Monday, October 31, 2011

James Smith - Poor in Self / Rich in Jesus

James Smith was a predecessor of Charles Spurgeon at New Park Street Chapel in London from 1841 until 1850. Early on, Smith's readings were even more popular than Spurgeon's!

From "Daily Bible Readings for the Lord's Household"

The habit of laying up a text of Scripture in the morning, to be meditated upon while engaged in the business of this world through the day—is both profitable and delightful. It is as a refreshing draught to a weary traveler!
James Smith playlist:


Book Review of " CLOSE ENOUGH TO HEAR GOD BREATHE: The Great Story of Divine Intimacy"
By: Greg Paul
Thomas Nelson
Published  2011
Price: $15.99 US

In "Close Enough to Hear God Breathe", we are told that we will "encounter a rich message that recounts the story of a God who has been inviting all of humanity, and each individual, into his tender embrace since time began". "The message that I want people to hear is this," the author states, "I think it's very clear that the whole message of scripture, and the whole message of the human life, is that God is saying to you, 'You are my child. I love you and I'm pleased with you'." It is a book that he sees dealing with "love, faith and belonging"

The author, Greg Paul describes the book as "general theology couched in stories". It is a collection of family stories including ones about Paul's four grown children, his family and ministry at the Sanctuary street mission and stories from scripture. Paul, certainly brings his captivating experience into the writing of this book. He describes Sanctuary as "a ministry where the wealthy and poor share their experiences and resources daily and care for the most excluded people in the city, including addicts, prostitutes, the homeless, and gay, lesbian, and transgendered people".

His experience with difficult circumstances has certainly affected his writing style. Paul says that the world we live in conditions us against believing that we are unequivocally loved by God—or in fact that we could be unconditionally loved by anyone. "They are very strident voices and we hear them all around us: in our work places, in our families, on television. Voices who seek to define us for their own benefit. Equivocal voices who tell us 'You're good if you do this. You're bad if you do something else.' Driven by someone else's profit motive, a thirst for power, neediness. We get conditioned to think God will only love us if we do what he requires.". Unfortunately this "unconditional love" does not bode well with the necessity of repentance. His statement that "my Father does see me as very good" (p. 39) here and elsewhere do not really wrestle with our bondage to sin and need of redemption. We are "very good" in terms of being in Christ, but this must be explicitly stated, else we are left with a very erroneous misunderstanding.

Further on this: "The voices that my people have heard—the people who are part of my core community—are voices who say 'You were beaten or raped because you're bad, and that's all you deserve.' The last thing they need to hear is that they are a dirty, rotten sinner on their way to hell. Because whether or not they understand that theologically, they already feel it in their bones. "What they need to hear is the same thing you or I need to hear. That God says, 'You are my child, and I love you, and I delight in you.' "If people begin to hear that, it's an incredibly healing word to them. It's the only healing word.". Yet, the message of the cross is that we all deserve God's wrath. But the grace of God is extended for those who believe. I would disagree that people already "feel it in their bones" that they are sinners. Although some of the most difficult situations that Paul deals with most likely have a very desperate outlook, if you were to ask most people, they would respond that they believe they are basically good.

He has an interesting approach to scripture: "The idea that reading scripture can be an intimate experience is something that's been nagging away at me for a long time," he says. "I've become more and more convinced that the whole gig—whether you're leading a church, or raising a family, or dealing with street level people—the whole thing is about intimacy with Jesus". Unfortunately this "intimacy" does not seem to extend to too much biblical interaction.

The promise is that "the reader learns to hear the voice of God speaking in the ordinary events and relationships of life, as well as in the broad, deep current of Scripture". If this were the case it would have been a captivating read, but Scripture is not presented forthrightly. The author claims that "reading the Bible ought to be like putting ones head on Gods chest. Close Enough to Hear God Breathe will help readers do just that. And when they do, they'll hear him whisper, You're my child, my love, my pleasure". Yet, the reader is left to read scripture on their own time for "Close Enough to Hear God Breathe" only indirectly refers to Scripture. The best you might get is which chapter of a book a reference is from. When Biblical characters are referred to, how they exactly "heard from God" is not really explored.

