This week we read chapter 54 which discusses the Puritans and prayer. I asked Dr. Beeke a few questions related to the Puritans and the way they prayed.
During the month of October, Reformation Trust is giving away the eBook edition of John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, and Doxology. In this book Burk Parsons, editor of Tabletalk magazine and co-pastor at Saint Andrew’s Chapel, has brought together an impressive group of pastors and scholars to reconsider Calvin’s life and legacy. Contributors include Jay Adams, Eric Alexander Thabiti Anyabwile, Joel Beeke, Jerry Bridges, Sinclair Ferguson, Robert Godfrey, D. G. Hart, Michael Horton, Phillip R. Johnson, Steven Lawson, John MacArthur, Keith Mathison, Richard Phillips, Harry Reeder, Philip Graham Ryken, Derek Thomas, Thomas Ascol, and others.
Brian Gilley talks about why we need to hear the Bible preached (even preachers do!), warns against humanistic philosophy that can creep into “Christian” music and sermons, and reminds people what their hearts are really like. Hint: The Bible says our hearts are wicked and deceitful. That’s the bad news…
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The video speaks for itself, really — however, if you need another’s opinion, go here.
There, in a few words, so many things wrong with Bill’s POV here, but Dr. Moss does a better job at attempting to get him to understand that any of us could.
A fantastic job!
…there may be knowledge of Scripture in the head, while there is no grace in the heart. Mark how king Herod sends to inquire of the priests and elders “where the Christ would be born.” Mark what a ready answer they return him, and what an acquaintance with the letter of Scripture they show. But they never went to Bethlehem to seek for the coming Savior. They would not believe in Him, when He ministered among them. Their heads were better than their hearts. Let us all beware of resting satisfied with head-knowledge. It is an excellent thing, when rightly used. But a man may have much of it, and yet perish everlastingly. What is the state of our hearts? This is the great question. A little grace is better than many gifts. Gifts alone save no one. But grace leads on…
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In popular books and the media, Jesus continues to attract attention. Fox News host Bill O’Reilly builds on this fascination with his latest best-selling book Killing Jesus. What does O’Reilly present about the facts of Jesus’ life, death, burial, and resurrection? Dr. Darrell Bock and Dr. Gary Habermas will examine the points raised in Killing Jesus.
People talk about philosophy in terms of “or.” Philosophy or faith. Philosophy or literature. Philosophy or science, as if the mind were incapable of doing both and reaching its own conclusions.
But that position is ahistorical—great thinkers have long worked across disciplines—and counterproductive: you can glean profound insights from philosophy without emptying it of artistic value, without betraying scientific principles, without sacrificing your faith.
Whatever your worldview, philosophy matters.
Read More Here: http://blog.logos.com/2013/10/why-philosophy-matters/
While the Bible does not explicitly state whether a Christian can be possessed by a demon, related biblical truths make it abundantly clear that Christians cannot be demon possessed. There is a distinct difference between being possessed by a demon and being oppressed or influenced by a demon. Demon possession involves a demon having direct/complete control over the thoughts and/or actions of a person (Matthew 17:14–18; Luke 4:33–35; 8:27–33). Demon oppression or influence involves a demon or demons attacking a person spiritually and/or encouraging him/her into sinful behavior. Notice that in all the New Testament passages dealing with spiritual warfare, there are no instructions to cast a demon out of a believer (Ephesians 6:10–18). Believers are told to resist the devil (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8–9), not to cast him out.
Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9–11; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19). Surely the Holy Spirit would not allow a demon to possess the same person He is indwelling. It is unthinkable that God would allow one of His children, whom He purchased with the blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:18–19) and made into a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), to be possessed and controlled by a demon. Yes, as believers, we wage war with Satan and his demons, but not from within ourselves. The apostle John declares, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Who is the One in us? The Holy Spirit. Who is the one in the world? Satan and his demons. Therefore, the believer has overcome the world of demons, and the case for demon possession of a believer cannot be made scripturally.
