Wednesday, April 30, 2008 Book Giveaway

Here is this months book drawing from You can click here or on the banner below to enter.

April Giveaway

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Some Questions to Ponder

I was thinking the other day about all of the preconceived ideas we have and how often if we really delve into them we find they are not grounded in scripture but the world that surrounds us. Over time I will probably comment on some of these but for now I simply bring them up to think about.

1) Why is it frowned on for a family to have lots of children, and I do not simply mean more than two?

2) Why is it assumed that one is automatically to go to college after High School?

3) Why is it seen as absurd to some that a girl would decide to prepare for marriage rather than college?

4) For that matter where did the concept that everyone has a right to go to college start?

5) While I am on the question of education when did IQ begin to be the ends of education?

6) Where does the concept of marrying later so as to get done all one can while single come from?

7) Why is it seen as strange by so many if ones children do not spend inordinate amounts of time playing video games?

8) Where did the idea of people needing peer groups come from, especially for children and teens?

9) Why is one looked on with questioning if ones children do not partake in organized sports?

10) Why is there such a pull for people to have their children educated in public schools?

11) Why is valuing the biblical model, as presented in scripture, of the family seen as outdated?

As Christians we are called to be pilgrims and different from the world around us but all too often, and I am guilty of this, we begin to assume the presuppositions and mindset of the world that surrounds us rather than those of scripture. This begins when we spend more time consuming the world’s offerings rather than feeding on the Word of God.

I pray these questions are ones that get us to think about how we come to their answers rather than simply to answer them. It is when we question how we come to conclusions that we best see what our world view is.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Around the Web and Blogosphere (4/25/08)

You can go to the Together for the Gospel web site and down load the messages for free. If you want the panel discussions you can get them at the Sovereign Grace Ministries site. I have listened to the first five messages and as usual they were great.

Over at Unashamed Workman Colin Adams has written The Seven Commandments of Illustrations. I will have to go and check my sermon for this week. Truth is these are very good guidelines to be thought of when preparing a sermon.

At the Banner of Truth Geoff Thomas writes on Limited Atonement. This is often a hot topic with many people but if anything this article should help those that disagree better understand what Limited Atonement.

Coming in October of 2008 is the new ESV Study Bible. I have way too many bibles already but I may have to break down on this one. I have the Reformation Study Bible which I really like but this may be different enough to warrant adding it to my wish list. I highly recommend the ESV as it reads very well and from what I can tell it is faithful to the original languages. You can also read more about the ESV from Scott head at These are the Generations of…. in his post: Thoughts on Bible versions and a plug for e-Sword. By the way I also use e-Sword and it is a great study tool.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

More on Expelled – A Clash of World Views (Updated)

Well we did make it to see Expelled: no intelligence allowed and was pleasantly surprised at how well the film was done. It did a very good job of contrasting world views, hence my own sub title above for the movie. Many others will give much more detailed reviews as I do not remember all of the names and comments. The whole motif of the Berlin Wall that represents the wall that Darwinian Evolutionary thought in academic institutions has set up to keep out any competing ideas was very well done. I can see how this will inevitably infuriate people but while it may make people angry it is very much the truth if one simply opens their eyes to what is going on.

However it is very obvious that academia has a world view (atheistic/Darwinian) that it does not want to relinquish. They appear to be willing to do what ever it can to hang on to the reins of academia. In a setting such as universities, not to mention public schools, that often tout themselves as places of “Free Thinking” they are anything but that.

A number of the interviewees, specifically Richard Dawkins, let the cat out of the bag, if it was not out already, that the main goal in all of this is to do what ever is needed to deny God. Dawkins goes as far as rather believing in aliens or some other form of life “seeding” earth rather than admit to the possibility of there being a God. However he never answered, at least in the clip shown, where the aliens would have come from other than he felt they had to also come through some evolutionary process.

All in all I would recommend this movie and I have heard in a comment to one of the reviews that the DVD will have much more footage of the interviews. This is not a religious or even Christian movie and does, I think, a good job of making sure that the message is that academia is locking out freedom of thought. While the topic of God was not avoided a number of the IDers interviewed were agnostics or would have at least not held to a Christian view of God. So this movie simply portrays the clash of world views and that for now one world view, academia’s Darwinian thought, hold the keys and does not want to let other in to play.

