Jim Bublitz (who went to be with the Lord last year) had a blog The Old Truth from which I learnt alot in my early days as I came to understand Calvinism/Reformed Theology. Here is an interesting snippet from 2007 of a Q&A post with a reader called Joshua from Malaysia.
Joshua: “Here is a common phrase…..Ask Jesus to come into your heart or life…..is that how calvinists do it? … From a calvinist point of view….. When a sinner is convicted by the Holy Spirit, is there any “sinner’s prayer” to recite? If not…what would be the normal reformed way of doing this? Does “accepting Jesus into our heart” in line with reformed teachings? If not…how would you explain the steps of salvation? I know that it is GOD who chose and justified the sinner…how do you explain to the sinner that he needs to accept Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior? At this point of conversion, from my old arminian school, I am confused that we ‘invite’ Jesus into our hearts….and later was told it was the Holy Spirit… Could you explain this part? As I am now leaning strongly to reformed doctrine, I do not know how to explain this part from the reformed view…“
Jim Bublitz: Joshua, as you may know, some of the most noteworthy soul winners in church history have been Calvinists, and you can look through the writings of many of them including George Whitefield and Charles Spurgeon to see the kinds of things they said. The emphasis is much the same as the Apostles as they preached that people should obey the Lord’s command to repent and believe. …Read More!
My good friend Jim Bublitz went to be with the Lord earlier this year however some of his articles on his blog (The Old Truth) still speak volumes. Like this one…
You’ve likely heard the phrase in real-estate, that what matters is “Location, location, location“. The idea behind that holds true in bible study as well, and perhaps could be better stated “Context, context, context“. Failure to obey this rule will result in devastating consequence in your understanding of the bible. It’s possible that by ignoring context, we can come up with a meaning for a bible verse that is completely different than what the Holy Spirit intended. In this post we’ll take a look at one passage where today’s church has done exactly that.
You might remember me bringing up the “inspirational” wall calendar with scripture passages on it, in which one of the months said this: “If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.” Apparently, nobody bothered to check the context of that text, because if they had, they would have found out that it was actually Satan speaking (Luke 4:7).
Context is so important, that the folks at Stand To Reason sell a booklet entitled “Never Read a Bible Verse“, never read one all by itself that is. You should always read the surrounding verses and chapters, etc. It’s actually dangerous to read a bible verse in isolation.
In loving memory of Jim Bublitz who went to be with the Lord not more than two days ago, I will feature this post from his blog – The Old Truth.
In the 19th century, R.L. Dabney wrote –
“All the leading Reformers, whether in Germany, Switzerland, England or Scotland were constant preachers, and their sermons were prevalently expository”; the purpose was to explain the meaning of Scripture. So he says, “We can assume with safety that the instrumentality to which the spiritual power of the great revolution of the Reformation – was mainly due to the restoration of scriptural preaching”.
Martin Luther in 1533 said, “The Word of God is the greatest most necessary, most important thing in Christendom.” And it is. I’ll tell you what, you turn away from the Book and you have endless problems. You turn away from the Book and Jesus becomes a clay toy, you can shape Him any way you want. Truth becomes a clay toy, you can shape it any way you want…
See, people want to reinvent Jesus, shape Him any way they want.
There are few bloggers who pull no punches. Honesty and truth are character traits that are rare to come across in the post modern world we live in. I have come to learn a lot from bloggers of the yester year. Most especially those who have taught me a lot on theology (reformed theology) and have kept the seduction of the culture wars at bay. I salute bloggers like Jim Bublitz(Old Truth), Mike Spencer (Internet Monk) who stood at the pulpit of the modern day Areopagus (blogosphere) and boldly proclaimed what they believed. They may be gone from blogging for now but their fire still burns for the Lord.
Lately I have come to love another blogger who pulls no punches. Phil Johnson’s writings and his input on several things have been known to have pyrotechnics! I have more than once featured his posts on this blog. And just when I was beginning to anticipate his next post, guess what he has done? Yup, he is officially unplugging and retiring from blogging and all social media. You see, Phil recently revealed….
Today was my 59th birthday (11th July) . In other words, I’m now officially in my 60th year. Last week I did some careful reflecting; I also did some calculating; and it was—how shall I say this?—unsettling. Convicting. Alarming. In the very best case, I figure I might have a decade and a half of productive full-time labor left. Looking back on the past 15 years, I realize that’s a very brief time. I want to make the most of it.
Thursday my doctor confirmed what I was beginning to think: I need to cut out everything non-essential in my life that causes stress without giving me any cardiovascular benefit. I hate when geriatric patients recite the details of their medical reports, so let’s just say that the doctor was serious: It’s time for me to stop burning the candle at both ends. Darlene emphatically affirmed that diagnosis. Everyone who loves me is likewise in hearty agreement.
So: (gladly, with no reluctance whatsoever) I’m officially retiring from blogging, social media, and every other activity that intrudes on things that ought to be the real priorities in the final two decades of a man’s life. …Read More!
A couple of years ago I was struggling with several theological issues. Most stemmed from my background in the Seeker Sensitive church. I was battling to understand decisional regeneration plus I was wondering why I wasn’t hearing preaching more about sin, righteousness, judgement or even hearing the gospel of Christ’s death for the forgiveness of sins. Most of the sermons I was being lavished with were about how to live a better life, make more money, have a better marriage and not miss the next “fun filled” conference on how to become a better me. Well these motivational tips are not bad in them selves (I was actually over dosing on the same topics or even better ones on secular radio and television talk shows). What I desperately needed was Christ-centered biblical approach of the old paths of Christianity. And sure enough one of the blogs I came across seemed to challenge me in a good way. It was The Old Truth.
The Old Truth was run by a gentle man called Jim. I later tracked him down and realised he had slowed down and wasn’t writing as actively any more. Jim’s life had taken one tumble too many. He at the last time I counted has broken at least 70 bones in his body (due to a rare medical condition that makes his bones brittle). Was diagnosed with End Stage Liver disease (has been waiting a liver transplant for the last over 4 years) and was spending more time in hospital than at home. But he amazed me with his ever humorous writing and attitude and more so with a profound trust in God. I started this blog soon afterwards and I have re blogged several of his posts over here, here and here. I even used this set of questions on the Sovereignty of God in Salvation from Jim that is featured on my profile page.
This week I would like to ask you to pray for my good friend Jim. In a blog update (on May 22nd 2012) on the CaringBridge website titled “The beginning of the End” he says:
Today I was told that my liver simply will not process blood anymore; it is irreversibly dying and that I have days or weeks to live.
So, tomorrow starts the preparations for my journey home. I need to have an Oxygen tank ready, a whole bunch of other medical equipment, pain pump, and arrange a private ambulance to get me home. Read more of this post
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