Saturday, December 31, 2011

Forgiveness: What It Ain't and What It Is

Be kind to one another,
forgiving one another
as God in Christ 
forgave you. 
Ephesians 4:32

Contrary to the Myths:
1 - Forgiving is not forgetting.
2 - Forgiving does not mean you no longer feel the pain of their offense.
3 - Forgiving does not mean you cease longing for justice.
4 - Forgiving does not mean you make it easy for the offender to hurt you again. 
5 - Forgiving an offense happens once but may occur more than once. 

1 - Forgiveness was granted to us by God, when Christ forgave us by absorbing in himself the destructive and painful consequences of our sin against him. In forgiving others to some degree there is going to be consequences that you have to absorb.
2 - Forgiveness cancels the debt we owe God, when it is forgiven in Christ. We no longer have to pay for our sins, we are accountable but no longer liable. When you forgive you don't bring it back up to increase guilt or shame. Drop the grudge, bitterness, and anger. The love which brought your forgiveness should stay in bloom. 
3 - Forgiveness from God means we resolve to revoke our revenge. That inclination to revenge you cast it off and act out of love. You won't use your past suffering to justify your present sin. 
4 - Forgiveness from God means we determine to do good to others
rather than evil.
5 - Forgiveness from God in Christ has reconciled us back to God. He restores the relationship that our sin shattered. We seek to be reconciled with others and so emulate God's forgiveness.

*This is taken from a larger article:

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Mallonee Christmas

Rock through our Messiah's Advent with Bill Mallonee.
He just released Wonderland, an 8-Song Christmas EP (extended play) about two weeks ago. This is his second Christmas album - his earlier one is Yonder Shines the Infant Light.
Stauffer this is the guy I was telling you about. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Reading Categories

This is a list that my Professor and Principal Kirk Wellum gave us a few weeks ago. These are primarily categories for pastors but make good for anyone wanting some selection and direction when looking at all the literary material out there.

1 BIBLE - first and foremost
2 Commentaries & Introductions
3 Read Systematic & Biblical Theological Books
4 Biographies and Autobiographies
5 History (Secular & Christian)
> Biblical Backgrounds, Civilizations, Countries
6 Apologetic Books
7 Contemporary Issue
8 Read Hymn Books & Materials on Hymns 
> these are poems set to music
9 On the Church & Leadership 
> good to read about trends within the church
10 Read Journals & Periodicals
11 Blogs (careful though - there are so many - start with GospelCoalition)
12 Newspaper & Magazines 

What other categories should there be?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

God Wraps Himself up in Human Skin

God wraps Himself up in human skin 
for those who want to touch 
and God let them drive the nails in 
for those of us who know way too much
- Bill Mallonee from On to Bethlehem 

Friday, December 16, 2011

TBS Guys Night - Round Two

The Guys
Caleb, Ian, Stauff, Cosner,
Nathan, Benoit, Isaac,
Your's Truly)

Monday night us guys were all pretty stoked to have tuesday as a study day, so we put the bacon on the stove, vegged out, and put a sermon on. We spent some time listening to the Dr. M. L. Jones on what it means to love and obey Jesus.
He preached out of 1 Peter 1:8
"Though you have not seen him, you love him."
We all really enjoyed the refocus and challenge.
You can download the sermon here.
Pretty sweet times -

Everybody touch the lucky-STAUFF!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Theology Courses in Toronto

For more info visit the school's site.
I'd recommend Christian Foundations to those who are new to seminary study. 
I've been anticipating the Evangelical Spirituality class with Dr. Haykin for the undergraduate. 
Here's a snippet from the course syllabi:

"A study of and reflection on various aspects of Puritan and Evangelical spirituality, including both foundational elements, such as knowing God, justification by faith, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, sanctification, and the cross, and those secondary elements sometimes described as means of grace, such as friendship, prayer and meditation, and the Lord’s Supper. The means employed in this study and reflection are texts from two classical eras of biblical spirituality, namely, 16th and 17th century Puritanism and 18th and 19th century Evangelicalism."

Audit is also available for half the price.
If you can afford it, you'll be glad you did.  

