I just discovered that monergism books has a whole section of many wonderful classic theological books, from names like Jonathan Edwards, A.W. Pink, John Bunyan, and many more available for FREE from their website. They have epub and mobi formats.
Don’t everyone rush at once!
A quote I came across… that continues to humble me as I ponder it…
Virginia Stem Owens said in [the] Reformed Journal,
Let us get this one thing straight. God can do anything he damn well pleases, including damn well. And if it pleases him to damn, then it is done, ipso facto, well. God’s activity is what it is. There isn’t anything else. Without it there would be no being, including human beings presuming to judge the Creator of everything that is.
Wow… so right on!
I’m on sabbatical (translation: I’m resting), so this is a pre-scheduled
post for your encouragement, education and enjoyment!
things that are going on in the world. The conversations are between Dr. Mohler (President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY), and various guests who are influential thinkers, writers, and figures in the public realm. I never fail to learn something or be spurred on to better thinking about my faith in a world that is in rebellion against God. Each episode is between 30 and 50 minutes… so it’s perfect for your commute, exercise time, or whatever! Check it out!
I’m on sabbatical. (translation: I’m resting). This is a pre-scheduled
post for your encouragement and enjoyment!
I think this post from C. Michael Patton is very helpful for anyone who is struggling with doubts – be they intellectual, emotional, or experiential. I pray you will be touched by the Lord through this post…
For those who are struggling with intellectual doubts:
Focus attention only on the issues that make or break the core essence of Christianity such as the resurrection of Christ and the existence of God. Don’t spend time on more ancillary issues such as creation/evolution, the world-wide flood, or the perfect harmony of the individual authors’ truth claims. These, either way you go with them, do not effect the essence of the Gospel message. If Christ rose from the grace as an historical reality, then all else, though they may shake, crack, or crumble, do not have the sting of apostasy on board.
For those who are struggling with emotional doubt
Remember that our emotions do not have a determinative vote in truth. We must be willing to trust God even when the truth claims we are asked to believe seem to militate against our moral compass. Remember that God gave us our emotional dispositions and he knows the struggles we have, yet he tells us that he loves everyone more than we do and knows what he is doing. In this sense, he holds out his hand and says “Trust me. I know you would do things different, but just trust me.”
For those struggling with experiential doubt
Remember that the lot life hands us will often be filled with experiences that differ from the experiences we would bring about were we in control of the world. Contrary to popular opinion, the Bible does not guarantee anything but suffering, pain, and perplexity as we attempt to live for God. This is why so much of the Bible points our thoughts to the unseen future that God has promised. Often times we “punt to the eschaton” not as a cop-out, but because in it is our true hope where tears will be no more.
I often learn a lot from Al Mohler… and the article I’m about to cite is no exception. He’s been very helpful to my thinking and my theology (he is a theologian after all).
His article is based around the issue of having two candidates seeking nomination to the Presidency who are professed Mormons, and whether evangelicals should vote for them.
That’s not my concern… I’m mainly concerned that Christians not be fooled into thinking that Mormonism is just a “type” of Christianity.
It is not.
Al Mohler’s article (the first part) makes that pretty clear, in a simple and convincing way. HERE IT IS – enjoy!
Anyone who has heard a handful of my sermons knows that I’m not one to shy away from a controversy or to be afraid to call “wrong” WRONG. I believe with all my heart that Christians (and their Pastors/Elders) must make careful distinctions about what is true gospel teaching and what is not.
But having said that… there’s a very fine line between being a defender of the faith and simply being argumentative. I’ve noticed that Paul makes that distinction in his writings to Timothy and Titus, and I’ve honestly had trouble understanding the difference at times.
I recently read an article, the first in a series, by Tim Keller, Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan, NY. In that article, recounting an event in the life of Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones, he says the following,
In their meeting, Shields asked Lloyd-Jones if he enjoyed reading the works of another contemporary defender of orthodoxy. Lloyd-Jones said that he seldom read the author, because “he doesn’t help me spiritually.” Shields asked, “Surely you are helped by the way he makes mincemeat of the liberals?” Lloyd-Jones responded, “You can make mincemeat of the liberals and still be in trouble in your own soul.”
