“No one knows what he himself is made of, except his own spirit within him, yet there is still some part of him which remains hidden even from his own spirit; but you, Lord, know everything about a human being because you have made him…Let me, then, confess what I know about myself, and confess too what I do not know, because what I know of myself I know only because you shed light on me, and what I do not know I shall remain ignorant about until my darkness becomes like bright noon before your face.” ~St. Augustine of Hippo 354-430 AD Comments
Jim Bublitz takes no prisoners as he writes this blistering
but deeply insightful article- Full Link here
That sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? I mean, after all -who would honestly say that they’ve never sinned? Probably nobody. And since unbelievers already feel guilty enough over they’re past mistakes, then it goes without saying that we should spend the vast majority of our time preaching a positive message of Good News to them, rather than dwelling on the negatives. In this post, we’ll actually go inside of a prison and test-out this theory on convicted felons. If anybody ought to understand their own guilt and sinfulness, it would be real/live rapists, murders, and thieves, right?
Warning: Understanding the things in this video could challenge your entire view of ‘relevance’ in evangelism.
I’ve mentioned before my experiences in the church that I used to attend which, over time, transitioned into a model based on what is prescribed by Bill Hybels and Rick Warren. If I were to pick out one key reason why I left that church when I did, this would have been it. I knew there was something wrong when a year of time passes with very little mention of sin. Oh sure, bad habits were talked about Read More
In the church where I ministered in South Wales I used to stand at the main door of the church at the close of the service on Sunday night, and shake hands with people as they went out. The incident to which I am referring concerns a man who used to come to our service every Sunday night. He was a tradesman but also a heavy drinker. He got drunk regularly every Saturday night, but he was also regularly seated in the gallery of our church every Sunday night. On the particular night to which I am referring I happened to notice while preaching that this man was obviously being affected. I could see that he was weeping copiously, and I was anxious to know what was happening to him. At the end of the service I went and stood at the door. But There’s More
Our Savior did not use any means which might enlist man’s lower nature on his side. When I have heard of large congregations gathered together by the music of a fine choir, I have remembered that the same thing is done at the opera house and the music-hall, and I have felt no joy. When we have heard of crowds enchanted by the sublime music of the pealing organ, I have seen in the fact rather a glorification of St. Cecilia than of Jesus Christ. Our Lord trusted in no measure or degree to the charms of music for the establishing his throne. He has not given to his disciples the slightest intimation that they are to employ the attractions of the concert room to promote the kingdom of heaven. There’s More
There are several people who have impacted my life in different ways. God has brought me to listen to very insightful teachings that have shaped me and are continually reforming my personal life in ways I probably cannot illustrate. One or two years ago I was searching for tracts online and I landed on a sermon that has always been an inspiration to me. Hell’s Best Secret by Ray Comfort is akin to Keith Green’s classic song Alseep in the Light-once you listen to them they continue to replay in your mind. They are evangelistic anthems so to speak. If you have ever listened to this sermon, you will agree with me it should be broadcast loud and clear, down every byway and highway, every church yard and barn yard needs to resound with this message. Maybe I should get him a Segway for open airpreaching…or well maybe standing on a good old salt box will just do all the same 😉 [The Transcript: Hell’s Best Kept Secret]Read More
There are some attributes of God that we as humans try to understand but our finite minds can only go so far. Take for example the Trinity. How would you explain the concept of the Trinity? Or would you back down in any apologetic discussion for the sake of not rocking the boat and whimper off muttering under your breath, “Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)”. I came across this excerpt from a book written by J.I Packer. Not only is this doctrine broken broken down into simple understandable language but Dr Packer also has a way of maintaining the interest of the reader and drawing you to an awesome realisation of the infinite beauty of God. Read More
Deception has been one of the oldest games since Eve fell foul in the garden of Eden. The most immediate reaction is usually why didn’t God step in at that moment and in one blaze of purple and blue smoking lightning zap the fruit and serpent into an ashen crisp or vapour? Why didn’t God realize that the serpent would be slithering his way into the garden sooner or later? Then how about in the modern day church, why are there heretics with wacky theology thriving in pulpits and on Christian television? Why do they seem to have larger followings, draw higher ratings and yet they seem to be delving in utter rank deception? Where is God when another false teacher or prophet panders his way through the pockets of innocent people? Well, thanks for asking. I came a cross an excerpt from A.W Pink that may perchance shed some light on what scripture says: Read More
We have seen strange things in our days. Ranging from the most expensive Christmas tree, valued at 11 million dollars. The punch line being it was bejewelled by Muslims in the desert emirate of Abu Dhabi. How about so called Christians in Nigeria who merged Islam with Christianity to come up with Chrislam? But as far as oxymorons are concerned, lets go back to the bible. The cross.