For the format of the book, don't expect much explanation from the chapter titles in the Table of Contents, for they are vague and do a poor job of linking with the overall theme. Chapter six, is as good as any for showing the overall format. Entitled “Hammer and Nails”, Paul describes a time where he was renovating his house and his son, who was five-years-old, wanted to help.  Paul gave his son a hammer suitable for a child and let him pound nails into boards, while Paul himself worked on the renovation.  Paul’s son was so interested and so intent on his “work”, and while they weren’t exactly productive, it was such a pleasure for Paul to share these things with his son.  Paul goes on in the chapter to parallel this story to God letting us help Him with his work, and how we are like children compared to how God would do things.  

As toughing as this story is, his "theological" discussion around this story was so misrepresentative, I am quite surprised that the publisher let it go. Paul completely misstates what Reformed theology is. He states that Calvin started "his famous TULIP theological system with the letter T- T for total depravity...I just think his theological system starts too late, essentially ignoring the foundational value of the creation story" (p.55). A first year theology or history student would tell you that the TULIP was an abbreviation in response to Arminian challenges. Reformed theology starts the story with the Glory of God and His purposes in election, which is well before creation. Paul  seems completely ignorant of Reformed theology and this misrepresentation should not have been allowed to pass by the publisher.

Yet, there are occasional insightful treatments, like his treatment of redemption. He distinguishes how someone "deems" something to have a judgment on his and to then "redeem" to render a new judgement (p.104). He ties entomological treatment to popular media, and situations in Job, and Galatians. What I found fascinating, was his previous critique of Calvin in having a flawed system yet Paul completely misses the great Romans 8 chain of salvation.

The book includes a readers guide but it doesn’t make much reference to Scripture so don’t expect to find a full blown Bible study guide.  I wish this book had been more practical and hands on in it’s approach for hearing from God. This is not a book I would recommend if you’re looking for Biblical instruction on intimacy with God. The readers guide would have had a better use as application points set in or at the end of each chapter. The many theological flaws and lack of any real Biblical treatment will misdirect someone to actually be "Close Enough to Hear God Breathe". Avoid this book at all costs.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

Friday, October 28, 2011

Book Review: What is the Mission of the Church?

DeYoung, Kevin and Greg Gilbert. What Is the Mission of the Church?: Making Sense of Social Justice, Shalom, and the Great Commission. Wheaton, Ill. Crossway, 2011, 288pp. Review by Matthew Kratz*.

"Mission creep" is a topic primarily discussed in military operations, but very applicable for the battle that the Church is called to undertake (1 Tim. 1:18). There are many things that the Church can do. There are many things that the Church should do. For centuries, often heated debates have dealt with doctrines like the Gospel, Kingdom, Church, Mission and a myriad of other topics applied to a such diverse fields as evangelism, discipleship, community, politics, and requests for assistance.

In the midst of a debate that has often generated more heat than light, Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert have done some careful examination of the central mission of the Church with remarkable Biblical clarity in their new book, What Is the Mission of the Church?

The book is divided into three parts: “Understanding Our Mission,” “Understanding Our Categories,” and “Understanding What We Do And Why We Do It,” with part two being the bulk of the book.

Understanding Our Mission

DeYoung and Gilbert make the reasonable assumption that their present audience is primarily Christian (p. 15) and begin with the central question of: “What is the mission of the church?” Acknowledging that this is not strictly a biblical word as a noun (p. 17), yet a verb of dealing with one being sent. It implies that one is specifically sent to do something and therefore, not everything. That this is a particular assignment is an important distinction for it frames the terms of reference in the arguments to come. With a prayer for humility, understanding and pastoral approach, the authors present their thesis at the end of chapter one, stating, “We will argue that the mission of the church is summarized in the Great Commission passages…We believe the church is sent into the world to witness to Jesus by proclaiming the gospel and making disciples of all nations” (26).

