Saturday, December 29, 2007

While I Was Relaxing

I know you all peruse the Youtube universe just as much as I do. Tonight I was looking for some old Kate Bush concert footage. I first heard Kate on the eighties weekend overnight cable show "Night Flight." They had played a concert of hers at the Hammersmith Odeon from 1979 when the talented Ms. Bush was barely nineteen years old. She has a four octave range and I was spellbound for an hour while I watched her show. I immediately went out and bought every Kate Bush album I could find.

Coming back to the present, I did find some video of her and I am including the video of "Wuthering Heights," her most famous song at the time and the number that closed the show, but I am also including a video of Kris Shred also performing this song with just his guitar. I saw his video in a search for "Kate Bush," and thought to myself "A guy and his guitar performing Kate Bush, huh, this oughta be funny." I have never been more wrong in my life. If you do not know Kate Bush, watch her video first, and then watch Mr. Shred honor her beyond belief.

Global Bible Reader

Logos, the Bible software company I keep raving about, has introduced a beta of their new Bible reader software, and it looks pretty sweet. The idea is, as we begin a new year, to read through the Bible this coming year, with thousands of others around the world! I am so excited about this. I downloaded it today and was the 18th person to join. So it sets out your reading plan daily for you, has a checkmark for when you finish the reading, a daily reminder to keep you motivated, and, check this out, a forum for everyone involved to discuss the reading throughout the year. This forum could end up as somewhat of a commentary for future reference or it could degrade into feel-good, happy-clappy stuff, but since it is a beta, I suspect that, for this year at least, the former seems more likely. There is a button in the reader that will open your Libronix and the passage guide for that day's reading. Like, totally sweet!!! I encourage all who use Logos to download and use this. It is going to be a blast. You can download the software here. There is also a post on Still Truth you may want to read here.

I Didn't Want To Do It.

I had to turn on the word verification for comments today. I have been rather proud of the fact I have gone on for over four months without any spam comments. Well that came to an end today as I received my first. So sorry folks I had to turn on the word verification. Thanks for understanding.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

But I Digress.

So, I thought I would try an experiment. As the traffic seems to be increasing and the percentage of those who comment is rather low, why don't we try this. Everyone who visits this post between now and January 2, 2008, and has a blog of their own, leave a comment with your blog's URL. I will visit every blog and comment there over the course of the next week. If everyone who blogs and visits here would post the same request on their blog, we might be able to generate some cross traffic. At the very least it could be fun.

In Christ

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Joseph and Marriage

With the upcoming elections, one issue that is being debated is marriage and whether or not same-sex marriage should be legalized. Here's a thought during this Christmas season—Joseph is the ultimate example that God created marriage for a man and a woman, and that a family is meant to have both a mother and a father.

Mary was a virgin, impregnated by the Holy Spirit. Joseph didn't have to be there for biology's sake. But, God didn't leave Mary on her own to raise her child. He didn't have her stay with her parents or move into her cousin Elizabeth's home. And he didn't have her team up with another woman to raise Jesus, either. He provided for her through the care of a husband, Joseph. Doesn't this show that is the way God intended a family to be? A family should have both a mom and a dad.

Joseph was the man of the house. He took Mary to Bethlehem to be registered. He, along with Mary, took Jesus to be presented to the Lord. He was warned by angels to flee from Bethlehem and King Herod by taking Jesus and Mary to Egypt. Later, he again followed the direction of an angel and took his family to live in Nazareth. We can speculate that he trained Jesus in his craft, carpentry, too.

Joseph was not Jesus' biological father. But since it was important enough to God that Mary, the mother of His son, be married to a man, we should take our cue from this example. Marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

Lisa G.


Boice, James. Romans Volume 3. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1993.

Barnhouse, Donald Grey. Romans IV. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1963.

Barrett, C. K.. The Epistle to the Romans. Revised. London: A & C Black Limited, 1991.

Calvin, John. Commentaries on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 2005.

Cottrell, Jack. Romans(College Press NIV commentary). Joplin, MO: College Press, 1996.

Ironside, H. A. . Romans. Revised. Neptune, New Jersey: Loizeaux, 1998.

MacArthur, John. Romans Chicago: Moody Press, 1996, c1991, c1994.

New American Standard Bible : 1995 Update. LaHabra, CA : The Lockman Foundation,

Newman, Barclay Moon ; Nida, Eugene Albert: A Handbook on Paul's Letter to the
Romans. New York : United Bible Societies, 1994 (UBS Handbook Series; Helps
for Translators).

Reese, Gareth L.. Romans. Moberly, MO: Scripture Exposition Books, 1987.

Robertson, A.T.: Word Pictures in the New Testament. Oak Harbor : Logos Research
Systems, 1997.

Sproul, R. C.. The Gospel of God. Great Britain: Christian Focus Publications, 1999.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Why Was Jesus Born?

Was Jesus born to be an example for us? No.

Was Jesus born to enable us to have our best life now? No.

Was Jesus born to show us how to love? No.

Was Jesus born to free us from our bondage? No.

Was Jesus born to make us wealthy? No.

Was Jesus born to point us to God? No.

Was Jesus born to be our guide to life? No.

Was Jesus born because God was reaching down to earth to have a relationship with us? No.

Was Jesus born to teach us how to live a good, moral life? No.

Was Jesus born to teach about God? No.

Why was Jesus born? To die.

In Christ

Thursday, December 20, 2007

12 Days

I know we only have 5 days but my step-daughter, Ana, just showed me this video and think it humorous enough to share with everyone. Enjoy.

Getting Paid To Blog?

I joined this "Blog for a year" group in an effort to get paid for a year to blog. The outlook is bleak as I peruse the site only to find out I have 5 votes and the person in first place currently has over 18,000! Oh well, if the Lord wills. I thought I would post about it and urge all visitors to this site to go to my profile here and vote for me, what have you got to lose?

In Christ

P.S. I am looking for a few good PR people, the pay is not good, nothing, but the reward of linking to this post on your blog must be worth the effort. Such a selfless act would bring about my gratitude for at least two days.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

What's The Difference?

I have had much to think about recently. One of the things I have been looking into is how to increase traffic to my blog. This has led to some added widgets that I have found appealing, but it has also led me to other blogs, blogs I do not necessarily agree with. I found one of the best things one can do is to comment on other blogs. So I started doing this, first with other Christian blogs that do not fit into my nice "Reformed" box I have carved out for myself. This has resulted in a good conversation about women in ministry over at the M blog. I have also been having a dialog with an elder from one of my former churches. He happens, I don't know if happens is the right word, if he didn't find that conversation through my blog then it is more than coincidence, to have contributed greatly to that conversation and I think has eloquently expressed our shared position on the matter.

This journey has led me into some rather uncharted waters. I have found myself in a couple of dialogs on atheist blogs. I have found the conversations enlightening, they tend toward ad hominem attacks and to fallacious reasoning, but what does one expect when they so violently deny the truth and the one who is Truth. But this experience has brought me around full circle to the ongoing dialog I am having with my former elder on regeneration.