Monday, December 12, 2011

Must Be Christmas Tonight

Come down to the manger, see the little stranger 
Wrapped in swaddling clothes, the Prince of Peace 
The wheels start turning, torches start burning 
Behold the wise men journey from the East 

How a little baby boy brings the people so much joy 
Son of a carpenter, Mary carried the light 
This must be Christmas, must be tonigh

A shepherd on a hillside, while over my flock I bide 
Oh a cold winter night a band of angels sing 
In a dream I heard a voice said "fear not come rejoice, 
It's the end of the beginning, praise the newborn king." 

How a little baby boy brings the people so much joy 
Son of a carpenter, Mary carried the light 
This must be Christmas, must be tonight 

I saw it with my own eyes, written up in the skies 
But why a simple herdsmen such as I 
And then it came to pass, he was born at last 
Right below the star that shines on high 

How a little baby boy brings the people so much joy 
Son of a carpenter, Mary carried the light 
This must be Christmas, must be tonight

*This post goes out to my Dad - 
who introduced me to the Band
and to the Prince of Peace. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Qal Imperfect Weak Verb Hebrew Song

Sing the Qal Imperfect Weak Verb paradigm with your non-angelic host Scott.

This paradigm for the III-(He) can be found in Pratico and Van Pelt's p178 in Basics of Biblical Hebrew: Grammar.

Now to remember the additions that are made to your verb refer to the strong verb paradigm on p167; to learn one of the best songs I know on the Qal Imperfect Strong Verb paradigm go here.

Here is the pronunciation of the Verbs for III-(He) in the song: they use the verb "to build"

3ms: yiv-neh
3fs: tiv-neh
2ms: tiv-neh
2fs: tiv-knee
1cs: ev-neh
3mp: yiv-nu
3fp: tiv-neh-nah
2mp: tiv-nu
2fp: tiv-neh-nah
1cp: niv-neh

(Qal Im-per-fect
We-eak Verbs!)

*Vowel & Shwa Help! 
Looking at the paradigm there are only two vowels and a shwa (Qamets is on the 3fp/2fp but you should already have that memorized as your endings from the Strong Verbs!). 
The two vowels are: Hireq (one dot) Seghol (three dots) - and the shwa has two dots!
Now look back at the paradigm. 
If you consider the dots as being numbers the vowels are as follows (read right to left ofcourse)

3ms: 1, 2, 3
3fs: 1, 2, 3
2ms: 1, 2, 3
2fs: 1, 2, 1
1cs: 3, 2, 3
3mp: 1, 2, - 
3fp: 1, 2, 3, (Q)
2mp: 1, 2, -
2fp: 1, 2, 3, (Q)
1cp: 1, 2, 3
Now if you break that down you have:
6 sets of 1, 2, 3. 

Deal with the four that are different. 
1 set of 1, 2, 1 (2fs)
1 set of 3, 2, 3 (1cp)
2 sets of 1, 2, - (3fp/2fp)

For 2fs and 1cs you can think of 1cp as being greedy and taking two dots for his first consonant from 2fs's 3rd consonant above it. I'm not assuming you're considering the disappearing He; this tip is just for the paradigm as it appears ofcourse. 
That's enough craziness now.
*Note - on the recording the Tiv-Neh at the end of the video SHOULD BE Niv-Neh (sorry for this).
It's recorded wrong but spelt out correctly for your own singing along and in the paradigm chart.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Playing Bass

Being a Christian is a lot like playing bass: 
make a mistake and people ridicule you, 
do everything right and no one notices. 

*This post goes out to the boys from the Exceptions -
the best grunge-funk-pop-core band Claremont ever had.*

Friday, December 9, 2011

Am I A Christian?

I've been wondering how often we examine and evaluate our own faith in God. It's very easy within the church or in Christian communities to look like a Christian. God provides us with what we need to be sure of in our faith in the Bible, this is where he tells us what a follower of Jesus Christ is. These three evaluation lists should help us professing Christians evaluate ourselves.

