Thursday, September 29, 2005

Book Recommendation #3-I Believe in Jesus by John MacArthur

“I Believe in Jesus” is John MacArthur’s debut as a children’s author, and he does very well. Starting with creation, MacArthur looks at who God is, how sin came about, what sin is, and the consequences of sin. From here he looks at Jesus and the Gospel. He presents the Gospel in terms of what Jesus did, and what it means. He encourages readers to come to Christ and lets them know how.

He shows the entire Trinity at work. While he doesn’t neglect the work of the Father or the Holy Spirit, he focuses on Jesus, and explains clearly why He had to die, and what that means.

This book also shows how theology can be expressed so even children can understand. I have heard others who can do this too, MacArthur isn’t the only one, but he does it remarkably well. The basic information in the book would also be a good starting point for teaching ANYBODY about Christ and the Gospel. It deals with the seriousness of sin, and although it doesn’t go into details, it does mention there is a place of punishment that is forever.

MacArthur’s daughter, Melinda, illustrates the book. She uses simple and clear watercolours to illustrate scenes from the Bible, and children today listening to the Gospel.

I received “I Believe in Jesus” from MacArthur’s ministry-Grace To You. This book is an excellent resource to enhance teaching children about God. If you want to check it out then click here

Links of the week #3

First, a picture I found that still makes me laugh-'Nuff said!
Hulk Finn-not a typo

Then on a more serious note-
Edmund Clowney
Dr Clowney was a godly man, and he was used by the Lord to affect so many people for the gospel. I met him about 8 years ago at a special Church banquet and was blessed to share a table with him.
His insights into life and the gospel were encouraging, refreshing, and devoid of boasting. This site features comments on and memories of his life and legacy. His kind are always missed. He pointed people to Christ, and for that I am grateful.
Read the comments and be encouraged in the Lord.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I had to link to this...

I found this on the Ponderings and Musings blog.
I found it quite amusing--although it's not all true.

How You Know Your Husband Is A Calvinist :- )

Monday, September 26, 2005

Interesting book

It's not on theology, or the Bible, or Church history, or...
Well it's not about Christianity or religion.

I came across it at a book exchange at work.
It's called The Pocket Encyclopedia of Aggravation by Laura Lee.
And it's amusing, and full of trivia about what aggravates us. The subtitle has synonyms for aggravate from A to W, then just lists X, Y, Z. There's an annoyance here for everybody.

This is one of those books that are good to have around when you have a bit of time to kill (waiting for the doctor, on the bus, a short coffee break, etc.) and your brain can't handle anything too deep.

It also brought to mind a passage of Scripture-
"Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain." Philippians 2:14-16 (English Standard Version)

It's not quite the same context, but the principle is there.
Well, maybe I can't complain-but it does help to understand some of these things.

Look for it at your local library, or just about any of the online book stores. Google shows it's on many of them. It's published by Black Dog and Leventhal publishers.
Thanks to doxoblogist for pointing out my omission, so I could update this.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

God, Katrina & the Church

No comments needed from me--just check it out-
We Know God Has a Redemptive Plan

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Book Recommendation #2-Willing to Believe by RC Sproul

Whether or not man has free will, and what free will means is often a fiercely debated topic in the church, and yet many do not know about the history of this debate, the development of various doctrines concerning it, or the implications of what they believe. Consequently they may hold to a faulty view they’ve never worked through or examined in Scripture. WILLING TO BELIEVE by R.C. Sproul is a wonderful historic survey focused on this debate. Starting with Pelagius and Augustine, (Both born in AD 354), and going up to Lewis Sperry Chafer, (Who died in 1952), he looks at major players on all sides of the debate, (And some who tried to straddle it). None of the ideas related here have totally died out, as each generation either builds on the past (For good or bad), or ignores the past and repeats its mistakes. Unfortunately some of the false views are common in the church today.

This debate is important and has consequences. As Sproul points out in the introduction, “How we understand the will of man touches heavily on our view of humanity and God’s character…Any view of the human will that destroys the biblical view of human responsibility is seriously defective. Any view of the human will that destroys the biblical view of God’s character is even worse.” The debate also involves how we view man’s depravity and God’s effectual grace.

We encounter Pelagius, Augustine, The Council of Ephesus (AD 431), John Cassian, The Synod of Orange (529), Martin Luther, John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Finney, and Lewis Sperry Chafer. Sproul tracks history for us, both good and bad.

