Saturday, August 30, 2008

Musical style in the church

In considering the topic of appropiate music for worship, presents:

Five questions you can ask when evaluating music:

1. What is the lyrical content of the song? Are the words true? Are they biblically accurate?

2. Does the way in which the lyrics are presented cheapen the message?

3. Does the song make you conscious of the Lord, and draw you to Him, or does it distract from true worship?

4. Do the musical style and performance promote and facilitate a worshipful atmosphere? Or do they somehow undermine the truth and purity of the lyrical content?

5. Is the life‑style of the musician honoring to God?

See also:

Style or Substance?

The Lord's Supper/Communion

looks at the 1689 Baptist Confession and highlights four things:
CHAPTER 30 - Paragraph 1. The supper of the Lord Jesus was instituted by him the same night wherein he was betrayed, to be observed in his churches, unto the end of the world, for the perpetual remembrance, and showing to all the world the sacrifice of himself in his death, confirmation of the faith of believers in all the benefits thereof, their spiritual nourishment, and growth in him, their further engagement in, and to all duties which they owe to him; and to be a bond and pledge of their communion with him, and with each other. (emphasis mine)

1. Lord’s Supper

The Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:20, "When you come together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat." (ESV)

2. Ordinance

Paul also said to the Corinthians, "For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread," (1 Cor. 1:23, ESV)

3. Sacrament

The [Latin word] sacramentum meant both "a thing set apart as sacred," and "a military oath of obedience as administered by the commander." The term sacrament denotes a special act of obedience. So this begs the question, "What is so special about this ordinance that Jesus instituted it?"

the 1689 Baptist Confession: Chapter 30: Paragraph 7:
Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible elements in this ordinance, do then also inwardly by faith, really and indeed, yet not carnally and corporally, but spiritually receive, and feed upon Christ crucified, and all the benefits of his death; the body and blood of Christ being then not corporally or carnally, but spiritually present to the faith of believers in that ordinance, as the elements themselves are to their outward senses.
What makes this Lord’s Supper special is not that its elements are supernatural but that as we eat them physically we also spiritually worship Christ in a special way. Jesus spoke clearly in John 6:63 that when he referred to His body and blood that he was only doing so in a figurative way. Jesus taught that to "feast" upon him one must do so by faith, faith in who He is and what He has done.

The Lord sanctified this form of worship and thus it has a unique and special blessing. So, if one asks, "Do believers receive a special grace in the Lord's Supper?' The answer is: yes, believers receive a special sanctifying grace that nourishes their soul and strengthens one's faith. To partake of this sacrament is to participate in the work of Christ, to fellowship in the blessings of Calvary afresh and anew. See Paul's explanation of that in 1 Corinthians 10:16.

4. Communion

A believer’s communion with God is through Jesus Christ. We are united to Christ by His Spirit and through Christ we thus have fellowship with God(1 John 1:3). Thus by our faith in Jesus Christ we have communion with a triune God. Therefore, when you participate in this meal, you feast and fellowship with God. Indeed, your worthiness to sit at this table with God is based on your relationship to Jesus.

Furthermore, by virtue of our union with Christ, believers are in communion with all other saints, even with the glorified Church in heaven (Hebrews 12:22-24). When we partake of Communion we are spiritually feasting with all the saints, even those already in heaven.

Finally, we believers have unity with other believers on earth; we are in communion with one another even in our local church. Thus have a responsibility to one another (1 Corinthians 12:7).

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The List

Don't put off repenting of sin ,one day it will be to late! It's not today

Gospel Connections in Suburbia

Joe Thorn @ suggests eight ways to engage in gospel conversations. He notes:

8 topics that can naturally connect to the Christian faith.