It has become apparent through some of the conversations I am having with some atheists that some of them know the Bible quite well, better than many Christians I know. They understand what the Bible teaches about sin, man's condition, God, Jesus' life, death, and ressurection, and salvation. They have all the facts, their minds comprehend what is said in the word of God. They are not mentally deficient, impaired in their thinking or on drugs. One of these men has, in my opinion, about the same knowledge of the Bible as I do. This leads me to a question. If we both have the same facts, the same information, the same revelation, why do I believe and he does not? Is there something I found in me, some spark deep down inside, hidden for a while, but alas I found this spark, this flame, this faith, inside me. Could this be the difference between us. We both have the same Jesus doing the same thing for me and for him since Jesus work on the cross was for all mankind equally, it must be this thing in me that is the difference. I pulled myself up by my own bootstraps and exercised this faith that was in me. I did this thing and he did not, there is the difference. What is different is what is in us, I found my faith, he did not. I would thank God for that but why would I do that? It was my faith that I excercised. I did it. I saved myself. When I die and stand before God and He asks, "What have you done that I should allow you into my kingdom?" I can boldly say, "I found faith inside me and I excercised it, it is because of my display of faith that you should allow me into your kingdom." Of course no Christian would agree with where I have taken this, but it is the logical outworking of the type of thinking that is running throughout modern evangelicalism.

But let's get back to the question, what is different between the two of us. I went to the scripture to see if I could find an answer, and boy, did I find an answer.

"4 Blessed is the one you choose and bring near,
to dwell in your courts!"
The Holy Bible : English Standard Version., Ps 65:4 (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001).

"19 And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, 20 that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God."
The Holy Bible : English Standard Version., Eze 11:18-20 (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001).

"26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules."
The Holy Bible : English Standard Version., Eze 36:25-27 (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001).

"48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed."
The Holy Bible : English Standard Version., Ac 13:48 (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001).

"4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ"
The Holy Bible : English Standard Version., Eph 2:4-5 (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001).

"13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure."
The Holy Bible : English Standard Version., Php 2:13 (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001).

"13 But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth."
The Holy Bible : English Standard Version., 2 Th 2:13 (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001).

"18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures."
The Holy Bible : English Standard Version., Jas 1:18 (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001).

This giving us a heart of flesh and making we who were dead, alive and appointing to eternal life and this choosing is all of God. God chooses us, God makes us alive, God gives us hearts of flesh, God regenerates us, God gives us faith that we can then excercise after He saves us. This is important to understand. This is why we go and proclaim the gospel of God to all, resting fully assured that God will bring some to repentance and faith. As I have these discussions with unbelievers it is only because I know that my salvation is totally of the Lord that I can, with a humble heart, thank him for saving me from myself. It also lets me understand why He does not save everyone, so that I might know the richness of the salvation He has given me and that by knowing that I glorify the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Sola Deo Gloria!

In Christ

Monday, December 17, 2007

More Logos

I know what it's like to have someone tell you how great something is and to really not care all that much. But I can't emphasize enough how incredible this product is. It looks like it is only going to get better with the next generation(not sure of a release date but an unnamed insider told me about a year). Again call Jared Bryant at (800) 875-6467 ext. 2319 or email him at Tell him I sent you and he will get you the best price available. As I was saying words only go so far, Logos just released this video today and I am not wasting any time in putting it up. Watch this and I hope you will become more excited about this product and investigate adding it to your Bible study tools, you will not be sorry.

Friday, December 14, 2007


My wife just blessed me with more books for my Logos library. She gave me the Baker New Testament Commentary, the only commentary set covering the entire NT from a reformed perspective. This was accompanied by Boice's Expositional Commentaries. James Boice was pastor of Philadelphia's Tenth Presbyterian Church until his death in 2000. This set has 27 volumes covering the old and new testaments. And I finally got the package I have wanted the longest, The Essential IVP Collection. This set has 18 dictionary/encyclopedias/commentaries from IVP, several of which retail for $50 each. This set retails for well over $600 but you can add it to Logos for just over $100.

I cannot say enough great things about this software. Anyone who is not excited about this and is not jumping on board and investing in the revolution in Bible study just does not know what is passing them by. No one could see what this software can do and say "No, that's not for me." If you study the Bible at all this is for you. I have almost 2500 volumes in my library and on top of being able to do any bible/word/topic studies in a fraction of the time I could before, I can also take my entire library with me wherever I go!

I have a link on the sidebar that will take you to a short video that will show you how you can get started with this software. I promise you this, you do not need to become efficient with anything before you start using this product. It is so intuitive you can literally begin your study within minutes of installing it. You can call or email Jared Bryant at Logos and he has personally guaranteed me he will give you the best possible price on any level of software if you tell him Alan Gielczyk has referred you. Call him at (800) 875-6467 ext. 2319 or email him at Buy this product. You will fall in love with it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Do We Need To Know Greek?

I have been having a very charitable conversation with a dear friend of mine on whether or not regeneration precedes faith. In one of my responses I appealed to the Greek mood of a verb. My friend asked if he needed to know Greek to understand a passage. I have not answered him but this is exactly why I have undertaken the task of learning the original languages. One does not NEED to know Greek, but it sure would be helpful.

One of the biggest problems in modern evangelicalism is they read the indicative verbs as imperative. This causes great misunderstanding and heresy. Indicative verbs make a statement of how things are, they do not tell us to do things. Imperative verbs are commands we are to follow. This would be avoided if the interpreters of scripture understood the Greek grammar.


I am feeling sick again, not sure why, my arms and legs hurt and with the snow have not felt up to going to the doctor. I wanted to post something and ran across this video doing various searches on GodTube. It used music to evoke emotion which I am against in church but this time I am for it because it works. There are some disturbing images in the video. I warned you.

Sunday, December 9, 2007


I have recently subscribed to "Human Events" in an effort to prepare for this coming election year. I am about as conservative as they come but since I started studying theology on an academic level have found myself woefully uninformed. I was beginning to like Mike Huckabee but in my first weekly issue found an article reporting his almost total lack of conservatism. Augustine over at "A Priori Assumptione" has done a post I am linking to mainly because he uses the words "twit," "stooge," and "nincompoop."

A priori assumptione: President?

More On Limited Atonement.

Here is a video that melds wonderfully with the last two doctrinal posts I have made. Watch carefully and learn.

Context, Context, Context!!

It never fails to amaze me that people will so often willfully disregard the first rule of hermeneutics when it contradicts what they want to believe. I have had a couple of conversations recently about this very verse and thought posting this video a good idea.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Prince Caspian

Now I can't decide if I am more excited about this, the X-files movie, or summer Greek. Anyway, here is the first trailer for the new Chronicles of Narnia film, enjoy.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

More Apostatizing

Rick Warren is at it again. He has signed a document that is bringing together Muslims and Christians. What is the problem you ask? Notice who they are asking for forgiveness from.

"Before we “shake your hand” in responding to your letter, we ask forgiveness of the All-Merciful One and of the Muslim community around the world."

You can read the entire document here and see for yourself who all is involved. It is not just Warren but Bill Hybels, Robert Schuller, and a host of other heretics as well. I just do not understand how these men continue to garner such fame, oh wait, yes I do they run after it like fame has some sort of salvific power. Please pray for every man who signed this document.

Todd Friel on Way of the Master radio did a broadcast covering this as well that you can listen to here.

HT: Reformed Gadfly

Sunday, December 2, 2007

For Whom Did Christ Die?

I wanted to address the topic of my last poll. The middle point of the 5 points of Calvinism—the so-called "Limited Atonement"—has been a stumbling block of many reformed people for generations. I was a self-proclaimed "4-point Calvinist" for quite some time.

Let's take a close look at this doctrine and find out where we end up if we deny it. First, if you do believe that Jesus died for the sins of all people, let me ask you this: is unbelief a sin? I hope you can see where you logically end up if you answer yes. If you can not, let me explain. If Jesus died for the sins of everyone and unbelief is a sin, then all are saved, none are unsaved. This is a syllogistic fallacy because we know there are those that are unsaved. This should be enough to convince everyone. It was what convinced me.

So let's look at some scripture and see where that leads us. Matthew 1:21 says:

21She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.
The Holy Bible : English Standard Version., Mt 1:21 (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001).
He will save His people. Not all people but His people.

