30 June, 2006

Pastor's Wives Gone Wild

We ministers and theology students need to learn to be less critical of our wives. They are fragile beings that need to be loved and cared for and not criticized and yelled at. Pastor's wives are people too.

28 June, 2006

Ridgeley on the Purpose of the Lord's Supper

Thomas Ridgeley's A Body of Divinity: Wherein the Doctrines of the Christian Religion are Explained and Defended, Being the Substance of Several Lectures on the Assembly's Larger Catechism is a book for which I have looked for well over a year. It is quite rare and does not appear in the used book market very often (I got it Tuesday!).

Here is a sample from the section on preparation for the Lord's Supper:

Another duty preparatory to the Lord's Supper, mentioned in this answer, is serious meditation. We are to perform this duty that we not engage in the ordinance without considering the greatness of the Majesty with whom we we have to do, together with our own vileness and unworthiness to approach his presence. We must also consider his power, wisdom, and goodness, to encourage us to hope for those supplies of grace from which we stand in need of; and we are to have an awful sense of his omnipresence and omniscience, as he is an heart-searching God, that we may be excited to an holy reverence, and guarded against the wandering of our thoughts and affections from him, or any unbecoming behaviour in his presence. More particularly, we are to consider beforehand, the end and design of Christ's instituting this ordinance- namely, that his dying love to sinners might be signified and showed forth, and an encouragement to our faith, and an inducement to thanksgiving and praise. -p534

26 June, 2006

Generation-Tech Evangelism

Left Behind the video game is soon to be released. On the Fringe brought this to my attention and I cannot stop ruminating on how ridiculous American Christianity has become. The game, according to creators, is meant to show, "...situations resulting from the stories' post-apocalyptic time-frame are used to encourage gamers to think about matters of eternal significance, a topic largely ignored by modern games."

Is this what Arminian evangelism has lead to? Are we so ashamed of the Word of God and so doubt the work of the Holy Spirit that we rely on destructive and apocalyptic video games to do our evangelism for us?

I prefer the method of the Apostle Paul personally. I may be old fashioned and not Generation-Tech enough, but I think that the Spirit still works this way:

How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, "HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!"However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, "LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT?" So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. -Romans 10.13b-17

Maybe if the Apostle Paul knew about this video game he would change his view of evangelism. It would not be faith comes by hearing Christ in preaching, but faith comes through gaming and how can they game without a programmer.

25 June, 2006

Lord's Day a'Brakel

The object of such meditation is divine matters of which he has prior acquaintance. There is, furthermore, an inquisitive thinking about and meditation upon those matters with which one is not acquainted as yet but, nevertheless, desires to be acquainted with. However, the meditation in question here is a practical reflection upon matters with which we are acquainted, concerning which we wish to be inwardly moved again by way of meditation. He who is desirous to engage in spiritual meditation will sometimes pursue what comes to mind, and thus follow the Spirit indiscriminately from one subject to the next…. Hastiness in meditation will rob us of its fruitfulness (IV: 27-28).

19 June, 2006

When I say that I am Presbyterian- this is not what I mean.

Thanks for the article eChuck.

18 June, 2006

Lord's Day a'Brakel: Self-denial

[O]ne must deny his sinful self, that is, the old Adam, in a general sense, with all his motions and desires--whatever the nature and contrary to whatever commandment these motions may be, and whatever the faculty of the soul and of the body may be by which such motions are executed.
Specifically, one must, first of all, deny his natural and darkened intellect; that is, to refuse to make this a rule of doctrine and life.
Secondly, we must deny our own will.
Thirdly, we must deny our inclinations.
Fourthly, we must deny our own honor. There is no sin more common to man and is more deeply rooted in the heart than a desire to be honored.
Fifthly, we must deny our desire for possessions. Man's corrupt nature focuses on the physical. He desires to posses much, puts his trust in it, and determines to live from it.
Sixthly, we must deny our friends.
Seventhly, we must deny our life (III: 400-402).

