A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®

Reformed. Christianity. Evangelism. Modern Culture.

Tag Archives: christian

Spurgeon and those in pulpits who waste people’s time

“I had sooner die than live to be such a being as many who stand up in the pulpit wholly to waste people’s time and not to win souls!” – Charles Spurgeon

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Free Reformed Christian E-Books!

3d man sitting on ebook word reading a red book

Free Ebooks

Are you looking for good and deep Christian literature? I thought I should share these sites with you. In case you are looking for free Christian ebooks, epub or kindle format you may want to bookmark these links below starting with:
0 Monergism Free Ebooks.

 

 

To be born again – a Regenerate.

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What is conversion to Christ? How does one become born again? To answer these very vital questions here is an excerpt from a book I am currently reading by John Caldwell:

Conversion to Christ is not turning over a new leaf; it is the implanting of new life. This new life is the very life of God, Jesus referred to it as the new birth. Regarding the new birth, RC Sproul says, ‘The term born again is a popular synonym for the theological term regenerate .’ There are two essential things we need to understand about regeneration: the first one is that regeneration is how someone becomes a Christian.
If a person has not experienced regeneration, they are not a Christian. Jesus put it in the following terms while discussing the issue with the Pharisee Nicodemus: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) The second essential thing we need to understand about regeneration is that only God can produce the rebirth in a person’s life. …Read More!

‘Man of Steel’ sermon becomes ‘a hit’ on Father’s day.

man of steel sermon outline Apparently….

Hollywood marketers offered free screenings of “Man of Steel” to church leaders as well as sermon notes in an effort to highlight the film’s Christian themes.

Christian marketing firm Grace Hill Media sent out nine pages of sermon notes written by Pepperdine University professor and theologian Craig Detweiler to Christian pastors across the country, CNN reported Friday.

Grrr!!! Aren’t we simply an entertainment driven bunch of milk sops? Where are the great preachers of old like Charles Spurgeon and George Whitefield who spent more time in reading and studying Scripture as they prepared for the Lord’s day?

Do we have to pander to Hollywood? Yup,  only if you are a seeker sensitive pastor who wants to appear relevant. Actually, one wise deacon [see link above] put it in better words than I ever could:

P.J. Wenzel, a deacon and Sunday school teacher at Dublin Baptist Church in Ohio, said using “material pumped out from Hollywood’s sewers” to entertain congregants will result in people’s souls being neglected.

“Any pastor who thinks using `Man of Steel Ministry Resources’ is a good Sunday morning strategy must have no concept of how high the stakes are, or very little confidence in the power of God’s word and God’s spirit,” he said.

The 2013 Heidelberg Conference on Reformed Theology (Europe)

The Heidelberg Conference kicks off in Heidelberg (Germany) on July 18-21st 2013 celebrating 450 years of The Heidelberg catechism….

heidelberg conference The Heidelberg Conference on Reformed Theology seeks to bring together Reformed believers from Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and elsewhere. Come, be a part of this event and enjoy the rich fellowship with brothers and sisters from around the globe. Don’t miss it!

The HCRT wants to help you know what you believe and why you believe it! In a time where everything seems to be about personal taste and preference, we are called to confess our faith clearly and without compromise.

This annual conference seeks to foster the robust faith of the Reformed confessions. A faith for which Christians have been persecuted. A faith for which Christians have died.

It is our hope that this Reformed faith would once again become the confession of many Christians and of many churches, here in Germany, in Europe and in the world.

We cordially invite all Christians who treasure the heritage of the Reformation and the faith it bequeathed us to come and participate in this conference.

For discount prices and further information go to the official site here!    [If you are new to the Heidelerg Catechism click here to read more]

What happens when some one lays their hands on a Bible in China for the first time…

A group of Christians receiving Bibles for the first time….

bibles in china

 

Richard Dawkins…a Christian now?

Christian Post has a cartoon animation depicting the moment controversial atheist, humanist and author of The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins features on I amSecond.Com (a Christian website where different people testify of how they put God first). I have always agreed with the Bible that the biggest miracle in the whole universe is when a sinner comes to repentance and puts their trust in Christ. This is because such a change of heart if it is genuine can only be acomplished after the Spirit of God has quickened or awoken a sinner who was dead to God and lost in sin. Jesus said without this regeneration or second birth “no man can see the kingdom of God”. So, can Richard Dawkins become a Christian then?20130123-161132.jpg

Jesus Christ shows his immense mercy and grace by saving sinners. Yes, even the vilest of sinners. In the words of Apostle Paul the self confessed “Chief of sinners”:

…Read More!