In John 17 verse 2, Jesus' high priestly prayer He says:
2since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.
The Holy Bible : English Standard Version., Jn 17:1-2 (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001).

Notice, life is given to all whom God has given him, not to all. Further in verse 9 Jesus goes on to pray:
9I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.
The Holy Bible : English Standard Version., Jn 17:8-9 (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001).

Jesus is only praying for the ones for whom He is going to redeem—the elect only.

In John 10:10-11, Jesus says:

10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
The Holy Bible : English Standard Version., Jn 10:10-11 (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001).
The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep—not for the goats, nor for the wolves, but only for the sheep.

Now, let's take a look now at what most modern evangelicals will say: Jesus died for everyone, but only those who believe are saved. This would make the work Jesus did ineffectual; it would mean His death did not actually accomplish anything. Further, it puts salvation in the hands of man. If Jesus did the same work for you, a saved person, as He did for him, an unsaved person, then the only difference lies within you. Something you did actually saved you. This is a works salvation giving you something to boast about and is clearly refuted by scripture Romans 9:16 says:

16So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy."
The Holy Bible : English Standard Version., Ro 9:15-16 (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001).

I do not think it can get much clearer. If you do not believe the doctrine of limited atonement, you are believing in another gospel.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Do We Really Have Free Will?

This short piece is by someone I believe is not a Christian but it sure makes one think . My these non-Christians seem to be on to something.

HT Jollyblogger

Strep Throat!!!

So I arrived home from the Thanksgiving travel safe and sound only to wake up Monday morning with strep throat! I have been taking antibiotics and sleeping all week. I am feeling better but not well, I hope to be back to blogging very soon, meanwhile, why don't you watch some of the videos I have posted and you have neglected to watch so far:)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving Break

The family is headed north to Minn. for the Thanksgiving break. Just what I wanted, colder weather, man I can't wait for Christmas when we get to go to Mich., err, uhh, anyway I thought I would leave you with some humor for the break. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

H.T. Homeward Bound

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

John MacArthur On Mega-Churches.

I saw this on the Reformed Voices blog and I love it.

(from Symphony of Scripture)

“When a sinner wanders into the church and sits through skits, mimes, interpretive dances, and the like, and yet never hears a clear, convicting message about his dangerous and tenuous spiritual situation– that he is a depraved sinner headed for an eternal fire because he is a daily offense to a holy God– how can that be called successful? You could achieve the same level of success by sending a cancer patient to receive treatment from a group of children playing doctor. A sinner must understand the imminent danger he is in if he is ever to look to the Savior. What’s worse is when seeker-focused churches baptize the masses with their watered-down gospel, assuring them that positive decisions, feelings, or affirmations about Christ equal genuine conversion. There are now multitudes who are not authentic Christians identifying with the church. As you set your strategy for church ministry, you dare not overlook the primary means of church growth: the straightforward, Christ-centered proclamation of the unadulterated Word of God.”
-John MacArthur

More On Warren

The Watcher's Lamp has many articles on Rick Warren and his "Purpose's." You can start with today's post found here. Then look around, there is plenty there to read.

Focus On The Family Yoking With A Heretic!

It appears that H. B. London of Focus on the Family will be speaking at Heretic Robert Schuller's "Rethink" conference in January 2008. Also speaking will be some other evangelical heroes such as Lee Strobel, Chuck Colson, Erwin McManu, Jay Sekulow, and a host of others. This is very disturbing. Ingrid over at Slice has a story here. The Herescope also has a story about it here. How has this happened, oh yes, the Church has forsaken discernment for relevance. For a complete list of those jumping on the heresy bandwagon go here.

It Really Is ALL God's Work.

If more men would preach the word of God like Paul Washer I think we would most definitely have less wealthy pastors. It is about God and the work HE does not about man and the work we do. I will never understand how someone can say we must make a decision for Christ and at the same time say that is not a works salvation. If we do ANYTHING it is a works salvation and not at all what the scripture teaches. Preach on brother Paul!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Rob Bell Is Loving People Into Hell

I will probably get some flak for this but it is true. Watch these videos the guy in the second and third videos says it better than I could.

Refuting Decision Theology

Paul Washer at it again. No wonder he does not get invited back!

Two Questions

I just joined this facebook group called Christian Bloggers Network. One of the fellow bloggers suggested these two questions so I am asking them and seeing what the readers of this blog think.

What makes a great Pastor/Priest/Minister? And what makes a great church?

You can read the discussion thread here.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Still More On Preaching

I do not believe this can be overstated, and I will continue to state it until everyone understands it. Amen brother Sproul!

More On Preaching

One of the main problems with preaching and the worship service as a whole is the pastor/worship team and all involved betray their lack of trust in God's revealed word and also their lack of faith in God's promises. They do this by coming up with all sorts of programs, dramas, stories, and illustrations because they lack the faith that the preached gospel of God will be efficacious for the salvation of the lost. John Piper has hit the nail on the head with this brief video.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Christ Centered Preaching!

I have mentioned the diagnostic I use to determine if I am listening to a Christ-centered sermon before but I like the question this man uses in this short video. "Did Christ have to die on the cross to make what I heard in this sermon true?" If the answer is no, then it was not a Christ-centered, Cross-focused sermon. I love it.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A True Dichotomy, Paul Washer.

I was browsing around looking at videos for the previous post and found some more Paul Washer videos I just felt I had to post. It does seem like I spend more time on negative posts at least as far as the videos go, so here are some positive ones. Well I mean that the content is truthful.

Is not the difference between Paul Washer and Rick Warren clear? Rick Warren sells millions of books, tickling people's ears. Paul Washer does not get invited back to most of the places at which he speaks. Preach on brother Paul!!
To hear more of Paul Washer go here.

Digging Deeper Into Rick Warren.

Let's take a look at Rick Warren's evangelism video and then we will talk about it and see if I might have been unfair to Mr. Warren in my previous post.

Warren starts out talking about how God loves you. This is a problem if he is talking to unbelievers because God hates sinners, yes sinners, not just sin. Ps. 5:5-6 says:

5 The boastful shall not stand before your eyes;
you hate all evildoers.
6 You destroy those who speak lies;
the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.
The Holy Bible : English Standard Version., Ps 5:5-6 (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001).

Warren cites some verses that talk about believing and receiving but never once mentions repentance, this is also misleading. Also lacking in this "evangelistic" message is talk of sin. He mentions a "prideful attitude," as the source for all your troubles here on earth but never mentions sin as the source of all your troubles after leaving earth.

Rick Warren has a major misunderstanding of what preaching is about. This is not Law vs. Gospel, that is a false dichotomy, preaching must be Law AND Gospel. The good news can't be that good unless the bad news is that bad. But Warren preaches the Law AS Gospel. In his own words he says we need a new reformation this time about deeds not creeds. What is this if not preaching the Law as Gospel? Warren confuses belief as well. Belief is a fruit of the Spirit not the cause of salvation.
He also falls into the "decisional regeneration" problem so prevalent in todays Christianity. Now watch this video that explains the error of this false gospel.

One of my biggest concerns in the church today is the utter lack of discernment. It is my intention to help in whatever way I can in this regard. My goal is not to sling mud but when some are in error I will not back down in standing for the truth of God and His gospel.

P. S. Here is a short clip of what true preaching is really like. This is Paul Washer, if you do not know him I urge you to listen to as much of him as you can. He is a Baptist but we will not hold that against him, he truly preaches the Law and Gospel.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Rick Warren, Heretic!

