Wednesday, January 30, 2013

WHI-1137 | Behold the Lamb of God

WHI-1137 | Behold the Lamb of God

From the White Horse Inn Blog:

Who is Jesus, and what was his ultimate mission? Some today say that he was a kind of philosopher or moral reformer who teaches us all to share our toys and behave on the playground of life. But these views presuppose that the human predicament is that we simply need a little advice or enlightenment, and not something drastic like eternal redemption from sin, death, and hell. On this edition of White Horse Inn the hosts will continue to unpack the first two chapters of John’s gospel and will point out the significance of Christ’s role as the “lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”
 For the audio, click here.  For more resources at the blog, click here.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Civil Wars

Enjoy!!  One of my favorites, ever!

Full Concert:

Single Songs:

Barton Hollow

Poison and Wine


Billie Jean

WHI 1136--An Introduction to the Gospel of John

 From the WHI Blog:
It’s probably the most famous book in the Bible. John’s gospel is portion of Scripture we often recommend first to new Christians, and it’s led more people to Jesus than just about any other document. But even though it so plainly sets forth Christ to the beginning reader of Scripture, its treasures can’t be exhausted throughout the course of any person’s life. For the next few months the hosts will be mining the riches from this amazing text, and through this study we hope to deepen your understanding of, and love for, the person and work of Jesus Christ.
 Listen to the episode here.  Go the the blog to get resources and recommendations.  

The Law & The Gospel by Michael S. Horton

The Law & The Gospel
by Michael S. Horton
© 1996 The White Horse Inn

In order to recover the sufficiency of Scripture we must once again learn to distinguish the Law and the Gospel as the "two words" of Scripture. For the Reformers, it was not enough to believe in inerrancy. Since Rome also had a high view of Scripture in theory, the Reformers were not criticizing the church for denying its divine character. Rather, they argued that Rome subverted its high view of Scripture by the addition of other words and by failing to read and proclaim Scripture according to its most obvious sense.

At the heart of the reformation's hermeneutics was the distinction between "Law" and "Gospel." For the Reformers, this was not equivalent to "Old Testament" and "New Testament;" rather, it meant, in the words of Theodore Beza, "We divide this Word into two principal parts or kinds: the one is called the 'Law,' the other the 'Gospel.' For all the rest can be gathered under the one or other of these two headings." The Law "is written by nature in our hearts," while "What we call the Gospel (Good News) is a doctrine which is not at all in us by nature, but which is revealed from Heaven (Mt. 16:17; John 1:13)." The Law leads us to Christ in the Gospel by condemning us and causing us to despair of our own "righteousness." "Ignorance of this distinction between Law and Gospel," Beza wrote, "is one of the principal sources of the abuses which
corrupted and still corrupt Christianity."1

Jamison Roach Poetry

This is one of the kids I work with.  He has some really good poems.  This one is pretty cool, but there are a bunch that are really, really good.  Subscribe and give him some positive feedback!

On My Mind: The Skinny God By David Wells

On My Mind: The Skinny God
By David Wells
Many years ago, J. B. Phillips wrote a book called Your God is Too Small. It was quite popular at the time, in 1952, although it now seems rather quaint. The juvenile understanding of God Phillips was attacking then is, by contemporary standards, rather innocent. This, however, is a book which I believe should be written afresh every decade. For is it not the case that our internal bias (cf. Rom. 1:21-5) constantly tilts us away from God's centrality and toward our own? And does this not lead us to focus more on ourselves and less on him? Even worse, don't we then substitute our importance for his greatness?

This inward bias is now being mightily encouraged by our experience of the modern world, the upshot of which is our fascination with our self. Those who are well fed seldom think about food but for the hungry this becomes a consuming preoccupation. And for modern people, the self has likewise become an obsession. We are the starved. How else can we explain the fact that America has half the world's clinical psychologists and one third of the world's psychiatrists? Over approximately the last thirty years, the number of clinical psychologists has increased 350%, clinical social workers 320%, and family counselors 680%, so that today we have two psychotherapists for every dentist and there are more counselors than librarians. The plagues of the modern self are providing sustenance for an extraordinary number of professionals, as well as driving a burgeoning publishing industry.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Become a Better You: Reflections on Joel Osteen's Latest Book By Michael S. Horton

Well, I think he has newer books.  But it is definitely worth reading Dr. Horton's take on what Osteen is peddling.  
Become a Better You: Reflections on Joel Osteen's Latest Book
By Michael S. Horton

It was a pleasant afternoon a few years ago in my back yard, writing an article, when Modern Reformation executive editor Eric Landry informed me that he had scheduled me for an interview on Joel Osteen for "Dateline NBC." Knowing nothing about Mr. Osteen or his message at that time, I declined-with no effect whatsoever on Landry's force of will. "Here's the book: Your Best Life Now. So you'd better get reading!"
Little did I know then that Osteen already was a phenomenon and would only become a greater one as months wore on. In retrospect, I am glad to have had the opportunity to talk to so many people who are confused about the message that Osteen preaches and that seems to pervade so much of ordinary American preaching and spirituality in our day.

A CBS "60 Minutes" interview sparked more recent requests for comment concerning Osteen's new book, Becoming a Better You: 7 Keys to Improving Your Life Every Day. I took it with me on a recent flight and I offer the following reflections.

