the second time
Prone upon the altar there
He whispered up the prayer he'd kept hid inside

The vision came
He saw the odds
A hundred little gods on a gilded wheel
"These will vie to take your place,
but Father,by your grace I will never kneel"

And I saw you, upright and proud
And I saw you wave to the crowd
And I saw you laughing out loud at the Philistines
And I saw you brush away rocks
And I saw you pull up your socks
And I saw you out of the blocks
For the finish line

Darkness falls
The devil stirs
And as your vision blurs you start stumbling
The heart is weak
The will is gone
And every strong conviction comes tumbling down

Malice rains
The acid guile
is sucking at your shoes while the mud is fresh
It floods the trail
It bleeds you dry
As every little god buys its pound of flesh

And I saw you licking your wounds
And I saw you weave your cocoons
And I saw you changing your tunes for the party line
And I saw you welsh on old debts
I saw you and your comrades bum cigarettes
And you hemmed and you hawed
And you hedged all your bets
Waiting for a sign

Let's wash our hands as we throw little fits
Let's all wash our hands as we curse hypocrites
We're locked in the washroom turning old tricks
And joyless
And full of it

The vision came
He saw the odds
A hundred little gods on a gilded wheel
"These have tried to take your place,
but Father,by your grace I will never kneel"
I will never kneel..."

Off in the distance
Bloodied but wise
As you squint with the light of the truth in your eyes
And I saw you
Both hands were raised
And I saw your lips move in praise
And I saw you steady your gaze
For the finish line

Every idol like dust
A word scattered them all
And I rose to my feet when you scaled the last wall
And I gasped
When I saw you fall
In his arms
At the finish line.

-Steve Taylor-

Steve Taylor

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Lectures On Jonathan Edwards.

Here is a link to some great lectures on Jonathan Edwards by speakers such as J.I. Packer, John Piper, Mark Dever, and others.

A God-Entranced Vision of All Things

God Bless,


Saturday, July 01, 2006

Our Personal Duty - Spurgeon

Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation." - Joel 1:3

In this simple way, by God’s grace, a living testimony for truth is always to be kept alive in the land-the beloved of the Lord are to hand down their witness for the gospel, and the covenant to their heirs, and these again to their next descendants. This is our first duty, we are to begin at the family hearth: he is a bad preacher who does not commence his ministry at home. The heathen are to be sought by all means, and the highways and hedges are to be searched, but home has a prior claim, and woe unto those who reverse the order of the Lord’s arrangements. To teach our children is a personal duty; we cannot delegate it to Sunday school teachers, or other friendly aids; these can assist us, but cannot deliver us from the sacred obligation; proxies and sponsors are wicked devices in this case: mothers and fathers must, like Abraham, command their households in the fear of God, and talk with their offspring concerning the wondrous works of the Most High. Parental teaching is a natural duty-who so fit to look to the child’s well-being as those who are the authors of his actual being? To neglect the instruction of our offspring is worse than brutish. Family religion is necessary for the nation, for the family itself, and for the church of God. By a thousand plots Popery is covertly advancing in our land, and one of the most effectual means for resisting its inroads is left almost neglected, namely, the instruction of children in the faith. Would that parents would awaken to a sense of the importance of this matter. It is a pleasant duty to talk of Jesus to our sons and daughters, and the more so because it has often proved to be an accepted work, for God has saved the children through the parents’ prayers and admonitions. May every house into which this volume shall come honour the Lord and receive his smile.

-Charles Spurgeon-