Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sermon Outline: Ruth 1:1-5 “You Can’t Run Away from Problems”

1) The Time. Ruth 1:1a

  • Judges 17:6

2) The Place. Ruth 1:1b

  • Deuteronomy 28:15, 23-24

3) The Decision. Ruth 1:1c

a) He walked by sight and not by faith.

  • Isaiah 40:30-31

  • James 3:13-18

b) He majored on the physical and not the spiritual.

  • Matthew 4:1-4

  • Psalm 37:25

c) He honored the enemy and not the Lord.

· Deuteronomy 23:3-6

· Nehemiah 13:23-25

4) The Consequences. Ruth 1:2-5

Evolution of H1N1 Flu Virus?

"Viruses like the swine flu get to be potentially deadly because they EVOLVE, if you do not believe in evolution and you get it, you have to pray it away".

Is this the explanation for the H1N1 virus? What does this say about the topic of evolution? Look at this short video from Learn2Discern media @ on the lie and deception.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ida: the Missing Link at Last?

From Answers in Genesis:

For all the headlines and proclamations, this “missing link” story includes an amazing amount of hot air.

A story we first previewed on May 16 has since rocketed to the heights of media hype as a team of scientists reveals “Ida,” the latest and greatest supposed missing link. But does Ida actually support “the evolution of early primates, and, ultimately, modern human beings,” as one news outlet reported?1

Another reporter raved, “The search for a direct connection between humans and the rest of the animal kingdom has taken 200 years—but it was presented to the world today at a special news conference in New York.”2

Formally identified as Darwinius masillae (in honor of Charles Darwin), the fossil originated in Germany and is purportedly 47 million years old. One scientist gave the find the nickname Ida (after his daughter).

As for a more level-headed explanation of the evolutionary excitement, the Wall Street Journal reports:

Anthropologists have long believed that humans evolved from ancient ape-like ancestors. Some 50 million years ago, two ape-like groups walked the Earth. One is known as the tarsidae, a precursor of the tarsier, a tiny, large-eyed creature that lives in Asia. Another group is known as the adapidae, a precursor of today's lemurs in Madagascar.

Based on previously limited fossil evidence, one big debate had been whether the tarsidae or adapidae group gave rise to monkeys, apes, and humans. The latest discovery bolsters the less common position that our ancient ape-like ancestor was an adapid, the believed precursor of lemurs.

Thus, rather than an apeman-like missing link that some media sources have irresponsibly implied, the real story is quite underwhelming and should in no way faze creationists. Let’s first review the facts:

  • The well-preserved fossil (95 percent complete, including fossilized fur and more) is about the size of a raccoon and includes a long tail. It resembles the skeleton of a lemur (a small, tailed, tree-climbing primate). The fossil does not resemble a human skeleton.
  • The fossil was found in two parts by amateur fossil hunters in 1983. It eventually made its way through fossil dealers to the research team.
  • Ida has opposable thumbs, which the ABC News article states are “similar to humans’ and unlike those found on other modern mammals” (i.e., implying that opposable thumbs are evidence of evolution). Yet lemurs today have opposable thumbs (like all primates). Likewise, Ida has nails, as do other primates. And the talus bone is described as “the same shape as in humans,” despite the fact that there are other differences in the ankle structure.3
  • Unlike today’s lemurs (as far as scientists know), Ida lacks the “grooming claw” and a “toothcomb” (a fused row of teeth) In fact, its teeth are more similar to a monkey’s. These are minor differences easily explained by variation within a kind.

Given these facts, it may seem incredible that anyone would hail this find as a “missing link.” Yet British naturalist David Attenborough claims:

“Now people can say, ‘Okay, you say we’re primates . . . show us the link.’ The link, they would have said until now, is missing. Well, it is no longer missing.”

Unbelievably, Attenborough claims his interpretation is “not a question of imagination.”