In chapter two, the authors begin their exegetical treatment of various biblical texts dealing with commission. In this examination they critique other views that take certain passages as paradigmatic for our understanding of the church’s mission, which certain other authors have taken above all others and unnaturally limited the mission. Putting it all together with questions of who, why, what, where, how, when and to whom? (p.. 59), DeYoung and Gilbert show how we must ask these important questions of biblical texts in order to understand exactly what the mission is.

Understanding Our Categories

Section two begins with chapter three showing how the topics of creation, fall, redemption, and consummation  relate to mission. Chapter four highlights how those who take either a too "narrow" or too "wide" consideration of Gospel, have muddied the understanding of mission (p.93) through either dilution or reduction (p.111). Chapter five discusses how the kingdom of God relates to mission. Periodically, DeYoung and Gilbert summarize their argument combining their various examinations. Here they summarize what they examined in this section by saying that the kingdom of God is "God's redemptive reign, in the person of his Son, Jesus Messiah, which has broken into the present evil age and is now visible in the church" (p. 127).  They explain how the kingdom will be finally and fully established, and how one gets into the kingdom. Section two concludes with an discussion of social justice, dealing with various passages that touch on loving one's neighbour, sin, responsibility, justice, kindness, humility, generosity, and faith shown through works. Always applying what is discussed, chapter seven ties all these complexities of determining a biblical theology of wealth, poverty, and material possession to what the authors admit they have yet to specifically define in "social justice" to such obvious yet political incorrect moral obligations of proximity priority (p. 183). Chapter eight concludes with a discussion of the New Heavens and the New Earth with the "cultural Mandate" (p. 208). The terms of reference are brilliant in any discussion of continuity/discontinuity.

Understanding What We Do and Why We Do It

Part three sums up the book as the authors helpfully discuss important distinctions such as duties of individual Christians versus duties of the institutional church looking at why and how we do good.  What then is our responsibility? DeYoung and Gilbert present a quote from Gilbert J. Gresham Machen:

"The responsibility of the church in the new age is the same as its responsibility in every age. It is to testify that this world is lost in sin; that the span of human life—no, all the length of human history—is an infinitesimal island in the awful depths of eternity; that there is a mysterious, holy, living God, Creator of all, Upholder of all, infinitely beyond all; that he has revealed himself to us in his Word and offered us communion with himself through Jesus Christ the Lord; that there is no other salvation, for individuals or for nations, save this, but that this salvation is full and free, and that whoever possesses it has for himself and for all others to whom he may be the instrument of bringing it a treasure compared with which all the kingdoms of the earth—no, all the wonders of the starry heavens—are as the dust of the street. An unpopular message it is—an impractical message, we are told. But it is the message of the Christian church. Neglect it, and you will have destruction; heed it, and you will have life." (p.248). 

DeYoung and Gilbert follow-up Machen's quote with these words: "It is not the church’s responsibility to right every wrong or to meet every need, though we have biblical motivation to do some of both. It is our responsibility, however—our unique mission and plain priority—that this unpopular, impractical gospel message gets told, that neighbors and nations may know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing, they may have life in his name." (p. 249).

This summary and the epilogue are worth the price of the book itself. When the "floodgates open" in a dialogue between a seasoned Pastor and typical "missional" concerns, DeYoung and Gilbert effectively wrap up their previous theological considerations in helpful pastoral concerns. If all this was not helpful enough, the general and scriptural index enable this work to be a reference that will bode well in any consideration of mission.

Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert provide a careful, practical, biblical exegetical treatment of social justice, peace and the great commission in a consideration of what is the mission of the church.

*A copy of this book has been graciously provided by Crossway to enable this review.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Parents, Discipline Your Children - Tim Conway

Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him. - Proverbs 13:24

Monday, October 24, 2011

Greg Koukl - Nonsensical Distractions

Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason discusses whether Christians should spend time on nonsensical distractions. For more information, visit

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What is the Ontological Argument? (William Lane Craig)

Listen as special guest Dr. William Lane Craig explains the Ontological Argument.

Grab a copy of Dr. Craig's new book "On Guard" to learn more about this and other arguments on how to defend your faith with reason and precision.