1. Corruption, evil and sin.

Transitions examples: “Even when the unrighteous escape justice in the courts, God says he will not let sin go unpunished…”

My personal desire for vengeance is often quited by God’s assurance of justice…”

In the end, I find that though I am guilty of different sins, I am just as guilty as…”

2. Community.

Transition example: “Part of why I am so passionate about the development of authentic community is because of how the Bible portrays the need for it. We are created by God to live in real community…”

3. Politics.

Transition example: “I regret that Christians are often seen as a voting block of the Republican party. The truth is, the command to love God and our neighbors points to a way that is not entirely in line with any political party…”

4. Environment.

Transition example: “Our dependence on automobiles, especially in the suburbs, is a concern of mine not only because it only perpetuates the breakdown of localism, but also because of the negative effect it has on the environment, and ultimately because I believe God has given us a wonderful gift (creation) as well as us the responsibility to care for it…”

5. War.

“War is a terrible thing, but if we are going to seek to the good of others and protect the innocent, sometimes war is an unfortunate necessity. That doesn’t make the issue easy. In fact it makes it more difficult. And my concern for justice is rooted in God’s love of it…

6. Family.

7. Church.

8. Art/pop-culture

Transition example: “…the protagonist’s search for redemption is reflective of humanity’s serach. The fact that he doesn’t find it is the common frustration of man…”

Should Christians Play the Lottery?

Should Christians Play the Lottery?John MacArthur@ deals with the issue of gambling. In his follow up post he lists five reasons why gambling is wrong:

1. Because it denies the reality of God’s sovereignty (by affirming the existence of luck or chance)

2. Because it is built on irresponsible stewardship (tempting people to throw away their money)

3. Because it erodes a biblical work ethic (by demeaning and displacing hard work as the proper means for one’s livelihood)

4. Because it is driven by the sin of covetousness (tempting people to give in to their greed)

5. Because it is built on the exploitation of others (often taking advantage of poor people who think they can gain instant wealth)

For the full sermon discussing these five points in detail, click here.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Anti-Intellectualism is Not Biblical. (C.H. Spurgeon and Mark Kielar)

"...grow in the grace and in the KNOWLEDGE of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
(2Peter 3:18)

Whether it is people comparing the God of the Bible with the "Flying Spaghetti Monster" and using the caricature derived thereof as an explanation for dismissing God, or 500 people at a time coming forward in an altar call to "give their lives to Christ" after they've been moved by a song or the desire to please their fellow men, there is indeed an anti-intellectualism permeating the land. Though the name "Christianity" has been tarnished over the years by such likes as the televangelists, Roman Catholics, and now the Purpose Driven/"Seeker-sensitive" movement, true Christianity has and always will be based on believing true facts that are obtained by knowledge. Someone can not believe in what they have not heard, and how can they hear without a preacher (someone sharing the news)? (Rom 10:14)

This short clip shows that faith is a logical, rational trust that is based on legitimate facts from history. It is not how many in the modern Church derive it today. One of the most refreshing and comforting things I learned when the Lord in His grace started drawing me is the fact that I was not an atheist because I wanted to protect my intellect from foolishness. Growing up in an Arminian based Southern Baptist Church, the intellect just seemed to be frowned upon by many, but thankfully, not all. Years later, though, I realized I cannot live without an intellect.

Many in the modern church do not know exactly what they believe and why they believe it, which makes me wonder if they are believers at all for without an object for faith (Jesus Christ/God), it is nothing.

Again, this video is to show that believing in Jesus Christ, truly believing in Jesus Christ is completely ration despite all the irrational things that have been done in the name of Christ over the centuries.

Selling the Gospel vs Sacramental Gospel

In line with the current preaching series in the book of Galatians What if we communicate the way we communicate the gospel is wrong?"

He covers:





Is it not telling that the pagan Emperor Julian once complained of Christians in the fourth century:

"These impious Galileans not only feed their own poor, but ours also; welcoming them into their agapae, they attract them, as children are attracted, with cakes...Whilst the pagan priests neglect the poor, the hated Galileans devote themselves to works of charity, and by a display of false compassion have established and given effect to their pernicious errors. See their love-feasts, and their tables spread for the indigent. Such practice is common among them, and causes a contempt for our gods."
What if we were accused of the same today, that Christians not only fed their own poor, but the pagan poor as well, stealing converts? What if we showed the gospel to be carrying a cross, in all its difficulty of putting others' needs above our own, rather than showing the gospel to be a sales offer?

If our gospel has been reduced to "accept this offer, its a good deal," then have we missed the fullness of the gospel? What does the community here think about works and the gospel?

