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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Calvinists are Not Christians?

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What are your New Year's Resolutions?


Well...it's that time of year again. Time to make impossible New Year's resolutions that you have no intention of keeping...or do you? Are they biblical? If you haven't subscribed to Ligonier Ministries' (Dr R. C. Sproul) monthly devotional/magazine, "Tabletalk" I encourage you to do so...it is a great resource! You can get 3 free months on a trial basis at their website http://www.ligonier.org/tt.php
This month there is an article entitled, "Resolved by the Grace of God" which talks about resolutions...and another article regarding how the great 18th century theologian Jonathan Edwards put them into practice. I think we can all learn from his example...this is an example of how a believer can be resolved to see God work in and through his life.

Let me list all 70 of his resolutions in the hopes that it will encourage you to list down more than the typical, "I want to lose a pound a month...or read through the Bible this year" type of typical New Year's resolutions:
BEING SENSIBLE THAT I AM UNABLE TO DO ANYTHING WITHOUT GOD' S HELP, I DO HUMBLY ENTREAT HIM BY HIS GRACE TO ENABLE ME TO KEEP THESE RESOLUTIONS, SO FAR AS THEY ARE AGREEABLE TO HIS WILL, FOR CHRIST' S SAKE.
Remember to read over these Resolutions once a week.

1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God' s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many soever, and how great soever.
2. Resolved, to be continually endeavoring to find out some new contrivance and invention to promote the aforementioned things.
3. Resolved, if ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.
4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.
5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.
6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.
7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.
8. Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God. July 30.
9. Resolved, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.
10. Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell.
11. Resolved, when I think of any theorem in divinity to be solved, immediately to do what I can towards solving it, if circumstances do not hinder.
12. Resolved, if I take delight in it as a gratification of pride, or vanity, or on any such account, immediately to throw it by.
13. Resolved, to be endeavoring to find out fit objects of charity and liberality.
14. Resolved, never to do any thing out of revenge.
15. Resolved, never to suffer the least motions of anger towards irrational beings.
16. Resolved, never to speak evil of anyone, so that it shall tend to his dishonor, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.
17. Resolved, that I will live so, as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.
18. Resolved, to live so, at all times, as I think is best in my devout frames, and when I have clearest notions of things of the gospel, and another world.
19. Resolved, never to do any thing, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour, before I should hear the last trump.
20. Resolved, to maintain the strictest temperance, in eating and drinking.
21. Resolved, never to do any thing, which if I should see in another, I should count a just occasion to despise him for, or to think any way the more meanly of him. (Resolutions 1 through 21 written in one setting in New Haven in 1722)
22. Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can, with all the power, might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.
23. Resolved, frequently to take some deliberate action, which seems most unlikely to be done, for the glory of God, and trace it back to the original intention, designs and ends of it; and if I find it not to be for God' s glory, to repute it as a breach of the 4th Resolution.
24. Resolved, whenever I do any conspicuously evil action, to trace it back, till I come to the original cause; and then, both carefully endeavor to do so no more, and to fight and pray with all my might against the original of it.
25. Resolved, to examine carefully, and constantly, what that one thing in me is, which causes me in the least to doubt of the love of God; and to direct all my forces against it.
26. Resolved, to cast away such things, as I find do abate my assurance.
27. Resolved, never willfully to omit any thing, except the omission be for the glory of God; and frequently to examine my omissions.
28. Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.
29. Resolved, never to count that a prayer, nor to let that pass as a prayer, nor that as a petition of a prayer, which is so made, that I cannot hope that God will answer it; nor that as a confession, which I cannot hope God will accept.
30. Resolved, to strive to my utmost every week to be brought higher in religion, and to a higher exercise of grace, than I was the week before.
31. Resolved, never to say any thing at all against any body, but when it is perfectly agreeable to the highest degree of Christian honor, and of love to mankind, agreeable to the lowest humility, and sense of my own faults and failings, and agreeable to the golden rule; often, when I have said anything against anyone, to bring it to, and try it strictly by the test of this Resolution.
32. Resolved, to be strictly and firmly faithful to my trust, that that, in Proverbs 20:6,‹A faithful man who can find?Š may not be partly fulfilled in me.
33. Resolved, to do always, what I can towards making, maintaining, and preserving peace, when it can be done without overbalancing detriment in other respects. Dec. 26, 1722.
34. Resolved, in narrations never to speak any thing but the pure and simple verity.
35. Resolved, whenever I so much question whether I have done my duty, as that my quiet and calm is thereby disturbed, to set it down, and also how the question was resolved. Dec. 18, 1722.
36. Resolved, never to speak evil of any, except I have some particular good call for it. Dec. 19, 1722.
37. Resolved, to inquire every night, as I am going to bed, wherein I have been negligent,- what sin I have committed,-and wherein I have denied myself;-also at the end of every week, month and year. Dec. 22 and 26, 1722.
38. Resolved, never to speak anything that is ridiculous, sportive, or matter of laughter on the Lord' s day. Sabbath evening, Dec. 23, 1722.
39. Resolved, never to do any thing of which I so much question the lawfulness of, as that I intend, at the same time, to consider and examine afterwards, whether it be lawful or not; unless I as much question the lawfulness of the omission.
40. Resolved, to inquire every night, before I go to bed, whether I have acted in the best way I possibly could, with respect to eating and drinking. Jan. 7, 1723.
41. Resolved, to ask myself, at the end of every day, week, month and year, wherein I could possibly, in any respect, have done better. Jan. 11, 1723.
42. Resolved, frequently to renew the dedication of myself to God, which was made at my baptism; which I solemnly renewed, when I was received into the communion of the church; and which I have solemnly re-made this twelfth day of January, 1722-23.
43. Resolved, never, henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God' s; agreeable to what is to be found in Saturday, January 12, 1723.
44. Resolved, that no other end but religion, shall have any influence at all on any of my actions; and that no action shall be, in the least circumstance, any otherwise than the religious end will carry it. January 12, 1723.
45. Resolved, never to allow any pleasure or grief, joy or sorrow, nor any affection at all, nor any degree of affection, nor any circumstance relating to it, but what helps religion. Jan. 12 and 13, 1723.
46. Resolved, never to allow the least measure of any fretting uneasiness at my father or mother. Resolved to suffer no effects of it, so much as in the least alteration of speech, or motion of my eye: and to be especially careful of it with respect to any of our family.
47. Resolved, to endeavor, to my utmost, to deny whatever is not most agreeable to a good, and universally sweet and benevolent, quiet, peaceable, contented and easy, compassionate and generous, humble and meek, submissive and obliging, diligent and industrious, charitable and even, patient, moderate, forgiving and sincere temper; and to do at all times, what such a temper would lead me to; and to examine strictly, at the end of every week, whether I have done so. Sabbath morning. May 5, 1723.
48. Resolved, constantly, with the utmost niceness and diligence, and the strictest scrutiny, to be looking into the state of my soul, that I may know whether I have truly an interest in Christ or not; that when I come to die, I may not have any negligence respecting this to repent of. May 26, 1723.
49. Resolved, that this never shall be, if I can help it.
50. Resolved, I will act so as I think I shall judge would have been best, and most prudent, when I come into the future world. July 5, 1723.
51. Resolved, that I will act so, in every respect, as I think I shall wish I had done, if I should at last be damned. July 8, 1723.
52. I frequently hear persons in old age, say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, that I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age. July 8, 1723.
53. Resolved, to improve every opportunity, when I am in the best and happiest frame of mind, to cast and venture my soul on the Lord Jesus Christ, to trust and confide in him, and consecrate myself wholly to him; that from this I may have assurance of my safety, knowing that I confide in my Redeemer. July 8, 1723.
54. Whenever I hear anything spoken in conversation of any person, if I think it would be praiseworthy in me, Resolved to endeavor to imitate it. July 8, 1723.
55. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to act as I can think I should do, if, I had already seen the happiness of heaven, and hell torments. July 8, 1723.
56. Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken, my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.
57. Resolved, when I fear misfortunes and adversities, to examine whether I have done my duty, and resolve to do it, and let the event be just as providence orders it. I will as far as I can, be concerned about nothing but my duty, and my sin. June 9, and July 13 1723.
58. Resolved, not only to refrain from an air of dislike, fretfulness, and anger in conversation, but to exhibit an air of love, cheerfulness and benignity. May 27, and July 13, 1723.
59. Resolved, when I am most conscious of provocations to ill nature and anger, that I will strive most to feel and act good-naturedly; yea, at such times, to manifest good nature, though I think that in other respects it would be disadvantageous, and so as would be imprudent at other times. May 12, July 11, and July 13.
60. Resolved, whenever my feelings begin to appear in the least out of order, when I am conscious of the least uneasiness within, or the least irregularity without, I will then subject myself to the strictest examination. July 4, and 13, 1723.
61. Resolved, that I will not give way to that listlessness which I find unbends and relaxes my mind from being fully and fixedly set on religion, whatever excuse I may have for it-that what my listlessness inclines me to do, is best to be done, etc. May 21, and July 13, 1723.
62. Resolved, never to do anything but duty, and then according to Ephesians 6:6-8, to do it willingly and cheerfully as unto the Lord, and not to man:‹knowing that whatever good thing any man doth, the same shall he receive of the Lord.Š June 25 and July 13, 1723.
63. On the supposition, that there never was to be but one individual in the world, at any one time, who was properly a complete Christian, in all respects of a right stamp, having Christianity always shining in its true luster, and appearing excellent and lovely, from whatever part and under whatever character viewed: Resolved, to act just as I would do, if I strove with all my might to be that one, who should live in my time. January 14 and July 13, 1723.
64. Resolved, when I find those ‹groanings which cannot be utteredŠ (Romans 8:26), of which the Apostle speaks, and those‹breakings of soul for the longing it hath,Š of which the Psalmist speaks, Psalm 119:20, that I will promote them to the utmost of my power, and that I will not be weary of earnestly endeavoring to vent my desires, nor of the repetitions of such earnestness. July 23, and August 10, 1723.
65. Resolved, very much to exercise myself in this, all my life long, viz. with the greatest openness, of which I am capable of, to declare my ways to God, and lay open my soul to him: all my sins, temptations, difficulties, sorrows, fears, hopes, desires, and every thing, and every circumstance; according to Dr. Manton' s 27th Sermon on Psalm 119. July 26, and Aug.10 1723.
66. Resolved, that I will endeavor always to keep a benign aspect, and air of acting and speaking in all places, and in all companies, except it should so happen that duty requires otherwise.
67. Resolved, after afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them, what am I the better for them, and what I might have got by them.
68. Resolved, to confess frankly to myself all that which I find in myself, either infirmity or sin; and, if it be what concerns religion, also to confess the whole case to God, and implore needed help. July 23, and August 10, 1723.
69. Resolved, always to do that, which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it. August 11, 1723.
70. Let there be something of benevolence, in all that I speak. August 17, 1723.
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Sunday, December 28, 2008