16 June, 2006

The OPC and the New Perspective on Paul

The OPC has released their statement of on the New Perspective on Paul. In my opinion the OPC is the classic 'play both sides of the argument' denomination when it comes to some of the hard issues of the church. The report, as well as a critique can be read here.

Hopefully the congregations of this denomination will be able to stand for what is good and just and call out those who teach a false gospel.

Pray for the OPC and other reformed churches as they struggle through this trying time in the history of the Church.

12 June, 2006

Faithfulness and Holiness

Today I sat down with a copy of the 'new' JI Packer biography of JC Ryle, entitled, Faithfulness and Holiness. My little guy Owen and I reclined on the couch to begin the journey into the life of the great Victorian bishop of Liverpool and easily began to enjoy Packer's appreciation.

As I began to notice the speed with which Packer wrote I flipped through the book to catch a glimpse of some of the chapter titles.

Outrage is all that I can say.

Why do you ask? The 'appreciation' is only 85 pages. The last 3/4 of the book is a copy of one of his greatest works- Holiness.
I am glad that the biography is so great and it is nice that Holiness is included, but do not make a $20 hardcover book that is only 85 pages!

Worth the read- but do not pay full price.

11 June, 2006

Lord's Day a'Brakel

These divine revelations [of justification through Christ] are the foundation upon which saving faith rests. Since all fullness is to be found in Jesus, and since this fullness is being offered to you personally by this good Jesus, receive Him then as your Jesus with a ready and willing mind, heartily surrender yourself to Him, and entrust your soul entirely to Him in order that by Him you may become a partaker of all the benefits of the covenant. The acts of choosing, receiving, surrendering, and entrusting constitute saving faith. The promises are applicable to a person who is thus engaged. "But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name" (John 1:12); "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life" (John 3:36); Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him" (Psa. 2:12) [II: 613].

09 June, 2006

"The Christian's life should put his minister's sermon in print."

How well are you being a commentary on the preaching of your minister?

05 June, 2006

Caleb's Lamb

I have just finished reading Caleb's Lamb, by Helen Santos, to my family. This book is a wonderful look into the life of a young shepherd named Caleb. Caleb learns of his own selfishness and sinfulness as well as substitutionary atonement from his first lamb, Isaac.

This book is such a powerful tool for teaching children (and adults) the power of what it means for one to lay down his life for another. This book has shed light on the purpose of typology and has strengthened the way in which I look at the death of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Good Shepherd truly loves his sheep and this book will deepen your love for Jesus Christ! It is available here for $7.50. It is a small price for a great book.

04 June, 2006

a' Brakel on Reading the Word

Read, search, and meditate upon the Word of God with all diligence and persistence. This should even be the practice of kings. "And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life" (Deu. 17:19). It is the duty of scholars as well. "Give attendance to reading" (1 Tim. 4:13). It is the privilege and obligation of the lowly and of every individual. "Search the Scriptures" (John 5:39); "Have ye not read?" (Mat. 12:3).
The eunuch read while riding in his chariot (Acts 8:28). The Bereans searched the Scriptures daily (Acts 17:11). How everyone ought to practice this in private, prior to going to work, both by himself alone, and with his family! At noon when one nourishes his body, he ought also to nourish his soul. In the evening after work, one must end the day by seeking some refreshment from the Word of God. In the meantime, while engaged in his occupation, by meditating upon what has been read, the soul will maintain communion with God. He will be enabled to understand the spiritual meaning as well as to experience the power of God's Word. This will cause the soul to grow in grace, protect against vain thoughts, control the tongue, suppress corruptions, and direct man to fear God (I: 77).

01 June, 2006

It Depends On What Your Definition of 'Is' Is.

When does day mean day, and how is one to respond when a church tells you different? I have been thinking a lot about the 'framework' theology debate since a friend of mine has decided to join the OPC ? Any thoughts on whether that should be a standard of the church or should it be classified as 'things indifferent'? Personally, I believe that Presbyterians have a confessional stance on the debate thus binding them to 6 literal days. Any thoughts?