Monday, October 20, 2014

TAMB: The Joy of Fearing God

[TAMB 43.1 October 20th, 2014] Message from October 5th: The Joy of Fearing God, Jude and selected passages:

Thursday, October 16, 2014

TAMB: Doug Wilson, J.R.R. Tolkien, G.K. Chesterton, & C.S. Lewis, Part II

Were J.R.R. Tolkien, G.K. Chesterton, and C.S. Lewis saved? Doug Wilson (pastor of Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho) was recently asked this question and many of his answers reveal the troubling implications of his “Federal Vision” theology. This program addresses Wilson’s answers to this question – Doug Wilson, J.R.R. Tolkien, G.K. Chesterton, & C.S. Lewis, Part II:

TAMB: Doug Wilson, J.R.R. Tolkien, G.K. Chesterton, & C.S. Lewis, Part I

Were J.R.R. Tolkien, G.K. Chesterton, and C.S. Lewis saved? Doug Wilson (pastor of Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho) was recently asked this question and many of his answers reveal the troubling implications of his “Federal Vision” theology. This program addresses Wilson’s answers to this question – Doug Wilson, J.R.R. Tolkien, G.K. Chesterton, & C.S. Lewis, Part I:

TAMB: The Armoury Ministries Broadcast–Inaugural Program

In this inaugural program of The Armoury Ministries Broadcast, I introduce the theme hymn of The Armoury Ministries: The Sands of Time are Sinking. This hymn’s lyrics, rich history, and beautiful tune are surveyed in this program:



The Sands of Time are Sinking is masterfully performed by the Altar of Praise Chorale.

Monday, September 29, 2014

An Open Letter to Kirk Cameron along with Glenn Beck, Dave Dwyer, and all their Respective Employees and Listening Audiences

Update:  Related interview with WorldView Weekend (mp3)
Dear Kirk Cameron –

At the outset let me mention that I celebrated your excellent labors with respect to the movie, Fireproof, when it was released. As a husband, father of six children, and pastor, I rejoiced when this work of yours was made public. Gospel-rich and Gospel-centered productions, of significant quality, have become as rare as summer snow in our generation,

Friday, September 26, 2014

True Marriage: A Covenant of Love

Quaint and pithy sayings are often mistaken for genuine wisdom, especially when they are given to us from historical figures or men of renown. Great danger comes when the hearer becomes passive with such "wisdom" by failing to measure everything by the standard of Holy Writ. No man can match the ancient wisdom of God's Word.[1] Consider the following counsel offered by Dietrich Bonhoeffer to a young couple about to be married:

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Lewis’ and Piper’s Transitive Influences on Evangelicalism

I. LEWIS’ & PIPER’S TROUBLING AFFIRMATIONS OF HEDONISM
II. LEWIS’ & PIPER’S TRANSITIVE INFLUENCES ON EVANGELICALISM
III. THE BAD LEGACY OF MYSTICISM, SUBJECTIVISM, AND SECULARISM
IV. THE GRAVE NEED FOR REAL LIGHT IN A WORLD OF REAL DARKNESS

II. Lewis’ and Piper’s Transitive Influences on Evangelicalism: In a previous column, I examined Lewis’ and Piper’s troubling affirmations of hedonism. In that piece, special notice was given concerning Piper’s troubling praise of atheist Ayn Rand: “I think she [Ayn Rand] points to truth and to Jesus ultimately: she esteemed reason, individualism, and hedonism - and so do I..."[1]

Friday, September 19, 2014

Lewis’ & Piper’s Troubling Affirmations of Hedonism

The following article is also featured at Worldview Weekend (here).

For more background information on the legacy of C.S. Lewis: ataul.thearmoury.org

As a follow up to my September 10th article (Victoria Osteen & John Piper’s “Christian Hedonism”: What’s The Difference?) and my related interview with Brannon Howse on September 11th, I wanted to offer a series of columns addressing the continuing influences of C.S. Lewis’, as promoted through John Piper’s teaching on Christian Hedonism.[1] Originally, this entire discussion was triggered by the following tweet from the Desiring God Ministry on September 4th:

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Altar to an Unknown Love: Rob Bell, C.S. Lewis, and the Legacy of the Art and Thought of Man

 

eBook and paperback - available at amazon.com. For more information about this book, go to: ataul.thearmoury.org. For more information about The Armoury Ministries, go to: www.thearmouryministries.org

2 Timothy 3:1,4: "In the last days...men will be...lovers of hedonism [φιλήδονοι]..."

Friday, September 05, 2014

Victoria Osteen and “Christian Hedonism”

Victoria Osteen’s dark moment of honesty before a watching world has generated much buzz and discussion lately. However, one must wonder why there is so much surprise in this – she has simply admitted to the very core of her theology. Her version of “Christianity” is an idolatrous cauldron of hedonistic pleasure. In her world, self reigns supreme – and the name of Christ is simply a nametag that she attaches in an attempt to provide cover for her heresy. Those who didn’t already know of the Osteen’s theology either haven’t been paying attention, or perhaps they have never heard of the bizarre spectacle of their “ministry.”