An oxymoron (from Greek ὀξύμωρον, “sharp dull”) is a figure of speech that combines contradictory terms. Paul asked in his letter to the Corinthians: Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles. Paul points back to the vile item that both Jews and Greeks call the ultimate oxymoron, the messiah, nailed on the cursed tree as the wisdom and power of God.
We many times moan and whinge when things do not go right. We grit our teeth at God when we see a maze before our eyes. Have you ever thought of the sovereignty of God? Have you ever understood the mind of God? May this testimony of John Farese be an encouragement. Crippled for most of his life but proundly sober in his understanding of God’s sovereignty and scripture:
The grace of Christ, without which no body can be saved, is not bestowed on account of any virtues, but is given gratuitously, which is why it is called ‘grace’. The Reformation witnessed the ultimate triumph of Augustine’s doctrine of grace over the legacy of the Pelagian view of man. Luther and Calvin quoted Augustine. If we take Augustine at his word, his ability to write the Confessions (the name of an autobiographical work, consisting of 13 books) depends entirely upon the discovery of himself in conversion. From the vantage of eleven years, the 44 year-old Bishop remembers clearly what transpired in his soul that resolved his wanderings and his intellectual discovery in an experience of conversion that informs all of his work for the church. Understanding conversion is central to any understanding of Augustine. Read More
The birth of Christ found people pre occupied with menial pursuits. The first Christmas found the inn full. Probably all relatives of Joseph found they had no extra rooms in Bethlehem. Herod was busy planning a census. The shepherds were out in the fields. Mary being with child brought forth her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths. The first Christmas almost passed unnoticed until the angel of the Lord with a herald of other angels lit up the skies and announced, “ Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy.” But There’s more
I remember when I wrestled with the Spirit of God. I (yes teeny weenie me) in one corner and the Omnipotent, Transcendent and Almighty in the other. But who has never fought against God after hearing the gospel? Or was it a bout with myself -my old man so to speak? The gospel seems to go against the very grain of our humanity. It asserts that man is broken and helpless. It asserts that we are dead in sin and cannot of our selves change that nature. To underscore this very important fact God gave us the Ten Commandments as a moral code. Try as you may to obey one commandment and you break all. Break one and you find you easily break the rest. The easiest thing is to harden your heart and resist any demands of the Law. Read More
I have always wanted to go through the Heidelberg Catechism from beginning to end. We once started as a family and it was great learning the precepts of Christian faith. So, here I am once again reminding myself from the first principles. To begin with what is a catechism? It is in short a summary or exposition of doctrine. Heidelberg catechism was composed in Heidelberg at the request of Elector Frederick III, who ruled the Palatinate, an influential German province, from 1559 to 1576. The Catechism is an introduction to the Christian worldview and the basic teachings of the Bible; it is divided into fifty-two sections, called “Lord’s Days,” which were designed to be taught on each of the 52 Sundays of the year. Elders and deacons were required to subscribe and adhere to it, and ministers were required to preach on a section of the Catechism each Sunday so as to increase the often poor theological knowledge of the church members. This catechism or exposition of doctrine follows the outline of the book of Romans and thus clearly explains the gospel by hitting on the main points of man’s sin, Christ’s redemption and man’s gratitude. Read more of this post
Tough week as the weather regurgitated almost all the snow it had in its innards. And so did Wiki leaks threaten to unleash all the alleged secret thoughts and prejudices that the Washington administration forgot to mark as ‘classified’. It was reminiscent of goo-covered Jonah being spat from the belly of a fish -sea weed and all onto the shores of Nineveh. There is always that naked emptiness when our inner thoughts are laid bare and put to the scrutiny of a moral code. A feeling, ironically that, we have been wronged by the act itself however noble the intended purpose. Read More