Recommended Book:

One Minute Apologist Interview with William Lane Craig (playlist):


Defending the Ontological argument:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Are Religious Pluralists Particularists? (William Lane Craig)

Are Religious Pluralists Particularists? Watch to hear what Dr. William Lane Craig has to say and grab a copy of Dr. Craig's new book "On Guard" to learn more about this and other arguments on how to defend your faith with reason and precision.

Recommended Book:

One Minute Apologist Interview with William Lane Craig (playlist):


Is One True Religion Possible?:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dr. William Lane Craig - Problem Of Evil (5/5)

Part 5 of 5. The Problem Of Evil.

Adapted from the "Reasonable Faith" podcast by the same name.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dr. William Lane Craig - Problem Of Evil (4/5)

Part 4 of 5. The Problem Of Evil.

Adapted from the "Reasonable Faith" podcast by the same name.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sermon Outline: "The Season of Celebration": Nehemiah 8:1-12

1) The Communication (Nehemiah 8:1–6)

  • Nehemiah 7:73 

  • 1 Timothy 2:1-8       

2) The Clarification (Nehemiah 8:7–8)

  • Acts 8:26-35

3) The Celebration (Nehemiah 8:9–12)

  • Deuteronomy 16:11-12

Friday, October 14, 2011

Dr. William Lane Craig - Problem Of Evil (3/5)

Part 3 of 5. The Problem Of Evil.

Adapted from the "Reasonable Faith" podcast by the same name.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dr. William Lane Craig - Problem Of Evil (2/5)

Part 2 of 5. The Problem Of Evil.

Adapted from the "Reasonable Faith" podcast by the same name.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dr. William Lane Craig - Problem Of Evil (1/5)

Part 1 of 5. The Problem Of Evil.

Adapted from the "Reasonable Faith" podcast by the same name.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Why I hate religion - Mark Driscoll

Pastor Mark Driscoll explains the differences between religion and redemption. For more messages and information go to

Argument of Evil & Suffering Against the Existence of God? (William Lane Craig)

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Sermon Outline: "5 Reasons to Give Thanks": Psalm 103:1-5

1) Give thanks for God Himself (Psalm 103:1)

  • Jeremiah 33:11

2) Give thanks for God's Benefits (Psalm 103:2)

  • Deuteronomy 8:1-20

3) Give thanks for God's Forgiveness and Healing (Psalm 103:3)

  • 2 Samuel 12:13-23

4) Give thanks for God's Redemption, Love & Mercy (Psalm 103:4)

  • Psalm 16:9-11

5) Give thanks for God's Satisfaction & Renewal (Psalm 103:5)

  • Isaiah 40:29-31 

  • 2 Corinthians 4:16  

  • John 11:25-26

Friday, October 07, 2011

Greg Koukl - God's Knowledge

Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason discusses the nature of God's knowledge. For more information, visit

Thursday, October 06, 2011

A.W. Tozer Sermon - "Needing God PLUS Something Else is the Trouble with Us"

A.W. Tozer playlist:

If you have read or heard classic "deeper life" Christian authors and/or preachers, i.e. Watchman Nee, Andrew Murray, A.B. Simpson, Leonard Ravenhill, then you will quite likely find this sermon by A.W. Tozer very edifying. May you be blessed.

Hailing from a tiny farming community in western Pennsylvania, his conversion was as a teenager in Akron, Ohio. While on his way home from work at a tire company, he overheard a street preacher say: "If you don't know how to be saved... just call on God." Upon returning home, he climbed into the attic and heeded the preachers advice.

In 1919, five years after his conversion, and without formal theological training, Tozer accepted an offer to pastor his first church. This began 44 years of ministry, associated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA), a Protestant evangelical denomination; 33 of those years were served as a pastor in a number of churches. His first pastorate was in a small storefront church in Nutter Fort, West Virginia. Tozer also served as pastor for 30 years at Southside Alliance Church, in Chicago (1928 to 1959), and the final years of his life were spent as pastor of Avenue Road Church, in Toronto, Canada. In observing contemporary Christian living, he felt that the church was on a dangerous course toward compromising with "worldly" concerns.