1 - Evidences That Neither Prove Nor Disprove Our Faith 
A. Visible Morality (Matthew 19:16-21; 23:27)
B. Intellectual Knowledge (Romans 1:21; 2:17-28)
C. Religious Involvement (Matthew 25:1-13)
D. Active Ministry (Matthew 7:21-24)
E. Conviction of Sin (Acts 24:25)
F. Assurance that you'll be Saved (Matthew 23)
G. Time of Decision to Follow Christ (Luke 8:13-14)

2 - Evidences (Fruit/Proof) of True Christianity 
A. Love For God (Ps 42:1-; 73:25; Luke 10;27; cf.Rom 8:7)
B. Repentance from Sin (Ps 32:5; Prov 28:13; Rom 7:14; 2 Cor 7:10-12; 1 John 1:8-10)
C. Genuine Humility (Ps 51:17; Matt 5:1-12; James 4:6-10)
D. Devotion to God's Glory (Ps 105:3; 115:1; Isaiah 48:9-11; Jer 9:23-24; 1 Cor 10:31)
E. Selfless Love (1 John 3:14; 4:7-21)
F. Separation from the World (1 John 2:15-17;1 Cor 2:12; James 4:4-6)
G. Continual Prayer (Luke 18:1; Eph 6:18; Phil 4:6-7; 1 Tim 2:1-5; James 5:16-18)
H. Spiritual Growth (John 15:1-6; Eph 4:12-16; Luke 8:15; Rom 8:28-29)
I. Obedient Living (Matt 7:21; John 15:14; 1 Peter 1:2,22-23; 1 John 2:3-6; Rom 16:25-27)
J. Hunger for God's Word (1 Peter 2:1-8)
K. Transformation of Life (2 Cor 5:16-21)

If List 1 is true of a person and List 2 is false, 
there is cause to question the truth of their profession of faith. 
If List 2 is true then List 1 will be true as well. 
The gospel should lead us to put into action List 3. 

3 - Conduct of the Gospel 
A. Proclaim it (Matt 28:18-20)
B. Share it (Phil 1:3-5; 1 Peter 3:14-17)
C. Defend it (Jude 3-4)
D. Demonstrate it (Phil 1:27-30)
E. Suffer for it (2 Tim 1:8-11)
F. Don't hinder it (1 Cor 9:12)
G. Be not ashamed (Rom 1:16)
H. Preach it (1 Cor 9:16)
I. Be empowered (1 Thess 1:5)
J. Guard it (Gal 1:6-8)

Questions to ask:

From these texts, what makes a true Christian?
Am I a true Christian?
What do I need to stop?
What do I need to change?
What needs to be deepened in my life?
What needs to be started in my life?

*This article is adapted from the originally entitled article "Genuine Saving Faith" from the MacArthur Study Bible

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Toronto Christmas Tunes

Click here to listen to 98.1 CHFI for some Christmas tunes from Toronto.
Click here for some Christian Christmas Tunes from CBN Radio.
Great for some background exam studying music
19 days till Christmas!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Greek Idiom Chart

This is great! An anonymous TBS friend gave these to me. It's his growing chart of Koine Greek idioms; words that occur together to form common phrases and expressions in the Greek NT. Exciting! Knowing these really helps in not getting frustrated when translating. If only I had this earlier this semester. Right-click and save this image for your Greek studies or email me if you want me to forward it to you. 

Scott's Top 7s: Echoes from Far Far Away #1

That's not true... 
that's impossible!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Qal Imperfect Strong Verb Paradigm Hebrew Song

Getting ready for tomorrow.
Have a laugh before you cry.

Sing along to the Qal Imperfect Strong Verb Paradigm Song!
Paired into two sets of seven syllables starting with Ye
(that makes 15 syllables - "that's all I have to learn?" - "basically!"*)

T, T, T, I, E, Ye, U
T, Na, T, U, T, Na, Ni

In Basics of Biblical Hebrew by Pratico and Van Pelt you can find the Qal Imperfect Paradigm on p167. 
For the song I am stating the preformative and sufformatives of each verb as they appear in order. 
I didn't add in a (mmm) for the blank sufformatives (3ms,3fs, 1cs, 1cp) - you should just know these - come on now. 
Notice the root is (left to right) Qof, Tet, Lamed > these appear in each verb occurrence for "to kill". 
Whatever the verb remember your sufformative is at the ending "suffix" (left side of the word), and the preformative is at the beginning "prefix" (right side of the word). Ten forms - 15 syllables - you can do it!