State of the Blogosphere / 2008

2008 is almost over and we face a new year. As we look back over the past year let's take some time and think about blogging. 2008 was an amazing year for the Preaching today blog we had record months for the number of visitors and we recruited some great team members. I came across a great article that looks at 2008 and blogging:

State of the Blogosphere / 2008

Welcome to Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2008 report, which will be released in five consecutive daily segments. Since 2004, our annual study has unearthed and analyzed the trends and themes of blogging, but for the 2008 study, we resolved to go beyond the numbers of the Technorati Index to deliver even deeper insights into the blogging mind. For the first time, we surveyed bloggers directly about the role of blogging in their lives, the tools, time, and resources used to produce their blogs, and how blogging has impacted them personally, professionally, and financially. Our bloggers were generous with their thoughts and insights. Thanks to all of the bloggers who took the time to respond to our survey.


Blogs are Pervasive and Part of Our Daily Lives
There have been a number of studies aimed at understanding the size of the Blogosphere, yielding widely disparate estimates of both the number of blogs and blog readership. All studies agree, however, that blogs are a global phenomenon that has hit the mainstream.


The numbers vary but agree that blogs are here to stay

comScore MediaMetrix (August 2008)
Blogs: 77.7 million unique visitors in the US
Facebook: 41.0 million MySpace 75.1 million
Total internet audience 188.9 million

eMarketer (May 2008)
94.1 million US blog readers in 2007 (50% of Internet users)
22.6 million US bloggers in 2007 (12%)

Universal McCann (March 2008)
184 million WW have started a blog 26.4 US
346 million WW read blogs 60.3 US
77% of active Internet users read blogs


When I read these numbers I get excited! 77% of Internet users read blogs, that is millions of people! Christians should be using blogging to challenge and equip people!