35 Reasons Not to Sin

Jim Elliff @ presents 35 Reasons Not to Sin
1. Because a little sin leads to more sin.
2. Because my sin invites the discipline of God.
3. Because the time spent in sin is forever wasted.
4. Because my sin never pleases but always grieves God who loves me.
5. Because my sin places a greater burden on my spiritual leaders.
6. Because in time my sin always brings heaviness to my heart.
7. Because I am doing what I do not have to do.
8. Because my sin always makes me less than what I could be.
9. Because others, including my family, suffer consequences due to my sin.
10. Because my sin saddens the godly.
11. Because my sin makes the enemies of God rejoice.
12. Because sin deceives me into believing I have gained when in reality I have lost.
13. Because sin may keep me from qualifying for spiritual leadership.
14. Because the supposed benefits of my sin will never outweigh the consequences of disobedience.
15. Because repenting of my sin is such a painful process, yet I must repent.
16. Because sin is a very brief pleasure for an eternal loss.
17. Because my sin may influence others to sin.
18. Because my sin may keep others from knowing Christ.
19. Because sin makes light of the cross, upon which Christ died for the very purpose of taking away my sin.
20. Because it is impossible to sin and follow the Spirit at the same time.
21. Because God chooses not to respect the prayers of those who cherish their sin.
22. Because sin steals my reputation and robs me of my testimony.
23. Because others once more earnest than I have been destroyed by just such sins.
24. Because the inhabitants of heaven and hell would all testify to the foolishness of this sin.
25. Because sin and guilt may harm both mind and body.
26. Because sins mixed with service make the things of God tasteless.
27. Because suffering for sin has no joy or reward, though suffering for righteousness has both.
28. Because my sin is adultery with the world.
29. Because, though forgiven, I will review this very sin at the Judgment Seat where loss and gain of eternal rewards are applied.
30. Because I can never really know ahead of time just how severe the discipline for my sin might be.
31. Because my sin may be an indication of a lost condition.
32. Because to sin is not to love Christ.
33. Because my unwillingness to reject this sin now grants it an authority over me greater than I wish to believe.
34. Because sin glorifies God only in His judgment of it and His turning of it to good use, never because it is worth anything on it's own.
35. Because I promised God he would be Lord of my life.

Relinquish Your Rights - Reject the Sin - Renew the Mind - Rely on God

Why Membership Matters

The following is adapted from the Grace Church Elders’ Distinctives on Church Membership @ .

Why Membership MattersIn a day when commitment is a rare commodity, it should come as no surprise that church membership is such a low priority to so many believers. Sadly, it is not uncommon for Christians to move from church to church, never submitting themselves to the care of elders and never committing themselves to a group of fellow believers.

To neglect—or to refuse—to join a church as a formal member, however, reflects a misunderstanding of the believer’s responsibility to the body of Christ. And it also cuts one off from the many blessings and opportunities that flow from this commitment. It is essential for every Christian to understand what church membership is and why it matters.

The Definition of Church Membership

When an individual is saved, he becomes a member of the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13). Because he is united to Christ and the other members of the body in this way, he is therefore qualified to become member of a local expression of that body.

To become a member of a church is to formally commit oneself to an identifiable, local body of believers who have joined together for specific, divinely ordained purposes. These purposes include receiving instruction from God’s Word (1 Tim. 4:13; 2 Tim. 4:2), serving and edifying one another through the proper use of spiritual gifts (Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12:4-31; 1 Pet. 4:10-11), participating in the ordinances (Luke 22:19; Acts 2:38-42), and proclaiming the gospel to those who are lost (Matt. 28:18- 20). In addition, when one becomes a member of a church, he submits himself to the care and the authority of the biblically qualified elders that God has placed in that assembly.

The Basis for Church Membership

Why Membership Matters

Although Scripture does not contain an explicit command to formally join a local church, the biblical foundation for church membership permeates the New Testament. This biblical basis can be seen most clearly in (1) the example of the early church, (2) the existence of church government, (3) the exercise of church discipline, and (4) the exhortation to mutual edification.

The Example of the Early Church

In the early church, coming to Christ was coming to the church. The idea of experiencing salvation without belonging to a local church is foreign to the New Testament. When individuals repented and believed in Christ, they were baptized and added to the church (Acts 2:41, 47; 5:14; 16:5). More than simply living out a private commitment to Christ, this meant joining together formally with other believers in a local assembly and devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, the breaking of bread, and prayer (Acts 2:42).

