Tag Archives: Christianity

Keller – Secularisation isn’t Simple

6 May

(HT: The Resurgence, MI7:7)

Often Christians fall into the same trap as militant atheists. We pessimistically assume that secularisation has become an inevitable process and force any evidence into this concept.

It’s not that simple.

We do live in an increasingly irreligious society but at the same time we see growing devotion and missionary zeal amongst God’s people.

Don’t panic about falling worship figures in liberal denominations or the wanning influence of the Church of England.

Part of what you’re seeing is the death of the “mushy middle” and, like Keller, I’m not convinced its a bad thing.

Urban Legends from the Pulpit

29 Apr

Came across an interesting post on mere urban legends that are persistently used in sermons. Trevor Wax claims that the seven statements in this list are merely myths.

1. The “eye of the needle” refers to a gate outside Jerusalem.

2. The high priest tied a rope around his ankle so that others could drag him out of the Holy of Holies in case God struck him dead.

3. Scribes took baths, discarded their pens, washed their hands, etc. every time they wrote the name of God.

4. There was this saying among the sages: “May you be covered in your rabbi’s dust.”

5. Voltaire’s house is now owned by a Bible-printing publisher.

6. Gehenna was a burning trash dump outside Jerusalem.

7. NASA scientists have discovered a “missing day” which corresponds to the Joshua account of the sun standing still.

Read the full post for more details.

I’d definitely heard no. 1, 2 and 6 before. Which ones have you heard?

Challies, Rob Bell and the Kind of Love that Really Wins

9 Mar

There was an explosion of blog posts following Justin Taylor’s response to the promotional video for Rob Bell’s upcoming book, “Love Wins”. Since then I’ve been waiting for one particular review. Today Tim Challies posted his reflections on the book.

I’m not chasing controversy or provide Bell with further publicity. I think Challies’ review is worth reading because it provides a biblical examination of “Love Wins” . This is important as it is propagating a dangerous heresy and it will undoubtedly be read by some of your Christian friends.

“Love does win, but not the kind of love that Bell talks about in this book. The love he describes is one that is founded solely on the idea that the primary object of God’s love is man; indeed, the whole story, he writes, can be summed up in these words: “For God so loved the world.” But this doesn’t hold a candle to the altogether amazing love of God as actually shown in the Bible. The God who “shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8), who acts on our behalf not so much because His love for us is great, but because He is great (Isaiah 48:9, Ezekiel 20:9,14,22,44, 36:22; John 17:1-5).” Challies

Read Challies’ full review

Other useful posts on the topic

Desiring God: The Fairytale of Universalism

Phil Dunwoody: Keep an Eye

Denny Burk: Rob Bell Outs Himself

Challies: What I’d Have to Deny to Deny Hell

Take Your Vitamin Z: Rob Bell, Hell and Our Tendency Towards Idolatry

“And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.” 2 Corinthians 11:14–15

Student Protests

10 Dec

“Yesterday’s events were sad to see. Not just because I don’t think such protests have achieved much; more so because it displayed one of the great idols that we in western democracies are prone to indulging: man-centred causes and ideas. Fighting for our ‘rights’. Demonising politicians or ideologies instead of demonising demons and sin. Putting all our faith in our beliefs, our convictions, our human leaders, rather than in our Saviour and King, Jesus Christ.” Philip Dunwoody

Philip offers a Biblical perspective on the yesterday’s student protests in one of his latest blog posts.  I felt that yesterday’s decision at Parliament was a sad one as it  reinforces social injustices but God is Sovereign over all, even how the votes are cast in Westminister. Christians should view education as important, speak out on politcal issues and challenging the systemic flaws in our society but we must be doing so for God, not letting particular causes become gods. It’s hard not to become angry and frustrated by politics but this article helped me put things in their rightful place.

Chilean Miners Saved

14 Oct

There have been some extraordinary pictures coming from the rescue of the Chilean miners. But amidst it all this is my favourite news headline: “2 Chilean miners accept Christ while trapped underground” (Baptist Press). We can praise God for His amazing work and keep praying for these men who have been doubly rescued.

(HT: Challies)

Too Easily Pleased

17 Sep

(HT: All4God)

An important C.S. Lewis quote brought to life through a Desiring God video.

Find Your Idols

25 Aug

Here are some helpful questions to help us identify the idols which we have put in the place of God.

  1. What do you most highly value?
  2. What do you think about by default?
  3. What is your highest goal?
  4. To what or whom are you most committed?
  5. Who or what do you love the most?
  6. Who or what do you trust or depend upon the most?
  7. Who or what do you fear the most?
  8. Who or what do you hope in and hope for most?
  9. Who or what do you desire the most? Or, what desire makes you most angry or makes you despair when it is not satisfied?
  10. Who or what do you most delight in or hold as your greatest joy and treasure?
  11. Who or what captures your greatest zeal?
  12. To whom or for what are you most thankful?
  13. For whom or what great purpose do you work?

(HT: Desiring God)

Tell them “It’s the Table”

14 Aug

A clip from Dad’s sermon on Psalm 23v5.

“You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.”

For the full sermon download Mp3 or watch the Video

Join the Church to Bring God Glory

2 Jul

Fifth reason and conclusion from Rev. David McCullough’s series, “Why Join the Church?”

5. Because we want to Bring Glory to God

How we live our lives can bring glory to God.  Peter writing to the early NT believers wrote, “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us.” (I Peter 2:12)  That is not only true for us as individuals but also in our lives together.  Our lives together are to show that we belong to Christ and to bring Him glory.  When you join the church you are being adopted into the family of God’s people and in that family the relationships lived out and the service given one for the other will bring glory to God.  Bringing glory to God is the reason above all that Christians should belong to a church.

Obviously anyone can come along to the services and benefit from the preaching and the warmth of the fellowship.  But there are many more privileges in belonging to the church.  You will receive the official care and oversight of the minister and elders; you will have the opportunity to come to the Lord’s Table without being welcomed as a visitor.  You will have the privilege of your children being able to receive the sign of baptism.  You will have the privilege of being able to stand alongside a group of believers knowing that this is your church where you will be cared for, prayed for and your gifts utilised to God’s glory.

So do not merely attend a church – join.  Join because God says so, because you need to, because others will be blessed and most of all because God will be glorified.

Why Join the Church?

Introduction

1. To Obey

2. To Receive Care

3. To Fulfil Responsibilities

4. To Reach the Lost World

5. To Bring God Glory

Chasing after some Beloved

28 Jun

“Now a word to you that are young, who are full of health and strength and who are chasing after some beloved ambition or some beloved pleasure. Stop and consider. What are all your beloveds compared to Christ the true beloved? What satisfaction and happiness have your beloveds brought you? Show us the peace, quietness and assurance of everlasting blessedness that they have brought you. Their paths are crooked. Whoever walks in them shall not know peace. So look and see that these is a fit object for your highest love, one in whom you will find nothing to grieve or trouble you to eternity. Behold, he stands at the door of your soul and knocks. Do not reject him, lest you seek for him and do not find him.  Why do you spend your precious time in idleness and foolishness,  wasting your precious time?”

John Owen, Communion with God (Abridged and made easy to read by R.J.K. Law)