February 13, 2015

B003D0TAM8.01._SX490_SCLZZZZZZZ_V190274968_I know there has been a plethora of posts dealing the 50 Shades. I certainly don’t want to add my voice to the cacophony. The film seems to be a movie that further pushes our culture in the wrong direction. We can’t begin to imagine what poisonous fruit it will bear. How we must guard ourselves and our loved ones from this satanic scat. As usual, Al Mohler, adds his interpretative voice. Tim Challies points us to ten articles he’s written about the how to, and why we should, avoid pornography.

Men, What Your Wife Wishes You Knew about Valentine’s Day (and Every Other Day of the Year) is helpful. I don’t think you can go wrong heeding the insight of this post.

Here, my go to guy on the book of Revelation, Greg Beale, unpacks the meaning of the number 666. If you are drawn to the book of Revelation, Greg’s treatment of the number will help you understand other symbols in the book.



January 13, 2014

B003D0TAM8.01._SX490_SCLZZZZZZZ_V190274968_Why won’t there be a sea in heaven (Re 21:1)? As you might have guessed, I love questions like this. R. C. Sproul helps us understand. In the book of Revelation, we can take the symbolism too literalistically. When reading Revelation, and indeed the entire Word of God, we need to pay attention to metaphor, symbolism, genre, literary style, and even inexact numbers.

Continuing with the interpretation theme, it is always important to keep the law and the gospel distinct when we read the Bible. Tullian explains. Here’s a quote:

Freed from the burden and bondage of attempting to use the law to establish our righteousness before God, Christians are free to look to “imperatives”, not as conditions, but as descriptions and directions as they seek to love God and others. The law, in other words, shows us how to love.

We often hear that you can’t legislate morality so it makes no sense to have, for lack of a better term, morality laws. You know, like laws against adultery. People are going to cheat on their spouses regardless of whether there are laws or not. Yet, law is about morality. This is inescapable. What we are seeing is the erosion of one type of morality for another. Al Mohler tackles the issue.


May 21, 2013

B003D0TAM8.01._SX490_SCLZZZZZZZ_V190274968_Our prayers are with the folks in Oklahoma. For some, the tragedy must be almost overwhelming. Sam Storms, who pastors in Oklahoma City, responds to the tragedy. In a somewhat similar way, Al Mohler grapples with the task of reconciling God’s power and love with an event like this. I appreciate Job’s assessment of personal tragedy (Job 1:21): “The Lord gave and the Lord takes way, blessed be the name of the Lord.” He said God is behind his tragedy in some sense and therefore he praises Him. We can’t sort it all out be we can rest in what God is doing

How are we to understand Romans 7? What does the normal Christian life look like? Kim Riddelbarger helpfully clarifies the issue.

Many of us strive to be decent writers. I know of several in our church who are attempting to write a novel. Some of us just want to be able to string together a few logical sentences in way that actually says something. I’m always looking for ways to hone what skills I have. Justin Taylor who is an editor for Crossway offers four suggestions about writing well.

One of the best ways to become a good writer is to read a lot. Stephen Altrogge’s short works of fiction are free today for Kindle.


January 11, 2013

B003D0TAM8.01._SX490_SCLZZZZZZZ_V190274968_Once again I’m reminded that this is not my Dad’s America. I know I shouldn’t be surprised but it is disheartening. As you have probably heard, Louie Giglio’s involvement at the president’s inauguration created such a stir that he removed himself from the event. He did this because of a sermon he preached nearly 20 years ago in which he spoke of the sin of homosexuality. This from a man who said, “Clearly, speaking on this issue (homosexuality) has not been in the range of my priorities in the past fifteen years. Instead, my aim has been to call people to ultimate significance as we make much of Jesus Christ.” Again, this is not my Father’s country. If you hold to the historic Christian truth, you will be ostracized. Here is the statement from Addie Whisenant of the Presidential Inaugural Committee:

We were not aware of Pastor Giglio’s past comments at the time of his selection, and they don’t reflect our desire to celebrate the strength and diversity of our country at this inaugural. Pastor Giglio was asked to deliver the benediction in large part because of his leadership in combating human trafficking around the world. As we now work to select someone to deliver the benediction, we will ensure their beliefs reflect this administration’s vision of inclusion and acceptance for all Americans.

I might modify the last line , “…we will ensure their beliefs reflect this administration’s vision of inclusion and acceptance for all but Christian Americans.” There is no room for Christians who hold to the historic truth found in the Bible.

Here is Giglio’s letter to his church explaining what happened. Russell Moore and Al Mohler weigh in. The Apostle Paul said it best in 1Cor 4:13 where he wrote, “when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.” We are the scum of the world. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at the moral earthquake taking place around us.

Kelly James Clark at the Huffington Post writes about The Most Persecuted Religion in the World. You already know which religion this is.

Erwin Lutzer’s (one of Scott W’s favorites) Getting to No: How to Break a Stubborn Habit is free today for Nook and Kindle.