2fs:T, I
3mp:Ye, U
3fp:T, Na
2mp:T, U
2fp:T, Na

Remember to talk with our Lord for strength 
throughout your times of study. 

*By basically I mean - "not really"
> you need to know how to write them and moreso recognize them. 
But this will at least get it into your head.

Scott's Top 7s: Echoes from Far Far Away #2

Mud-hole? Slimy? My home this is!

(I really could have included the whole meeting of Luke and Yoda
but this is my favourite from the scene)
((this one goes out to my brother Andrew))

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Church by E. P. Clowney: A Review

“If [the church] is to stand against the gates of hell, it must know its own divine charter, its bond to Jesus Christ, and the ‘Holy Spiritual’ power of its calling”. In 1942, twenty-five year-old Edmund Prosper Clowney was ordained in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. Ten years later, he came to serve on staff at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia for the next thirty-two years; eighteen of them as its president. In 1995, for the series Contours of Christian Theology, Clowney contributed this work, entitled The Church. Going with the series’ theme to introduce foundational Christian doctrine, he supplies his own take on the doctrine of the Christian church. He writes to a culture that considers the God of the Bible to have “died long ago with orthodox theology” and sees the local church as God’s tomb. This work seeks to restore the doctrine of the church as represented from the Bible.

Clowney was a life-long affiliate of Westminster Theological Seminary. Each of the major points throughout the book - whether male eldership, Christian nurture, or witnessing to the world - are driven heavily from the Scriptures. Clowney is clear as he walks the reader through his convictions and how they bear upon the Christian. His covenantal theology and praise of the Westminster Catechism are present in the text, and subsequently his disposition to paedobaptism. Yet his positions do not curtail his overall evangelical position of the church. He could have extended his position on women in the church and gone deeper into the corporate service structure; dedicating only one page to preaching. As well, his view on prophecy for today is not adequately presented, rather he only points out Grudem’s misappropriation of 1 Thess 5:19-21. The wisdom from chapter ten on the nurture of the church should be prized the highest out of all eighteen chapters. The Church, is an excellent twentieth-century take on the doctrine of the church. His dependence on the apostolic accounts of the Scriptures in formulating his doctrine of the people of God is comforting. The work gives a deeper understanding of the form and function that Evangelical Churches must retain in their life and practice.

Scott's Top 7s: Echoes from Far Far Away #4

I don't like sand. 
It's coarse and rough and irritating. 
And it gets everywhere...

(thanks for the correction on this one 
goes out to my California-surfing seminary-attending bible-thumping best-buddy Ty!)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Apologetics And Micah Courses

These are the two upcoming J-term courses offered at Toronto Baptist Seminary & Bible College. I'm planning on auditing Micah with Dr. Dempster and taking Apologetics with Dr. Wellum. Stoked.

You can visit their website here for more details.

Scott's Top 7s: Echoes from Far Far Away #6

I love you.
I know...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Scott's Top 7s: Echoes from Far Far Away #7

Growing up watching Star Wars Ep IV, V, VI does something to how you think. The phrases spoken by its characters become the only way you can functionally express yourself. For me I wasn't old enough yet to hate on episodes I, II, III - so some of their sayings have slipped into my psyche as well. So here, I've decided to share with you my top favourite quotes in George Lucas' Saga from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away...

Do or do not...
there is no try.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Call Me Old-Fashioned

I've been digging on this song the past few days.
It describes me pretty well - and it's catchy. 
Here's the Canadian-home-grown High Valley. 
Shout outs to the Albertans on this one. 

I believe in making my money the hard way - so I work for it
And every job I do I do with pride
I believe in keeping a promise that I make - you've got my word on it
When I shake your hand and look you in the eye
I believe in my country and putting your hand over your heart
And taking off your hat when that anthem starts

Call me old fashioned
Call me out of touch for having faith in the way it was
When mom and pop was the place we shopped &
a check was good for cashing
Call me out of style that's who I am
when a neighbor's down I reach out my hand
I just can't turn my head and walk right past 'em
(And open up a ladies door without her asking)
Call me old fashioned

I believe a man should have to ask permission - for a woman's hand
Before he gets down on one knee
I believe in passing down traditions - every chance you can
So children learn what family means
And sitting round the supper table every night at six o'clock
Talking 'bout your day with the TV off

