Saturday, December 31, 2011

Against Calvinism

I have become more and more convinced that only reading the thoughts and opinions of people you already agree with is a sure route to arrogance and ignorance. God's Word is inerrent but my interpretation of His Word is very susceptible to flaw and mistake.

I do not hide the fact that I hold to the doctrines of God's sovereign grace in the salvation of sinners, and to Calvinism as a theological framework of Scripture. That being said, I am not inerrant. Calvin was not inerrant. Edwards, Owen, Berkhoff, Horton, Piper and even Sproul (GASP!!) are not inerrant. They very well could be mistaken on many aspects of truth, and I felt it would do me well to consider the opposing view on important matters.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Give Them Grace--Elisye Fitzpatrick

As a parent I have no greater responsibility than the spiritual health of my child. Period. That is my greatest role in life, to fulfill the Great Commission in the life of each of my children. That is not to say that they come before my relationship with God, but that they are the immediate recipients of the overflow of my relationship with God(aside from my spouse). This is true for any parent. Whether you stay at home with them all day, or pastor a church of 50,000 people, the spiritual health of your children is your primary mission field.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"Smooth Stones" by Joe Coffey

This review will be twofold. First, I want to share a subscription program from Cruciform press and then offer a brief review of the first book I have read by them, “Smooth Stones” by Joe Coffey.

Cruciform Press is a relatively new publisher, and they are putting out some great books. You can learn about them at their website. Basically, they put out a book a month, that you can subscribe to at an incredibly low rate. Go over to their site and learn more about this great ministry.
“Smooth Stones” is a book by Pastor Joe Coffey. The aim of the book is to briefly highlight some apologetic issues and give the reader some ammunition in a world of relativistic pluralism. From the outset let me say that this was an easy and quick read. It was engaging and entertaining and really did seem to accomplish what it intended to accomplish. There were issues that I felt could have been handled differently.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Practicing Affirmation

One of my favorite books ever is Desiring God, by John Piper. That book was one of, if not the, first books I read that dealt explicitly with the idols of my life. One of the idols it dealt with was an unhealthy desire of approval from others and the damnable practice of worshipping anything other than God. Due to my own limitations and sinful tendencies, I took the truths presented in the book and swung to an extreme. Not wanting to seek man’s approval over God’s, I became almost incapable of receiving any type of praise from others. Along with that and not wanting to promote our “self-esteem”, everyone gets a trophy culture, I also became opposed to affirming other people. I felt no need to applaud someone when they did what they were supposed to do….I mean, they did what they were supposed to do. I had no idea that with these attitudes I was sinning.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Radical Together

“How can we in the church best unleash the people of God in the Spirit of God with the Word of God for the Glory of God in the world?” This is the question that David Platt sets out to answer in his second book, Radical Together: Unleashing the People of God for the Purpose of God. Throughout these 130 pages Platt reminds the audience of core teachings he laid out in his first book, Radical: Taking You’re your Faith From the American Dream, and he gives guidance on how the “radical” lifestyle can be implemented in the local church body as a whole. From the outset I want to recommend this book. It will definitely put your lifestyle into perspective and give you much food for thought and leave you in tears and prayers of repentance on more than one occasion. I would say that all the way through, Radical Together is a better book than Radical. I believe this is due to the fact that Platt is able to build upon, refine, and correct teachings he presented in Radical. Radical Together is a great read, it does have some spots that are worth noting.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Greener Grass Conspiracy

A couple of weeks ago God began to deal with me greatly on the issue of contentment. It was the issue that was at the forefront of my prayers, my time in the Word, my thoughts. I was being greatly tempted by feelings of discontent and entitlement. Those are feelings that are not conducive to a productive, worshipful Christian life. About this time I received a complimentary copy of a book from Crossway that dealt with this very issue. The Greener Grass Conspiracy by Stephen Altrogge is a fun, easy, convicting and edifying book that is well worth the investment of the small amount of time it takes to make it through the 140 pages.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Feed My Sheep: A Passionate Plea For Preaching

I have to admit a few things as I begin writing about this book. I love preaching. I love to hear preaching. I love to read preached sermons. I love to read about preaching: mechanics, theory, necessity, etc. I love preaching.
I also love preachers. I feel greatly indebted to the men who have given their lives to the public proclamation of God’s Word. I love to read their sermons. I love to read their books. I love to learn about them, their lives, and their faith. I just am sincerely blessed by God-fearing Bible-believing Gospel preachers. So when I had the opportunity through the program with Reformation Trust Publishing to read this book and review it, I was eager to do so.