With the strong biblical evidence that a Christian cannot be demon possessed in view, some Bible teachers use the term “demonization” to refer to a demon having control over a Christian. Some argue that while a Christian cannot be demon possessed, a Christian can be demonized. Typically, the description of demonization is virtually identical to the description of demon possession. So, the same issue results. Changing the terminology does not change the fact that a demon cannot inhabit or take full control of a Christian. Demonic influence and oppression are realities for Christians, no doubt, but it is simply not biblical to say that a Christian can be possessed by a demon or demonized.
Much of the reasoning behind the demonization concept is the personal experience of seeing someone who was “definitely” a Christian exhibiting evidence of being controlled by a demon. It is crucially important, though, that we do not allow personal experience to influence our interpretation of Scripture. Rather, we must filter our personal experiences through the truth of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16–17). Seeing someone whom we thought to be a Christian exhibiting the behavior of being demonized should cause us to question the genuineness of his/her faith. It should not cause us alter our viewpoint on whether a Christian can be demon possessed / demonized. Perhaps the person truly is a Christian but is severely demon oppressed and/or suffering from severe psychological problems. But again, our experiences must meet the test of Scripture, not the other way around.
Anytime a “new perspective” on some biblical doctrine arises, red flags should go off warning Christians of possible danger. In many cases such “new” ideas, teachings, or perspectives are not new at all. Rather, they are the same old lie from the Garden of Eden when Satan first cast doubt on God’s Word: “Did God really say …” (Genesis 3:1). In that sense, the “New Perspective of Paul” is ancient in that it tries to deny what the Scriptures clearly teach and what has been accepted by Christians for centuries. The “New Perspective on Paul” is not biblical and appears to be an attempt to redefine and even deny key biblical doctrines that are the foundation of the Christian faith.
Sadly however, the teachings propagated by the few who champion the “New Perspective on Paul” are gaining ground, even among evangelical churches, despite the fact that some of its leading proponents are liberal New Testament scholars from secular universities. Most well-known among the “New Perspective of Paul” proponents is N.T. Wright, a noted Bible scholar and Bishop in the Anglican Church, whose books seem to be influencing the spread of this troublesome teaching in evangelical churches.
The heart of this teaching is that for hundreds, if not thousands, of years Christians have seriously “misunderstood” the Apostle Paul and his teachings … thus the need for a new perspective on Paul. The idea that these latter day scholars are so wise that they can figure out the correct perspective on Paul, when biblical scholars from the time of Christ on could not, is founded upon audacity and even borderline arrogance. The “New Perspective on Paul” is not unlike the Jesus Seminar group who several years ago decided they could determine what Jesus actually said and did not say by voting on which words of Christ in the Bible should be attributed to Him and which should not. The implied arrogance of these types of “wiser than everyone else” attitudes should be clear when they claim that Christians for almost 2000 years have been wrong about Paul.
There are four basic tenets of “New Perspective of Paul.” First is the belief that Christians misunderstand Judaism of the first century. They say that Paul was not battling against Jews who were promoting a religion of self-righteousness and works-based salvation and that the Pharisees were not legalists. Yet the Bible describes the Pharisees as those who “neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness,” “straining at a gnat while swallowing a camel” and ones who “cleaned up the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence” (Matthew 23:23–25). The view that first century Pharisees were not legalists and their religion was not one of self-righteous and works-based salvation directly contradicts Jesus’ own words in this and numerous other passages.
The second tenet of this false teaching is that Paul really did not have a problem with the doctrine of salvation taught by the Jewish leaders of his day. His disagreement with them was simply over how they treated the Gentiles and not a fundamental difference over how one is saved or justified before a holy God. However, in his letters to the Galatians and the Romans, Paul clearly and solidly condemned the works-based system of righteousness promoted by the Judaizers who were trying to lure the Galatians away from the true Gospel message. In fact, he said that anyone who preached a gospel other than the one he preached should be “eternally condemned” (Galatians 1:8–9).Once again Scripture shows that the “New Perspective on Paul” is not based on the testimony of Scripture but instead is contrary to it, making it an unbiblical teaching with serious consequences to those that follow it and are led astray by it.
