Saturday, March 31, 2007

What is the Church? 1.1

Below are a bunch of quotes regarding different aspects of what the church is. As a segway into what the church is the Larger Catechism from the Westminster Confession is great! I'll probably write some of my thoughts in a post on what the church is next week. Have a good Lord's Day!

I. Westminster Confession [Westminster Confession of Faith. Free Presbyterian Publications Copyright 2003. Printed by Bell and Bain Ltd., Glasgow]

Questions 60-61 are good regarding what it means to be a Christian, and 62-65, 69 are helpful regarding the church (pp. 157-160, and 163).
Q. 60 Can they who have never heard the gospel, and so know not Jesus Christ, nor believe in him, be saved by their living according to the light of nature?
A. They who, having never heard the gospel, [Rom 10:14] know not Jesus Christ, [2 Thess 1:8-9; Eph 2:12; John 1:10-12] and believe not in him, cannot be saved, [John 8:24; Mark 16:16] be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature, [1 Cor 1:20-24] or the laws of that religion which they profess; [John 4:22; Rom 9:31-32; Phil 3:4-9] neither is there salvation in any other, but in Christ alone, [Acts 4:12] who is the Saviour only of his body the church. [Eph 5:23]

Q. 61 Are all they saved who hear the gospel, and live in the church?
A. All that hear the gospel, and live in the visible church, are not saved; but they only who are true members of the church invisible. [John 12:38-40; Rom 9:6; Matt 22:14; 7:21; Rom 11:7]

Regarding what the church is...
Q. 62 What is the visible Church?
A. The visible church is a society made up of all such as in all ages and places of the world do profess the true religion, [1 Cor 1:2; 12:13; Rom 15:9-12; Rev 7:9; Ps 2:8; 22:27-31; 45:17; Matt 28:19-21] and of their children. [1 Cor 7:14; Acts 2:39; Rom 11:16; Gen 17:7] (To the children part of this I would argue that at a certain point in their life they must respond, by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit, in repentance and faith. Until that point in time they would be a part of the visible church in that they are with their parents, and they are being brought up in the teaching and admonition of the Lord. But this is for a discussion on another day.)

Q. 63 What are the special privileges of the visible church?
A. The visible church hath the privilege of being under God’s special care and government; [Isa 4:5-6; 1 Tim 4:10] of being protected and preserved in all ages, notwithstanding the opposition of all enemies; [Ps 115:1-2, 9; Isa 31:4-5; Zech 7:2-4, 8-9] and of enjoying the communion of saints, the ordinary means of salvation, [Acts 2:39, 42] and offers of grace by Christ to all the members of it in the ministry of the gospel, testifying, that whosoever believes in him shall be saved, [Ps 147:19-20; Rom 9:4; Eph 4:11-12; Mark 16:15-16] and excluding none that will come unto him. [John 6:37]

Q. 64 What is the invisible church?
A. The invisible church is the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one under Christ the head. [Eph 1:10, 22-23; John 10:16; 11:52]

Q. 65 What special benefits do the members of the invisible church enjoy by Christ?
A. The members of the invisible church by Christ enjoy union and communion with him in grace and glory. [John 17:21; Eph 2:5-6; John 17:24]

Q. 69 What is the communion in grace which the members of the invisible church have with Christ?
A. The communion in grace which the members of the invisible church have with Christ, is their partaking of the virtue of his mediation, in their justification, [Rom 8:30] adoption, [Eph 1:5] sanctification, and whatever else, in this life, manifests their union with him. [1 Cor 1:30]

II. Westminster Confession [Westminster Confession of Faith. Free Presbyterian Publications Copyright 2003. Printed by Bell and Bain Ltd., Glasgow]

Chapter 25: Of the Church (pp. 106-108)
25.1. The catholic or universal Church, which is invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the Head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fulness of Him that fills all in all. [Eph 1:10; 5:23; Col 1:18]

25.2. The visible Church, which is also catholic or universal under the Gospel (not confined to one nation, as before under the law), consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion; [1 Cor 1:2; 12:12; Ps 2:8; Rev 7:9; Rom 15:9] and of their children: [1 Cor 7:14; Acts 2:39; Ezek 16:20; Rom 11:16; Gen 3:15; Gen 17:7] (again I partially disagree with this part) and is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, [Matt 13:47; Isa 9:7] the house and family of God, [Eph 2:19; Eph 3:15] out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation. [Acts 2:47]

25.3. Unto this catholic visible Church Christ has given the ministry, oracles, and ordinances of God, for the gathering and perfecting of the saints, in this life, to the end of the world: and does, by His own presence and Spirit, according to His promise, make them effectual thereunto. [1 Cor 12:28; Eph 4:11; Matt 28:19; Isa 59:21]

25.4. This catholic Church has been sometimes more, sometimes less visible. [Rom 11:3; Rev 12:6] And particular Churches, which are members thereof, are more or less pure, according as the doctrine of the Gospel is taught and embraced, ordinances administered, and public worship performed more or less purely in them. [Rev 2 and 3; 1 Cor 5:6]

25.5. The purest Churches under heaven are subject both to mixture and error; [1 Cor 13:12; Rev 2 and 3; Matt 13:24-30] and some have so degenerated, as to become no Churches of Christ, but synagogues of Satan. [Rev 18:2; Rom 11:18] Nevertheless, there shall be always a Church on earth to worship God according to His will. [Matt 16:18; Ps 72:17; Ps 102:28; Matt 28:19, 20]

25.6. There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ; [Col 1:18; Eph 1:22] Nor can the Pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof. [but is that Antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalts himself, in the Church, against Christ and all that is called God. [Matt 23:8; 2 Thess 2:3; Rev 13:6]
III. The Glorious Body of Christ by R. B. Kuiper
“Christian theology generally says that the church originated in the garden of Eden immediately after the fall of man, when God promised a Saviour and man accepted that promise in faith. On the other hand, many take it for granted that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, a little more than nineteen hundred years ago, marks the birthday of the Christian church. (pp. 21)”

