October 25, 2009

1655 Midland Confession of Faith

3rd. We profess and believe the Holy Scriptures, the Old and New Testament, to be the word and revealed mind of God, which are able to make men wise unto Salvation, through faith and love which is in Christ Jesus; and that they are given by inspiration of God, serving to furnish the man of God for every good work; and by them we are (in the strength of Christ) to try all things whatsoever are brought to us, under the pretence of truth. II Timothy iii.15-17; Isaiah viii.20.

October 24, 2009

Knowing the Father and the Son - Gibberish To Jehovah's Witnesses

In my studies this morning I ran across this passage.

Mat 11:27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. (ESV)

This places the Son in such a glorious and unique position. It's hard to fathom what a Jehovah's Witness would get out of this, since they hold that Michael was the first creation of Jehovah. From their point of view, it seems to be saying something like this:

"Everything has been handed over by Jehovah to one of his created beings. No one knows this created being except Jehovah and no one knows Jehovah except this creature and anyone to whom this created being chooses to reveal him."

Are there any JWs who are willing to share their thoughts on the following questions?

did the Father hand all things over to the Son?

How could infinite God hand over all things to a finite creature?

Why can't any other creatures know their fellow creature?

Why can only God know this creature?

Why is this the only creature that can know Jehovah without assistance?

How can this creature know God without assistance?

Why is this creature in control of choosing who to reveal God to?

October 23, 2009

Biblical Innerancy - Chicago-style

Thirty-one years ago, nearly 300 evangelical leaders affixed their names to the Chicago Statement on Biblical Innerancy. Included among them were R.C. Sproul, J.I. Packer, Roger Nicole, Norman L. Geisler, Robert Preus, James Montgomery Boice, John Gerstner, Carl F. H. Henry, Kenneth Kantzer, Harold Lindsell, John Warwick Montgomery, Earl Radmacher, Francis Schaeffer, and John Wenham.

I know several of our younger readers here are not aware of this brief yet important work. Some of the names above are possibly familiar but others are unknown. It may seem that 31 years ago is equivalent to eternity past from our historically-truncated viewpoint but it isn't. You will know this experientially when you turn 31. Rest assured that it is well-written and worth your investment in reading it. It is a document that I have re-read and thought about many times over the years.

Christ's Poverty Our Riches

As it is certain that nothing but grace can save the sinner, so it is as certain there is nothing more unpleasing to the sinner than grace; than that good, which when received he must always own the bounty of the giver, and never to eternity be able to say, "My own hand hath made me rich." Christ will bring none to heaven that are in that mind. He that will not be rich in Christ, must be poor and condemned still in the first Adam. Know ye not, saith the apostle, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, who though he was rich, yet he became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich, 2 Cor. 8:9. The riches of a believer stands in the poverty of Christ; and every true believer counts Christ's poverty his riches.

October 21, 2009

Free MP3 Sermons by Tim Keller

A sampling of sermons by well-known author and pastor Tim Keller is now available online. When I tried the site earlier tonight it was obviously drowning in traffic.


October 20, 2009

Amazing Grace: The History & Theology of Calvinism

For those of you who are not aware of theology on DVD, here is a great example for your consideration. I am currently watching the series and am enjoying it immensely. There is a lot of gold in this treasure chest.

Rich in graphics, dramatic vignettes, and biblical analogies, Amazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism features many of the finest reformed thinkers and pastors of our time: Dr. R.C. Sproul, Dr. D. James Kennedy, Dr. George Grant, Dr. Stephen Mansfield, Dr. Thomas Ascol, Dr. Thomas Nettles, Dr. Roger Schultz, Pastor Walt Chantry, Dr. Joe Morecraft, Dr. Ken Talbot, Pastor Walter Bowie and Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr..

You can purchase it at Monergismbooks.com for a very affordable price.

