Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Short Baptism Article and a PCA position paper

I've commented on paedo (infant/child) baptism on other blogs, but haven't said much here.
So I'll start out with a link to Pilgrims & Parish, the weblog of Rev. Danny Hyde & the Oceanside United Reformed Church.

He summarizes William Perkins'(1558-1602) commentary on Galatians 3:26-28, in regards to infant baptism.
William Perkins on baptizing children of believers.

I would agree with most of this, but some of the points are minor.

The "Various Questions" portion reminded me of a position paper from the

This isn't specifically on paedo baptism, but there is a connection.

Check them out.
(For the record, I believe both paedo baptists and credo baptists can be Christians. Neither view relegates anybody to second class. We just disagree on some elements of baptism.)

The Return of the Link-LOTW February 28, 2006

First up this time-
From Monergism.com
"21 Questions on The Doctrine of Scripture" by Francis Turretin (1623-1687)
It's a good read. Some of it is more pertinent to the time it was written, but the principles are still applicable. And much of it is very relevant.

Second up-
If you're looking for a new game to play, or a new challenge, check out this link-
It's from the comic strip "Calvin and Hobbes." (Calvin, the boy, is named after John Calvin. Hobbes, the tiger, is named after the philospher Thomas Hobbes. If you read the comic strip or books, you may already be aware of that. If not--well, now you know.)
There's more than just Calvinball there as well.


Hebrews 1:3 study notes part 4

These are adapted from a study I was part of about 5 or 6 years ago. They are intended as a starting point for study.
For context here is Hebrews 1:1-4
In this part we'll look at the 5th point from the original thread.
He sat down at the right hand of God.

The Hebrew Levitical Priests offered sacrifices repeatedly: the Day of Atonement, purification, feasts, etc. It went on and on. It was much better to have a saviour who paid it all once and then it is finished. His atoning work was done, and Jesus sat down.

This is significant because it is done. In John 19:30 Jesus says "It is finished."
Now I'm no Greek scholar, so check it out for yourself if you aren't either.
In Greek Jesus's statement is one word-Tetelstai. This word has been found used in business documents for the same period as Christ's crucifixion. It meant the debt was paid in full.

This is significant--Jesus' death did pay for the sins of His people. It truly is finished in that way. If it is finished, we can not add to it, we can not lose it, and we can not have to make up for anything after death. There are those who teach we add to Christ's work, that we can lose salvation, and that we pay for sin after death. John 19:30 and Hebrews 1:3 say otherwise.

It is not only significant that Jesus sat down, but it is also significant where He sat.

He sat down at the right hand of God.

This signifies power, authority and honor. Before His death Jesus said-"All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him." (Matthew 11:27)

After His resurrection, Jesus tells His disciples-"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me." (Matthew 28:18) Then He gives them the Great Comission-"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

They could accoplish this because of Jesus' authority, as He sits at the Father's right hand.

While Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father, he also intercedes for His people--as seen in Hebrews 7:25: "Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them."

This means that His people have a Victorious Saviour-He didn’t just die. He has accomplished Salvation. He has power and He uses it. He intercedes for His people. We are secure in Him if we are truly His-We should never take this for granted but live accordingly.

Those who do not believe have no Saviour and so no salvation. They have no intercessor and no security. They have no hope, unless they repent and believe.

The five statements about Jesus in Hebrews 1:3 have lots of overlap. This emphasizes who Jesus Christ is, what He did, what He does, and even what He will do.
He truly is better than anybody or anything before or after Him.

(My main references for this study were-John Owen's Commentary on Hebrews, Matthew Henry's Bible Commentary, and Kenneth Wuest's Hebrews translation & commentary. I also referenced study notes in The MacArthur Study Bible & the New Geneva Study Bible, (Which is now called the Reformation Study Bible.) Any deviation I have made from these is my own fault.)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Christian Bloggers-Do You Pray for Your Blog and its Readers?

Well if we don't, we should.
I know I should more often. I thought of this the other day while reflecting on some things I had read on other blogs.

I pray my blog will encourage, exhort and correct where needed.
I pray what I write will not lead any astray.
But most of all when I remember to do this I pray for those who read these words.
I pray for their spiritual health and their relationship with Christ.
I pray for their physical and emotional needs in subjection to God.
And I pray what I do here, and what other Christian bloggers do, will honour and glorify God.

If you read this, ask me again in a few days if I have prayed for my blog and its readers. I will not boast if I have. I ask this as a form of accountability. It will not replace any more personal forms, but it will help me. Thank you.

Here Comes Presbytery, Here Comes Presbytery, Right Down Presbytery Lane

Well maybe not quite.
But it is coming up soon.
And once again I will say I love Presbytery.
It is a chance to fellowship with brothers & sisters in the Lord I may not otherwise get to fellowship with. We will pray and encourage each other.
There is also likely to be some lively discussion.

It's not all fun and games, and the lively discussions will involve some disagreements.
But the unity on the essentials, and the fellowship outweighs the rest for me.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Hebrews 1:3 study notes part 3

Oops--it's been about 2 1/2 weeks since part 2.