The (Perspicuity) Clarity of Scripture:

Many keep saying that the Bible is not clear and therefore we can all dive in and interprete it whichever way we want to and draw forth whatever we can make of it. Well regarding the Clarity of Scripture….

clarity“The Scriptures are clear and perspicuous in all things necessary to salvation.  We allow that there are doctrines revealed in the Scriptures which surpass the comprehension of created beings, such as the doctrine of the Trinity, the eternal generation and the incarnation of the Son of God.  These are mysteries which we cannot comprehend, but the doctrines themselves are plainly taught in the Scriptures, and we must receive them on the divine testimony.”
We also admit that in the Scriptures there are some things obscure and ‘hard to be understood.’  But this obscurity is chiefly in history and prophecies, which do not so nearly concern our salvation.  As in nature everything necessary for the support of life occurs almost everywhere, and may be found on the most easy search, while other things less necessary, such as its gems and gold, lie concealed in certain places, and can only be discovered and obtained by great exertions and unwearied industry; so there are things in the Scriptures, ignorance of which will not endanger the salvation of the soul, that are abstruse and difficult to be understood, even by those who possess acute minds and great learning.” …Read More!

We by nature bend towards that which is false.

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The Lord’s command in Mark 4:24 is “take heed what ye hear”. Corrupt nature is thoroughly in love with error and will more readily and eagerly receive false rather than true doctrine. Should any dispute this statement, we would refer them to Jeremiah 5:31: “the prophets prophesy falsely and the priests bear rule by their means; and My people love to have it so”. Said Christ unto the Jews, “because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not” (John 8:45): what a commentary on fallen human nature – had He preached lies they would have promptly received Him.
Alas, what is man: he will run greedily after something new and sensational, but is soon bored by the old story of the Gospel.

How feeble is the Christian, how weak his faith, how fickle and unstable the moment he is left to himself. Peter, the most courageous and forward of the apostles in his profession, denied his Master when challenged by a maid. Even when given a heart to love the Truth, we still have “itching ears” for novelties and errors, as the Israelites welcomed the manna at first, but soon grew weary of it and lusted after the fleshpots of Egypt.

Real and urgent then is our need to heed this command,
“Beware of false prophets.-A. W Pink

HT The Old Truth.

 

Follower of Christ and (not really) a Christian….Just Emergent!

Disillusioned Emergent preacher Rob Bell confused many people in his time as pastor. It is not surprising therefore to see that the man he left in charge of Mars Hill church Amusement Centre in Grand Rapids  is himself disillusioned as to whether to call himself a Christian or part time follower of Christ. He ends up serving up dregs of muddied water….

This time in a new video trailer for a book by Shane Hipps called “Selling Water by the River: A Book About the Life Jesus Promised and the Religion that Gets in the Way.”  In an age where we need clarity now more than ever, this muddies the waters of confusion ever more, but in an oh-so-fresh and appealing way…

Many Christians around the world are martyred today, not because they say they “follow” Jesus, but because of who they are: Christians.

Lighthouse Trails reported that Emerging church leader, Erwin McManus says his “goal is to destroy Christianity as a world religion and be a recatalyst for the movement of Jesus Christ.” In McManus’ book, The Barbarian Way, he says that the “greatest enemy to the movement of Jesus Christ is Christianity [i.e., Christians].” …Read More!

6 Ways to Grow in Sound Doctrine

 

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In the world we live in there is a never ending battle for the hearts and minds of people. There are countless ideologies and teachings that are relentlessly vying to capture our imaginations and thoughts. As Christians we must guard the deposit of the gospel that has been put in us by growing in sound doctrine. Here are 6 humble tips (of course you could add a few more to these):

1) Give heed to the preached Word. Listen attentively as your pastor expounds God’s Word each week. Discuss the sermon afterward with friends and family.