On the negative side as with any documentary, especially one aimed also as entertainment, there has to always be some healthy skepticism about editing. Michael Moore is probably not alone in editing footage to put people in the light they desire them to be and portray a message that is desired. With Expelled we need to make sure that we do not simply take Ben Stein’s version of things as sufficient. We should take the given data and place it alongside other data and see what results. Also, personally, the added breakaways to extraneous footage to make a point was for me not necessary but I realize it was part of the entrainment side of things.

Here area a few more reviews of the movie

American Vision: Expelled: The Movie—Part 1 & Expelled: The Movie - Part 2
Parchment and Pen: Expelled: Evolution vs. Intelligent Design - A Review
The Constructive Curmudgeon: Break Down the Wall: A Movie Review of "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed"
He Lives: Expelled, the Review
Pulpit Magazine: Expelled

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Reviews of Expelled

Here some reviews of the movie Expelled:
Triablogue: Expelled: A Brief Movie Review & First Impressions on Expelled
Bock’s Blog: Interesting to See Reviews on Expelled April 18.08
Answers In Genesis: Expelled Reviewed
CampOnThis:  Expelled: ....... no intelligence allowed 

Now I admit that the above reviews do not include the many anti-Expelled reviews on the internet, just Google “Review of Expelled.” I simply put some on that I ran across that seemed to be fair reviews and gave an overview of the film. As with many documentaries there will be those that do not like what they see and will thus write not so glowing reports of the film while those that like the outcome of movie often write elaborated reviews. So I chose the four above and while there are many more out there these should give a feel for the movie.

Now some thoughts on the movie, or better yet its premise, that I admit I have not seen yet.

I am not sure if I will see the movie at the theaters as they cost so much and with 5 people to pay for there is a side of me that asks if this is a good use of the funds available. Also, I am sure as with most movies of this type I will probably be left wanting. I think the premise is good, that the academic world is not really open to free thinking, but I pray that Christians do not again see this as some great, or even the greatest, witnessing tool sent by God. All too often Christians seem to think that every movie or other entertainment event that somehow has Christian overtones, or undertones, is such an event. Truth is from what I have seen and heard the focus is mainly on evolutionary thought versus Intelligent Design (ID) and I do not think that ID is the answer to the evolutionary debate. Yes, I do believe there is an intelligent designer but why can we not simply call Him God. Disguising God by some other name such as “Intelligent Designer” seems to sort of be a bait and switch and an attempt to get a foot in the door but is it necessary. What ID does is simply say that we as Christians can play on the scientific community’s court and to their rules and here is how we see creation by your standards. True the people in academia who own the court do not like to play with others the truth is until we as Christians lose the fear of simply saying that even though there is plenty of proof of what we believe the only proof we truly need is the infallible word of God we will always be fighting an uphill battle. The reason for this being that the scientific community will invariably continue to change the rules to meet their needs and until God changes their hearts they will not believe, in a saving manner, simply based on good argumentation.

So at the end of the day I will probably rent the movie when it comes out and I do think that it may be a good place to begin conversations but let us not see it as the panacea for evangelism as was done with so many things to precede it. Also, it is good that the world, whether they buy into it or not, see the often one sidedness of the academic institutions our tax dollars often pay for.

By the way I would imagine that my unashamedly young earth views would probably be laughed at by both sides as many IDers seem to not see it as viable.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Christian Contentment

In reading this month’s 2008 Puritan Reading Challenge book, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs, I was struck by a point with regards to The Mystery of Contentment.

Burroughs in Chapter 2- point two: A Christian comes to contentment, not so much by way of addition, as by way of subtraction (pg 45) says: “

“That is his way of contentment, and it is a way that the world has no skill in. I open it thus: not so much by adding to what he would have, or to what he has, not by adding more to his condition; but rather by subtracting from his desires, so as to make his desires and his circumstances even and equal.”

