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Showing posts from October, 2007

A man + Grocery shopping = Utter Chaos

Yesterday my beautiful wife was sick in bed with a bad cold. It was up to me (problem #1) to do some of the duties around the home and make it look... tidy (whatever that means!). So, as part of my responsibilities inflicted upon me by my lovely wife, I had to go to the grocery store and buy the weekly quota of food. Now, I always feel weird when I go grocery shopping without Elizabeth. I look around and find many women with small children, women getting off of work, women going to different sample tables and women sniffing the flowers and there is Geoff, walking around with the grocery cart acting like he has some sort of clue as to what he is doing. Somehow, I ended up with a bill which was way too much for a weekly supply of groceries, but it is absolutely justified in my heart and mind because I bought a nice bouquet of flowers for my sick wife (yes, I permit me to boast for twenty-five seconds...haha). At any rate, I realized - yet again - that grocery shopping was created to be h

Justification and Union with Christ

Here is a great link to Philip Ryken , senior minister of Tenth Presbyterian Church, and his excellent article, Justification and Union with Christ . This is a very clear (and lengthy!) treatment and explanation of these two vital doctrines that we hold to! This is how he begins the article. It doesn't get much better than this: If there is one thing I love in life, it is the doctrine of justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. This is the biblical truth that liberates me from the crushing burden of ever having to stand before God on my own merit, but covers me instead with the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He also quotes John Wesley briefly: If we take the phrase of imputing Christ’s righteousness, for the bestowing (as it were) the righteousness of Christ, including his obedience, as well passive as active, in the return of it, that is, in the privileges, blessings, and benefits purchased it; so a believer may be said to be justi

Conversant with the Emerging Church

Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church October 29, 2007 In his book, Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church, Dr. D. A. Carson writes giving clarity to the movement (well, as much clarity as there can be with a movement where proponents have so much trouble agreeing with each other) and the movement’s implications on reformation theology, or, evangelical orthodoxy. Spencer Burke, Brian McLaren and others are into this new idea of “trying new ideas and putting a postmodern spin on (even) the message!” Listen to what Mike Yaconelli writes in his book, Stories of Emergence: Moving from Absolute to Authentic: “ Challenge an accepted belief or confess doubt and you’re the equivalent of a car-carrying communist. Brows furrow. Eyes narrow. Lips purse. Want to earn a place on the Colorado Springs… er, I mean, Hollywood black list? Admit your uncertainty about homosexuality as a biblically condemned sin . Want to be branded as a traitor in your own church? Admit your ambivalence abo

The LORD reigns, the the peoples tremble...

This verse from Psalm 99 came to mind as I was here these past few days for a men's retreat with our church... So again, don't feel too sorry for me. I was suffering for the Lord in the sequoia national forest overlooking the marvelous mountains. :=)

Godly living stemmed from the Word of God

Psalm 119:1-8 – Godly Living Stemmed from the Word of God This morning as I was reading these verses I was encouraged to see that these have a common theme, that Godly living is inseparable from the Word of God. In fact, this is a theme interwoven throughout the Scriptures (esp. the Pastorals). In any case, I want to break down these verses with a brief comment so as to better understand the author’s point in this first stanza of the 119th Psalm: 1 How blessed are those whose way is blameless, Who walk in the law of the LORD. He begins by noting how blessed (Lit. “the multitude of happinesses”) that those have whose way is blameless. The idea with “blameless” is to be whole, complete, restored and sound. He gives a parallel statement by noting that this is also the one who walks (present activity assumed) in the Law of the LORD. This is the one who walks (“lives his life”) in the Law of the Lord. In a word, this is the man who is blessed and happy who finds himself walking in accordanc

Summary of Jesus' Teaching on the Law

This is a wonderful blurb on I. Howard Marshall's New Testament Theology. I am encouraged by this wonderful quote. Click here to read the rest of this brother's blog: We do not obey in order to enhance our assurance of God’s favor. We obey because we have already received the ultimate, definitive verdict, pronounced in the cross and resurrection, that we are perfectly, irrevocably righteous in God’s sight and entitled to enter heaven on the basis of the perfect righteousness and merit of Christ. The gavel has come down, the sentence has rung out throughout the universe: You are mine! No one can snatch you out of my hand! You are my blood-bought servant, a brand snatched from the burning! No angel, no demon, no sin can take you out of the favor of being accepted in the Beloved! Blessings to you this Lord's day.

Osteen's Message...

