Thursday, March 26, 2020

Christ the Image of God

Michael Reeves dishes up another feast. Appreciate the Spurgeon snippets as well.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

God Moves in a Mysterious Way

God Moves in a Mysterious Way - a hymn by William Cowper from the book Spurgeon's Own Hymn Book (Hymn No. 211).

GOD moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill,
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sov'reign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

There's an interesting back story to this hymn. Spurgeon relates that the English missionary Richard Knill prophesied over him when he was about ten years old. According to Spurgeon:
Mr. Knill took me on his knee, and said, 'This child will one day preach the gospel, and he will preach it to great multitudes. I am persuaded that he will preach in the chapel of Rowland Hill, where (I think he said) I am now the minister.' He spoke very solemnly, and called upon all present to witness what he said. Then he gave me sixpence as a reward if I would learn the hymn, 'God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform.' I was made to promise that, when I preached in Rowland Hills's Chapel, that hymn should be sung...
Years flew by. After I had begun for some little time to preach in London, Dr. Alexander Fletcher was engaged to deliver the annual sermon to children in Surrey Chapel; but as he was taken ill, I was asked in a hurry to preach to the children in his stead. 'Yes,' I replied, if you will allow the children to sing "God moves in a mysterious way." I have made a promise long ago, that hymn should be sung.' And so it was: I preached in Rowland Hill's Chapel, and the hymn was sung.

Monday, March 23, 2020

MacArthur: The Gospel, the Church, and This Present Crisis

A Word In Season: When Overwhelmed (Psalms 61:1-2)

For this special season of uncertainty, Jeremy Walker, pastor of Maidenbower Baptist Church in Crawley, England, began making short devotions to warm our hearts to Christ and remind of the certainty of the sovereignty of God. Today's devotion is from Psalm 61:1-2.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Global Anti-Christian Totalitarian Threat

Creation Ministries International reviews Gabriele Kuby's book, The Global Sexual Revolution - Destruction of Freedom in the Name of Freedom.

Perhaps the most distressing aspect of this threat is the sexualization of children. The material in chapter 12 will prompt a defensive response in most parents and is almost beyond belief. Kuby states that since mandatory sex education was introduced in German schools in the 1970s, it has been “a journey toward complete demoralization of sexuality”. Kuby explains that children “are incited to masturbate” (p. 215). This was so shocking that I requested a copy of the material. Kuby sent me a copy of Lisa & Jan, which has been used since 1996 and in one picture shows a small boy with a teddy bear masturbating.11 Perhaps nothing exemplifies the shocking nature of the agenda to sexualize children from infancy more than Kuby’s statement that “in the accompanying booklet for parents, [Sielert, one of the authors] clearly states that children must be guided into it: ‘Naturally, children discover this pleasure on their own if they are positively caressed ahead of time by their parents. If they don’t know at all what lust is, there will be no sex play’” (FN332, p. 223). This is pedophilia and should be abhorrent to any parent. Kuby states that the core objective of this obligatory school sex education “was ‘sexual liberation’ through destruction of Christian values” (p. 217). As a parent, you might decide that you would rather home school than have your child subjected to material so damaging to their innocence. But in Germany, home schooling is illegal.12 There is no escaping the State’s desire to subjugate your God-given authority as a parent to protect your children. Kuby asks:
“HOW IS IT POSSIBLE that a whole generation has fallen into the hands of a cultural revolutionary mafia that appears bent on turning future generations into amorphous, rootless masses of sex-addicted consumers?” (p. 228).
Read it HERE

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Paul Washer: The Holy Spirit

Paul Washer discusses Iain Murray's book, Pentecost Today? - The Biblical Basis for Understanding Revival. I reviewed it HERE. You can get it from Banner of Truth.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Early Christians and Plagues

I'm seeing some chatter about this current virus possibly having "prophetic" portent. I wonder what the chatter among futuristic premils would have been during the two world wars of last century. Let's not jump the gun. Anyway, I thought this PJ Media article was pretty good:
Christians facing the corona virus today would do well to remember how the selfless love of the early church helped spread the gospel in a world much more hostile to Jesus' message than our world is today. Christianity spread in the face of persecution for many reasons, but in two cases it spread in the midst of deadly plagues — because Christians risked their lives to save others.
Two historic plagues ravaged the Roman Empire: the Antonine Plague (165-180 A.D.) and the Cyprian Plague (249-262 A.D.). The plagues killed roughly a quarter to a third of the population, striking down emperors (Marcus Aurelius, Hostilian, and Claudius II Gothicus), and ravaging the empire. As in the case of the coronavirus today, panic spread because the society did not understand the disease...keep reading

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Trust in the Lord

From Dr Reluctant:

Because of the present concerns over the coronavirus and the precautions that must be taken over it, I thought that one thing I could do was post some encouraging meditations for my readers.  I’ll try to write two or three of these a week.  This first one is a revision of something I wrote previously...