"[The church] consists of many widely differing members, all aiding one another, the quality of harmony is outstanding. There is much diversity among the members of Christ’s church. Some have five talents, others but one. Some have attractive characters, others are relatively unattractive. Some are leaders, others followers. Some are rich, others poor. Some are highly educated, others unlearned. Some are strong in the faith, others weak. But each needs all the others. They complement one another. They co-operate with each other. Collectively they constitute on body. And all are bound together by the greatest of Christian virtues – love. (pp. 101)"

IV. John Calvin Insitutes Bk IV.17 [edited by John T. McNeill]
"Because they also allege that the church is not without basis called holy, it is fitting to examine in what holiness it excels lest, if we are not willing to admit a church unless it be perfect in every respect, we leave no church at all . . . the church’s holiness is not yet complete. The church is holy, then, in the sense that it is daily advancing and is not you perfect: it makes progress from day to day but has not yet reached its goal of holiness, as will be explained more fully elsewhere. (pp.1031)”

V. The Glory Of Christ John Owen Works Vol. 1 [Banner]
“His person, therefore, is the foundation of the church – the great mystery of godliness, or the religion we profess – the entire life and soul of all spiritual truth – in that all the counsels of the wisdom, grace, and goodness of God, for the redemption, vocation, sanctification, and salvation of the church, were all laid in him, and by him were all to be accomplished. (pp. 64)”

I know it's a ton of stuff...but it's good, eh?

What is the church? Part 1.0

This question cannot be separated from what it means to be a Christian, so I’ll answer this question “What does it mean to be a Christian?” first. The following is a modified outline of a lesson I taught almost a year ago on April, 9 2006 called What Does It Mean To Be A Christian. Please bear in mind that this is not the exhaustive meaning of what it means to be a Christian. This merely scratches the surface...

In Christ

I. Secular Dictionary Definition
a. Christian: (1) Professing belief in Christianity (2) Of or derived from Jesus’ teachings (3) Christianity or its adherents (American Heritage Dictionary)

b. Christianity: (1) The Christian religion, founded on the life and teachings of Jesus (2) Christendom (3) The state of being a Christian. (American Heritage Dictionary)

II. The Bible’s Definition
a. Acts 11:25-26: “So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians. [emphasis mine]” (ESV)

b. Acts 26:28: “And Agrippa said to Paul, ‘In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?’ [emphasis mine]” (ESV)

c. 1 Peter 4:16: “Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. [emphasis mine]” (ESV)

III. Implications Of the Bible’s Definition
a. It seems that the way Christian is used in these passages shows that Christians were those who heard, believed, and assented to the teachings of Jesus as carried along particularly by Peter and Paul. So that means that at least the epistles of Peter (1 Peter and 2 Peter. Also, Mark see Eusebius 2.14 & 5.8) and Paul (Romans, 1 &2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon. Also, Luke & Acts see Eusebius 5.8) contain what the early Christians would have believed. So believing what the New Testament and the Old Testament teaches through the lens of Jesus Christ would have been the foundation of Christianity.

IV. Misuse Of The Title “Christian”
a. C. S. Lewis: “Now if once we allow people to start spiritualizing and refining, or as they might say ‘deepening,’ the sense of the word Christian, it too will speedily become a useless word. In the first place, Christians themselves will never be able to apply it to anyone (Mere Christianity pg. 10)”

V. Effectual Call (God’s Call!)
a. Romans 8:30: “And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” (ESV)
i. So Christians are foreknown (8:29), predestined, called, justified, and will be glorified.

b. This is a calling which God brings and summons people unto Himself.
i. He called them out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9)

ii. He called them “into the fellowship of his Son” (1 Cor 1:9; Acts 2:39)

iii. He called into His own kingdom and glory (1 Thess 2:12; 1 Pet 5:10; 2 Pet 1:3)

iv. He called them to “belong to Jesus Christ” (Romans 1:6)

v. He called them to “be saints” (Romans 1:7; 1 Cor 1:2)

vi. He called them to have hope (Eph 1:18; 4:4)

vii. He called them to Holiness (1 Thess 4:7)

viii. He called them to be patient in endurance of suffering (1 Pet 2:20-21; 3:9)

ix. He called them to eternal life (1 Tim 6:12)

VI. General Call (Hearing The Word From Born Again Christians)
a. The Gospel Paul and the disciples were preaching.
i. 2 Thessalonians 2:14: “To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (ESV)

b. It is important that we boldly proclaim the gospel message, trusting that God will, through His effectual call, do what he did with Lydia in Acts 16:14: “The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.”

c. Romans 10:13-14: “For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ But how are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” (ESV)

VII. 4 Key Elements Of the Gospel Call
a. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)

b. The penalty of sin is death (Romans 6:23)

c. Jesus Christ died to pay the penalty for our sins. (Romans 3:24-26; 5:8)
i. Our sins imputed to Jesus on the cross (1 Pet 2:24; Gal 3:13)

ii. His righteousness imputed to those who believe (2 Cor 5:21), through baptism believers put on Christ (Gal 3:27).

iii. Accomplishing justification of believers propitiating God’s wrath in the atonement. (Ro 3:23-25; Heb 2:17; 1 John 2:2; 4:10)

d. Invitation to respond in repentance and faith (Acts 20:21)

VIII. Continual Repentance And Faith Are Signs Of General And Effectual Call
a. Acts 20:21: “of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (ESV)

b. Hebrews 6:1: “Faith toward God” (ESV)

c. This initial repentance and faith continue for the rest of a Christian’s life. As Paul writes in Colossians 2:6: “As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him.”

IX. Therefore You Are a Christian...
a. If you know that you were saved by grace through faith, and not by works. (Eph 2:8-9) And…

b. Romans 10:9-10: “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” (ESV)

c. If you believe the following. Acts 4:12: “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (ESV)

Please leave a comment with any thoughts.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Christ Alone

Thy main plan, and the end of thy will
is to make Christ glorious and beloved in heaven
where he is now ascended,
where one day all the elect will behold his glory
and love and glorify him for ever.

Though here I love him but little,
may this be my portion at last.

In this world thou hast given me a beginning,
one day it will be perfected in the realm above.

