30 November 2007

Today is St. Andrew's Day

In case you missed it, today is St. Andrew's Day, patron saint of Scotland. For some historic and religious history you can visit here, here & here.

29 November 2007

This Cracked Me Up

If you have not seen this yet, take a look...

Keep Calm and Carry On

I came across this pic of a poster on Flickr. When I read it I was instantly reminded of Ps. 46:10, Be still and know that I am God. Interestingly enough, as many of you know, Kidderminster, where this poster was photographed, is where Richard Baxter served as minister for many years. Sound advice, but Ps. 46:10 will serve us better.

28 November 2007

Westminster Wednesday

Without delay, let's move to #33. In light of the many current discussions, disagreements and controversies on justification, this is very timely.
Q. 33. What is justification?
A. Justification is an act of God's free grace, wherein he pardons all our sins and accepts us as righteous in his sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone.

Let's look to Matthew Henry again to enlighten us on this important doctrine:

1. Have we all need to be justified? Yes: for we are all guilty before God, Rom. 3:19. Is it enough if we justify ourselves? No: If I justify myself my own mouth shall condemn me, Job 9:20. Is it enough if our neighbours justify us? No: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God, Luke 16:15. Must it be God's act then? Yes: It is God that justifieth, Rom. 8:33. And his only? Yes: for none can forgive sins but God only, Mark 2:7. And is it an act of free grace? Yes: we are justified freely by his grace, Rom. 3:24.
2. Are all that are justified discharged from the sentence of the law? Yes: for there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, Rom. 8:1. Have they their sins pardoned? Yes: we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, Eph. 1:7. Does God forgive them? Yes: I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions,, Isa. 43:25.
3. When God forgives sin does he forgive all? Yes: having forgiven all your trespasses, Col. 2:13. Does he forgive even great sins? Yes: though your sins have been as scarlet, they shall be white as snow, Isa. 1:18. Does he forgive many sins? Yes: he will abundantly pardon, Isa. 55:7. Does he forgive freely? Yes: I will be merciful to their unrighteousness. Does he forgive fully? Yes: their sins and their iniquities I will remember no more, Heb. 8:12. Is he forward to forgive? Yes: I said I will confess and thou forgavest, Ps. 32:5. Does he forgive and forget? Yes: thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea, Mic. 7:19.
4. Is forgiveness of sins offered to all upon gospel terms? Yes: for repentance and remission of sins is preached to all nations, Luke 24:47. Is it secured to all the chosen remnant? Yes: for Christ is exalted to be a Prince, and a Saviour, to give repentance and remission of sins, Acts 5:31. Have all believers their sins pardoned? Yes: through him all that believe are justified, Acts 13:39. Are they accepted in God's sight? Yes: he hath made us accepted in the Beloved, Eph. 1:6. Are they accepted as righteous? Yes: for we are made the righteousness of God in him, 2 Cor. 5:21.
5. Can we be justified by the covenant of innocency ? No: for who can say, I have made my heart clean? Prov. 20:9. Can we be justified by any thing in ourselves? No: How call men be justified with God? Job 25:4. If we know no ill by ourselves will that justify us? No: though I know nothing by myself, yet am I not thereby justified, 1 Cor. 4:4. Will the law of Moses justify us? No: we are justified from all those things from which we could not be justified by the law of Moses, Acts 13:39. Will our own works justify us? No: by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified, Rom. 3:20. Would the ceremonial sacrifices justify men? No: they could not make the comers thereunto perfect, Heb. 10:1. Are we justified for the righteousness of Christ? Yes: By the obedience of one shall many be made righteous, Rom. 5:19. And for that only? Yes: Not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, Phil. 3:9.
6. Is the righteousness of Christ imputed to us for our justification? Yes: for he is made of God unto us righteousness, 1 Cor. 1:30. Did Christ die that it might be imputed? Yes: He shall justify many, for he shall bear their iniquities, Isa. 53:11. Do we owe our justification then to the death of Christ? Yes: the blood of Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin, 1 John 1:7. And does that lay the foundation of our salvation? Yes: being justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath, Rom. 5:9. Were we justified from eternity? No: for in due time Christ died for the ungodly, Rom. 5:9. If Christ had died, and not risen again, could he have justified us? No: for he was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification, Rom. 4:25. Is that then our plea for peace and pardon? Yes: for who then is he that shall condemn? Rom. 8:34. May we then depend upon Christ for righteousness? Yes: In the Lord I have righteousness and strength, Isa. 45:24. Is it become an act of justice in God to pardon sin upon the account of Christ's righteousness? Yes: for he is just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus, Rom. 3:26. 1 John 1:9.
7. Are we to receive the righteousness of Christ? Yes: We have now received the atonement, Rom. 5:11. Do we receive it by faith? Yes: through his name; whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins, Acts 10:43. And by faith only? Yes: for being justified by faith we have peace with God, Rom. 5:1. Did Christ's death satisfy the law? Yes: for Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, Gal. 3:13. Is that then our only righteousness in the law court? Yes: for we are reconciled to God by the death of his Son, Rom. 5:10. Do we by true faith come up to the terms of the gospel? Yes: Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shall be saved, Acts 16:31. Is that then our righteousness in the gospel court? Yes: for to him that believeth, his faith is counted for righteousness, Rom. 4:5. Is it therefore our life? Yes: for the just shall live by his faith, Hab.2:4. Is it so as it applies Christ's righteousness? Yes: This is the name whereby he shall be called, the Lord our righteousness, Jer. 23:6.
8. Is justifying faith a working faith Yes: for by works is faith made perfect, Jam. 2:22. And will that faith justify us which does not produce good works? No: for by works a man is justified, and not by faith only, Jam. 2:24. Is faith then dead without good works? Yes: for as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also, Jam. 2:26. And are good works dead without faith? Yes: for without faith it is impossible to please God, Heb. 11:6. Must they both act together then? Yes: for that which avails is faith, which works by love, Gal. 5:6. Do we then make void the law through faith? No: God forbid, yea, we establish the law, Rom. 3:31. Is our faith our own? No: it is not of ourselves, it is the gift of God, Eph. 2:8. Are our good works our own? No: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us, Isa. 26:12. Is any room left for boasting then? No: it is excluded by the law of faith, Rom. 3:27. Must God therefore have all the glory? Yes: for by the grace of God I am what I am, 1 Cor. 15:10.