Click HERE

Monday, March 16, 2020

To Church or Not to Church

When I was a teen - centuries ago - I was temporarily employed by my dad's boss. My job was to shovel several cubic meters of soil from the front yard and transport it to the back...all day long. Because the days were hot, and I was overweight and unfit, my dad advised me to pace myself or I wouldn't last. The problem was that one of the other senior workers derided me for being too slow. When I paced up, my dad would berate me for not listening to him. I couldn't please both men.

In a different context, James White astutely tweeted:

"When the elders agreed that we will be gathering for worship and the Supper tomorrow, I specifically noted that we should not announce it in such a way to condemn those not gathering, while being prepared to be condemned by some of the same." ~ James White

Sure enough some people just had to criticize the decision to assemble. It was inevitable.

However, I've also seen criticism leveled at those pastors who decided not to congregate on Sunday 15th March 2020. One critic is a well-known presup apologist. The other is a blogger - apparently, John MacArthur has bowed down to Caesar. Does anyone seriously believe that?

Both these guys are very smart - smarter than I can ever hope to aspire to. What they aren't are pastors of large churches who have to make informed, difficult, biblical decisions.

The church I attend decided against assembling:
Dear Parkside Family,
In response to Governor DeWine’s statement on March 12 restricting large gatherings over 100, Parkside Church has decided to cancel all Sunday services for March 15. While religious institutions are excluded from this ban, in an abundance of care and concern for our neighbors, and with the hope of slowing the spread of this virus, Parkside Church has decided to follow the state's guidelines.
Please note:
On Sunday, March 15, at 9:45am, we invite you to join us online at the Parkside Church homepage or the Parkside Facebook page for a streamed service.

All Parkside events scheduled through Saturday, March 21, are canceled.

Sunday services for March 22 will be decided as this situation develops and we have further information.

All nursing home-related events including nursing home Bible studies and meetings are suspended until further notice.
While all of Parkside’s public gatherings are canceled through the week, our facility is open, and our pastoral and administrative teams will be in the office to continue to care for the needs of our congregation. And, while this situation is unprecedented, we are hopeful that each one of us will take opportunities to care for those around us with the love and compassion exemplified by Christ.
Please continue to pray that this situation will cause hearts to open and respond to the Gospel.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Steve Terrell, on behalf of the elders at Parkside Church
One of Parkside Church's members is a medic from Cleveland Clinic. I can't recall her official role but she's at the forefront of what is going on. Alistair Begg asked her to come and answer some brief questions re the virus. Her response was measured - don't panic, yet take precautions. My guess is that Parkside's decision to forego meeting on Sunday was partly based on her advice.

For the record Parkside normally advocates for Morning and Evening church attendance. The commitment of its pastors is unquestionable. Yet some people never waste an opportunity to point fingers. What a pity!

Sunday, March 15, 2020

New Earth: The Eternal State

Michael Vlach on the New Earth & Eternal State, from the 2020 Shepherds' Conference. Click HERE

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Friday, March 13, 2020

Friday, March 6, 2020

James White on Hank Hanegraaff & Sola Scriptura

I don't always see things James White's way; for instance on eschatology. But there's no doubt that he's a smart man who has defended Christianity very well in many areas. This video is a good example of this. His astute observations on Hanegraaff's (and anyone's for that matter) use of the early church fathers (e.g., Irenaeus) was interesting as well.

Exodus: Abner Chou

Hat tip to a Twitter friend. You can listen to a series on Exodus by Abner Chou HERE.

My friend says Chou's series demonstrates premillennialism. I see where others think it points to a particular rapture position! Be that as it may, I've listened to and read a lot of Chou's materials and like the way he thinks.