Why should we know God's Word?

In our day and age where anti-intellectualism runs rampant in the visible church, it is not surprising to see poll after poll verify what students of scripture have known for many years. The visible church does not know much about the scriptures they profess to believe in. This is sad considering many saints during the Reformation period lost their lives for the sake of being able to read and study God's word. Not to mention the many passages in scripture that speak as such:

Isaiah 66:2 This is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.
John 8:31-32 Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
Psalm 19:7-8 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
Psalm 119:9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.
Psalm 119:11 I have hidden Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against You.
Psalm 119:103 How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Psalm 119:130 The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.
Psalm 119:162 I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil.

The posts on this blog will address essential Biblical doctrines of the Christian faith. You can find much of the background for the posts here. My prayer for these posts is that the people who read them will be encouraged to open their Bibles and not just read a verse or two, but learn them and indeed, be transformed by them. As Jesus prayed, "Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth." (John 17:17). This is my prayer as well.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Rob Bell - what's the big deal?

There's been a super abundance of words poured out regarding Rob Bell's now infamous book Love Wins, but if I may speak with candor, why all the fuss? I know your immediate reaction might be, "But Chris, it's heresy!" Well, I know that but liberalism has been pumping this stuff out by the metric ton for centuries so why all of sudden is there great amounts of copious writing? In my opinion, I think it is because many so-called Evangelical scholars have been giving the emergents (like Rob Bell) a pass in the sense that they have been treating them like brothers who ere in some points of doctrine. But the reality is, they are no different than the latest spiritual, psychological guru that Oprah has on her programs.

John MacArthur is one of the very few prominent Christian leaders to speak the whole truth on this man named Rob Bell: "If Christopher Hitchens or Deepak Chopra penned a book that scoffed at the biblical teaching on hell, we would not be surprised. So why would anyone be shocked or confused when Rob Bell writes Love Wins? Has Bell shown any more commitment to gospel truth, or any more devotion to the principle of biblical authority than Hitchens or Chopra?"

The answer is an emphatic NO and John is posting some blog entries to prove his point. You can see them at his excellent blog: http://www.gty.org/blog

It's one thing when men such as John Piper endorses Rick Warren as a sincere brother or Al Mohler signs the Manhattan Declaration or JI Packer signs the ECT, because these men are orthodox in their teaching of the gospel. But when a liberal, like Rob Bell, writes a piece of garbage seeking to debunk the Biblical teaching on hell, warn the flock and give the right teaching on hell but don't give the man any more publicity than a false teacher deserves.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

No ONE good, NOT even one but God...

Though on the depravity of man, this short clip by Conrad Mbewe shows the grace of God still shines brightly and powerfully in the midst of this dark, depraved world.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

BREAKING NEWS! New ancient manuscript found!

From Justin Taylor's blog found here.
"In an exciting example of scholarly cross-collaboration and interdisciplinary research, textual critics and archaeologists have just published a translation of a recently discovered first-century letter, apparently authentic, written to the Apostle Paul himself. Scholars believe it was likely written in the late AD 40s or early 50s. The parchment was remarkably well preserved in a jar buried in a cave on the island of Satiricus. It is surmised that the author of the letter, Parodios, was an elder who had met Paul on one of his missionary journeys.
The translation, published here for the first time, reads as follows:

'Parodios, a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, to our brother Paulos.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our church recently received a copy of the letter that you sent to the church of Galatia. We hope you will not mind hearing our humble concerns. In the past we have noticed you are more interested in confronting people rather than conversing with them, but we hope you will receive this letter as an invitation to further dialogue.
First of all, we are uncomfortable with your tone throughout the correspondence. We know it is difficult sometimes to discern tone of voice from written communication, but you should keep this in mind as well. One could gather from your careless use of words that you are losing your temper. You certainly sound angry. This is unbecoming a spokesperson for the faith. As you say yourself, one of the manifest fruit of God’s Spirit is gentleness.
Aren’t you being a hypocrite to preach grace but not show it to our Judaizer brothers? They may not worship as you do or emphasize the same teachings you do, but our Lord has “sheep not of this fold,” and there is certainly room within the broader Way for these brothers. Their methodology may differ from yours, but certainly their hearts are in the right place.
You yourself know that our Lord required personal contact when we have a grievance against another. Have you personally contacted any of these men? Have you sat down to reason with them personally? Have you issued a personal invitation? Some of them may even reconsider their viewpoints if you had taken a different tack. We know that your position is likely that public teaching is open to public criticism, but we can do better than what is expected, can’t we?
In one portion of your letter, you indicate you don’t even know these persons! “Whoever he is,” you write. Our dear Paulos, how can you rightly criticize them when you don’t know them? It’s clear you haven’t even read their material, because you never quote them. We implore you to see that they are plainly within the tradition of Moses and of the Prophets. They understand the context of the covenant in ways you appear deaf to.
Similarly, we find your tone and resorting to harsh language not in keeping with the love of Christ. “Foolish Galatians.” “Let him be accursed.” “Emasculate themselves.” Really? Can you not hear yourself? You think this is Christlike? Does this sound like something our Lord would say? Do you think this flippant, outrageous, personal, vindictive manner of speech speaks well of God’s love or the church? It is clear you are taking this way too personally. Indeed, you ask the Galatians if you are now their enemy. Does everything have to be so black and white to you?
Paulos, what will unbelievers think when they read this letter? Do you think this will commend the gospel to them? This kind of harsh language just makes us look like a bunch of angry people. They see we can’t even love each other, and over what? Circumcision? This is a terrible advertisement for God’s love to an unbelieving world. You have given plenty of people permission now to disregard Jesus, if this is what his mouthpieces sound like.
We hope you will reconsider your approach. We know that you catch much more flies with honey than with vinegar. We are concerned that your ill-worded letter signals a divisiveness that threatens to fracture the church. We beg you to reconsider how important these minor issues are, and how in the future you may speak in ways that better reflect God’s love.
The grace—and the love!—of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brother.'"

The tongue is firmly planted in the cheek on this article, hence the parchment was found on the island of "Satiricus" (satire) and was written by "Parodios" (parody). But this does illustrate the "sincere" nature of many modern-day, professing Christians who wish to rebuke, correct the "harsh" Christians. May God always help us to stand up and speak up for the one true gospel, regardless how those within the visible church respond.