Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What, Me Organize?

I have been following Matt Perlman's blog for the past month. This older post about organizing bookmarks is really helpful. I have started doing this and it makes life easier. Of course, I probably have too many sights bookmarked, but that's another issue. Matt's hints on organization make sense. His tips on organizing email are really good as well.

Introducing John Lennox

Both of my regular readers are familiar with John Piper. However, you may not know of John Lennox. John will be in Northeast Ohio in May for the Basics Pastor's Conference at Parkside. This link from Justin Taylor will introduce you to this great intellect.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I Prayed About It...

This is a great post from the people at Team Tominthebox News Network. More powerful than the race card, this card trumps all others.

I have had this card played on me numerous times. The most memorial occasion was a few years ago when a friend and I were “discussing” the way certain words are translated in the KJV. The fact that he was a KJO adherent meant that the “discussion” was one sided. At any rate, we discussed the use of the word charity in 1 Cor. 13: 1. My question was this: “Why can’t we use the word love in the place of charity because the KJV translators sometimes interchange the words?”

Now, this is not the place to engage this debate. I have learned that both sides have their minds made up and that’s that. However, his answer to my question about the translation was, “Well, I prayed about it, and I think that it should be charity.”

In essence, the “I prayed about it card” effectually closes the discussion. What more can be said? If it has been prayed about, and if God has spoken, then who can add to that?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

John Owen on the Prosperity Gospel

Our forefathers in the faith would role over in their graves if they could watch Sunday morning television. Note this statement from John Owen (1616-1683) in his Of the Mortification of Sin in Believers:

A season of unusual outward prosperity is usually accompanied with an hour of temptation. Prosperity and temptation go together; yea, prosperity is a temptation, many temptations, and that because, without eminent supplies of grace, it is apt to cast a soul into a frame and temper exposed to any temptation, and provides it with fuel and food for all. It hath provision for lust and darts for Satan… Without a special assistance, it hath an inconceivably malignant influence on believers themselves.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Can I Get A Witness?

Phil Johnson says some scathing things about evangelicals and political activism on his blog.

Gay Marriage and the Recent Election

Today’s comments by Al Mohler deal with the defeat of ballot issues that would support same-sex unions. Mohler writes;

Without question, that is good news. The vote in California was especially significant, as Proposition 8 allowed the citizens of the nation's most populous state to take the issue back from the state's Supreme Court, which had arrogantly usurped the authority of the people in a 4/3 decision back in May. The 52-48 vote was a clear win for marriage, and a geographical vote distribution chart shows that same-sex marriage has support mainly in the Bay area of San Francisco and neighboring communities. The win in Florida was important because the measure needed 60 percent of the votes in order to pass. It received 62 percent of the votes cast. The Arizona vote was similarly significant -- in this case because that state had been the only state to date to have turned down a similar measure in a previous election.

This election has demonstrated what many have long believed: the general public is not as socially liberal as the media might portray. Given the opportunity to voice their opinion, people demonstrate disapproval for the Gay and Lesbian Agenda. I also think that this would have held true if the Presidential election was cast as a one issue election. Given the dissatisfaction with the current administration, the prolonged war on terror, the tanking economy, and the historical precedent that Barak Obama’s candidacy presented, the abortion issue was moved to the back burner – in spite of many conservatives who tried to bring it to the fore. It is amazing that the same electorate that dealt a serious blow to the legitimizing of same-sex unions also chose the most pro-abortion candidate that this country has ever seen.

If nothing else, the next 4 years will be interesting to watch as the social liberals have control of the executive and legislative offices. Will they represent the will of the people or will they govern by fiat? Time will tell (but don’t hold your breath).

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Yet Another Post- Election Comment

As I survey some of the blogs I regularly follow, it seems that all of them have post-elections comments. In order to be taken as a serious blogger (is that an oxymoron?), I will give mine.

One of the darkest posts concerns the pre-election promise of our President-elect to sign the Freedom of Choice Act as his first official act as President. The blogger states that when this happens, overturning Roe v. Wade becomes meaningless. “The legal battle is over and we’ve lost.” He states further, “Many of us have long understood the way to end abortion is not to change the law (though we certainly favor that) but by changing hearts. Well, folks, now that’s all we’ve got.” (The Thirsty Theologian).

Maybe this is a good thing. Could it be that, as Christians, we been engaging the conflict in the wrong arena. We’ve been laboring for moral change in the political arena (don’t misunderstand; moral politics = good politics), forgetting that the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but are powerful to destroy strongholds. (2 Cor. 10:4).

It is time for the church to be the church – the pilgrim church. We are pilgrims, not tourists. Instead of lusting for political clout, recognition, acceptance and approval from the world, we must remember the words of Jesus, “If the world hates you, it hated me…” (Jo. 15:18).

So it’s come down to this: pray, preach, and labor. We’ve relied upon life chains, Supreme Court appointees, voter guides, etc. Apparently the nation as a whole is more interested in punishing corporate executives by distributing some of their cash than in guaranteeing the lives of the unborn babies of nameless and faceless mothers.

The electorate has spoken. Now, it’s time for the church to speak – not to the President or members of the House and Senate, but to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Living for the Glory of God

This is a great post made more powerful by the courage of the one who writes it. Thanks to Justin Taylor for allowing Eric Redmond share his post-election thoughts.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Another Anniversary

On today’s date in 1950, Pope Pius XII proclaimed the doctrine of the “Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary” which taught that at the end of her earthly life, the mother of Jesus was taken body and soul into heaven. According to Roman doctrine, it was not appropriate for the body of the one who was called theotikos (bearer of God) to see corruption. The Feast of the Assumption is important for Roman Catholics as “The Assumption looks to eternity and gives us hope that we, too, will follow Our Lady when our life is ended” (Father Clifford Stevens, EWTN).

For Roman Catholics, this can make perfect sense. Even though there is not the slightest hint of this teaching in Scripture, it doesn’t matter. The Church trumps Scripture every time. Thus, the Pope can decree doctrine and the faithful are obligated to believe it.

Obviously, non-Catholics in general and evangelicals in particular have a difficult time with this. We hold to the Reformation principle of sola Scriptura (Scripture alone). If it is not taught in sacred Scripture, it is not binding upon God’s people. More than that, extra-Biblical teaching may be dangerous and heretical. The Assumption of Mary falls into this category. It elevates her to near divine status and grants justification for the widespread practice of offering prayer to her in hopes of her intervention for sin.

Perhaps it is ironic that this occurs the day after Reformation Day. I am not trying to be purposely divisive. I want to take my stand on the shoulders of those who have gone on before and stood for the principle of sola Scriptura.