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Showing posts from January, 2018

Westminster Shorter Catechism Question 23 | Christian Quotes of the Day

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Westminster Shorter Catechism Question 23

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Q. 23. What offices doth Christ execute as our redeemer?A. Christ, as our redeemer, executeth the offices of a prophet, of a priest, and of a king, both in his estate of humiliation and exaltation.— Westminster Shorter Catechism

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Andrew White, Todd Pruitt and John the Baptist (Richard D. Phillips)

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Over at Mortification of Spin, Todd Pruitt has made waves by sounding an alarm over Andrew White, the PCA ruling elder who--as a Democratic candidate for governor--in Texas has stated his commitment to legalized abortion and gay marriage.1 As reported by Pruitt, Mr. White stated on Texas Public Radio: "I support Roe v. Wade 100%," and promised, "I'll veto any of this legislation that's coming out that limits a woman's right to choose." Todd responded with an open letter to Mr. White that laid out the biblical stance on the wickedness of abortion and called on him to repent. If Mr. White continues, Pruitt expressed the prayerful hope that his session and presbytery will subject him to church discipline. In the aftermath of this public letter, Pruitt followed up to report on the response from the differing sides of the PCA.2 On the one hand, he notes how biblical conservatives expressed horror that an elder in our Bible-believing denomination could seek t…

SBC President Steve Gaines Is Doing the Right Thing

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In the heat of the moment in St. Louis in 2016, Steve Gaines made a statement about nominating JD Greear at the Dallas convention in 2018. When JD’s announcement came a couple of days ago, it was observed that Ken Whitten and not Steve Gaines was going to make the nomination. Some speculated that perhaps Dr. Gaines was reneging on his commitment (whatever that was) or in some way betraying JD Greear.There is an article in the Baptist Recorder (BRnow.org) that explains this. After careful consideration, Gaines and Greear have come to the opinion that it was not a good idea for the sitting president to nominate a candidate. According to the article:Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tenn., said after they discussed the matter, he thought such a move would be “imprudent” and “potentially dangerous.”He is absolutely right. I do not believe there is any bylaw that would prevent the president from making a nomination, it is much better that it happen this way. I believe I…

Is Christian Radio of the Devil?

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Years ago a friend startled me by saying, “Christian radio is of the devil!” Of course, such a statement is meant to be provocative and not the whole picture. He did not intend to disparage missionary broadcasts of the gospel into unreached areas of the world. But he did want to challenge our daily exposure to many forms of Christian media.Although the Internet did not exist when I first heard his shocking statement, such a sentiment might help provoke us to evaluate how we use Christian media today in its various forms — the Internet, social media, video, and, yes, even radio.Five QuestionsOver the years, I have found my friend’s challenge to be an important one because it exposes my un-assessed assumption that if something is “Christian,” then it is of necessity a good thing of God, irrespective of how I’m using it. Might the medium of Christian radio serve purposes in my life which are opposed to the very message it proclaims?Let me offer five questions for evaluating your own use …

Trump urges unity, but response divided

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Copyright (c) 2018 Baptist Press. Reprinted from Baptist Press (www.baptistpress.com), news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The original story can be found at http://ift.tt/2rVjld4 NEW - 14 minutes agoTrump urges unity, but response dividedWASHINGTON (BP) -- President Trump called for unity across party lines in his first State of the Union speech following a contentious opening year for his administration.President Trump called for unity across party lines in his first State of the Union speech following a contentious opening year for his administration.Screen capture from C-Span President Trump called for unity across party lines in his first State of the Union speech following a contentious opening year for his administration.Screen capture from C-Span Speaking to a joint session of Congress and a national television audience, the president told Democrats and Republicans, "[I]t is not enough to come together only in times of tragedy. Tonight, I call upon all of us to …

Keep halftime 'friendly, safe,' PTC urges Timberlake

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Copyright (c) 2018 Baptist Press. Reprinted from Baptist Press (www.baptistpress.com), news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The original story can be found at http://ift.tt/2GzGIvN NEW - 18 minutes agoKeep halftime 'friendly, safe,' PTC urges TimberlakeMINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (BP) -- The last time Justin Timberlake headlined a Super Bowl halftime show, host broadcasting company CBS was slapped with a federal fine for indecency.Justin TimberlakePhoto by Georges Biard, via Wikimedia Commons Justin TimberlakePhoto by Georges Biard, via Wikimedia Commons Ahead of Timberlake's halftime performance at Super Bowl LII on Sunday (Feb. 4), the Parents Television Council (PTC) is urging him to steer clear of any moves that could rival the infamous "wardrobe malfunction" of 2004. That was when the highly acclaimed artist was dancing a choreographed routine with Janet Jackson and somehow ripped off part of her top, exposing flesh."We ask you to keep the halftime show…