In 1950, Tozer received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Wheaton College. It was May 1950, when Tozer was elected editor of the Alliance Weekly magazine, now called, Alliance Life, the official publication of the C&MA. From his first editorial, dated June 3, 1950, he wrote, "It will cost something to walk slow in the parade of the ages, while excited men of time rush about confusing motion with progress. But it will pay in the long run and the true Christian is not much interested in anything short of that." In 1952, he received an LL.D. degree from Houghton College.

Among the more than 40 books that he authored, at least two are regarded as Christian classics: The Pursuit of God and The Knowledge of the Holy. His books impress on the reader the possibility and necessity for a deeper relationship with God.

Living a simple and non-materialistic lifestyle, he and his wife, Ada Cecelia Pfautz, never owned a car, preferring bus and train travel. Even after becoming a well-known Christian author, Tozer signed away much of his royalties to those who were in need.

Tozer had seven children, six boys and one girl. He was buried in Ellet Cemetery, Akron, Ohio, with a simple epitaph marking his grave: "A. W. Tozer - A Man of God."

Prayer was of vital personal importance for Tozer. "His preaching as well as his writings were but extensions of his prayer life," comments his biographer, James L. Snyder, in the book, In Pursuit of God: The Life Of A.W. Tozer. "He had the ability to make his listeners face themselves in the light of what God was saying to them," writes Snyder.

A.W. Tozer Sermon - "Needing God PLUS Something Else is the Trouble with Us"

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Letter from & Response to the National Post

From: Douglas Kelly []
October-05-11 2:57 PM
Subject: National Post Ad

Thank you for your valued feedback on the issue of the advertisement from the Institute for Canadian Values.  I’d like to further explain the National Post’s position and actions.

As Publisher, I am responsible for the content in our newspaper and website. That content includes editorial and advertising. Like editorial, ads have to meet a standard of accuracy and fairness.  The ad from the ICV failed to meet that standard. The headline reads: “I am a Girl. Don’t teach me to question if I’m a boy, transsexual, transgendered, intersexed or two spirited.’’
Nowhere in the Toronto District School Board curriculum are students taught to ask themselves this question. The ad was misleading and should not have run.
However, we should have the debate as to whether transsexual awareness should be taught to young students, or at all. We should have the debate as to whether the course materials and approach are appropriate. We should have the debate as to whether parents have the right to remove their children from these classes.
The National Post will have this debate this weekend through a reported analysis of the issue and op-ed contributions from both sides. We are not limiting free speech. Far from it.

The National Post more than any newspaper in this country is willing to cover topics and entertain opinions that are ignored by the mainstream media. We have given voice to all sides on issues such as abortion and private healthcare and freedom of speech. The National Post has been a leading critic of the many excesses of human rights commissions.
I trust you will continue to recognize the unique role that the National Post plays in the Canadian media landscape. In the months and years to come, other critical issues will be tackled. I hope you continue to be part of that conversation. Please reconsider your decision to cancel your subscription.
Thank you,
Douglas Kelly
National Post

My Response:

Dear Mr. Kelly;

Thank you for taking the time to explain the National Post's actions. Without debating the content of the curriculum, the legitimacy of debate or the right of the editorial board to change their minds on running ads or commenting, where the editorial board went beyond the bounds of decency is in their action of " donating the proceeds from the advertisement to an organization that promotes the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people". A newspaper should not be in the business of taking the advertising money from an organization that places an ad and directly support the cause objected to in the ad itself. Not only is this not a good business practice but objectionable from a principle of ethics. It is specifically on this basis that I cannot in good conscience fund your lobbying efforts. This is not the role of a newspaper. On this ethical financial ground I cannot continue to support this reversal of role from the previous good dialogue that the National Post has stood for.
Matthew Kratz

Infant death ruling stirs abortion debate

19-year-old Katrina Effert gave birth to a boy in her parents' basement after a secret pregnancy, strangled him with thong underwear and tossed his body, wrapped in a towel, into a neighbour's yard in Wetaskiwin, Alta., the Court of Appeal of Alberta last week sentenced her to time served for improper disposal of a body. The ruling on the disposal charge, which spared her the remaining two weeks of a three-month sentence