There are many who say why emphasize sound doctrine? Why dont we just lay our differences aside, get along together and just love one another? Well, sound doctrine will divide and rightly so. It will seperate unsound teaching from sound biblical teaching. If you love somebody who is imbibing unsound doctrine you will alert him, rebuke him and earnestly point him to what is right. Depraved indifference urges us to keep quiet as our fellow man un wittingly drifts to their ship wreck and destruction. What would you do if you saw fellow Christians babbling in strange fires and delving in questionable practices? Read More
I was rudely awoken this morning by my wife. It being Thanksgiving in America this week I thought we mere mortals in the rest of the world would at least get a wink of sleep and tranquillity as America feasted on stuffed turkey. Not so. Well, my beautiful wife showed me this headline article that suggests that apparently over one million husbands and wives in England should now head once again up or rather down the aisle to repeat their marriage vows. Yeah, exciting stuff. But why? Was God asleep when they were married and joined in Holy matrimony before Him? No, apparently Church of England vicars have not been choosing their words right for the last thirty years: Read More
God has recently given us the opportunity to discuss some theological issues with other Christians who believe differently than we do on a number of points, most notably the doctrines of grace. [This post was adapted from Monergism] In such a circumstance, given the overwhelming supply of scriptural evidence that comes to bear on the topic, it seemed to me that the best approach would be a simple categorized scripture list: the fact that the entire paper would be scriptures, with the exception of a few brief explanatory notes, would underscore the truth that this is God’s own word and teaching; and the fact that it would be categorized would facilitate the ready comparison of scripture with scripture so as to lead one to a full-orbed understanding of the biblical teaching. Although I found a few good scripture lists of that nature available online, none of them was laid out in quite the progression that I was looking for, and so I developed my own. I’m posting it here with just the scripture references. Below, for your convenience I have provided a condensed version and a full version of the study. The study is also available in print from Monergism Books. Read More
This is the third and final part of Kathy’s breath-taking testimony. [Read Part 1 and Part 2 ] Her journey from depravity to grace in Christ. Kathy had become a strict and chaste muslim. She was a good muslim and a good person to the best of her knowledge. Gone were the days of High school juvenile delinquency. Now as Islams’ poster child, speaking at conferences and at mosque openings everything seemed to be going right. Or was it? Read More
This is the continuation of Kathy’s testimony. Kathy grew up an all American girl and became a strict hijab wearing muslim. She was asked to speak in conferences and mosque dedications. But choices she was about to make next would have far reaching consequences. The people she would meet were going to impact her life for better and for worse. But God draws people from all walks of life. Click here if you missed the first part of this testimony.Please Read On
“I Finally Got Sent A Hillsong Video That Proves They Preach The Gospel . . . NOT!!” says Cameron Buettel a blogger who set up an interesting challenge. This is the what he found…
To his credit Troy did take up my challenge that no one else has responded to. He went looking for a solid example of someone from Hillsong church preaching the Gospel. I had burdened Troy with the responsibility of substantiating his claim that:
I can assure you that I’ve been to Hillsong quite a few times and have heard the gospel accurately preached. Yes, including the mention of sin and the cross. But There’s More
Gone are the days when Arnold Schwarzenegger the stopped the bad guys at the city gates, trashed their guns with one finger and swept them with one perk of his eye brow. Now as the 38th Governor of California its hilarious what the State is coming up with every other day.
(CNN) — In the California city that banned Happy Meal toys,outlawed sitting on sidewalks during daylight hours and fined residents for not sorting garbage into recycling, compost and trash, Lloyd Schofield wants to add a new law to the books in San Francisco: A ban on all male circumcisions. Yeah, right! Read More
Mr Cahill seems to err in a number of main areas, as documented below:
1) Where he is obviously ignorant about what Calvinism teaches e.g. he seems to be unaware that Calvinism believes that man has a will that chooses and is responsible for its actions.
2) Where he attributes things to Calvinism which it does not hold. e.g. that the call to repent in Matthew 4:17 is addressed only to the elect.