That’s helpful to me. Very helpful.
How often have I been up in arms about a controversy or bad teaching and at the same time been in a bad place in my own soul because of it? I’m not sure I know the answer to that question, but I’m confident it’s been more than I’d care to admit. I guess it’s speaking to the issue of a sorry attitude – and I can have as much of it as the next guy.
Lord, humble me to be a defender of Your truth because it is Yours, not because I perversely feel superior to those who are not embracing it. Remind me constantly of the great gift of grace it is that I have Your truth at all. Help me to be a servant who knows You deeply, and speaks from that well of life and refreshment, rather than one who knows “about” You, and speaks tepid words that don’t satisfy as a result.
I found this article from John MacArthur on the Grace to You blog. It’s short… and well worth the read…
It is crucial that you understand the nature of Christian liberty. As a Christian, you are not under law, but under grace (Rom. 6:14).
- Freedom from the law certainly does not mean that the principles of righteousness revealed in the Old Testament law are now nullified.
- It does not mean that the Ten Commandments have no application to your present life.
- It does not mean that you can subjugate God’s holy standards to personal preference.
- It obviously does not mean you are free from any moral requirements.
What does it mean?
- It means that Christians are not bound to observe Old Testament ritual.
- We don’t have to sacrifice animals, observe the laws of ceremonial cleanness, and celebrate all the new moons and feasts and sacrifices.
- We don’t have to follow the dietary laws given to Israel through Moses.
- We are free from all that.
Likewise, obviously, we are free from all Gentile religious ceremony and superstition. Whatever our religious background or heritage, in Christ we are free from all the trappings of it. We now live by God’s grace, which has the principle of true righteousness built in.
In other words, our spiritual lives are governed not merely by an external code, but by God’s grace, which operates in us to fulfill the righteous requirements of the law (Rom. 8:4). Grace teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires, and to live sensibly, righteously, and godly (Titus 2:12). And grace empowers us to live holy lives.
This tremendous liberty is one of the most remarkable aspects of the Christian life. We have no need to yield to custom or ceremony or human opinion. There are no earthly priests to intercede between us and God: “There is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5). We don’t need to make a pilgrimage to a temple somewhere to worship; our very bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19). We can worship God in spirit and in truth anytime, anyplace (John 4:23, 24). Whatever we ask in Jesus’ name He will do (John 14:13, 14). The Holy Spirit is given to us as our advocate and comforter (vv. 16, 26). All things belong to us, and we are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s (1 Cor. 3:21–23).
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…” – Genesis 1:1
“All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” – John 1:3
“He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” - Colossians 1:15-17
“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.” – Hebrews 1:1-3
Have you ever taken the time to consider exactly WHAT it is that God the Father created through His Son Jesus? We are earth-bound critters, only able to peek outside what appears to be a very large world upon which we live. But we know, especially given the reaches of modern science, that the planet we call home is not the only thing that exists in the universe. Yet, do we really stop to ponder that everything outside our world is ALSO part of what our God created?
That means our God is vast… more vast than His creation… and His creation is pretty vast. No, it’s REALLY vast. No, it’s unimaginably vast, to the point of absurdity. Here’s a little video I found (well worth 3 minutes of your time…), that will help you to see how vast our universe really is… SO THAT you can realize in turn how vast is the God who put it all in place. It gives a new meaning to the word, “Omnipotence!”
ENJOY… AND BE AMAZED!
Lately whether or not hell exists and who goes there has been a very big issue. It seems to crop up from time to time throughout the history of the church.
Today I read a post from John Piper at www.desiringgod.org that very clearly described why a biblical answer to those questions is such a big issue… here’s a quote…
None of us ever experience suffering more severe than we deserve. If we are not in hell at this moment, we are experiencing massive mercy.
Loud love is calling us from heaven. O that we may have ears to hear:
“Do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed” (Romans 2:4–5).
Instead embrace Christ as your God-given substitute: “Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). Christ endured hell for all who own him as their Life.