How true this is for me. When I become discontent with my circumstances I immediately think of all that that needs to be added to bring contentment but it never does. Rarely if ever do ask myself if I need to change my desires. Burroughs is so right that we need to seek after the heart of God and make sure our desires are aligned with His.

Burroughs quotes another author on page 47 as saying: "The way to be rich is not by increasing wealth, but by diminishing our desires." The issue is that we need to seek after godly contentment and not contentment as defined by the world around us.

This, however, does not mean a Christian will never be discontented as Burroughs touches on in Chapter 2 for the first point (page 42): "It may be said of one who is contented in a Christian way that he is the most contented man in the world, and yet the most unsatisfied man in the world; these two together must needs be mysterious." The point being that while we are content in Christ being in this world should leave us with a manner of discontentment that will only be met when we are spending eternity with God at the time of our final rest.

So let us not allow the world to impose its desires and lead us to a discontentment that is not pleasing to God. But at the same time let us foster an understanding that this is not all there is and thus have a godly discontentment with the world around us. The truth is we are to be content with God but discontented with the world. Our contentment with God is to grow daily as we walk with Him and as we walk with Him in our pilgrimage in the world our discontentment will invariably grow as we long for eternity with Him.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Around the Web and Blogosphere (4/10/08)

Charley at HomeDiscipling Dad has some good thoughts on the whole issue of being “Peer Dependent” in his post: Peer Dependent or God Dependent?

Over at the Reformed Baptist Fellowship they link to a great message on the Lords day by Alistair Begg. You can go to Truth For Life and listen to it on line, here, or sign up for the Podcast and listen to it for free, here. If you sign up for the Podcast you will also be able to get the other messages on the Sabbath. I am looking forward to listening to the other messages as the one I have linked to above was the last in the series on the Sabbath.

There is a good quote over at Unashamed Workman on preaching from Philip Ryken’s new book entitled City on a Hill. Ryken says:

What ministers are to do is preach the Word - that is, the Word of God. A faithful minister does not preach the latest news. He does not preach his private opinion, his personal experience, or his political agenda. He does not even preach his own theological tradition, although of course he does preach within it, insofar as his system of doctrine is derived from Scripture. What he preaches is God’s eternal, infallible Word, as written in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.”

Thanks to Fide-O for linking to this, below is a video on Oprah that is not overly long and it definitely gives a good view into Oprah’s beliefs. What is scary about all of this is the number of Christians that watch her. Watch the entire video and you would be hard pressed to say she is a Christian as she does not hold to any orthodox beliefs that that I can tell. As far as the book that is spoken of at the end I do not know anything about it but I would agree with the title and that is “Drink the Kool-Aid” of Oprah.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Updated SGCF Website

I just finished redoing the church website using iWeb.
You can check it out here:  Sovereign Grace Christian Fellowship.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Around the Web and Blogosphere (04/4/08)

Tom Ascol has a funny video form when he spoke at a conference in Brazil: Every Interpreters Nightmare. As he explains the funny part starts about 1:45 into the video. This does show how we need to be careful of using idioms as many will not get the connection to what we are trying to convey, “If you get my drift.”

After finishing March’s Puritan book in the 2008 Puritan Reading Challenge, The Godly Man’s Picture by Thomas Watson I would highly recommend it. But this comes with the warning that you need to be prepared to be convicted as Watson pulls no punches as to what God desires of His people. But he does so in a manner that will lead one to seek to truly be the man or woman God has called them to be. This is a book replete with scripture to show that God has not hidden what He desires but it is plainly there for all to see, in His Word.

Justin Taylor from Between Two Worlds linked to a good article by Michael Gerson: Osama’s Abortion Extremism. This article reveals that while abortion may not be the most pronounced topic for Obama he does have views on the subject and his voting record would show that he even supports partial birth abortion by his opposition to the ban on such a vile act.

This looks like an interesting movie: Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed with Ben Stein. The movie reveals the strangle hold Darwinian thought has on the educational system. While I think, I have not seen the movie, that the focus is on the exclusion of Intelligent Design from our intuitions of higher learning the bigger picture is that those that hold an evolutionary opinion of origins are so fearful of being found lacking in substantiation for their beliefs that they close the door on any other thought as to the origins of man. The trailer is here.