The epistles of the New Testament were written to churches. In the case of the few written to individuals—such as Philemon, Timothy and Titus—these individuals were leaders in churches. The New Testament epistles themselves demonstrate that the Lord assumed that believers would be committed to a local assembly.

There is also evidence in the New Testament that just as there was a list of widows eligible for financial support (1 Tim. 5:9), there may also have been a list of members that grew as people were saved (cf. Acts 2:41, 47; 5:14; 16:5). In fact, when a believer moved to another city, his church often wrote a letter of commendation to his new church (Acts 18:27; Rom. 16:1; Col. 4:10; cf. 2 Cor. 3:1-2).

In the book of Acts, much of the terminolgy fits only with the concept of formal church membership. Phrases such as “the whole congregation” (6:5), “the church in Jerusalem” (8:1), “the disciples” in Jerusalem (9:26), “in every church” (14:23), “the whole church” (15:17), and “the elders of the church” in Ephesus (20:17), all suggest recognizable church membership with well-defined boundaries (also see 1 Cor. 5:4; 14:23; and Heb. 10:25).

The Existence of Church Government

The consistent pattern throughout the New Testament is that a plurality of elders is to oversee each local body of believers. The specific duties given to these elders presuppose a clearly defined group of church members who are under their care.

Among other things, these godly men are responsible to shepherd God’s people (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:2), to labor diligently among them (1 Thess. 5:12), to have charge over them (1 Thess. 5:12; 1 Tim. 5:17), and to keep watch over their souls (Heb. 13:17). Scripture teaches that the elders will give an account to God for the individuals allotted to their charge (Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 5:3).

Those responsibilities require that there be a distinguishable, mutually understood membership in the local church. Elders can shepherd the people and give an account to God for their spiritual well-being only if they know who they are; they can provide oversight only if they know those for whom they are responsible; and they can fulfill their duty to shepherd the flock only if they know who is part of the flock and who is not.

The elders of a church are not responsible for the spiritual well-being of every individual who visits the church or who attends sporadically. Rather, they are primarily responsible to shepherd those who have submitted themselves to the care and the authority of the elders, and this is done through church membership.

Conversely, Scripture teaches that believers are to submit to their elders. Hebrews 13:17 says, “Obey your leaders, and submit to them.” The question for each believer is, “Who are your leaders?” The one who has refused to join a local church and entrust himself to the care and the authority of the elders has no leaders.

For that person, obedience to Hebrews 13:17 is impossible. To put it simply, this verse implies that every believer knows to whom he must submit, which, in turn, assumes clearly defined church membership.

The Exercise of Church Discipline

In Matthew 18:15-17, Jesus outlines the way the church is to seek the restoration of a believer who has fallen into sin—a four-step process commonly known as church discipline. First, when a brother sins, he is to be confronted privately by a single individual (v. 15). If he refuses to repent, that individual is to take one or two other believers along to confront him again (v. 16). If the sinning brother refuses to listen to the two or three, they are then to tell it to the church (v. 17). If there is still no repentance, the final step is to put the person out of the assembly (v. 17; cf. 1 Cor. 5:1-13).

The exercise of church discipline according to Matthew 18 and other passages (1 Cor. 5:1-13; 1 Tim. 5:20; Titus 3:10-11) presupposes that the elders of a church know who their members are. For example, the elders of Grace Community Church have neither the responsibility nor the authority to discipline a member of the church down the street. Sadly, the widespread lack of understanding of church membership has made it necessary for our elders to discipline not only formal members but also those who regularly fellowship at Grace Community Church. However, the Bible’s teaching on church discipline assumes church membership.

The Exhortation to Mutual Edification

The New Testament teaches that the church is the body of Christ, and that God has called every member to a life devoted to the growth of the body. In other words, Scripture exhorts all believers to edify the other members by practicing the “one-anothers” of the New Testament (e.g., Heb. 10:24-25) and exercising their spiritual gifts (Rom. 12:6-8; 1 Cor. 12:4-7; 1 Pet. 4:10-11). Mutual edification can only take place in the context of the corporate body of Christ.