Call me old fashioned,
Call me out of touch for having faith in the way it was
When a golden band on someone's hand meant love was everlasting
Call me out of style that's who I am I believe kids need a mom and a dad
(And) Their worth working out any problems that you're having
Call me old fashioned

Call me out of style - that's who I am - I still say "yes sir and thank you ma'am"
And wish kids still prayed in school before their classes
Sometimes I shake my head and ask myself what happened?
Call me old fashioned

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Stott on Spiritual Development

The greatest single secret of spiritual development lies in personal, humble, believing, obedient response to the Word of God. It is as God speaks to us through his Word that his warnings can bring us to conviction of sin, his promises to assurance of forgiveness, and his commands to amendment of life. We live and grow by his Word.

--From "Confess your Sins" (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1964), p. 82. JRW Stott. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hebrew Qal Perfect Paradigm of the Strong Verb Song

Getting ready for tomorrow's quiz my fellow TBS'rs?
Let's rock around the Christmas Tree - shall we?

3ms (-- sing as mmm);
3fs (ah);
2ms (Ta);
2fs (Te - its hard to sing the Taw w a silent shewa);
1cs (Tie);
3cp (U);
2mp (Tem);
2fp (Ten);
1cp (Nu).

Stott on the Sons of God

What visions of intimacy with God the word 'sonship' conveys! Access to God and fellowship with God as Father -- these are the privileges of his children. Not all human beings are God's children, however. Verse 14 of Romans 8 definitely and deliberately limits this status to those who are being led by the Spirit, who are being enabled by the Spirit to walk along the narrow path of righteousness. To be led by the Spirit and to be sons of God are virtually convertible terms. All who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God, and therefore all who are sons of God are led by the Spirit of God.

--From "Men Made New" (London: IVF, 1966), p. 93. JRW Stott

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Are You Looking For A Real Christian Woman?

I usually don't post other people's blog posts, I just recommend them in passing. This however was one of the most blunt and needed posts I have read all year. To any of my unmarried brothers, you need to read this. Take a study break, and let this reality soak in. It's concerning you're prowling for a mate.

Man Enough to Love a Real Woman
by Joshua Rogers

Cory, one of my happily married friends, was annoyed with some of his single, male buddies.

"Joshua, it's so irritating," he said. "I suggest a woman to them, but they say 'she's not attractive enough,' or she's lacking in some other area. And here's the crazy part: In every case — without exception — the woman is way out of their league."

I shook my head. "I know. I used to be like those guys, always finding a problem with every woman I dated. I didn't realize I was the one with the problem."

And my problem was pride. I measured women against a vague standard of perfection that eliminated each woman almost as soon as I met her. It was a pageant of sorts, where women were scored in a number of categories. And somehow I had gotten it into my head that I was worthy to be their judge.

The Perfect Christian Girl

I was like a lot of single, Christian guys. I just wanted to follow God's will in finding a wife — that's all — oh yeah, and I also wanted a modest version of the Cosmo girl. And, well, I didn't want her to be too needy. Oh, and she also needed to be smart — really smart — but not, like, so smart that she made me feel stupid. And, of course, she needed to be spiritually mature (you know, like me). And one more thing: I wanted her to have a cool and fun personality (whatever that meant).

In other words, I wanted to date the perfect Christian girl — not a real woman.

Of course, I knew what a real woman was like. I grew up in a Christian home with lots of real women around, each of them imperfect in one way or another, yet fully feminine. These women had opinions, unshakable faith, curves, feelings, hormonal surges, weight fluctuations, talents, wrinkles and a regular need for affirmation. It didn't bother me: It was part of who they were, and I loved them for it.

But when it came to prospective mates, I wasn't so gracious. I figured I deserved to have the best qualities of every woman wrapped into a nice package, waiting at the end of a rainbow. And yet, despite meeting dozens of women in my quest, I could never find that perfect, Christian girl. But that didn't stop me from looking for her — until I discovered that, in fact, I wasn't the perfect Christian guy.

Dealing With Reality

Just before meeting my lovely bride, a series of unfortunate circumstances and poor decisions collided, bringing out my worst (seriously, trust me, it was ugly). When the train wreck was over, I felt I would be lucky if any Christian woman would take me. Though it may sound like it, I wasn't suffering from low self-esteem. I was finally dealing with reality.