2) Study the Scriptures diligently. Aim for breadth and depth. That is, read through all of Scripture in order to see the big picture. But also, study smaller portions such as individual books, in the most detail you can manage. Read them over and over again. Meditate on them. Memorize them. Gaining a broad and deep grasp of Scripture is the most important way to grow in the knowledge of God.

3) Read good books. …Read More!

Looking for a good Bible believing church?

This cartoon depicts what has become of good churches…they are very hard to find!

HT friends on FB.

Finally a wise man who understands the solution to Syria’s endless woes!

A couple of Christians (on Facebook) were concerned and discussing the recent sickening decline of the situation in Syria. With hordes of bodies of children sprawling in deserted streets, no body seems to be interested in stepping up to put a speedy end to the blood shed. One Christian lamented how the West was quick to take tangible action against Libya but how long would it be before the West decided to take tangible action against Syria? Hasn’t that regime utterly disqualified itself from any legitimacy? A wise reply came from one J. Dowton:

I absolutely agree that things can’t continue on this way. The problems, however, are that the government and the resistance movement/s both/all seem to be committing atrocities and lying about them (so it’s hard to tell what’s fact, except that people are dying horribly), and the animosity between Syria (with connections to Iran) and Israel (with connections to the U.S. and U.K.) would likely mean that Western military intervention would probably be even more of a disaster (and the history of Western intervention in Syria has not gone well).

It seems to be a lose-lose situation no matter what happens.

Prayer is good! (and not just ‘resigned to passivity’ prayer but rather prayer that whatever does happen actually has a positive effect and puts a halt to the unimaginable, terrifying chaos that is now the case).

Pray for Syria. Pray for the Christians there too. Pray ceaselessly that the chaos and depravity that seems to be plunging such a beautiful country into utter depth of moral decline will come to a quick resolution.

Pray for Syria!

One more reason why pagans don’t take Christianity seriously

When pagans see the irreverence that goes on in some circles of Evangelicalism it gives them more impetus to laugh the name of God to scorn. Surely when we call our selves ‘Christ-like’ or ‘Christian’ and make a false representation of who or what God is, don’t we bear or take the name of our God in vain? Blasphemy was the word I was looking for. And it’s the same word that comes to mind when I hear people want to  ‘crank dat holy ghost’.

No. I am actually thick skinned and I am used to being laughed at but I get grieved …Read More!

Meet The Christians: A day in the life of a Christian Satirist.

The next guest is a satirist. He is also a Christian. But one other interesting thing is that the concept behind these anonymous interviews was originally from him (chuckle) ;). These interviews are anonymous so that there is no celebrity. They are evangelistic and have been simplified so that they are easy to follow and to the point. Today my guest too will be masked as we ask him different questions about what he believes. In case you missed the previous anonymized interviews please go here.

ATCT [A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®] : Sorry you are masked from your audience today. What is a typical week in your life like?
CHRISTIAN: On Sunday, we go to church. Period. We have children and they know from example that it is important to give God glory because He is God and we are not. The rest of the week, I juggle work, Bible study, current event study, blog maintenance, creative writing (including humor & satire) for my blog and for others, research & writing for a missions database, Taking the kids back and forth to school, and generally trying to have quality time with family.

ATCT: Did you have any Christian influence in your youth or childhood?

CHRISTIAN: No, God saved me as a young adult. We did the lip service thing when I was a kid and it had no effect. Many church youth groups bussed us to pizza blasts and hot dog dinners but i was dry bones at that time. Praise God that he saved me and most of my family later however!

ATCT: What is the gospel in one sentence? …Read More!

Meet The Christians: A Day in the life of a Newly Ordained Pastor

I am grateful to God for the previous interviews and how they have been a primer for people to know more about Christians and what they believe. Today’s anonymized guest is a young man who has just been ordained as a pastor recently. He is a Christian of course, married to one beautiful woman and we will mask him first and then ask him a couple of questions to see what he believes. If you missed the previous anonymized interviews please go here.

ATCT [A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®] : Sorry you are masked from your audience today. What is a typical week in your life like?

CHRISTIAN: Sunday, preaching and pastoring. Monday, chilling and chores. Tuesday, study and administration. Wednesday, pastoral visiting, study, and church meeting. Thursday, household shopping and study, Friday, very unpredictable. Saturday – family day. Throw in three or four trips to the gym and some tropical fish maintenance along with far too much net surfing, some reading, and a little television, and that is about it. Oh, apart from prayer, eating and sleeping.