May I draw your attention to John Piper's new book, The Future of Justification as a fine response to N.T. Wright's position on justification. It can be purchased here and check the side bar. Also, it can be read in PDF format here. This is a critical doctrine that we should all understand and be able to defend.

25 November 2007

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

One of the best things about this time of year is listening to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I have seen them in concert twice and its just an amazing show. And, let me tell you, modernized Christmas hymns and songs can bring tears to your eyes just like the traditional arrangements.
Check out an article about TSO in Christianity Today and have a look at the TSO website here.

Christmas Time Again

Well, Christmas time has come to the Renegade household. The pic is of our Christmas tree for '07. I like this time of year. The festiveness of the season, Christmas decorations, the fun of watching little ones open their presents but most of all, remembering what is most truly important. Christ came to save sinners.

Luke 2:4-14
Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “ Glory to God in the highest, "And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

24 November 2007

Comments on Comments

It appears that Adrian Warnock is no longer permitting comments on his blog. It seems that it takes him quite a bit of time to weed the through the comments and chuck the bad ones. OK, he has a huge readership and that may be what he needs to do. For me, I want the comments. If you're just stopping by for the 1st time or the 100th, I don't care. I really enjoy the interaction and making Christian contacts that without this blog I would never know. So go ahead, leave a comment. Only one caveat, don't leave garbage. You're welcome to commend me or disagree with me but don't leave weird stuff or promote some personal agenda. I recently, for example, received quite a lengthy comment promoting a presidential candidate. It was obviously a standard form letter that was converted. And, clicking on the commenter's name I was connected to a Blogspot page that informed me I could not read the blogger's profile or blog without an invitation. That comment got tanked! So, leave an message and let's interact. After all, Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

23 November 2007


A good but brief post on apologetics can be found here at Chris' Considerations. He briefly outlines the three types, Classical, Evidential and Presuppositional, and provides links for further study. I'm a Van Tillian Presuppositionalist myself. One's presuppositions are always the starting point. A good source on Van Til can be found at http://www.vantil.info/. A Primer on Presuppositionalism by Joel Garver is here. Of course, in my opinion, no one else knows Van Til on this subject better than John Frame. Check out an Introduction to Presuppositional Apologetics here and here.

