December 3, 2013

B003D0TAM8.01._SX490_SCLZZZZZZZ_V190274968_There is lots of good stuff to pass on this morning:

You might have heard about Kirsten Powers conversion to Christianity. Here is an interview with her concerning her journey to faith.

Also, you might have heard recently of the new pastor who dressed as a homeless man the first Sunday at his new church. Supposedly, he wasn’t treated well by the people in the church. As you might have guessed, this whole thing is a hoax.

Bowman is a small church. Here is an encouragement about what small churches can do.

You might have heard, Rick Warren has a new diet book out. As might be expected, the reviews are starting to emerge. Challies seems to give it a marginal thumbs up, while Riddlebarger asks why Rick should be telling us to eat kale. His dander is definitely up.

If you like thinking about the interface between science and scripture (or if you have children who do), then you might pick up “A Reformed Approach to Science and Scripture.” It is free today for Kindle. Also, “Marriage Matters: Extraordinary Change Through Ordinary Moments” is free for Nook and Kindle. Both of these books look valuable.

I remember reading as a freshman in high school these words: “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him, in love having predestinated us unto the adoption of sons by jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will” (Eph 1:4-5). This sentence from that moment has shaped the contours of my theology. Being a simple guy, I took the sentence at face value. It made sense to me. I’m in the family of God SIMPLY because God chose me; not because I chose him. Given the fact that I was born a spiritual corpse, it made sense to me that God raised me from the dead. Like with Lazarus, he gave me spiritual life and enabled me to believe. Thus God gets all the glory. Granted, I believed, but it was only because of God’s prior work of regeneration. God didn’t saved me against my will. He graciously changed my will by giving me spiritual life. Because of regeneration, I now run to God, not away from him. The Lord is my salvation. He didn’t merely make salvation possible, he actually saved me. Again, to God be the glory. Chloe alerted me to the video below. Given my Calvinistic bent, I so appreciate this poem by John Piper:


October 2, 2013

B003D0TAM8.01._SX490_SCLZZZZZZZ_V190274968_I appreciate Tim Challies’ call to the church to persevere in prayer. It is directed to pastors but it is an encouragement all believers need to hear. If we really believe that the almighty, loving God of the universe hears and responds to our words, we will be driven to pray. So what is it that we don’t believe?

Ann Voskamp posts Scot McKnight’s important observation of, and encouragement to, the American church. I link to this not because I believe Bowman is off track here but rather as a reminder of why we do what we do at Bowman. Here is a quote:

Instead of asking the Bible to talk to us about what we’d like to hear — what we need is to be led to the Bible to hear what God has said.

Finally, “John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, Doxology” is free for Kindle. It has been a few years since I read this book, but as I remember, it is worth reading. You have to understand that I think that John Calvin is one of God’s greatest gifts to the church since The Apostle Paul.


September 20, 2013

I appreciate Nancy Guthrie’s piece, Why Do We Say, ‘God Told Me’? Do you want to know God’s will for your life or just the next step? Find the wisdom of God’s word. Don’t listen for inner voices or look for coincidences. She quotes Graeme Goldsworthy in saying:

Every case of special guidance given to individuals in the Bible has to do with that person’s place in the outworking of God’s saving purposes. … There are no instances in the Bible in which God gives special and specific guidance to the ordinary believing Israelite or Christian in the details of their personal existence.

Of all people, Calvinists ought to be the most humble people on the planet. They understand that they are who they are solely by God’s grace. God gave them the insight and willingness to choose him. Ray Ortulund quotes hymn writer John Newton expressing this very truth.

R. C. Sproul asks the question we need to ask ourselves every day. Are you seeking after God?

Remember Lady Jane Grey? Simonetta Carr provides a quick biography. Here is a distillation of Grey’s wisdom: “Live to die, that by death you may enter into eternal life.”

Have you heard about the female holocaust in India? Any guesses as to why there are 37 million more men in India than women? Abortion and infanticide aren’t just an American problem.

