Friday, July 31, 2009

Why Church Nursery Ministry Matters

Kent Shaffer @ has an interesting post on UNDERSTANDING BABIES

#1 - Dunstan Baby Language (birth to 3 months)
Dunstan Baby Language teaches you to recognize 5 universal sounds that all babies make from birth to 3-months-old. They communicate hunger (Neh), tiredness (Owh), need to burp (Eh), gas (Eair), and discomfort (Heh).

#2 - The Happiest Baby
The Happiest Baby gives the 5 S’s for keeping a baby comfortable and happy - Swaddle, Sway (bounce), Shh, Side, and Suck. For example, the sound “Shh” comforts a baby because it mimics the sound of the womb.

#3 - Baby Signs
Baby Signs is a proven sign language program for hearing babies that reduces frustration and eases communication.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Muslim misunderstandings of Christianity

Communication means comming to an understandig of actual events. Many of the accusations against Christianity by Muslim's are based on misunderstandings. Kevin Williams helpfully lists some of the comman misunderstandings:

Pharaoh becomes a Muslim and is now in paradise:
(10:90-92) "We took the Children of Israel across the sea: Pharaoh and his hosts followed them in insolence and spite. At length, when overwhelmed with the flood, he said: "I believe that there is no god except Him Whom the Children of Israel believe in: I am of those who submit (to Allah in Islam). (It was said to him): "Ah now!- But a little while before, wast thou in rebellion!- and thou didst mischief (and violence)! This day shall We save thee in the body, that thou mayest be a sign to those who come after thee! but verily, many among mankind are heedless of Our Signs!".

Seven chapters later Pharaoh is in Hell:
(17:102-103) "Moses said, "Thou knowest well that these things have been sent down by none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth as eye-opening evidence: and I consider thee indeed, O Pharaoh, to be one doomed to destruction!" So he resolved to remove them from the face of the earth: but We did drown him and all who were with him,".

Wife Beating:
(4.34): Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.

Sun sets in a muddy pool (scientific misunderstanding):
18:83 They ask thee concerning Zul-qarnain. Say, "I will rehearse to you something of his story."
84. Verily We established his power on earth, and We gave him the ways and the means to all ends.
85. One (such) way he followed,
86. Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a spring of murky water: Near it he found a People: We said: "O Zul-qarnain! (thou hast authority,) either to punish them, or to treat them with kindness."

Sperm from backbone (scientific misunderstanding):
Surah 86:6-7 He is created from a drop emitted-
Proceeding from between the backbone and the ribs:

Muhammad Wrongly Thought That Christians Believe That God Had Sexual Intercourse With Mary:
Surah 6:101 To Him is due the primal origin of the heavens and the earth: How can He have a son when He hath no consort? He created all things, and He hath full knowledge of all things.
19:34. Such (was) Jesus the son of Mary: (it is) a statement of truth, about which they (vainly) dispute.
35.It is not befitting to (the majesty of) Allah that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! when He determines a matter, He only says to it, "Be", and it is.

Muhammad Wrongly Thought That The Jews believed Ezra Was The Son of God.
Surah 9:30 The Jews call 'Uzair a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah.s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth!

Mohamed wrongly thought that the Christians believe the trinity is three Gods.
Surah 5:73
They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity: for there is no god except One Allah. If they desist not from their word (of blasphemy), verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them.
74. Why turn they not to Allah, and seek His forgiveness? For Allah is Oft- forgiving, Most Merciful.
75. Christ the son of Mary was no more than an apostle; many were the apostles that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how Allah doth make His signs clear to them; yet see in what ways they are deluded away from the truth!

Allah's Three Daughters Are Mentioned. (Both Allah and his three daughters (Lat, Uzzah, Manat) are actually all Pagan deity's, all to do with moon worship, hence the symbol of Islam)
(53:19.) Have ye seen Lat. and 'Uzza,
20.And another, the third (goddess), Manat?