If you do not believe me when I call Rick Warren a heretic, maybe you will believe him. Here he is in his own words, using his own voice, denying Biblical truth. Rick Warren is preaching all Law and no Gospel, this is heresy of the first order because he is leading so many astray.

HT: A Little Leaven

Faith Healer Exposes Himself

I urge you to watch this video closely. This man was raised by his mother to be a Pentacostal preacher and faith healer. This is a movie he made about his fraudulent practices back in the early 1970's watch closely and you can see some eerily similar things to what is going on in today's TBN culture.

Thanks to Independent Conservative for this video

Sunday, November 11, 2007

And Can It Be That I Should Gain

Last week in church, we sang a hymn that had caught my attention a few weeks earlier, but I didn't get a chance to look it up before forgetting what it was! (That sort of thing doesn't only happen to me, right?) This time, I made sure I kept the bulletin.

Now, when I looked up the lyrics on the Internet, I found them on a site that provides the music in MIDI format. You can choose piano, organ, or bells, and the MIDIs are free to download. I considered putting the MIDI in this post so that it would play while you're reading, but I chose not to—instead, I want you to read the lyrics and really think about the words. That's more difficult to do when the music is playing because the the phrases get split up to fit the meter of the music.

Please take a few moments to read the words of this beautiful hymn. Following the hymn is a link to the site that has the MIDI file. If these words touch you as you read them, please leave a comment. And if any of the phrasing makes you wonder what Mr. Wesley was thinking, let's discuss it!

And Can It Be That I Should Gain
And can it be that I should gain
an interest in the Savior's blood!
Died he for me? who caused his pain!
For me? who him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be
that thou, my God, shouldst die for me?
Amazing love! How can it be
that thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

'Tis mystery all: th' Immortal dies!
Who can explore his strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
to sound the depths of love divine.
'Tis mercy all! Let earth adore;
let angel minds inquire no more.
'Tis mercy all! Let earth adore;
let angel minds inquire no more.

He left his Father's throne above
(so free, so infinite his grace!),
emptied himself of all but love,
and bled for Adam's helpless race.
'Tis mercy all, immense and free,
for O my God, it found out me!
'Tis mercy all, immense and free,
for O my God, it found out me!

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
fast bound in sin and nature's night;
thine eye diffused a quickening ray;
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
my chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed thee.
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed thee.

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in him, is mine;
alive in him, my living Head,
and clothed in righteousness divine,
bold I approach th' eternal throne,
and claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Bold I approach th' eternal throne,
and claim the crown, through Christ my own.
Text: Charles Wesley, 1707-1788
Music: Thomas Campbell

Download the MIDI file for And Can It Be That I Should Gain.

Friday, November 9, 2007

John Owen on Worship

Question 2 — By what means do we come to know that God will thus be worshipped?
Answer — That God is to be worshipped, and that according to his own will and appointment, is a a principal branch of the law of our creation written in our hearts, the b sense whereof is renewed in the second commandment; but the ways and means of that worship depend merely on God’s c sovereign pleasure and institution.

a Rom. i. 21, ii. 14, 15 ; Acts xiv. 16, 17, xvii. 23-31 .
b Exod. xx. 4-6 .
c Jer. vii. 31 ; Exod. xxv. 40 ; Heb. iii. 1-6 ; John i. 18 .
Explication — These two things all men saw by nature:—
First, That God, however they mistook in their apprehensions of him, would be, and was to be, worshipped with some outward solemn worship; so that although some are reported to have even cast off all knowledge and sense of a Divine Being, yet never any were heard of that came to an acknowledgment of any God, true or false, but they all consented that he was constantly and solemnly to be worshipped, and that not only by individual persons , but by societies together; that so they might own and honour him whom they took for their God. And thus far outward worship is required in the first commandment, — namely, that the inward be exercised and expressed. When we take God for our God, we take him to worship him, Deut. x. 12, 13 . Other thoughts, — namely, of inward worship without outward expression, at all or any time, or in any way, — are but a covert unto atheism. And, —
Secondly, This also they were led to an apprehension of by the same light whereby they are “a law unto themselves,” Rom. ii. 14 , that God would be worshipped in the way and by the means that he himself appointed and approved: whence none among the heathen themselves undertook to appoint ways and ceremonies of worship, but still they pretended to derive the knowledge of them from the gods themselves ; of whom they reckoned that every one would be worshipped in his own way. And because, notwithstanding this pretence, being left of God and deluded of Satan, they did invent false and foolish ways of worship, not only not appointed of God, but such as were unsuited unto those inbred notions which they had of his nature and excellencies, the apostle convinces and disproves them, as men acting against the light of nature and principles of reason, Rom. i. 20, 21 , they might have seen that in their idolatry they answered not their own inbred conceptions of the divine power and Godhead, so as to “glorify him as God;” and in the like manner doth he argue at large, Acts xvii. 22-31 . But beyond this the inbred light of nature could not conduct any of the sons of men; this alone is contained in the first precept. That God was to be worshipped they knew, and that he was to be worshipped by ways and means of his own appointment they knew; but what those means were they knew not. These always depended on God’s sovereign will and pleasure, and he made them known to whom he pleased, Ps. cxlvii. 19, 20 . And although some of the ways which he doth appoint may seem to have a great compliance in them unto the light of nature, yet in his worship he accepts them not on that account, but merely on that of his own institution; and this as he hath declared his will about in the second commandment, so he hath severely forbidden the addition of our own inventions unto what he hath appointed, sending us for instruction unto Him alone whom he hath endowed with sovereign authority to reveal his will and ordain his worship, John i. 18 ; Matt. xvii. 5 ; 1 Chron. xvi. 7 .
John Owen, A Brief Instruction in the Worship of God, 4 (Joseph Kreifels).

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Calling a Spade a Spade

I just have to say, on the heels of my wife pointing out that she used to think everything labeled "Christian" was (but has thankfully learned some discernment in the last few months), that this is outright heresy. This is another gospel, another Jesus, and another way of salvation which is no salvation at all. As Paul said in Galatians 1:6-9:

6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
The Holy Bible : English Standard Version., Ga 1:6-9 (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001).

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


I am happy with all the traffic that has come this blogs way in the last 24 hours but if you would please stop by this post's comments and let me know who you are, where you are, and how you found out about my blog that would be great.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Relativism, True For You But Not For Me

I have been under the weather for the last week or so but I hope you enjoyed my wife's first entry. I am encouraging her to post more so if you enjoyed her insight please comment on her post and make her feel good. I found this video over at A Little Leaven and I am astounded to find that even secular, as far as I know, people are starting to understand the irrationality of postmodernism.

Monday, October 29, 2007

How Sweet and Awesome Is the Place

Hi everyone, it's me: Mrs. Alan. You can call me Lisa, if you'd like. :)

God has blessed me with many gifts. One of my favorites is singing. I love to sing! Recently, though, I've been convicted that I have been prideful, more intent on listening to my own voice (and wondering if others around me are noticing) while singing hymns in church than on paying attention to, and really meaning, the words of praise I am singing. To change that, I've been concentrating more on the words and less on the tune in the past few weeks. The lyrics are often quite compelling, and I'd like to share some thoughts with you.

When I searched the Internet for the words to this hymn by Isaac Watts, which was written in 1707, I was surprised to find that some of the lyrics have been changed. I guess I really shouldn't have been surprised—the English language is constantly evolving, and new connotations develop over the years. For example, the original title and first line of this hymn was How Sweet and Aweful is the Place. Even though the spelling is different, when sung, that projects an "awful" image in 2007! The second verse changed, as well. It used to be, "Here every bowel of our God/With soft compassion rolls." I don't know about you, but if I'd come across that Sunday morning, it would have distracted me to think "third grade bathroom humor" when I should be thankful for God's mercy and compassion, shown to me, a sinner.