I love everything about this song:

I suppose a single rose
Is pretty as it gets
And when the lights go down at night
I love the quietness

I love shy glances, slow romances
And hats that hide a kiss
Lets you and me go back in time
And find the things we missed

When hands were gentle
And words were kind
And love could wait a long long time
And private matters held their hush
And grooms were gallant
And brides would blush

Does it seem a silly dream
Played back in black and white
Pearls and gloves and hymns of love
The lines of wrong and right
Well let’s hush the cynic
For just a minute
And let the dreamers dare
To dream of love that never fails
O won’t you take me there?

When hands were gentle
And words were kind
And love could wait a long long time
And private matters held their hush
And grooms were gallant
And brides would blush

Shut the shutters, power down
Let the world spin back around
To deep respect and no regrets
The dignity of you and me

When hands were gentle
And words were kind
And love could wait a long long time
And private matters held their hush
And grooms were gallant
And brides would blush


August 9, 2013

B003D0TAM8.01._SX490_SCLZZZZZZZ_V190274968_I’ve been more out of the office than in lately. Once again, there are many good articles worth considering.

First, some free stuff (I love free stuff). This month’s free audio book from Christian Audio is Stott’s insightful book “Basic Christianity.” Also Sinclair Ferguson’s wonderful book “In Christ Alone” is free. Finally, Wiersbe’s “Be Equipped (Deuteronomy): Acquiring the Tools for Spiritual Success” is free for the taking.

Based on my limited experience, one of the most difficult things we have to do in life is forgive others. Many of us have a list of personal Hitlers in our lives. Here Tullian illustrates the truth that people who are forgiven, forgive.

As we leave church on a Sunday morning we might very well discuss with our family whether or not we liked the sermon. Tim Challies says that this sort of critiquing isn’t what we should be doing with sermons. As you might suspect, I appreciate what he says.

People who are opposed to Calvinism typically don’t use scripture to argue against it. I suspect this is because scripture is the Calvinist’s home court. Usually the mode of attack is more straw man based. Caricatures, misinformed myths of Calvinism are attacked. Michael Patton discusses twelve common myths about Calvinism. Even those who believe in the doctrines of grace should read what he has to say.

Finally, here is a encouraging post about the power of singing. The piece was written with Sunday mornings in mind, however, I think that the power of gospel-centered music he articulates is available the rest of the week as well.

495 Years Later

October 31, 2012

Today is Reformation Day. With this in mind …

Justin Taylor answers the question What Was Luther Doing When He Nailed His 95 Theses to the Wittenberg Door?

Ligonier is offering R.C. Sproul’s Luther and the Reformation for free, today only. This is a 10 part study that can be downloaded as video or audio, and it includes a study guide.

Crossway is offering The  Joy of Calvinism for Kindle, Nook, and in the PDF format for free, today only. Amazon sells the Kindle version for $9.59.

Here is a fun video about Calvin, Geneva, and John Piper.


July 18, 2012

Worship wars; we’ve are all veterans. Here is a very interesting piece about why we love the music we love. It helps explain why both young and old feel so strongly about the music they love. Turns out …

Hearing familiar, favorite music stimulates the release of dopamine, the neurotransmitter involved in pleasure and addiction, providing the same rush as eating chocolate or that winning does for a compulsive gambler.

Here are 40 things girls should know about guys. Most of them are pretty much right on.

Some of the best Christian literature was written in the more distant past. Here is a listing of a number of free ebooks. If you’ve never read any of the Puritans, I encourage you to read some of Thomas Watson’s stuff. It is amazingly easy to read and very helpful. Also, “The Constantine Codex” is free today for Kindle and Nook. Looks like another Christian “DaVinci Code” type book.

This post is about historical theology. Many of us loosely see ourselves as Reformed. My theology is Reformed in a baptistic sense. Some classically Reformed dudes would say that that is oxymoronic. There are two streams of Reformed Theology. One from Scotland and one from the Netherlands. Justin Holcomb tracks down the two streams discussing their similarities and differences.

Don’t miss this video by Voddie Baucham. I appreciate what he says about what the gospel is and what that means as to its delivery.

Satan has so many devices by which he deludes and blinds men’s minds, that there is not a man who knows the hundredth part of his own sins.