The Creationist Interpretation

The principles that inform creationists about Ida are some of the same that allow creationists to interpret fossil after fossil hailed as “transitional forms”:

  1. Nothing about this fossil suggests it is anything other than an extinct, lemur-like creature. Its appearance is far from chimpanzee, let alone “apeman” or human.
  2. A fossil can never show evolution. Fossils are unchanging records of dead organisms. Evolution is an alleged process of change in live organisms. Fossils show “evolution” only if one presupposes evolution, then uses that presupposed belief to interpret the fossil.
  3. Similarities can never show evolution. If two organisms have similar structures, the only thing it proves is that the two have similar structures. One must presuppose evolution to say that the similarities are due to evolution rather than design. Furthermore, when it comes to “transitional forms,” the slightest similarities often receive great attention while major differences are ignored.
  4. The remarkable preservation is a hallmark of rapid burial. Team member Jørn Hurum of the University of Oslo said, “This fossil is so complete. Everything’s there. It’s unheard of in the primate record at all. You have to get to human burial to see something that’s this complete.” Even the contents of Ida’s stomach were preserved. While the researchers believe Ida sunk to the bottom of a lake and was buried, this preservation is more consistent with a catastrophic flood.4 Yet Ida was found with “hundreds of well-preserved specimens.”5
  5. If evolution were true, there would be real transitional forms. Instead, the best “missing links” evolutionists can come up with are strikingly similar to organisms we see today, usually with the exception of minor, controversial, and inferred anatomical differences.
  6. Evolutionists only open up about the lack of fossil missing links once a new one is found. Sky News reports, “Researchers say proof of this transitional species finally confirms Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution,” while Attenborough commented that the missing link “is no longer missing.” So are they admitting the evidence was missing until now (supposedly)?

So it’s clear what Ida is not. As for our conclusion on what Ida is, we wrote in News to Note:

[B]ecause the fossil is similar to a modern lemur (a small, tailed, tree-climbing primate), it’s unlikely that creationists need any interpretation of the “missing link” other than that it was a small, tailed, probably tree-climbing, and now extinct primate—from a kind created on Day 6 of Creation Week.

Much of the excitement over Ida appears to stem from a well-coordinated public relations effort to promote an upcoming documentary and a new book titled The Link. The documentary will air on the History Channel in the U.S. (as The Link) on May 25 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. It will air on BBC One in the UK (as Uncovering Our Earliest Ancestor: The Link) on Tuesday May 26th at 9 p.m. Filmmaker Atlantic Productions even launched a website to promote the discovery,

Yet as Hurum commented, “This fossil will probably be pictured in all the textbooks for the next 100 years.” So while the media rush may at first be a bid to promote the documentary and book, the ultimate result is one more trumped-up “missing link” presented to future generations as evidence of evolution.


  1. Ned Potter, “Primate Fossil Could Be Key Link in Evolution,” ABC News, May 19, 2009. Back
  2. Alex Watts, Scientists Unveil Missing Link in Evolution, Sky News Online, May 19, 2009. Back
  3. J. L. Franzen, et al., “Complete Primate Skeleton from the Middle Eocene of Messel in Germany: Morphology and Paleobiology,” PLoS One 4(5), 2009. Back
  4. Because of the location of this fossil, it may have been buried by a post-Flood period of residual catastrophism amid an unstable climate. Back
  5. Fossils from the Messel site,” The Guardian, n.d. Back

Haven’t heard the real story of this supposed scientific breakthrough? Read the criticisms other evolutionists have made of the “missing link” claims and the science behind them.

See also:

Ida: Separating the Science from the Media Campaign

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Reformed Seminary Launches Apologetics Site on 'Angels and Demons'


A historically Reformed seminary regarded as one of the oldest and most respected has launched a Web site to provide a balanced assessment and factual response to the spiritual, historical and scientific assertions in the upcoming movie “Angels & Demons.”, which went live Wednesday evening, was created to help individuals sift through the mix of fact and fiction woven into the novel and presumably the film, according to Dr. Bill Edgar, professor of apologetics at Westminster Theological Seminary.

"By providing biblically-sound facts and highlighting issues related to the intersection of religion and science that 'Angels & Demons' presents, we hope to educate people and empower them to engage in conversation about the book and film," he expressed.

Included in the Web site are articles on bio-ethics and the Church, facts about anti-matter, information about the real Illuminati, including an interactive map of the so-called "Path of Illumination," a central element in the plot of “Angels & Demons.” Rumored to be a trail the Illuminati used to induct new members, the course involves four major locations in the city of Rome and plays a key role in a series of murder clues throughout the movie and the book from which it is based.

"Our aim with this new site is to follow the injunction of the apostle Peter, who encouraged the Church to be prepared to gently and respectfully 'make a defense' to those who question the hope they have," explained Dr. Peter Lillback, president of Westminster, who was among those who contributed articles to the site. "Whether an individual chooses to see the 'Angels & Demons' film, we trust this site will be a helpful resource and catalyst for people of faith to be better equipped to engage in spiritual conversation generated by this significant media and cultural event."