Back to the article:

What is a Blog? The Lines Continue To Blur

Wikipedia defines blogs as:
A Blog (a contraction of the term "Web log") is a Web site, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order.

The Blogosphere is the collective community of all blogs. Since all blogs are on the Internet by definition, they may be seen as interconnected and socially networked. Discussions "in the Blogosphere" have been used by the media as a gauge of public opinion on various issues. But as the Blogosphere grows in size and influence, the lines between what is a blog and what is a mainstream media site become less clear. Larger blogs are taking on more characteristics of mainstream sites and mainstream sites are incorporating styles and formats from the Blogosphere.

In fact, 95% of the top 100 US newspapers have reporter blogs (see The Bivings Group).

What is Technorati Looking At and Why?
With blogging so firmly entrenched in the mainstream, the story now is about the Active Blogosphere. The trends, stories and behaviors here influence not only the rest of the Blogosphere but mainstream media as well.

Technorati defines the Active Blogosphere as: The ecosystem of interconnected communities of bloggers and readers at the convergence of journalism and conversation.

For the 2008 State of the Blogosphere Report, we wanted to go beyond the numbers to deliver insights into bloggers and the state of blogging today. Who are the bloggers, why and how do they do what they do, and what is the impact on their lives and work?

To find out, we conducted a survey from a random sample from more than 1.2 million bloggers who have registered with Technorati. In addition, we have supplemented the survey results with our traditional analysis of Technorati’s index data

Key findings from the report include:

All Blogs Are Not Created Equal
Take a quick journey into the size of the Blogosphere


Blogging is…
A truly global phenomenon: Technorati tracked blogs in 81 languages in June 2008, and bloggers responded to our survey from 66 countries across six continents.

Here to stay: Bloggers have been at it an average of three years and are collectively creating close to one million posts every day. Blogs have representation in top-10 web site lists across all key categories, and have become integral to the media ecosystem.

Bloggers are…
Not a homogenous group: Personal, professional, and corporate bloggers all have differing goals and cover an average of five topics within each blog.

Savvy and sophisticated: On average, bloggers use five different techniques to drive traffic to their blog. They’re using an average of seven publishing tools on their blog and four distinct metrics for measuring success.

Intensifying their efforts based on positive feedback: Blogging is having an incredibly positive impact on their lives, with bloggers receiving speaking or publishing opportunities, career advancement, and personal satisfaction.



Yopu can read the rest of the very detailed report at this link:
blogging


Share your thoughts and comments about blogging!
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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Over 170 killed as Israel sAttacks Gaza

I have been very busy posting information on the Worldview blog informing people that Israel was about to attack Gaza. Today the attacks have begun. I have video reports and links to the best information I can find about the situation on the Worldview blog. Here is the link:

Worldview
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Friday, December 26, 2008

Israel moves closer to Gaza invasion

During this time of year many people get very busy and may not be keeping up with the news. There is a situation developing in Israel that you may want to take some time and read about. Israel appears by many reports to be read to invade Gaza. I have posted a lot of information about this at the Wordview blog. You can check out all of the post a this link:

Worldview
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Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Textus Receptus...What Have You Heard?


Ever heard of the Textus Receptus? It is the "Received Greek Text" that is the foundation of the King James Bible (and a few others). I was once an Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) before I came over to the Reformed Baptist camp...and I was taught many things in Seminary and in numerous books on the subject of Textual Criticism and the origins of the Bible.


I am currently doing some personal research on the textual issue as my viewpoint has been stretching and growing. I have held the position that I am "TR-only" and not KJV only. What that means is I said I only supported Bibles that were used the TR for their Greek NT translation. I was never KJV only...I always believed that the KJV is the only English bible that used the TR...and so I was KJV-only in that sense.

Here's an idea...isn't it always good to be right about something for the right reasons? I want everything I teach and say to be based on truth. I've been finding out that much of what I was taught in the IFB camp on the TR issue was not 100% accurate. What I don't want to do is trade truth for certainty!

While it was comforting and easy to say that God preserved His NT Word in the TR only...is this a true statement? If you hold that position let me ask you a few questions...and feel free to post your thoughts, websites and books that talk honestly about the issue (please don't give me the usual KJV-only blah, blah, blah!)...

Is there such a thing as one TR...or are there many? I've heard there are actually 30 and they don't all agree at all amongst themselves!

Is the New KJV based on the TR? I understand now that it really is, even though I was taught it isn't...still researching that one.

Is the TR based on the majority of the 5300 extant Greek manuscripts? I know that Erasmus only used a couple and part of Revelation was missing...he used the Latin Vulgate to fill in the blanks and translated backwards from Latin into Greek! We used to slam the Critical Text proponents for only using a small percentage of the manuscripts...is the TR any different?

Food for thought...feel free to post and make comments! Still learning and seaching for truth...not phantom certainty!
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Thanks for the Wii Jesus!


What are you thankful for this Christmas? Was the focus in your house upon the Lord Jesus Christ...or upon stuff? Have you suffered for the cause of Christ this year? Do you expect suffering and persecution next year?

Most of us emphatically say "NO...and I don't plan to!" What about the persecuted church out there today? Most people don't even know that they exist, after all, wasn't that a first century or Dark Ages phenomenon? NO!


For those believers (including myself!) that forget about the persecuted church and forget that we are all called to carry our cross and to, if needed, suffer with joy for the Lord Jesus Christ, go to this blog and read the article on what one family went through...sobering.


He was bruised for our iniquities...are you willing to be bruised for Him?

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Church on Christmas?! Are you crazy!


Is this your attitude? Is this your church's position...to not have church on Christmas? Unfortunately that's the normal position of 99% (guesstimate) of America's churches...let's take a day off and not meet so people can visit and open presents, eat and be merry, right? This is extremely sad. This is the day that we supposedly celebrate the birth of our Saviour, about His incarnation and arrival to redeem lost mankind...and yet America's churches will be closed for business.


Here's a novel idea...I know it's not Sun or Wed, but wouldn't it be good to have church services today? I can assure you that Victory Baptist of Ovalo TX will be meeting tonight to sing to the Lord and hear a message from His Word.


Of course in America church is for us and it's just not convenient to meet with all the other stuff going one.


Think about it...
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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Are my Jehovah's Witness-Friendly Friends Hiding?

Where did my Jehovah's Witness friends go? Are you all wondering where our Jehovah's Witness-friendly friends have gone? They do this so often...they do a "Drive-by" posting and spout off at the mouth but don't listen to what you've actually said and don't engage the arguments.