Sam Storms tracks his pilgrimage from Dispensationalism to amillennialism. I include this because almost the exact same thing happened to me at about the exact same time. I know someone had to think it up originally (John Nelson Darby) but one would never come away a Dispensational Premillennialist simply from reading the Bible. You have to be taught it in order to see it.

Finally, I’ve saved the best for last. Don’t miss Run, Dog Run. It is a wonderful reminder that the gospel isn’t a new law.


December 7, 2012

B003D0TAM8.01._SX490_SCLZZZZZZZ_V190274968_French President François Hollande recently announced that he wants French schools to put an end to homework.” The reason: it  is “unfair for students with parents who are engaged with their schoolwork to gain an educational advantage over others, whose parents do not offer such support.” I wouldn’t disagree, but is this the answer? Lest you think that it is just the French who are wacky, this same sort of rationale is finding its way to our shores, thanks to the ACLU.

This might not apply to many of you. Here Barnabas Piper talks about what to do when struggling with writer’s block, something I struggle with from time to time.

One of the most important distinctions to keep in mind when interpreting scripture is the law – gospel distinction. Without understanding it, the Bible will be very confusing. Here Mike Horton helpfully unpacks the issue. It is worth reading and rereading.

I feel sorry for our kids …


November 21, 2012

First, is it true that men don’t read books? Here is a short article discussing why men supposedly don’t read books and some practical encouragements to help men read. I know a group of 10 or 11 guys who read at least one one book through the fall of every year.

Of course, the David Petraeus scandal is still very much in the news. Many are asking if adultery should have disqualified him from his office. David Roach tells us why adultery matters.

Al Mohler discusses some of the interesting stuff in the news these days. Did you hear that San Francisco has banned some forms of public nudity? How wonderful is this? Also, he discusses the Anglican Church’s recent vote to not allow women bishops. Once again, I think I’m surprised.

Mark Altrogge helps us understand that rejoicing in our circumstances doesn’t mean that we have to like them.

Here are seven signs the sermon is nearing an end. Perhaps I telegraph the end a different way?

Finally, Andrew Burford called me yesterday and discussed the new Fire Prevention Fee that is being assessed on rural California home owners. If you are bothered by this new fee, this site tells you how do fight the fee and sign a petition opposing it.


November 13, 2012

I have an eclectic assortment of stuff today.

First, here is an interesting piece entitled The Day My Dad Chopped Down an Idol. While the story is about actually chopping down an idol, the application works for all of us.

Of course, last week was an interesting week on a number of levels. This is true not only because of the election but also because of David Petraeus’ resignation. Al Mohler addresses both events. The most interesting part of what he wrote is about the election and demographics. For example, he writes: “Married women favored Mitt Romney (53%) rather than Barack Obama (46%). Non-married women, in contrast, favored Obama (67%) over Romney (31%). Note the scale of that reversal.” What is this about? Tom Chantry and Nathan Machel both discuss the election. Machel writes: “We looked at disasters like Greece and Spain and Argentina, and said ‘We want some of that!'” Chantry says, “Make no mistake about it: a vote for the President was a wicked act.  It is not sufficient to say that he is pro-abortion; the man is in favor of offing unwanted kids outside the womb as well.” As you can tell, neither writer minces words.

Justin Holcomb writes about the theology of Thomas Cranmer. Cranmer was clear about the gospel. This is worth reading. Here is a quote:

According to the Thomas Cranmer’s anthropology, what the heart loves, the will chooses, and the mind justifies. The mind doesn’t direct the will. The mind is actually captive to what the will wants, and the will itself, in turn, is captive to what the heart wants. The trouble with human nature is that we are born with a heart that loves ourselves over and above everything else in this world, including God.

Some of you will remember the book Peace Child. This video captures what has happend in the village where Don Richardson was missionary. Amazing grace!

Finally, here is a fun video encouraging people to attend a retreat. At least watch the first minute or so.


September 21, 2012

God does on occasion take the lives of believers. Think Ananias and Sapphira. Why does God do this? Why doesn’t he merely change the heart of wayward believers so that they repent of their sin? John Piper grapples with this question.

We suffer. If you aren’t suffering right now, wait awhile. Suffering has been given to us by God. Philippians 1:29 says, “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake.” J. D. Greear offers truth that helps us suffer well. Here is a quote:

For the believer, however, God has promised to use all of our suffering for our good and for his glory. He has taken the sting out of death and suffering and promised to use it all now for his glory and the good of our church. So in every seemingly “random” bad thing, believers can know that God is working redemptively for his purposes. This is why Paul can say that “all things work together for good to them that love God” (Rom 8:28) and that “God works all things according to the counsel of his will” so that we would “resound to the praise of his glory” (Eph 1:11). This is why Joseph could say to those who committed grave injustices against him that “what you meant for evil, God re-purposed for good.” (Gen 50:20).

Here is an interesting conversation between Al Mohler and Tim Keller about morality. We often hear today that behaviors are wrong only when they hurt others. How should we think and respond to this thought? Mohler and Keller offer their wisdom.