Thou hast helped me to see and know Christ, though obscurely,
to take him, receive him,
to possess him, love him,
to bless him in my heart, mouth, life.

Let me study and stand for discipline,
and all the ways of worship,
out of love for Christ;
and to show my thankfulness;

to seek and know his will from love,
to hold it in love,
and daily to care for and keep this state of heart.

thou hast led me to place all my nature and happiness
in oneness with Christ,
in having heart and mind centred only on him,
in being like him in communicating good to others;

This is my heaven on earth,
But I need the force, energy, impulses of thy Spirit
to carry me on the way to my Jerusalem.

Here, it is my duty
to be as Christ in this world,
to do what he would do,
to live as he would live,
to walk in love and meekness;
then would he be known,
then would I have peace in death."

[From the prayer Christ Alone pg. 23 in The Valley of Vision (Banner of Truth)]

Church Membership Series

To bring some of the readers of this blog up to speed…I’m going to start a series of posts on Church Membership. This is really an extension of a post I did a while ago here, and two different comments I wrote at Justin Taylor’s blog: Between Two Worlds here and here. My hope is to have a clear line of thought regarding this issue.

In an effort to work through some of these issues I figured I would do a series on it to directly focus on some of the questions and arguments some people have for and against church membership. I’m doing this to think through “church membership” particularly to figure it out a little more for myself. These are my questions…and it’s my hope that I can discuss a bunch of them:
(1) What is the Church?

(2) What is the difference between the “visible” and “invisible” church?

(3) Can [or should] we attempt to practice the realities of the “invisible” church in the “visible” church?

(4) Is church membership biblical? [the concept…not the word (although the word “members” of the body of Christ is used in the Bible, particularly regarding the “invisible” church).]

(5) What are the biblical requirements for church membership?

(6) What is a “regenerate” church membership?

(7) What are the pros of practicing a “regenerate” church membership?

(8) What are the cons of practicing a “regenerate” church membership?

(9) Is it wrong to practice a “regenerate” or a “non-regenerate” church membership?

(10) How do a few different churches practice church membership? Are some practices extra-biblical? (I.e. can churches require baptism by immersion, require a certain % for a tithe, affirming certain doctrinal positions such as no drinking of alcohol/predestination/perseverance/etc.), etc. for consideration for church membership]

(11) What role has church membership played in the different types of church governments? [Episcopacy, Presbyterian, and Congregational]

(12) Can a church affirm covenantal aspects of the body of Christ while attempting to practice a “regenerate church membership”?

(13) Do the malpractice, misuse, and abuse of church membership negate its practice?

(14) Has pragmatism replaced biblical faithfulness in regard to “church membership”?

(15) Does any of this matter? Why?

I am not a theologian. I am a husband, student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and I work full time at an insurance company in Des Moines…so between marriage, school, and work I’ll try to post thoughts as much as possible. I may not have answers for all of these questions, but hopefully someday (Lord willing) I’ll have more clarity.

Lastly, if you have any other questions that you think a discussion about "church membership" should address please let me know…maybe we can discuss a few of those too.

I hope you will join the discussion!

In Christ

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Affirmations and Denials; Articles XVI-XVIII

Here are the LAST three affirmations and denials from Together for the Gospel's document.

Article XVI
We affirm that the Scripture reveals a pattern of complementary order between men and women, and that this order is itself a testimony to the Gospel, even as it is the gift of our Creator and Redeemer. We also affirm that all Christians are called to service within the body of Christ, and that God has given to both men and women important and strategic roles within the home, the church, and the society. We further affirm that the teaching office of the church is assigned only to those men who are called of God in fulfillment of the biblical teachings and that men are to lead in their homes as husbands and fathers who fear and love God.

We deny that the distinction of roles between men and women revealed in the Bible is evidence of mere cultural conditioning or a manifestation of male oppression or prejudice against women. We also deny that this biblical distinction of roles excludes women from meaningful ministry in Christ’s kingdom. We further deny that any church can confuse these issues without damaging its witness to the Gospel.

Article XVII
We affirm that God calls his people to display his glory in the reconciliation of the nations within the Church, and that God’s pleasure in this reconciliation is evident in the gathering of believers from every tongue and tribe and people and nation. We acknowledge that the staggering magnitude of injustice against African-Americans in the name of the Gospel presents a special opportunity for displaying the repentance, forgiveness, and restoration promised in the Gospel. We further affirm that evangelical Christianity in America bears a unique responsibility to demonstrate this reconciliation with our African-American brothers and sisters.

We deny that any church can accept racial prejudice, discrimination, or division without betraying the Gospel.

Article XVIII
We affirm that our only sure and confident hope is in the sure and certain promises of God. Thus, our hope is an eschatological hope, grounded in our confidence that God will bring all things to consummation in a manner that will bring greatest glory to his own name, greatest preeminence to his Son, and greatest joy for his redeemed people.

We deny that we are to find ultimate fulfillment or happiness in this world, or that God’s ultimate purpose is for us to find merely a more meaningful and fulfilling life in this fallen world. We further deny that any teaching that offers health and wealth as God’s assured promises in this life can be considered a true gospel.

Article XVI is sure to get some comments. Just so you know...I concur with all of these statements.

Bad Theology Alert: Guess the Book!

UPDATE: Here's the Answer...

Captivating, by John and Stasi Eldredge

Guess what book these quotes are from… Nope not the Da Vinci Code with the concept of the “divine feminine”…No…not the book of Oprah fame called The Secret. Here’s a hint, it is labeled as a “Christian” book. And it is was published by Thomas Nelson Books 4/7/2005. AND it's really popular in Christian circles.

[I've put them in categories to show what errors I see in the book]

(1) Postmodern
He [the Son of God] came to restore the glorious creature that you are. And then set you free . . . to be yourself (pg. 95).”

(2) Divine Feminine?
“The essence of a woman is Beauty. She is meant to be the incarnation our experience in human form of a Captivating God (pg. 130)."

“[woman] is the crescendo, the final, astonishing work of God (25).”

(3) Open Theism
“The same holds true for Mary, the mother of Jesus only it’s far, far more weighty. Her life also turned on an invitation. The angel came as the courier of the King. But still, she needed to say yes. [God] would not force the whole thing upon her. Her heart needed to be willing (pg. 203).”