Sproul concludes by pointing out the close connection between one’s view of the fall, regeneration, and free will. They all affect each other. He praises God, who is salvation. Sproul’s approach and the historical context make it easy to follow.
It lets you sort things out for yourself.

Willing to Believe is published by Baker Book House & is 224 pages.

Links of the week #2

David Linden has served the Lord in many capacities over many years, and many places around the world. This site will give you many of his writings-and they are well worth reading. Included are studies in Hebrews & Isaiah, and articles on the New Perspective on Paul. He also includes articles by Cornelis Venema on the same topic.
Some excellent stuff.
Check it out-
David Linden

Barry Gray wrote the music for most of the Super-Marionation shows & other shows done by Gerry & Sylvia Anderson in the 1960's and 70's. (Such as Fireball XL-5, Stingray, and Thunderbirds). This link will take you to a page where you can check out mp3's of some of his work. If you need a break, or enjoy 60's theme songs, check it out-
barry gray

And as always--surf safely.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Unsaved family

This is a tough one. We can spend so much time proclaiming, defending, and even living the truth, but when our families-whether parents, siblings, children, or extended-don't believe it can be heart breaking.
They're often the people it's hardest to witness to. They see us at our worst, and most of them knew us when we were unsaved.

I must confess a sense of jealousy for those who grew up in Christian homes. This is not a complaint against my parents. They did well. It's not a complaint against God. I've seen reasons why I did not grow up in that setting.

But I see the closeness Christian families have on a level non-Christians can never experience. I see the blessings. And so I desire to create that sort of environment for the future.

I pray for my unsaved family. I pray I will model God's grace for them, they do know I've changed, but it's not always easy. Sometimes believing the Gospel creates conflict--as Christ said it would. (Matthew 10:33-35)
In my extended family there is more acceptance now than when I first believed, but there can still be tension. There still can be conflict.

Part of the reason I post this is asking for advice or comments, from anybody who can relate to it. Part of the reason is to hopefully encourage those who can relate to it.


Friday, September 16, 2005

Another blog link

This says a lot of good stuff about a lot of bad stuff.

I've met people like Darwin Fish, although not as extreme.
They would probably deny the similarities, mostly due to differences in theology. But the model is virtually the same. There may be differences in degree, but the model is the same.

Here's the link-

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Book Recommendation-A Heart for God by Sinclair Ferguson

I love this book! It excites me. Sinclair Ferguson shows how having a heart for God comes from knowing who God is. I have heard people talk about the depth of their relationship with God, yet they seem to know very little about Him. None of us know Him perfectly, but this still seems contradictory to me. If I say I know somebody, yet I know little about them, how well do I truly know them? This applies to God. To have a relationship with someone means you need to know them to some degree, the more intimate the relationship-the greater the knowledge. In fact, in the Bible “to know” indicates a form of intimacy.

Ferguson does not ignore the need of saving faith, but points out that saving faith comes by knowing. He shows the importance of knowledge in a believer’s life, “The knowledge of God is the heart of salvation and all true spiritual experience. Knowing Him is what we were created for. It will occupy us throughout eternity.” He tells us knowledge of God is almost the same as salvation, quoting Jesus from John 17:3-“Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.” He wraps that up by saying, “To be a Christian is not a mindless experience, but involves knowledge and understanding. It means a personal relationship and personal acquaintance with the Lord.” He is unfolds a proper balance between the heart and mind. The two are NOT mutually exclusive.

Throughout the book Ferguson goes to the Bible to show us who God is. Each chapter has a main passage, backed up by several others. He looks at
-the knowledge of God
-the Trinity
-God as creator
-God as Covenant maker and keeper
-God as The Ever Present One
-God as Saviour
-God’s wisdom
-“The Holy One of Israel”
-God’s faithful providing

He wraps up the book by looking at how the ancient Hebrews forgot God and strayed, and he sees parallels today. Ferguson then prescribes the same treatment Moses did to the Israelites before they entered Canaan. “First, a heart wholly satisfied with the Lord’s provision keeps us fresh and eager to remember and serve Him...The other essential cure for spiritual amnesia is a heart wholly submitted to the Lord’s will.”

This book wasn’t earth shattering for me in what it revealed, but it was significant in how it was revealed, and how it got me to see some things more deeply and fully. I have often heard people use the expression, “He’s got a real heart for______.” (Fill in the blank with anything/anbody than God). That may be a good thing, but the more important question is, “Do you have a heart for God?”

