27 July, 2006

Fiction or Damned Lies?

Dr. Robert Godfrey of Westminster Seminary, California, has recently published an article in Evanglium concerning Christians and fiction. Dr. Godfrey gives some historical reasons against reading fiction, and with the help of Lewis, a literature scholar, gives reasons for the reading of fiction. I have a difficult time reading fiction because it often is a waste of reading time- but I do read some, for the sake of a balanced reading diet. One who reads only systematics and dogmatics has difficulty relating the Christian life to all areas (in my humble opinion).

Here are the pros and cons that Dr. Godfrey mentions:

Reasons not to read fiction:
1. Reading fiction is a waste of time.
2. Fiction is fundamentally dishonest.
3. Fiction is too often morally corrupting.

Reasons for the reading of fiction:
1. Reading literature is enjoyable.
2. Fiction is a way to experience many things that we would not otherwise experience.
3. Fictions helps us to grow as human beings in the understandings of others.
4. Fiction will help us to read the Bible better by learning to read well.

For a free subscription to Evangelium click here.

24 July, 2006

Living the Sweet Life!

The idea of 'sweetness' is an idea that the Puritans promoted heavily. They thought that the Christian life should be one that is enjoyed to the fullest. They also thought that this was the highest purpose to human existence, as well. Remember that the main purpose of life was glorify and enjoy God forever. Sweet!

"Every thing that a man leans upon but God, will be a dart that will certainly pierce his heart through and through. He who leans only upon Christ, lives the highest, choicest, safest, and sweetest life."

22 July, 2006

Sabbath Wake Up Call from Wilhelmus a' Brakel

Listen to the knocking and arousing voice of the Lord Jesus and reflect upon the words of the bride: "I sleep, but my heart waketh: it is the voice of my beloved that knocketh, saying, Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night." She, not being worthy of arising says, "My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him...My soul failed when he spake" (Song of Sol. 5:2, 4, 6) [IV: 273]

21 July, 2006

A Beginner's Tour of Puritanism

Many of my readers are lovers of the Puritans. Many also cannot say that they have read any Puritan material, save maybe Pilgrim's Progress.

Here is your chance to own a great beginning in Puritan classics. Vision Forum is offering 20 of the Puritan Paperbacks for $120.00. This is a very nice price for an opportunity to grow into some of the richest and deepest spirituality any Christian can hope for. Purchase them and see that they will enrich your soul!

19 July, 2006

Calling the Sabbath a Delight

It seems to me that calling the Sabbath a delight has been highly disregarded in our day and age. Christians have put their own 'needs' above those holy duties that God has graciously given to his people. May the Lord turn us back to Him as we call the Sabbath a delight!

Of all of the commandments of a decalogue, the Sabbath is the most controversial in current evangelical Christianity. Would you say that you do not usually put other gods before God? Would you say that you usually do not murder? Would you say that you usually are faithful towards your spouse? Would you say that you usually do not worship with idols? Why do we usually keep the Sabbath day?

Isaiah 58:13-14 If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

Hebrews 4:9-11 There remaineth therefore a Sabbath to the people of God. For he that is entered into his Sabbath, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that Sabbath, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

Sins of omission [on the Sabbath day] are exceedingly prejudicial; because, though they have a tendency to harden the heart and stupify the conscience, yet they are, of all others, least regarded. As to the omission of holy duties on the Sabbath day, it is slighting and casting away of a great prize, put into our hands. Hence, in such a case, it will be said, 'Wherefore is there a prize put into the hands of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart for it?' It may be observed also that the omission of holy duties on the Sabbath day is generally attended with the neglect of secret duties, and is an inlet to all manner of sins, and to a total apostasy from God.
~Thomas Ridgeley

17 July, 2006

Sobriety Test

But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!
-Matthew 18.6-7

What sobering words from Jesus Christ. Think of the care with which he takes care of his children, and especially those little ones. We all need to be sobered by these words and watch our actions as we attempt to live lives in conformity to Christ and his law. Christ is a gracious saviour, but he is also a judge to those that offend his children.

Here are the words of Bishop JC Ryle on this verse:

It is a great sin to put a stumbling block in the way of believers. We put offences or stumbling-blocks in the way of men's souls whenever we do anything to keep them back from Christ, or to turn them out of the way of salvation, or to disgust them with true religion. We may do it by what we say or how we live, and this a great sin. It is awful to think of the amount of harm that can be done by one inconsistent professor of religion. He gives a handle to the infidel. He supplies the worldly man with an excuse for remaining undecided. He checks the enquirer after salvation. He discourages the saints. He is, in short, a sermon on behalf of the devil.

15 July, 2006

Your Sabbath Morning Cup of a'Brakel...mmm...Meaty.

The cause of patience is not to be found in man himself…. The Lord grants the godly faith and gives them a lively view that He inflicts this affliction upon them with His Fatherly hand. He secretly sustains them by strengthening the inner man. In their affliction he comforts them much according to the soul and permits them to taste His grace. He causes them to perceive the lightness, advantage, and transitory nature of affliction. He shows them how advantageous and glorious the outcome will be. This causes them to be quiet and encouraged. They are then willing to suffer, and tribulation will then work patience, and that experience, and that hope which maketh not ashamed (III: 417-418).

14 July, 2006

On Evangelicalism

That only is true evangelicalism in which sounds clearly the double confession that all the power exerted in saving the soul is from God, and that God in His saving operations acts directly upon the soul.
~B.B. Warfield

12 July, 2006

Israel: The Land and Her Way to Heaven

In light of today's newest surge of violence in the Middle East, I must again ask myself the question, why does the USA continue to pour her taxpayer's dollars into a country that would not stand without our aide.