If you're watching...if you have all the truth as Watchtower claims...why won't it hold up under any scrutiny and why won't you engage my comments/postings from a week or so ago?

Come back! Engage my arguments and let us all know the truth...
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Charismatic Vomit!!!!!!

I am not normally so verbally direct...but I absolutely couldn't believe my blog ears when i saw a post on the following blog.

http://bloodtippedears.blogspot.com/2008/07/prayer-and-help-for-my-mom-carol.html

This is the "Truth Matters" blog that promotes a God-centered view and is worth looking at. Josh's mom is struggling with cancer and he's posted info on her progress, as well as asking for prayers and financial donations.

Here is what kills me and angers me beyond belief. First, there's one guy blasting him in the middle of his thread dealing with his mom's cancer about his "anti-seeker" and "Rick Warren" views...just a tad bit inappropriate place to do that, wouldn't you agree?

Then this posting took the prize! Here is what one insensitive, ungodly, biblically-inept and unlearned, supposed Christian wrote! Put the coffee cup down and remove all sharp objects from within 100 yards before reading!

"I found this through the heretics from pulpit pimps. They are always blasting my pastor Fred Price! If you would listen to Fred's teachings your mother would not have cancer in the first place! So I plead with you to disconnect yourselves from the real pimp and learn from Fred what real faith "really" is!!!! Your mom not only would not have cancer but she also wouldn't have a financial need. What pathetic faith! Rev. Price is driving a roll royce and you sell your car? Which faith actually works? The one that "WORKS"!!!"

OH MY! If Carol and Josh had faith they wouldn't be sick or have financial needs and they'd be driving a Roll Royce (should I add illiterate to the list? Rolls Royce buddy!)!!!!!!!

Charismatics...if you believe this you are sick...and your theology sickens me. I know not all Charismatics view their beliefs this way...but this really makes me angry! If you agree with this grossly unbiblical poster...you are grossly unbiblical too!!

Please pray for Josh and his mom Carol...if you have any means to help them I suggest you go to the blog and take a look at his posting.
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Does "All" Always Mean All?

Exegesis is important...context is everything. This video clip is great! If you are Arminian...or, for those of you who say "I'm not Arminian or Calvinist...I just believe the Bible!", if you believe that Jesus Christ paid for the sins of all men (universal atonement), I want you to really listen to this clip.

Folks, it is weak exegesis to say "All means all...and that's all all means!" This clip is specifically talking about 2 Peter 3:9...listen and feel free to comment.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.


video
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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ordo Salutis: The Order of Salvation


This is a short but good article on the order of salvation which was taken from the http://www.blogger.com/www.monergism.com website (great site!). You can find the article at this link:(http://www.monergism.com/directory/link_category/Reformed-Theology/Ordo-Salutis/)

What does it mean? Read on...Latin, "the order of salvation." The ordo salutis is the theological doctrine that deals with the logical sequencing of the benefits of Salvation worked by Christ which are applied to us by the Spirit. This first thing to remember is that we must never geperate the benefits (regeneration, justification, sanctification) from the Benefactor (Jesus Christ). The entire process (election, redemption, regeneration, etc.) is the work of God in Christ and is by grace alone. Election is the superstructure of our ordo salutis, but not itself the application of redemption. Regeneration, the work of the Holy Spirit which brings us into a living union with Christ, has a causal priority over the other aspects of the process of salvation. God opens our eyes, we see. God circumcises/ unplugs our ears, we hear. Jesus calls a dead and buried Lazarus out of the grave, he comes; In the same way, the Holy Spirit applies regeneration, (opening our spiritual eyes and renewing our affections), infallibly resulting in faith. All the benefits of redemption such as conversion (faith & repentance), justification, sanctification and perseverance presuppose the existence of spiritual life. The work of applying God's grace is a unitary process given to the elect simultaneously. This is instantaneous, but there is definitely a causal order (regeneration giving rise to all the rest). Though these benefits cannot be separated, it is helpful to distinguish them.

Therefore, instead of imposing a chronological order we should view these as a unitary work of God to bring us into union with Christ. We must always keep in mind that the orders expressed in the following articles occur together or happen simultaneously like the turning on of a light switch or a faucet. But God turns on the light/faucet, so to speak. All aspects of the work of God continue together throughout the life of a Christian.

Historically in the Church there has been disagreement about the order of salvation, especially between those in the Reformed and Arminian camps. The following two perspectives of God's order in carrying out His redemptive work reveals the stark contrast between these two main historic views. Keep in mind that both viewpoints are based on the redemptive work which Christ accomplished for His people in history:

In the Reformed camp, the ordo salutis is 1) election, 2) predestination, 3) gospel call 4) inward call 5) regeneration, 6) conversion (faith & repentance), 7) justification, 8) sanctification, and 9) glorification. (Rom 8:29-30)

In the Arminian camp, the ordo salutis is 1) outward call 2) faith/election, 3) repentance, 4) regeneration, 5) justification, 6) perseverance, 7) glorification.

Notice the crucial difference in the orders of regeneration and faith. While the Reformed position believes spiritual life is a prerequisite for the existence of the other aspects of salvation, the Arminians believe that fallen, natural man retains the moral capacity to receive or reject the gospel of his own power. Even with the help of grace he still must find it within himself to believe or reject Christ. This has broad implications and raises questions like why does one man believe and not another? You might also notice that, according to Arminians, election is dependent on faith, not the other way around.

This is no small matter ...understanding the biblical order, while keeping in mind its unitary process, is crucial and has a profound impact on how one views God, the gospel, and the Bible as a whole.
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Friday, December 19, 2008

2008 In Music

As the end of the year is approaching I am beginning to think about the best music that was released in 2008. I do this every year and I take it very serious.


Last year I picked In Rainbows by Radiohead as album of 2008.
















I was not suprised when I found that many music critics picked the same album. They could just contact me, and I could tell them every year what album is the best of the year.

I have been thinking for the past few months on what album I beleive is the best this year. I am having some trouble so in this post I am going to offer some possible best album choices.


To top my list is:
The End Is Not the End by House of Heroes. I have one word for this album, AMAZING!
