Before, I assumed my future wife should have the perfect intellect, teeth, personality, body type, people skills and past. But in the face of my brokenness, it occurred to me: An imperfect guy can't demand something from a woman that he can't give.

Learning Humility

Around the time of that revelation, I met my wife at a party on Capitol Hill. Unlike before, I didn't think, I'll consider taking that girl out. I thought, I wonder if she would go out with me. I cautiously introduced myself, and as we talked, I found myself focusing on her qualities, rather than mentally trying to ferret out her deficiencies.

We eventually began dating, and I continued humbling myself — indeed,enjoying myself — leaving her feeling comfortable, honored and beautiful. As our relationship progressed, I found myself looking up at her, seeing her as a daughter of the King rather than looking down on her as another prospective contestant.

Essentially, I was loving her for who she was, leaving behind my job as a self-appointed judge in an impossible-to-win pageant. I pursued her all the way to the altar, and I'm still pursuing her today.

Are You Man Enough?

To those single guys out there who are trying to find the ideal woman, do the world a favor and give up. You're not the ideal man — not anywhere close. And you would never get married if women held you to the same standard you apply to them.

But maybe you insist that you're not going to settle for a woman who's not everything you're hoping for in a wife. Settle? Whatever the circumstances, believe me, she will be the one who settles for you and all your deficits. And until you realize this — through humbling circumstances or otherwise — maybe you should take a break from dating for a while and spend some time asking God to make you man enough to love a real woman.
[H/T Challies]

Copyright 2011 Joshua Rogers. All rights reserved. This article was published on on August 3, 2011. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Cold Dust Soul

I'm a sucker for the collaboration of good stories with memorable music. I've been enjoying listening to Bill Mallonee's BandCamp page (the former front man for The Vigilantes of Love; VOL). This is probably one of the more gripping songs that's stuck in my head lately. The end of the chorus is worth a listen... 

Cold Dust Soul - Bill Mallonee

Tell yourself it's only temporary
Just a few years you got to shave off your youth.
But as sure as tomorrow,
with all you had to borrow
the company store won't ever turn you loose.

A miner's world is a dark one
a miner's world is full of ghosts,
a miner's wife I reckon
she prays more than most.
And if I do meet Jesus,
I won't have much to offer,
I won't have much to show,
nothing but this cold dust soul.

There's always one more kid gambling,
there's really no escaping the curse,
when all your measured by down here,
is the veins that you can keep here,
and what you can scratch out of the earth.

A minner's world is a dark one
a minner's world is full of ghosts,
a minner's wife I reckon
she prays more than most.
And if I get to heaven,
I won't have much to show,
nothing but this cold dust soul.

Now to steal the earth's possessions 
surely comes with a cost
And all my friends I know down here
by the sound of their coughs.
I know them by the smile their smiling 
beneath that grimy face.
I know them by those things
they're gonna never say.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Christmas Tuneage!

Since you've been listening to lots of Christmas music lately, knowing the necessity of Christmas music to be started long before December, I have some tracks for you to add to your playlist. Sufjan's official streaming site - made available by his recording company: Asthmatic Kitty. There's 42 tracks and over 90 minutes of Christmas and gospel jams there. Pretty sweet - here are a selection of my current favourites:

O Come O Come Emmanuel
Holy, Holy, Holy
Did I Make You Cry On Christmas Day?
Once in David's Royal City
Put the Lights on the Tree
Joy To the World
That Was the Worst Christmas Ever!

Great to play while doing some of that final paper jamming - lately, however, this seems to only be happening with the library photocopier : |

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hebrew Number Song

Wanna get ready for that Monday Hebrew Mid-term?
Let's do some numbers! (And in my best form - Absolute Masculine!)


Friday, November 4, 2011

Adorning the Gospel

There are many pastors today who, for fear of being branded 'legalists', give their congregation no ethical teaching. How far we have strayed from the apostles! 'Legalism' is the misguided attempt to earn our salvation by obedience to the law. 'Pharisaism' is a preoccupation with the externals and the minutiae of religious duty. To teach the standards of moral conduct which adorn the gospel is neither legalism not pharisaism but plain apostolic Christianity.

