Saturday, October 25, 2014


A Pocket Guide To Logic & Faith – Discerning truth in logical arguments. By Dr. Jason Lisle. Answers in Genesis, 2011. 94 Pages.

I have often thought it would be fun to carry a little buzzer that I could push when someone makes a fundamental mistake in reasoning”

Read my complete book review here.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Beautiful Sounds

Together for the Gospel Live II was just released this week, so here are a couple links that I can't help sharing.  These two albums, Together for the Gospel Live 1 and 2, have been a special blessing to me since I stumbled on them.  Sovereign Grace already writes amazing, Christ-exalting songs, but these two albums are particularly good!  I think these recordings are special because they are simple...nothing but one piano and thousands of voices singing praises to our Lord.  Some songs are classics that need to stick around for a few MORE centuries, and others are more contemporary compositions.  They send chills up and down my spine.  Maybe it's a little bit like heaven?

Listen to the entire albums here:
Together for the Gospel Live
Together for the Gospel Live II

And download my most recent (well, for the last year or so) favorite song for FREE here:
All I Have is Christ

Enjoy folks! :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Man A Nothing


                                 I am a shell full of dust,
but animated with an invisible rational soul
                    and made anew by an unseen power of grace;

Yet I am no rare object of valuable price,
                                 but one that has nothing and is nothing,
although chosen of thee from eternity,
        given to Christ, and born again;

      I am deeply convinced
                            of the evil and misery of a sinful state,
                                                        of the vanity of creatures,
                                                                but also of the sufficiency of Christ.

When thou wouldst guide me I control myself,

When thou wouldst be sovereign I rule myself.

When thou wouldst take care of me I suffice myself.

When I should depend on thy providings I supply myself,

When I should submit to thy providence I follow my will,

When I should study, love, honour, trust thee, I serve myself;

I fault and correct they laws to suit myself,

Instead of thee I look to a man's approbation,
             and am by nature an idolater.

                             LORD, it is my chief design to bring my heart back to thee.

Convince me that I cannot be my own God, or make myself happy,
nor my own Christ to restore my joy,
nor my own Spirit to teach, guide, rule me.

Help me to see that GRACE does this by providential affliction,
for when my credit is good thou dost cast me lower,
          when my riches are my idol thou dost wing them away,
                      when pleasure is my all thou dost turn it into bitterness.

Take away my roving eye, curious ear, greedy appetite, lustful heart;
show me that none of these things
can heal a wounded conscience,
or support a tottering frame,
or uphold a departing spirit 
then take me to the cross
and leave me there.

Man A Nothing 
- from - The Valley of Vision

Boring Bluegrass Song

Just kidding!!!!  Here's a good excuse to start listening to Christmas music RIGHT NOW!  Just cause you can't help it...


Monday, November 5, 2012

Election Thinkings (Part 2) - God Decides

Well, the election is tomorrow and I have yet to publish the second part of my "Election Thinkings." it is! I don't intend to build a huge logical case, but I do have a few points that will be mentioned without much consideration for order. Last time I presented an issue. ONLY ONE! There are many issues, but I think that the issue of abortion can be used as a litmus test for the validity, and godliness of our voting standards.

1. We cannot compromise just because there is no such thing as a perfect candidate.
Obviously, we are dealing with human government. Government is flawed, but it is also God-ordained! Rom. 13:1 - "The powers that be are ordained of God." We can't have any delusions about a perfect candidate because a perfect candidate does not exist. However, as mentioned before, there are "non-negotiables." Some issues cannot be bent. To bend is to give evil a foothold in issues that only God has the right to control (i.e. abortion). I do not believe that a "pro-death" candidate can be approved by a believer.

2. We are responsible for the candidates we elect.
Christians live for more than politics. We aught not let politics keep us awake at night or effect our walks with God! We can walk with God and serve Him in America or in Communist China. To a certain extent the political environment is irrelevant to righteous living. One thing that Christians should be concerned about is responsibility. That's why Christians should care about voting, because it is a responsibility we have been given.

 Not only are we called to take care of our responsibilities, but we are responsible for the actions of people we put in office.  Christians cannot distance themselves from politician's actions.  God will hold those responsible who vote for a pro-death candidate.