The first phrase that caught my attention Sunday morning was the last line of verse three: Lord, why was I a guest? A few months ago, I was overcome with a feeling of unworthiness when I considered being chosen for salvation. The feelings got worse when I considered that some of my friends and family probably aren't saved. "Why me?" I asked Alan. "I would rather it was them than me, sometimes. Is it wrong to feel that way?" He had me read Romans 9:3, "For I could wish that I myself were caccursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen daccording to the flesh." Paul felt that way, too.

Then I sang, "When thousands make a wretched choice, and rather starve than come?" Wait a minute. Choice? I've learned a lot from Alan, including that the popular "Christian" idea of choosing Christ is a relatively new phenomenon, and one that cannot be backed up scripturally (at least not without a lot of linguistic gymnastics). At that point, I lost my place in the music a bit as I searched the lyrics, trying to understand what was being said. It took going back to the beginning of that verse and into the following verse ("'Twas the same love that spread the feast that sweetly forced us in; Else we had still refused to taste, and perished in our sin.") to understand what Mr. Watts was trying to convey. Irresistible grace! We would not be able to choose God on our own. No one seeks God unless God chooses him and, in the apt words of this song, forces him to believe.

As I continue studying and learning about my faith, I'm thankful for the authors of these old hymns. They've put complex scriptural concepts into phrasings that are easily understood, if we pay attention to the words we are singing. I hope you will think about the words next time you sing one of these beautiful old hymns.

Here are the words to How Sweet and Awesome is the Place.
How sweet and awesome is the place
with Christ within the doors,
While everlasting love displays
the choicest of her stores.

Here all the mercy of our God
with vast compassion rolls;
And peace and pardon through His blood,
is food for ransomed souls.

While all our hearts and all our songs
join to admire the feast,
Each of us cries with thankful tongues,
"Lord, why was I a guest?"

"Why was I made to hear Thy voice,
and enter while there's room;
When thousands make a wretched choice,
and rather starve than come?"

'Twas the same love that spread the feast,
that sweetly forced us in;
Else we had still refused to taste,
and perished in our sin.

Pity the nations, O our God!
Constrain the earth to come;
Send Thy victorious Word abroad,
and bring lost sinners home.

We long to see Thy churches full,
that all thy chosen race
May with one voice and heart and soul
sing Thy redeeming grace.

Isaac Watts, 1674-1748. Psalms and Hymns of Reformed Worship (London: Wakeman Trust, 1991): 662.

Pastor Manning

No, don't hold back Pastor Manning, tell us what you really think.

False Prophets

I am begging anyone who supports TBN and their false prophets to please stop. This kind of thing is deceiving millions and it breaks my heart.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Back From Camp

No this was not a seminar on how to design logos for a place for young children to spend a week this summer. This was some serious training on the Logos Bible Software program and I am delighted to report it is worth every penny spent. I had no idea just how powerful this software is. This is going to revolutionize my Bible study. I strongly urge anyone using this software to attend the training and anyone who does not own it MUST buy into it and begin to use this product. You can visit their web site here.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Camp Logos

Back on the road again. This time I am in Minnesota attending a two day Camp Logos at Bethlehem Baptist Church. I do not know if John Piper will be attending but you may rest assured if I encounter him I will have a new picture to post. While I am on the subject, Logos Bible Software is an amazing product. The time it saves me while studying is incredible. It can be somewhat pricey depending on how many resources you want but it is well worth the cost. The library I have put together would retail for over $1800, but with some educational discounts and some bargain shopping I dropped somewhat less than that. My library has over 2,200 resources and at this point I am pretty sure I am only using about 20% of the software's capability. I will keep you all posted and if anyone else uses Libronix/Logos I will let you know if the camp is worth the $200 admission.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Thursday, October 18, 2007

TBN And Billy Graham

A friend of mine inspired this post by her comments on a previous post. She said something about "good guys" broadcasting on TBN. I am not attacking her with this post, I merely want to point some things out. The ones she mentioned are Laurie, Stanley, Kennedy, Graham, Rogers. Now I do agree with her assessment that "at least they are not falling on the floor." However, most of them still are espousing error. Other than Kennedy, they all have some serious problems with what they teach.
Let's look at the "big" guy Billy Graham. Watch these videos and see if your opinion of him does not change.

Just because someone does not put on a circus does not make their heresy any less dangerous. As a matter of fact often times it makes it all the more insidious.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I Like This Guy!

As if I am not doing enough to have people dislike me with this blog and my unwavering theological stance, I thought I might as well jump into the political arena as well. Ok, let the arrows fly.

Wolves In Sheeps Clothing

I do not understand why more people are not outraged at what goes on over at TBN. I have had discussions with many who seem indifferent to the circus act that comes under the guise of Christianity. If you are one of those, I am not attacking you, but I do hope this video will make you think.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Thanks to the guys over at "Pyromaniacs" for this one.

'Nuff said!


Several factors have led up to this post in the last couple of weeks. First, a conversation I had with a couple of friends who had attended Andy Stanley's church. While it appeared they had some reservations about the service they were quick to jump to his defense. "It all tied in." is what I heard on more than one occasion. The brief video I viewed in which they were getting ready to have a scavenger hunt in the sanctuary was very disturbing to me. Personally I would have walked out. This is not worship, no matter how relevant one thinks it is.

The big issue for me these days is this "relevance" we think we need to introduce into worship. The idea is we do something kind of worldly to lure the pagan into our church and then pull the ole' "Bait and switch" and hit em with the gospel. There are several problems here. One, we seem to be under the delusion that it is our job to get the pagans into the church. It is not. Our job is to proclaim the gospel, God the Holy Spirit saves. And guess what folks, every single person God ordains for salvation will hear this gospel. Two, the people pulling this "switch" never get around to preaching the gospel.

Second, several articles I have read recently. These articles mainly centered on the "new" methods of doing church contrasted with the "ordinary means of grace" ministries. The so-called new methods are those "Purpose driven," "contexualization," "word and deed," and "emerging/emergent" among others. The main problem of these new methods is their focus is in the wrong place. Even while worshiping at a Christian College, before I knew what reformed was let alone that I was one, I could tell the emphasis was on the wrong person. These new methods all focus on us and what we should/need to be doing instead of on God and what He has done. And no wonder these all come from an Arminian/self-salvation viewpoint. If one has to "decide for Christ," then salvation is up to the individual and not God. It is not surprising then that we hear the rallying cry of the new reformation "Deeds not creeds!" Unfortunately the ones screaming this mantra do not realize they are screaming "Give me Law, not Gospel!"

Finally, the Adult Catechism class Dr. Horton is teaching is on worship. One of the points he made that really struck me is that we have lost the title of the service we attend. We now call it a "worship service," which puts the focus on us and what we do. It used to be called "The Divine service," which put the focus where it should be on God and what He does. This service is not about us, it is not what we do, the service is what God does generously for us. I think we all could do well to reflect on this for awhile. Until next time.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Alice Cooper News

So my friend, the administrative assistant at a church I used to attend, started this blog about Alice Cooper. It has many video's of him, commercials, interviews, and stuff. You should check it out. The interview on the latest post is pretty interesting. You can find it here. I am also linking to it in my fun stuff links section.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Back From Cali

Ok, I am back from California. It was a great visit. We had another wonderful experience at Christ URC and met some more great people. I will post again soon, I got an idea from the SS class that happens to tie in with a few articles I read out there, but for today I want to thank Captain Headknowledge(aka. John) for this heads up. Dr. Horton will be on 60 Minutes Sunday evening discussing Joel Osteen and I encourage you all to tune in, it should be interesting. If you want to read the Capt.'s post you may do so here. Don't forget to vote in this weeks Joel Osteen Poll.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Going Back To Cali!