-From "I Believe in Preaching" (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1982), p. 158. JRW STOTT

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Lectures to My Students by Charles Spurgeon: A Review

Lectures to My Students
is a collection of lectures delivered to the students of The Pastor’s College in London, England by the “Master Pulpiteer”, Charles Haddon Spurgeon. Lectures has become an essential collection of practical advice for the pastorate. God has continued to use Spurgeon mightily for the spread of the gospel long after his forty-year ministry; as exemplified in this compendium. These twenty-eight lectures cover a range of disciplines within the pastorate. Spurgeon is not bland nor imprecise, he speaks with personableness and brevity. The pastor who has little formal training will receive stimulant from Spurgeon’s admonitions on preaching, prayer, sermonizing, and one’s self-conduct. I am surprised that there is little said about the minister’s family life concerning his children and wife. As well, a couple arguments could be brought up to speed. Such as "on the voice", since the invention of microphones, and his comments on the pastor’s library, since the all-pervasive online libraries. His speech occasionally contains archaisms and uncommon colloquialisms common to the KJV but is to be expected in the 1800s; it then being the primary translation of English speakers. If a pastor doesn’t mind checking his dictionary and Bible translation on occasion for clarity, he will benefit from the use of the Lectures within his own ministrations. Spurgeon’s wisdom from the pastorate is worth the divulgence.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Have a Profitable Study Break With Walter on Dignity

This is just great. Take a study break and listen to this letter on the Christian's dignity here. The story behind these letters is odd yet the content is intriguing. It's all encompassing in applicability. Listen and laugh with a friend or roommate. About 20 minutes you won't regret.

The Botany of Friendship

To see friendship blossom in beauty 
a seed must be dug deep in trust,
packed down with selflessness,
and watered with gallons of time.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Woody Allen & Billy Graham

I came across this on my lazy saturday morning. It's Woody Allen interviewing Billy Graham on the The Woody Allen Special (~1969). It's quite astonishing seeing these two popular figures in conversation.

Part 1

Part 2

Friday, October 28, 2011

Stott Reflects on Prayer

Men and women are at their noblest and best when
 they are on their knees before God in prayer.
 To pray is not only to be truly godly; 
it is also to be truly human. 
For here are human beings, 
made by God 
like God and 
for God, 
spending time in fellowship with God.
So prayer is an authentic activity in itself,
 irrespective of any benefits it may bring us.
 Yet it is also one of the most effective of all means of grace.
 I doubt if anybody has ever become at all Christlike 
who has not been diligent in prayer.

--From "Your Confirmation" (rev. edn. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1991), p. 118.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Deliberate Church by Mark Dever and Paul Alexander: A Review

The purpose of The Deliberate Church is to get churches centered back on the Bible; primarily the Gospel. God’s Word needs to be the central authoritative standard by which all actions of the local church are conducted. Mark Dever, Senior Pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington DC. and executive director of the 9Marks Organization, is credited to much of the content of this work. Paul Alexander, who interned under Dever in 2003 and currently serves as an editor for 9Marks, here put his and Dever’s conversations about the church into print. Though slender in size, the role for members and elders in the local church in this work is above all clear. They look at the foundation stones of the church and then move to what constitutes the actual services. The second part focusses on the elders of the church and the elders meetings.

Assessing the member’s roll is a great chapter on how the pastor should seek out individual interviews with each church member. Chapter five, on church discipline, is an excellent reminder of how the leaders should be treating unChrist-like members. There is an admonition for corporate times of music to be just that: corporate. The pastor’s goal for the members should be for them to sing and hear truths about God from each other, instead of their memory falling to one individual or “the band”. The only skimmer chapter is on church paid-staff who aren't elders. This chapter is the least relevant to many churches outside of the slim American mega-church percentage. By far, the primary appeal in this book is for biblical eldership. It is the most helpful advice that any pastor will glean from this book. With much confusion over leadership and church membership this work is an invaluable guide to casting out the false and diluted views of the local church and reverting back to those developed from the Bible. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Got Questions?