“And of course the salvation of mankind rested on the courage of a woman, a teenage girl. What if she had said no? (pg. 204).”

(4) An Image Of A Needy God Based Off Of Sinful Humans' Neediness??
“How many of you see God as longing to be loved by you? We see Him as strong and powerful, but not as needing us, vulnerable to us, yearning to be desired (pp. 28-29).”

“God longs to be desired. Just as a woman longs to be desired (pg. 29).”

“It might come as a surprise that Christ asks our permission to come in and heal, but He is kind, and the door is shut from the inside, and healing never comes against our will. In order to experience His healing, we must also give Him permission to come into the places we have so long shut to anyone (pg. 100).”

(5) A Hole In God's Heart??
"You’ve probably heard that there is in every human heart a place that God alone can fill. . . . But what the old poet was saying was that there is also in God’s heart a place that you alone can fill. 'It follows that there is a chamber in God Himself, into which none can enter but one, the individual.' You. You are meant to fill a place in the heart of God no one and nothing else can fill. Whoa. He longs for you (pg. 120).”

(6) This Lover Imagery is Irreverant, Unbiblical, and Sickening!
“What would it be like to experience for yourself that the truest thing about his heart toward yours is not disappointment or disapproval but deep, fiery, passionate love? (113).”

“We must choose to open our hearts again so that we might hear his whispers, receive his kisses (116).”

“He knows what takes your breath away, knows what makes your heart beat faster (116).”

“[God] wants to be known as only lovers can know each other” (120); . . . “you are the one who takes his [God's] breath away (121).”

“[each woman is] made for romance, and the only one who can offer it to you consistently and deeply is Jesus (125).”

“put yourself in the scene as the Beauty, and Jesus as the Lover (114).”

“the most intimate of all the metaphors Jesus chose to describe his love and longing for us, and the kind of relationship he invites us into (114).”

This is garbage. I can't believe a Christian Publisher would sell this stuff!

By the way women are an amazing gracious gift from God...and God does love us enough to send His Son to die for us, but these quotes miss the point of these biblical truths by a mile!

Any guesses on the book??

Good Friends and The Pines Mission

Check out the Crannells', the Kunzes', the Barbers', and the Careys' blog at The Pines Mission blog.

I just found out about this yesterday [to my shame]. Please pray for them as the serve on this short term mission trip!

In Christ

Monday, March 26, 2007

For the Ladies

Check out these talks from CHBC. They are especially geared toward women. It may be weird, but I’ve listened to almost all of them. They are quite good;)
(1) Mary Mohler The Beauty of Women series [3/24/2007]
Part I: The Beauty of Women
Part II: The Vanity of Worldly Beauty

(2) Christian Sexuality: Women’s Talk Lecture and Q & A [With Michael Lawrence, Mark Dever, Matt Schmucker, and Scott Croft] [3/2/2004]

(3) Biblical Modesty [Lynette Smith, Careen Behrens, Debi Simons, Shelly Pelletier] – Lecture and Q & A [5/11/2004]

(4) Ed Welch Does Thin Equal BeautifulLecture and Q & A [2/3/2006]

(5) Albert Mohler The Nature of True Beauty Lecture and Q & A [11/14/2005]

In case you’re interested the following talks regarding sex are also very good even though they aren’t particularly for women. Sorry for the bait and switch from the title of the post;)
(1) Michael Lawrence The Beauty of Intimacy: Sex, Marriage, and the Gospel [12/5/2006]

(2) Christian Sexuality Men’s Talk [With Michael Lawrence, Mark Dever, Matt Schmucker, and Scott Croft] – Lecture and Q & A [2/17/2004]

(3) Albert Mohler’s series Naked and Not Ashamed: An Evangelical Theology of Sex
Part 1: The Mystery of Marriage [11/11/2001]
Part 2: Reproductive Techniques and Contraception [11/11/2001]
Part 3: The Family and the Culture War [11/11/2001]
Q & A for messages 1-3 [11/11/2001]

Part 4: Homosexuality: Does Gender Matter? [11/12/2001]
Q & A for part 4 [11/12/2001]

The Typical Protestant Pastor

In the 3/24/2007 RTS newsletter the following stats on a “typical protestant pastor” were listed. I thought some of you might be interested.

The findings below are surprising and contradict earlier research from several other sources. There are "straws in the wind," which indicate that a sea change in church growth research may be underway; this is one of them.
• Only 5% of Protestant pastors in America are women.

• Almost all pastors are married.

• While 13% have been divorced almost all of these are remarried, and if you think that is a surprisingly high percentage, remember that it is half the percentage for the entire population.

• The pastoral work force is aging. The average age of Protestant pastors was 44 in 1992 and is 48 in the most recent survey.

• The average number of years spent in full-time pastoral ministry jumped from 14 years in 1992 to 17 years in the most recent survey.

• The average tenure in a church is 5 years.

• A substantial share of those pastors who stay with a congregation for a long time lead churches that are not growing.

• Many long-term pastors rate their own teaching and preaching skills as average or below average.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

A Christian! A Christian!

Here are a few snippets of a quote of Samuel Davies who was a Presbyterian preacher in the second Great Awakening.

Iaian Murray prefaces the quote by saying:
"Had Davies given more prominence to the distinctives of his own church it would have been to the numerical advantage of the Presbyterians, but his prime concern was to serve a much greater cause."

Samuel Davies:
"To be a Christian is not enough now-a-days, but a man must also be something more and better; that is, he must be a strenuous bigot to this or that particular church . . ."

" . . . the Christian is swallowed up in the partisan, and fundamentals lost in extra-essentials . . ."

"A Christian! a Christian! let that be your highest distinction, let that be the name which you labour to deserve. God forbid that my ministry should be the occasion of diverting your attention to anything else."

[Pp. 29 of Iaian Murray's Revival and Revivalism. Banner of Truth Trust.]

He did hold the value of local church or denominational distinctives/convictions . . . but he was right to recognize that that wasn't the first thing the church exists to proclaim.

Praise God for men like this!