Friday, April 8, 2011

DA Carson Q&A at the Gospel Coalition

I guess it is a DA kind of a day for me. I hope this blesses you like it has me. Enjoy!

Gospel Coalition Q & A from Realityla on Vimeo.

DA Carson and RC Sproul

A great interview with two of the giants of current Christian thought. Enjoy this.

RC Sproul interviews DA Carson on biblical exegesis from Ligonier on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Radical by David Platt

I love David Platt. I enjoy his messages every time I hear one. Platt offers a fresh, dare I say "radical, perspective on Christian living. I am constantly challenged and encouraged by what God teaches me through him.

Radical is Platt's first book and it has been a huge success. It has received glowing reviews and giant sales. Not all those who have read Radical have been as equally impressed. I encountered a fairly critical review in the latest issue of Modern Reformation magazine, and it made me reexamine the the text to see if there was any validity to the issues raised in the article. Let me say from the outset, there was, but I do not believe to the degree presented in the review. There is much to be praised in this great book so I wanted to lay out some of the blessings of this book and some of the more concerning parts that I encountered.

Monday, March 7, 2011

I am NOT the Gospel

"You are the good news. You are the Gospel"--Rob Bell, Nooma 15.

Rob Bell has proven himself time and again to be a dangerous force in evangelicalism. This statement is one of the most dangerous. We are not called, commanded or even allowed to "be the Gospel". The Gospel is a message to be proclaimed, believed and responded to, the message of God's salvation of men through Jesus Christ.

The Gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ came to earth, God in the flesh. He was born sinless of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died a sacrificial death and rose victoriously from the dead. He ascended into heaven from where He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

"Preach the Gospel always and use words when necessary" is how the old adage goes, but words are always necessary.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Matthew 1:19-21--Just and merciful

And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
(Matthew 1:19-21 ESV)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Foundations of Grace

Steven Lawson's Foundations of Grace is the first volume in the A Long Line of Godly Men series. Volume 2, Pillars of Grace will be released in March and after diving into this text I am even more excited than I already was. The series traces the Doctrines of God's Sovereign Grace throughout history. Foundations of Grace deals with the doctrines as found in Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation....literally, Lawson traces these doctrines as presented by Moses in Genesis, John in Revelation and just about every book in between.
John Macarthur gives a foreword, Divine Immutability and the Doctrines of Grace, for the book that follows in the pattern of JI Packer's introduction to Owen's Death of Death. By that I mean, Macarthur's foreword is of such high quality that you somewhat fear it will outshine the text itself. However, just like with Death of Death, that fear is unwarranted. As great as both forewords are, the main texts both live up to the quality that is found in these first few pages.
Foundations of Grace feels much like a Steven Lawson sermon: extensive, organized, enjoyable and understandable.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Review of "John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, and Doxology"

John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, and Doxology
This is an exciting review for me for a few reasons. First, this is the first full length text I have read on John Calvin and was really looking forward to learning quite a bit. Secondly, this was the first full book I read on my Kindle(and I enjoyed that experience greatly). Finally, I was very excited about this book because the contributors are a virtual all-star team of current reformed thought. Burk Parsons, Derek Thomas, Sinclair Ferguson, Steve Lawson, Bob Godfrey, Thabiti Anyabwile, Macarthur, Ascol, Beeke, Ryken, Jerry Bridges, Michael Horton—this book was contributed to by a vast array of reformed thought.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sermons from Past Two Sundays

The Holidays left me a bit behind on my reading and my blogging, but along with that I was filling in Sunday Nights for Pastor Kevin. So I am posting both of those messages here(the first one was not recorded) and I should have a book review up this weekend. Feedback on sermons is always welcome and is quite helpful.
(As always, the links that appear over the sermon player are not connected to me or the church, visit at your own risk)