The third unbiblical tenet of the “New Perspective on Paul” teaching is that the gospel is about the Lordship of Christ and not a message of personal salvation and individual redemption from the condemnation of sin. Certainly the Lordship of Christ is an important part of the gospel truth, but if that was all it was how is that good news? No one can make Christ Lord of their life without first being cleansed of sin and indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Only the Spirit of God can empower us to yield to the lordship of Christ. Clearly the hope of Christians is that Christ is first and foremost a Savior whose atoning sacrifice has personally and completely made atonement for their sins. It is for this reason that the gospel is the good news because “it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (Romans 1:16).
This leaves us with the fourth and the most serious unbiblical tenet of the “New Perspective on Paul” teaching—the view on the doctrine of justification by faith, a central and non-negotiable Christian doctrine. According to proponents of this unbiblical teaching, when Paul wrote about justification he was not speaking of personal and individual justification whereby a guilty sinner is declared righteous on the basis of his faith in Christ and Christ’s righteousness is imputed to the sinner. Instead they claim that when Paul wrote about justification he was speaking of how one could tell if a person was “a member of the covenant family.”
According to N.T. Wright, “Justification in the first century was not about how someone might establish a relationship with God. It was about God’s eschatological definition, both future and present, of who was in fact, a member of his people.” The problem with this tenet of the “New Perspective on Paul” is that it distorts the biblical teaching on justification by faith and instead teaches that Paul’s doctrine of justification was only concerned with the Gentiles’ standing in the covenant community and not at all about a guilty sinner being declared just before a holy and righteous God. Simply put, we cannot disregard or redefine justification and still be considered Christian or biblical. In his writings, N.T. Wright often argues against the imputed righteousness of Christ which is the heart and soul of the true gospel (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Just as Satan called into question the Word of God to Eve, the “New Perspective on Paul” calls into question the basic doctrines of the Christian faith as revealed by the Bible and, as such, it should be rejected.
The phrase “spare the rod, spoil the child” comes from Proverbs 13:24, “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” The Lord uses discipline to reveal our sin to us. This is also how parents reveal the truth of our need for a Savior to their children. When a child does not feel the consequence of his sin, he will not understand that sin requires punishment. The Lord provides a way to salvation and forgiveness through Jesus, but that means little to those who do not see their sin.
Furthermore, correction shows us that we are not above reproach and that we are accountable for our actions. Our natural pride blinds us to our need for a Savior, and discipline reveals the truth of our wretchedness (Revelation 3:17). Since salvation is the most important choice the child will ever make, it is imperative that parents are leading them to Christ, and discipline is critical to this process. Proverbs 23:13 says, “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die.” In the context of verse 13–14, “die” means spiritual death of hell. Children who respect authority and feel sorrow for their sin are much more likely to ask Jesus to forgive them and be saved.
All children are born sinful (Romans 5:12–19). Their natural self is destructive and unrighteous. That does not mean they aren’t infinitely valuable and worthy of love (Psalm 127:3). It means that they are not born with any natural “goodness” in them. That is why all children need discipline. Proverbs 22:15 says “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.” Discipline is critical for wisdom (Proverbs 29:15), and a child who obeys his parents will be wise (Proverbs 13:1). And even adults who do not heed correction will feel the consequences of their foolishness (Proverbs 10:13).
Some people believe in discipline, but not in physical discipline such as spanking. However, the Bible is the final word on what is truth; it is not mere opinion or theory. The word “rod” indicates a thin stick or switch that can be used to give a small amount of physical pain with no lasting physical injury. A child should never be bruised, injured, or cut by a physical correction. The Bible warns that parents should never abuse the power and authority they have over their children while they are young because it provokes the children to righteous anger (Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21). Physical discipline is always done in love, never as a vent to the parent’s frustration. It is also just one part of discipline and should be used when the child shows defiance to a clear limit, not in the heat of the moment.