Human life has become cheap in Canada. The next step on the abortion trail has now been legitimized.  A lack of courage from politicans, and apathy from the Canadian public has led to this. "Canada is one of the very few countries in the world that, for the last nearly 25 years, has had no regulation of abortion, even in relation to the third trimester," Madame Justice Joanne Veit said at Effert's sentencing hearing last month.  "At a minimum, this reflects the lack of consensus. In my view, it also reflects the fact that while many Canadians undoubtedly view abortion as a less-thanideal solution to unprotected sex, to unwanted pregnancy, Canadians generally understand, accept, and sympathize with the onerous demands pregnancy and child birth exact from mothers, especially mothers without support."

I have a low view of public morality, but is this actually the case in Canada. Have we slid so far? Speak up Canada. The elderly are next.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Book Review: Everything the Bible Says About Heaven

Compiled by Linda Washington

Reviewed by Matthew Kratz

Everything the Bible says about Heaven, claims to have: "every scriptural reference to heaven ...carefully collected and organized. When necessary, brief but clear explanations are provided, using insights gathered from trustworthy commentaries". For the reader, the offer is to:  "find comfort and peace in the truth about heaven, straight from the Word of God".

With the compiler's name noticeably absent from the cover, it is clear that the objective was to try to present as much a Biblical picture of heaven as possible. The effort must be commended in trying to present an unbiased compilation, yet in noting various viewpoints as coming from "scholars" yet not cite who these are, when important interpretative viewpoints are presented, the salient points of understanding our relationship with heaven is often more confused than clarified. It is when we can see a chain of salvation, linking the doctrines together that we come to a coherent systematic theology.

With six short chapters, "What the Bible says about Heaven" is concise. I appreciate how the compiler started her task with the present picture of how far we have slid from the classical full orbed view of Heaven to a myopic, boring misrepresentation. From a classic view that influenced art of all sorts, the common understanding is but a caricature.

Chapter one starts with a summary of Old Testament visions of Heaven. The weakness of this presentation is immediate. Each scriptural quotation is from a different translation. Going from more literal (KJV, RSV, NRSV, NASB, NKJV, ESV, HCSB) to dynamic (NIV) to paraphrase (NLT, NCV, AMP, God's Word) our examination of the various passages on heaven do not lend themselves to like comparisons. The compiler immediately runs into trouble when she deals with passages on which she must acknowledge cover either the "millennial rule" (p. 26) or "Millennial Kingdom of Christ" (p. 27) or heaven itself. When this is presented without explanation, the reader can be confused as to exactly what this is talking about.

Moving on to Chapter two, with New Testament visions of Heaven, I appreciate that the compiler shows how her presentation is no mere factual listing but one on whom the Biblical author has gone to "prepare a place for those who trust him to lead them there" (p 32). The presentation is very Christocentric and focusing on Salvation history. It deals with issues of persecution, vows, sin, evil, authority, angels, false teachers, judgement, inhabitants of heaven etc. Interpretative options are presented in general summary form. When we get to important distinctions, like levels of heaven (p. 46) no real explanation is given.

Chapter three on "Heaven in the Book of Revelation" begins quite well. We now have important terms like "apocalyptic literature" (p. 51) defined. The aim of the book of Revelation, signs, symbols, and numeric references are highlighted. The compiler even deals with the various interpretative options and other biblical referents on passages like Rev. 12. (p. 60). This is some of the best work in the book. An explanation of the New Heavens and New Earth is strangely absent.

Chapter four is cryptically titled "Between heaven and Earth" chronicling the various visions and audible presentations from Heaven. The compiler deals with Old Covenant beliefs, raptures (Enoch, Elijah), visions, and important terms in summary fashion (Hades, Gehenna, "the grave", Paradise, "the depths"). Passages dealings with spiritual warfare, transfiguration, rapture, and Christ's descent (1 Pt. 3) are also addressed.

