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Showing posts from September, 2009

I strongly dislike the sound of Rap and Hip-Hop music; but...

Over at Psalm 45 Publications Blog, I read a review of a new CD entitled "Didactic Music, Vol. I". The title caught my eye--love it! Although, I will not be purchasing the CD for myself--I am thrilled to see how the Lord is using some gifted young people today. Read the entire interview and especially the review that follows. It will, without a doubt, shock you--of that I am pretty certain.

Interview with "Christcentric"

There are several different reasons for writing and producing music: songs can be used to express worship to God, they can be more horizontally-focused, and attempt to say something worthwhile to other people, they can be artistic expressions of the different gifts that God has given us – what would you say your primary purpose is in producing music, and how does that affect the way that you go about your work?

Evangel: I think our music can sort of be a combination of all of the above. Our music tends to reflect the heartbeat of our convictions at th…

Are you a “Marrow Man” or a “Neonomian"?

The Marrow Controversy—

Do you know anything about the Marrow Controversy? If you were raised in a "Fundamental" church or perhaps a "Reformed" church where you saw little joy, yet a great deal of head knowledge; perhaps you will see the parallel between your experience and observations and what was going on in the Church in 1717 in Scotland. This is just one of thousands of examples of why knowing Church history can help guard against getting sucked into error and heresy. As you read this brief outline, think about your own attitudes and your own past experiences. You may be surprised how much you have been influenced by error which is veiled in pseudo piety.

1717 and 1722: Controversy in the Church of Scotland (reformed & Presbyterian church)

1717 Presbytery of Auchterarder—William Craig ordination trials. He would not affirm this statement, known as the Auchterarder Creed:

“It is not sound and orthodox to teach that we must forsake sin in order to our…

The Gospel Coalition (An Answer to Prayer)

Theological Vision for Ministry
Click HERE for complete statement

"We do not, however, see enough individual churches that embody the full, integrative gospel balance we have outlined here. And while, in God’s grace, there is an encouraging number of bright spots in the church, we see no broad movement yet of this gospel–centered ministry. We believe such a balance will produce churches with winsome and theologically substantial preaching, dynamic evangelism and apologetics, and church growth and church planting. They will emphasize repentance, personal renewal, and holiness of life. At the same time, and in the same congregations, there will be engagement with the social structures of ordinary people, and cultural engagement with art, business, scholarship, and government. There will be calls for radical Christian community in which all members share wealth and resources and make room for the poor and the marginalized. These priorities will all be combined and will mutually streng…

"Compel Them To Come In"

"I feel in such a haste to go out and obey this commandment this morning, by compelling those to come in who are now tarrying in the highways and hedges, that I cannot wait for an introduction, but must at once set about my business......

If the minister chooses to take his proper rank, girded with the omnipotence of God, and anointed with his holy unction, he is to command men, and speak with all authority compelling them to come in: "command, exhort, rebuke with all long-suffering."But do you turn away and say you will not be commanded? Then again will I change my note. If that avails not, all other means shall be tried.

My brother, I come to you simple of speech, and I exhort you to flee to Christ. O my brother, dost thou know what a loving Christ he is? Let me tell thee from my own soul what I know of him. I, too, once despised him. He knocked at the door of my heart and I refused to open it. He came to me, times without number, morning by morning, and night by night;…

Do you really understand why you were created and why your sins have been forgiven--if you are in Christ?

Ponder these passages from Isaiah. Read each one and think on it. Really mediate on what God is saying through the prophet.

I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?

Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counsellor hath taught him? With whom took he …

"...having formed in their minds such a God as suits them..."

"Now, sometimes when you talk about God being a God of wrath, certain people get disturbed. And they don’t understand how God can be a God of anger and God can be a God of wrath and God can be a God of fury, a God of terror. But that’s because they don’t understand God.

Let’s see if we can’t help ourselves to a deeper understanding of His wrath in perspective with all of His other attributes. God’s attributes are balanced in His divine perfection. And they are perfectly balanced. If God did not have wrath and God did not have anger then He would not be God. God is perfect in love, on the one hand, and He is equally perfect in hate, on the other hand. Just as totally as He loves, so totally does He hate. As His love is unmixed, so is His hate unmixed. Of Christ, it says in Hebrews 1:9, “Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity.” And there is that perfect balance in the nature of God.