Second on My list is:

Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends by Coldplay

Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (also simply known as Viva la Vida) is the fourth studio album by English alternative rock band Coldplay. It was released on 11 June 2008 in Japan, 12 June 2008 in the United Kingdom, and 17 June 2008 in North America. Coldplay released four singles from the record: "Violet Hill" and "Viva la Vida" in May 2008 and "Lost!" and "Lovers in Japan" in November 2008. "Viva la Vida" is the band's first song to reach number one in the United States and the United Kingdom.

The album has, to date, been the number-one-selling album in 36 countries around the world. In the United States, it sold 316,000 copies in its first day, and 720,000 in its first week. In the UK, the album sold 302,074 in three days, debuting at number one. Viva la Vida has become the most paid-for downloaded album of all time.[1][2]

I was at the store the day the CD was released ready to buy it. The album is good but I was not that moved by most of the lyrics. I just did not connect with a lot of the songs. It is still a very good album.


The next one I cannot necessarily recommend the entire album but you can count on this album being talked about as one of the best of 2008:
Bon Iver
Album: For Emma, Forever Ago
For Emma, Forever Ago sounds ghostly and ethereal, radiating otherworldly beauty, but it's also strangely gritty in a way that gives it heft.













Lyrics to Blindsided :
Bike down... down to the downtown
Down to the lockdown... boards, nails lye arond

I crouch like a crow
Contrasting the snow
For the agony, I'd rather know

'Cause blinded I am blindsided

Peek in... into the peer in

I'm not really like this... I'm probably plightless

I cup the window

I'm crippled and slow

For the agony

I'd rather know

'Cause blinded I am blindsided

Would you really rush out for me now?

Taught line... down to trhe shoreline

The end of a blood line... the moon is a cold light

There's a pull to the flow

My feet melt the snow

For the irony, i'd rather know

'Cause blinded I was blindsided

'Cause blinded I was blindsided

'Cause blinded I was blindsided


More to come and I also want the input of the readers.

Have a great night and listen to some music!
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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Da Vinci code? Hidden drawings found on Leonardo's masterpiece

Three near-invisible drawings discovered on back of Da Vinci masterpiece.

The French art world is in a frenzy of speculation today after the strange discovery of three almost invisible drawings on the back of a masterpiece by Leonardo da Vinci in the Louvre museum.

The mysterious sketches, which were found when the painting, Virgin and Child With Saint Anne, was taken down for experts to determine whether it could be restored, may be by the Renaissance artist himself, according to the museum in Paris.

Although the discovery is reminiscent of Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, art experts said that the drawings would not have contained a hidden message from the painter.
They say that Da Vinci sketched out his ideas on whatever came to hand, and might have used the planks of poplar wood that formed the backing for the work, which dates from the 1500s.


Here is the link to the original story:
Da Vinci
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Does God Have Sperm?
















I apologize for the blunt title but I am at a lost of words. I just listened to a sermon and I am still trying to figure out what I should write. The sermon was preached at North Side Baptist Church which is located in Abilene, TX. The sermon was preached on December 14, 2008. The title of the sermon was, What's So Special About Jesus #2. You can find the sermon at this link:

Sermon

I have listened to sermons from this church for years and I have gotten very close to declaring that this church is heretical and people should leave it! That is very serious charge so I have been very careful and have been quiet. Today however, I can no longer remain silent. I am sick and tired of Churches preaching complete garbage from pulpits and no one seems to care!

I am simply going to post the comments from the sermon and I will try to post more when I can figure out what to say!

The comments occured at the 14:30 mark of the sermon:
"And that is what the virgin birth was all about, to take a human father out of the way. So the very seed of God, the very sperm of God could be impregnated into Mary’s womb, and when that seed of God produced life in Mary’s womb that blood that flowed in the veins of Jesus was literally the very blood of God."



I am left speechless...
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BEST OF 2008

It is December 18, 2008. The year is quickly coming to an end. As Christians we live in the world and we are all impacted by it to some degree. I believe as Christians we should engage the culture and not hide from it. Over the next few weeks I will be posting list of what was big in 2008. Here are some of the categories I am going to work on:

Best Movies of 2008

Best Albums of 2008

Best Books of 2008

Top News Stories of 2008

Top Religious News Stories of 2008.


I may add other categories over the next few days. I need your help in making this work. Submit your best of list! You can post your list in the comment section for this post or e-mail them to me. Teenagers, I want to know what you think as well!

So let the discussion begin!
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Finding God in Galapagos

Darwin discovered evolution on the Galápagos Islands—a popular story, yes, but it’s not true. Darwin’s ideas were formulated much later, drawn from a variety of sources. If Darwin had interpreted the islands from a biblical perspective, he might have reached a very different conclusion.

In mid-September 1835, the Beagle anchored off San Cristóbal, the easternmost of the Galápagos Islands. Straddling the equator, these Pacific islands were no lush paradise, but dry and relatively barren. Over the next five weeks, Charles Darwin trudged through sun-scorched lava fields, prickly thickets, and cloud-covered forests and meadows, collecting specimens as he went.

The young man was intrigued by what he found on these lonely islands, six hundred miles off the coast of South America. Giant iguanas basked in the sun on the rocky coasts, while giant land tortoises lumbered along “well-beaten” paths in the interior. Darwin’s job was not always serious. He tried to ride one of the giant land tortoises, with comical results.

To Darwin’s surprise, many of the animals and plants were similar to what he had seen earlier on the continent of South America. And there were often multiple species of each sort, more similar to one another than to any species outside the islands. Trained in England to believe in the “doctrine of creation of each separate species,” he was astonished at what he had found in the wider world.

Why would a Creator put similar but discrete species on islands and then make them look most similar to species on the nearest continent? This was the sort of question that Darwin’s trip made him ask.

Actually it was not until after his return to England, while unpacking and cataloging his collections and polishing his journals that the significance of his findings really sank in. What he had seen influenced his thinking for the rest of his life. Indeed, it would influence the thinking of the scientific community for the next 150 years and beyond.



















Darwin made many stops during his voyage on the Beagle. Of all the observations he made, most striking was the similarity between the wildlife on the Galápagos Islands and the nearby South American mainland. This did not fit with the common expectation that species on islands should be very different from species on the mainland because they were created separately.


To read the rest of the article follow this link:
Finding God in Galapagos
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Sunday, December 14, 2008

A MUST READ BLOG

There are millions of blogs to choose from and you can spend a lifetime going from blog to blog. Many blogs are not that good and don't really offer anything worth wile.