Exhortations to this kind of ministry presuppose that believers have committed themselves to other believers in a specific local assembly. Church membership is simply the formal way to make that commitment.


Living out a commitment to a local church involves many responsibilities: exemplifying a godly lifestyle in the community, exercising one’s spiritual gifts in diligent service, contributing financially to the work of the ministry, giving and receiving admonishment with meekness and in love, and faithfully participating in corporate worship. Much is expected, but much is at stake. For only when every believer is faithful to this kind of commitment is the church able to live up to her calling as Christ’s representative here on earth. To put it simply, membership matters.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sermon Outline: Galatians 1:10-12: “The Gospel & Who We Are

The Gospel is Not About:

1) Pleasing People. (Galatians 1:10)

1 Thessalonians 2:4

1 Corinthians 10:31-33

2) A Human Centered Message (Galatians 1:11)

3) A Human Devised Message (Galatians 1:12a)

Matthew 15:5-6

Genesis 9:1-7

The Gospel is a:

4) Christ Centered Message (Galatians 1:12b)

John 5:39

Music -Style, Emotion, Instruments and Associations


1. Lyrical Truth is of First Importance

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Psalm 47:7 For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding.

2. The Right Instruments Should be Chosen

Psalm 33:2-3 Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.

Psalm 81:1-3 Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob. 2 Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery. 3 Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.

Psalm 98:5-6 Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm. 6 With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King.

Psalm 98:6 With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King.

Daniel 3:5 That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up.

3. Don't Be Afraid of Emotion

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

Luke 15:24-25 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. 25 ¶ Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing.

James 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

Psalm 47:1 O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.

Isaiah 55:12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Psalm 33: Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.

4. There is no Mention of Styles of Music in the Bible

Psalm 150:3-6
Praise him with the sound of the trumpet:
praise him with the psaltery and harp.
Praise him with the timbrel and dance:
praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
Praise him upon the loud cymbals:
Praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.
Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD.
Praise ye the LORD.

Friday, August 22, 2008

"Yes, Prime Minister" Gets Liberalism Well

As an excellent commentary on liberalism, Ian @ shows a few episodes from the TV show Yes, Minister and its spin-off Yes, Prime Minister.

He notes:
It's a satirical take on British politics from the 70's or 80's. I must admit, it's brilliantly hilarious. John recently showed me an episode - The Bishop's Gambit - where the Prime Minister has to elect a bishop from the Church of England into the House of Lords. He has two choices and one of them (the prime choice) is a theological liberal. I was blown away at how bang-on they nailed theological liberalism (as in John Robinson or John Shelby Spong) and its irrationality. They also do a fine job at showing how the church/state relations in England cause damage. As an orthodox Baptist, I think this episode is fantastic!! Watch and laugh!
***Note: The second video is the one with the clip where they discuss liberalism as well as some of the third, but it's worth watching all four if you can.

Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World.

Andy Naselli @ highlighted this forthcoming (Sept. 30, 2008) book:
C. J. Mahaney, ed. Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World. With a foreword by John Piper. Wheaton: Crossway, 2008. 191 pp.
Related to this is a six-part sermon series in 2001 entitled "In the World but Not of the World":
  1. Do Not Love the World (C. J. Mahaney)
  2. Out of Focus: Christians and the Media (Part I) (Josh Harris)
  3. Out of Focus: Christians and the Media (Part II) (Josh Harris)
  4. God, Music, and Me (Part I) (Bob Kauflin)
  5. God, Music, and Me (Part II) (Bob Kauflin)
  6. The Soul of Modesty (C. J. Mahaney)
Three PDFs accompany the series:
  1. Half A Poison Pill Won't Kill Me: Thoughts on Worldliness and the Media That Promote It: Josh Harris explains, "This booklet features quotes, both from quoted authors and from the speakers in the series—C. J. Mahaney, Bob Kauflin, and myself. We had many requests for these quotes so that our people could continue to be aware of our calling to be 'in the world but not of the world.' We hope it will help you develop and maintain convictions that will allow you to live a life pleasing to God."
  2. Modesty Heart Check
  3. Testimonies on Modesty

The Logical and Emotional Problems of Evil

Andy Naselli @ addressed this topic: “How Could a Good God Allow Suffering and Evil? A Biblical Approach to the Logical and Emotional Problems of Evil” (MP3 | Handout PDF).

