Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Those Great Stories

I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. 
But we are. 
It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. 
The ones that really mattered. 
Full of darkness and danger they were. 
And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. 
Because how could the end be happy?
How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? 
But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. 
Even darkness must pass. 
A new day will come. 
And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. 
Those were the stories that stayed with you. 
That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. 
But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. 
Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t. 
They kept going because they were holding on to something. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Summer Reading List - Updated


I recently posted on how there's only so much time that we get here on earth, and only a portion we'll get to spend reading. I always wished I read more so i thought I'd let you in on my summer reading list. Here are some I want to accomplish this summer. Feel free to ask me how I'm sticking it out and which one I'm on.

George Whitefield - Arnold Dallimore
According to Plan - Graeme Goldsworthy
The Christian Camp Counsellor - Jim Badke
Humility - C. J. Mahaney
Five Views on Law and Gospel - Stanley Gundry
Exegetical Fallacies - D. A. Carson
Love in Hard Places - D. A. Carson
The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God - D. A. Carson
The Still Hour: Communion With God - Austin Phelps
Abraham's Four Seeds - John Reisinger
Understanding and Applying the Bible - R. McQuilkin
End of the Law - Jason C. Meyer
Growth Groups - Colin Marshall
Galatians - Thomas R. Schreiner
What is the Gospel? - Greg Gilbert

What are you planning to read this summer?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Praise Him This Resurrection Sunday

But very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. As they stood there puzzled, two men suddenly appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes.
The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.”
Then they remembered that he had said this. So they rushed back from the tomb to tell his eleven disciples—and everyone else—what had happened. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and several other women who told the apostles what had happened. But the story sounded like nonsense to the men, so they didn’t believe it. However, Peter jumped up and ran to the tomb to look. Stooping, he peered in and saw the empty linen wrappings; then he went home again, marveling at what had happened.

Sick of Porn

Pornography is a lingering virus in our age. And for the Christian man, a constant battleground. To think that any man has not been bombarded with these temptations regularly, even daily, is ludicrous. Thankfully, God has given Tim Challies discernment in walking men of young and old through these issues of masturbation, porn, and sex. The chapters end with some reflective questions that will bring the heart out for surgery before God. This kind of book needs to be read and shared. Between friends, this is the first book that I recommend with a trust that they will be informed of the biblical view for living sexually pure before the Lord Jesus. 
Read Cruciform Press' debut book for strength over man's paramount struggle.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Reflections from Your Assistant Librarian


Over the past 3 months I've been working at the TBS library.
It's a pretty sweet gig, patrolling over 15,000 books and over 1000 journals.
The bulk of them are theology books, but also history, language, biography, and philosophy.

Working here has taught me 2 things:
1 - Out of all the books that I could be reading here,
I want to first be reading the Bible. No book is greater than God's Word.
2 - From the books that I will get to read even if I read on average 1/week that averages to 1000-3000 for my lifetime (that's read, not speed-read). TOPS.
Conclusion - I better pick good ones to spend my time on.

Now for some obvious reasons - for academia, school, job - we won't get to pick a large portion of these - maybe up to 300 of them.
So that's 10-30% of our reading - gone.

So what about books from Inveterate Syncretists like Rob Bell?
Should we read his books? Maybe - for your job or school.
By choice? I wouldn't recommend it.
All you need to do is watch this interview of him and read this one and that should about sum up his position.
Why don't you bash his new book Scott? Honestly - I'm not going to read it. So I won't, if you have - do it in love, praying to restore him - and you should mail his church your review of it: 3501 Fairlanes Ave, Grandville, MI 49418.

Agreeing with John MacArthur here, Bell's position is pretty clear.
His illustrations from life are lucid and clear and his rationale persuades many.
But does it stem from the Bible?
How does he even use the Bible?
It's pretty clear from his own mouth that the Bible and it's logic doesn't coincide with his. Rather he shapes his logic from ripped pieces of the Bible. Laying his own context and redefining the terms that the authors use.
Unless you need to read his material, don't.

Read your Bible and read recommended works by pastors and theologians who you trust, who affirm God's Truth as revealed in the Bible. Who affirm salvation through faith and repentance in the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. That doesn't mean only read theology or Christian biographies. Read novels, history, adventure, bio, autobio, and philosophy! Read lots and choose wisely. Not only in theology books, but in everything you get to read. Recognize God's sovereignty in your finite choice. It's true though, we won't get to read them all.

