Thursday, January 28, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Should I get a Christian Tatoo!

Moore to the Point by Russell D. Moore

Wise counsel from Russell Moore in response to a question.

Monday, January 25, 2010

John Newton and Cows

John Newton in a letter to Rev. Thomas Jones (October 20, 1767): “As to myself, if I were not a Calvinist, I think I should have no more hope of success in preaching to men, than to horses or cows.”

(HT: Kevin DeYoung)

Ineffability of God

The Ineffability of God

(Latin in, “not” + Latin effabilis “utter”)

The ineffability of God refers to those characteristics of his nature and his plan that are beyond comprehension and unable to be expressed through human means of articulation. When we speak of God’s nature we quickly move into this realm. God said that there are many things that have been revealed, but there are also many “secret” things that remain and will always remain an ineffable mystery (Deut. 29:29). Christian theology is filled with ineffable beliefs and concepts.

You think you have Him figured out... you don't!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Chan on Church

"Last summer I came to a shocking realization that I had to share with my wife: If Jesus had a church in Simi Valley, mine would be bigger. People would leave His church to attend mine because I call for an easier commitment. I know better how to cater to people’s desires so they stick around. Jesus was never really good at that. He was the one who said, “He who loves father or mother…son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” (Matt. 10:37 NIV) I’m much more popular than Jesus.

Having come to that conclusion, I came back to the church with resolve to call people to the same commitment Christ called them to. I knew that people would leave, and they have. I found comfort in that because, “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.” (Luke 6:26 NIV) Over time though, the conviction can fade, and it gets tiresome seeing people leave. There is a constant pull to try to keep people around rather than truly lead the faithful who remain. When my church was started, I used to tell my wife that I didn’t care if we only had ten people, as long as they really loved God and desired to worship Him with all of their hearts. Where is that conviction now?" - Francis Chan

I wonder if Chan's church has a Wii?

Read it!

“Begin reading your Bible this very day. The way to do a thing is to do it, and the way to read the Bible is actually to read it. It is not meaning, or wishing, or resolving, or intending, or thinking about it; that will not advance you one step. You must positively read. There is no royal road in this matter, any more than in the matter of prayer. If you cannot read yourself, you must persuade somebody else to read to you. But one way or another, through eyes or ears, the words of Scripture must actually pass before your mind.”
-John Charles Ryle, Practical Religion, “Bible Reading,” page 131.

(reformed voices)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mark Driscoll from Haiti

Here is one of his Facebook status updates:
"If u want a phone, cigarettes or a teenage girl you can get them here in Port au Prince. Like the American who said he's on a relief mission and bought a hungry girl despite our confrontation."

Monday, January 18, 2010

This reminds me of my Sugar Loaf Days! Basketball edition

...only I did this to Stony Point, Hiddenite, Ellendale, Bethlehem, Wittenburg, and Taylorsville respectively!

This reminds me of my Sugar Loaf Day! Part 2

...but I was #22 not #25 and I could dance better!

This reminds me of my Sugar Loaf Days!

...but I was #22 not #24!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Helping Haiti

Here are just a few good organizations to donate to during this great tragedy:
North Carolina Baptist Men Disaster Relief
American Red Cross (Beyond Borders) (Food for the Hungry)
Habitat For Humaniity

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pray for Haiti

John Mark Reynolds on Pat Robertson’s statement about Haiti's curse

Robertson has been inhuman in two ways.First, even if he were right, he has picked a horrid time to pontificate. When my friends is suffering from cancer, even if it is his fault, it is the wrong time to remind him that I told him he should have stopped smoking. It is ugly and useless.

Heal the sick, bury the dead, feed the hungry and then deal with root spiritual causes. Safe to say every nation, and Haiti is surely one, has made philosophical and practical decisions that help cause tragedy. We can talk about that when the people of Haiti have been helped by the Church.

Second, even if his theology were sound, he has stated it in such a way and at such a time that it will be misunderstood and will be mocked. He has pronounced a “truth” that (he must concede) would be hard for our culture to hear in a way and at a time that brings that “truth” into derision.

If Robertson were right in his theology and philosophy, his timing has fed his pearls to swine on a silver platter.

Recently Robertson faced major health problems and rightly asked for our prayers. It would have been wrong to be facile and associate his problems with sin. Robertson should grant the people of Haiti the same treatment that he demanded in the case of his illness.

Compassion, prayer, help, and charity.

