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April 2011

April 22, 2011

Free Stuff Fridays
This week’s sponsor of Free Stuff Fridays is Generations with Vision. Now I often preface this giveaways by saying something like “This is a ministry you know.” That’s probably not the case with Generations with Vision. Nevertheless, the books they are offering today will prove quite useful to you, I think.

Family Bible StudyThey are giving away 5 sets of 3 Family Bible Study Guides by Kevin Swanson:

  • Genesis
  • Proverbs I
  • Psalms I

And here’s what these are all about. “The Bible is the core curriculum for the education of a child. If we provide our children excellent academic instruction in mathematics, science, and grammar, but neglect to teach them the Psalms, Proverbs, and the Gospels, we have failed in the education of our children. Family worship is a time when parents fulfill their Deuteronomy 6:7 and Ephesians 6:4 responsibilities to teach and disciple their families. These Bible Study Guides are designed to assist parents in the task of educating their children in the Word of God.”

Again, there are 5 prize packages to win, so go ahead and enter…

Giveaway Rules: You may only enter the draw once. Simply fill out your name and email address to enter the draw. As soon as the winners have been chosen, all names and addresses will be immediately and permanently erased. Winners will be notified by email. The giveaway closes Saturday at noon.

Note: If you are reading via RSS or email, you may need to click through to see the form.

April 22, 2011

Bell’s Inferno - John MacArthur completes his series on Rob Bell. “The sad reality is that if Rob Bell does not confess the truth in this life, one day he will realize how wrong his understanding of hell really is. His view of hell will be painfully altered forever when he receives the more severe punishment reserved for those who with a Bible in their hands mock God and trample the blood of Christ underfoot.”

A Great Debt - You may have heard this story before. Regardless, it’s worth pondering again.

Christianity Explored - Christianity Explored has launched a new web site geared toward evangelism.

VIP Treatment - I believe I linked to this a while ago, but I enjoyed reading it again yesterday. It’s little stories like this that attest to the true character of a man.

Written in Stone - “The stone tablet has stood on this forested hillside since before they were born, but the villagers have faithfully obeyed the stark warning carved on its weathered face: ‘Do not build your homes below this point!’ Residents say this injunction from their ancestors kept their tiny village of 11 households safely out of reach of the deadly tsunami last month that wiped out hundreds of miles of Japanese coast and rose to record heights near here. The waves stopped just 300 feet below the stone.”

The Pacific - A reader sent me this excellent gallery of World War 2 photos.

TGC and Me - Darryl Hart posts a kind of crusty but still interesting take on The Gospel Coalition and theological boundaries.

Amazing Grace - This is a powerful rendition of “Amazing Grace.”

How do we get water from a well? Do we woo it? Do we stand at the top of the well and cry, ‘Here, water, water, water?’R.C. Sproul

April 21, 2011

A few weeks ago we had Carl Trueman on the podcast with us. One thing he said really stood out—that one of the great challenges in the church today is defending the historicity of Adam. Although I had sense of what’s at stake in that debate, I wanted to know more. Since David Murray has done a lot of work in this area, I took the opportunity in this week’s podcast to ask him about that whole issue. What is the debate about? Who are some of the people who deny that Adam actually existed? What are some of the theological and practical implications of this? How can we prove that Adam is a historical figure?

I hope you enjoy hearing this discussion. If Carl Trueman is correct (and certainly he is not the only one who feels this is a fault line within evangelicalism right now) you may do well to listen in and at least learn the basics of what the debate is all about.

If you want to give us feedback or join in the discussion, go ahead and look up our Facebook Group or leave a comment right here. You will always be able to find the most recent episode here on the blog. If you would like to subscribe via iTunes, you can do that here or if you want to subscribe with another audio player, you can try this RSS link.

April 21, 2011

Managing Gods MoneyI have a love-hate relationship with money. I think most people do. On the one hand money is a necessity—a resource we depend upon, a resource we need if we are to live and thrive in this world. On the other hand money is spiritually captivating, a resource that offers a particularly insightful look into our hearts. Money is the topic of Randy Alcorn’s new book Managing God’s Money. This is a biblical guide to managing our money with an eye to eternity.

April 21, 2011

Jerusalem & Hollywood - Carl Trueman recently wrote an article critiquing giant Christian conferences. Thabiti Anyabwile returned fire and Trueman took the opportunity to respond. There is some interesting (and kind-hearted) discussion there.

The Church in China - Dr. Mohler has an article that offers a little glimpse into the persecuted church in China.

Hope in Death - A friend pointed me to this article which was written a few years ago. It’s beautiful and deeply moving.

Tax Dollars - Plug in a couple of numbers and you can see what happened to all of those tax dollars you just paid.

Kindle Library Lending - This is an interesting development. “Amazon today announced Kindle Library Lending, a new feature launching later this year that will allow Kindle customers to borrow Kindle books from over 11,000 libraries in the United States. Kindle Library Lending will be available for all generations of Kindle devices and free Kindle reading apps.”

The Hobbit - Peter Jackson takes you on a tour of the first sets for The Hobbit.