3. God is sovereign over life.
God is not only sovereign over who the leaders will be (Rom. 13), but He is also sovereign over life.  Job chapter 1 makes this pretty clear.  Human beings have NO RIGHT to control life.  If one candidate is going to kill 100 babies and the other is going to kill 1,000 (those are exaggerated small numbers) then neither of them can be approved by a conscientious believer.  The temptation is to think "I should vote for the lesser of two evils because that saves 900 babies."  That is not a consistent thought process.  Let me illustrate...
Suppose there is a young couple who find out that they are going to have twins.  Everything is going along fine, and they are excited about starting a family.  One day there are some complications with the pregnancy and the husband rushes his wife to the hospital.  After an agonizing wait the Dr. come out and addresses the husband. "I'm sorry" the Dr. says "There is no way that I can save your wife and the two babies." 
The husband is crushed, but the Dr. continues,  "However, I can save your wife and one of the babies if we terminate one of the fetuses."
All of the sudden the husband is faced with a choice.  Does he choose to kill one person to save two others?  At least only one person dies instead of three! 
NOOOOO!!!  Human beings do not have the right to make that call.  We cannot decide who lives and who dies.  God controls the death of sparrows (Matt. 10:29) and He certainly controls the death of people.  In this case, the morally right thing to do is step out in faith and trust God for the life of all three people.  Yes, the situation is impossible!  Yes, it's a hard decision to make!  Perhaps God will be gracious and save the mother and both the babies.  Maybe all three of them will die.  Whatever happens is in God's hands.  From a human perspective this seems like a horrible gamble.  The Husbands DUTY is to make a decision that leaves God in control of life.
Back to politics.  Blow that example up 1,000 or 1,000,000 times and consider it in terms of national policy.  One candidate stands for policies that will kill millions of babies.  The other stands for policies that will kill fewer babies.  The fact is...there ARE candidates who are completely pro-life!  Sure, humanly speaking, it is impossible for them to win.  But since when were Christians commanded to stand for something or someone that appears more likely to win?  Since when were we called to compromise Biblical principles on the alter of political expediency?  It is our DUTY to leave God in control of life.  That means there is no option to kill one baby to save two lives.  Obama is completely pro-choice.  Romney is "Pro-life with exceptions."  The view that we're saving many babies by voting for the lesser of two evils is a view that fails to trust those infant lives to the sovereignty of God.

Please, consider what is right this election, and along with everything else you do tomorrow, glorify God with your vote!

By the way, I know that there is a lot of confusion about where Romney stands on abortion, so don't take my word for it.  Here is an official campaign ad that makes it pretty clear.

Agree or disagree?  Is anyone voting outside of the media dictated box this year?

Read part 1 - "The Lesser of Two Evils"

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Election Thinkings (Part 1) "The Lesser of Two Evils"

A couple of days ago the vice-presidential candidates for the two major parties debated.  The debate was full of dodged questions, political rhetoric, empty promises, and bad politics.  Many people enjoyed watching it as a duel between good and evil.  Democrats and Republicans each rooted for their candidate and booed the opposition.  Their man could do no wrong and his opponent could only produce gaffes and laughable moments.  Oh yeah, and the moderator was biased.  Only politics can make us complain more than Cornhusker fans when Nebraska was still in the Big 12.  We all feel so good about ourselves while we whine.

Good versus evil?  Was it?  Granted, right now most conservatives see this coming election as a matter of “Better vs. Bad” or “the slow train heading toward a cliff vs. the fast train heading toward a cliff.”  I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the phrase “lesser of two evils,” but it’s almost daily!  Is the lesser of two evils good enough?  

If a person really believes anything then he has to understand something called a “non-negotiable.”  I think a lot of people are willing to bend a little on certain things.  Some things are important and some aren't.  Maybe they are right to bend and maybe they are wrong, but a simple fact stands, true conviction, the non-negotiable, CANNOT be bent!  Part of Webster’s definition of conviction is “the state of being convinced or convicted by conscience.”  So, it is possible for a human being to perform an act that is contrary to their conviction, but is so doing they are sinning against their own consciences.  If Christians have their consciences aligned with God’s standard, then acting against conviction is sin against God!

Conviction applies to voting in two ways.  What do the candidates actually hold as conviction, and what does a voter hold as conviction?  If a voter truly holds a conviction, is it possible to vote for someone who does not hold that conviction?  Have you compromised your own conviction (or proved you never truly believed it) if there is a conflict?  I believe that Christians can choose ONE ITEM that they actually believe with “I’d rather go to the fiery furnace” passion and use that as a yardstick by which to measure a candidate.  True conviction does not bend!