No Greater Friendship

Greater love has no one 
than this, 
that one lay down his life 
for his friends.

John 15:13

Monday, April 11, 2011

How do we get Christian blessings?

The gospel offers blessings; what must we do to receive them? 
The proper answer is 'nothing'! 
We do not have to *do* anything. 
We have only to *believe*.
Our response is not 'the works of the law' but 'hearing with faith', that is, 
not obeying the law, but believing the gospel. 
For obeying is to attempt to do the work of salvation ourselves, 
whereas believing is to let Christ be our Saviour and to rest in his finished work.

--From "The Message of Galatians" (The Bible Speaks Today series: London and Downers Grove: IVP, 1968), p. 75. Thanks John Stott!

Basement Beard

Definition: the kind of beard that grows under your jawline without keeping.
Typically grown by men over 25 years old who live in their parents' basement - receiving limited sunlight and social exposure. *

*Footnote Joshua Stauffer.

Scott's Top 7s: California Vaca-Pics #1

These pictures haven't been in favourite to least favourite just really in the order that they were taken. 
But these are definitely some of the best ones. 

Not exactly California -
this is in Chicago on our quick layover back to Buffalo

On the ferris wheel on Santa Monica Pier.

Hanging atop the carpark looking over Hollywood and LA. 
Ty and Me on vacation.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

He's Back!

You need to read D. A. (Donald Awesome) Carson's Secret Blog Dairy.
I just about cried...

A God of Love and Wrath?

God is not omnipotent in the sense that he can do anything. 
God can only do those things which are consistent with his nature. 
He cannot therefore readily pardon the sinner, 
because he is a God of infinite justice.
 But neither can he readily punish the sinner, 
because he is also a God of infinite mercy. 
Here, then, if we may use human language, was the divine dilemma. 
How could he pardon the sinner without compromising his justice? 
How could he judge the sinner without frustrating his love? 
How in the face of human sin could he be at the same time
a God of love and of wrath?
How could he both pardon the sinner and punish the sin? 
How could a righteous God forgive unrighteous men without involving himself 
in their unrighteousness?

--From "Our Guilty Silence" (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1967), p. 50.

Scott's Top 7s: California Vaca-Pics #2

Hanging out at The Grove - Hollywood. 

Here's Dano & I getting the Exceptions favourite: 
Bacon-Cheese Burgers at the Spaghetti Factory. 
Ty went for a big ol' steak, there was an occassion - Happy Birthday Ty.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Greek Helps

"Woah - this stuff is φοβεpόv (phoberon)."

Hey fellow TBS'rs and seminary friends - even Augustine needed some help.
Here are some great sites for help on learning your New Testament Greek.

Vocab - here you can access all of Mounce's Vocab from chapters 4-35 outta the blue hymnal!

Lessons/lectures - here you can get taught by Mounce himself!

Keeping it - here you can get help from dedicated Greek bloggers in this little book
                  > if you search around the blog tour has sent the book to several NT
                  Greekers so they can also be of help for contact,
                  (expect a review of it on here soon enough)

General help - brother David recommends 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Scott's Top 7s: California Vaca-Pics #3

Most definitely Ty's favourite part of the trip. 
Lizete did seem really nice - too bad we didn't stop by the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium to say hi to the jellyfish volunteer girl.
There was enough Jelly on the trip anyways.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Wisdom Has No Age...

Concise and dense, this little book is practical in wisdom, biblical in focus, and Christ-honouring in content. Thoughts for Young Men has been reissued several times since its 19th century release by the right-rev John Charles Ryle. He brings to light many easy sayings that run deep in spirituality. He begins by assessing the nature of young men in their aptness to be lukewarm, even denying God. Following he sends a warning on the dangers that young men are prone to be naively ensnared by. Ryle gives fundamental Christian helps and attitudes for men that if taken root now, fruit should bloom in perseverance. Specifically, resolves to break off sin, no matter how small. Heartily embraced is his section on prayer, Ryle states: "No matter who you are if you are without prayer you are "but dead in the sight of God". This book's weighty statements bring a refining tool to any man.
Worth a read again. 

Thoughts For Young Men: From Many Points of View by John Charles Ryle - 1886.