Thursday, March 26, 2009

There is a Politician with a Backbone!

James McDonald at Family Reformation linked to the video below of a politician in England that says what politicians here should say Sadly I fear that this man may be speaking to most politicians in our own bloated government as well: A Politician with a Backbone.

I don’t know all of Mr. Hannan’s political views, he is listed as a conservative whatever that means in this day and age, but this is simply to show that there are those that will speak out when necessary.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Around the Web and Blogosphere (3/24/09)

While you may have seen this before if you have not this really puts perspective on what a Trillion Dollars ($1,000,000,000,000 – count the zeros) looks like: What does a Trillion Dollars Look Like? The government tosses around this amount of money like it is nothing. Well the billions and trillions they talk about is a vast amount and it does not appear from thin air.

The NCFIC web site has links to a number of good articles with regards to Church & family: Church and Family in the News. Make sure to read the article on the family in North Carolina that was forced to send their children to The School of Baal – I mean The School of Rome – OK, Public School: Judge orders homeschoolers into public district classrooms.

Nathaniel Darnell at Persevero writes: How Do We Discern Genuine "Reformed" Theology? Often it is claimed that Baptists cannot be reformed due to not holding to paedo-baptism. I think Nathaniel has touched on the heart of being reformed as it is not about one issue such as baptism, the doctrines of grace or any one other issue but it is many things that are summed up as Nathaniel puts it below.

The essence of the Reformation was not these things, but rather the heart cries of the Reformation: Sola Scriptura! (By the authority of the Scriptures alone!) Sola fide! (Salvation by faith alone!) Sola Christus! (Mediation by Christ alone!) Sola gratia! (Salvation made possible by grace alone!) Soli Deo gloria! (Glory to God alone!) In other words, we do not live by faith in the power of man, but only in the power of God, and God alone is worthy to receive glory.

So while there may be disagreements let us start at the 5 Sola’s and move from there. I would even say that while Sola Scriptura was intended to include the sufficiently of scripture we may need to add a 6th Sola today and that is the Sufficiency of Scripture Alone. This seems to me where many have made a wrong turn and have looked to the world more than scripture. Just my opinion of course but more and more people claiming the inspiration and infallibility of scripture look elsewhere for how to live.

You can download free audio books of Jim Elliff’s: Pursuing God and Wasted Faith.

Pursuing God-A Seeker's Guide is for those who are drawn toward God, but want more understanding. In a warm and conversational style, Jim Elliff presents the issues that must be considered for an essential relationship with God through Christ.

Wasted Faith is written to help those who claim to be Christians know for sure they are in God's family. It is sober look at the nature of authentic faith and its various counterfeits.

Monday, March 23, 2009

2008 Witherspoon School of Law and Public Policy

I have been listening to a CD set by Vision Forum from the 2008 Witherspoon School of Law and Public Policy. This is an great set of CDs that anyone that sees the state of our country and world should listen to. Dr. Cornelius Van Til wrote in Christian Theistic Ethics, "There is no alternative but that of theonomy and autonomy." This CD set helps flush this statement out in many ways and in many areas.

These disks help one to see that while there may be disagreements in how the idea of theonomy works itself out the only alterative to basing ones ethics on the law of God is to ultimately base it on ones own law (autonomy). These CDs speak to how we deal with law and ethics and explains biblical law, natural law and positive law. For Christians it is imperative we learn what God’s word says about our actions. It is not enough to look to the world and nature or to simply live by man’s law but we need to see how all of God’s word speaks to all of life.

As believers we have been sold a bill of goods, often by the church, that God’s word is limited and restricted to simply spiritual matters. But, God’s word speaks to our relations with man and the world and gives us ethics to live by and is quite often much more explicit than we allow it to be.