Those behind are hoping for a similar – if not larger – response to their earlier site,, another online cultural apologetics response sponsored by Westminster that launched in May 2006 before the blockbuster debut of "The Da Vinci Code," the prequel to "Angels & Demons."

The “Da Vinci Code” site received nearly 730,000 visits during May 2006 alone, and has had more than 5.6 million page views to date. Additionally, if the terms "Da Vinci Code" are searched on Google, ranks No. 8 out of over 13 million results.

"In the wake of 'The Da Vinci Code's' popularity, many people began to question the validity of the Bible's message and its influence throughout history," explained Dr. Vern Poythress, professor of New Testament interpretation at Westminster. "The Da Vinci Web site fostered doubt about doubt, which we also hope to again generate as it relates to 'Angels & Demons.'"

“Angels & Demons” is set to debut Friday and stars Tom Hanks as “Da Vinci Code” protagonist Robert Langdon, who is called by the Catholic Church to uncover the mysteries of a secret society called the Illuminati and to unravel a plot to annihilate Vatican City using destructive antimatter.

Based off the first best-selling novel by Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown, “Angels & Demons” has drawn significantly less attention, let alone controversy, than the 2006 blockbuster “The Da Vinci Code,” which riled Catholic conservatives internationally for asserting that Jesus Christ married and impregnated Mary Magdalene and for vilifying the Catholic group Opus Dei as a secretive cult.

According to the Vatican’s official newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, the sequel to “The Da Vinci Code” is “harmless entertainment” that “hardly affects the genius and mystery of Christianity."

The newspaper compared “Angels & Demons” to a video game that “first of all ignites curiosity, and then, perhaps amuses a little also.”

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Comparing Dispensational Theology and Covenant Theology

Jason Robertson @ Fide-O has compiled a helpful chart comparing Dispensationalism vs Covenantalism, summarizing the two theologies and providing a short list of proponents.

Dispensational Theology

Covenant Theology

Most are Arminian, but many are Amyraldian (4-point Calvinist).

Usually Calvinist.

Usually does not accept the idea of the ‘Analogy of Faith.’ There are many systems of hermeneutics utilized by Dispensationlists from hyper-symbolic to hyper-literal.

Accepts the idea of the ‘Analogy of Faith’ (allowing Scripture to interpret Scripture)
The Baptist Confession, Article 1.9: The infallible rule for the interpretation of Scripture is Scripture itself. Therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any [part of] Scripture (which is not a miscellany, but a unity) it must be understood in the light of other passages that speak more clearly.

‘Israel’ always means the literal, physical descendants of Jacob (ethnic Jews).

Depending on the context, ‘Israel’ may mean either physical descendants of Jacob, or “spiritual Israel” (who are people with faith in Christ like Abraham).

‘Israel of God’ in Galatians 6:16 means physical (national, ethnic) Israel alone.

‘Israel of God’ in Galatians 6:16 means spiritual Israel, parallel to Galatians 3:29; Romans 2:28-29; 9:6; Philippians 3:3.

God has 2 peoples with 2 separate destinies: Israel (earthly) and the Church (heavenly). Many do not believe in God’s sovereign election. But for those who do believe that God has an elect, they divide the elect by ethnicity (ie Jew, Gentile).

God always had only one people, the Church who gradually developed through the ages, in accordance with a Covenant worked out in eternity past between the “Three Persons of the Godhead.” (The Cov. of Redemption)

The Church was born at Pentecost after the Ascention of Christ.

The Church began in the Garden of Eden and grew in the Old Testament with the OT covenants and reached fulfillment in the New Testament with the New Covenant in Jesus Christ. God has one family, one church, one flock, one baptism, one way of salvation whether before the Cross or after – by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

The Church was not prophesied as such in the OT but was a “mystery”, hidden until the NT.

Recognizes that there are many OT prophecies of the NT Church, and that the NT writers also affirmed this fact (1 Peter 1:10-12; Acts 2:16-35; 3:22-25).

All OT prophecies for ‘Israel’ are for the physical nation of Israel (ethnic Jews), not the Church.

Some OT prophecies are for national Israel, others for spiritual Israel based on context.

