Archive for the 'Miscellaneous' Category

A Word From Our Sponsor

During this lull in blogging I would like to make my semi-annual plea to support your favorite blogger. I won’t start out by writing, “Friend”, even though I probably don’t know you, or talk about how this ministry is in a crisis until ‘we’ meet our goal that we set too high. (That’s my attempt at humor if you didn’t catch that.)

I want to thank everyone who has bought items through Amazon or clicked on the other affiliate links in the right column. I appreciate it even if someone just buys a 99 cent Kindle book because I know you’re thinking of me.

If you’d like to support this blog or another, buying through any affiliate links is very helpful. There is no extra cost to you. Just click on a link for the store and it will know someone came from this site. And remember, Amazon sells just about everything that’s made in the universe. I often forget to look there or on eBay for good deals on any number of things. eBay and half.com are also good for certain books.

A little while ago I wrote about the New Westminster Books Web Site. I like to look at their bestsellers and recommendations. They also have a lot of sample chapters of books.

Now Monergism Books has added the ability to search Amazon books and Kindle books in addition to their own site. Aside from books, I also often go to Monergism whenever I’m looking for any kind of information on Reformed theology.

Joel Watts has a list of bibliobloggers who have Amazon Affiliate accounts.

Thank you again for your support.

Bible Reading

As I’m dealing with health problems and starting to work on a blog series, I thought I might write some short posts.

I’ve never read the Bible in a staggered way, meaning, two chapters of the OT, a chapter of Psalms and a chapter in the NT, like I’m pretty much doing now. It was either slow reading (devotionally, for lack of a better term), or reading through the Bible straight through or in “chronological” order. I just finished Leviticus and am starting Deuteronomy where God tells the older folks and Moses that they can’t go to the new place because they didn’t believe. So they couldn’t go and rest from all of that time in the desert. Then I happen to read chapter 4 of Hebrews the next day and the writer, certainly not Paul (let’s see if prof. David Black is reading), says that believers have now entered in God’s rest (Hebrews 4:5-7). Although lately I don’t feel like I got no rest (Greek allows for double negatives as emphasis, so I’ll adopt that), I am in his rest. I’m not wandering aimlessly, complaining, not believing, not receiving God’s benefits. Maybe some of those middle two, but God has given me the faith to believe in Him, and I have His inheritance that will never disappear, wear out, get old, change over time or anything like that (1 Peter 1:4). It’s mine, and ours who are believers, and we and our inheritance are protected by God through our faith in Him (1 Peter 1:5) that He’s given to us (Ephesians 2:8). I suppose that’s blessing on blessing or grace on grace.

That’s all for now.

~Jeff

Jesus Called Me On My Cell Phone

Apparently there is a lot of confusion about a humorous (or so I thought) post I wrote called Altar Boyz “The Calling” Video. I thought the video was humorous and decided to put in all of the dorky things I could think of in the post. Many didn’t get it, and like a bad comedian, I needed to explain my jokes at the bottom of the post in an ‘Edit’.

I’ve been trying to insert my sense of humor and personality more in my posts and so far it isn’t working well.

New Westminster Book Web Site

It looks similar, but here is a graphic with the changes. Keep scrolling down to see the features of each one along with the sale code good through the 29th.

Westminster’s New Book Site

I like to look at the Best Sellers and New & Coming

Westminster Books

(Affiliate links)

Altar Boyz “The Calling” Video

Friends,
This song just really touched my heart and I want to share it with you. I mean, it just really resonated with me. I’m so blessed that these young men of God shared this song with us. You know, Christianity is a relationship, not a religion. And someone you have a relationship with will call you, just like a lot, and not charge you for it. So I just pray that people will just really be touched by this video because it’s so glorious. It really made me feel better, and I just hope it does the same for you. Just give it all to Him. And remember to call someone and share with them that they should just ask Jesus into their heart. He’s knocking. Jesus did 99%. Now you need to do the 1%. Make Jesus your co-pilot today. A personal savior is waiting to make your life better.

Blessings.

Edit: It seems that many people don’t realize that this is humor, both the video and my post. I thought everything was obvious enough, but apparently not. One of my pet peeves is using the word just all the time. I also hate the word share, the idea that Christianity isn’t a religion (do you think Jesus wasn’t religious?), feeling better, asking Jesus into your heart (nonsensical), doing the 1% (Jesus did/does all of it), God is our pilot, not our co-pilot and becoming a Christian isn’t about making our life better. I also don’t write blessings at the end of every correspondence. I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean. So there you have it. Explaining a joke. Not good comedy.

An Open Letter To Carl Trueman

Please write more blog posts. Thank you.

(Carl Trueman blogs at Ref21 Blog [Ref 21 stands for Reformation 21, in case you wanted to know {although I don't know what 21 stands for}] and also has a podcast called The Mortification of Spin.)

P.S. – I think open letters are silly, but I would like Carl Trueman to blog more. I won’t ask him to do more podcasts because I want them to keep a pace that’s sustainable.