From the Vision Forum Site:
“With our nation’s legal heritage under attack, it is imperative that Christians be armed with biblical answers to the various law and public policy debates that are raging in our land. In this special Witherspoon School of Law and Public Policy conference album, learn from some of America’s leading Christian statesmen, legal scholars, and public policy advocates as they tackle such issues as the Christian foundations of Western law, the legal challenges surrounding America’s border wars, the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on the Second Amendment, defamation in the blogosphere, the battle for biblical marriage, the state of parental rights, and more—all from a distinctly biblical perspective”

Here are the CDs included in this set.
• Introduction to the Christian Foundations of Western Law (3 cds)
• Christian Jurisprudence: Biblical Law, Natural Law or Positive Law (2 cds)
• What the Bible Says About Female Magistrates
• Symposium on the Reformation and Law
• Christianity and the Courts (2 cds)
• An Introduction to the Theology of Church and State
• The Battle for Biblical Marriage (2 cds)
• Defamation in the “Blogosphere”
• You May Not Take Our Guns (2 cds)
• Biblical Law, Ethics and Public Policy for Lawyers (2 cds)
• Biblical Law, Ethics and Public Policy Recap (2cds)
• The significance of the Electoral College
• Genesis & Geneva: The Emergence of Liberty in the West (2cds)
• Spheres of Sovereignty: Church Discipline, Autonomy, and the State
• The State of Parental Rights in Light of the Polygamy Case

These CDs are not only for lawyers or those interested in law but they are for every person who desires to live by God’s word. All of God’s word (2 Tim 3:16-17) speaks to all of life not simply as suggestions but as to how we actually are to live and think. So if at all possible listen to these CDs and be prepared to be challenged by what they teach. I have found my thinking has been so influenced by the world and a worldly church that I need teaching such as this to help to counteract areas where my thinking has strayed from the biblical directives.

I understand why the world hates what is taught here but what is sad is that many in the church dislike these teachings as well. They make a false dichotomy between grace and law that does not exist in scripture. In man there may be a tension but it is one that does not need to exist. It is the nature of man to seek to rule himself so when it is revealed that God is to rule us and how He rules is found in His word man will react, often in dislike. These CDs will help you to better see and explain how God’s law is to work in the life of His people.

Enjoy these CDs and listen to them more than once, as I will be doing. Wrestle with what they teach. Do not wrestle with the one teaching but with the teaching as reveled in God’s word. Let us grow to live by the word of God, all of it.
By the way these messages are also available in MP3 format from

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Frugality & Creativity in the Home

At Vision Forum they are having a special Frugality &Creativity in the Home sale until March 25th. We have the Homestead Blessings DVDs and my wife and daughter thoroughly enjoy them.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Crisis of Credit Visualized

Thanks to the Chalcedon Blog for having this video on their site on their post: A Simple Way to Understand the Credit Crisis. This is a good video to watch to see how credit works and the danger in it.

The Crisis of Credit Visualized from Jonathan Jarvis on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Around the Web and Blogosphere (3/14/09)

Check out Scott’s continuing look at the Essentials of the Family Integrated Church at These are the Generations.... The latest, 3rd, installment is: Singles are incorporated into the full spectrum of the church. The previous posts were: first Orthodoxy and then Church Families Worship Together. I am appreciative of Scott’s posts that built on my initial review of Scott Brown’s What is a Family Integrated Church. It seems that many that criticize the Family Integrated Church do so with the same worn out arguments. Even Voddie Baucham wrote on this in his post Fighting Confusion And Misrepresentation In The FIC. So if you have questions about the FIC check out Scott’s articles, read Voddie’s post and defiantly listen to Scott Brown’s talk

At World Net Daily is a story of a family in North Carolina that was ordered by a judge to send their three children to public school. Per the article:

The judge, when contacted by WND, explained his goal in ordering the children to register and attend a public school was to make sure they have a "more well-rounded education."
"I thought Ms. Mills had done a good job [in homeschooling]," he said. "It was great for them to have that access, and [I had] no problems with homeschooling. I said public schooling would be a good complement."

The order also stated, "Defendant believes that plaintiff is a nurturing mother who loves the children. Defendant believes that plaintiff has done a good job with the homeschooling of the children, although he does not believe that continued homeschooling is in the best interest of the children."