These are adapted from a study I was part of about 5 or 6 years ago. They are intended as a starting point for study.
For context here is Hebrews 1:1-4
In this part we'll look at the 4th point from the original thread.
He (Jesus)made purification of sins.

A full study of this is outside of the scope of these notes, but it would be a valuable study to embark upon.

This involves the Atonement and Justification. The Atonement is for all believers, and was once for all. He saved us by His life (Fulfilled the Law), His death (Penalty of sin-death), and His resurrection (Defeated death). Justification is an event. God is outside of time but He works inside of it; at a specific time we are justified-it is complete.
This is expressed in 2 Corinthians 5:21 “He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

This points towards sanctification, which is a process of being saved from the power of sin. Also in the picture is glorification, in which God's people will be saved from the presence of sin. Sanctification is on going until we go to be with the Lord. Even the thief on the cross in Luke’s gospel showed sanctification. He stopped blaspheming Jesus and defends Him. Glorification is a future event--but is so certain for the believer that Paul refers to it in the past tense in Romans 8:29-31.

So what are the implications for believers?

We are saved by Christ from the penalty of sin, being saved from the power of sin, and will be saved from the presence of sin. We owe it all to Him. There is no way we can do it ourselves. This goes back to 2 Cor. 5:21, and it applies to all believers, not just some.
Our proper response ought to be obedience to His Word, reading and meditating on His Word, worship, living a godly life (which includes serving others, and humility.
We should do these things in response to God's favor, not to gain it or to keep it.

For the unbeliever the implication is that they not saved, meaning they are still in their sin. Unless they repent, they will be damned for rejecting so great a salvation. (Hebrews 2:1-4)

The escape here is from God's wrath & judgment.

May that thought be sobering to unbelievers.

(My main references for this study were-John Owen's Commentary on Hebrews, Matthew Henry's Bible Commentary, and Kenneth Wuest's Hebrews translation & commentary. I also referenced study notes in The MacArthur Study Bible & the New Geneva Study Bible, (Which is now called the Reformation Study Bible.) Any deviation I have made from these is my own fault.)

Friday, February 17, 2006

A Spurgeon Quote

I've heard it many times, but it is worthy of repeating-

"There is enough dust on some of your Bibles to write "damnation" with your fingers." - Charles Haddon Spurgeon

John Piper-Don't Waste Your Cancer

Just go and read it.
Don't waste your cancer

Links to Some Recent Blog Posts

Here are some links to blog posts I've encountered recently, that I'd like to share-

Clint of Cowboyology has an interesting post on how a Bible study changed into something else. Mad Cow Bible Study.

The Doxoblogist blogs about blogging as a Christian (and related stuff.)

Bradford Mercer of the First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Mississippi has an entry entitled Valentine's Day and Those Sexy Puritans. Seriously.

The Jollyblogger has a post on the Gospel of Thomas & Women.

Chris Giammona of A Mind Awake has a very good blog, and here's a short post on
Gospel vs Cross centred life.
A Mind Awake home page

Marc of Purgatorio always has something to make you laugh and think. Here's a take off on Daniel and Word verification for blog comments.
And his latest installment of Divine Vinyl

The Sojourner asks, "Do People Who Have Never Heard Of Jesus Go To Hell?"

The Two Reformed Guys of Soli Deo Gloria continue their series on Did Christ Fail?

The Zavablog adds Book reviews.

Kim Riddlebarger has a fun post on relics.

Links of the Week February 17

I always have to look twice after I type or write "February"-it just looks "wrong" somehow.

Well here are this weeks LOTW-
9 Marks-
An interesting and informative site on marks of the Church. Mark Dever is the main "name" associated with this site, and they post articles by a variety of authors. Some good reading for encouragement, exhortation, correction, and instruction.

1972 Summit Series-
A highlight in Canadian hockey history. The Olympics only allowed amateurs back then, and there was debate over whether the Soviet team was really an "amateur" one.
Canada stopped sending teams to the Olympics as they couldn't send their best.
In 1972 the Soviet team took on a team of NHL players, who were in for a surprise.
They fell behind in the series and came back to win it in dramatic fashion.
Relive the series here, or learn about it.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

LOTW February 8, 2006

Let's face it, conflict is a fact of life.
In many cases we fail to make peace, or we merely "keep the peace"-which doesn't solve things, it just allows the conflict to continue.

Here's a website dedicated to peacemaking--it's good stuff. Instead of just keeping the peace, we can make peace. Sometimes that means more conflict and confrontation-but for a good reason. I've read a lot of their stuff, and my pastor speaks well of them.

Peacemaker Ministries

This link explains a lot about my sense of humour-I was a big fan of this as a kid-
Rocky and Bullwinkle.
It's not an official site, but it has a lot of information.