I am heading back to the Escondido area for another week. Just thought I would rub that in... I mean point that out (sorry John) and give everyone an opportunity to submit any question you would like Dr. Horton to answer, yes we will be attending Christ URC again. Submit all queries in the comments and I will select the best one, IMHO.

In Christ

Friday, September 28, 2007

Why Seminary? by Michael S. Horton

The Continuing Importance of an Educated Ministry
Michael S. Horton, Ph.D.

Dear Alumni,

I hail from a long line of medical doctors. Although none of us has ever had formal medical training, we are all perfectly confident that we can diagnose ourselves and prescribe a remedy. My grandmother ("Big Mama"), in fact, created a concoction which she called "the remedy." No fancy names to befuddle patients and overwhelm them with a foreign vocabulary. Just "the remedy. Since we were, generally speaking, hypochondriacs, the remedy seemed to work. Only in my adulthood did I learn that it consisted mainly of cheap bourbon and coconut shavings. (We were Southern Baptists: whiskey could only be justified for medicinal use.)

Read the rest of Dr. Horton's article.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

My Westminster Visit

I had a great visit to Westminster West on Tuesday. Dr. Hywel Jones preached in chapel. I sat in on an systematic theology course taught by Dr. Horton and a church history class with Dr. D.G. Hart. Both classes were exciting, but the highlight had to be when Mark MacVey, the Director of Admissions, gave me a copy of Machen's "Christianity and Liberalism!" I knew there was a reason I never picked this up. I also bought the textbooks for the first two Greek classes, hoping that some self study and the Greek I have already had in undergrad will allow me to test out of the first six hours of Greek (and therefore avoid taking Greek and Hebrew concurrently). Oh, and I got a Westminster Seminary baseball cap to add to my fledgling collection of hats.

I thought I would share some pearls of wisdom I gleaned from Dr. Horton's class, though don't be disappointed if it is not world altering.

"Good philosophy helps clarify and simplify what we believe."

"A little philosophy can be dangerous."

"All knowledge is a form of faith seeking understanding."

There you have it—words to live by thanks to Dr. Horton. I promise not to post quotes from my classes once I start attending Westmin.....errr, wherever I end up attending. Speaking of which, don't forget to vote in this week's poll!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Crossing Paths with Dr. Horton

So, my wife got a contract job in southern CA. It was supposed to be for 4 days, but it turned into 8, so I flew to San Diego Saturday night. I looked up Christ URC on the internet and got directions from the hotel we are staying at in Hemet. It's about 80 miles, so we got up early Sunday morning and took a scenic drive to the church. Rev. Michael Brown preached on Genesis 37, and I was not disappointed. He preached the Law and the Gospel like no one I have heard except my former pastor in St. Louis, Scott Churnock. (As an aside if you would like to hear Scott preach you can do so here.) The people were friendly, noticing we were guests and stopping to talk with us. One of them, Beth, asked what we thought about the sermon. I told her it was great, and she smiled saying, "We get this every week!"

Then, we had the pleasure of sitting under Dr. Horton teaching a Sunday school class. He taught on the Federal Vision/New Perspective on Paul with authority. My wife and I also had the opportunity to have our picture taken with Dr. Horton, so enjoy.

I will be visiting Westminster Seminary tomorrow and will be meeting with Mark Mcvay—who happens to have a sister in Cedar Rapids, where I live. Her husband also happens to teach history at Kirkwood Community College, where I happen to be taking two history classes with, you guessed it, her husband Professor Peterson. Small world, huh?

You may also hear Rev. Brown preach here. I encourage you to listen to both Rev. Brown and Rev. Churnock. They are both excellent expositors of the Word of God.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Are we so lacking discernment?

One of the things I am finding as I take this journey called the Christian life is that so many people claim the name of Christ and then proceed to drag his name through the mud.

This video has me outraged. When I first became a Christian, I looked to others to discern what was allowed and what was not. I soon found out that Christians are sinners, and it needs to be Christ we look to. The music in this video is nothing more than driving beats and repetitive lyrics that cause a release of certain chemicals in the brain that leads to a kind of rush—the purpose of which is to get one into a particular mind set that leaves one open to influence. The lead singer says he loves Jesus but that he also loves having a good time. Jesus said nothing of "partying" or having a good time. As a matter of fact, he said we will be persecuted, and that we must take up our cross. This young man has changed his name to "Soul Glow Activator", another puzzling action. If one is going to change the name given by one's parents, should it not be something that lets the world know one is a follower of Christ? Mr. Activator had a public opportunity to share the Law and Gospel of God, and all he got out was that he loves Jesus and has pink tennis shoes. I think Christ's words need to be heeded here:

"22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’"
The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001). Mt 7:22-23.

We are to be in the world, but not of the world. This is another clear case of marketing a "Christian band" to imitate the ways and sound of a secular band. Just slapping the label "Christian" on it does not make it ok; as a matter of fact I believe this is all the more insidious, because it appears in sheep's clothing. And we all know we have been warned of this.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Decision Theology

When I put up the first poll an amazing 14 out of 15 answered 'Nothing, Christ did it all.' But even answering the loaded question correctly, many in today's evangelical Christian culture still think they have a part in their regeneration. This video does a good job explaining why this is heresy. Please take ten minutes and watch this.

Osteen said what?

Thanks to Chris over at 'A Little Leaven' for this one.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Please, God, don't let me be misunderstood

I want to address a comment I received about yesterday's post. I think this is very important, so I am going to address it in another post. A very dear friend of mine who was so very influential in my growth as a Christian commented on my post about doctrine/following Jesus. I want to make clear that I was not setting up a false dichotomy. I was not pitting doctrine against following Jesus. As a matter of fact, I believe one cannot be a Christian without following Christ. However, many today do pit doctrine against action. Rick Warren is heard repeatedly calling for a new reformation, one of deeds not creeds, behavior not belief. This is a false dichotomy, and one that Satan dearly loves. When one calls for deeds not creeds, what one is unwittingly doing is saying "Give me Law not Gospel." My wife pointed out a very good article from some years ago by Michael Horton that does a wonderful job of summing up my position on this. (You can find this article here.) My whole point is if one does set up a false dichotomy, then one may be following the wrong Jesus.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Poll 3

I don't know if it's just me, or my poll questions, or the fact that I am posting less, or maybe offending more, but the number of people responding to my poll questions is dwindling. This will not discourage me. OK, it is discouraging me, but I will not stop posting polls.

The third poll question was inspired by a question Shane Rosenthal, producer of the White Horse Inn, asked at an evangelical pastor's conference. Wouldn't you know, the results he got were far worse than I got with the four who chose to answer the poll. Well over 50% answered "following Jesus."