ATCT: Did you have any Christian influence in your youth or childhood?

CHRISTIAN: Yes, both my parents love the Lord, and so do all my uncles and aunts, and of course, the wider church family.

 ATCT: What is the gospel in one sentence? …Read More!

Meet The Christians: A Day in the life of a Christian serving in a War and Disaster Zone.

If you have missed any of the previous anonymized interviews with Christians from different backgrounds please go here. Continuing with the same format today’s guest too has been anonymized (so that the glory of the testimony) goes to God. Today’s guest has spent over 18 years working in disaster zones. He has come very close to death countless times while preaching the gospel. He is one unsung hero in many respects but today he will tell us what drives him on even when he is far from family, friends and safety.

ATCT [A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®] : Sorry you are masked from your audience today. Could you tell us what a typical week in your life is like?

CHRISTIAN: I don’t usually have a typical week. Travelling, ministering and lot’s of calls from folks around the world that the Lord has allowed me to encourage and minister to. Study, reading, Praying, meditating, talking to my bride, sharing with my kids.

ATCT: Did you have any Christian  influence in your youth or childhood?

CHRISTIAN:I had basically no Christian influence in my life as a Child. I did attend a very tiny church roughly three times in grade two. I was never one who disbelieved that God existed, I did not however have a relationship with Him.

ATCT: What is the gospel in one sentence? …Read More!

Meet The Christians: A day in the life of a single Christian lady.

If you haven’t read the read any of the previous anonymized interviews click here. The guests are from different backgrounds, from all over the world and the only unifying factor is that they have been changed by the gospel message. Today’s guest is a single Christian lady, works full time and yes she will tell us what the gospel is in one sentence too.

ATCT [A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®] : Sorry you are masked from your audience today. What is a typical week in your life like?

ANS: Well, I work full time, exercise, and leave gospel tracts everywhere. 🙂

  1. ATCT: Did you have any Christian  influence in your youth or childhood?

ANS: Yes. My mother and I weren’t saved back then, but there were a few instances where I went to church. The kinds of churches I went to is something I don’t remember. *lol*

  1. ATCT: What is the gospel in one sentence? …Read more!

Meet The Christians: A Day in the life of a gym loving Christian blogger

I would love to do a lot more exercise than I get to do.  This week we get to meet another Christian. He loves to blog. He loves to read. He loves to blog – did I say that already? He is a husband, a father and a pastor. Well today he dreamily seems to be doing some gym work. And as he brushes past making a bee line for the weights and stuff, we get to stop him in mid action. Hey mystery Christian guest, care for a two minute anonymised interview? [More anonymised interviews here] Listen in to the actual interview:

ATCT [Atwisted Crown of Thorns]: Sorry you are masked from your audience today. What is a typical week in your life like?

 CHRISTIAN:  That’s hard to say.  They’re all a bit different but generally speaking they’re filled with writing, phone calls, hospital visits (when necessary), dropping in on Church folk, posting an occasional bit on the blog, and reading, reading, reading.  And then there’s going to the gym and trying to combat the woes of aging.  But that’s another subject altogether.

ATCT: Did you have any Christian influence in your youth or childhood?

CHRISTIAN: Not at home.  My parents thought of God as a big joke and when I told them I was called to ministry my mother told me I’d be happier being a garbage collector.  My childhood pastors were good and decent Christians though and I was close to them.

ATCT: What is the gospel in one sentence? …Read More!

LENT: Excuse me ma’am, you got something on your fore head. Let me rub it off!

Well it’s that time of the year again. Lent, and one interesting gentle man has been chronicling photographs of people during Lent…

Greg Miller is not confused by the smudged foreheads he sees on the streets this time of year. In fact, he waits all year to see them.

The photographer works at a snail’s pace in general. This project, for example, has been 15 years in the making — though it has amounted to more like 15 cumulative days. He waits all year for Ash Wednesday. And even after a whole day’s work, he walks away with only a few frames, because he is lugging around a large-format film camera. This clearly is not about instant gratification…

For Christians, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, and the tradition of putting ash crosses on the forehead is meant to symbolize the beginning of a penitential season, a reminder of mortality. …Read More!