Verse 20 was once followed by what is now known as the deleted 'Satanic verse'
These are the exalted cranes (intermediaries) Whose intercession is to be hoped for.
21. What! for you the male sex, and for Him, the female?
22. Behold, such would be indeed a division most unfair!

Listen to this Sermon or download mp3:
John 8:13-20 - Jesus Is The Truth-Either Submit To Him Or Perish-Kevin Williams -49 min

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Christ Commands to make "Disciples" not "Customers"

"Jesus Christ failed miserably in evangelism." At least that is what you will get if you ask the pragmatic "seeker sensitive" movement. This clip by Charles Spurgeon and Mark Kielar shows exactly why the methods used by the modern "church" are contradictory to what Jesus set forth as the right way to evangelize the lost.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Saturday, July 25, 2009

He Descended into Hell

the Senior Minister of Grove Chapel in Camberwell, London covers the most controversial clause in the Apostles' Creed @ . He notes:

"We see the scale of its significance reflected in the Apostles' Creed in the way that it skips immediately from confessing the incarnation of Christ to confessing his death upon the cross:

He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, died and was buried;
He descended into hell.

It is made all the more intriguing when we realise that this third line of the triplet was a much later addition to the Creed - most likely in the latter part of the Fourth Century AD. Not surprisingly it is an addition that has sparked no small measure of controversy and debate as to its precise meaning.

The Innocent Suffering in the Place of the Guilty

The Blessed One Cursed that the Cursed might be Blessed

The Supreme Judge facing the Final Judgment

Additional Resources:
Affirming the Apostles Creed by J.I. Packer

Friday, July 24, 2009

God's Purpose in Our Pain - 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

How privileged we are to hear from the living God through His living Word. Take your Bible, if you will, and turn to the twelfth chapter of 2 Corinthians and I want to read for you verses 7 through 10 which will provide the text for our study in the Word of God...2 Corinthians chapter 12 beginning at verse 7.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Your Best Life: Now or Later? (1 Peter 1:3-5)

This is your best life now. In fact, its your only life because in the world to come, you will only exist in a perpetual state of dying with no hope, no satisfaction, no meaning, no joy and no future and no relief from eternal suffering. Thats the worst life possible. And this is your best life, if your next life is in hell.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The New Shape of World Christianity

The New Shape of World ChristianityMark A. Noll will really change some misconceptions that Western Christians have about global Christianity. Tim Challies has some interesting summaries and observations:

A few short decades ago, Christian believers were concentrated in the global north and west, but now a rapidly swelling majority lives in the global south and east. [If a Christian] Rip Van Winkle wiped a half-century of sleep from his eyes … and tried to locate his fellow Christian believers, he would find them in surprising places, expressing their faith in surprising ways, under surprising conditions, with surprising relationships to culture and politics, and raising surprising theological questions that would not have seemed possible when he fell asleep.”

Here are a few remarkable facts Noll provides:

  • This past Sunday it is possible that more Christian believers attended church in China than in all of so-called “Christian Europe.” Yet in 1970 there were no legally functioning churches in all of China; only in 1971 did the communist regime allow for one Protestant and one Roman Catholic Church to hold public worship services, and this was mostly a concession to visiting Europeans and African students from Tanzania and Zambia.
  • This past Sunday more Anglicans attended church in each of Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda than did Anglicans in Britain and Canada and Episcopalians in the United States combined—and the number of Anglicans in church in Nigeria was several times the umber in those other African countries.
  • This past Sunday more Presbyterians were at church in Ghana than in Scotland, and more were in congregations of the Uniting Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa than in the United States.
  • The past Sunday more people attended the Yoido Full Gospel Church pastored by Yongi Cho is Seoul, Korea, than attended all the churches in significant American denominations like the Christian Reformed Church, the Evangelical Covenant Church or the Presbyterian Church in America.
  • This past Sunday the churches with the largest attendance in England and France had mostly black congregations. About half of the churchgoers in London were African or African-Caribbean. Today, the largest Christian congregation in Europe is in Kiev, and it is pastored by a Nigerian of Pentecostal background.
  • This past week in Great Britain, at least fifteen thousand Christian foreign missionaries were hard at work evangelizing the locals. most of these missionaries are from Africa and Asia.
  • For several years the world’s largest chapter of the Jesuit order has been found in India, not in the United States, as it had been for much of the late twentieth century.