God’s main purpose in history is national, ethnic Israel.

God’s main purpose is His own glory, which is revealed in Christ and then through the Body of Christ – the New Covenant Church.

The Church is a parenthesis in God’s program for the ages.

The Church is the culmination of God’s saving purpose for the ages.

The main heir to Abraham’s covenant was Isaac and literal Israel (ethnic Jews).

The main heir to Abraham’s covenant was Christ, the Seed, and spiritual Israel which is “in Christ” (Galatians 3:16). Thus all who have faith in Christ (are “in Christ”) are the participants in the Abrahamic Covenant.

God’s program in history is mainly through separate dispensations.

God’s program is history is mainly through related covenants, but all those covenants were derived from the eternal covenant that the Trinity made in eternity, the Covenant of Redemption.

Most teach that men in the OT were saved by faith in a revelation peculiar to their Dispensation.

All men who have ever been saved have been saved by faith in Christ as their sin-bearer, which has been progressively revealed in every age.

The Holy Spirit indwells only believers in the Dispensation of Grace, not OT and not after the “Secret Rapture.”

The Holy Spirit has indwelt believers in all ages, and He indwells the Body of Christ in a special way in the present NT era as an anointing upon the Church for ministry from the glorified Head of the Church who is established on the Throne in heaven, and the Spirit will not be withdrawn from God’s people.

Jesus made an offer of an earthly Kingdom that is defined nationally/ethnically to Israel. Since Israel rejected it, it is postponed till a future time when God will remove the Church from the world, and then God will reinstitute OT Israel via a Great Tribulation for seven years, and then Christ will return. At which time, God will send glorified OT saints to join living Jews on the earth to have national dominion over the world for 1000 years. Then Christ will judge the living and dead, destroy creation and make a new earth and bring a golden heaven down to sit upon it.

Jesus’ Kingdom is not defined nationally/ethnically but morally and spiritually. That Kingdom was rejected by national Israel but has been accepted by spiritual Israel who are Jews and Gentiles who believe in Christ (Galatians 3:29). Christ rules and reigns over His kingdom now as King of kings and Lord of lords. His kingdom will be consummated and fully realized at the Second Advent, in which all the unbelievers will be judged and removed from the earth. The curse of the Fall will be removed from the earth resulting in a “new heavens and new earth” of which believers will enjoy as their inheritance for all eternity.

OT believers were not ‘in Christ,’ nor part of the Body or Bride of Christ even now.

Believers in all ages are all ‘in Christ’ and part of the Body and Bride of Christ now.

God’s laws as given in the Old Testament are no longer in effect unless repeated in the New Testament.

God’s moral laws are eternal and are thus in effect forever. OT laws for the government of Israel and temple activity are no longer useful since the inauguration of the New Covenant.

Craig Blaising
Darrell Bock
John Nelson Darby
John Feinberg
John Hagee
Ed Hindson
Carl Hock
David Hocking
Dave Hunt
Thomas Ice
Harry Ironside
Tim LaHaye
David Larsen
Hal Lindsey
John MacArthur
Chuck Missler
J. Dwight Pentecost
Charles Ryrie
Robert Saucy
C. I. Scofield
Henry Thiessen
Robert Thomas
Jeffrey Townsend
Jack Van Impe
Michael Vlach
John Walvoord
Kenneth Wuest

Jay Adams
Eric Alexander
Tom Ascol
Isaac Backus
Greg Bahnsen
Richard Barcellos
Rolfe Barnard
S. M. Baugh
Herman Bavinck
G. K. Beale
Alistair Begg
Richard Belcher
James Montgomery Boice
James P. Boyce
John A. Broadus
F. F. Bruce
B. B. Caldwell
John Calvin*
William Carey
R. Scott Clark
Johannes Cocceius
Gene Cook, Jr.
R. L. Dabney
John L. Dagg
Mark Dever
J. Ligon Duncan, III
Jonathan Edwards
Sinclair Ferguson
John Frame
Richard Fuller
John Gill
Robert Godfrey
Robert Hall, Sr.
Charles Hodge
Anthony A. Hoekema
Michael Horton
Dennis E. Johnson
Benjamin Keach
Elias Keach
Tim Keller
Meredith Kline
Abraham Kuyper
J. Gresham Machen
C. J. Mahaney
Fred Malone
Basil Manley, Sr.
Basil Manley, Jr.
Albert Martin
Peter Masters
Keith Mathison
Russell Moore
Iain Murray
John Murray
Tom Nettles
Roger Nicole
Caspar Olevianus
John Owen
J. I. Packer
A. W. Pink
John Piper
Kim Riddlebarger
Jason E. Robertson
O. Palmer Robertson
Robert Rollock
Ernest Reisinger
Robert Reymond
Samuel Rutherford
Philip Ryken
L. R. Shelton, Jr.
Richard Sibbs
R. C. Sproul
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Derek Thomas
Cornelius Van Til
Carl Trueman
Francis Turretin
Geerhardus Vos
Samuel Waldron
B. B. Warfield
Hermann Witsius
James White