The website said the judge also said public school would "prepare these kids for the real world and college" and allow them "socialization."

This is yet another example of the intrusion of the state into the life of the individual because it thinks it knows best. Read the article and pray for this family. Also pray that the government would be awakened to realize its God given function to protect the people not rule their lives (Rom 13:1-7). Voddie Baucham has written on this as well here: NC Judge Forces Homeschool Children Into Government School.

Not to leave out some talk on politics that relate to our dysfunctional government. If you, like me, have tried to figure out what in the world Barack Obama and his minions are doing read this post from Steve Camp and whether you agree with it or not it should get you thinking: Is Barack Obama Purposefully Trying to Destroy the U.S. Economy? As for me this makes much sense of all the shenanigans thathave been going on in the government.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Spring Vision Forum Sale

Vision Forum needs to make room in their warehouse by clearing out the products they are overstocked on from a busy winter season. They have chosen over 200 products to discount up to 70% so that you and your family will get the most value for your dollars as you enjoy tremendous savings on some amazing products.

A Sample of Some of the Savings:
· Raising Maidens of Virtue - 50% discount
· Ballantyne Adventures - 50% discount
· Reformation and Revival (book) - 55% discount
· The Influence of Older Children on the Younger (CD) - 70% discount

Check out below for other specials:

Also through March 16th you can purchase the CD "Victories Large and Small" for $3.00 (that's 70% off!) when you purchase Doug Phillips's new book "The Little Boy Down the Road." You won't see this offer anywhere on the Vision Forum website - it's only available with this code: 0309CD. This code may be used multiple times but is only good through March 16, 2009 so don't wait too long.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ten P's in a Pod - Free Audio Download

This month, until March 31st, you can download Ten P’s in a Pod from free. Also check out Behemoth's other items as I have found that many of their videos in MP4 format are half the cost of a regular DVD. While you have to turn them into a DVD yourself, if you want to watch them without using your computer, and you do not get all the extras for me this is often worth the savings.

Here is the description of this download:

Join a family of ten on a million-mile journey of evangelism, home education and discipleship.

Journaling his family's travels, experiences, and ministry, Arnold Pent III (the third of eight children) first published Ten P's in a Pod in 1965 at the age of twenty-one. You'll learn of his father's commitment to family Bible reading, Scripture memorization, and singing together, as well as enjoy all the antics one might expect from piling eight children into two old cars and hitting the road to take the gospel message anywhere they found a group willing to listen.

Gather the family around and hear the story read by the author himself (now in his sixties) and enjoy this heart-warming story sure to encourage you and your family. The Good Soil is a one-hour audio program featuring interviews with all eight siblings, highlighting their thoughts on their upbringing and their advice for the next generation of parents seeking to give their children a Biblical heritage.

Monday, March 09, 2009

John Calvin and Jonathan Edwards by Steven Lawson

I just finished the second book I have read of Steve Lawson’s in his A Long Line of Godly Men Profile series, The Unwavering Resolve of Jonathan Edwards. The first book I read of his in this series was The Expository Genius of John Calvin. Both of these books while short are very good reads. They both give an insight in a particular aspect of each man. With Calvin the book focus on his preaching and this is not a book just for preachers but even for those that listen to preaching. In a day and age that preaching is sorely lacking I would pray this book would inspire those that preach and encourage those who listen to seek out all that God’s word has to say.

The Edwards book deals with the 70 resolutions written by Edwards when he was 18-19. It is amazing to read the depth of his devotion to Christ and his exalting of Him even at the young age of 18. Lawson writes in such a way that while we may be in awe of Edwards we can see how his actions are what we should aspire to as well. Edwards lets us see what being Christ focused is all about and that it is not simply a matter of claiming a desire to exalt Christ but actively, by the power of God, seeking to exalt Christ in all we do.