Pat's Remarks about Haiti

How ignorant and misguided is Pat...... :(

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Spurgeon on hearing the Gospel Message

"The hearing of the gospel involves the hearer in responsibility. It is a great privilege to hear the gospel. You may smile and think there is nothing very great in it. The damned in hell know. Oh, what would they give if they could hear the gospel now? If they could come back and entertain but the shadow of a hope that they might escape from the wrath to come? The saved in heaven estimate this privilege at a high rate, for, having obtained salvation through the preaching of this gospel, they can never cease to bless their God for calling them by his word of truth. O that you knew it! On your dying beds the listening to a gospel sermon will seem another thing than it seems now."
"Do you know, my dear unsaved hearer, what God’s estimate of the gospel is? Do you not know that it has been the chief subject of his thoughts and acts from all eternity? He looks on it as the grandest of all his works. You cannot imagine that he has sent his gospel into the world to be a football for you to play with–that you may give it a kick, as Felix did when he said to Paul, "Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee" (Acts 24:25). You surely cannot believe that God sent his gospel into the world for you to make a toy of it, and to say, as Agrippa said to Paul, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian" (Acts 26:28), and then put away all thought of it out of your souls. You cannot even speak of it irreverently without committing a great sin." -C.H. Spurgeon

Monday, January 11, 2010

Brit Hume on speaking the name of Jesus

“It has always been a puzzling thing to me. The Bible even speaks of it, that you speak the name Jesus Christ (and I don’t mean to make a pun here) but all hell breaks loose. And it has always been thus. It is explosive. I didn’t even say the name in that way. I spoke of the Christian faith, but that was enough to trigger this reaction. It triggers a very powerful reaction in people who do not share the faith and who do not believe in it. Always has.”

McGwire Cheated

Mark McGwire finally came clean Monday, admitting he used steroids when he broke baseball's home run record in 1998.

McGwire said in a statement sent to The Associated Press on Monday that he used steroids on and off for nearly a decade.

"I wish I had never touched steroids," McGwire said in a statement. "It was foolish and it was a mistake. I truly apologize. Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era."

McGwire also used human growth hormone, a person close to McGwire said, speaking on condition of anonymity because McGwire didn't include that detail in his statement.

McGwire's decision to admit using steroids was prompted by his decision to become hitting coach of the St. Louis Cardinals, his final big league team. Tony La Russa, McGwire's manager in Oakland and St. Louis, has been among McGwire's biggest supporters and thinks returning to the field can restore the former slugger's reputation.

"I never knew when, but I always knew this day would come," McGwire said. "It's time for me to talk about the past and to confirm what people have suspected."

He became the second major baseball star in less than a year to admit using illegal steroids, following the New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez last February.

Others have been tainted but have denied knowingly using illegal drugs, including Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and David Ortiz.

Bonds has been indicted on charges he made false statements to a federal grand jury and obstructed justice. Clemens is under investigation by a federal grand jury trying to determine whether he lied to a congressional committee.

"I'm sure people will wonder if I could have hit all those home runs had I never taken steroids," McGwire said. "I had good years when I didn't take any, and I had bad years when I didn't take any. I had good years when I took steroids, and I had bad years when I took steroids. But no matter what, I shouldn't have done it and for that I'm truly sorry."

Big Mac's reputation has been in tatters since March 17, 2005, when he refused to answer questions at a Congressional hearing. Instead, he repeatedly said "I'm not here to talk about the past" when asked whether he took illegal steroids when he hit a then-record 70 home runs in 1998 or at any other time.

"After all this time, I want to come clean," he said. "I was not in a position to do that five years ago in my congressional testimony, but now I feel an obligation to discuss this and to answer questions about it. I'll do that, and then I just want to help my team."

The person close to McGwire said McGwire made the decision not to answer questions at that hearing on the advice of his lawyers.

McGwire disappeared from the public eye following his retirement as a player following the 2001 season. When the Cardinals hired the 47-year-old as coach on Oct. 26, they said he would address questions before spring training, and Monday's statement broke his silence.

"I remember trying steroids very briefly in the 1989/1990 offseason and then after I was injured in 1993, I used steroids again," McGwire said in his statement. "I used them on occasion throughout the '90s, including during the 1998 season."

McGwire said he took steroids to get back on the field, sounding much like the Yankees' Andy Pettitte two years ago when he admitted using HGH.

"During the mid-'90s, I went on the DL seven times and missed 228 games over five years," McGwire said in the statement. "I experienced a lot of injuries, including a ribcage strain, a torn left heel muscle, a stress fracture of the left heel, and a torn right heel muscle. It was definitely a miserable bunch of years, and I told myself that steroids could help me recover faster. I thought they would help me heal and prevent injuries, too."

Since the congressional hearing, baseball owners and players toughened their drug program twice, increasing the penalty for a first steroids offense from 10 days to 50 games in November 2005 and strengthening the power of the independent administrator in April 2008, following the publication of the Mitchell Report.

"Baseball is really different now — it's been cleaned up," McGwire said. "The commissioner and the players' association implemented testing and they cracked down, and I'm glad they did."