*Writings are consistent with CT

Friday, May 22, 2009

There is no “whosoever” whatsoever in John 3:16.

On the above video, "Defending. Contending" notes:
There is no “whosoeverwhatsoever in John 3:16.

Dr. James White illustrates the fact that “Pas ho pisteuwn” does not equal “whosoever believes“, but rather equals “all the believing ones” or alternatively “everyone believing”.

White also points out that in the context of this passage there is no indication whatsoever as to the ability to believe. Therefore the question must be answered, “How does a dead-in-sin-and-trespasses sinner (Eph. 2:1-5) who is utterly insensible (Rom. 3:10-12) and hostile (Rom. 8:7) to the things of God believe (1 Cor. 2:14)?”

Since scripture must always be interpreted by scripture, and we know from John 6:44 that the only ones who can come to Christ are those given unto Him by His Father, then we can easily see that John 3:16, properly exegeted, fits perfectly within the whole counsel of God as a beautiful and glorious affirmation of God’s particular, special saving grace for His elect which salvation The Lord Jesus Christ fully, finally, and infallibly procured once and for all for those who would be given unto Him by the Father through His work upon the cross to the eternal praise of His glory alone forever and evermore.

John 3:9-18 "God So Loved the World"

Excerpts: Listen | Watch
Think that John 3:16 is self explanatory? Read John Piper on John 3:19-18

John 3:9-18

Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”

Piper covers:

The Tension in John 3

Seven Massive Realities in John 3:16

1. God

2. World

“For God so loved the world . . .” The most common meaning for world in John is the created and fallen totality of mankind. John 7:7: “The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil.” John 14:17: “. . . the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him.”

That is the way John is using world here. It is the great mass of fallen humanity that needs salvation. It’s the countless number of perishing people from whom the “whoevers” come in the second part of the verse: “. . . that whoever believes in him should not perish.” The world is the great ocean of perishing sinners from whom the whoever comes.

3. Gave

4. Son

5. Believe

6. Perish

7. Life

Jesus Gives Life—And Dies in Our Place

And at this point, don’t forget what we saw under the word gave—“For God so loved the world that he gave . . .” Meaning gave to die. We don’t perish under the wrath of God because Jesus died in our place under the wrath of God. He was “the Lamb of God”—the sacrifice given in our place—who bears our sin and our punishment (John 1:29, 36).

Is This Your Life?

Which leaves just one question: Do you live in the forgiveness and life and freedom of John 3:16? Are you free from the fear of death? Does the wonder of being loved like this shape your relationships? I’m not asking if you give lip-service to this verse. But do you live it? Is this your life? Is everything you do permeated with this verse?

May God grant you such faith. Believe this promise of John 3:16. Receive the treasure of Christ—and life.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Did Jesus really claim to be God?

This is a sermon on John 5 where Jesus defends his equality with the Father.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What is the Heart of the Gospel? (2 Cor.5:21)-John MacArthur & Kirk Cameron

Pastor John MacArthur (Grace to You) explains what is the heart of the Gospel (Justification by Faith Alone/Sola Fide) to Actor Kirk Cameron (The Way of the Master) from 2 Corinthians 5:21:

"God made Him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin (offering) for us, so that in Him (Jesus) we might become the righteousness of God." (The Great Exchange: My sin for Christ's perfect righteousness).