22 November 2007


Yes, my family has much to be thankful for. Most importantly, my grandson has made it through all his chemo treatments for leukemia and is in the last, although still lenghty, stage of treatment.
This is a pic of the two of us from some time ago while he was still receiving chemo, thus he has no hair. We'll be having T-Day dinner at my daughter's today. Praise Him for His faithfulness.

21 November 2007

Westminster Wednesday

Forging ahead we now come to question #32.

Q. 32. What benefits do they that are effectually called partake of in this life? A. They that are effectually called do in this life partake of justification, adoption, and sanctification, and the several benefits which in this life do either accompany or flow from them.

1. Are all that be effectually called, justified? A. Yes; God justifies all, and every soul that obeys and answers his call; Romans 8:30. Whom be called, them lie also justified.
Q. 2. What other benefits have the called in this life? A. They are all the adopted children of God; Ephesians 1:5. Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children, by Jesus Christ, unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.
Q. 3. Are those all the benefits the called receive? A. No; they are not only justified and adopted, but also sanctified; 1 Corinthians 1:30. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.
Q. 4. Do these three blessings come singly to the called? A. No; they are all accompanied with multitudes of other blessings flowing from them; Ephesians 1:3. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings, in heavenly places in Christ.
Q. 5. What are the mercies flowing from justification? A. They are great and manifold; Romans 5:1-5. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Q. 6. What are the benefits flowing from adoption? A. Free access to God; Ephesians 3:12. In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. And a title to heaven; Romans 8:17. If children, then heirs.
Q. 7. What blessings accompany sanctification? A. Union with Christ; Hebrews 11. For both he that sanctifleth, and they who are sanctified, are all of one. And right to the inheritance; Acts 20:32. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
Q. 8. What is the first lesson from hence? A. That they are enemies to their own souls, who obey not the gospel call; 2 Thessalonians 1:8. In flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Q. 9. What is the second lesson from hence? A. That the estate of believers abounds with spiritual privileges; 1 Corinthians 3:22-23. Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are yours, and ye are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.
Q. 10. What is the third lesson from hence? A. That all the believer’s privileges are not in hope, but some in hand; 1 John 3:1. Behold what manner of love the Father bath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.
Q. 11. What is the fourth lesson from hence? A. The greatest sufferers for Christ have no reason to repent their call; Romans 8:18. For I reckon, that the sufferings of this presen. time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.
Q. 12. What is the last lesson from hence? A. That we have infinite reason to bless God for the gospel, by which we are called; 2 Thessalonians 2:14. Whereunto he called you by our gospel.
- John Flavel

For a brief biography of John Flavel click here.

18 November 2007

Psalm 119:137-144

Psalm 119:137-144

137 Righteous are you, O Lord,and right are your rules.
138 You have appointed your testimonies in righteousnessand in all faithfulness.
139 My zeal consumes me,because my foes forget your words.
140 Your promise is well tried,and your servant loves it.
141 I am small and despised,yet I do not forget your precepts.
142 Your righteousness is righteous forever,and your law is true.
143 Trouble and anguish have found me out,but your commandments are my delight.
144 Your testimonies are righteous forever;give me understanding that I may live.

17 November 2007

Oh no....

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported today that the price of hops is rising and therefore the price of beer is rising. What will we (I) do? Suffer through the higher prices, right? It seems that many overseas brewers are coming to the U.S. to buy their hops which has created a shrortage and the resultant higher prices. Of course, I'm having my first Belhaven Scottish Ale as I type this and I'm enjoying every drop so I guess those hops are being put to good use.

15 November 2007

New Greek Study Resource

If you haven't seen this yet, take a look now. Its a new greek Bible study sight that looks to be very promising for those wishing to seriously ( or not so seriously) study Scripture. The Greek can be brought up along with parallel columns of the KJV, NASB & ESV or any combination that you like or need. Its fast and easy. Zack Hubert has done an outstanding job with this. I know I will be using this often!

14 November 2007

Westminster Wednesday

Let's press on now to question #31 of the Westminster Shorter Catechism. I've included some additional resource links at the end of this post.

Q. 31. What is effectual calling? A. Effectual calling is the work of God’s Spirit, whereby convincing us our sin and misery, enlightening our minds in the knowledge of Christ, and renewing our wills, he doth persuade and enable us to embrace Jesus Christ, freely offered to us in the gospel.

