Round Up

Total Depravity Is A Deplorable Doctrine – I recognize the weight of the doctrine of “total depravity”, the first of John Calvin’s Five Points. It stresses the radical corruption of the human nature, rendering him incapable of exercising saving faith and repentance and obedience to God’s righteous commands. I understand it, and I hate it.

Christ Before Pilate –  [Pilate] might have guessed that this carpenter from Nazareth could make a table or a chair, but it never entered his mind that “by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him, and for Him.” PDF Document

The Missing Ingredient In Many Sermons – I have seen this in some otherwise terrific sermons. Guys can be exegetically sound, communicate with clarity, illustrate with profundity, and then at the end of the sermon it tastes like grandma’s meatloaf: somewhat filling but not so memorable.

Five Truths About The Wrath Of God – We live in a day where we have set ourselves as the judge and God’s character is on trial. “How can hell be just?” “Why would God command the Israelites to destroy the Canaanites?” “Why does God always seem so angry?”

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I am dying willingly for God’s sake, if you do not hinder it. I beseech you, be not an unseasonable kindness to me. Suffer me to be eaten by the beasts, through whom I can attain to God. I am God’s wheat, and I am ground by the teeth of wild beasts that I may be found pure bread of Christ…. I long for the beasts that are prepared for me, and I pray that that may be found prompt for me. I will even entice them to devour me promptly…. Let there come on me fire and cross and struggles with wild beasts, cutting and tearing asunder…. Cruel tortures of the devil, may I but attain to Jesus Christ. – Ignatius

Round Up

Driscoll’s True God – In the next few months Mark Driscoll will face a decision that will reveal the identity of his true God. If he loves Jesus more than he loves the pulpit, he will step away and complete his journey of submission, under the hand of a spiritual director.

Teach Believers What Happened To Them In Conversion – Everyone who is converted to Christ is converted through partial knowledge. Real knowledge, to be sure — otherwise, there would be no true conversion — put partial, nevertheless.

The Mystery of God And the Unknown Unknowns – “As we know, there are known knowns; there are things that we know that we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

You Don’t Have A ‘Porn Problem’ – I’m sick and tired of hearing so many single and married men, even professing Christian men, talk so easily, casually, and nonchalantly about their “porn problem” or their “struggles with pornography.”

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God is the highest good of the reasonable creature. The enjoyment of him is our proper; and is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Better than fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, or children, or the company of any, or all earthly friends. These are but shadows; but the enjoyment of God is the substance. These are but scattered beams; but God is the sun. These are but streams; but God is the fountain. These are but drops, but God is the ocean. – Jonathan Edwards

Chosen For a Purpose

God chose His elect for a great purpose. All who were selected by God for salvation should live with the realization that there is an eternal purpose and specific design for their lives. All believers have been saved “for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:10). Like salvation, the “good works” of a believer were preordained by God before the foundation of the world. So there is something for us in this world that has been eternally prepared by God. For this reason, the believer should live with a sense of eternal destiny. He should know that God has gone before him and determined what will be his contribution to His kingdom. Living with an eternal perspective requires that we boldly enter into the fullness of the good works that God has prepared for us to accomplish.

May you not waste your life. Invest it wisely. And may you realize what God has ordained for you to do from before the foundation of the world.

– From Foundations of Grace by Steven Lawson, pgs 439-440.

Round Up

Bound to Work: 3 Reasons You Should Not Try To Bind Satan – Spiritual warfare is real. It might not make the news; but it ought to.

The Problem’s Never At God’s End – “When people don’t get healed, the problem is never at God’s end.” Pithy, popular, memorable, intuitive – but also misleading, and sometimes very unhelpful.

Who Is Responsible For Your Spiritual Growth?Our spiritual growth clearly involves human exertion. But what, then, are we to make of God’s sovereignty over our growth?

The Perfect Hamburger? – It’s summer time, so, how to make a great hamburger is a question that has bedeviled the nation for generations, for as long as Americans have had griddles and broilers, for as long as summertime shorts-wearing cooks have gone into the yard to grill.

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The whole world is not a theater large enough to display the glory of Christ upon or unfold even half of the unsearchable riches that lie hidden in Him. And such is the deliciousness of this subject, Christ, that were there ten thousand volumes written upon it, they would never become tiring to the heart. We used to say that any one thing can finally tire us and this is true, except about this one eminent thing, Christ, and then one can never tire, for such is the variety of sweetness in Christ. – John Flaval

If God Did Not Arrange the World

“If God did not arrange [the world] this way, then there must be an independent factor in the universe. And if there is such, one consequence and perhaps two follow. First, the doctrine of creation must be abandoned. A creation ex nihilo would be completely in God’s control. Independent forces cannot be created forces, and created forces cannot be independent.

Then, second, if the universe is not God’s creation, his knowledge of it–past and future–cannot depend on what he intends to do, but on his observation of how it works. In such a case, how could we be sure that God’s observations are accurate? How could we be sure that these independent forces will not later show an unsuspected twist that will falsify God’s predictions?

And, finally, on this view God’s knowledge would be empirical, rather than an integral part of his essence, and thus he would be a dependent knower. These objections are insurmountable. We can consistently believe in creation, omnipotence, omniscience, and the divine decree. But we cannot retain sanity and combine any one of these with free will.”

Gordon H. Clark, Religion, Reason and Revelation

Round Up

How To Identify False Teachers – In part 1, Denny Burk lists 6 traits of false teachers.

Without God, Without Hope – When I hear myself say things like “what is wrong with people these days?,” shake my head in disgust and marvel that human beings could be so rebellious, so foolish, so crass, so arrogant, it is a good sign that I am not remembering where I came from.

Divisiveness Vs. DiscernmentIf we are going to be discerning people, we must develop the skill of discriminating between truth and error, good and bad...So discernment is the process of making careful distinctions in our thinking about truth.

T4G Livestream – The Together for the Gospel Conference starts tomorrow.  Here is the livestream link.

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“Since God is truth, a contempt for truth is equally a contempt for God.”- Gordon H. Clark

Round Up

If All Religions Are True – If all religions are true, then God is cruel. And not just cruel—God is an incompetent, cosmic child-abuser.

Two Favored Sons – Want to know how to read the Old Testament? Here’s a quick primer: Martin Luther said that everything bad in the Old Testament (and there’s a lot) is there to point out our sin, while everything good in the Old Testament is there to point us to our Savior.

Dragged Into the Kingdom, Kicking and Screaming – God often pursues us long before we have any inkling of what he’s up to. More often than not, we don’t like the pursuit.

Can Natural Man Do Good? – The unbeliever’s moral inability to do good—good that may be credited to his account by way of righteousness—means that there is only one possible way of salvation: it must come from outside himself.

Salvation In A Dementia Ward – “I know who you are,” she growled at me with eyes I could now see were wild with fear and anger. “You are Mr. Holy-Holy-Holy!”

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Tolerance has become such a god in our culture that not to have it is heresy. The effect is that tolerance swallows up truth, negating any need to search for things that might offend or challenge our preferences. It conveniently avoids the notion that certain things might just apply to all of us, no matter who we are or what we believe. It is a comfortable place to be, for it challenges nothing but truth, but it may also be a dangerous home to inhabit. – From the book Truth Matters.