If you think there is nothing wrong with the "following Jesus" answer, let me help you understand it a bit better. The first thing that must be established: what Jesus are you following? Is it the Jesus of the Mormons? He can't save anyone. Perhaps it's the Jesus of the Jehovah's Witnesses. He has not reconciled anyone to an utterly holy God in recent memory. Do you see where this is leading? When we start dialogging about which Jesus are we talking about, what are we discussing? You got it—doctrine. The word doctrine means teaching, and if we get our doctrine wrong, it does not matter how well we follow the example of Jesus. For example, if one follows the example of the Jesus of Mormonism, he will follow him straight into hell!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Praise of the Prosperity Preachers

I do not know who makes these videos (the same people that made the "self worship" one). But while they are hilarious, at the same time, they should make one realize how ridiculous the gospel these heretics are preaching is.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Poll 2

Having spent a couple of years at a "Christian College", I had the opportunity to interact with a plethora of true Arminians. I put the college name in quotes because they advertise themselves as a non-denominational institution. However, it quickly becomes apparent this group is every bit a denomination as any others are. They claim to have "no book but the bible" and "no creed but Christ." Isn't that interesting, no creed but Christ is a creed (credo="I believe" in Greek). These well intentioned individuals did do one thing I can forever be grateful for: they drove me to the scriptures to investigate what I was being taught. I have derived much pleasure over the last year telling people "Who would have thought I would have gone to an Arminian school and become a Calvinist?" Searching the scriptures, I soon discovered the doctrines of grace were there all along, and I had been letting my presupposititions get in the way.

One of the things I always got a kick out of was asking these well meaning but misguided souls if they believed God was sovereign. They would, without exception, say, "Yes, but...." followed by any number of things. Alas, try as I might, I just could not make them see that "yes, but..." was equal to "no." I love many of these people, and I am grateful for learning the true biblical doctrine in spite of what is being taught there. The credit goes entirely to God. Thank you Lord.

Friday, September 7, 2007

The 50 Most Influential Churches?

So, my wife is applying for a job with Logos Bible Software, and one of the things required in their most interesting and entertaining application process is to provide the url where she would find a list of the 5o most influential churches. Since one of the requirements for the job is writing blog posts, she created a blog to display her answers to their questions, along with her resume and cover letter (you can check it out here). Her surgery and recovery time have delayed her completing the scavenger hunt they prescribed to apply for the job. Today she resumed working on this maze of information gathering, and found that someone had discovered her blog and commented on it. At first we found this entertaining, but after searching around a bit, she discovered there appears to be a controversy around the "magazine" that puts out the list, specifically the man in charge.

If you are interested in reading about this story, here are some links:

I also have a question for those who wish to comment (I know more of you read than comment but I am interested in everyone's opinion on this, so I hope you will all step up and let me know what you think). Do you think Lisa should mention the controversy in her application for the job?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Are You Acceptable to God?

One of the main problems with modern evangelicalism is they get, or at least communicate, justification improperly. Many leaders today talk about our becoming "acceptable" to God. The issue with this is it communicates to many people that because of Jesus, they are now acceptable to God the way they are. It makes people believe they don't have to try to stop sinning. And, it misses the whole point of what Jesus did.

There is a distinct correlation between this and something Calvinism is accused of, namely that Christians don't need to evangelize because God's elect are God's elect. That is simply not true! We are commanded to go and make disciples of all nations. (Note the word "go" is used, not "put on a relevant show to bring people in".) What too many evangelical leaders are doing is making people think they do not have to change anything in the way they are living because they are acceptable to God even in their sins, rather than letting them know they are acceptable to God only because of Christ's righteousness.

Jesus did not die so God would be able to accept us and our sins—this is a man-centered gospel—but rather to make us just before a completely holy God. Christ's righteousness is imputed to us so we actually are righteous—a God-centered gospel. These two ideas could not be further apart in their focus. It may seem subtle, but Satan revels in subtleties. We must get the gospel right, or there is no hope.

Speaking of modern evangelicalism, I read a report recently in Parade magazine that said American children say "It's not fair" 19 times a week! No wonder people grow up thinking God has to be fair. Again, the problem is with our perspective. We want God to be what we consider fair. I guarantee you do NOT want God to be fair. If He were, we would all go to hell. We deserve hell because, in Adam, we all sinned. Oh, there I go again, talking about things that are not fair. Why are we all condemned because someone else sinned? That is the way many think today; never mind the fact they not only always and only ratify Adam's choice everyday, but also, they would have done exactly the same thing in his position. I am tired of this self-centered culture I have to live in. I love this country, don't get me wrong. But I am trying to do what I can to take the focus off of us and put it back where it belongs: on Jesus Christ and His perfect life imputed to us, his death on the cross where our sins were imputed to Him, AND His resurrection assuring us of eternal life. Don't get me started on the resurrection. Ask people to explain the gospel to you, and I promise 8 out of 10 will not mention the resurrection. If we leave Jesus in the tomb, we are, of all men, to be most pitied.

In Christ,

P.S. The Alpha post is coming!

P. P. S. Modern Reformation has a great article that relates to this post in this month's issue.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

D. James Kennedy goes to be with the Lord

D. James Kennedy went home today September 5, 2007. He was 76 years old and has been fighting complications from a heart attack Dec. 28th. Dr. Kennedy has not been seen since his heart attack. His death comes only ten days after his retirement announcement.

Dr. Kennedy was the pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, since 1959 when he started the church with just 45 members. Today the congregation boasts over 10,000 members.

In the 1960's, Kennedy began Evangelism Explosion, one of the most effective evangelistic tools created in the last few decades.

Dr. Kennedy was an influence to me personally. I spent many years delivering pizzas, listening to Christian radio, and honing my discernment skills and he was one of the reliable speakers I listened to along with R. C. Sproul and Alistair Begg. While some of his sermons probably would not pass the diagnostic I laid out a few weeks back, he was a man of God and will be missed.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Listen To This

This is what a heart for Christ sounds like! Oh Lord give us all this kind of emotion.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

The Latest Blasphemy

This is incredible! I can't believe that any truly regenerated Christian would buy into this. Moreover, I can't believe any truly regenerated Christian would put this scam on. I am not calling anyone's salvation into question, however, James makes it clear:

18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”— and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001). Jas 2:18-26.

Scripture makes it clear that the day of Atonement was done away with when Christ atoned for us on the cross:

11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001). Heb 10:11-14.

I am outraged that not only do people so blatantly flaunt their heresy, but that so many BUY into it as well. Again, this goes back to the whole reason I started this blog—the level of discernment in the church today is at an all time low. I am angry and sad. God forgive them, for they know not what they do.

In Christ

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Poll

One of the first things I did when I started this blog two weeks ago was put up a poll question: "When you stand before God and He asks you 'What have you done that I should allow you into my kingdom?' what are you going to say?" The choices were 1. I trusted in Christ 2. I allowed Christ into my heart 3. I prayed the sinners prayer 4. Nothing, Christ did it all.

I would like to expound on this a bit. The first three answers are man-centered, not God-centered. In reality if you believe one of these three then you save yourself. If Christ did not die for the elect only, then the decisive factor is within you. If Christ died for everyone but only saves those who "accept" Him or "make a decision" for Him, then what ultimately saves is within the person. Think about it, if Christ died for everyone what separates you who are saved from the person next to you who is not. It is entirely within you.

One more question, if you do not believe Christ died only for the sins of the elect, is unbelief a sin? If it is a sin then why would not everyone be saved if Christ actually paid the price for everyone's sins?

So, I have not-so-subtly addressed Limited Atonement, one of the five points of the Reformed faith. What do you think? I hope to stimulate some conversation here and will have a new poll up soon

In Christ

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Be Back Soon

Lisa's surgery was a success, sort of, the ligament was non-existent so they had to use tissue from a cadaver. The recovery time is going to be longer than we had hoped and I have an appointment with a chiropractor tomorrow. I think I might have a slipped disk or some such thing. The pain is getting worse by the day and I am falling behind on my history homework. I hope to post something interesting before visiting the doctor.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Getting Some Rest

Lisa's surgery was a success. She should be almost new in about a week. I am having some pretty bad back pain to go along with a hip that just seems to be getting worse. I do have some history homework to do but hope to get a fairly in depth post about the Alpha course up soon. If you are a fan of this course you most definitely need to read this when I am done. That is as much of a tease as I am going to give. Until then.
In Christ

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I am playing with widgets

I am posting trying to play with widgets and needed a post to test something. This is the post to test something. Feel free to comment on this as well. I know this will spark some conversations.

