June 20, 2014

B003D0TAM8.01._SX490_SCLZZZZZZZ_V190274968_Game of Thrones is HBO’s most popular series, with 18 million viewers. Should believers watch it and shows like it?

Jason Helopoulos discusses 10 personalities that don’t belong in a marriage.

Does time heal all wounds? I think you know the answer.

The simple passage of time does not heal such wounds. Even in the relationship of God with men, God’s forgetting of our sins is a deliberate putting away – under specific circumstances and with good grounds – of that which has caused offense.

Interested in the deep end of the pool in regards to theology? Fred Sanders has 11 theses on the revelation of the Trinity. I’m going to spend some time  camped out here.

How does logic work? I think it is always helpful to think about how we think.

The Impact of Truth

March 29, 2014

I heard this story many, many years ago. I have no idea where I read it. Today, Ray Ortlund repeated it.

“What is the indelible mark of the Shorter Catechism?  We have the following bit of personal experience from a general officer of the United States army.  He was in a great western city at a time of intense excitement and violent rioting.  The streets were overrun daily by a dangerous crowd.  One day he observed approaching him a man of singularly combined calmness and firmness of mien, whose very demeanor inspired confidence.  So impressed was he with his bearing amid the surrounding uproar that, when he had passed, he turned to look back at him, only to find that the stranger had done the same.  On observing his turning, the stranger at once came back to him and, touching his chest with his forefinger, demanded without preface, ‘What is the chief end of man?’  On receiving the countersign, ‘Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever’ — ‘Ah!’ said he, ‘I knew you were a Shorter Catechism boy by your looks!’  ‘Why, that was just what I was thinking of you’ was the rejoinder.

It is worthwhile to be a Shorter Catechism boy. They grow up to be men. And better than that, they are exceedingly apt to grow to be men of God.”

John E. Meeter, editor, Selected Shorter Writings of Benjamin B. Warfield (Phillipsburg, 1970), I:383-384.


March 24, 2014

B003D0TAM8.01._SX490_SCLZZZZZZZ_V190274968_R. C. Sproul Jr. answers the question all of us ask at one time or another: How Should We Understand the Promise Jesus Makes in John 14:14, “If You Ask Anything in My Name I Will Do It?”

Mark Altrogge poses the question, What do you want people to say at your funeral? Good question to think about. What will they say?

Understanding the person of Jesus Christ is one of our most vexing challenges. Justin Taylor leans on Stephan Wellum to think about whether God was in the tomb as a corpse.

I understand being very upset with where our culture is going? How should the church respond to those who actively disobey God’s moral law? Should we preach the gospel or advocate stoning? You are right, stoning is the wrong answer.


March 11, 2014

The movie The Son of God is out. June alerted me to a critique from Answers in Genesis. It is helpful. Also, Tim Challies discussed the movie a few weeks ago. Often movies of this genre (e.g. The Passion of the Christ) create quite a stir for believers but seldom, if ever, really deliver.

Doug Wilson in Ukraine Your Neck, But Still Can’t See weighs in on what is happening in Crimea. As always, he is informative and entertaining (note the title).

Jessica Thomson writes about proclaiming the Good News to our children. Our children need both law and gospel.

Finally, what is the street value of the sovereignty of God? What difference should it make in my life. John Piper answers this question …

Mike Horton explains …


December 14, 2012

B003D0TAM8.01._SX490_SCLZZZZZZZ_V190274968_Kevin DeYoung weighs in on St Nicholas. Turns out he was quite a guy who probably wouldn’t be happy with today’s Christmas celebration. DeYoung also argues for a balanced Christmas celebration.

Why is the virgin birth important? Doug Wilson tells why. It isn’t just a minor translation issue; our salvation depends on it.

Joe Thorne reminds that the church has a mission in his article “The Sin of NoMission.”  Great title and reminder.

Finally, Stephen Altrogge ably reminds us of The Incredible, Unfathomable, Steadfast Love of God. How we need this reminder.

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.

I always think it is fair to critique a public person’s message. In fact, I encourage people at Bowman to ask whether or not I’m teaching truth. The power of what I say (on any Bible teacher) directly depends on whether or not what I say is from the Word of God. Here Joyce Meyer claims that she no longer sins.

Three thoughts:

1. Near the end of his life, Paul wrote:  in 1Tim 1:15, “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.” (italics mine)

2. John wrote in 1John 1:8, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

3. I still agree with Luther’s line: Simul iustus et peccator (“At the same time righteous and a sinner”).


First, Amazon has what looks to be a very good book on the Apostles’ Creed that is free today for Kindle. It is called Primal Credo. Here is an interview with the author.

Second, I’d like to make a few comments about the line talking about Jesus descending into hell in the Creed. In the past I’ve argued for a metaphorical understanding of this phrase. In a sense, Jesus went to hell for us. True enough. However, I recently bumped into a different view by Lee Irons that makes much more sense.

If the metaphorical understanding is correct, it is in the wrong place in the Creed. Since Jesus cried, “It is finished” after he was crucified but obviously before he died, the metaphorical descent to hell should be before he died, not after he was buried.

So, if the metaphorical sense doesn’t reflect the intent of the Creed’s authors, what does? It turns out that our word for hell didn’t always mean hell, the place of eternal torment. Early on, it referred to the place of the dead. To quote Irons, “But originally, ‘hell’ meant the realm of the dead, the interim place where souls go after death before the resurrection.” This changes the sense of the Creed significantly. After his death but before his resurrection, Jesus went to the interim place of the dead, Sheol in the Old Testament, Hades in the New Testament. As you recall from the Rich Man and Lazarus parable, Hades is composed of two parts: a place of torment and Abraham’s Bosom or we might say, Paradise, Luke 23:13. The Latin word infernum translated “hell” in the Creed means not the place of eternal torment but hades. That Jesus went to hades is clearly expressed in Acts 2:27. “For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption.” This is what the Creed is referring to.

What did Jesus do while he was in hades? I don’t think we know that with any certainty. I think it is best to understand that Jesus experienced exactly what we must go through. Irons writes:

Being the incarnate Son of God did not spare him one last act of humiliation. He had yet to go one step lower. The bottom of the cosmic parabola has not yet been reached. He must descend into Hades. He must go down, down to the very depths, to the farthest point symbolically from the heights of heaven. And he went there, not to suffer more for our sins, but in order to free all his own from the cords of death …

Therefore, we need not be afraid of death. When the time comes for us to cross over into that mysterious realm where the souls of the dead are, we know that we will not go there alone, nor will we face it with doom and gloom.  Jesus has been there before us, and he will see us through.


August 22, 2012

Every now and then we’ll here about the three-fold use of the law. Here Nathan Bingham unpacks the idea.

It can be a challenge trying to grasp the ebb and flow of the church in the New Testament. When did John write Revelation? When was Stephen martyred? Here is a very helpful graphic that maps the sequence of the New Testament.

As most of you know, I appreciate a good catechism. They helpfully remind us of essential truth. At the same time, they are exquisite tools for discipling and rearing children. Here you can download John Piper’s iteration of the 1677 Baptist Catechism. Actually, it is the 1677 catechism with Piper’s commentary.

Like most of us, I hate being wrong. You’d think by now I be used to it. Anyway, Kevin DeYoung reminds us of ten things we often get wrong in the church. For example it is Psalm 23, not Psalms 23. BTW, #10 described me until Ora graciously corrected me one day.

Finally, Francis Schaeffer’s “Art and the Bible” is $1.99 in the Kindle format. Also, Sproul’s “Knowing Scripture” is $2.99 in the Kindle format. Sorry Nookers, no deal for you.