Here is an excellent article by professor at Westminster Theological Seminary in Escondido, California regarding Joel Osteen. I know I've been posting quite a bit of material on Osteen as of late, but when I think of the numbers of viewers going to his church and watching him on TV, I feel as though I need to do this. Here is the closing paragraph of Horton's article on Osteen: This gospel of “submission,” “commitment,” “decision,” and “having a personal relationship with God” fails to realize, first of all, that everyone has a personal relationship with God already: either as a condemned criminal standing before a righteous judge or as a justified co-heir with Christ and adopted child of the Father. “How can I be right with God?” is no longer a question when my happiness rather than God’s holiness is the main issue. My concern is that Joel Osteen is simply the latest in a long line of self-help evangelists who appeal to the native American obsession with pulling ourselves

Reflections on the Expositor's Conference -- Part 2

The Ten How To’s of Expository Preaching By Dr. Steven Lawson While at the Expositor’s Conference in Mobile, I had the wonderful opportunity to hear Dr. Lawson preach numerous times and put into action what he trained us to do. He gave us a seventeen page handout on the “how-to’s” of expository preaching and I want to share it with you to store in your toolbox: I. Preparation The preacher must sanctify his life and prepare his heart and life to full and utter devotion and commitment to God. In this step we need to select the book of the Bible that we will study and what our goals are in studying this book. II. Observation In this step we need to survey the whole book and it’s place in the canon at large. It is here we observe who the author is, the original recipients, the historical background, the key theme, the book outline, theological themes and interpretive challenges. Then we need to scope out the context of our specific passage in the book as a whole and observe everything, lit

True Greatness

True Greatness True greatness is not found in being qualified but rather in being a servant. This is what Jesus said to His disciples: Mark 9:35 35 And sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, "If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all, and servant of all." One of the sermons in our preaching lab today was on this text in Mark nine on true greatness. What a fitting reminder for us seminary guys studying to understand and know God’s Word. It was brought to our attention that Christ does not condemn the desire to be great. Rather, he redirects and redefines the proper desire that we as believers must have to be someone great. The desire to have the biggest church, to have the most degrees, to have a well-behaved family and a host of other desires are all some of which we face. Yet the desire for these is not bad in and of themselves. Yet, Jesus takes the desire to be great and redefines it, not in terms of numbers or success or prosperity, but he redefin

Become a Better You -- Book Review

Joel Osteen's new book, Become a Better You is reviewed at . A little excerpt is worthy of mention here which is pertinent to the issue at hand: This is Osteen’s second book, and the follow-up to his bestselling Your Best Life Now. Like the previous title, this one features a picture of the smiling pastor on the front cover and offers seven steps to a better life. Like Your Best Life Now much of the book follows this format: “The way to ______ is not to ______. Instead, you need to ______. You might say, ‘But Joel, I can’t do ______ and ______.’ I know it’s hard. Rise to the challenge. Don’t let yourself get beat up or knocked down. God has so much more for you.” And like his previous book, this one is maddeningly repetitive. It is a handful of his sermonettes for Christianettes expanded into 380 pages of mind-numbing repetition. You can read the whole post here . Let us pray for and live in such a way that the truth and glories of the biblical gospel will be made kno

Christian Scholarship Needed

Al Mohler has a wonderful post on Christian Higher Education . He notes: When we speak of scholarship from a Christian perspective, we speak of more than scholarship done by Christians. Rather, we speak of a passion for learning based on the supposition that all truth is God's truth. Thus, as Christian scholars related together in a learning community, we are to seek to take every thought captive to Christ . May it be that we all seek to grow closer to God and His Word. Read his blog here .

The Canon is Closed -- Why?

The Canon is Closed There is much talk today in the Charismatic, Neo-Pentecostal and Pentecostal circles that the sign gifts are still functioning. Furthermore, they would argue, special revelation is still being given by God. The “Thus saith the LORD” formula we find over 2,000 times in the Old Testament can be (and is!) still given today by God through His people. I disagree with this because I believe the Scriptures teach otherwise. I was reading a recent article entitled, Does God Still Give Revelation? And the answer was a resounding “no.” Here’s why: 1. Christians in the early church applied similar tests to prove which NT books were authentic and which were not. A key test, therefore, was apostolic authorship. Every NT book had to be written by an apostle or a close associate of the apostles. 2. Content was an important test. For example, Acts 2:42 says that, for the first time, the church met and gave themselves to prayer, fellowship, breaking of bread and the apostles’ teachi

God is on the throne -- I rest assured

SOVEREIGN GOD, Thy cause, not my own, engages my heart, and I appeal to thee with greatest freedom to set up thy kingdom in every place where Satan reigns; Glorify thyself and I shall rejoice,for to bring honour to thy name is my sole desire. I adore thee that thou art God, and long that others should know it, feel it, and rejoice in it. O that all men might love and praise thee, that thou mightest have all glory from the intelligent world! Let sinners be brought to thee for thy dear name! To the eye of reason everything respecting the conversion of others is a dark as midnight, But thou canst accomplish great things;the cause is thine, and is to thy glory that men should be saved.Lord, use me as thou wilt, do with me what thou wilt;but, O, promote thy cause,let thy kingdom come, let thy blessed interest be advanced in this world! O do thou bring in great numbers to Jesus!let me see that glorious day, and give me to grasp for multitudes of souls;let me be willing to die to that end; an