In the midst of ecumenical talk between Catholics and Protestants, we need to know where we stand, and why. We need to compare this to where the Bible stands. There are many books and other resources available on Roman Catholicism, both good and bad. It is important to point out that this book deals with the official system of Roman Catholicism. Its main concern is not with what this or that individual Catholic professes. If anyone professes to believe what the Roman Catholic Church teaches, or if they profess loyalty to it, then this material applies. They may not believe exactly what is officially taught, but they are involved in the system.

James R. White’s THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CONTROVERSY is one of the best books I have read on this topic. The book’s subtitle asks, “Catholics & Protestants-Do the Differences Still Matter?” White proceeds to show they do. He shows how we cannot ignore the very real differences, since they affect the gospel. White shows how the Roman Catholic gospel is not the Biblical gospel, covering several areas. He shows how when we ignore Sola Scriptura, (the scriptures alone as our final authority), we can teach and believe anything. He points out that this is what Roman Catholicism does in regard to authority and tradition, paving the way for their unbiblical teachings. This is a well researched and documented book that is easy to read. If you don’t know much about Catholicism it is a good place to start.

James White also wrote MARY-ANOTHER REDEEMER? It looks at a movement within Roman Catholicism to declare Mary co-Redeemer with Jesus, and make it an official dogma. The Catholic Church already teaches this, but making it a dogma would obligate EVERY Roman Catholic to believe it.

White shows how Catholic teachings on Mary developed, and what they are today. This harkens back to his other book, when he warns against ignoring Sola Scriptura. Catholicism supports its claims not to worship Mary by creating new definitions of worship. White shows how these claims do not hold water biblically. Saying something is so, does not make it so. If you are relatively unaware of the extent of devotion to Mary among Roman Catholics, this book may shock you, but it is all documented. I have seen many of the original sources, and experienced these teachings first hand. This book needs to be read to be believed and appreciated.

James White's website can be found here.

I would like to point out I do not hate Roman Catholics. My intention is not to attack them. I believe the same is true for James White, whose books and tapes also proclaim the true gospel. Which is more loving: to tell someone the truth or to ignore it and hide it from them-whatever the conseqences?

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Is it safe?

I don't know about you, but whenever I go to the dentist, and the drill starts up, in my head I hear Laurence Olivier with a German accent saying, "Is it safe?"

But maybe that's just me.

Hebrews 1:3 study notes part 2

These are adapted from a study I was part of about 5 or 6 years ago. They are intended as a starting point for study.
For context here is Hebrews 1:1-4.

We're looking a verse 3-
And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

In this part we'll look at the 3rd point from the the original thread.-
He (Jesus) upholds all things by the word of His power.

This ties in with Creation- In Col. 1:16-17 we read:
“For by Him (Jesus) all things were created both in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before (pre-existing) all things and in Him all things hold together."

The Church Father-John Chrysostom,
called upholding a greater work than that of Creation, that just took six days. Without His upholding all things would fall apart. He’s been upholding for thousands of years. This shows a greater connection to us. He is involved. This shows power.

The word for upholding refers to the concept of progress. He directs all things, He is sovereign. He didn’t merely create and uphold, but works all things to His will, He directs history- a sovereign God who doesn’t direct history is very contradictory.

What are the implications of Jesus being the upholder of all things?
He is the Creator, Sustainer/upholder, Sovereign Lord of the Universe. Why should we abandon Him? He has a legitimate claim on us, and we ought to listen to Him. He has the right to tell us what’s right and wrong.

For believers it means our salvation is sure because He is working everything to His will. We ought to be thankful, worshipful and obedient.

The unbeliever rejects the Lord of the universe and worships self. He has nothing to be truly thankful for, and no one to be thankful to. He is an idolater whether he intends to be or not. He has put something else in the place of God.

This also points out that He has the right to judge. His second coming will be one of judgment-this is agreed upon by Christians who hold to a variety of end times views. We’re going to spend eternity somewhere, and after we die-it's too late to change.

(My main references for this study were-John Owen's Commentary on Hebrews, Matthew Henry's Bible Commentary, and Kenneth Wuest's Hebrews translation & commentary. I also referenced study notes in The MacArthur Study Bible & the New Geneva Study Bible, (Which is now called the Reformation Study Bible.) Any deviation I have made from these is my own fault.)

Links of the week for this week

Well I posted last week's on Monday--so I thought I'd clarify which week.

First-A joint effort of the Presbyterian Church in America's Christian Education and Publications' ministry, and the Orthodox Presbyterian Church's Committee on Christian Education. It's called-Great Commission Publications.
It's a resource for Christian education. I can't vouch for all the levels--but the Junior High materials have a lot of good stuff in them, and the books allow today's kids to see how kids looked in the 80's. (Okay---they have updated the photos on the covers.) The materials are flexible, in that you can improvise, cut back or expand, without too much trouble.

Second- Since this weekend is the Super Bowl--here's a look at the CFL's attempt in the 90's to expand into the USA-
The American Experiment
The CFL in America

Just to remind everybody, there is professional footbal in both the US & Canada--but there are differences.