The MP3 is about 75 minutes long (and it doesn’t include the Q&A that followed), and the handout is 10 pages.

Here’s the outline:

1. Introduction

  1. What is evil?
  2. What are some examples of evil that are (almost) universally outrageous?
  3. What is the problem of evil?
  4. Why must Christians address the logical and emotional problems of evil?
  5. What are some challenges to solving the logical and emotional problems of evil?

2. What are some unbiblical/inadequate solutions to the logical-intellectual-philosophical problem of evil?

  1. Evil is not real.
  2. God is not all-powerful.
  3. This is the best possible world, and evil is necessary for its perfection.
  4. Evil is a result of peoples’ free will, so God is not accountable for evil.
  5. Evil is necessary for people to mature (i.e., build character).
  6. God is the indirect (not direct) cause of evil, so He is not accountable for evil.
  7. God is above the law, so He can do what seems evil to other people.
  8. Non-Christians have no right to question whether God is both all-powerful and all-good.

3. What does a biblical approach to the logical-intellectual-philosophical problem of evil include?

  1. Bad things do not happen to good people; good and bad things happen to bad people.
  2. The problem of evil is an argument for God, not against Him.
  3. God is not obligated to explain the problem of evil to anyone.
  4. God (not our sense of justice) is the standard for what He does.
  5. God ordains and causes evil, but He cannot be blamed for it.
  6. The logical problem of evil (including providence) involves mystery, requiring that Christians maintain doctrinal tensions in biblical proportion.
  7. God uses evil for a greater good.
  8. There was no problem of evil before the fall, nor will there be one in the eternal state.
  9. God uses natural evil to illustrate how bad moral evil really is, and the right response is repentance.
  10. The most significant problem of evil is the cross.

4. What does a biblical approach to the emotional-religious-existential problem of evil include?

  1. People who are suffering typically are wrestling primarily with the emotional problem of evil (not the logical one).
  2. Understand how people initially react to suffering.
  3. You shouldn’t say certain things to people who are suffering.
  4. You should do certain things to people who are suffering.

5. Conclusion

6. Recommended Resources

  1. Books [23 resources]
  2. MP3s [8 resources]

The handout includes a more detailed outline, and the recommended resources section asterisks the most highly recommended resources, hyperlinks to every author and resource, and ranks the level of difficulty of each resource.

See also:

Interview with John Frame on the Problem of Evil

Apologetics Course with Rob Bowman

C Michael Patton @ presents the Apologetics course that Rob Bowman taught last semester. Please feel free to listen or download. It is the entire course! (here is the syllabus if you want it)

Enroll in the Methods of Apologetics online course taught by Rob Bowman that starts next week.

icon for podpress Introduction to Apologetics Session 1a [47:28m]: Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download (125)

icon for podpress Introduction to Apologetics Session 1b [38:31m]: Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download (71)

icon for podpress Introduction to Apologetics Session 2a [46:43m]: Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download (60)

icon for podpress Introduction to Apologetics Session 2b [45:13m]: Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download (63)

icon for podpress Introduction to Apologetics Session 3a [50:41m]: Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download (58)

For some reason the podpress plugin will not let me post them all the same way so the rest are just links here: (right-click to download)

Introduction to Apologetics Session 3b

Introduction to Apologetics Session 3c

Introduction to Apologetics Session 4a

Introduction to Apologetics Session 3b

Introduction to Apologetics Session 5a

Introduction to Apologetics Session 5b

Introduction to Apologetics Session 6a

Introduction to Apologetics Session 6b

Introduction to Apologetics Session 7a

Introduction to Apologetics Session 7b

Introduction to Apologetics Session 8a

Introduction to Apologetics Session 8b

Introduction to Apologetics Session 9a

Introduction to Apologetics Session 9b

Chronological Bible sparks debate

Tim Murphy, @ the Religion News Service reviews the recent controversy over the
"Chronological Study Bible".