Noll is weak on definitions and terms like Christian and evangelical Noll even applies to . In both cases the definition could include Roman Catholics and potentially even Mormons or other groups who have no great love for the true gospel. Yet, we should notice that the center of the church is, indeed, migrating away from the West.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Michael Jackson's REAL cause of death!

What really happened to the king of pop?

Why do people die and what happens after we pass on?

Here is a very clear and clever message shared by Ray Comfort on Hollywood Blvd in front of Michael Jackson's star.

Jesus is Coming Again!

In light of the fact that Jesus is coming again, Mack Tomlinson provided some helpful reminders of some of the basic points:
- He's coming soon
- He's coming visibly
- He's coming bodily
- He's coming in final cosmic judgment
- He's coming to take his bride to heaven
- He's coming to judge the dead & living
- He's coming to wrap up human history
- He's coming to establish perfect righteousness
- He's coming to rule and reign forever and ever
- He's coming to make us perfectly like Him
- He's coming to receive us unto Himself forever

What difference should this make:

"Beloved, now we are the sons of God and it does not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is; And everyone who has this hope (the Second Coming as a believer- MT) purifies himself, even as He is pure."
- 1 Jn. 3:2

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sermon Outline: "Seek and Find" Ruth 3:1-5

Seeking the Kinsman-redeemer”

1) The Right Purpose: Ruth 3:1

· Matthew 11:28

2) The Right Person: Ruth 3:2

3) We Must Make the Right Preparations: Ruth 3:3a
· Ezekiel 16:8-12

· 2 Corinthians 7:1

4) We Must be at the Right Place: Ruth 3:3b-6

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sermon Outline: Ruth 2:17-23 “Loving-kindness”

1) Loving-kindness in Praise (Ruth 2:17-19)

  • Psalm 103:1-2

2) Loving-kindness in Hope (Ruth 2:20)

  • Genesis 24:27

  • Deuteronomy 25:5-10

  • Leviticus 25:23-25

3) Loving-kindness in Service (Ruth 2:21-23)

  • Galatians 6:9

  • Romans 8:23

Friday, July 10, 2009

500th Anniversary of the birth of John Calvin
Purchase the Reformation Time Line Pamphlet from Rose Publishing

John Calvin was a Swiss reformer, arguably the greatest of Protestant theologians, and perhaps the most widely followed Western theologian after St. Augustine. July 10 marks the 500th anniversary of his birth in Noyon, France. Learn about his life and influence, as well as the importance of over 125 other key events and people of the Protestant Reformation with the Reformation Time Line pamphlet, wall chart, and PowerPoint™ presentation. Do you consider yourself a Calvinist? Click here to take our 1 question end times poll and view the results!

See 400 years of church history alongside the colorful politics of King Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth, and others. The Reformation Time Line tells the dramatic events that led to the formation of Protestantism. In just an easy to use timeline, you'll know all the key people and events involved in the Reformation—one of the most important periods in church history.

Pamphlet Fold-out
learn morebuy now

Reformation Time Line includes a map of the reformation, a "family tree" of denominations, and a comparison of the 5 points of Calvinism and Arminianism. Click here to learn more or buy "Reformation Time Line" Now!

The Reformation Time Line pamphlet tells the dramatic events that led to the formation of a new kind of Christianity: Protestantism. Formatted in an easy-to-follow time line, this bestselling downloadable pamphlet begins with the pre-Reformation period, 1215-1515, presenting the dramatic events leading to the bold actions of a German monk named Martin Luther and the onset of the Reformation period, 1516-1563, in Church history. Luther’s actions were only part of the process that shaped Western Christianity.