Chapter five, "Answers from Heaven" goes back and explores the pronouncements from Heaven in greater detail. The final chapter: "Who Will God to Heaven?" is an excellent place to conclude this study. This presentation deals with topics of judgement, the general call, the Kingdom of Heaven, stewardship, law fulfillment and belief. Unfortunately, the book format shows its limitations in this chapter. The referent to "the plan of Salvation" (Jn. 3:16) is woefully inadequate. After showing the danger of judgment, there is no real explanation of what belief or repentance is. The reader might be left with the understanding if he or she merely understands these scriptural texts and is a "good steward" they will go to Heaven.

 "Everything the Bible Says about Heaven" is a good general reference dealing with scriptural passages on Heaven and the related elements that intersect with it. With a little greater precision in retiling the chapters, keeping a consistent Bible translation and a little greater explanation of the concepts, a second edition could be a quite useful, pithy introduction to Heaven and the people from whom it will mean eternal life. I hope a scriptural and topic index will be included to enable this to be quite a helpful quick reference.

$9.99 US
5.5 x 8.5
Number of pages:
Carton Quantity:
Publication Date:
Aug. 11

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Monday, October 03, 2011

The National Post and their dirty trick

Earlier this week the National Post ran an advertisement that has caused some controversy. The ad, bought by the Institute for Canadian Values, argued against aspects of the Ontario school curriculum that include instruction about certain aspects of human sexuality.

Specifically, it objected to teaching young children — those between junior kindergarten and Grade 3 — about transsexual/transgender/intersexed/two-spirited issues. The ad in question was attempting to make the case that the Ontario curriculum was teaching very young children about issues that, at that age, should be the domain of parents. In addition, it made the case that even when parents or teachers may object to the material being taught, they did not have the right, in the case of parents, to remove their children from the class, or in the case of teachers, to decline to teach the material on the grounds that they objected to it. This steemed to bring a healthy discussion on what is being taught children and the right to respectfully disagree is a healthy consideration and one to be thankful that such a public examination is being made.
What is quite unusual is that on Saturday, the National Post Editorial Bord published an apology and said that: " Where the ad exceeded the bounds of civil discourse was in its tone and manipulative use of a picture of a young girl; in the suggestion that such teaching “corrupts” children, with everything that such a charge implies; and in its singling out of groups of people with whose sexuality the group disagrees. The fact that we will not be publishing this ad again represents a recognition on our part that publishing it in the first place was a mistake. The National Post would like to apologize unreservedly to anyone who was offended by it. We will be taking steps to ensure that in future our procedures for vetting the content of advertising will be strictly adhered to. The Post will also be donating the proceeds from the advertisement to an organization that promotes the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people". (

My Response to the Natinoal Post:
The decision of the National Post editorial board this week in retracting and donating the proceeds of an advertisement to their opponents, is disturbing on multiple levels. This ad specifically addressed the Toronto District School Board’s policy of forbidding parents to opt out of its pro-homosexual curriculum. A Toronto District School Board resource guide notes that parents do not have the right to withdraw their children from classes promoting homosexual ‘marriage’.The guide suggests parents not even be advised of such matters. When asked by the media, Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty said he too opposed keeping parents in the dark about such matters and supported allowing parents to opt their children out of programs deemed offensive. However, since the controversial policy was brought to light in June there is no evidence that the Liberal Ministry of Education has asked the Toronto School Board to rescind it’s anti-parental rights policy.
Bringing a discussion on what is being taught children and the right to respectfully disagree, is a healthy consideration and one to be thankful that such a public examination is being made. On Saturday, you ran a full page ad by B'Nai Brith. If you change your mind about one of their adds, will you donate the money to Hezbollah? To take an advertisers money and then change your mind and give it to its "competitors" is not a healthy business decision, yet alone what it says about the promotion of dialogue.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Sermon Outline: "Thankful Before Thanksgiving" Philippians 4:4-7

1) Maintaining a Spirit of Joy (Phil. 4:4)

·        Philippians 1:18-21  

2) Learning to Be Content (Phil. 4:5a)

·        Philippians 4:11  

3) Resting on a Confident Faith in the Lord

(Phil. 4:5b–6a)

·        Psalm 57:1-3, 7

4) Reacting to Problems with Thankful Prayer

(Phil. 4:6b–7)

·        Isaiah 48:22

·        Psalm 73:16-24