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Reformed. Christianity. Evangelism. Modern Culture.
I am currently reading a rare and out of print 1993 book that was kindly given to me by a retired pastor and I have reached the interesting section on ‘church discipline’. Indeed my coffee cup is filled to the brim and I am sprawling on a tiny chair as I indulge in savory words of virtue and wisdom. Okay lets back track a bit -church discipline -this of course is a delicate issue facing any congregation of Christians:
On one hand, believers are sensitive to the claims of truth on the conscience. They are further aware that truth is for the purpose of promoting godliness. Consequently, sin is to be taken seriously, and discipline when necessary, is to be administered according to the gravity of the offense in question. ‘If your brother sins,’ says our Lord, ‘correct him.’ (Matt 18:15).
On the other hand, Christians are aware that the truth has not been entrusted to the church in abstraction from the welfare of the people who are recipients of that truth.
If sin is exposed and corrected, it is only to the end that Christ may be glorified by the recovery and restoration of his errant sheep (cf James 5:19-20). The problem of church discipline, accordingly resides in the BALANCE of the truth and love of people… Read More!
For some this may not be new but I just want to repost this bit of information. The website Monergism is a good site to get free ebooks of invaluable wealth especially if you would like books on evangelism, basic Christianity, biographies and Reformed Theology. Check the link Here!
These are just a few interesting quotes I came across from To Every Tribe. Hop over there and take a peek at what God is doing in previously unreached lands…
Remember, when you see a missionary coming home broken in body and weary in soul, it isn’t the privations or dangers or things he’s done that leave a deep hurt; it’s the things he couldn’t do that break his heart.
I have seen, at different times, the smoke of a thousand villages – Villages whose people are without Christ, without God, and without hope in the world.
Robert Moffat, 1795-1883 Pioneer Missionary to South Africa
We do not truly understand the gospel if we spend all of our time preaching it to Christians. The gospel is a missionary gospel. It is a communication of Good News to people and in places where the name of Christ is unknown.
David Sitton, President of To Every Tribe Read more of this post
A series of five messages by Tom Chantry on the definition of ‘Reformed’. The subjects are neither the Five Points nor the Five Solas. Rather, they define the word ‘Reformed’ in five distinct but complementary ways. We examine the Reformed Perspective on the Bible, on History, on Salvation, on the church, and on the Christian life.
1) Scripturally Reformed– A Reformed perspective of Scripture: Reformed Christians stand with other Evangelicals in affirming the inspiration, infallibility and inerancy of the Bible. We go further, though, in defending both the clarity and the sufficiency of Scripture. These convictions determine our approach to the Bible – the manner in which we study, interpret, and teach its truths. A church which believes in the sufficiency of Scripture will emphasize the ministry of preaching, and the Bible will be central to everything it does. [Download Here]
2) Confessionally Reformed – A Reformed perspective of History: Scripture teaches us certain things about the history of mankind which should impact the manner in which we look at all of history, including the history of the church. Being convinced that sinful men have not changed, we understand that the problems of each age are not really new.
This question has been adapted from a post written by Jim Bublitz in 2007 titled Why has Jim become a ‘Reformed’ Christian?
As opposed to a “normal” Christian. . .
What exactly does it mean that I have become “Reformed”.
First off, “Reformed” simply means that I attend a church that holds to the beliefs of the protestant Reformation of the 16th century, when Luther and Calvin and others were instrumental in splitting the true church away from the abuses of the Roman Catholic system that evolved through the medieval centuries…
Like the majority of the churches during the post-Reformation era (and the Puritan era that followed), I have come to believe that Salvation begins with an unfailing work of God in the hearts of all those who will believe. While most churches in our current day believe that you “believe to be born again”, like the Reformers and Puritans I have come to believe the opposite about that; my belief is that you are “born again to believe” (see the change in order?).
Here’s a simple quiz for bible believing Christians who may not be convinced of this. Click the link below and see whether you truly believe that God is sovereign over the salvation of souls. …Read More!
Preachers of the gospel and others have sufficient warrant to press upon all men the duties of faith, repentance, and obedience, although they know that in themselves they have not a sufficiency of ability for their due performance; for, it is the will and command of God that so they should do, and that is the rule of all our duties. They are not to consider what man can do or will do, but what God requires. ~John Owen
Spurgeon thus described “the difficulties and privileges of a pastor’s wife”:
I would not marry a minister, because the position of minister’s wife is a very difficult one for anyone to fill. Churches do not give a married minister two salaries, one for the husband and the other for the wife; but, in many cases, they look for the services of the wife, whether they pay for them or not.
