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Faithful ‘Pray for Caleb’: Freeman family inspired by prayers for son’s recovery after car wreck

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NEWCASTLE—On Dec. 19, 2017, Caleb Freeman and his younger brother Clayton were driving to a basketball game, when they were involved a serious automobile wreck. Caleb, 16, who suffered major brain trauma, is the son of Newcastle, First pastor Jeremy Freeman and his wife Emily.Clayton was released from the hospital shortly after the accident. However, Caleb has been treated at the University of Oklahoma Children’s Hospital for brain injuries, and on Jan. 15 was transported to Craig Hospital in Colorado where he will undergo rehabilitation.What has happened since Dec. 19, through an outpouring of prayer and other support for Caleb and the Freemans, is a demonstration of grace and the fingerprints of God, according to Jeremy.“We want doctors and nurses and anybody that has been around Caleb to understand that, yes, God uses doctors and nurses and uses medicine—and we are thankful for all of those things—but in the end, we want there to be no other explanation but God. That’s where the ha…

On the Right Use of the Law

by J. Gresham Machen“The truth of Christianity cannot be established by the intellect unless an important part of the argument is based upon the fact of sin which is revealed by the law of God; the beauty of Jesus, which attracts the gaze of men, cannot be appreciated without a knowledge of the holiness upon which it is based; the companionship of Jesus is possible only to those who say first, in deep contrition; “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord”; the example of Jesus is powerless to those who are in the bondage of evil habit, and it is not even a perfect example unless He be the divine Redeemer that He claimed to be. The true schoolmaster to bring men to Christ is found, therefore, now and always in the law of God— the law of God that gives to men the consciousness of sin.A new and more powerful proclamation of that law is perhaps the most pressing need of the hour; men would have little difficulty with the gospel if they had only learned the lesson of the law. As it is…

Rediscovering the Holiness of God

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Note then the kindness and severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen,but God’s kindness to you,  provided you continue in his kindness.—Romans 11:22—When God created Adam and Eve, he endowed them with righteousness and a limitless capacity to delight in God’s holiness. On the hill of the Lord, they were to worship and work, as they extended the boundaries of God’s garden-temple. For Eden was more than an ancient garden for planting; it was an arboreal sanctuary where God’s priestly children daily walk in the presence of God’s holiness.Sadly, this original design was lost when the first couple rebelled against his word (Gen 3:1–6). Seeking to be like God, they spurned their Creator. In the fall, they traded God’s holiness for the profane. Ever since, humanity has been chasing glory with impure hands and unholy hearts.Idolatry: A Journey into the ProfaneIn Scripture, sin finds its source in idolatry. Borrowing imagery from the fall, Paul speaks of humanity’s plight: “For al…

The Rock Badgers Would Like a Word With Us (Robert Brady)

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Starting with a crazy question, Danielle Spencer taught her children about God's sovereign provision. Here is a brief part of their discussion: "Do you know what would happen if the world suddenly stopped spinning?" I asked my kids during our morning Bible time. My 12-year-old consulted one of her favorite books What If: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions.1 If the earth and all terrestrial objects stopped spinning, but the atmosphere retained its velocity, almost everyone would die immediately. If you weren't swept away by the thousand-mile-per-hour winds, you'd certainly be pulverized by the thousand-mile-per-hour impact of all the debris flying about. You would be safe for a time if you were deep underground or in a polar research station (since the strongest winds would be nearest the equator), but not for long. The wind would eventually stop by way of friction with the earth's surface, but that would heat the air and atomize the s…

Rediscovering the Holiness of God

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Note then the kindness and severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen,but God’s kindness to you,  provided you continue in his kindness.—Romans 11:22—When God created Adam and Eve, he endowed them with righteousness and a limitless capacity to delight in God’s holiness. On the hill of the Lord, they were to worship and work, as they extended the boundaries of God’s garden-temple. For Eden was more than an ancient garden for planting; it was an arboreal sanctuary where God’s priestly children daily walk in the presence of God’s holiness.Sadly, this original design was lost when the first couple rebelled against his word (Gen 3:1–6). Seeking to be like God, they spurned their Creator. In the fall, they traded God’s holiness for the profane. Ever since, humanity has been chasing glory with impure hands and unholy hearts.Idolatry: A Journey into the ProfaneIn Scripture, sin finds its source in idolatry. Borrowing imagery from the fall, Paul speaks of humanity’s plight: “For al…

Book Review: Reformation Theology

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Matthew Barrett, ed., Reformation Theology: A Systematic Summary (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017), 784pp. Hardcover. $45.00.Reformed theology aims to be biblical. Yet being Reformed also describes historic branches of confessional Christian churches. This means that Reformed theology must be both biblically faithful and historically informed in order to retain its name meaningfully. This impressive volume includes essays from authors who seek to achieve both of these aims. Reformation Theology presents the entire system of Christian theology in light of the writings of sixteenth-century authors with an aim towards ongoing reformation. The result is a highly readable and interesting introduction to Reformed thought that should appeal to believers at every level.
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Whether 77 Times or 490 Times, the Call to Forgive Persists

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Then Peter came up and said to him [Jesus], “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.” Matt. 18:21-22Lord Jesus, both joy and knots shape my communion with you this morning. The joy is about the exhaustive forgiveness we have in you. The knots come from the costly implications of that same forgiveness. As I pray for myself, I pray for others with the same calling to love well, in view of old hurts and present pain.Hearing the name of someone with whom I’ve shared life and hurts, turned my stomach. Like stepping on a few Legos late at night, I winced with pain, and wished him harm.Jesus, I thought I’d already forgiven from my heart. I thought I was over that story. I thought I’d dealt with that chapter a long time ago. Out of sight might be out of mind, but heart-pain has a photographic memory. So, I come to you today for seventy-times-seven grace. I don’t wan…