Also, this quote of Murray's also stood out to me . . .
"News was spread by some in England that the infant College [Princeton] adhered to the 'Calvinistic Scheme' and was 'in the hands of bigots', and this closed both pulpits and purses to the visitors. The Independents (Congregationalists) and Baptists, who, Davies noted, 'are more generally Calvinists than the Presbyterians', gave the two preachers a better welcome. But these groups had little numerical strength ('the congregations are so small that it is enough to damp one's zeal in preaching to them'), a fact not unrelated to the 'dry orthodoxy' and 'Antinomianism' which Davies also observed among them. Dr John Gill was supportive but 'he modestly pleaded that his name would be of little service and that the Baptists in general were, unhappily, ignorant of the importance of learning'.

[Pp. 15 of Iaian Murray's Revival and Revivalism. Banner of Truth Trust.]

A Response to Timothy (regarding a comment from my last post)

[This is a response to a comment on my last post...if you're interested check it out first . . . I'm afraid this may not make sense if you don't:)]

I have been out of town for the last couple days . . . so I apologize for my delinquent response.

Anyhow, thanks for the thoughts; however, I still disagree with you.

We're probably going to have to agree to disagree on this one. But here is a little bit of a defense of my view:

I agree that Matt 16:18 is inseparable from 16:19, but it is also inseparable from 16:16..."You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." This is what I believe Jesus is referring to as the rock... the faith in Jesus Christ that Peter had just confessed. The division between faith and apostasy is belief in Christ . . . the foundation of the church. Why would Jesus make the division between heaven and hell a foundation of the man Peter? Also, how does the "foundation" of the church built on Peter harmonize with Ephesians 2:19-20 "citizens of the household of God are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone."

Earlier Jesus had already given Peter the new name…John 1:42 makes it clear that Jesus gave Simon the name Peter when he called him to be a disciple…not later at this point in Jesus’ ministry.

Regarding the keys to the kingdom, I believe this means a confirmation of Peter’s apostleship. The keys are as John Calvin would say, “Applied to the office of teaching. [John Calvin's commentary on Matthew, Mark, Luke - Volume 2 pp. 180]” The knowledge is Peter’s confession of Jesus being the Christ, the Son of the living God (Luke 11:52 “key of knowledge”). However, this is a difficult phrase. To build one’s theology of the “foundation” of the church solely off of this passage that is highly contested would be an error (in my opinion). See other New Testament references to Christ as foundation (Luke 6:48-49); also, Paul speaks of building not on other’s foundation (Ro 15:20; 1 Cor 3:10-12) [possibly similar to when the Word says foundation of the world partly meaning Christ as the cornerstone and partly the beginning, in one sense Peter’s confession is the beginning of the gospel confession of the church, but I don’t believe Matt 16:18 refers to the cornerstone/physical weight bearing foundation of the church. I believe that is faith in Jesus and Jesus Christ Himself.] He is calling Peter to be the steward of the kingdom.

Regarding the “keys to the kingdom” William Barclay has a pretty good description of my view:
“In actual usage in the New Testament, this phrase is regularly attached to Jesus. It is in His hands, and in no one else’s, that the keys are. In Revelation I:8 the risen Christ says: ‘I am He that liveth and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the the keys of Hades and of death.” Again in Revelation 3:7 the Risen Christ is described as, ‘He that is holy, He that is true, He that hath the key of David, He that openeth and no man shutteth; and shutteth and no man openeth.’ It is clear that this phrase must be interpreted as indicating a certain divine right, and whatever the promise made to Peter was, that promise cannot be taken as annulling, or infringing, a right which belongs alone to God and to the Son of God.

All these New Testament pictures and usages go back to a picture in Isaiah (Isaiah 22:22). In that picture Isaiah describes Eliakim, who will have the key of the house of David on his shoulder, and who alone will open and shut. Now the duty of Eliakim was to be the faithful steward of the house. It is the steward who carries the keys of the house, who in the morning opens the door, and in the evening shuts it, and through whom visitors gain access to the royal presence. So then what Jesus is saying to Peter is that in the days to come, Peter will be the steward of the Kingdom. And in the case of Peter the whole idea is that of opening, not shutting, the door of the Kingdom. And indeed that came abundantly true (then he cites Acts 2:41, Acts 10, 15:14) . . . The promise that Peter would have the keys to the Kingdom was the promise that Peter would be the means of opening the door of God for thousands upon thousands of people in the days to come. The plain fact is that it is not only Peter who has the keys of the Kingdom; every Christian has; for it is open to every one of us to open the door of the Kingdom to some one, and to enter into the great promise of Jesus Christ.” [pp. 155-156 of William Barclay's commentary on Matthew Vol. 2 of the Daily Bible Study Series]

Also, if Peter is the cornerstone of the church the other synoptic gospels don’t speak to this citing the same confession of Peter [Mark 8:29; Luke 9:20]. I believe the whole counsel of God [particularly Eph 2:19-20] must be taken into account regarding this “foundation” of the church the “household of God”.

Regarding your citing of Tertullian in church history . . . I’m afraid that argument is not a very good one. Tertullian’s dates are approximately 160-230 A.D. I believe you may have stated his view correctly, but what are we to make of an earlier writing of Ignatius of Antioch approximately 35-107 A.D regarding this text. I will quote early church fathers' views that John Owen cites earlier on pgs. 6-7 of his preface to the book I quoted in the last post:

Ignatius (35-107 A.D.)
“‘He’ (that is, Christ) ‘is the way leading unto the Father, the rock, the key, the shepherd.’”

Origen (185-254 A.D.)
“If you shall think that the whole church was built on Peter alone, what shall we say of John, and each of the apostles? What! [S]hall we dare say that the gates of hell shall not prevail against Peter only?”

Eusebius (c. 275-5/30/339 A.D.)
“ Praeparat. Evang., lib.i. cap. 3 . . . He proves the verity of divine predictions from the glorious accomplishment of that word, and the promise of our Saviour, that he would build his church on the rock, (that is, himself,) so as that the gates of hell should not prevail against it.”