3) In his salvic application of his disagreements – if Calvinism is Galatians 1 ground (as he claims at the end of his article) then he has just damned in hell many of the greatest Christians who ever lived, including many of the translators of the KJV, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards etc., As I point out, if he is wrong (the “if” of argument, not of doubt) then he damns more people than Calvinism was ever supposed to do. (Although Calvinism only damns those who will not believe and no one else.) There’s More
No one sets out to become an apostate – it’s never the result of one abrupt, drastic turn away from the Lord. Instead, apostasy is most often the product of a pattern of sinful compromises that harden and gradually steer a professing believer away from the truth. There’s More
For those who do not know, I grew up believing in the Word of Faith/ Prosperity gospel. Yes Jesus died for your sins, proponents will agree in passing. But also (they will quickly add) he surely died to make you healthy and wealthy hence the adage the ‘health and wealth’ gospel. Any time the Gospel of Christ is alterred or diluted, it will always be substituted with a form of works righteousness. A set of things to do to achieve a higher level of righteousness, justification, anointing or endearment to God. There’s More
When Paul spoke to the Ephesian elders in his final meeting with them, he said these words: “Therefore, I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God.” (Acts 20:26-27) The true preacher of the Word seeks to have this as his ambition as well. God is not honored when men think so little of Him and so highly of themselves that they edit the content of the proclamation for the fear of the face of men and so that they may be considered “successful” in some worldly sense. Read More
It is unthinkable that a God of infinite wisdom and power would create a world without a definite plan for that world. And because God is thus infinite His plan must extend to every detail of the world’s existence. If we could see the world in all its relations, past, present, and future, we would see that it is following a predetermined course with exact precision. Among created things we may search where we will, as far as the microscope and the telescope will enable the eye to see, we find organization everywhere. Large forms resolve themselves into parts, and these parts in their turn are but organized of other parts down as far as we can see into infinity. There’s More
Lord Jesus, give me a deeper repentance, a horror of sin, a dread of its approach. Help me chastely to flee it and jealously to resolve that my heart shall be Thine alone.
Give me a deeper trust, that I may lose myself to find myself in Thee, the ground of my rest, the spring of my being. Give me a deeper knowledge of Thyself as saviour, master, lord, and king. Give me deeper power in private prayer, more sweetness in Thy Word, more steadfast grip on its truth. Give me deeper holiness in speech, thought, action, and let me not seek moral virtue apart from Thee.
Plough deep in me, great Lord, heavenly husbandman, that my being may Read More
While muslims are teaching their kids to recite the qur’an cover to cover, lets see what Christian children get to do with their youth pastors. In desperate bid to appear relevant and cool some youth pastors seem to be krunking it up a notch. And sadly there’s little time or none spent studying the Bible. Or I could just be wrong. There’s More
There is such a “falling away” in the number of genuine conversions — we say “genuine” conversions because there are multitudes of those who come forward to shake some popular preacher by the hand, multitudes of card-signers, [hand-raisers] etc., etc. Hence it is that there has been such a sad and such a wide-spread “falling away” from the old time family worship. Hence it is that we now witness such a lamentable “falling away” from the mid-week prayer-meeting. Hence it is that there is such an awful “falling away” …. Hence it is that there is such a fearful “falling away” from the moral standards of former days. Hence it is that there is now such an ever-growing “falling away” from Sunday School attendance all over the land. Yes, the “falling away” has commenced and is already far advanced. There’s More
An attempt to clear up some of the misunderstandings about Calvinism. This is not meant to be a detailed doctrinal defense of Calvinism’s Doctrines Of Grace.
1) Calvinism and Hyper-Calvinism are poles apart. The terms are not to be used synonymously. A Hyper-Calvinist is not just a zealous Calvinist. We both consider each other to be “mongrel” Calvinists. No man will actually call himself a Hyper-Calvinist.
2) Yes Calvinists are split into several factions. But then so are many such doctrinal schools e.g. Dispensationalism, Church Government, Worship – do we sing only the Psalms or use hymns? Which hymns? Do we use music? Which music? Which set of texts do we base our Bible translation on? Is it the Textus Receptus that is important or the (KJV) AV? or both? etc.