Reformation Timeline is rich in historical content and provides the following information:

  • Details on the three Reformation time periods:
    • The Pre-Reformation Period, 1215-1515, for example
      • The trial of Joan of Arc, 1431
      • Martin Luther is ordained as priest and celebrates first mass, 1507
    • The Reformation Period, 1515-1563, for example
      • Luther introduces German-language worship services, 1522
      • The Church of England branches off the Catholic Church
    • The Post-Reformation Period, 1564-1689, for example
      • The term “Puritan” is first used for Protestants who want to “purify” the Church of England of ceremony and ritual not found in the Bible, 1564
  • Illustrations of more than 30 events and people
  • Origins of Protestant doctrines
  • A map showing the spread of the Reformation
  • A family tree of Protestant denominations
  • History of Bible translation into the English language

Reformation Time-Line also provides:

  • Branches of the Reformation including
    • Reformation leaders
    • Branches
    • Denominational offshoots
  • The Five Solas of the Reformation and their meanings
  • The five points of Arminianism
  • The five points of Calvinism
Here are a few of the world-changing events and key people from the time line appearing in these rich time periods:
  • The Pre-Reformation Period, 1215-1515
    • The Magna Carta
    • The trial of Joan of Arc
    • Martin Luther
    • John Wycliffe
    • William Tyndale
  • The Reformation Period, 151-1563
    • Erasmus
    • John Calvin
    • Anabaptist movement
    • Founding of the first Protestant college
    • Ulrich Zwingli
    • King Henry VIII becomes the head of the English church
  • The Post-Reformation Period, 1564-1689

Top Story
Calvin: Man for the Mainline
Reformer's 500th birthday draws out diverse cast of admirers.

My Top 5 Books on John Calvin
By Michael Horton, editor in chief of Modern Reformation

Poll: Reformer John Calvin ...

Special Section: John Calvin

Codex Sinaiticus: The Oldest Bible available for viewing

Codex Sinaiticus

Codex Sinaiticus is one of the most important books in the world. Handwritten well over 1600 years ago, the manuscript contains the Christian Bible in Greek, including the oldest complete copy of the New Testament. Its heavily corrected text is of outstanding importance for the history of the Bible and the manuscript – the oldest substantial book to survive Antiquity – is of supreme importance for the history of the book. [Find out more about Codex Sinaiticus.]

The Codex Sinaiticus Project

The Codex Sinaiticus Project is an international collaboration to reunite the entire manuscript in digital form and make it accessible to a global audience for the first time. Drawing on the expertise of leading scholars, conservators and curators, the Project gives everyone the opportunity to connect directly with this famous manuscript. [Find out more about the Codex Sinaiticus Project.]

The Codex Sinaiticus Website

This is the first release of the Codex Sinaiticus Project website. This website will be substantially updated in November 2008 and in July 2009, by when the website will have been fully developed. [Find out more about its current contents.]

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Hard to Believe - John MacArthur (3/3)

"Easy believism" is running rampant in the Christian church. Salvation involves no commitment and no sacrifice. But how does this compare to what Jesus Himself taught about the cost of following Him? Find out as John MacArthur preaches one of his most memorable and compelling sermons to date.

Myths about Living Together

Scott M. Stanley & Galena Kline deal with some of the common myths people believe in living together. Showing from statistics, they note:

  • People who lived together before marriage have a higher rate of divorce than those who did not live together.
  • People who lived together before marriage report that it is more likely they will divorce than people who did not live together.
  • People who lived together before marriage have more negative communication in their marriages than those who did not live together.
  • People who lived together before marriage have lower levels of marital satisfaction than those who did not live together.
  • Infidelity during marriage is more common among people who lived together prior to marriage than those who did not.
  • Physical aggression is more common among married individuals who lived together before marriage than those who did not.
From their conclusion:

Here's a very simple list based on many years of research, many years of counseling couples, and reading and thinking about this issue. The more of these things you are able to do when you are searching for a mate and thinking about marriage, the better your odds will be of making a wise choice.