In Honor of Two Mrs. Gielczyk's

This is going to be a strange week for me. School started today. I am taking two online history classes at a secular school—that will be interesting. I wait tables at Bennigan's. Business is picking up, so that means more money, but it also means more aches and pains. I am not 20 something anymore. But those are the minor things. I am going to put my heart on my sleeve here a bit. Saturday will be the one year anniversary of my mother, Susan's, death. She died from cancer August 25, 2006. I have not totally dealt with that, but have as much as I want to at this point. And Thursday, my wife is having surgery on a ligament in her foot and will be in bed for a week. I will be taking care of her, which I guess will take my mind off my mother. Guys, comment here, if you will; I am taking an informal poll. My wife and some other women she has talked to seem to think it is a pretty big deal that I will be emptying her commode. I think it is my job as her husband. What do you think?

I want to spend the rest of this post writing about my wife. Sunday will be our six-month anniversary and she, at least, will be spending it in bed. She jokes, "What a way to get your husband to make you breakfast in bed... and lunch, and dinner." I have to tell all three of you who read this blog what she has done so far for this thing. She designed the logo (now she wants to be a graphic designer). She edits all my posts, which is no small task. She helps me with all the technological stuff that make things like this go. She is an all around God-send, and not just for the stuff she does for this blog, either. I was praying for a wife for almost three years before I got married to her, and God gave me so much more than I ever thought to ask for. I wanted a wife who would be excited to be a pastor's wife, and just when I thought I would settle for someone who would tolerate being a pastor's wife, God brought Lisa Bronson into my life. I could not have asked for someone more excited about the future ministry we are going to have together. The gleam in Lisa's eyes almost makes me cry. I love this woman more than I ever thought I would love someone. I just want to take this opportunity to thank God for putting Lisa in my life, and I want to say to Lisa, thank you for everything you do, for who you are, and I love you so much, honey.

In Christ

Monday, August 20, 2007

I Told You I Was New to This

Ok, so I had the settings set to "only registered users can comment". I have now fixed this to "anyone can comment", so feel free. Sorry.

Moral Relativism and the Decline of Doctrine

During the riots following the OJ Simpson verdict in 1992, Rodney King made an appearance before news cameras and uttered “Can we all just get along.” And a new day dawned for moral relativism in America, ushering in an era where truth depends on your point of view. This relativistic thinking has now infiltrated the Christian arena and people are now saying things like “Can’t we just talk about Jesus?” The answer is an emphatic no!

Disregarding proper doctrine is not only foolish, it can be fatal. If you do not have a right understanding of the person and work of Christ, you will end up on the same road with the JW and LDS, who talk about Jesus also, but their Jesus is impotent, he cannot save anyone, and that road leads to hell.

Moral relativism makes claims along the lines of “True for you, but not for me.” “That’s just your interpretation.” And “There are no absolutes.” Moral relativists believe they are being tolerant, but nothing could be further from the truth. They say there are no absolutes while holding this statement as an absolute. So right from the start the system is contradictory. There are seven fatal flaws in relativism, they are:

  1. Relativists can’t accuse others of wrongdoing-If you believe morality is a matter of personal definition, then you surrender the possibility of making moral judgments about others’ actions.
  2. Relativists can’t complain about the problem of evil-Evil can’t be real if morals are relative to the subject.
  3. Relativists can’t place blame or accept praise-No external standard of measurement defines what should be applauded or condemned.
  4. Relativists can’t make charges of unfairness or injustice-Both concepts dictate that people receive equal treatment based on an external standard.
  5. Relativists can’t improve their morality-Moral reform implies an objective rule of conduct as the standard to which we ought to aspire.
  6. Relativists can’t hold meaningful moral discussions-A meaningful ethical dialogue can be held only when moral principles are seen as universal action guides.
  7. Relativists can’t promote the obligation of tolerance-If there are no moral rules there can be no rule that requires tolerance as a moral principle that applies equally to all.

Francis Beckwith and Greg Koukl summed it up in their book Relativism-Feet Firmly Planted in Mid Air by saying:

What kind of world would it be if relativism were true? It would be a world in which nothing is wrong—nothing is considered evil or good, nothing worthy of praise or blame. It would be a world in which justice and fairness are meaningless concepts, in which there would be no accountability, no possibility of moral improvement, no moral discourse. And it would be a world in which there is no tolerance.

Truth is that which corresponds to reality. And reality is objective. If someone says to you that reality is created by each person, he has already contradicted himself, for he assumes that his statement, at least, is universal and applies to everyone universally; therefore his statement is self refuting and cannot be true.

So moral relativism is self defeating and unlivable. This has not stopped it from being embraced by the Christian community however.

Modern church leaders seem obsessed with methodology, psychology, pragmatics, attendance figures, felt needs, popularity polls, and the like—all to the detriment of biblical doctrine. And when doctrinal understanding declines, real discernment becomes impossible.

Today it seems that anyone concerned with doctrine is looked upon as pharisaical. The biblical condemnation of pharisaical legalism is misread as a denunciation of doctrinal clarity.

Today Christians are content to gloss over the surface of biblical truth and not go any deeper. They justify their indifference as a refusal to be legalistic. They dismiss as pharisaical narrow-mindedness any attempt to declare truth authoritatively. Doctrine divides therefore any concern for doctrinal matters is seen as unchristian.

As doctrine has been deemphasized, the church has moved from preaching the Word to other activities: drama, music, entertainment—things designed to evoke an emotional response rather than enlighten the mind. Some movements have supplanted doctrine with experience. Psychology has elevated “felt” needs over real needs and behavioral theory over revealed truth. All this has accelerated the move away from doctrine and focused the pulpit message on everything but the objective truth of Scripture. Preachers have become comedians, storytellers, therapists, showmen, and entertainers rather than powerful envoys of divine truth.

The secular culture has pulled the Christian community into a mindset where feelings and senses have become our determiners of truth. But this too is a dangerous road. Who amongst us has not fallen in love only to have the relationship end and find out our feelings have been wrong? So we see our feelings can mislead us. Look at a piece of paper with a circle drawn on it, what do you see? A circle. Now hold the paper horizontally, what do you see? An oval, so our senses can deceive us as well. Where does that leave us? With reason. Our thinking is what we can rely on as long as we think critically. As long as we follow the rules of logic and critical thinking, we will discover the truth.

The Bible gives many examples of Christian reasoning; here are a couple:
Acts 17:2 says:

And according to Paul’s custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures,

And Acts 18:9 says:

They came to Ephesus, and he left them there. Now he himself entered the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews.

So now we understand faulty thinking and how to arrive at the truth, what do we do now?

Scripture teaches us this as well. 1st Thes 5:21 says:

but test everything; hold fast what is good.

And Titus 1:9 says:

holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.

Understanding doctrine will also lead to the truth, but not just doctrine, right doctrine. Scripture warns us that we will be lead astray, grabbing on to what sounds good to us. We cannot let this happen. No matter how good something sounds to you, you must test it in light of scripture and be sure it is true. 2 Tim 4:3 tells us what will happen:

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires

So we have seen the flaws of the modern relativist thinking, how it has infiltrated the church, and how to refute it. Now I call you all to make sure you have the truth, and be prepared to dismantle error. Our job as Christians is to be so familiar with the truth, when error looms on the horizon we see it coming miles away.

1 Peter 3:15 says:

but  sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;