A Startling Reminder of the Wickedness of the Prosperity "Gospel" (if we can even call it that)

This connects with a post a few weeks ago which I blogged about on Joel Osteen and his bestseller book , Your Best Life Now . Contrast that with this MUST WATCH 3 MINUTE VIDEO from John Piper. These are his thoughts on the prosperity gospel today. As you wait for it to download... read these verses: Matthew 5:10-11 10 "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 "Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you , and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. 2 Timothy 3:12 12 And indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. Revelation 6:9-10 9 And when He broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; 10 and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou refrain from judging

Wedding Reminiscing...

Last night Elizabeth and I had a wonderful dinner together. She made steak, asparagus and rice. It was excellent. Though I enjoyed dessert the best -- her homemade cheesecake. While eating the cheesecake we decided to watch the DVD of our wedding ceremony. For some reason our sound did not come through on the DVD, so it's completely silent. However, this made for some really hilarious commentary on our part as we watched different scenes and saw goofy shots of various people. I am reminded of Paul's exhortation to husbands, Ephesians 5:25-27 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; 26 that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless. All of our wedding pictures are online and can be perused through for free . Matt Floreen was our phot

What NOT to do in the pulpit...

This is sad and dissapointing: Pastor John Rainey's sermons have become virtually unintelligible as he constantly references Greek and Hebrew definitions, say parishioners at Oak Creek Presbyterian. On a recent Sunday, only 20 percent of Rainey's sermon was in English. The article continues, "We were scratching our heads the whole time," says one member. "I thought I understood the passage before, but when he got done explaining it, I was lost." During the sermon, Rainey read a passage from Obadiah and said, "The word used for 'provision' is the Greek 'kupkos', or 'chabed' in the Hebrew, meaning 'oikenatilus' or literally 'havet am rabed alshallai.' The original tells us, 'Kepkus oikenate dunamis rikesa,' a fascinating word construction, meaning not just once but continually, or, 'Akinitus kre dormitaron,' which corresponds to, 'Shevet ahim gamyahad.' If I may put it this way, 'Gelli t

Lessons from Dr. Lawson -- Part 1

This past weekend I had the privilege of going to the Expositor's Conference in Mobile, Alabama . I met my dad down there and we attended the conference and, as a result, were tremendously blessed and encouraged. I would like to take a few minutes over the next week or so and give a few lessons that I learned from listening to and observing Steve Lawson. First, I learned to be warmly hospitable and tenderly loving towards family and friends . This sounds so simple. It sounds so easy . Yet as I observed Dr. Lawson on Sunday night as he interacted with his wife and the other ladies from their church who served some of us guys dinner, I was encouraged by his warm spirit and gentleness with them. Ephesians 4:1-2 walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, Furthermore, I recognized that a spirit of hospitality is more than simply opening the door and having someone

A Minister of the Gospel -- That's Our Call

A Minister of the Gospel I believe that as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ we are to herald the Word of God boldly with all authority. This is what Paul tells young Pastor Timothy and Titus to do: 1 Timothy 4:13 13 Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching. Titus 2:15 15 These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you. I believe that a minister of the Gospel is to be one whose basis for everything that is said is sourced from the Word of God. This, however is not in unison with what many contemporary evangelicals are advocating today. Listen to what John MacArthur writes in The Truth War: “To be an effective warrior in the battle for truth today, several old-fashioned, Christlike virtues are absolutely essential: biblical discernment, wisdom, fortitude, determination, endurance, skill in handling the Scripture, strong convictions, the ability to speak candidly without waffling, and a will

Saved in Childbearing?

I just finished an exam on 1 Timothy 2:15 15 But women shall be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint. There are three main issues with this verse that I had to discuss in my essay: What is the phrase “she shall be preserved” mean? It is the Greek word sozo which has the predominant usage of eternal and spiritual salvation in most of the NT. There are times, however when this does refer to physical deliverance or healing, etc. But, I argue that sozo here refers to spiritual, eternal salvation which the believer receives at the point of salvation. What does the preposition “through” mean? If we aren ’t careful, we could come away with saying that a woman will be spiritually and eternally saved through childbearing. This, of course, is not in sync with the multitude of Scriptures which say that humans are saved by grace alone though faith alone in Christ alone. Surely no woman can be spiritually and eternally saved

Guess Who

Guess who this is? I'll give you a hint, I just spent a day with him at the Expositor's Conference here in Mobile, Alabama!