Today I want to point everyone to the, 2 Worlds Collide blog. This is a great blog and it is one that is worth the time to read and to visit everyday. When you visit, leave a comment and let them know the Preaching Today blog sent you.


Have a great Lord's Day
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Romans 9

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Response #2 to a Jehovah's Witness-Supportive Person


OK...Edward, you say I assume you are a Jehovah's Witness...are you? If not then you hold the same views and find it necessary to go to other blogs defending them...so whether you are one or not you hold the same incorrect view.

You are not sure which post I'm referring to? Since you responded to it below I take it you figured it out...of course I was responding to your comments from 9 Dec to my post entitled "Is Jesus Only Begotten?" I thought that was pretty obvious...

For those joining in...here is what Edward said:

"Also, why do you assume that I am one of Jehovah's Witnesses? Are you simply blindly labeling?As to erroneous views of John 3:16... It does appear that the Witnesses have the correct view as it says that God gave his only begotten son. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." That is the KJV so no translational arguments here."

OK...I think you missed my whole point...did you read my post? Sounds like you didn't really understand. "Only begotten" in the Greek is monogenes...which literally means "one of a kind"- and that's why it's interpreted as unique by some exegetes. It does NOT mean that Jesus was created by Jehovah...you are assuming the english meaning onto a word that God inspired in Greek...

You said, "JWs believe that God gave his son. Jehovah God gave his son, Jesus. Died for us. So that we believe in him we get life. The fact that the term son is used there indicated that the ones to whom he was speaking would understand the father/son relationship." No arguments from me...Jesus is the eternal Son...

Then you said, "So what was true of his listeners would be true of him and [h]is father. What we have is God and the fact that he loved the world of mankind. And that there was also a son. He gave this son as a sacrifice. Those that believe in him have everlasting life. JWs believe that. God did not give himself. The term son indicates that he is younger and proceeded from his Father, who would be God. If the son was not created, then the term brother would have been used."

Son doesn't always indicate younger...and proceeded from doesn't mean created. Your reasoning won't hold up if you continue on in this discussion. The difference is that JWs deny the deity of the Son of God...they deny the Trinity...and obviously you do too.

I noticed you ignored my comments on Heb 11:17 which proves that the word monogenes" (translated only begotten) doesn't mean first created child as you assume...comments?

OK...I also noticed you ignored my other question...so here's your challenge once again. You ignored it in my last post and ignored the exegesis of the verse that I did...if you really have this verse down and can show me that Jesus is NOT God then I'll concede. The big question for the second time...

Who is referred to in Revelation 1:8- "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty."

Who is the "Alpha and Omega, beginning and the end"? This person says he is the Lord and is the Almighty, right? This is Jehovah, right? Looking forward to your reply!
P.S Your comments on the following blogs sure makes you sound like a Jehovah's Witness...are you just a great admirer that feels the need to defend their beliefs? If you're not a Jehovah's Witness then I think I'm going to declare myself to be the President of the United States!
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Friday, December 12, 2008

The Hidden Gospel?

In the light of the John 3:16 conference which sure didn't do much to propel the anti-calvinism agenda of a good portion of the S. Baptist convention...I wonder what they would do to the following verse I came across tonight as I prepared to preach?

2 Corinthians 4:3-6 "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."

Doesn't this verse teach that the gospel is hidden by God from those who believe not? Jesus Christ is the manifestation of the hidden God...God is revealed in Christ because Christ veiled God's glory. This is the shekinah glory of God veiled in human flesh...perfectly and inseparably combined in the beautiful God-man!

But the god of this world (Satan) has blinded the minds of those who don't believe. Can that person overcome Satan's power...or does it take the power of God to remove that blinding and shine on them so they can believe? I think this is the sovereignty of God again making someone who CANNOT BELIEVE able to believe...

Arminians...thoughts? Feel free to post and let us know what you think...
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Jehovah's Witnesses Don't Appear to Witness?


What's sad is that I know the Jehovah's Witnesses have seen my posting on their erroneous views of John 3:16 and the idea that Jesus Christ is a created being...after all, at least Edward did a "drive-by" posting a few days ago. He made some claims but never substantiated anything he said...and it appears he won't engage the issue and discuss it.

Now in all fairness, he could be busy, out of town, etc...so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. However, in the past I've never had a Jehovah's Witness that would stand for what he believes and really examine what the Watchtower proclaims as truth. They would rather blindly follow the Watchtower despite the fact that a clear exegesis of many passages totally refutes their claims.

My prayer is that if you are watching Edward that you will return and engage the issue. After all, JW's claim to have the only truth out there...if that's true and if you are Jehovah's only true witnesses, why won't you, or any of the other JWs engage the issue and answer the questions.

I believe you are watching...I've seen you on several other blogs and I know this is something that you do on a fairly regular basis. Come on back, let's chat!

Jim
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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Response to a Jehovah's Witness, Part 1

Edward,
Thanks for commenting on my post. Since you posted it to the public I'm sure you won't mind me posting back in public- much learning for all and not just the two of us, right? Anyway, for all, here is what Edward said,

  • "What's your point? Jesus said, as recorded in John 3:16, that God gave his only begotten son. That is simple. He was God's only begotten son prior to his coming to earth. Jesus was the first thing that Jehovah God created. Jesus can not be Jehovah if salvation is to occur."

I would think that my purpose was quite clear...to refute the notion that John 3:16 is a refutation of the deity of Christ and that it teaches that He is a created being. I think you missed my point...take a look at the Lexicons...the word monogenes does not imply procreation...the word literally means "one of a kind/class"...or "unique."

The Son of God was truly unique and in a class all by Himself. Of course, I don't take my theology from a single verse as that's dangerous and leads to heresy. You assume a "son" has to have a beginning because that's our experience as human beings...but does that have to remain true with God?

My first thought is that you missed my point that the word doesn't mean physical procreation...it means literally "one of a kind." All the verses that use this word and refer to humans in the NT, and not the Lord Jesus Christ, (see Luke 7:12; 8:42; 9:38 and Heb 11:17) emphasize that they were one of a kind- the only/unique children. Of course, since they were only humans they had a beginning. The other verses that refer to the Lord Jesus Christ you as presupposing that He too must have had a beginning at one point in the past...and that He's not divine.