For indepth explanation of 2 Corinthians 5:21 by John MacArthur, go to video "The Gospel of Eternal Hope: 15 Words of Hope"

Grace to You ( and
The Way of the Master (

Monday, May 18, 2009

Taking the Mystery Out of Knowing God's Will

One of the subjects that is at the very center of Christian experience is the matter of the will of God, the will of God. Throughout all of my life, I have heard people tell me they were looking for the will of God, searching for the will of God, trying to find the will of God. In fact, many, many years ago, I wrote a little book called, The Will of God is not Lost. Because it seemed to me that so many people were acting as if it was lost, as if God had placed his will in some obscure place, as if God were some sort of a divine Easter Bunny who had stashed the golden egg in some bush and all he did was sit in heaven saying, "You're getting warmer," or, "You're getting colder," as we meandered through the shrubbery of life trying to find the egg.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sermon Outline:“Boast in the Lord” Galatians 6 14-18.

Galatians 6 14-18.

· 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

· Philippians 3:4-10

1) The Power to Free people from the World’s Bondage: Galatians 6:14b

· 1 John 5:4-5

· Colossians 2:20-22; 3:1-3

2) The Power to Do What the Flesh Cannot Do: Galatians 6:15

· 2 Corinthians 5:17

· Romans 6:5-14

3) The Power to Bring Salvation: Galatians 6:16-18

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Greatest Need of the Church Today

Dr. Alan Cairns explains the greatest need of the church today and always. (4 mins.)

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Greatest need of the church?Dr. Alan Cairns | Video DVD
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Monday, May 11, 2009

On Second Thought -- Why Mother's Day is a Bad Idea

Al Mohler takes the contrarion view of Mother's Day. From his introduction:
Now that Mother's Day for 2009 is over, perhaps a bit of second-guessing is in order. Americans have celebrated Mother's Day for over a century, and the observance has grown to become one of the nation's most popular annual events. But is it good for motherhood?
What has changed:

Now, Mother's Day ranks number one among all annual occasions in terms of eating out. As for total spending on gifts, some analysts believe that Mother's Day has now pushed Valentine's Day into third place. While not everyone has a valentine, almost everyone has someone to honor on Mother's Day. Counting grandmothers, mothers-in-law, and assorted other maternal figures, this adds up to a huge consumer event.

What's gone wrong:

Sentiment drives Mother's Day as a gargantuan observance. We Americans feel better about ourselves when we honor motherhood -- or when we spend a few dollars on overpriced greeting cards, flowers, and food and convince ourselves that this is honoring our mothers. There is nothing wrong about sentiment in itself, but there is something pornographic about the pathos of sentimentalism that this observance produces -- a sentimentalism so often devoid of content.

The Christian vision:

The Christian vision of motherhood is more about courage and faithfulness than about sentimentalism. The mothers of the Bible are a tough lot. Jochebed put her baby in a floating ark of bulrushes, defying the order of Pharaoh that all Hebrew male children be put to death. Rachel, mother to Joseph and Benjamin, died giving birth to Benjamin. Hannah promised her son to God, and presented Samuel as a young boy for service in the House of the Lord. Mary, the mother of Jesus, risked shame and disgrace to bear the Savior, and to provide all Christians with a model of brave and unflinching obedience. She was there when Jesus Christ was crucified. As Simeon had told her just after the birth of Christ, "Behold this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed." [Luke 2:34-35]

Christians must resist the reduction of motherhood to sentimentality, and particularly that sentimentalism that undermines what mothers are truly to represent -- nurture, fortitude, courage, dedication, faithfulness, discipline, and trust in God.

Why this is all a bad idea:

Mother's Day is a bad idea because it subverts the reality of faithful mothering and robs faithful mothers of their true glory. Mothers deserving of honor are handed cards and taken to lunch, when songs of praise should instead be offered to the glory of God. Undeserving mothers, who abdicate their true responsibility, are honored just because they are mothers. Children, young and old, who ignore and dishonor their mothers by word and by life throughout the year, assuage their guilt by making a big deal of Mother's Day.


Then again, Mother's Day is impossible to ignore. What quality of ingratitude marks the son or daughter (or husband) who does not honor mothers on Mother's Day? There was I yesterday, with son and daughter, honoring both their mother (my dear wife, Mary) and my mother-in-law. Yes, we had a celebratory meal out and we passed out greeting cards with our own personal inscriptions. Gifts were delivered, and all the right things were said. Calls were made to my mother, several states away.

What we can do:

So much for avoiding sentimentality. Let's just make certain that there is more to Mother's Day than sentiment. The mothers we should honor are those who raise children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, who honor their marriages and live faithfully, who teach and nurture and discipline by the Bible. These are mothers who defy the spirit of the age, protect their children from danger, maintain godly discipline and order in the home, and feed their children the pure milk of God's Word.

