28 September, 2010

Dead Theologian's Society: Entrusting to Faithful Men

Paul says to Timothy, "You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Jesus Christ, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. (2 Timothy 2:1-2)."

Paul commands Timothy to have a reproducing ministry. He calls Timothy to take the training that he has received from Paul and make sure that some of that training is passed on to faithful men who will be able to teach.

The core of what we have here is Pastors training men who desire to be pastors. With that call from the Scripture, the Los Angeles RPC Dead Theologian's Society is making a beginning. Currently there are three men who sense a call to pastoral ministry in the LA Church. We will begin to meet twice a month to discuss theology, the Scriptures, and especially begin the training that will continue when they enter Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

Please be in prayer as we begin in October. We are beginning with William Symington: Penman of the Scottish Covenanters. The reason that we are beginning here is that we will explore two successful ministries (Roy Blackwood and William Symington); see the foundation for Christian faith and life (the atonement); as well as explore the foundation to any good church planting endeavors (the kingship of Jesus Christ).

May the Lord Jesus bless this new aspect of the ministry of the Los Angeles Reformed Presbyterian Church. May his kingdom expand from shore to shining shore!

27 September, 2010

Your IPod and Communion Preparation

Here is a series of sermons that I have been preaching before the Lord's Supper every other month. The duty to prepare your heart for the Lord's Supper is a biblical requirement for all who would commune with Christ in the Supper. Let a man examine himself that he may discern the Lord's body.

I pray that these sermons will prove to be helpful to your spiritual life:

23 September, 2010

Open Pulpits in the RPCNA

Twice per year, I add the updated list of open pulpits in the RPCNA. Please pray that the Lord Jesus would fill these pulpits with the men of his choosing. Pray also for the committees, sessions, and congregations that are searching for pastors. Also lift up the men who are able to receive a call; ask that God would aid them in their patience, trust, and waiting upon his call.

The list is by presbytery.

Washington, IA
Sharon, IA
Manhattan, KS

Great Lakes/Gulf:
Orlando, FL
Prairie View, IL (Westminster RP)
Indianapolis, IN (Second RP)
Hetherton, MI (stated supply is there)

Aurora, OH (Covenant RP)
Beaver Falls, PA (College Hill)

Cambridge, MA

St. Lawrence:
Owego, NY
Endicott, NY (Christian Heritage)
Walton, NY
Rochester, NY

Kasumigoka, Japan

Update: October 5, 2010:

There is one pulpit that I forgot to list and one that has just come open:
Atlantic Presbytery: Berkshire, MA
Great Lakes/Gulf Presbytery: Grand Rapids, MI (my alma mater)

18 September, 2010

Carb Addict Spirituality

The book, War of Words by Paul Tripp has been a valuable read. Here are some of his ideas on the lies that physical bread tells. We are to seek the bread which comes down from Heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ.

John 6: 22-69
Physical Bread and Spiritual Deception

Jesus provides the people with physical bread. They are amazed and decide that this must be the Messiah- let's make him king, he provides a free meal.

“What was behind these people's pursuit of Christ? What did they really want? I do not believe that they pursued Christ out of a humble submission to his messiahship and willingness to follow him wherever he would lead. Their pursuit of Christ was born instead out of a love for self and the hope that Christ would meet their felt needs. They were excited about following the king- but for all the wrong reasons.” p.88

The struggle of physical bread versus spiritual bread is a core struggle in the Christian life. It is the core struggle of human life. p.89

Physical Bread is Permanent
We believe that working for physical bread is of the utmost importance because deep down inside we believe that it lasts forever. The Scriptures tell us that this world is passing away. Psalm 73 says that this world is like a dream that quickly passes away. Why “invest” in bread that will not last?

Physical Bread is the Only Bread
We need to take hold of the idea that the only “bread” that is permanent is spiritual (Matthew 6:19-34).

“And this is why we are told to live as pilgrims, as tent dwellers, not giving ourselves over to the accumulation of material things as if they aware the only bread that really counts. The person who believes this lie is a fool (Lk 12.20).” p.91

Physical Bread Defines Human Success
We all fall into the trap of coveting those with the best bread. We believe that bread will make us happy. Bread will satisfy the voids. (Think of Beverly Hills, The Grove, Muholland Drive- we all enjoy seeing how “they” live.) Matthew 16.25- What good will it be if a man gains the whole world and loses his soul?

“Jesus defines human success in terms of two fundamental commitments: to love God above all else and to love your neighbor as yourself. TO live this way is to be rich no matter how small your collection of worldly things.” p.91

Physical Bread Will Give You Life
“This is the lie of the lies- that somehow, some way, life can be found outside a relationship with God. This was the lie told by the deceive in the Garden, and it is the lie told countless times again every day. Feeding on physical bread only leads to more hunger. It is only as you feed on Christ by faith, receiving his life, that you can ever be satisfied.” p. 92

When we find ourselves in the same spot as the followers who followed Christ for physical bread- we must as ourselves- will we go away also? We must question and reexamine and recommit our vows unto Christ. And we must stand with Peter when Jesus asked...

Will you go away also?

Peter got it. “Where else shall we go? You have the words of eternal life?”

03 September, 2010

The Hypocrisy of the Agnostic and His Atheistic Twin

It seems that many agnostics and atheists are willing to wax eloquent about what God is not. "God could not possibly _____." Where do they get this knowledge? What is their source? What about an "unknown god" do they know? It seems that the Scriptures tell us that man has a knowledge of God and they repress it (Romans 1). Have they considered that their understanding of God is actually a repressed understanding so that they can worship the creature (themselves, reason, feelings, etc) rather than the Creator? Herman Bavinck leaves the atheist and his twin the agnostic with their jaws on the floor:

Hear this:

"The position that we know nothing of God already presupposes a lot of knowledge of God and therefore that what we have here is a contradiction in terms. For when we call God inexpressible, we are at the same time saying a lot about him, so that in fact he is not inexpressible. For it is no small amount of knowledge... if before we know what God is we already know what he is not. Not knowing is itself extensive and positive: it amounts to no small beginning of the knowledge of God. It is already quite significant to know that God is in no way creaturely." Reformed Dogmatics, v.1 p.51.

Truth, truth, and truths: Which is it?

We have all heard that truth is relative. I have truth for me and you have truth for you. This is a logical fallacy. Something cannot be true and false at the same time. Christianity cannot be true for me and not true for you. If Christianity is true, then it must be embraced by all. In Mere Christianity, a book that has its high points and low points, CS Lewis argues, "Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important."

Have you taken time to consider that you are culturally predisposed to reject the claims of Jesus Christ because our culture rejects the idea of absolute truth. You see, Jesus said that he was the only way to God- any who come to the father must come through him. Our culture is not able to swallow that! But if we take time to consider the claims of the Scripture, we see that Christianity is either true and must be embraced, or complete nonsense and must be wholly rejected. I would encourage you to read through the Gospel of John and look at the claims of Christ. He is the Truth.