Hebrews 11:17 makes this point very, very clearly; Hebrews 11:17-18- "By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called"

Obviously Isaac was not his only son, right? Hadn't Abraham already had a child called Ishmael? Obviously. The Bible uses the word "monogenes" to show that Ishmael was Abraham's unique, one-of-a-kind son. He was unique in that He was (as seen in verse 18) the impossible child produced of a womb that was barren (Sarah was too old to have kids!)...and he was the preserved Seedline of Christ. The KJV rendering does not get to the clear meaning of the word in this case. Isaac was NOT his only procreated child...he was the unique son that God had given him.

Couple questions for you...and if you really care to get your point across about the fact that only the Watchtower has the truth, you'll take the time to answer and set forth what you believe and why.

Who is referred to in this passage? Revelation 1:8- "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty."

Who is the "Alpha and Omega, beginning and the end"? This person says he is the Lord and is the Almighty, right? This is Jehovah, right?

Looking forward to your reply!





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Monday, December 8, 2008

Charismatic Flop...False Hope Again!

video

It's so sad when false prophets/healers promise hurting people instant healing against what Scripture teaches...what a sham!

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Is Jesus Only Begotten?


In the light of the John 3:16 conference...I wonder if droves of people now truly understand what the verse teaches? Doubt it (I will be buying the DVD to listen to what they said...or tried to say!). I do wonder how many believers understand what "only begotten" means in the passage...can the average Christian explain the verse to the duo of Jehovah's Witnesses that are standing on his/her doorstep? I guarantee that they will know their false doctrine in a convincing manner that would baffle the average "church-goer."

Don't believe me? Take a test...go to the following JW website and read what they have to say:

In the following website the JWs clearly (but not in any detail) spell out their view. Here is what they say:

Here is an even more in depth discussion of their belief on this matter, http://www.watchtower.org/e/ti/article_05.htm:

  • "Trinitarians claim that in the case of Jesus, "only-begotten" is not the same as the dictionary definition of "begetting," which is "to procreate as the father." (Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary) They say that in Jesus' case it means "the sense of unoriginated relationship," a sort of only son relationship without the begetting. (Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words) Does that sound logical to you? Can a man father a son without begetting him?

  • Furthermore, why does the Bible use the very same Greek word for "only-begotten" (as Vine admits without any explanation) to describe the relationship of Isaac to Abraham? Hebrews 11:17 speaks of Isaac as Abraham's "only-begotten son." There can be no question that in Isaac's case, he was only-begotten in the normal sense, not equal in time or position to his father. The basic Greek word for "only-begotten" used for Jesus and Isaac is mo·no·ge·nes', from mo'nos, meaning "only," and gi'no·mai, a root word meaning "to generate," "to become (come into being)," states Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. Hence, mo·no·ge·nes' is defined as: "Only born, only begotten, i.e. an only child."—A Greek and English Lexicon of the New Testament, by E. Robinson. The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, edited by Gerhard Kittel, says: "[Mo·no·ge·nes'] means 'of sole descent,' i.e., without brothers or sisters." This book also states that at John 1:18; 3:16, 18; and 1 John 4:9, "the relation of Jesus is not just compared to that of an only child to its father. It is the relation of the only-begotten to the Father."

So how would you respond? Here is my analysis...

#1- They say begetting doesn't make sense since the english definition implies creation/procreation. Simple rebuttal- English translations are fallible and don't always convey the intended meaning of a word...the Greek is the key here.

#2- Now...when they get into the Greek they have the air of authority...but not really. Just because someone quotes Greek and Hebrew to you doesn't mean they are scholarly and right! They quote the Greek word behind "only begotten" as monogenes...and they are correct. This word is used in the following verses; Luke 7:12, Luke 8:42, Luke 9:38, John 1:14, John 3:16, 3:18, Heb 11:17 and 1 John 4:9.

Here is what they said above: monos means "only", or one...this is correct. They run into problems when they speak of the second part of the compound word, genes.

Gennao is a Greek verb that means "be father of; bear, give birth to (perhaps conceive); pass. be born; lead to, cause" (Thayer's)- this is not the word on the 2nd half of monogenes. Genos is the noun form of ginomai and is the source of the second 1/2 of the word. Here is what it means:

Thayer's Greek Lexicon states that genos means "race, stock" and doesn't always imply procreation from a mother/father. It can also be translated as "nation." Here are some verses that help to show this (note that not all imply "procreation"):

  • Acts 7:19- "The same dealt subtilly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young children, to the end they might not live."

  • 2 Corinthians 11:26 "In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;"

  • Philippians 3:5 "Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;"

  • 1 Peter 2:9 "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:"

  • Mark 7:26 "The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter."

  • Mark 9:29 "And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting."
When you put the two together you get a "one of a kind" Saviour! The meaning of the word becomes, according to Thayer's, "single of its kind." Here are a few more lexical sources and how they define "monogenes":
  • Friberg Lexicon defined the word as "of what is the only one of its kind of class unique."

  • UBS Lexicon "only, unique"

  • Louw-Nida Lexicon- "pertaining to what is unique in the sense of being the only one of the same kind or class - 'unique, only.'"

  • LEH Lexicon- "the only member of a kin, only-begotten, only (of children); alone in its kind, one only"

  • Ginrich Lexicon- "Only, unique"
Jesus was NOT created by God...He is God the Father's one of a kind, unique, in His own class Son...this does NOT mean He was procreated.
Be ready Christian...don't slam the door shut in their faces! God is bringing the lost sinner to your doorstep...you have the truth...and if you won't give it to them, how do you know you've been saved yourself...are you any different than they are? Food for thought.

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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Such a God should be derided!

Such a God should be derided!

(William S. Plumer, "A Treatise on Providence" 1865)

The unrenewed heart is atheistic in its inclinations.

"They say--The Lord doesn't see it. The God of Jacob
doesn't pay attention." Psalm 94:7

"The wicked say to themselves--'God isn't watching!
He will never notice!' Arise, O Lord! Punish the wicked,
O God!" Psalm 10:11-12

Nothing more derogatory to the character of God can
possibly be said, than that He does not rule the world.

God reigns is a logical conclusion from God is. To deny
God's providence is as atheistic as to deny His existence!
A God, who neither sees, nor hears, nor knows, nor cares,
nor helps, nor saves--is a vanity, and can never claim
homage from intelligent men. Such a God should be
derided--not worshiped! He might suit the mythology
of Paganism, or meet the demands of an infidel heart
--but could never command the allegiance, or win the
confidence of an enlightened and pious man!