Views on Trump 'not a distraction,' pastors say

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Copyright (c) 2018 Baptist Press. Reprinted from Baptist Press (www.baptistpress.com), news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The original story can be found at http://ift.tt/2rVjhdk NEW - an hour agoViews on Trump 'not a distraction,' pastors sayWASHINGTON (BP) -- In the wake of President Trump's first State of the Union address, the presidents of five Baptist state conventions say believers in the churches they lead hold diverse views on the commander-in-chief, but such diversity has not distracted or divided the congregations.In the wake of President Trump's first State of the Union address, the presidents of five Baptist state conventions say believers in the churches they lead hold diverse views on the commander-in-chief, but such diversity has not distracted or divided the congregations.Screen capture from C-Span In the wake of President Trump's first State of the Union address, the presidents of five Baptist state conventions say believers in the chu…

In prison, NFL star Michael Vick returned to faith

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Copyright (c) 2018 Baptist Press. Reprinted from Baptist Press (www.baptistpress.com), news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The original story can be found at http://ift.tt/2GASR3U NEW - an hour agoIn prison, NFL star Michael Vick returned to faithbyTimothy Cockes/SBC of Virginia, postedWednesday, January 31, 2018 (an hour ago) LYNCHBURG, Va. (BP) -- Michael Vick recounted the recovery of his relationship with God during his time in prison, beginning with the 23rd Psalm, in addressing students at Liberty University Jan. 29.Former pro quarterback Michael Vick, now an NFL analyst with FOX Sports, recounts his journey to a restored faith to students at Liberty University Jan. 29.Liberty University screen capture Former pro quarterback Michael Vick, now an NFL analyst with FOX Sports, recounts his journey to a restored faith to students at Liberty University Jan. 29.Liberty University screen capture "My mom told me before I went in Psalm 23 will get you through," Vick sa…

GuideStone: Don't panic over stock market volatility

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Copyright (c) 2018 Baptist Press. Reprinted from Baptist Press (www.baptistpress.com), news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The original story can be found at http://ift.tt/2rVjbT0 NEW - 3 hours agoGuideStone: Don't panic over stock market volatilityDALLAS (BP) -- Volatility in 2018 may buffet the financial markets, which have grown feverishly since the election of Donald Trump in November 2016, according to retirement account assessments by leaders of GuideStone Financial Services.iStock iStock Such was the case Jan. 30 when the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.4 percent, or 363 points.During 2017, however, all three major equity market indices -- the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ -- set record highs more than 60 times. The Dow climbed 28.11 percent; the S&P 500 climbed 21.83 percent; and the NASDAQ climbed 29.64 percent."Volatility was incredibly muted in 2017," said David S. Spika, CFA, chief strategic investment officer …

Twin Cities churches mobilize around Super Bowl

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Copyright (c) 2018 Baptist Press. Reprinted from Baptist Press (www.baptistpress.com), news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The original story can be found at http://ift.tt/2GASTJ4; NEW - 3 hours agoTwin Cities churches mobilize around Super BowlMINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (BP) -- The hometown Vikings may have fallen just short of playing in this year's Super Bowl, but that hasn't diminished the enthusiasm of Twin Cities churches and Christians in their evangelism efforts surrounding the event."Here’s a great opportunity for the Twin Cities, for Minnesota, to share the love of Christ," said Chris Reinertson, lead pastor of Southtown Baptist Church and also the director of missions for the Twin Cities Metro Baptist Association.Darb02 via Wikimedia Commons "Here’s a great opportunity for the Twin Cities, for Minnesota, to share the love of Christ," said Chris Reinertson, lead pastor of Southtown Baptist Church and also the director of missions for the Twin C…

FIRST-PERSON: Let us pray

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Copyright (c) 2018 Baptist Press. Reprinted from Baptist Press (www.baptistpress.com), news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The original story can be found at http://ift.tt/2rVj7me NEW - 3 hours agoFIRST-PERSON: Let us prayCOVINGTON, La. (BP) -- No one on earth has a precise formula for prayer. It is so much more than a formula or a recitation.It is coming into the presence of the Holy God. It is seeking Him with all your heart.We need to pray to know God. We need to be in the presence and under the leadership of the God of the universe. If God created us, He also knows what is best in our lives. We were created to know Him and to enjoy His presence. Prayer opens the door for that wonderful reality. Often when I pray, I don't do much talking but simply seek to meet with God and understand His will for my life.We need to pray to learn what pleases God. This too will involve much listening and seeking to understand Him. Ask God to teach you His ways. He wants to guide us …

Wilderness: Where Miracles Are Born

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“How long, O Lord?” “When will you answer my prayer?” “Why must I wait so long for your promise to be fulfilled?” The Christian journey is not endless bliss with perfect relationships and an abundant financial portfolio. Perfection can only be found in Christ. Even though lovers of God …

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Belief: A Theological Commentary on the Bible Upgrade (11 vols.)

