Thursday, October 30, 2008

God, I thank you that I'm not like... the Pharisees?

Am I self-righteous about the self-righteous?
Coming mostly from a "Younger Brother" background, my form of self-righteousness is slightly more subtle than the obvious kind that Pharisees and "Older Brothers" have. Blogger Tullian Tchividjian offers an excellent message on his blog.

Here's an excerpt:

“That’s right, I know I don’t have it all together and you think you do; I know I’m not good and you think you are. That makes me better than you.” See the irony?

ht: Between Two Worlds

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Two Great New Books to Read

I'm adding these two books to my "Must Read" list:

Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church by Michael Horton



Monday, October 20, 2008

Real Apologetics: Worldview? No, prayer and fasting!

John Piper looks at Francis Schaeffer's legacy of worldview engagement, and then writes:

"But I wonder if many of the young scholars and activists (now in their forties and fifties!) whom he inspired need to hear a balancing word about the power of prayer and fasting, not as an alternative to thinking and acting, but as a radical foundation that says, “The victory belongs to the Lord, even if the horse (of scholarship and politics) is made ready for the day of battle” (see Proverbs 21:31).

Listen to the books crying out for evangelical renewal and reformation in the life of the mind, the restoration of Truth in the place of technique, the recovery of church social compassion from government powerlessness, the taking of moral high ground in the environmental cause, and many other causes.

Is there a sense in each of these that the root issues are so intractable to human suasion that the call for fasting and prayer would not only be fitting but desperately needed? I am commending such a call."



Wow. I find Piper's observation and approach VERY interesting and challenging. Just think what a powerful apologetic it would be if we all saw God's face today, fell on our faces, repented, and really, truly gave our ALL to Christ? Wouldn't that just be the greatest apologetic for the Truth of Jesus Christ?

An interesting approach...

Dinesh D'Souza has the best argument I've come across for this topic>>>

Should we be satisfied?

"Should we be satisfied to believe in Christ, and to say, "I am safe," without wishing to know in our own experience more of the fulness which is to be found in Him?"

Read C.H. Spurgeon's answer in today's devotional>>>

(hint: "Grow up into Him in all things."—Ephesians 4:15.)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Reality Check: We're still very blessed, comparatively

Regardless of how sour the economy seems to be going today in our country, I was reminded of how truly blessed we are in this country. Here's a link to help us to see just where we're at:
Find out how rich you are>>>

Better than the debates and SNL...

John McCain was really in his element here. He is actually quite the comedian.
part1


part2


And of course Obama gets his turn too:

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sharing the Father's Welcome

Sharing the Father's Welcome by Dr. Edmund P. Clowney (Luke 15:11-32)

This was the sermon that and the seminary professor who inspired Tim Keller's soon-to-be-released book The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith.
The first link is actually to an excerpt from Dr. Clowney's book Preaching Christ in All of Scripture.

A Wasted Vote?

In Consideration of Third Party Candidate Voting...

Well, in 2004 I did not vote either Democratic or Republican because of my discontent with both canidates, Bush and Kerry. Today, after receiving Chuck Baldwin's email, titled "A Wasted Vote?", I must admit, I'm toying with the idea of a third party option again this year.

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Primer on Perspectivalism

Just doing some Sunday School homework and found this article by John Frame to be helpful. Also, enjoyed reading these additional article/book links online:
Enjoy!

The prosperity gospel and the credit crisis

Even Time Magazine has picked up on the fallacy of the prosperity gospel and how unbiblical pastors have led their flocks down the path of destruction.

David Van Biema's article: Maybe we should blame God for the sub-prime mess, referencing: Does God want you to be rich? brings up a lot of points that I've been thinking about lately too. As I have some friends in 'health and wealth,' 'name-it-claim,' hyper-charasmatic churches, I think the current crisis does bring up a few important issues.