3) The term free will needs to be defined to avoid confusion. Calvinists will either affirm it or deny it, depending on what they think you mean. This sometimes leads to charges of contradictions. Consult the standard Calvinist Confessions e.g. the Westminster Confession of Faith Chapter 9 for a defining of terms. But There’s More
In the wake of 11th September 2001 and 7th July 2005 terror events in the US and Great Britain respectively, there has been a rise in the number of Islamic “rationalists” who are building a case for Muslim societies to change from within, and for Muslim minorities in western countries to change how they think of themselves in relation to wider society. The intellectual arm of Islam has tried to quell the flames started by the fundamentalist Islam by depicting Islam as “the religion of peace”.
Many people celerbrate Yom Kippur but what does it really mean? What is this ‘Day of Atonement’ stuff? Well thanks for asking. Todd Bolen takes you in a nine minute session. How did the Messiah fulfill the role of God’s sacrificial lamb atoning for the sins of the world? Hold onto your seats:
I remember when I was younger I walked down countless altar calls at crusades. Said numerous sinners’ prayers. But was I flirting with the grace of God? I don’t know. Did I feel bad about my sin? You bet. With every sermon about sin the hair at the back of my neck would get bristly and cold sweat would trickle down my arm pit. I had a deep fear of God. But I don’t think I repented or even turned from sin.
This week the Pope’s been visiting the United Kingdom. It’s interesting to see how many catholic friends are hanging on to every word he speaks. In him they live and move and have their being. Others listen with tears and others with smiles. If he told the crowd to jump off a cliff no doubt hundreds would with out hesitation fling their heels into the marrow of the winds. I have a mischievous idea. If the Pope made an altar call, how many people would walk forward? But There’s More
I have just been reading an interesting book on human free will. The Doctrine of Total Depravity or Radical Corruption asserts that mankind is totally and radically corrupt that sin penetrates to the root or core of our being since the fall of Adam. And if left to our selves we by default are born with no love for God. Our moral compass is skewed. With no ounce or even a drop of righteousness or any moral good to endear us to God. If man is to use his free will he will gravitate to his default position. A fugitive stance from God -like this oblivious toddler:
A curious toddler has escaped death after crawling out on to a busy highway in the Turkish city of Antalya.His mother had left him sleeping under the bushes and did not notice when her boy woke up. But There’s More
The early years of my Christian walk were blighted by several unanswered questions and countless doctrinal errors. After coming a cross the Doctrines of Grace I was encouraged to know that my salvation had nothing to do with me. God alone chose to save me not because I was good enough. Not because I was more deserving than the next person. God was gracious to me and brought me to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Watch this clip and leave a comment:
Since the fall of man from grace in the Garden of Eden, Adam’s descendants have battled thistles and thorns, sweated for bread and battled the aging process that constantly reminds them of their mortality.
This week began with a doctor’s letter for my wife to go for a medical check up. Something to do with the usual blood pressure check, urine analysis and blood tests. Then I came across this article that could answer all our problems at one seating. The i- toilet: But There’s More
Is there still any reverence for the Holy and sacred things of God these days? What ever happened to the good old sermons about sin, righteousness and judgement? They called some of these ‘fire and brimstone’ sermons and phased them out of most churches, radios and television. Have you ever listened to Jonathan Edwards’ sermon ‘Sinners in the hands of an angry God’? Not even so called christian broad casters feature such sermons any more. These sermons are deemed ‘volatile’ and dont draw ratings they say. But they make a fatal error as they gladly proclaim a new gospel. One that is billed as the best thing since sliced bread called Gospel lite -the health, wealth and prosperity gospel.
Flip to a typical modern christian church sermon broad cast and what do you see? A young man who should be a pastor struts around an arena with spandex and jiggles as he lays his closed bible on the Plexiglass pulpit that casts a silhouette against the laser lit giant screen behind him. It’s Sunday and the topic is self esteem and positive confession…for the fifty second time that year. ‘This is our year of destiny’ reads the banner that has always been flown year in and year out. New visitors and tourists stagger in awe as they trudge through the church programme.The message elates them and sure enough tickles their fancy enough to bring them back But There’s More
“Pastor is it OK to sell a Bible to a prostitute?” the story is told of a young girl called Laura from a small church in a small town in central Brazil. She sold Avon products for years in the town to supplement the family income. One of her weekly routes took her through the red light district. With those business contacts she often shared her faith in Jesus Christ.