When you are in the right, you can afford to keep your temper; and when you are in the wrong you cannot afford to lose it.G.C. Lorimer

April 20, 2011

A few weeks ago I introduced you to a series of short films that focus on Christ’s appearances in the Old Testament as the Angel of the Lord. Every Wednesday for 10 weeks I will be posting a new episode right here at the blog. This will allow you to view the series in its entirety. Do note, though, that each episode will be available for only one week.

After the week is up you will need to purchase the series. Here’s how you can do that. The DVD and Study Guide (sample here) are available now. You can also buy the digital download of the whole series here for $5. Or visit Ligonier’s online store for the download or physical copies of the DVD and Study Guide.

This episode is titled “Three Men.”

David Murray is Professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was a pastor in Scotland for 12 years before coming to Grand Rapids in 2007 with his wife Shona and their four children. He blogs regularly at Head Heart Hand.

April 20, 2011

The sentiment that Jesus has unconditional love for all of us has become standard fare in many evangelical churches. The speaker assures the congregation that Jesus loves them to such an extent that he died for them. He assures the audience that Jesus is just waiting for them to turn to him and to reciprocate the love he already has for them. Some people go even further in their claims to unbelievers. I remember once reading an article by Rick Warren printed in Ladies Home Journal. In this article, titled “Learn to Love Yourself!,” Warren wrote the following: “God accepts us unconditionally, and in His view we are all precious and priceless.” The article closes with these words: “You can believe what others say about you, or you can believe in yourself as God does, who says you are truly acceptable, lovable, valuable and capable.” Nowhere does he qualify these statements. Instead they are offered as blanket statements, encompassing all of humanity.

Is this how the Bible portrays God’s feelings towards those who do not believe? It’s worth a glance at just a few of the many passages that speak of God’s position towards the unregenerate.

Psalm 5:5 says that “The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers.” The NIV translates this as “you hate all who do wrong.” Psalm 11:5 tells us that “The LORD tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.” And turning to the New Testament, John 3:36 reads “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” The Bible clearly portrays God as one whose wrath burns against both sin and sinner. His righteous anger burns against all unrighteousness, and against all who are unrighteous.

In The God Who Justifies, James White writes the following. “Theologians should be those enraptured by the beauty of the unchanging object of their study: the eternal, immutable God. But theologians are people, and they are influenced, to greater or lesser extents, by the society and era in which they live. The cultural decay of modern times has inspired many a theological denial of biblical truth, most often when that biblical truth speaks to something that is unfashionable. One such issue…is the oft-repeated biblical phrase ‘the wrath of God.’” White goes on to say that while we most often associate God’s wrath with the Old Testament, where he commanded the Israelites to utterly destroy the pagan nations, in reality his wrath is most clearly shown in the New Testament. Were you to ask where in the Bible we see the clearest picture of God’s wrath, I would have to point to Jesus’ final hours, from the Garden of Gethsemane to his death on the cross. After all, what but the need for satisfaction of God’s wrath, could compel the Father to send his Son to such a horrible, painful, death?

April 20, 2011

Two of my kids get to go on class trips today. My daughter is going to a concert by a French band; my son is going to the dump. And yet they are still both excited. I guess anything is better than another day in school…

At Home with the Pope - In case you’ve ever wondered what a “normal” day looks like for the pope, well, TIME will let you know.

The Hidden Exodus - While we’re on the subject of Catholicism, here’s an article from a Catholic news source on the exodus from Catholicism to Protestantism. “Any other institution that lost one-third of its members would want to know why. But the U.S. bishops have never devoted any time at their national meetings to discussing the exodus. Nor have they spent a dime trying to find out why it is happening.”

Dramatic Non-Fiction - “Writing non-fiction (or speaking, teaching or preaching) doesn’t mean you can’t build in drama. Including stories as illustrations is always good, but there’s more to it than just telling the tale. Here are a few options to keep your audience with you every word of the way.”

Natural Cut Fries - Wendys new natural cut fries aren’t entirely natural. “People are saying they want high integrity ingredients, things their grandmother would have used, that don’t look like they came out of a chemistry lab,” Calwell explained in an interview with BNET. “But they’re also saying I’ve got a family to feed and can only afford to spend about $4 on my lunch, and I’ve only got about a minute or two to eat it.”

One to One Bible Reading - This brand new book from Matthias Media is on sale at Westminster Books for the next few days. “Imagine if there was a way that people could grow in their knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ—a way that returned gospel growth to the everyday fabric of personal relationship, rather than relying on church-run programs. That guided people in a deeper, more meaningful way than an event, program or class could possibly do—guided on an individual basis by someone who cared for them personally.”

The Price of Everything - Carl Trueman does it again. This time he explains why the church needs pessimistic church historians.

Don’t Dress Your Girls Like Tramps - This is an interesting article from CNN. “Yeah, that 8-year-old girl was something to see alright. … I hope her parents are proud. Their daughter was the sexiest girl in the terminal, and she’s not even in middle school yet.” The author nails it at the end.

Roasted Peanuts - I can’t remember who put me on to this blog, but it’s quite a good one. The author is going through old Peanuts comic strips.

The wrath of God is not ignoble. Rather, it is too noble, too just, too perfect—it is this that bothers us. —James Montgomery Boice