Hilary de Trin. (I don’t know his dates)
“This is the only immovable foundation, this is the blessed rock of faith, confessed by Peter, Thou are the Son of the living God.”

Epahianius (I don’t know his dates)
“Upon this rock” of assured faith “I will build my church.”

Augustine (354-430 A.D.)
“He (Christ) meant the universal church, which in this world is shaken with divers temptations, as with showers, floods, and tempests, yet falleth not, because it is build on the rock (Petra) from whence Peter took his name. For the rock is not called Petra from Peter, but Peter is so called from Petra the rock; as Christ is not so called from Christian, but Christian from Christ. Therefore, said the Lord, ‘Upon this rock will I build my church;’ because Peter had said, ‘Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Upon this rock, which thou hast confessed, will I build my church. For Christ himself was the rock on which foundation Peter himself was built. For other foundation can no man lay, save that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

Unfortunately, your argument that the “true historic Christian interpretation” is not the same as the “400 year-old post-Reformation Protestant interpretation” doesn’t completely hold up. Besides the interpretation of Scripture is not substantiated by the interpretation of man, rather through the commentary of the entire counsel of God. Unfortunately, I don’t see your interpretation being confirmed by the rest of the Word. Therefore, I don’t think it would be wise to base the foundation of the church on a man other than the God-Man Jesus Christ.

I believe this is the truth.

Soli Deo Gloria

Thursday, March 22, 2007

John Owen Laying an Axe to the Root of Roman Catholicism

From John Owen [From The Glory of Christ pg. 32]

Here’s a brief introduction to the context of this quote. Owen is talking about how Roman Catholics are wrong in their claim that Peter is the foundation of the church from Matthew 16:18 . . .
“How they bring in the claim of their pope by Peter, his being at Rome, being bishop of Rome, dying at Rome, fixing his chair at Rome, devoting and transmitting all his right, title, power and authority, every thing but his faith, holiness and labour in the ministry, unto the pope, I shall not here inquire; I have done it elsewhere. Here is fixed the root of the tree, which is grown great, like that in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, until it is become a receptacle for the beasts of the field and fowls of the air – sensual men and unclean spirits.”

Owen then says, regarding this root of Peter being the foundation of the Roman Catholic church . . .
“I shall, therefore, briefly lay an axe unto the root of it, by evidencing that it is not the person of Peter who confessed Christ, but the person of Christ whom Peter confessed, that is the rock on which the church is built.”
Wow! I have to say that I agree with the protestant reading of Matthew 16:18.

Her Husband's Crown

I’m definitely going to buy this for Linds when it comes out! Check it out! It might be a good one for you to get for your wife, your pastor's wife, or any other lady in your life.

BTW, are there any other books that have been an encouragement to you wives?? If yes, please post the titles/authors.

[I'm not sure if it's a book or just a booklet. Either way it looks great!]

Here's the blurb:
Here's what will be the newest addition to the Banner booklet series - to be released in a few short weeks.
Although much has been written to prepare men for the work of the Christian ministry, there is comparatively little in print that will help prepare the minister’s wife for her role within the church.

The pastor’s wife is neither ‘The First Lady of the Church’, nor just another member of the church. She has certain basic responsibilities laid upon her and this booklet aims to encourage and help her to serve the Lord alongside her husband.

Although written primarily for pastors’ wives, this booklet will encourage Christian wives in general and will stimulate prayer for and support of pastors and their wives everywhere.

[HT: Steve Burlew]

The Eternal Enjoyment of Christ

John Owen on Christ and believers.
“Unto them that believe unto the saving of the soul, he is, he always hath been, precious – the sun, the rock, the life, the bread of their souls – every thing that is good, useful, amiable, desirable, here or unto eternity. In, from, and by him, is all their spiritual and eternal life, light, power, growth, consolation, and joy here; with everlasting salvation hereafter. By him alone do they desire, expect, and obtain deliverance from that woful [woeful] apostasy [desertion/departure] from God, which is accompanied with – which containeth in it virtually and meritoriously – whatever is evil, noxious [harmful], and destructive unto our nature, and which without relief, will issue in eternal misery. By him are they brought into the nearest cognation , alliance, and friendship with God, the firmest union unto him, and the most holy communion with him, that our finite natures are capable of, and so conducted unto the eternal enjoyment of him.”
John Owen in the preface [pg. 3] of A Declaration of the Glorious Mystery of The Person of Christ – God and Man: with The Infinite Wisdom, Love, and Power of God in the Contrivance and Constitution Thereof; as also, Of The Grounds And Reasons Of His Ministry In Heaven; The Present State Of The Church Above Thereon; And The Use Of His Person In Religion; with An Account And Vindication Of The Honour, Worship, Faith, Love, And Obedience Due Unto Him, In And From The Church. Banner of Truth Trust; Carlisle, PA. 2000

I love it how Owen's titles are almost as long as the quotes that people cite from him!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Affirmations and Denials; Articles XIII-XV

Here are the next three affirmations and denials from Together for the Gospel's document.

Article XIII
We affirm that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to believers by God’s decree alone, and that this righteousness, imputed to the believer through faith alone, is the only righteousness that justifies.

We deny that such righteousness is earned or deserved in any manner, is infused within the believer to any degree, or is realized in the believer through anything other than faith alone.

Article XIV
We affirm that the shape of Christian discipleship is congregational, and that God’s purpose is evident in faithful Gospel congregations, each displaying God’s glory in the marks of authentic ecclesiology.

We deny that any Christian can truly be a faithful disciple apart from the teaching, discipline, fellowship, and accountability of a congregation of fellow disciples, organized as a Gospel church. We further deny that the Lord’s Supper can faithfully be administered apart from the right practice of church discipline.

Article XV
We affirm that evangelical congregations are to work together in humble and voluntary cooperation and that the spiritual fellowship of Gospel congregations bears witness to the unity of the Church and the glory of God.

We deny that loyalty to any denomination or fellowship of churches can take precedence over the claims of truth and faithfulness to the Gospel.