October 18, 2009

Hebrews 9-10: Christ our Atonement and High Priest

Today in our Sunday School class we explored the Day of Atonement in the New Testament. At the conclusion of the discussion period, we watched the following video since it covered the most focused section of Scripture on Christ as the fulfillment of the Day of Atonement in the Old Testament. This is Ryan Ferguson reciting Hebrews 9-10 from memory. It is about 11 minutes long and well worth the time to watch.

Keach's Catechism from 1677 on the Word of God

Q. 4. What is the Word of God?

A. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, being given by divine inspiration, are the Word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and practice.
(2 Peter 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:16,17; Isaiah 8:20)

Q. 5. How do we know that the Bible is the Word of God?

A. The Bible evidences itself to be God's Word by the heavenliness of its doctrine, the unity of its parts, its power to convert sinners and to edify saints; but the Spirit of God only, bearing witness by and with the Scriptures in our hearts, is able fully to persuade us that the Bible is the Word of God.
(1 Cor. 2:6,7,13; Ps. 119:18, 129; Acts 10:43, 26:22; Acts 18:28; Heb 4:12; Ps. 19:7-9; Rom. 15:4; John 16:13,14; 1 John 2:20-27; 2 Cor. 3:14-17)

Q. 6. May all men make use of the Scriptures?

A. All men are not only permitted, but commanded and exhorted, to read, hear, and understand the Scriptures.
(John 5:39; Luke 16:29; Acts 8:28-30; 17:11)

Q. 7. What do the Scriptures principally teach?

A. The Scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God and what duty God requires of man.
(2 Tim. 3:16,17; John 20:31; Acts 24:14; 1 Cor. 10:11; Eccles. 12:13)

October 9, 2009

A Little More Gospel Courage

Here is a 25 minute sermon on Gospel Courage that I preached in 2009 at my home church. Paul set such a wonderful and vivid example for us to follow. I'm not John Piper but we do have one thing in common - God's Word.

October 8, 2009

Gospel Courage

Here's a recent sermon by Piper on courage in and suffering for the gospel. I pray my young brothers in the faith take it to heart. Today is the day of fear and weakness. We need brave ministers of the gospel to preach true truth wholeheartedly.

October 7, 2009

The Doctrine of the Atonement by James Haldane

James Alexander Haldane (1768-1851) lived in a day not unlike our own when men misunderstood the Bible. Two prominent authors had written works seeking to establish the doctrine of universal atonement. This brought confusion concerning the work of Christ to the church in Haldane's time. Haldane set out to reply to their errors and to set forth a sound understanding of Christ's work of particular redemption. I had benefited from Haldane's insights in a shorter work, so I looked forward to reading one of his major books.

Haldane served as pastor to the same congregation for over 50 years. Throughout his life he wrote about the atonement. Obviously it was a subject near and dear to his heart. While he was not a controversialist by habit, nearly every book and tract he wrote on the atonement was in defense of truth and in response to specific errors put forth by his contemporaries.

The Doctrine of the Atonement was written to specifically reply to the errors of Drs Wardlaw, Jenkyn, and Payne. Haldane wrote The Doctrine of the Atonement well into his seventies yet displays a strong and active mind, both in general discourse and in seeing inconsistencies and weaknesses in the works he is contending with.

Generally speaking the book is helpful. Haldane looks at many aspects of the atonement, including its nature, extent, and effects. He explores the free offer of the gospel to all. He examines God's love for mankind. Several controversial questions are toppled by the weight of Scripture.

And yet... it's a struggle to read. Haldane writes with a very sharp razor. He doesn't provide any background on his opponent's arguments. He simply refers the reader to the page number in their works and launches into his reply. For the original audience this was likely not an issue since they had ready access to the opposing works. Not so in this day. Over the years I've wondered why this book of Haldane's hasn't been widely available. Now that I've read it, I understand why. There are other works on the atonement that are much more accessible.

I'm glad I read it, but can only offer a muted recommendation.