The Trinity Foundation's latest article asks some good questions about why so many American Christians refer to this area of the world as the holy land? Is it holy? Is it holy because Christ was there, or is it because we have a false theology surrounding it and it's future?

As a postmillennial Christian I do believe that God will again restore His people of old. I do not believe that it will be political though. The church will be her knew home as the Jews return unto God. I am afraid that Dispensational theology has made Christ's death of little effect as their system promotes two various ways of salvation. The Jews can have their sacrifices and Christians have their faith? That is absurd! Faith in Christ is how one is reconciled to the Father- and it has always been so. But with the separation of Church and State in all, why do we let Dispensational theology influence where our tax dollars are spent? This view does not mean that we have to pour money into this American pet-project called Israel.

10 July, 2006

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday John Calvin... Happy Birthday to you.

Today Calvin would have been 497 years old. Here is a quick biography on his life and work.

09 July, 2006

Lord's Day a'Brakel

It is therefore, first of all, necessary that you have and maintain a soul which is pure and undefiled, fully devoted to God, and finds her existence in communion with God. You will then--as was true for Nehemiah--be able to speak with men while simultaneously praying unto God (Neh. 2:4-5). It is with such intent that you must leave the home, and in order to preserve such a condition within, you must pray each time when going out. He who in the solitude of his home is not exercised in continually turning to God, walking with a perfect heart, or acknowledging the Lord in all his ways; who in believing union with the Lord Jesus does not strive to cleanse the heart from worldconformity, vanity, cleaving to sinful lust, and a continual thinking upon vain imaginations; and who does not continually exercise himself to be of a spiritual disposition--such a person, when in the company of and engaged in conversation with others, will not be fit to maintain this good disposition which as yet he has, although he be beset with the corruptions mentioned before. The good frame of heart will readily vanish and you will not have within yourself a fountain bringing forth all manner of spiritual matters to your personal benefit and that of your neighbor. Instead, you will frequently speak of spiritual matters for conversations's sake, doing so, however, without inner warmth and without causing the hearts of others to burn within them. Yes, you will even become engaged in worldly conversation, and upon arriving home your spiritual frame will have vanished and you will have a restless conscience. Therefore, you must especially endeavor to have a pure heart (II: 636-637).

08 July, 2006

The New Bible Code and Colon Cleansing Revealed!

DaVinci Code eat your heart out! We have topped your claims in the realm of the ridiculous:

I think that so many people use the Bible to promote their own ridiculous ideas. This guy claims that if you look at the miracles associated with food in the Bible then you can be healed of various diseases. I am sure that there is some truth the idea of whole foods, etc. but he takes a miraculous jump when he talks about how these foods are really just a secret-Bible-code for a colon cleaning.


Benny Hinn's wife talks about a different type of colon cleaning. She claims that we all need "Holy Ghost enemas" because we are man pleasers.

You have to watch this video!

07 July, 2006

Kuyper College and my Alma Mater

This post that I had about Reformed Bible College changing its name to Kuyper College is restirring controversy. It seems that when Kuyper College is googled, this post comes up third. So as people are searching for the KC site, they get my opinion on the background of the name-change.

I still hold that the name-change is for the purpose of separating themselves from the Reformed tradition. I know that there are other reasons as well, but is an American not entitled to a freedom of speech as well as freedom of the press?

Not all are happy with my thoughts. Here is a comment that I received at midnight:

Hmmm Nate...So if my senses are right, I think you're feeling angry... I remember you from RBC, er, KC. Brother, I encourage you to get your head out of the sand and start loving people. REALLY loving them. ALL people... Arminians, pentecostals, female preachers, adults who get baptized, Kuyper College board members....

My response is that I love Christ, the Church, and the Reformed Faith. I also love sinners who are dying and in danger of hell. That is why I am in seminary as well as why I maintain this blog. I desire to see God's truth spread from East to West, from sea to sea. I desire to see men converted and fall in love with my Redeemer. This my friends lies behind my passions.

Love for Christ.

And I hope that this post comes up fourth!

06 July, 2006

What's Your Problem?

DM Lloyd-Jones was one of the best preachers of the twentieth century. His sermons are timeless as they pierce right to the heart of matters concerning faith and life. His sermons are filled with the call for men to turn their hearts toward God and the practical wisdom that only can be matched by our Puritan forefathers.

Here Lloyd-Jones calls on preachers to be honest with themselves as they preach. Preachers are not pulpiteers of psychology, or promoters of self-help. Preachers are men who are called to show humanity that they are dead-men who can only be healed by Christ, the physician of the soul.

There are so many people trying to diagnose the human situation; and they come to the conclusion that man is sick, man is unhappy, man is the victim of circumstances. They believe therefore that his primary need is to have these things dealt with, that he must be delivered from them. But I suggest that is too superficial a diagnosis of the condition of man, and man's real trouble is that he is a rebel against God and consequently under the wrath of God.
-Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers.

03 July, 2006

Radio Talk Shows and the Magistrate

Many American Christians would rather receive their political doctrines from radio pundits than from the Word of God. The Word of God makes clear what a magistrate is to look like as well as some of the functions of the magistrate.

For those who find a biblical harmony between the Bible and radio talk-shows, may this latest news from the 'Christian right' and so-called 'moral majority' leader remind us that our hope is not to be in man, but in the Son of Man. May the magistrate reward those who do good and punish those who do evil.

02 July, 2006

Lord's Day a'Brakel

If therefore the Lord leads us in difficult ways, and brings us in a situation where we must lose our life for the truth's sake, may we then not love our life and deem it precious, but offer it willingly to the Lord as a sacrifice. Paul said, "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand" (2 Tim. 4:6). There is no more glorious death imaginable than to die as a martyr for Christ. Oh, how blessed is he who may thus use Christ as Priest, and who himself may be a spiritual priest! (I: 560).