  • Get to know the person very well before deciding to marry. One thing you can do is take the time to work together through a detailed list of core expectations to see just how compatible you are. (For guidelines on how to do this, you might check out one of the books I've co-authored.6)
  • Do not make this crucial decision in a period of emotional infatuation.
  • Observe how the person treats not only you but his or her friends. Learn as much as you can about the person's priorities and values.
  • Give more weight than your heart may want to how closely the person shares your most essential beliefs (including religious) and values in life.
  • Wait until you are 22 or older to make such an important decision. What you think you are looking for can change a lot.
  • Get the opinion of friends and family who are not likely to tell you only what you want to hear.
  • Wait until you are married to live together. It may not increase your risk to do otherwise, but there is no evidence that it will increase your risk to wait.

* * *

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Hard to Believe - John MacArthur (2/3)

"Easy believism" is running rampant in the Christian church. Salvation involves no commitment and no sacrifice. But how does this compare to what Jesus Himself taught about the cost of following Him? Find out as John MacArthur preaches one of his most memorable and compelling sermons to date.

1 Timothy – “Building a Healthy Church”

Colin Adams provides a helpful summary of an interesting series entitled: “Building a Healthy Church” was a sermon-series at Charlotte Chapel in Northern Ireland. 1 Timothy is a charge given to a young-ish man concerning the conduct and creed of the church he pastors (1 Tim 3:14-16; 6:11ff)

Title Preacher Passage
Opening 1 Timothy Colin Adams 1 Tim 1:1-2

The doctrine driven church Colin Adams 1 Tim 1:3-11

A matter of life or death Peter Grainger 1 Tim 1:12-20

Gospel-Centred Praying Peter Grainger 1 Tim 2:1-7

Worship and Witness Peter Grainger 1 Tim 2:8-15

The Noble task Colin Adams 1 Tim 3:1-7

Godly Servants Rodney Stout 1 Tim 3:8-13

The Heart of 1 Timothy Colin Adams 1 Tim 3:14-16

Whom Do I Serve? Tim Bridges 1 Tim 4:1-10
A Pastor’s Priorities Peter Grainger 1 Tim 4:11-16

A Caring Community Colin Adams 1 Tim 5:1-16

Leading Questions Colin Adams 1 Tim 5:17-25

Work and Wealth Colin Adams 1 Tim 6:1-10

A Personal Challenge Colin Adams 1 Tim 6:11-21

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Hard to Believe - John MacArthur (1/3)

"Easy believism" is running rampant in the Christian church. Salvation involves no commitment and no sacrifice. But how does this compare to what Jesus Himself taught about the cost of following Him? Find out as John MacArthur preaches one of his most memorable and compelling sermons to date.

Why & How do you memorize Scripture?

So here are a few reasons why so many have viewed Scripture memorization as so essential to the Christian life according to John Piper.

1. Conformity to Christ

2. Daily Triumph over Sin

3. Daily Triumph over Satan

4. Comfort and Counsel for People You Love

5. Communicating the Gospel to Unbelievers

6. Communion with God in the Enjoyment of His Person and Ways

John Piper has some useful tips on how to memorize Scripture:
  • First of all, by praying for discipline and setting aside time.
  • I set aside a block of time in the morning (an hour or so) to be with God alone, reading my Bible, praying for my family, praying for the church, and praying for my soul. And I can generally finish my four chapters or so of Bible reading in about 20 minutes, depending on how long I pause and contemplate. And my prayers may extend for 20 or 30 minutes. So I've got 5 or 10 minutes in that hour.
  • So basically, the answer is: repetition and review. Repetition and review.
  • Here's one other little tip that I use. If I pick a verse or a couple of verses or a paragraph, I'll put it on a piece of paper and I'll carry it here in my shirt pocket. And at little times during the day, I'll pull it out and read it for my soul. For my soul! I don't memorize verses that don't help my soul.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Kevin Williams ' critique of Dispensationalism