The Banner of Truth edition is 144 pages.
For a sample of Sinclair Ferguson check this out-

A Spiritual Apettite

Links of the week

Each week I will try to post 2 links not found in my link section.
One will be to a Christian/religion/theological type site.
The other will be to a "non-religious" or secular site.

These are not necessarily the best posts around--but just something to possibly add variety to your surfing experiences-I will make comments on the links as I do not necessarily fully endorse each link-(Nor would they necessarily endorse the opinions given in this blog.)

Link #1-

Ever wonder how various buildings, fictional characters, air vehicles, etc would look next to each other and seen on the same scale?
Then check this out--the pictures, as the name implies, are on a scale of one pixel=one meter. If you're a Star Wars or Star Trek fan there are references to both. I can not speak for the rest of the site this is on, as I haven't checked it out.

Link #2-

Answers in Genesis

This is primarily a presuppositional look at creation and evolution. Sometimes the articles get technical, and sometimes get bogged down in details, but overall a site I would recommend to any who are looking into creation and evolution. There's a lot of information here-hopefully it makes you think. And there's a cartoon too.

A mystery of life solved--sort of.

Time for some levity.

For many years two of the biggest mysteries of life were how cats always seem to land on their feet and why dropped toast always seems to land butter side down.

Then a new mystery appeared--if you strapped a piece of buttered toast to the back of a cat and dropped them (only needs to be a short drop) what would happen?
Which is more powerful--the cat's ability to land on its feet or the toast's power to land butter side down?

The answer?

The strap would break so that the toast would land butter side down and the cat would land on its feet.

Now you know.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Wonderful post on another blog

Hmm, I was hoping to have a bit more here by now, but real life has reared its head, and I do hope to have real life part of this blog.
But I had to log on to say--check this one out-
Well written and well said-I will amen this one-
Camp On This

Friday, September 09, 2005

Why Slaves of Righteousness?

Why did I name this blog after Romans 6:18?

The Bible is a book that bears repeat reading. On one such reading Romans 6:18 jumped right out at me. -"...and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness." (NASB)

Wow. I checked out the context.
Romans 6

Here we have Paul asking the Romans why they act as if they are still slaves to sin. They (and all Christians) have been freed from bondage to sin, why go back willingly?

Instead we are slaves of Righteousness-Christ's righteousness. So let's act that way.
It is not an oppressive slavery, but one of freedom in Christ. This theme reverberates throughout Romans 6 and elsewhere-such as Romans 7:6 and John 8:32. Martin Luther understood this and declared himself captive to God and His Word.

Yet, when we sin, we place ourselves back under sin's bondage. Yes, God forgives His people, and we rejoice in that. We are not to presume upon God though, we are to act in accordance with what we profess to believe. Before we believed we were slaves to sin, but we are freed.

Why do I repeat myself in this? It is very important for Christians to keep this in mind.
It was not our own power that freed us from sin, and it is not our own righteousness we are to be slaves to. It is the work of the Triune God-Father, Son & Holy Spirit. Why go back to what was?

Who or what is your Master? Whose slave are you?

It should go without saying, but then again...

Just a note on the links to the right. They are there for purposes of edification, notification and identification. Basically it's sharing-here are some sites you can go to and get something from.

Now, do I agree with 100% of what's on those sites?
No, but overall I can recommend them in good conscience.
But like everything on the internet I would urge caution and discernment. (I would include this blog in that warning as well).

I may add and subtract links to keep them fresh and to avoid a long list of them.

Links inside a post may not be to sites I would recommend, but are there for reference purposes.

So why did I post this? Is it necessary?

I wish to make plain to everybody who comes here why the links are there.
In the past I have run into problems not clarifying such things.

Carry on.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

What the world needs now-is blog, sweet blog

A horrible pun of sorts to start things off.

So why am I joining the so-called blogosphere?

Well--why not?

Do I think I am wittier, smarter, more qualified than everybody else out there?

No, I don't. But we all bring our own individual perspectives to things, and I guess that's what I will offer.
I am a western Canadian.
I am a reformed Christian, but I didn't grow up as one-I left a religious tradition I now regard as false--but I do not hold any grudges. My parents were sincere in their convictions, as I am as well. But you can be sincerely wrong. I pray I am not.
I may not match your preconceptions of any of those things, I may be exactly what you expect.

I will use this space as noted above--to recommend fine authors and their works, and to add comments on anything I think needs commenting on.

I am now tired of writing about myself.
Check back later for my first real post.

And Thanks for coming out.