Here's a quick commentary regarding Article XIII and Article IV:

XIII: The forensic/legal aspect of justification is a very important one that many just don't believe. As you can see in this series of comment posts I had recently at a friends blog that some folks don't believe that the "imputation" language of justification is what Paul meant by the word "justification". However, by the word "justification" Paul [and other Scripture passages] did mean imputation of righteousness to us (2 Cor 5:21; Ro 4:25; 5:18, etc.), and likewise the sin of believers to Him on the cross(1 Pet 2:24; Gal 3:13; etc.). This is the center of the gospel...indicating how Jesus achieved a propitiatory sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin.

XIV: This a strong motivator for the local church. Also, church membership. Do you belong to a church? Lindsey and I are currently looking. If you do belong to a church are you getting the "teaching, discipline, fellowship, and accountability of a congregation of fellow disciples" characteristic of a "gospel church"?

Monday, March 19, 2007

My Birthday This Year!

Well here's a belated pic from my birthday this year. I am officially 6 and 3/4 birthdays old [I was born on leap year 2/29/1980]. This is a pic of my folks and the Marks and us at Ohana's Steakhouse.

The next one is of me and Linds [for those of you that don't know me that's my wife!] Check out that German chocolate cake she made. That's my favorite!

Affirmations and Denials; Articles X-XII

Here are the next three affirmations and denials from Together for the Gospel's document.
[Hang on there are only six to go!]

Article X
We affirm that salvation comes to those who truly believe and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

We deny that there is salvation in any other name, or that saving faith can take any form other than conscious belief in the Lord Jesus Christ and His saving acts.

Article XI
We affirm the continuity of God’s saving purpose and the Christological unity of the covenants. We further affirm a basic distinction between law and grace, and that the true Gospel exalts Christ’s atoning work as the consummate and perfect fulfillment of the law.

We deny that the Bible presents any other means of salvation than God’s gracious acceptance of sinners in Christ.

Article XII
We affirm that sinners are justified only through faith in Christ, and that justification by faith alone is both essential and central to the Gospel.

We deny that any teaching that minimizes, denies, or confuses justification by faith alone can be considered true to the Gospel. We further deny that any teaching that separates regeneration and faith is a true rendering of the Gospel.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Brother Eric on the Front Page!

Check this brother-in-law Eric Newman was on the front page of the local paper today. The pic below was taken in the middle of a timed fire fighter physical agility test that he was doing. Eric had the fastest time in the entire group! Awesome!

Two things! First,the orange thing around his chest is a strap that the guy behind him was holding because the load was pretty heavy. Second, this task was done after multiple heavy lifting in other tasks in the middle of the test.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Affirmations and Denials; Articles VII-IX

Here are the next three affirmations and denials from Together for the Gospel's document.

Article VII
We affirm that Jesus Christ is true God and true Man, in perfect, undiluted, and unconfused union throughout his incarnation and now eternally. We also affirm that Christ died on the cross as a substitute for sinners, as a sacrifice for sin, and as a propitiation of the wrath of God toward sinners. We affirm the death, burial, and bodily resurrection of Christ as essential to the Gospel. We further affirm that Jesus Christ is Lord over His church, and that Christ will reign over the entire cosmos in fulfillment of the Father’s gracious purpose.

We deny that the substitutionary character of Christ’s atonement for sin can be compromised without serious injury to the Gospel or denied without repudiating the Gospel. We further deny that Jesus Christ is visible only in weakness, rather than in power, Lordship, or royal reign, or, conversely, that Christ is visible only in power, and never in weakness.

Article VIII
We affirm that salvation is all of grace, and that the Gospel is revealed to us in doctrines that most faithfully exalt God’s sovereign purpose to save sinners and in His determination to save his redeemed people by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to His glory alone.

We deny that any teaching, theological system, or means of presenting the Gospel that denies the centrality of God’s grace as His gift of unmerited favor to sinners in Christ can be considered true doctrine.

Article IX
We affirm that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is God’s means of bringing salvation to His people, that sinners are commanded to believe the Gospel, and that the church is commissioned to preach and teach the Gospel to all nations.

We deny that evangelism can be reduced to any program, technique, or marketing approach. We further deny that salvation can be separated from repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Any thoughts?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

New Chair...

Well, I'm going to turn in for the night...and I thought I'd post a pic of the new chair we purchased last weekend. It reclines too! It's perfect for reading...and better support for my back while studying...

Oh...and that's my cat Trixie sleeping on it.

Monday, March 12, 2007


Update on working out!

Back in January I started running 3-5 days a week for 30 minutes with a 5 minute cooldown. I'm happy to say that I've kept it up. I started at 5.6 miles per hour and weighed in at 216.5lbs [I had dropped from 225lbs when Lindsey and I started lifting weights last October].

I'm down to 205.5lbs! I know it's been slow, but that's approx. 20lbs since last October...and 11lbs since January. My goal weight is 185 for my height [5'11"]. And I think at this rate I might be able to get there...someday!

Also, I'm running for 30 minutes now at 6.5 mph instead of 5.6 where I started. Not bad! It's nice to run from the car to the grocery store and not get out of breath!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Affirmations and Denials; Articles IV-VI

Here are the next 3 Articles from Together For the Gospel's Affirmations and Denials.

Article IV
We affirm the centrality of expository preaching in the church and the urgent need for a recovery of biblical exposition and the public reading of Scripture in worship.

We deny that God-honoring worship can marginalize or neglect the ministry of the Word as manifested through exposition and public reading. We further deny that a church devoid of true biblical preaching can survive as a Gospel church.

Article V
We affirm that the Bible reveals God to be infinite in all his perfections, and thus truly omniscient, omnipotent, timeless, and self-existent. We further affirm that God possesses perfect knowledge of all things, past, present, and future, including all human thoughts, acts, and decisions.

We deny that the God of the Bible is in any way limited in terms of knowledge or power or any other perfection or attribute, or that God has in any way limited his own perfections.

Article VI
We affirm that the doctrine of the Trinity is a Christian essential, bearing witness to the ontological reality of the one true God in three divine persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each of the same substance and perfections.

We deny the claim that the Trinity is not an essential doctrine, or that the Trinity can be understood in merely economic or functional categories.