From the publisher:
The Chronological Study Bible is the only study Bible that presents the text of the New King James Version in chronological order-the order in which the events actually happened-with notes, articles, and full-color graphics that connect the reader to the history and culture of Bible times and gives the reader a dramatic, "you are there" experience.
View Sample Video

RealMedia ---- broadband
Windows Media ---- broadband

The controversy is that the latest edition rejiggers the order of books, psalms, and Gospels in an effort to provide a historical framework for a text most scholars consider chronologically challenged.

So, for example, whole sections of Isaiah and Nehemiah are reordered to better reflect an accurate historical timeline; the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are merged into one based on Mark's chronology; and some of St. Paul's letters (which traditionally appear later in the New Testament) are woven into the Book of Acts.

The most recognizable changes in the Chronological Study Bible come in the placement of non-narrative sections — the books that aren't necessarily anchored by specific people, places and events. The book of Psalms, which appears in the middle of the Old Testament in most editions, is split up in the the new edition by time period. All Psalms relating to David, for example, will instead appear as supplements to the relevant books of the Old Testament such as 1 Chronicles.

Scholars say trying to rearrange individual books requires getting to the bottom of some of the world's oldest known cases of identity theft: Many biblical works were the handiwork of multiple authors, all writing under a single name.

The Bible's order is significant for other reasons as well. Some scholars worry that changing the order would impact the Bible's meaning and diminish the value of non-narrative elements, such as the book of Psalms.

"Part of the problem, and to me one of the flaws, is the assumption that this Bible is working with — that (narrative) — is the primary genre of literature in the Bible. That just isn't true," said the Rev. Bruce Birch, who teaches at the Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.

"You're writing a new biblical narrative," said Timothy Beal, a professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. "I guess in this age of (cutting and pasting), it seems like a way to come up with a new Bible."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

How not to pray

Jesus teaches that we're not to pray like religious people. We don't need to carry a prayer rug around with us and face east when we do. We just talk to our Dad.

This clip is taken from the sermon The Lord's Prayer, and can be found in full at

Introduction to the ESV Study Bible

Tullian Tchividjian introduces you to the key features of the ESV Study Bible in this five-minute video.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Death by "Love"

Killing the Sin in Your Life

Killing the Sin in Your LifeJohn MacArthur @ posted a series of posts adapted from a message John preached on a practical plan for overcoming personal sin.

He lists:

1. Recognize the Presence of Sin in Your Flesh.

2. A Heart Fixed on God.

How to Kill Sin in Your Life

The Psalmist said in Psalm 57:7, “My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed.”

The Psalmist said in Psalm 119:6, “Then shall I not be ashamed.” When? When will you not be ashamed? “When I have respect unto all thy commandments.”

How to Kill Sin in Your Life

3. Meditate on the Word.

Third, the victorious Christian life is a life that dwells on the Word of God (cf. Psalm 1:2).

4. Commune with God in Prayer.

5. Cultivate Obedience.

Paul said, “I haven’t attained,” I love this, “but,” he said, “I press towards the mark” (cf. Php. 3:14).

Likewise, Peter said that our lives should be characterized by obedience to the truth (1 Pet. 1:22).

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Can anyone say? "I Cor. 2:14-16"

How To Pray For Persecuted Saints

Mark Altrogge @ gives some suggestions on how to pray for persecuted saints. He notes:
  • Ask God to use his persecuted saints to spread the gospel

I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. (PHP 1.12-13)

  • Ask God to deliver many from imprisonment as he did Peter and Paul (Acts 4.23; 12.6-11; 16.39)
  • Ask Christ to strengthen them

May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy (CO 1.11)

  • Ask God to give them grace to love their enemies

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (MT 5.44).

  • Pray for their families

Ask our faithful heavenly Father to care for the spouses and children of believers in prison.

  • Ask the Sovereign Lord to cause evil authorities to become favorable to the gospel

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 TI 2.1-4)

In His conclusion:

Here is a suggestion: consider taking a portion of your prayer time one day a week to pray specifically for the Christ’s persecuted saints. For more information and ways to pray see Voice of the Martyrs and Open Doors.

Dave Harvey: Don’t Waste Your Ambition

Dave Harvey, pastor, Sovereign Grace Ministries leader, and author of When Sinners Say ‘I Do’ (Shepherd Press)—recently preached a sermon on ambition. The topic informs the main theme of a book he is currently writing (proposed title, Wired for Glory: Ambitious for What Matters Most). It looks to be another excellent book.