Thursday, September 04, 2014

The Bitter-Sweet Lessons of Divine Providence

mjbatwhbcnowredeemerbiblechurchLast month I stumbled upon some sad and difficult news, the likes of which I will not describe in detail, but will only say that it involves a church in the northern Midwest. I heard about this news via a Christian podcast which aired shortly after the crisis in question. When I heard this news, I couldn’t help but to recall to mind several memories concerning one of the most difficult experiences that I have gone through in the ministry. The memories and experiences that I will share will be nameless recollections from the past. To be frank they are difficult memories and past anxieties that I have entrusted to God, lest my own heart be corrupted with a root of bitterness. Yet, these distant memories also bear forth a bounty of important life lessons. Whenever I do think of them, I am immediately drawn to the reflection of God’s kind and faithful tutelage

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Does Paul “Invite” or “Anticipate” Human Reason?

One of the most interesting aspects of the Apostle Paul’s pedagogical methodology is his frequent use of staged questions which come from the vantage point of human reasoning. The book of Romans is filled with such a trail of staged questions, and this trail is established early on in the epistle:

Romans 3:1–8: 1 Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit of circumcision? 2 Great in every respect. First of all, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God. 3 What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it? 4 May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, “THAT YOU MAY BE JUSTIFIED IN YOUR WORDS, AND PREVAIL WHEN YOU ARE JUDGED.” 5 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is He? (I am speaking in human terms.) 6 May it never be! For otherwise, how will God judge the world? 7 But if through my lie the truth of God abounded to His glory, why am I also still being judged as a sinner? 8 And why not say (as we are slanderously reported and as some claim that we say), “Let us do evil that good may come”? Their condemnation is just.

The Apostle purposefully jousts with a nameless opponent in order to demonstrate the dangerous dead end of human reasoning (i.e., speaking according to men - κατὰ ἄνθρωπον λέγω).

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A Note of Background: The Fallible Prophets of New Calvinism

I am thankful to the Lord for the continued distribution and use of the book, The Fallible Prophets of New Calvinism. Whether you have read the book already, or are trying to discern whether or not you should get it, the reader should know that this book is the culmination of several years of my own concern regarding the contemporary doctrine of fallible prophecy.

Editorial Note & Update on The Fallible Prophets of New Calvinism:

It should be noted that The Fallible Prophets of New Calvinism has undergone a small editorial adjustment in the third chapter: The Case of Agabus. In this chapter there is frequent mention of Rome’s stringent anti-riot laws. The most prominent mention of this is found in a brief citation from the words of Justinian:

“If a man on arrival excites a crowd and incites it to an unlawful object by his shouts or by any act such as making accusations against someone or even by arousing pity, and if damage is committed as a result of his malicious incitement, he will be liable, even if he did not originally have the intent of getting the crowd together… when a person gathers a crowd together himself and beats a slave in front of the crowd in order to do him an unlawful injury rather than with intent to cause loss, the Edict will apply.”

With or without such external sources, the reality of Roman anti-riot laws is inferentially evident in texts like Acts 19:40. However, the broader sphere of Roman law is mentioned in The Fallible Prophets of New Calvinism in order to strengthen the reader’s understanding of the profound pressures that fell upon Paul when “all Jerusalem was in confusion” (Acts 21:31). As mentioned in the book, the longstanding history of Rome’s strictures against riotous conduct and treason goes back to its earlier era as a Roman Republic and is evident in legal structures stemming from Rome’s Senatus Consultum de re Publica Defendenda. However, in the autocratic era of the Roman Empire, the legal strictures against treason and riots became more centralized in the sole authority of the reigning Caesar. Simply put, the evolutionary history of Roman law is extensive. Some of this history is helpful when considering Paul’s Roman arrest, however, an exhaustive perusal of Roman law is far more extensive than what is needed for the argument of The Fallible Prophets of New Calvinism. Because of this, some of this background information supplied in the earliest version of the book has been simplified for the sake of clarity. One such change deals with the mention of the Senatus Consultum de re Publica Defendenda. Though historically relevant to the evolution of laws protecting Roman rule, its repeated mention in the book is simply unnecessary and has therefore been relegated to one brief footnote. Beyond this, the overall content, structure, and argument of chapter 3 remains completely unchanged.

Soli Deo Gloria

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Christ, the Centerpiece of Everything

         “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.”
         — Romans 3:31

“When the believer is adopted into the Lord’s family, his relationship to old Adam and the law ceases at once; but then he is under a new rule, and a new covenant. Believer, you are God’s child; it is your first duty to obey your heavenly Father. A servile spirit you have nothing to do with: you are not a slave, but a child; and now, inasmuch as you are a beloved child, you are bound to obey your Father’s faintest wish, the least intimation of his will. Does he bid you fulfil a sacred ordinance? It is at your peril that you neglect it, for you will be disobeying your Father. Does he command you to seek the image of Jesus? Is it not your joy to do so? Does Jesus tell you, “Be ye perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect”? Then not because the law commands, but because your Saviour enjoins, you will labour to be perfect in holiness. Does he bid his saints love one another? Do it, not because the law says, “Love thy neighbour,” but because Jesus says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments;” and this is the commandment that he has given unto you, “that ye love one another.” Are you told to distribute to the poor? Do it, not because charity is a burden which you dare not shirk, but because Jesus teaches, “Give to him that asketh of thee.” Does the Word say, “Love God with all your heart”? Look at the commandment and reply, “Ah! commandment, Christ hath fulfilled thee already—I have no need, therefore, to fulfil thee for my salvation, but I rejoice to yield obedience to thee because God is my Father now and he has a claim upon me, which I would not dispute.” May the Holy Ghost make your heart obedient to the constraining power of Christ’s love, that your prayer may be, “Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.” Grace is the mother and nurse of holiness, and not the apologist of sin.” 

Spurgeon, C. H. (2006). Morning and evening: Daily readings (Complete and unabridged; New modern edition.). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.