Trueman-Carl
Carl Trueman taking a break from reading blogs.

~Jeff, an opponent of over-users of parenthesis everywhere

Will Christ ‘Boom’ When He Comes Back?

Is this part of what it might be light when Christ comes back? Just think of how much more (in the classic definition of the word) it will be that just this ‘little’ noise. I’ve never seen anything like this on video (except for a sonic boom from a jet) let alone in person.

BREAKING: Huge Meteor Explodes Over Russia

More:
Meteorite Explodes Over Russia, Panic Spreads

HT: @ElShaddaiE, @NWBingham

Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Matthew 24:30

Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him.
Revelation 1:7

Therefore if they say to you, “Look, He is in the desert!” do not go out; or “Look, He is in the inner rooms!” do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
Matthew 24:26-27

inspiring an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, or fear; causing or inducing awe: an awesome sight.

Carl Trueman Quotes

Trueman-CarlCarl Trueman is Departmental Chair of Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. He’s one of the most interesting, smart, funny and no-nonsense people I’ve read. He’s a blogger who doesn’t think much of the internet (although you can see it right behind him, certainly beneath whatever he’s working on). He’s a writer who doesn’t think much of books written nowadays. There are plenty of videos of him on YouTube. In some he is a debater. I particularly like a series with him and GK Beale, among others.

Here are a few of his humorous quotes that I found just today. I love his humor but have also learned a lot from him already, including this great explanation of Luther being a theologian of the cross.

I hate to disagree with Paul Levy and Scott Clark (actually, that is not true; I am perfectly happy to disagree with them)

Far more attractive then Ref21 (we don’t do ‘attractive’) and far more helpful (we don’t do that either),

What is your only comfort in life and death? – Reformation21 Blog

Does it not seem only yesterday that Mel Gibson’s film, The Passion, was being trumpeted by evangelicals as ‘the greatest outreach opportunity of the century’? In retrospect, The Passion surely stands somewhere between A Muppet Christmas Carol and Dave and the Giant Pickle in the honour roll of celluloid contributions to world evangelisation.

Reading Luther Not Wisely But Well: Part One – Reformation21

My main goal in this post is to introduce some of you to someone you may not know and may learn a lot from in various genres, like his beloved blogging. I certainly have and will continue to do so.

Also see:
Book Review:-Housewife Theologian – where Trueman pays a visit in the world of blogdom that he so despises

Themelios | Article: The Importance Of Not Studying Theology
HT: Underdog Theology

Laminin and Gimmicky Christianity

Louie Giglio has been in the news. I’d like to write about something different. I actually saw a Laminin graphic before the news came up and wanted to write a post about it. I also want to say right away that I don’t hate Louie Giglio or think he’s a heretic. I know he’s done a lot of good for youth but beyond that I don’t know a lot about him. I’m writing here about gimmicks and not using the plain gospel or ‘mere Christianity’. I found a quote by Spurgeon that I think goes with it quite well. It’s easy for some people in this age of social media, blogs and video sites to get caught up in things like this.

Laminin is something that pastor Louie Giglio made popular quite a while ago. I watched the whole long version of the video. I just saw this resurface on social media. Giglio spends a lot of time explaining what a scientist told him. He is telling us that Laminin is what holds us together. Here is a graphic of what people have put together to describe Laminin (click to see larger-Esc to come back):

Laminin - Giglio

Here is what it looks like under a microscope (full size):

Laminin Microscope

Here is an abbreviated version of his talk in case you would want to spend or waste the time watching it:

Here is a regular teenager in a low quality video talking about Laminin in realistic terms. I love how he ends it. No fancy multi-media:

Do we need gimmicks? Do we need to spend that much time talking about a spurious scientific idea, along with all of the accouterments of multi-media to convince people to believe, or to strengthen their faith?

Are you afraid that preaching the gospel will not win souls? Are you despondent as to success in God’s way? Is this why you pine for clever oratory? … After all, is it by might and power, and not by the Spirit of God?

In this house we have proved successfully, these many years, this great truth, that the gospel plainly preached will gain an audience, convert sinners, and build up and sustain a church. We beseech the people of God to mark that there is no need to try doubtful expedients and questionable methods. God will save by the gospel still: only let it be the gospel in its purity. This grand old sword will cleave a man’s chine [i.e., spine], and split a rock in halves.

–Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, 1888, vol. 34, p. 563

HT: Why Spurgeon Thought the Plain Preaching of the Gospel Was Sufficient to Grow a Church – Justin Taylor

Also see:
Hip and Thigh: The Laminin Molecule and the Inadequacies of Evidentialism

Joyce Meyer and Judging

I only post negative stuff like this a few times a year. This is not a ‘discernment blog’ which points out faults of others. But I see a lot of people out there who like her and might just not yet be aware that she’s a false teacher.

Many years ago, we were given tapes of her speaking (way before I was Reformed or anything specific). After a while of listening to them I literally felt queasy and very uncomfortable. She starts out saying what people want to hear and then it gets worse as she goes along. She teaches things against and outside of Scripture.