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The volumes in Belief: A Theological Commentary on the Bible, from Westminster John Knox Press, offer a fresh and invigorating approach to 16 significant the books of the Bible. Building on a wide range of sources from biblical studies, the history of theology, the church’s liturgical and …

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Wilderness: Where Miracles Are Born

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“How long, O Lord?” “When will you answer my prayer?” “Why must I wait so long for your promise to be fulfilled?”The Christian journey is not endless bliss with perfect relationships and an abundant financial portfolio. Perfection can only be found in Christ. Even though lovers of God experience fullness of life, they still f...

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Two Strategies to Win the War on Lust

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God calls us to not only resist lustful thoughts, but to fill our minds with the beauties of Christ so that our desires gradually conform to his.Listen Now

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Changed into the Same Image, from Glory to Glory

by Ralph Erskine“Thoughts of Christ are assimilating thoughts, sanctifying and transforming thoughts: ‘But we all with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord’(2 Cor. 3:18). They that see Christ, cannot but love him, and desire to be like him, for there is a smitting [infectious] favor in his face. They that are in heaven are like him, because they see him as he is: the beautiful vision brings in full conformity to him. Now, a spiritual thought, and a believing thought, is a mental sight, a fiducial vision of him, and the more of this, the more conformity to him in holiness. The thought that endears Christ, embitters sin. A man cannot think duly of the loveliness of Christ, without thinking of the loathsomeness of sin. O! When the Sun of righteousness ariseth, there is a heat that accompanies the light, and warms the heart. And, indeed, high thoughts of Christ do warm the heart, a…

New In Translation: Synopsis Of A Purer Theology Volume 2

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The period of time around the Great Synod of Dort, the 400th anniversary of which we are celebrating in 2018–19, was an important time in the history of Reformed theology. During the Reformation, though the magisterial Protestants faced significant internal challenges, the greatest threats (e.g., Rome, hostile governments, the Libertines/Antinomians), were external. From about 1593–1619, however, the Reformed churches faced a great threat from within. A Reformed minister in Amsterdam, Jacobus Arminius (1560–1609) began subtly to undermine the gospel in a variety of ways. He downplayed the effects of the fall. He re-defined the nature of faith in salvation. He re-defined the nature of grace (and its relationship to nature). He made election conditional upon foreseen faith. He revised the biblical and Reformed doctrine of the atonement and suggested that believers could lose their salvation. In short, he undermined the Reformation recovering the gospel of salvation by grace alone (sola …

John Murray: Justification Is Still The Article Of The Standing Or Falling Of The Church

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This is what is meant when we insist that justification is forensic. It has to do with a judgment given, declared, pronounced; it is judicial or juridical or forensic. The main point of such terms is to distinguish between the kind of action which justification involves and the kind of action in regeneration. Regeneration is an act of God in us; justification is an act of God with respect to us. The distinction is like that of the distinction between the act of a surgeon and the act of a judge. The surgeon, when he removes an inward cancer, does something in us. That is not what a judge does—he gives a verdict regarding our judicial status. If we are innocent he declares accordingly.The purity of the gospel is bound up with the recognition of this distinction. If justification is confused with regeneration or sanctification, then the door is opened for the perversion of the gospel at its center. Justification is still the article of the standing or falling church.John Murray, Redempti…

5 Tips for Establishing a Devotional Routine with Your Toddler

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When our daughters were toddlers, we had a regular bedtime routine. It usually involved reading a story, saying prayers, giving hugs and kisses, and listening to some music before bed. Their stuffed toys got involved, too. Mr. Lamb would read along, and Smiley the Dog would share in hugs and kisses. Once the nightly rhythm was established, every part mattered. Knowing exactly what to expect helped our kids feel safe, confident, and secure.And when one part was missing—well, I remember one vacation to a theme park. We’d been out late watching fireworks, so we skipped some of the normal bedtime steps. On top of that, we discovered Smiley had been left on a tour bus earlier in the day. Needless to say, sleep was fleeting that night! I learned just how much my kids count on a regular rhythm to thrive.Christians know that rhythm should include religious instruction, but toddlers are always on the move—no wonder most parents struggle to corral them for any sort of formal family devotional t…