Q. 1. What makes the difference between effectual and ineffectual culling? A. Ineffectual calling is, when men have nothing but the external sound of the gospel; Matthew 20:16. For many be called, but few chosen. Effectual is, when the Spirit works in conjunction with the word; John 6:45. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God; every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
Q. 2. What is the first act of the Spirit in effectual calling? A. Conviction of sin; John 16:8. And when he is come, lie will reprove the world of sin.
Q. 3. Do the called of God hear any voice from heaven? A. Ordinarily it is a call without sound, yet as efficacious as an audible voice from heaven.
Q. 4. What is the second act of the Spirit in our effectual calling? A. The illumination of the mind in the knowledge of Christ; Acts 26:18. To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God.
Q. 5. In what things doth it enlighten them? A. In this; That Christ is their only remedy; Acts 4:12. Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. And their all-sufficient remedy; Hebrews 7:25. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him.
Q. 6. What is the third act? A. His renewing of the sinner’s will, and making it flexible; Psalm 110:3. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power. Ezekiel 36:26. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and 1 will give you an heart of flesh.
Q. 7. Can no man come to Christ till thus enabled? A. No; it is not in the power of man’s nature or will, till thus renewed and enabled; Ephesians 1:19-20. And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward, who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, ‘which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him on his own right-hand in the heavenly places. John 6:44. No man can come to me except the Father, which hath sent me, draw him.
Q. 8. What sort of men are most ordinarily called? A. The poor and mean ones in the world; 1 Cor. 1:26. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called; but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God bath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.
Q. 9. What is the first instruction from it? A. Souls effectually called are never lost; Romans 11:29. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
Q. 10. What is the second instruction? A. All things co-operate to their good; Romans 8:28. For we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.
Q. 11. What is the third instruction? A. It is dangerous to refuse God’s call; Proverbs 1:24. Because I have called, and ye have refused, I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded.
Q. 12. What is the last instruction? A. That Christians are obliged to walk suitably to their heavenly calling; 1 Thessalonians 2:12. That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you into his kingdom and glory.
- James Fisher

Westminster Confession of Faith Chapter 10

CHAP. X. - Of Effectual Calling.
1. All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, and those only, He is pleased, in His appointed and accepted time, effectually to call, by His word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature to grace and salvation, by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God, taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them an heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and, by His almighty power, determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ: yet so, as they come most freely, being made willing by His grace.
2. This effectual call is of God's free and special grace alone, not from any thing at all foreseen in man, who is altogether passive therein, until, being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit, he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it.
3. Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ, through the Spirit, who worketh when, and where, and how He pleaseth: so also are all other elect persons who are uncapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.
4. Others, not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the Word, and may have some common operations of the Spirit, yet they never truly come unto Christ, and therefore cannot be saved: much less can men, not professing the Christian religion, be saved in any other way whatsoever, be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature, and the laws of that religion they do profess. And to assert and maintain that they may, is very pernicious, and to be detested.

More Resources:

13 November 2007

For Those of a Blogging Disposition

Some thoughtful posts on blogging can be found here and here. First, the Exiled Preacher reviews Derek Thomas' comments on blogging (although he blogs from time to time). Next, some timely and biblical reflections on blog commenting from Justin Taylor. Both worth of few moments to read.

(HT:Between Two Worlds)

12 November 2007

Top Ten Things to Say on Returning Home with Conference Book Plunder

This is just sooo good I gotta pass this on. Ten classic responses to over indulgent book buying (at least from the non-book buying spouse's perspective). I have to say that, as my wife is an accountant, number 5 is my favorite. “Don’t worry. It just looks like a lot. Amortized over my lifetime, I’m not spending very much on books at all. How true. And number 6, although humorous, is very true, “Oh, so you’re going to complain about your husband/wife squandering money on books! Do I blow money on alcohol? tobacco? gambling? drugs? sex? stadium box seats? No! Just books on justice and peace, Jesus and Paul, trinitarian theology and the evils of, uh . . . consumerism!” As five books have arrived in the mail in the last two weeks I need to start committing these to memory, quick! So you can start memorizing the excuse list, here is the link.

07 November 2007

Westminster Wednesday

Let's jump right in...

Q. 30. How does the Spirit apply to us the redemption purchased by Christ?
A. The Spirit applies to us the redemption purchased by Christ, by working faith in us, and hereby uniting us to Christ in our effectual calling.