What Dan Phillips adds:
I think Mohler leaves out something that I'm confident he nonetheless believes. How a wife treats her husband deserves mention. Does she set a godly example (cf. 1 Peter 3:1-6)? Can her husband relax and trust her commitment to him (Proverbs 31:11-12)? Does she give him good reason to feel like a king, or a rotted twig (Proverbs 12:4)? These are part of the picture as well.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Sermon Outline: Matthew 15: 21-28 “A Mother’s Great Faith”

1) The Setting for Great Faith: Matthew 15:21

2) The Qualities of Great Faith: Matthew 15:22-27

A) Repentant: Matthew 15:22a

· Exodus 34:6-9

B) Rightly Directed and Reverent:

Matthew 15:22b

· 1 Thessalonians 1:9

C) Persistent: Matthew 15:23-24

· John 6:66-68

D) Humble: Matthew 15:25-27

3) The Lord’s Response to Great Faith: Matthew 15:28

Jeremiah 29:13-14a

John Owen: "Forsake not the assembling"

"By God's all-wise appointment, our assemblies are the food and the nourishment of our souls. It is the main way whereby we publicly identify with Christ and His Gospel. We evidence our love for Christ by our loyalty and support of one another in opposition to all false worship. Many things will rise up in competition to the diligent attendance of our assemblies. We must recognize and refuse to give into anything that is opposed to what Christ commands. The total falling away of a graceless professor always begins with this neglect, this disassociation with God's people."~John Owen.
HT: Perilous Times.

Thursday, May 07, 2009


John MacArthur has just concluded a series on contentment adapted from John’s book Anxiety Attacked.

Philippians 4:11-12,

1. Confidence in God’s Providence

Paul was content because he had confidence in the providence of God. That confidence, however, never led him to a fatalistic “It doesn’t matter what I do” attitude. The example of Paul’s life throughout the New Testament is this: Work as hard as you can and be content that God is in control of the results.

Contentment in a Consumer Culture

2. Satisfaction with Little

  • Phil. 4:11–12

To protect yourself, pay careful attention to whenever you attach the word need to something in your thoughts or speech. Edit any use of it that goes beyond life’s bare essentials. Paul did, and you can too. Thankfully regard any surplus as a blessing from God. You will be satisfied with little when you refuse to depend on luxuries the world redefines as needs.

3. Detachment from Circumstances

  • Phil. 4:11

  • Col. 3:2

  • 2 Cor. 4:17–18; 11:23–33

4. Being Sustained by Divine Power

  • Phil. 4:13

  • Eph. 3:20

You’ll learn contentment when you’ve stood in the valley of the shadow of death, when you’ve been at the brink, when you can’t resolve your problems, when you can’t eliminate the conflict, when you can’t change your work environment, when you’re unable to fight the disease that’s wracking your body. That’s when you’ll turn to God and find the strength to get through the situation.

To add an important qualifier, however, if you’ve been living a life of sin and you’re now at the bottom of the pit where sin has led you, don’t expect the Lord to step in, put on a dazzling display of His power, and make you feel content. What He’s more apt to do is add chastening to the pain that your circumstances have naturally produced. There’s no quick fix for a sinful pattern of living. Just like health is the result of right living in the physical dimension, so is power from God the result of being obedient in the spiritual dimension.

Contentment Comes from Giving
5. Contentment Comes from Selflessness and Sacrificial Giving
  • Paul prayed for the Philippians to have a different perspective. (Phil. 1:9; 2:3; 4:14–19).
  • Proverbs 11:24–25; 19:17:
  • Luke 6:38
  • 2 Corinthians 9:6
  • Prov. 3:9–10
  • Matt. 6:33–34
From the Conclusion:
Attack anxiety in your life by applying what you have learned about contentment. Be confident in God’s sovereign providence, and don’t allow your circumstances to trouble you. Instead of giving in to panic, cling to the promise of Romans 8:28: “We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God.” Regard that verse as a spiritual lifeline for the rest of your life.

Also, buck the tide of our materialistic, selfish society by being satisfied with little and more concerned about the spiritual welfare of others than your material needs. Be obedient to God’s Word and confident in His power to meet all your needs. May our Lord keep all these principles in the forefront of our minds that we might be content—and free from anxiety!