I would pray as you read these books you would be reminded of what it is to be focused on Christ and they would inspire you to seek after Him as both these men did. Books such as these are not to replace scripture but they can give us insight into how God has worked through His word in others and we can pray He does the same with us.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Convention on the Rights of the Child- BEWARE

Maybe a better name for this is the Convention on the Removal of the Rights of the Childs Parents. I highly suggest you listen to the Generations Radio Broadcast with Kevin Swanson where he talks to Michael Farris on The Greatest Threat to Family Freedoms

With Senators such as Barbara Boxer are seeking to have the US agree to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) it is imperative that you know the consequences of this. From what I understand, and I am by far not a Constitutional lawyer, our constitution recognizes treaties that we agree to as being over our laws, unless expressly prohibited from doing so, because the founding fathers never foresaw such international law as this. It is due to this that is seeking to have a constitutional amendment so that an international law, such as is CRC, will not be able to override our own laws.

I encourage you to read the CRC and pay particular attention to how open things are as to who decides what is right and how often that decision is left to the child and not the parents. In reality the parents simply become guidance counselors to the child and the child is the one that is in charge of their own upbringing, of course with the help of the state (government).

While the US and Somalia are the only countries to not ratify this treaty you must understanding that countries such as England that do not have a constitution such as ours are free to follow the CRC, or not, as their laws do not bind them to it as our does, should we accept it.

Please go to and sign the petition and donate as God provides so that we can get the Parental Rights Amendment passed. Also call your Senators and let them know your opposition to the CRC.

Here is the parental Rights Amendment:



The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children is a fundamental right.

Neither the United States nor any state shall infringe upon this right without demonstrating that its governmental interest as applied to the person is of the highest order and not otherwise served.

No treaty may be adopted nor shall any source of international law be employed to supersede, modify, interpret, or apply to the rights guaranteed by this article.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Around the Web and Blogosphere (3/4/09)

Jasmine Baucham is having a giveaway, What He Must Be Giveaway, of a copy of her father’s book What He must Be….If He Wants to Marry My Daughter on her blog. I reviewed this book a couple weeks ago, here. It is a very good book and one every parent should read regardless of whether they have daughters or not. You can also check out a good review by Frank Turk.

This month’s free audio book from is Don Whitney’s Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life. The code for this month’s free download is: MAR2009

For the month of March you can try the ESV Study Bible online for free. This is a feature that comes with the hard copy of the study bible and is very useful. You can try the free trial here.

Reformation Trust is offering John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, and Doxology free to pastors who only have to pay S&H of $5. This offer is valid till June 11th, or while supplies last, and is restricted to one per church.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Amazing Grace

My friend Larry just sent me a link to the video below. It is a great rendition of Amazing Grace. Just sit back and listen.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Review of: Divorce & Remarriage: a permanence view

I just finished reading Divorce & Remarriage: a permanence view by the elders of Christ Fellowship of Kansas City. This book takes a look at the view of divorce that holds there are no allowed exceptions for divorce and there is no remarriage if a divorce does take place, until a spouse dies, thus the permanence view.

The first part of this book deals with the biblical foundation for the permanence view. The second part of the book looks at various real life situations and how the permanence view works itself out in the church and family life.

I came to this book holding what is probably the most popular view among conservative evangelicals and that is that there are two exceptions that allow for divorce. Along with this it is commonly held that remarriage is allowed if a divorce was within the bounds of the two exceptions. While I have held this view and was greatly influenced by a number of well-known evangelical writers I have had concerns with how to reconcile this with various scriptures. Such issues I struggled with were that God says He hates divorce (Mal 2:16) as well as that even in the passage that mentions the exception clause (Matt 19) Jesus seemed to be saying that divorce was unacceptable and not allowed.

Well this book deals with the exception clause in a manner that made great sense. Mainly that we have for too long taken the minimal amount of speaking on an exception and used it to define the greater evidence for no exception. We should instead seek to define Jesus comments on an expectation for “divorce” by His claims, even in the same chapter, to marriage being for life and not to be separated. The authors’ explanation of how the exception is not dealing with marriage but is dealing with betrothal makes great sense of the text and is most consistent with the rest of scripture.