Quote from this sermon: (summary points below quote)

"a bomb goes off in America, or some other part of the world, and we all say what a tragedy that is, and we mourn for them. But then someone fires a missile or a bomb at Israel, or threatens to nuke them, and then all the dispensationalists who are always telling us how much they love Israel, and are accusing everyone who’s not a dispensationist of being anti-semetic, they’re all giggling amongst themselves, getting excited, saying, "Oooh, 50 Israelites have been killed, how exciting". There is something sickening about that truth. Those are real people, real souls.

But you see Biblical eschatology is really about, the Joy of Christ’s return, and seeing Him face to face. And seeing Him sat upon His throne, seeing Christ exalted, and every knee bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord."

In this sermon we show how Scripture clearly teaches that:
-God does not have two brides, Israel and the Church, but One People in Jesus Christ.
-When Christ returns it will be the eternal age and not a temporary 1000 year Kingdom
-We also look at the 3 Faulty Hermeneutic Rules of Dispensationalism.
-Any Jews outside of Jesus Christ are NOT God's people.

Listen to Sermon or download mp3:
Gal 3:27-29+Var - Why I Am Not A Dispensationalist Or Premillenialist-Kevin Williams -54 min

Sermon Outline: “Amazing Grace” Ruth 2:8-16

1) Boaz took the Initiative: Ruth 1:8

· Proverbs 3:5-6

· Ephesians 2:1-10

2) Boaz Encouraged Ruth. Ruth 2:10-13

· Hebrews 12:1-2

· Proverbs 19:17

· Psalm 91:1-2

· Psalm 86:17

· Romans 1:4

3) Boaz Protected, & Provided. Ruth 2:9, 14-16

· Philippians 4:19

Friday, July 03, 2009

God's Will and Your Job : R.C. Sproul

Justin Taylor provides some links to a timely series of posts, from R.C. Sproul's teaching on the will of God:
Here's a taste:The problem of discerning one's calling focuses heavily on four important questions:
1. What can I do?
2. What do I like to do?
3. What would I like to be able to do?
4. What should I do?
The last question can plague the sensitive conscience. To begin to answer it, we need to take a look at the other three questions because they are closely linked to the ultimate question, What should I do?

Thursday, July 02, 2009

50 Crucial Questions About Manhood and Womanhood

Format: Softcover Book
Pages: 62
Publisher: Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Product Code: BCQ

50 Crucial Questions About Manhood and Womanhood

Adapted from chapter two of Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood.

Larry Crabb writes,

"In this booklet, John Piper and Wayne Grudem have tackled some of the most important questions that need to be asked about manhood and womanhood and they have done so with clarity, balance, and a thoughtfully firm dependence on biblical data."

John Piper says,

"This is the booklet I return to most often in dealing with the knotty issues of manhood and womanhood in ministry."

Download this book (PDF).

he knotty issues of manhood and womanhood in ministry."

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The Justification Debate

Trevin Wax has compiled a helpful piece for Christianity Today in which he sets in parallel the contrasting views of John Piper and N. T. Wright on the topic of justification. There is an HTML version that you can read, or you can download a PDF of the article as it appeared on the pages of Christianity Today.

Following their recent books interacting with each other’s ideas, John Piper and Tom Wright represent the two sides of the discussion. Here are the books in question …

John Piper, The Future of Justification purchase from Amazon UK purchase from Amazon US

Tom Wright, Justification: God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision purchase from Amazon UK purchase from Amazon US

See also Tom Wright, What Saint Paul Really Said, especially chapter 7 purchase from Amazon UK purchase from Amazon US

Tim Chester wrote an article ‘Justification, Ecclesiology and the New Perspective’ which was published in Themelios and which is available online here.