Matthew Henry elaborates:

1. Does the Spirit act freely in applying the redemption?
Yes: The wind bloweth where it listeth, so is every one that is born of the Spirit, John 3:8. Does he act mysteriously? Yes: Thou knowest not what is the way of the Spirit, Eccl. 11:15. Does he act effectually? Yes: All that the Father giveth me shall come to me, John 6:37.
2. Is faith necessary to our interest in the redemption?
Yes: for without faith it is impossible to please God, Heb. 11:6. Is it the great thing necessary? Yes: only believe, all things are possible to him that can believe, Mark 5: 36. and 9:23. Can we have a saving interest in the redemption without faith? No: he that believeth not, is condemned already, John 3:18. Is it that which is required on our part? Yes: by grace ye are saved through faith. And is it of ourselves? No: not of ourselves, it is the gift of God, Eph. 2:8. Is it given for Christ's sake ? Yes: Unto you it is given on the behalf of Christ to believe on him, Phil. 1:29.
3. Does the Spirit work faith in us?
Yes: it is the faith of the operation of God, Col. 2:12. Is it a divine work then? Yes: this is the work of God, that ye believe, John 6:29. Is it a work of divine power? Yes: we believe according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, Eph. 1:19, 20. Is it wrought in all the saints? Yes: for they have all obtained a like precious faith, 2 Pet. 1:1. Shall it be wrought in all the chosen? Yes: for it is the faith of God's elect, Tit. 1:1.
4. Are all true believers united to Christ?
Yes: He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit, 1 Cor. 6:17. Are they interested in his death? Yes: We are crucified with Christ, Gal. 2:20. And in his burial? Yes: We are buried with him in baptism, Rom. 6:4. And in his resurrection? Yes: He has quickened us together with Christ, Eph. 2:5. And in his ascension? Yes: He has made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, Eph. 2:6.
5. Is there a real union between Christ and believers?
Yes: for both he that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified are all of one, Heb 2:11. Is he the head? Yes: he is the Head of the body, the church, Col 1:18. Are they his members? Yes: Who are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones, Eph. 5:30. Is he the Root? Yes: for of his fulness have all we received, John 1:16. Are they the branches? Yes: I am the vine, ye are the branches, John 15:5. Is he the Foundation? Yes: Behold I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, Isa 28:16. Are they built upon him? Yes: Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, 1 Pet. 2:5.
6. Is there a relative union between Christ and believers?
Yes: I ascend to my Father and your Father, John 20:17. Are they his children? Yes: here am I, and the children which thou hast given me, Heb. 2:13. Are they his brethren? Yes: he is not ashamed to call them brethren, Heb. 2:11, 12. Are they his spouse? Yes: I have espoused you to one husband, 2 Cor. 11:2. Are they his subjects? Yes: they are translated into the kingdom of his dear Son, Col. 1:13. Are they his soldiers? Yes: good soldiers of Jesus Christ, 2 Tim. 2:3. Are they his servants? Yes: Ye call me Master and Lord, John 13:13. Are they his scholars? Yes: they sit at Jesus' feet and hear his word, Luke 10:39. Are they his sheep? Yes: for he is the great Shepherd of the sheep, Heb. 13:20.
7. Is it by faith that we are united to Christ?
Yes: for Christ dwells in the heart by faith, Eph. 3:17. Is that owing to the Spirit? Yes: we are a habitation of God through the Spirit, Eph. 2:22. Does communion result from this union? Yes: for truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ, 1 John 1:3. And is that owing to the Spirit? Yes: we have an access by one Spirit unto the Father, Eph. 2:18. Can we be united to Christ without the indwelling of the Spirit? No: for if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his, Rom. 8: 9. Have all that are united to Christ an interest in the benefits of redemption? Yes: for of him are we in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, 1 Cor. 1:30.
8. Are we united to Christ in our effectual calling?
Yes: for we are called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, 1 Cor. 1:9. Will the common call unite us to Christ? No: for many are called, but few are chosen, Matt. 22:14. Is it the effectual call then that does it? Yes: for whom he called, them he justified, Rom. 8:30.
9. Does the gospel call us from sin to God?
Yes: it turns from the power of Satan unto God, Acts 26:18. Does it call us from self to Christ? Yes: If any man will be my disciple, let him deny himself and follow me, Matt. 16:24. Does it call us from darkness to light? Yes: he hath called us out of darkness into his marvellous light, 1 Pet. 2:9. And from uncleanness to holiness? Yes: God hath not called us to uncleanness, but to holiness, 1 Thes. 4:7. And from this world to the other? Yes: If ye be risen with Christ, seek those things that are above, Col. 3:1. Is this call effectual when we come at the call? Yes: Follow me, and he arose and followed him, Matt. 9:9. Is it our great concern to make this sure? Yes: make your calling and your election sure, 2 Pet. 1:10.