The book also does a very good job in part 2 of showing how this view on marriage is dealt with in a number of real life scenarios. The crux of the matter is that all too often divorce seems like the easy way but it is not what it appears to be. God knows best and that best is for marriage to be permanent.

I would encourage you to read this book. If you have a view contrary to its view it will challenge you. If you already hold to the “permanence view” I think this book may help you better frame your understanding of how to explain this view. For sure the second part of the book is useful to be able to have ideas of how to handle various situations.

I can truly say that this book has helped solidify what I had previously not been too sure of, thus my view before reading this book is not what it was. In our current day and age it is too easy to take a view of marriage, the exception and remarriage view, which unwittingly may even add to the divorce rate within the church. As a pastor I need to have this area figured out well before it is needed. Not necessarily just for dealing with divorce but more so with remarriage. Many that even hold the exception view will be firm that this is to only be a last resort but when it comes to remarriage we often become more lax.

So gain read this book and let scripture speak to the situation and do not let current cultural norms drive your understanding of the issue. The church today, by some statistics, has a divorce rate similar to the worlds and much of this stems from a church that in an effort to be culturally relevant has become subsumed by the culture. We need to let scripture dictate our views on marriage and I think the elders of CFKC have done a good job of this.

Added 6/10/10: In that I find it important to know, whenever possible, an author's presuppositions/hermeneutic I have recently found that Jim Elliff holds to New Covenant Theology. I thought it important to let others know of this and while the conclusions the book makes may be the same without his NCT presuppositions I will be taking another look at the text see if this is so.

Even though I presently hold to the “permanence view” spoken of in the book this is definitely an area I am not as assure of as others. Since I do not desire to put more restrictions on individuals than God does I plan on spending more time in this area of doctrine.

Since reading this book I have also listened to a sermon By Voddie Baucham on this subject that you can listen to or download here: The Permanence View of Marriage


Now someone may have coined this word before but I had not heard it,

1) An economic theory that only makes sense to those on the receiving end of the money flow.
2) An economic theory that even a first grader can see is wrong, as long at that first grader is not being paid off by the system
3) One stage in a move to Socialism/Marxism/Fascism or maybe some other “ism” I have not named
4) Payback for really large campaign contributions
5) Or, another word for “do I just send a blank check to the White House”.

I am sure there are other definitions one can come up with but the main point is that our current president and those around him have their own view on economics and it has nothing to do with sound economic theory and it definitely has nothing to do with scripture.

First of all scripture speaks to the need for one to work or not eat (2 Thes 3:10-12), a far cry from Obamanomics. This is not dealing with not taking care of those who have legitimately lost jobs but speaks to the nature of economy being that people work and things are not are not simply handed to them.

Next, is that it is not the governments or some laws job to care for the needy. Scripture speaks to the government being there to “bear the sword” in protection of the people (Rom 13:1-7). Too many people look at scripture and see that God calls us to help the widow and the poor and neglect to see that these commands are to the church and not to the people in general via the government. Caring for the poor and destitute is a function of the church within God’s design and when done by other means it fails. When the government does not tax the people so that they have no funds they can then, through the church, care for the needy. A simply look at history will show that this works as orphanages were the work of the church who saw the need to care for orphans. It was soon taken over by the state but it was not the state that initiated this care for the needy.

Also, we need to see that God’s design for society entails the use of the standard of God’s law. If we stray from that to our reason and natural law we are left to our own reason that is infected by the sin handed down by Adam. This understanding of God’s design and standard should affect everything from our moral values to our economic understandings.

There are many more places that Scripture informs our actions but the above three are just a start. Let us seek God’s answer in His word not in man. In the recent election the people got their Saul (1 Sam 8:6; 10:17-26) but let us seek the real King.

As I have reviewed before, Kevin Swanson’s The Second Mayflower touches on these points and much more to show that we as a people of God need to look to other than government. We need to look to God as revealed in His Word and be prepared, as the first separatists were on the Mayflower, to do what is necessary to be obedient to God, in all we do.