So, what issue should we choose?  Which one will lend some clarity to the situation?  Last week's debate dropped that issue in our laps.  The moderator asked a question. “This debate is, indeed, historic. We have two Catholic candidates, first time, on a stage such as this. And I would like to ask you both to tell me what role your religion has played in your own personal views on abortion.”  Everyone sitting near me at this point let out a collective “oooohhh!”  This was a good question!  This is a question that begs an answer that is held with conviction!  What does the candidate actually believe?

Biden’s answer shouldn’t surprise anyone.  He can somehow reconcile his “pro-life” personal faith with a “pro-choice” political platform by letting other people make up their own minds.  In other words “I wouldn’t kill my own kids, but everyone else should be able to kill theirs if they want to.”  

Paul Ryan’s answer made me groan.  Honestly, I think Biden is more consistent.  Ryan began with a compelling argument for life beginning at conception and then proceeded to say, “All I’m saying is, if you believe that life begins at conception, that, therefore, doesn’t change the definition of life. That’s a principle. The policy of a Romney administration is to oppose abortion with exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother.” AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!  I wanted to scream!  Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney DO NOT BELIEVE IN THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE!  It is really that simple!  You cannot make ANY exception and actually believe something.  It is a classic case of political expediency.  Romney had abortion issues in the past, but attempts to appear pro-life now, while Ryan holds a high personal view, but is willing to bend it a little so he can be vice president.  That, ladies and gentlemen, is not conviction!  Both parties are weak, ungodly options.

So, here’s where we get back around to “the lesser of two evils.”  That phrase is pretty accurate.  Only maybe we should take out the “lesser of” portion of the phrase.  If we only pull one issue out of the pot – abortion - both options are EVIL.  It’s doubtful that either party would actually do something about abortion if they were able.  Everyone is to busy with wars and dollars and storms and parties to get around to abortion.  But Romney/Ryan’s empty campaign promises are informing us that part of their plan is to keep killing babies.  We have no right to be surprised if they get into office and they kill babies.  That’s what they said they would do!

To be continued…

What do you think about our options this election cycle?
Do those "minor exceptions" push the Romney/Ryan ticket past the non-negotiable line?

Read part 2 - "God Decides"

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Found: God's Will - Book Review

This book is rather short and concise (61 pages) and it's appropriate that a review of it bear the same qualities.

Buy it, borrow it, or steal it and read it!  

There it is...short, sweet, and to the point.  Really though, this book is not anything new, but John MacArthur does an extremely good job of clarifying what the will of God for a believer's life is.  The book is built around six simple principles about revealed will of God.  All of them are very clear in Scripture and lay the foundation for answering that famous question "What is God's will for my life????"  

Principle 1 - God's wants men to be saved. (2 Peter 3:9)
Principle 2 - You must be filled/yielded to the Spirit. (Eph. 5:17-18)
Principle 3 - You must be practically pure. (1 Thess. 4:3-7)
Principle 4 - You must be submissive to authority. (1 Peter 2:13-15)
Principle 5 - You must be willing to suffer. (1 Peter 5:10, 4:19)
Principle 6 -  "Do whatever you want."  (Psalm 37:4) 

Of course, principle six assumes that the first five are true in your life and your desires are actually God's desires.  Good stuff!

Let me know your thoughts about the will of God!  What other things should be in consideration?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Netenyahu at the U.N.

This is a must watch video for any believer who is interested in the Middle East.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu couldn't be much simpler as he presents his plea for the world to draw a "clear red line" on the Iranian nuclear program.  There's even a diagram in case some world leader might not understand that Iran is close to bombing Israel.  Netenyahu is a classic example of a Romans 2:17-29 Jew.  He claims the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob while putting his hope in the progress of man.  The Prime Minister's focus is misplaced, but his speech puts the reality of the conflict in simple terms.  Bible believing Christians have a lot of interesting stuff to keep their eyes on!  The video is thirty minutes long, but it's better than thirty minutes of news you might watch anywhere else!

"Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer for Israel is, that they might be saved.  For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.  For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God...I say then, Hath God cast aside his people? God forbid...God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew." - Romans 10:1-3, 11:1-2

Do you think the US will back up Israel's position?  Are we foolishly overlooking the threat?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ephesians 3:14-21

Just for fun. :)

Ephesians 3:14-21 - 1894 Scrivener Textus Receptus

14 - τουτου χαριν καμπτω τα γονατα μου προς τον πατερα του κυριου ημων ιησου χριστου
15 - εξ ου πασα πατρια εν ουρανοις και επι γης ονομαζεται
16 - ινα δωη υμιν κατα τον πλουτον της δοξης αυτου δυναμει κραταιωθηναι δια του πνευματος αυτου εις τον εσω ανθρωπον
17 - κατοικησαι τον χριστον δια της πιστεως εν ταις καρδιαις υμων
18 - εν αγαπη ερριζωμενοι και τεθεμελιωμενοι ινα εξισχυσητε καταλαβεσθαι συν πασιν τοις αγιοις τι το πλατος και μηκος και βαθος και υψος
19 - γνωναι τε την υπερβαλλουσαν της γνωσεως αγαπην του χριστου ινα πληρωθητε εις παν το πληρωμα του θεου
20 - τω δε δυναμενω υπερ παντα ποιησαι υπερ εκ περισσου ων αιτουμεθα η νοουμεν κατα την δυναμιν την ενεργουμενην εν ημιν
21 - αυτω η δοξα εν τη εκκλησια εν χριστω ιησου εις πασας τας γενεας του αιωνος των αιωνων αμην

Ephesians 3:14-21 - Isaac Translation Beta

14 - On account of this I am bending my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 - Out of whom every family in heavens and on earth is being named,
16 - That He would give to ya’ll, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,
17 - Christ to have an abode/be at home in your hearts through faith;
18 - in order that ya’ll, in love having been rooted and having been grounded/established, may be able to grasp/understand with all the saints what the breadth and length and depth and height,
19 - And to know the love of Christ that is surpassing knowledge, in order that ya’ll may be filled into all the fullness of God.
20 - Now to Him who is able to do above over-and-above above all that we are asking for ourselves or are conceiving, according to/in proportion to the power of the one who is active in us,
21 - To Him the glory in the church in Christ Jesus into all the generations of the age of the ages. Amen.

Greek scholars, nosemopes, and others, did I miss anything?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Biblical Theology of the Church - Book Review

I recently finished reading A Biblical Theology of the Church as an assignment for my summer internship.  The book is well done and sparked my thinking on a couple of issues.  Of course, I didn’t agree with everything and other readers are sure to disagree with even more, but it is a profitable read nonetheless.

A Biblical Theology of the Church, by editor Mal Couch, is an excellent resource examining the theological underpinnings of the church from a dispensational perspective.  Anyone who has plowed through Chafer’s Systematic Theology and been disappointed by the brief chapters on Church doctrine and polity will find that this book addresses many of the topics that need to be discussed.  The introduction states that the book’s purpose is to examine “the doctrine of the church as revealed in Scripture” and to “reexamine the doctrine of ecclesiology.”  As is the case for most of Mal Couch’s books, he is simply the editor while the content consists of articles by excellent dispensational authors such as Arnold Fruchtenbaum and Thomas Ice.

The book begins with two chapters that lay the groundwork for a dispensational understanding of the Church.  Honestly, it was these two chapters that excited me most about Couch’s book because they handled the dispensational aspects of the Church very carefully and biblically. 

After establishing the framework in which to understand the Church, following chapters discuss a wide range of topics from spiritual gifts to women in the church, from the rapture to missions.  Most chapters are simply good exegesis of fundamental passages to establish good theology.  For example, a chapter entitled “How Christ Treats the Church: Ephesians 5:22-32” begins by clarifying that the primary application of the passage is “how husbands are to love their wives” and then proceeds to dig out the doctrine about God that is revealed through the passage.

Two weaknesses that I found were a liberal stand on divorce (in the discussion of qualifications for elders) and what I consider to be too strong of a stand on elder rule.  Couch’s (or whoever was the author of this chapter) conclusion on the issue of divorced elders is that the text in 1 Timothy is disallowing polygamy and states “This interpretation would certainly open the door for restoration, no matter what issue led to a past divorce.”(pg. 176)  His stand on elder rule becomes so strong that congregations are denied the responsibility of choosing their own leaders.  I indirectly deal with this issue and give a little of my perspective  about Ecclesiology in a blog I posted in 2011 entitled “Church: It ain’t that complicated folks!”

Another little annoyance with this book (and with other books edited by Mal Couch) is the fact that the chapters are not attributed to the co-authors.  I don’t know if there was some intent in leaving their names out, but I was sometimes curious who was writing and had no way of finding out.

A Biblical Theology of the Church contains a few items where I objected, but overall presents a good, biblical look at the doctrine and conduct of Christ’s Body.

"That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel" - Ephesians 3:6