God instructs parents to parent their children the way He parents His children. Hebrews 12:5–11 tells us that God disciplines those whom He loves to perfect their righteousness. God only disciplines His own, which proves that Christians are His beloved children. Notice that David says that the Lord’s rod comforts him in his time of trouble (Psalm 23:4).
Finally, we know that no discipline feels good while it is happening, but afterwards the rewards are rich (Hebrews 12:11). Godly character, fruit of the spirit, and peace are rewards of God’s discipline. The same is true for our human children. Children who have learned how to take responsibility for their actions are much happier people (Proverbs 3:11–18). The importance of the rod of correction is that it steers the heart of a child toward Jesus and forgiveness of sin He offers. When parents trust God’s methods over their own, they will see the blessings for their children and themselves.
All of this whining and crying about a “government shutdown” is a total joke. You see, there really is very little reason why this “government shutdown” cannot continue indefinitely because almost everything is still running. 63 percent of all federal workers are still working, and 85 percent of all government activities are still being funded during this “shutdown”. Yes, the Obama administration has been making a big show of taking down government websites and blocking off the World War II Memorial, but overall business in Washington D.C. is being conducted pretty much as usual. It turns out that the definition of “essential personnel” has expanded so much over the years that almost everyone is considered “essential” at this point. In fact, this shutdown is such a non-event that even referring to it as a “partial government shutdown” would really be overstating what is actually happening. The following are 36 facts which prove that almost everything is still running during this government shutdown… (Read More….)
Right now, the ground underneath Yellowstone National Park is rising at a record rate. In fact, it is rising at the rate of about three inches per year. The reason why this is such a concern is because underneath the park sits the Yellowstone supervolcano – the largest volcano in North America. Scientists tell us that it is inevitable that it will erupt again one day, and when it does the devastation will be almost unimaginable. A full-blown eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano would dump a 10 foot deep layer of volcanic ash up to 1,000 miles away, and it would render much of the United States uninhabitable. When most Americans think of Yellowstone, they tend to conjure up images of Yogi Bear and “Old Faithful”, but the truth is that sleeping underneath Yellowstone is a volcanic beast that could destroy our nation in a single day and now that beast is starting to wake up. (Read More…..)
Who is church history’s most notorious false teacher?
It might not be possible to answer that question definitively. But if we were to create a top-ten “most wanted” list, the name Arius would undoubtedly be near the top.
In ancient times, Arius’s teachings presented the foremost threat to orthodox Christianity — which is why historians like Alexander Mackay have labeled him “the greatest heretic of antiquity.” None other than Martin Luther said this about Arius:
The heretic Arius [denied] that Christ is true God. He did much harm with his false doctrine throughout Christendom, and it took four hundred years after his death to combat its injurious influence, yea, it is not even yet fully eradicated. In the death of this man the Lord God exalted His honor in a marvelous manner.
In case his name doesn’t sound familiar, Arius was a famous fourth-century false teacher who taught that the Son of God was a created being. Consequently, Arius denied Christ’s equality with God the Father, and along with it, the doctrine of the Trinity. Essentially, he was the original Jehovah’s Witness. His views were very popular during his lifetime and for many years afterward, even though they were denounced at the Council of Nicaea in 325 (and again at the Council of Constantinople in 381).
The more I study about the life and teachings and Jesus, and the more I study contemporary church methodology and practice, the more of a major disconnect I see. The very methods and gimmicks being used by so many of today’s churches have absolutely nothing to do with the way Jesus went about gaining disciples.
The way so many churches today deal with non-believers is to make life as easy as pie for the sinner: it is to tell them there are no obligations, no difficulties, no demands, and no anything which they need to worry about. It is all just an easy ride and an instant fix to salvation.
A. At the day of judgment the bodies of the wicked being raised out of their graves, shall be sentenced, together with their souls, to unspeakable torments with the devil and his angels for ever. (Daniel 12:2; John 5:28,29; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; Matthew 25:41)
Charles Haddon Spurgeon-A Puritan Catechism