Are we in agreement so far?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Affirmations and Denials; Articles I - III

Over the next couple weeks I'm going to blog through the affirmations and denials that were written in conjuction with the Together for the Gospel conference last year. I'll do a few articles every few days. I'm curious to see what any of you think regarding this.

Is this something you could sign?

Here are the first three articles

Article I
We affirm that the sole authority for the Church is the Bible, verbally inspired, inerrant, infallible, and totally sufficient and trustworthy.

We deny that the Bible is a mere witness to the divine revelation, or that any portion of Scripture is marked by error or the effects of human sinfulness.

Article II
We affirm that the authority and sufficiency of Scripture extends to the entire Bible, and therefore that the Bible is our final authority for all doctrine and practice.

We deny that any portion of the Bible is to be used in an effort to deny the truthfulness or trustworthiness of any other portion. We further deny any effort to identify a canon within the canon or, for example, to set the words of Jesus against the writings of Paul.

Article III
We affirm that truth ever remains a central issue for the Church, and that the church must resist the allure of pragmatism and postmodern conceptions of truth as substitutes for obedience to the comprehensive truth claims of Scripture.

We deny that truth is merely a product of social construction or that the truth of the Gospel can be expressed or grounded in anything less than total confidence in the veracity of the Bible, the historicity of biblical events, and the ability of language to convey understandable truth in sentence form. We further deny that the church can establish its ministry on a foundation of pragmatism, current marketing techniques, or contemporary cultural fashions.

Insurance Biblical??

What do you think?

Here's a quote from David Wells...
"What has replaced the idea of providence, of God's exercise of his rule in life, is chance and luck, and evil has simply devolved into bad luck ... perhaps ... the six hundred thousand who died in the American Civil War contribued much to the demise of the idea of providence ... However, it was not just war that contributed to this sense of the decentering of the world. Everything in the modern age seemed to point in this direction: why one person was unemployed and another was not; why one woman got pregnant and another did not; why some got fatal diseases in the prime of life and others did not; and why some struck it rich and others remained paupers. Life, it seemed, is just a large, complex, and unpredictable accident. This was the context in which insurance companies began to thrive in the nineteenth century . They developed actuarial charts in an attempt to handicap chance. But was the buying of insurance, this making of bets against the future, really different from gambling? It was hard to know. [Above All Earthly Powers pp. 241"]

A few quick things...first, we often justify paying so much for insurance because the possessions that keep us so in debt are so costly. Are we any different than bond-servants to these possessions? A slave serving created things? Second, what's the difference between us [who "NEED" to have insurance] and our ancestors who didn't? Possessions! Healthcare! Oh how we could use to live more simple lives... Lastly, insurance isn't all bad [actually good stewardship almost requires it in this country where you can sue for almost anything], but we can't complain about the state of gambling, because thinking rationally and honestly ... insurance companies have some of the same implications and effects on our society. Just some food for thought. Insurance is good but don't let it be your god!

Think about this the next time you say, "Good Luck!"

Friday, March 02, 2007

Banner of Truth Preaching Conference

This conference looks the pic to view the brochure. As of today the speaker line up is different.
Here are the speakers:
  • Sinclair Ferguson
  • Derek Thomas
  • Mark Johnston
  • Patrick Harrison
  • Ben Short
  • Jonathan Watson

I hope we're out in D.C. in time to go to this one. If not that's cool.

The Worst Bad Theology Alert [so far] of 2007: "The Secret"

This is an extremely popular book endorsed by Oprah [the idol/god of many American women].

Here are a few quotes to whet your appetite:

"Nothing [good or bad] can come into your experience unless you summon it
through persistent thoughts" (p. 28).

"Your thoughts are the primary
cause of everything" (p. 33).

"Your current reality or your current life is a result of the thoughts you
have been thinking" (p. 71).

"There isn't a single thing that you cannot
do with this knowledge. . . . The Secret can give you whatever you want" (p.

" will come to know how you can have, be, or do anything you
want" (p. xii).

"You are God in a physical body. You are Spirit in the
flesh. You are Eternal Life expressing itself as You. You are a cosmic being.
You are all power. You are all wisdom. You are all intelligence. You are
perfection. You are magnificence. You are the creator, and you are creating the
creation of You on this planet" (p. 164).

"The earth turns on its orbit for You. The oceans ebb and flow for You. The birds sing for You. The sun rises and it sets for You. The stars come out for You. Every beautiful thing you see, every wondrous thing you experience, is all there for You. Take a look around. None of it can exist, without You. No matter who you thought you were, now you know the Truth of Who You Really Are. You are the master of the Universe. You are the heir to the kingdom. You are the perfection of Life. And now you know The Secret" (p. 183).

" one will stand in judgment of [your life], now
or ever" (p. 177).

[HT: Lindsey referring me to this review by Don Whitney A Review of The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.]

Also, if you want to know what Oprah thinks of the exclusivity of Jesus for salvation check out this video...keep your eyes open to who is influencing you and your kids!

Projects on the Docket!

  • Infant Salvation: As always, I collect articles and mark up books where they discuss infant salvation. I’m curious what folks have thought throughout history about this. One area that I need to dig more into is the Jewish thought regarding the topic.
  • The Repentance of God [Term Paper for SBTS]: To what extent linguistically or philologically do anthropomorphisms apply to God. When the Bible uses these descriptors of God do they place all the implications on God that they would when they are used in regard to man? [e.g. anger, lying, repent, etc.]
  • The Development of the English Reformation [Term Paper for SBTS]: What primary influences caused the “Church of England” to break away from Roman Catholicism. [I’m not going to write about the inclination of the Anglican Church today to seek communion with the Roman Catholics…but I am curious what the cause of the split originally was (I'm assuming it's the gospel...which the Anglican Church in England has largely lost). It’s amazing how few generations there are between a split and an ignorance of why the split happened…and ultimately falling into unbelief can occur.]
  • Book Review on John Piper’s Counted Righteous in Christ [Book Review for SBTS].

If you have any ideas of some good sources for these topics…please let me know. I’m open to any commentary or sources! As I get some of this done I'll post some of the ideas:) It won't be right away though.

Have a great blizzard...I mean day!

La Ma'an Shmo