For a little glimpse into the focus of the book you can listen to the message here:

Or download it here. has listed some sermon notes


Don’t Waste Your Ambition
Dave Harvey
John 12:27-29, 36-44, Romans 15:19-20

How do we love God’s glory?

[1] The glory that comes from God is first in a Person.

[2] The glory that comes from God demands pursuit.

Godly Ambition

A. Perceive.

B. Prize.

C. Pursue.


So what does all this mean?

1. The search for approval is over so ambition for God’s glory can begin.

2. Godly ambition should lead us to explore new paths and new opportunities to glorify God. Read Romans 15:19-20.

From the conclusion:

We are tempted limit ambition to our occupations and not to think of ambition within the realm of church. Jesus said, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). We seek to align our ambitions with the ambitions of Christ. Ambition is not only played out in global missions. Take your ambition and apply it to the local church. Seek to serve this local church and perceive the paths available to glorify God in your life. Don’t waste your ambition.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The History of Human wisdom

Since the beginning of time, man has thought he was smart enough to know everything about this world. Whether it was the shape of the earth or how computers would affect our lives, man always develops a theory. We just seem to be consistently wrong.

Bedtime Prayers with our Children

Trevin Wax @ has some helpful suggestions on Bedtime Prayers with our Children. He notes:
  1. Apostles’ Creed (with motions) - We quote the updated one (click here), and we use hand motions as well. Our son loves the story of Christ, especially “on the third day, he ROSE AGAIN!!!” (insert brief moment of bed-jumping here.)
  2. May the Lord Almighty grant us and those we love a peaceful night and a perfect end.
  3. Our help is in the Name of the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 124:8)
  4. Confession: Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we have sinned against you, through our own fault, in thought, word and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. For the sake of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, forgive us all our offenses, and grant that we may serve you in newness of life, to the glory of your name, Amen. (The Book of Common Prayer)
  5. Gloria: Glory to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever, Amen.
  6. Bible Memorization: Choose a psalm or a Bible passage you want your kids to know by heart. Quote it here for a few weeks.
  7. The Lord’s Prayer: We use the ESV.
  8. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit, for you have redeemed me, O Lord, O God of truth. Keep me, O Lord, as the apple of your eye. Hide me under the shadow of your wings. (Psalm 17:8, 31:5)
  9. Personal, spontaneous prayers: Each member of the family prays for a minute or two whatever is on our hearts.

Religion out of medicine, a new message for Ontario doctors

Ontario physicians could be stripped of their right to exercise religious or moral conscience if a new set of guidelines is accepted by their regulating body next month, critics say. See the story here:

"Religion out of medicine, a new message for Ontario doctors"

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Sermon Outline: Galatians 1: 6-9. “Defection, Deception & Destruction of the Gospel”.

1) Paul’s Wonder About the Galatians’ Defection (Galatians 1:6)

Romans 8:30

Ephesians 2:8-10

Romans 5:1-2

2) Paul’s Wisdom Regarding the False Teachers’ Deception (Galatians 1:7)

Titus 1:10-11

3) Paul’s Warning of God’s Destruction (Galatians 1:8–9)

2 Thessalonians 1:6-9

2 John 1:7, 10-11

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Why you Don't bring your Bike to Church

Sermon Outline: “The Gospel” Galatians 1:1-5

1) The Authority (Galatians 1:1-2)

The Title Apostle (Galatians 1:1a)

The Manner in Which He Was Chosen (Galatians 1:1b)

His Association (Galatians 1:2)

Ephesians 3:4-5

2 Timothy 3:16

2) The Message (Galatians 1:3–4)

Romans 4:4-5

A) The Nature of the Gospel: Christ’s Atoning Death and Resurrection (Galatians 1:4a)

2 Peter 2:1

B) The Object of the Gospel: To Deliver from the Present Age (Galatians 1:4b)

John 17:11, 14-18

Philippians 3:20-21

C) The Source of the Gospel: The Will of God (Galatians 1:4c)

John 1:12-13

3) The Motive (Galatians 1:5)