Heavier Emphasis on the Prosperity Gospel
Under the Library of Congress identification, this book is classified as "1. Self-actualization (Psychology)-Religious Aspects-Christianity." Even the Library of Congress seems to know what sort of message this represents. "You can be better," Osteen invites. "The question is: 'How? What must I do to become a better me?' In my first book, Your Best Life Now, I presented seven steps to living at your full potential." But with Becoming a Better You, he wants to go a little deeper. "I'm hoping to help you look inside yourself and discover the priceless seeds of greatness that God has placed within you. In this book, I will reveal to you seven keys that you can use to unlock those seeds of greatness, allowing them to burst forth in an abundantly blessed life."

Saturday, January 26, 2013

DeYoung on Lord's Day 3

The Catechism makes clear that we are not just imitators of our first parents, sinning like Adam and Eve. We are born with a warped nature, tainted with an inherent and inherited corruption from conception on. We absolutely must get this right if we are to make sense of the Catechism and Christianity. Our fundamental problem is not bad parents, bad schools, bad friends, or bad circumstances. Our fundamental problem is a bad heart. And every single one of us is born into the world with it.

Friday, January 25, 2013

DeYoung on Lord's Day 2

The first thing we need in order to experience the comfort of the gospel is to be made uncomfortable with our sin. The comfort of the gospel doesn’t skirt around the issue of sin, or ignore it like positive thinking preachers and self-help gurus. It looks at sin square in the eye, acknowledges it, and deals with it. While many people will tell us to stop focusing on sin and to lighten up because we aren’t “bad” people, the Catechism tells us just the opposite. In order to have comfort, we must first see our sin-induced misery.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

DeYoung (and Calvin) on Lord's Day 1

 “We are not our own: let not our reason nor our will, therefore, sway our plans and deeds. We are not our own: let us therefore not set it as our goal to seek what is expedient for us according to the flesh. We are not our own: in so far as we can, let us therefore forget ourselves and all that is ours. Conversely, we are God’s: let us therefore live for him and die for him. We are God’s: let his wisdom and will therefore rule all our actions. We are God’s: let all the parts of our life accordingly strive toward him as our only lawful goal.”(Calvin)

Question 1 of the Catechism shapes our whole existence. The first thing we need to know as a Christian is that we belong to Jesus and not ourselves.

University Reformed Church Sermons on the Heidelberg Catechism

University Reformed Church is going through the Catechism on Sunday Evenings.  Here are links to the first three sermons:

Lord's Day 1
Lord's Day 2
Lord's Day 3

These are short and good.  Enjoy!

450th Anniversary of the Heidelberg Catechism

This year marks the 450th anniversary of the Heidelberg Catechism.  I meant to start this year working every Sunday through this Catechism with my boys and sharing some resources here.  I meant to do that last year also on the blog and did a bit but my intentions outweighed my results.  However, I thought I would catch up over the next couple of days on the blog and then share from the catechism over the next 49 or so Sundays and share some resources throughout the week (books, blogs, sermons).

To catch up, here are links to the first three days of the catechism:

Lord's Day 1
Lord's Day 2
Lord's Day 3

Here is a link to a blog post on the history of the Heidelberg Catechism.  The rest of this week I will share some good resources on Lord's Day 1-3 and then begin Sunday to go week by week for the rest of the year hopefully. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Crossway Book Sale in honor of my birthday...

...well, it's probably just a coincidence, but it is an AMAZING DEAL!!  Every e-book (and Bible module) is marked down to $5.99 for a week.  WOW!

From Crossway:

Looking for some great reads in 2013? Here’s a chance to download Crossway ebooks at a special discount.

Between January 8 and January 15, all ebooks on will be priced at $5.99 or less.

This special sale also includes modules, including the ESV Online Study Bible, the Online Global Study Bible, and GreekTools, along with many others. You can find a complete list here. The study Bible modules contain all the study notes, articles, charts, and maps found in the print editions, seamlessly integrated with the interface.

To add ebooks to your cart, simply browse to any book product page and look for the ebook version in the “Other Formats” box. After the checkout process, you can download your preferred format (.epub, .mobi) directly from a virtual bookshelf.

If you’re not quite sure where to start, we’d love to suggest three of our top books from 2012: The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler with Jared Wilson, The Hole in Our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung, and Dangerous Calling by Paul Tripp.

This is a tremendous sale. When you purchase a book through Crossway you have access to it in epub(Nook), mobi(Kindle) and pdf format.  Well worth the money!

Friday, January 4, 2013

How to Mortify Sin

How to Mortify Sin

     The aftermath of a conversation can change the way we later think of its significance.
My friend —a younger minister —sat down with me at the end of a conference in his church and said: “Before we retire tonight, just take me through the steps that are involved in helping someone mortify sin.” We sat talking about this for a little longer and then went to bed, hopefully he was feeling as blessed as I did by our conversation. I still wonder whether he was asking his question as a pastor or simply for himself —or both.

     How would you best answer his question? The first thing to do is: Turn to the Scriptures. Yes, turn to John Owen (never a bad idea!), or to some other counselor dead or alive. But remember that we have not been left only to good human resources in this area. We need to be taught from “the mouth of God” so that the principles we are learning to apply carry with them both the authority of God and the promise of God to make them work.

     Several passages come to mind for study: Romans 8:13; Romans 13:8–14 (Augustine’s text); 2 Corinthians 6:14–7:1; Ephesians 4:17–5:21; Colossians 3:1–17; 1 Peter 4:1–11; 1 John 2:28–3:11. Significantly, only two of these passages contain the verb “mortify” (“put to death”). Equally significantly, the context of each of these passages is broader than the single exhortation to put sin to death. As we shall see, this is an observation that turns out to be of considerable importance.