As I mentioned, one of the tragedies of Christianity in our time is a failure to preach the …

A Sly and Subtle Enemy

One of our most heinous and palpable sins is PRIDE. This is a sin that hath too much interest in the best of us, but which is more hateful and inexcusable in us than in other men. Yet is it so prevalent in some of us, that it inditeth our discourses, it chooseth our company, it formeth our countenances, it putteth the accent and emphasis upon our words. It fills some men’s minds with aspiring desires, and designs: it possesseth them with envious and bitter thoughts against those who stand in their light, or who by any means eclipse their glory, or hinder the progress of their reputation. Oh what a constant companion, what a tyrannical commander, what a sly and subtle insinuating enemy, is this sin of pride.

Hence also it is that men do so magnify their own opinions, and are as censorious of any that differ from them in lesser things, as if it were all one to differ from them and from God. They expect that all should conform to their judgment, as if they were the rulers of the Church’s …

Is Your Love for God Merely "Self-Love"

Do you love God? If so, tell me why you love God? It would be interesting to pose these questions to an entire body at a local church. I fear most would respond that they love God for what He has done for them, not for who He is. Being thankful for His mercy and grace is far different then loving Him because of His mercy and grace towards men. Jonathan Edwards explains the importance of understanding the difference between love (as a fruit of the Spirit) versus natural love.:

"There is such a thing as a kind of love or affection that a man may have towards persons or things, which does properly arise from self-love; a preconceived relation to himself, or some respect already manifested by another to him, or some benefit already received or depended on, is truly the first foundation of his love, and what his affection does wholly arise from; and is what precedes any relish of, or delight in the nature and qualities inherent in the being beloved, as beautiful and amiable.


"Doing" Church

I would highly recommend that one study the history of Christian worship, before forming strong and binding convictions. I mean really study--Don't just read someone's summary or overview.

While studying Church liturgy, as it pertains to singing during worship service, I came across this quote by Tertullian (as he was defending the Christian Agape Feast from the accusations that during these “love” feasts all kinds of immorality took place, including excessive drinking) [A.D. 145-220]: Hopefull, the following will (at the very least) wet the appetite for further research and study so that those who have opinions and pontificate those opinions, do so based on some level of truth and understanding.

“We sup as servants that know we must wake in the night to the service of our Master, and discourse as those who remember that they are in the hearing of God. When supper is ended, and we have washed our hands, and the candles are lighted up, every one is invited forth to sing prai…

The Sovereignty of God

The doctrine of God’s sovereignty is an anchor for the troubled soul, a hope for the praying heart, a stability for fragile faith, a confidence in pursuing the lost, a guarantee of Christ’s atonement, a high mystery to keep us humble, and a solid ground for all praise. And oh so much more. O Lord, turn this truth for the triumph of your saving and sanctifying grace.

We believe that God upholds and governs all things—from galaxies to subatomic particles, from the forces of nature to the movements of nations, and from the public plans of politicians to the secret acts of solitary persons—all in accord with His eternal, all-wise purposes to glorify Himself, yet in such a way that He never sins, nor ever condemns a person unjustly; but that His ordaining and governing all things is compatible with the moral accountability of all persons created in His image.

Why does it matter whether we believe this? Ten reasons.

1. The good news of God’s substituting his Son for us on the cross depends on …

Let us start here...

Paedo vs. Credo baptism will continue to be a difference that will divide the church in terms of Church unity, as it relates to church membership. It is one of the few theological differences that is, not only held in the mind and conscience of it's adherents, but also requires an outward action be administered by church leadership and received by congregants. Therefore, holding differing views on baptism (as it is tied to a sacrament) will continue to necessitate a distinct separation in terms of "doing" church. However, many of the other theological differences that currently divide the church, when included in a local body's statement of faith, do not require outward actions be preformed. Therefore, let us not "throw the baby out with the bath water" so to speak--by using the difference between baptism to distract us from doing what we can to remove the sinful practice of further dividing the church by requiring that any individual desiring to join …

"Wicked Innovations?"

"Instead of music allowing us an active, personal response to God's truth, it has become background noise--filler to keep us occupied while the offering plates are passed. Instead of elevating our thoughts of God beyond what we would or could do alone, it's a mindless routine we hardly notice. Instead of extracting us from the trappings of daily life and drawing our thoughts upward, it's a seventh-inning stretch just before the preaching. Instead of glorifying God, it's a stroke to the egos of a few performers. Instead of engaging our minds to the truth of who God is and what He has done, it's an emotional merry-go-round we jump on and off at will.

But is the secret to making worship music more meaningful simply a matter of choosing older songs or a different style? Not necessarily. Martin Luther said music is a servant created and given by God. He was right.

The music itself--the notes, the sounds, the rhythm--is merely a tool to help communicate truth. As long…