For my friend who believes that if his faith is strong enough and the right kind, he will enjoy prosperity and good health in this life, does he now condemn his own faith because he lost his house (and is also facing some major medical issues)? Or is it God's fault that he is now suffering? Will he become bitter as a result, or perhaps apostate? Actually, I see both things happening in his life, right before my eyes. And of course the remedy, I believe, is a return to the true gospel, and a turning away from idols. It is all too apparent that many branches of our churches, have gone to idols.

Of course God cannot be blamed for evil or darkeness, it is completely against His good and perfect nature to be the author of evil. So we must not be mistaken and allow ourselves to "blame God." However, God allows these kinds of trials to happen in our lives, so that His people will be made more like Christ. I believe that in times of hardship, we rejoice in Him and the work that He is doing in us. He is sanctifying His Church and calling us to repent and persevere, knowing that he uses all things to work for our ultimate good. Not in the sense of health and wealth. Not in the sense of name it claim or encouraging us to indulge our natural desires, but rather for the good of becoming more like Jesus Christ. I'm convicted by that very thought and keep thinking about a number-777. When the bottom dropped out of the financial markets, the Dow Jones plummeted exactly 777 points. I have to admit, that did get my attention and it made me think and pray about 2 Chron 7:14:
2 Chronicles 7:14 "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble
themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will
I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

Just some of my rambling thoughts, for what they're worth.

The challenge of being missionional in the suburbs

Some excellent quotes from an interview with Ed Setzer, author of "Breaking the Missional Code: How to Be a Missionary in Your Community,"by Joe Thorn over at Subtext: The Gospel in the Suburban Context:

"First, I think churches in the suburbs need to reconsider and discover again the nature of the biblical gospel. To many, the suburbs mean success. I live in such a place — people move to my area because it is where the other successful people are moving. It is no closer to downtown that 5 other suburbs I could list, but it is the go-to place on the north side of Nashville. Thus, it attracts people who value success. Obviously, a biblical gospel calls us to weakness and not strength. In the midst of the celebration of riches and opulence around us, we hold up a gospel of self-denial, poverty of spirit, and forgiveness of sin.

Second, we want to be counter cultural and push for community. Much of the suburban situation is built around keeping you away from people. I can have my dry cleaning picked up, my groceries delivered, and my lawn mowed every week — and I never have to leave my house. (I have neighbors that I never see unless I intentionally see them.)"

and...

"the suburbs are community killers. Many churches make the assumption that because people have moved to a setting that has back decks instead of front porches that they don’t want community. I have found that they do — they just do not know how to seek and receive it. Life transforming suburban churches can and must lead people to deeper community even when the culture pushes against it."

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Pursuit

A great post by new blogger, Matt Chandler:
Pursuit

here is an excerpt:

Here are a few men who loved our great God and King and were obedient beyond the norm:
-Moses spends his whole life with grumbling, whiners and dies without getting to walk into the promise land.
-Samson suicide bombs the Philistines and when the dust settles he is dead and the Philistines still rule over Israel.
-David’s son rapes his sister and leads a rebellion against David, dethroning him for a season.
-Jeremiah ends up in exile with the rest of the country after repeatedly getting beaten for preaching what God commanded him to preach.
-John the Baptist is beheaded by a pervert who gives his head to a 15-year-old stripper.
-Peter is killed, reportedly crucified upside down.
-Paul is killed in Rome but only after he spends his life (with thorn intact) being eaten, rejected, lost at sea, and consistently dealing with people coming in behind him and destroying what he built.

If your hope is set on anything other than Him, how do you survive when it goes bad? How do you remain passionate and vibrant when no one comes or the baptismal waters are still for long stretches? How do you maintain doctrinal integrity or teach hard things if He isn’t the treasure? How do you worship when your wife gets sick or your son goes for a ride in an ambulance? If He is the goal, the treasure, the pursuit, then those things are fuel that presses you into His goodness and grace
all that much more. I am not saying they are pleasant or enjoyable but only that if He is your goal you will find your faith sustained.