The world may as well be without a God--as have one
who is incompetent to rule it, or, who, wrapping Himself
in a mantle of careless indifference, abandons creation
to the governance of puny mortals, to the rule of devils,
or to the sway of a blind chance! Such conduct may well
comport with the character of false gods--but is wholly
abhorrent to the nature of Jehovah! God's tender mercies
are over all His works. His kingdom rules over all!

"Our God is in heaven and does whatever He pleases!"
Psalm 115:3

"For I know that the Lord is great; our Lord is greater than
all gods. The Lord does whatever He pleases in heaven and
on earth, in the seas and all the depths!" Psalm 135:5-6

"Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns!"
Revelation 19:6
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Friday, December 5, 2008

America's Best Preachers?

I was just curious...who is considered to be the best preacher in America...John Piper, John MacArthur, Paul Washer...who? I typed in "best preacher in America 2008" and I saw a lot about TD Jakes (don't get me started...the man doesn't even believe in the Trinity!)...and I saw a link or two about a woman preacher named Dr. Barbara King...huh?

Who is she? She is founder of Hillside International Truth Center (http://www.hillsidechapel.org/) I listened to a few clips of hers and visited her website. First, I noticed her doctrinal statement...wow! HERESY! Let's look at a few clips...and don't forget, this woman is influencing a lot of people!

She calls God "this Presence" who is personal (what does that mean?) to all who acknowledge "this indwelling Presence." She seems universalist when she says "all humanity forms one family and one life"...is she saying that all are saved?

She goes on to say in point 4 that if we think something it becomes our life experience and "these thoughts create our heaven or hell"- what?! The heresy goes on, "we experience this kingdom of all good to the degree that we become conscious of it"- so the power of salvation is within us? NOT! She says that Jesus Christ represents the perfect spiritual self of every human being...again, perfection within us? Dr Barbara says that we are victors and not victims of our circumstances...gee, I thought Christ was? Prayer transforms ourselves and that we "can heal ourselves spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically...total heresy...isn't that what Christ did?!!

No point in going any deeper...this woman is a heretic. She influences many people but is teaching humanistic, man-centered philosophy and contradicts the Word of God. We cannot heal ourselves spiritually...the power is not within ourselves. I'm curious what she believes about the Trinity, about the deity of Christ...I'm going to ask her and see if she responds.
Here is a clip you can listen to...listen carefully. She says you need to forgive yourself for past sins...what about repentance? Yes, Jesus paid the price but we do NOT have the power to forgive ourselves...our past sins should remind us of what we were! She seems to be an open theist when she says that because of God's forgiveness He doesn't know about our past sins...huh? I know they are removed and He says He will remember them no more...but that is not what she said. He will not hold us accountable for them, true...but God knows ALL THINGS!
She also says "our guilt stops us from realizing how beautiful we are." Sorry Barbara...it's not about how beautiful we are...it's about how beautiful He is...stop looking inside yourself for the answers and stop pointing others to themselves...it's God!

Folks...there are heretical dangers out there. Learn the Word of God and become grounded to help yourself and others away from this garbage.
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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

John 3:16

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Prepare sermons? Why not plagiarize?


Of course you know I don't believe that! Sermon preparation should be hard work...pastors should labour in the Word of God spending sufficient time to thoroughly prepare to preach and to expound the text in focus. Now...there's nothing wrong with using someone's sermon, or quoting someone...after all, we're not creating the message, right? We're supposed to be expounding what God already said and applying it to our assemblies. As long as you credit the source you are using and you are not just downloading someone's outline, as opposed to doing any personal work yourself, it's no big deal. The goal is to expound the text...if someone else explains it better then use the material and quote the source.
Here is an interesting article on sermon plagiarism. Tell us what you think...and in the meantime:
2 Timothy 2:15- "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."


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Monday, December 1, 2008

What to Teach Your Kids?


Ever wonder what to teach your younger kids? Just try to open up the book of Romans and explain it to a 3 year old? I definitely believe in catechisms. For those of you who say, "But that's Catholic!" No! Catechisms were not started by the Roman Catholic church. Catechisms are a great way to teach your children and ground them in the faith.

Here is a link to a children's catechism that you can use to start teaching your young kids the basic truths of the Christian faith.




Simple tool but I've found that the kids love it...and they can learn a whole lot more than just how to make puppets or color. One word of caution to Baptists (I'm one!)...this one is derived from the Westminster Catechism...and some of the questions deal with infant baptism in a postive light. Of course, baptists don't believe in infant baptism or unbelievers being part of the covenant...you can ask questions about believers' baptism here instead...eat the meat...spit out the bones!


Truth is important, what better way to start them off on the road to faith in Christ!
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Sola Conferences!

Why go to a conference where people rant and rave about how mean and evil we Calvinists are...why not go to one where you can actually talk to us...and where I'm 100% positive that Scripture will be opened up and theology will be talked about?


Here is a conference you can go to! It's called the Sola Conference, and this particular meeting outside of Dallas/Ft Worth will be on the topic of Sola Fide (by faith alone). You can find all the info at the website of Countryside Bible Church in Southlake, TX: http://solaconference.countrysidebible.org/

Here is what the conference is about:

The greatest minds in church history have identified this one biblical truth as the foundation of our faith. John Calvin declared it to be "the main hinge" on which the true Christianity swings. They are describing the doctrine of justification by faith alone—or as the reformers called it, Sola Fide.

Of the importance of this foundational truth Martin Luther wrote: "This doctrine is the head and the cornerstone. It alone begets, nourishes, builds, preserves, and defends the church of God; and without it the church of God cannot last for one hour." It’s no wonder that Luther called justification by faith alone "the article by which the church stands or falls." Because there are only two kinds of righteousness: a human righteousness based on human effort, and what he called "the passive righteousness" that comes from Christ. There is the righteousness of God and your own righteousness. There is no middle ground; you embrace one or the other.
Come and join us as we celebrate the heart of the gospel, and as we seek to deepen our understanding of the foundation on which our faith is built.

The two speakers will be Dr James White, an elder of Phoenix Reformed Baptist Churhc, Director of Alpha and Omega Ministries (http://www.aomin.org/), and an accomplished apologist and debater...and Dr Steven Lawson, (http://www.cfbcmobile.org/) senior pastor of Christ Fellowship Baptist Church and president of New Reformation (a ministry about the biblical reformation of today's church).

I'm planning to be there...why don't you plan to as well? It's going to be held Fri-Sun, Feb 6-8, 2009.


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