This is a great site to send any of your friends, family, acquaintances or co-workers to. It's evangelical and their collection of pastors, theologians, and Christian volunteers have answered over 292, 600 questions about God, the Bible, theology, spiritual issues, right down to interpretation of those harder Bible verses. I find it the most helpful site to either send people to when I don't have the answer or when I need to find one myself. Check out their promo video. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Call it a Guys Night @ TBS

(Top L-R: Benoit & Eric; Bottom L-R: Caleb, Kosner, Yours Truly, Nathan)

What to do on a wednesday night? Well, a few of us TBS'rs got together to listen to a sermon about being a biblical man. We listened to "Marriage as an Apologetic" by Voddie Baucham (click for link to audio/download). This is definitely a favourite sermon of mine. Baucham first gave it at The Master's College back in 2008. He preaches out of Ephesians 5:25-33. It was great to listen to this sermon with a group of my buds here. We got to chat about the implications of loving as Christ does. These means going against the grain of the culture. Hard but true words:

  Husbands, love your wives as
 Christ loved the church and 
gave himself up for her.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Spurgeon on Preaching

It is infamous to ascend your pulpit and pour over your people rivers of language, cataracts of words, in which mere platitudes are held in solution like infinitesimal grains of homeopathic medicine in an Atlantic of utterance. Better far give the people masses of unprepared truth in the rough, like pieces of meat from a butcher's block, chopped off anyhow, bone and all, and even dropped down in the sawdust, than ostentatiously and delicately hand them out upon a china dish a delicious slice of nothing at all, decorated with the parsley of poetry, and flavoured with the sauce of affectation.

From Charles Spurgeon's "Sermons-Their Matter" in Lectures to My Students.  

Sunday, October 9, 2011

What is the GOSPEL? Poetry by Dare 2 Share

"...pierced feet, pierced hands, 
blood stained Son of Man..."
Thanks to Phil for this link to hear the gospel through spoken-word poetry. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Sowing to the Flesh

To 'sow to the flesh' is to pander to it,
to cosset, cuddle and stroke it, 
instead of crucifying it. 
The seeds we sow are largely thoughts and deeds. 
Every time we allow our mind to 
harbour a grudge, 
nurse a grievance, 
entertain an impure fantasy, 
or wallow in self-pity, 
we are sowing to the flesh. 
Every time we linger in bad company whose 
insidious influence we know we cannot resist, 
every time we lie in bed when we ought to be up and praying, 
every time we read pornographic literature, 
every time we take a risk which strains our self-control, 
we are sowing, sowing, sowing to the flesh. 
Some Christians sow to the flesh every day and 
wonder why they do not reap holiness.

Taken from Authentic Christianity © 1995 John Stott and Timothy Dudley-Smith.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Welcome Wagon - Nice!

Hey meet the Welcome Wagon - some interesting modern Christian-folk artists to jam to while doing the hmwrk. A mix of Sufjan Stevens and Phil Wickham with some spook. They're signed with Asthmatic Kitty.

Get a free single here!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Interesting Social Reflection Documentary

This is a new documentary from Ray Comfort and thewayofthemaster guys.

I have reservations in reference to his evangelism style and his interviews being very selective. Nonetheless he presents a daunting look at abortion in parallel to the WWII holocaust. Over 53 million dead haunts more than momentary reflections. Watch for a study break.  HT: Mr. Dizon.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Still Hour or Communion With God by Austin Phelps: A Review

Often does monotony in prayer steal its zeal. Thanklessness bring a joyless heart. Forgetfulness in our access to the Father solely through Jesus' blood bring ingratitude and dishonour. When the wisdom from this 14 chapter prayer purifier is practiced one's low prayer-life can be instead revitalized. The objective look Phelps has in his evaluations throughout each chapter refines the naive and brings illumination; particularly his chapter on idolatry in prayer. Phelps directs his admonitions to Christians with an universal appeal. This past summer I had the pleasure to go back to this favourite of mine; it led me to seek forgiveness in my lacking. No matter where your relationship is with Christ, the pump needs continual priming. Although a percentage of his language in its distinguished caliber can be diverting, his writing is penetrating nonetheless. He helps in pealing off our anti-Christian prayer methods by giving biblical tips and resolutions for approaching the King of Kings.

Phelps, Austin. The Still Hour or Communion With God. Boston: Gould and Lincoln, 1860. 

*Since it's Public Domain you can access the book online here for free.