Some will vehemently disagree with me. I’m not posting this for you. I’m posting this for people who aren’t very familiar with different preachers and authors yet and who could use this information. If you want to investigate more, read from people who are for her and others who are against, compare what they say to Scripture, pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you, and make an informed decision.

I’m not a great debater and don’t spend time writing treatises against false teachers, which is why I’m using this video. But like I said, I know enough about her from listening and reading to know what she’s about. Some will say, “Do not judge.” (See: The Cult of “Do Not Judge” « The Reformed Traveler’s Research) I don’t hate her and I’m not judging her for something I’m guilty of myself (Matt 7:1-5). I don’t hate people who listen to her. I’m a forgiven sinner and feel this will help many people to discern what she’s really about. Be careful out there.

(Start at 4:40 if you’d like–I can’t get the start code to work):

Edit: At 4:55, his first issue is that she says she’s glad to preach the gospel because she gets to hear, not heal. Just to be fair.

Galatians 1:6-9
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel– which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let that person be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let that person be under God’s curse!

Also see:
Joel Osteen: Origins & Errors of His Teaching (a Film by Keith Thompson) – YouTube (he’s a little more obvious)

Let’s prepare ourselves for…

I don’t understand why we need to prepare ourselves to worship or pray or whatever. I just read today somewhere about preparing ourselves for (T)hanksgiving. Isn’t this something we should be doing all the time (1 Thess 5:16-18)? If we aren’t, which would be human nature, shouldn’t we be praying for a spirit of continual thanksgiving? Does it say anywhere in Scripture that we should prepare ourselves to do these things? Psalm 95:2 says, “Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.” (I’m not saying worship = music.) I don’t see anything about preparing to do this.

There is a praise chorus with the lyrics, “Come, now is the time to worship”. So now we have songs about worshiping before we actually worship! Is this worshiping worship?

I understand that some people are coming from a hard day of work, whether it’s in an office or raising kids and are then needing to clear out distractions so that they can concentrate on thinking about things above during a congregational meeting of some sort. But isn’t worship or prayer or reading Scripture a good way of doing that? Do we really need to spend time preparing for something that will fulfill that purpose? Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” We are to pray when we’re anxious and don’t need to spend time preparing to pray. If we’re praying all throughout the day in addition to extended, concentrated prayer time, it will be easy for us. Do we need to prepare to talk to our friends or prepare to read a book?

Is it just me? This has always been a pet peeve. I have over 100 of them, which is a weakness of mine.

So this is my cranky Thanksgiving message for you. As you may have perceived, I’m an “every day is alike” (Rom 14:5) type of person.

I do hope and pray that you have a nice time with family and can have real fellowship. For those who don’t have family, are lonely or suffering, let’s pray they can have close fellowship with God and have a spirit of thanksgiving during the holiday season when nearly everyone else seems so happy.

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise–the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.
Hebrews 13:15

Edit: see the comments for some good points

I’m So Proud of Myself…

…Said no Christian ever in a legitimate way.

When we do good, we can’t claim it for ourselves (Acts 3:26). Everything good comes from God (James 1:17). God gets all of the glory (1 Peter 4:11), not some of it. When we do bad, or do nothing (James 4:17), we can claim that for ourselves. It’s our sinful nature working in us (James 1:14). When we do something good, or have an ability that we develop, it’s God who compels us to act (Phil 2:13) and gives us the ability (1 Corinthians 4:7). The only thing we can boast about is that we know the Lord, but even that is because He delighted in us first (Jeremiah 9:24).

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Hebrews 13:20-21

D.A. “Ducky” Carson?

This isn’t necessarily a funny thing, but whenever I read D.A. Carson, I always think of ‘Ducky’, a character on the TV show NCIS. Just can’t keep the two separate in my head and it kind of drives me nuts.

D.A. Carson (use the volume slider next to the Play/Pause button near the lower left if you need it):

Do you have any similar similarities?

I was reading this today while hearing Dr. Mallard’s voice:
Themelios | Article: The Beauty Of Biblical Balance

Headline Prophecy

For those who like to predict impending calamity (especially in the U.S. it seems): Are you a prophet? If so, what spiritual significance will this have? If not, why are you predicting the near future? Isn’t it for God to prosper financially (and other ways) or take away in his own time?

The LORD sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts.
1 Samuel 2:7

(This has nothing to do with politics. I just get tired of hearing the same impending doom messages year after year and it doesn’t happen. Maybe it will at some point. A broken clock is right twice a day. But with the Lord a day is like a thousand years.)

Blogs, Social Media and Beer

People who write about beer on blogs often say they abstain if they know they are around people (in person) who have problems with alcohol, so as not to cause them to stumble. Shouldn’t this be the case with writing about it on blogs and social media too? Many of the young, restless and reformed seem to be into beer (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and writing about it.

Photo © Jeff at Scripture Zealot

Also see:
Spurgeon the Drinker [and cigar smoker]: The Rest of the Story…