(Fox News)

The True Work of the Holy Spirit #2

It Opposes Satan’s Interests

“You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them.” (1 John 4:4-5)

When the spirit that is at work operates against the interests of Satan’s kingdom, against sin, and against worldly lusts — this is a sure sign that it is a true, and not a false spirit.

Here is a plain antithesis. The apostle is comparing those who are influenced by two opposite spirits, the true and the false. The difference is plain: the one is of God, and overcomes the spirit of the world; the other is of the world, and is obsessed with the things of the world. The devil is called “he who is in the world.”

What the apostle means by “the world,” or “the things that are in the world,” we learn by his own words: “Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world” (2:15-16). So by “the world” the apostle evidently means everything that pertains to the interest of sin. The term also comprehends all the corruptions and lusts of men, as well as all those acts and objects by which they are gratified.

We may also safely determine from what the apostle says that whatever lessons people’s esteem of the pleasures, profits, and honors of the world; whatever turns their hearts from an eager pursuit after these things; whatever engages them in a due concern about eternity and causes them earnestly to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness; whatever convinces them of the dreadfulness of sin, the guilt it brings, and the misery to which it exposes — must be the Spirit of God.

It is not to be supposed that Satan would convince men of sin or awaken the conscience. It can no way serve his end to make that candle of the Lord shine the brighter. It is for his interest, whatever he does, to lull conscience asleep and keep it quite. To have that with its eyes and mouth open in the soul would tend to clog and hinder all his designs of darkness. The awakened conscience would evermore disturb his affairs, cross his interests, and disquiet him. Would the devil, when he is about to establish people in sin, take such a course? Would he make them more careful, inquisitive, and watchful to discern what is sinful, and to avoid future sins, and to be more wary of the devil’s temptations?

The man who has an awakened conscience is the least likely to be deceived of any man in the world; it is the drowsy, insensible, stupid conscience that is most easily blinded. The Spirit that operates thus cannot be the spirit of the devil; Satan will not cast out Satan (Matt. 12:25-26). Therefore if we see persons made sensible of the dreadful nature of sin and the displeasure of God against it, we may conclude that this concern is from the Spirit of God.
(HT:Pulpit Mag.)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The True Work of the Holy Spirit: MacArthur

The Spirit's True Work
Monday, Nov 30, 2009

By John MacArthur)

How can a true work of the Holy Spirit be distinguished from a false one?

From a careful study of 1 John 4, the great theologian and pastor Jonathan Edwards was able to identify five distinguishing characteristics of the Holy Spirit’s work. In short, a true work of the Holy Spirit: (1) Exalts the true Christ, (2) Opposes Satan’s interests, (3) Points people to the Scriptures, (4) Elevates truth, and (5) Results in love for God and others.

The following material is condensed, adapted and excerpted from Jonathan Edwards’s The Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God.

It Exalts the True Christ.

“By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.” (John 4:2-3)

When a ministry raises people’s esteem of the one true Jesus Christ, who was born of a virgin and was crucified — if it confirms and establishes their minds in the truth that He is the Son of God and the Savior of men — then it is a sure sign that it is from the Spirit of God. If the spirit at work among a people convinces them of Christ and leads them to Him; if it confirms their minds in the belief of the history of Christ as He appeared in the flesh; if it teaches them that He is the Son of God to save sinners; if it reveals that He is the only Savior, and that they stand in great need of Him; and if it begets in them higher and more honorable thoughts of Christ than they used to have; if it inclines their affections more to Him — that is a sure sign that it is the true and right Spirit. This is true even though we are ultimately incapable of determining whether anyone’s conviction or affections reflect real saving faith.

The words of the apostle are remarkable. The person to whom the Spirit testifies must be that Jesus who appeared in the flesh — not another “christ” in His stead. It cannot be some mystical, fantastical “christ,” such as the “inner light” extolled by the Quakers. This imaginary christ diminishes their esteem of and dependence on Jesus as He came in the flesh. The true Spirit of God gives testimony for that Jesus alone.

The devil has a fierce hatred against Christ, especially in His office as the Savior of men. Satan mortally hates the story and doctrine of redemption; he never would go about to stress these truths. The Spirit that inclines men’s hearts to the Seed of the woman is not the spirit of the serpent that has such an irreconcilable enmity against Him.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Chan on the Balance Beam

Quote from a Book about Depression

From Richard Sibbes's: The Bruised Reed.

“A Christian is an impregnable person. He is a person that never can be conquered. Emmanuel became man to make the church and every Christian to be one with him. Christ’s nature is out of danger of all that is hurtful. The sun shall not shine, the wind shall not blow, to the church’s hurt. For the church’s Head ruleth over all things and hath all things in subjection.

Therefore let all the enemies consult together, this king and that power, there is a counsel in heaven which will disturb and dash all their counsels. Emmanuel in heaven laugheth them to scorn. And as Luther saith, ‘Shall we weep and cry when God laugheth?’”

Tuesday, January 5, 2010