The Pastor’s wife is expected to know everything about the church, and in another sense she is to know nothing of it; and she is equally blamed by some people whether she knows everything or nothing. Her duties consist in being always at home to attend to her husband and her family, and being always out, visiting other people, and doing all sorts of things for the whole church! Well, of course, that is impossible; she cannot be at everybody’s beck and call, and she cannot expect to please everybody. Her husband cannot do that, and I think he is very foolish if he tries to do it; and I am certain that, as the husband cannot please everybody, neither can the wife. There will be sure to be somebody or other who will be displeased, especially if that somebody had herself half hoped to be the minister’s wife! Difficulties arise continually in the best-regulated churches; and the position of the minister’s wife is always a very trying one. …Read More!
Cowper became close friends with the Evangelical clergyman John Newton; together they co-authored the Olney Hymns, which was first published in 1779 and included Newton’s famous hymn “Amazing Grace.” Of the 68 hymns Cowper wrote, “Oh for a closer walk with God” and “God moves in a mysterious way” are the most well known. Today I draw immense encouragement from the words of two of his Hymns below:
For Reformation theology to affect the life of a local church, it needs to be fleshed out in new perceptions of the dynamics of the corporate life of the local church. While there has been much talk about recovering biblical churchmanship over the last twenty years, and even efforts to recapture the simplicity of the first-century house church, what we have actually seen is the rise of the following:
(1) consumer churchmanship (meeting felt needs);
(2) commercial churchmanship (marketing religious enterprises or entities); and
(3) cultural/countercultural churchmanship (church life that mimics patterns in the broader culture or Christian versions of the counterculture).
What seems to be on the decline is the sort of vibrant, vital churchmanship described in the New Testament (1 Cor. 10:16–17; Eph. 4:11–16; Col. 1:3–14, 3:12–17). Reformed theology casts our churchmanship in a light that might be unfamiliar to us, but seems to be more consistent with the actions and dispositions found in the New Testament. …Read More!
Some one has been working hard. Here is a collection of hymns of worship. Enjoy!
On a lighter note…don’t read this while sipping coffee infront of your computer:
Sign #1: You’ve given up smoking your pipe because you want to actually be able to afford term life insurance.
Sign #2: Your ‘Jonathan Edwards is My Homeboy’ shirt is faded and now simply reads, ‘Jonathan Edwards is My Home.”
Sign #3: You now read your ESV Bible more than you read John Piper.
Sign #4: You’ve considered writing a book (for P&R rather than Crossway), Old, Well-Rested, and Reformed. [Copyright: Adam Parker, 2010] (You want the name, Collin Hansen!? Come back in 30 years and just try to get it!)
Sign #5: You find yourself warning newbies about ‘the cage stage,’ and then you find yourself reminiscing about terrorizing unsuspecting Arminians back in your day.
Sign #6: You actually know who Van Til is.
Sign #7: You have decided that is is okay to plod.
Sign #8: Your iPod now has more sermons by Sinclair Ferguson than it does of Mark Driscoll. …Read More!
When I consider the absolute independency of God, and the necessary total dependence of all created things on Him, their first cause, I cannot help standing astonished at the pride of impotent, degenerate man, who is so prone to consider himself as a being possessed of sovereign freedom, and invested with a power of self-salvation, able, he imagines, to counteract the designs even of infinite wisdom, and to defeat the agency of Omnipotence itself…
And yet, because it so exactly coincides with the natural haughtiness of the human heart, men not only admit, but even relish the deception, and fondly incline to believe that the father of lies does, in this instance at least, speak truth. The Scripture doctrine of predetermination lays the axe to the very root of this potent delusion. It assures us that all things are of God; that all our times and all events are in His hand. ~ Augustus Toplady
HT Test all Things.
Several pastors are taking deep sighs and smirking as Larry King retires from CNN’s Larry King Live show. The show has in the past left several famous celebrities and pastors red faced. Though critics claim that Larry King asks “soft” questions in comparison to other interviewers, this has not been without a long brigade of pastors getting tongue tied when asked what the Gospel is. Larry’s style has never been offensive, for which I will truly applaud him. It allows him to reach guests who would be averse to being interviewed.