The Future of Justification

I received my copy yesterday of The Future of Justification by John Piper. So far, it’s a very good read and a needed refutation of N.T. Wright's position. I’m encouraged to read that Piper is not playing the scholarly game of one-upsmanship. Rather, he is filling the need for us of clarifying Wright’s confusing position and reaffirming the correct view of justification. My own assessment of the need of the church at this moment in history is different from Wright’s: I think we need a new generation of preachers who are not only open to the new light that God may shed upon his word, but are also suspicious of their own love of novelty and are eager to test all their own interpretations of the Bible by the wisdom of the centuries. He goes to say, This book exists because of my own concern that, specifically in the matter of justification by faith, Wright’s approach has not been as illuminating as it has been misleading, or perhaps, confusing (pgs 37-38).

06 November 2007

Make It Free

The vision that Desiring God has for its online ministry is simply outstanding. May I commend them here and thank them for what they’re doing and for even possibly being the needed pioneers for others with internet ministries. From the DG website:

…there are four things you need to do in order to maximize access to your content online and truly "make it free":
Post all of your content online
Don't charge for your online content
Don't make people register to access any of your content
Make your site very easy to use

Who can argue with these four premises? Let’s face it, whatever we’re doing on the net we want it to be easy. If we’re disappointed that the content we’re hunting for is no longer posted we’re going elsewhere and likely not comeback. If we’re charged for everything we want we’ll either not buy it or be disappointed that we have to and not come back. I do not like having to register to read or buy product. Its just another way of getting my address and then sending me emails, let’s face it – SPAM, I don’t want. Managing all these passwords for all these websites is just ridiculous. I recently went to a site to buy some music and decided not to when I had to register. These online businesses need to realize they’re losing money. Its just not worth the hassle to me. Lastly, if I can’t find my way around a website in a few seconds, I’m done. All of the above applies to any site we may visit but its troubling to me that many “outreach” websites operate in the same manner. Its just so inconsistent. Of course, I’m not saying a ministry site can’t charge for some items, they need funding to keep operating, authors need to be paid for their work. But money is not the goal here, reaching those in need of whatever services are provided is. Again, I commend DG for this and their ministry is now on my donation list.

05 November 2007

Christmas Ales

I must take a moment to commend to you two beers as we approach the festive Christmas season. Great Lakes Christmas Ale and Goose Island Christmas Ale. Both are very fine brews. The Great Lakes is, according to their website, A holiday ale brewed with honey and spiced with fresh ginger and cinnamon. ABV 7.5%, ABW 6.0% and IBU 40. The Goose Island Christmas Ale is also a delightful beer and worth the effort to purchase another six pack. ABV 5.6%, ABW 4.45 and IBU 50. Both are delicious. If I had to pick between the two I would have to go with Great Lakes giving it a 9 out of 10 ranking compared to the Goose Island, 7 out of 10. It'll be Christmas soon, give 'em both a try.

It is possible to tolerate a little elevation, when a man takes a drink or two too much after working hard and when he is feeling low. This must be called a frolic. But to sit day and night, pouring it in and pouring it out again, is piggish... all food is a matter of freedom, even a modest drink for one's pleasure. If you do not wish to conduct yourself this way, if you are going to go beyond this and be a born pig and guzzle beer and wine, then, if this cannot be stopped by the rulers, you must know that you cannot be saved. For God will not admit such piggish drinkers into the kingdom of heaven [cf. Gal. 5:19-21]... If you are tired and downhearted, take a drink; but this does not mean being a pig and doing nothing but gorging and swilling... You should be moderate and sober; this means that we should not be drunken, though we may be exhilarated. - Martin Luther

04 November 2007

Feeling Low?

I find Spurgeon had great insight into the deep issues of life. On feeling low he postulated, The worst forms of depression are cured when Holy Scripture is believed. Elsewhere he went on, To have something to do for Jesus, and to go right on with it, is one of the best ways to get over a bereavement, or any heavy mental depression. If you can pursue some great object, you will not feel that you are living for nothing. I find both statements very true for Scripture tells us, These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (John 16:33). And, Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thes. 5:16-18). Putting our focus on the Lord and minimizing times of self pity will see us through those difficult periods in life.