Recovering The Importance Of The Public Reading Of Scripture

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Bible reading has become a largely private practice—something we do in our own personal “quiet time.” A few verses, or perhaps as much as a chapter, are often read before the sermon on Sunday morning. But when was the last time you heard multiple chapters or, better yet, a whole book of the Bible publicly read aloud from beginning to end?This has become a relatively rare experience in the church. However, the public reading of Scripture is one of the most ancient, time-honored practices of God’s people that is recorded in Scripture. It is a practice that is repeatedly described and commended at crucial moments in redemptive history, from the very beginning to the very end of the Bible. In fact, it is something that God’s people are specifically commanded to do with devotion. As Paul told Timothy, his young pastoral protégé, “Devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture” (1 Tim. 4:13, emphasis added). Read more»Justin Borger, Don’t Forsake the Public Reading of Scripture, Tableta…

The Normal Christian Birth

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(1/21/18 - Apologia, Church, Tempe, AZ)Text: Acts 2:32ffMedical science informs us that the events surrounding a baby’s birth is a key factor in a child’s development. A long, drawn out, painful and complicated birth can have a lasting negative impact and that is why it is vital that much attention is given to provide a safe, healthy process and environment for a baby. When it comes to spiritual birth into the kingdom of God, how can we make sure the new baby is off to a good start in its new life in Christ? What does a NORMAL Christian birth look like? If we could standardize the process, what things would we put in place?

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Belief: A Theological Commentary on the Bible Upgrade (11 vols.)

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The volumes in Belief: A Theological Commentary on the Bible, from Westminster John Knox Press, offer a fresh and invigorating approach to 16 significant the books of the Bible. Building on a wide range of sources from biblical studies, the history of theology, the church’s liturgical and musical traditions, contemporary culture, and the...

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GOD is Author, Editor, and Publisher of Our Stories

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I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jer. 29:11 Heavenly Father, this much-loved, oft’ quoted verse, both challenges and comforts us. It challenges the part of us that wishes you’d simply sign off on the plans we’d make for ourselves.We’d write stories that include as little disruption and change as possible, few surprises and no suffering, tons of familiarity and copious predictability. Of course, we would! In essence, we’d love for you to be Sugar Daddy, not Abba Father. Thank you for your kindness and patience with us. But at the core of the new heart you’ve given us in Jesus, that’s not what we really want. We don’t really want to exchange places with you—making us the potter and you the clay. We trust you and we love you, Father. You gave Jesus to us and for us. Of course, you’ll give us everything else we truly need (Rom. 8:32). It’s just that sometimes your plan includes things that, in the momen…

Must God shrink to make room for his creatures?

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Recently I had the opportunity to listen to a lecture by Jürgen Moltmann, author of The Theology of HopeThe Crucified GodThe Trinity and the Kingdom of God, and of other books With others I was able briefly to talk to him afterwards. He lectured for an hour in good English (no doubt learned when he was – as he told us – a prisoner of war here in 1946), and then responded to questions for half an hour or so. Pretty good for someone aged 88. He is a humorous, self-deprecating, rather puckish person, not by any means the stereotype of the famous German theologian. (I remembered an earlier lecture of his twenty or so years ago when he seemed rather aloof.) He had come over to Oxford from Germany that day and was staying in a study bedroom in the College at which he was speaking.Moltmann is noted for his very anthropomorphic conception of God.  I cannot say that there was much that was new or startling in his lecture on this front. He spoke about the Anglican theologian J. B. Mozley’…

Must God shrink to make room for his creatures?

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Recently I had the opportunity to listen to a lecture by Jürgen Moltmann, author of The Theology of HopeThe Crucified GodThe Trinity and the Kingdom of God, and of other books With others I was able briefly to talk to him afterwards. He lectured for an hour in good English (no doubt learned when he was – as he told us – a prisoner of war here in 1946), and then responded to questions for half an hour or so. Pretty good for someone aged 88. He is a humorous, self-deprecating, rather puckish person, not by any means the stereotype of the famous German theologian. (I remembered an earlier lecture of his twenty or so years ago when he seemed rather aloof.) He had come over to Oxford from Germany that day and was staying in a study bedroom in the College at which he was speaking.Moltmann is noted for his very anthropomorphic conception of God.  I cannot say that there was much that was new or startling in his lecture on this front. He spoke about the Anglican theologian J. B. Mozley’…