God opened a door to present Bibles and Christian books in a house of prostitutes. Oddly enough, the house was located directly across the road from a large evangelical church. Ten of these women gathered around a table one afternoon as Laura shared with them the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ. A few Bibles and some books containing testimonies of transformed lives were sold that afternoon.
Several months later there were terrible rains and floods in that part of Brazil, causing several deaths. With the floods came mudslides in communities that had been inundated by the rising rivers. Two prostitutes who had attended the book demonstration earlier that year talked about the danger and decided to read the Bible Read More
So God, The Almighty has taken to shaking up the Manchester United squad. This week it was apparently the turn for £ 18 million midfield maestro Anderson whose full name is Anderson Luis di Abreu Oliveira. The 22-year-old had reportedly spent the evening at a nightclub before leaving with two friends in a French-registered £100,000 Audi that has a top speed of 197mph.
The Audi R8 sports car, with Anderson’s male friend at the wheel, slid off the road and hit a wall before flying 100 feet through the air and landing in a field. But There’s More
The town of Spring Lake, Michigan, near Grand Haven, has become the front line in the ongoing war from Progressivism. Christ Community Church has changed it’s named to the C3 Exchange and has removed it’s cross. Pastor Ian Lawton claims this was done to reflect it’s diverse membership. “Our community has been a really open-minded community for some years now. We’ve has a number of Muslim people, Jewish people, Buddhists, atheists, we’re catching up to ourselves.”
Removing the cross, as well as the name of Christ to the church may not be the only changes. There’s More
I have had my fair share of fads in Christendom. Like a wild eyed tornado chaser I have trudged and raced against the waves and later lapped up every breeze like a lazy dog sticking its tongue out of the window of a car into the rushing country side winds. Revival however has been the most elusive of all fads. Ask any Christian today what revival is and you will get a myriad of answers. Ranging from revival being a warm fuzzy sensation (revival fire) that triggers a chilling convulsion of goose bumps (revival rain), a force that swings you from the chandeliers and throws you across the room till you fall down flat on your face motionless. But There’s More
I have been looking at the possibility that a Kundalini spirit, possibly the main or head spirit, has masked itself as Christian and infiltrated many charismatic circles and (was) in full operation down in Florida and has worked in past in Toronto and Brownsville. Here is a compilation of some of my findings – I think the similarities are more than coincidence – what do you think? There’s More
In the heat of the battle the dirty sweat drenched and blood furrowed brow of the commander perks up as he peers at his scanty remnant. He has seen his men put up a fierce resistance. The devastating onslaught has been from all fronts. Menacingly sustained at times. The reserves are running low. The platoon is now surrounded. There is no time to reminisce or sleep. Fatigue and final consumption never felt so close. His muddied badge barely sticks to his bosom while a few pips are clearly missing from his right shoulder. Despite the haggard silhouette there is no mistaking the undiminished authority he still wields. It will be at least a day or two until the 1st Calvary Division would arrive in the eastern skies –if only they would hold on for that long. However if all failed-the platoon had gone through this worst case scenario over and over; the last resort would be to die fighting than be taken in. Read More
The Thunder god priest who has come to Christ in Ghana, liberating 55 slave women and children.
Ghana (MNN) ― Sex slavery is rampant among tribal religions in Ghana. In a system commonly referred to as Trokosi, girls are given to tribal priests as payment for sins. “Trokosi” means wives or slaves of the gods.
Every Child Ministries is rescuing these women and their children who were born into this environment. ECM co-founder Lorella Rouster says ritual servitude, or shrine slavery, is common.
Recently, Every Child Ministries liberated 55 slaves of the “Thunder god.”
Many people celebrate Halloween without considering the history of the holiday. They put on costumes, attend parties, eat candy, and even pull pranks on neighbors. In fact, Americans spend billions of dollars each year decorating and preparing.
But there’s more to Halloween than jack-o-lanterns and scary stories. Let’s take a quick trip back in time to see where some of these customs came from—and if Christians should take part.