By Anthony | March 13, 2010 at 07:59 AM EST | No Comments
The Privileged Planet videos can be seen at the below link to the YouTube playlists.
This film was done by Illustra Media, the guys who produced Icons of Evolution and Unlocking the Mystrery of Life. They are all great and point to the fact that Christianity is not mindless, thoughtless, or blind!
By Anthony | February 12, 2010 at 02:45 PM EST | No Comments
Stand to Reason, one of my favorite websites, has just launched a new website geared toward younger people. It is full of great information and looks to be a place where solid information can be passed along. Please bookmark the site and send it to any young people you might know.
By Anthony | December 31, 2009 at 08:46 AM EST | No Comments
This is the time of year when I reflect on what I've done and where God has taken me over the past year. Then I project what I want to do and where I want to go, and ask for God's help to get me there.
I reflect on the goodness and faithfulness of God, remembering His promises for my life. I remember the answered prayers, His divine favor and mercy, His love for me, the lives He's touched through me, the revelation He's given me, and the sanctification He performs in me.
I also asses the upcoming year and set my goals for where I want to be - it is a time to ask God for a vision for the upcoming year. I also pick a bible reading plan and begin reading through the bible again. I review my prayer list and update it where necessary. I also choose several books that I want to get through.
All in all, it is a time to sit with my Savior and work out my salvation.
May God bless you in the upcoming year with grace and peace.
By Anthony | December 22, 2009 at 07:35 AM EST | No Comments
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.” 2 Pet 1:3-8
If you are going to take away anything from this article, take this away: The reason, Peter says, that your Christian life is ineffective and unfruitful and still laden with sin is not because you have not tried hard enough, but rather, that you have forgotten the gospel … forgotten what Christ has done for you.
You have forgotten to apply the gospel to every situation. The ramifications of this are profound.
And take note, Peter also says that in the gospel He has provided everything we need for life and godliness NOW.
This is why it is so essential for Christians to gather together every week to encourage one another and hear the pastor remind us what Christ has done, and is doing for us, through the Holy Spirit who unites us to Him.
The people Peter describes in the above passage are nearsighted and blind to how the gospel applies today for them as Christians. That is why they do not grow in grace and exhibit the fruit of sanctification such as faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, and brotherly love in increasing measure.
Instead of simply attempting to obey the commands with our sheer willpower, Peter says that it is our constant need to feed on Christ, forsaking our self-sufficiency that is the only means God has provided if we are to live God-glorifying lives.
So the gospel is not only for our conversion but for our growth in grace as Christians. Do not underestimate your own tendency to sin and misapprehend the current benefits of the gospel available for you in Christ.
By Anthony | December 10, 2009 at 09:55 PM EST | No Comments
"What must I do to be saved!?"
"Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household." (Acts 16:31)
"...Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?...
If you would enter life, keep the commandments." Matthew 19:15-17
Notice the to different answers. One asks about salvation ... which means he sees his own desperate need and spiritual bankruptcy. The second question asks about what to do to get something? Jesus answers with the requirement of perfect obedience to God's Law.
As Luther said, the law is for the proud and the gospel for the brokenhearted.
By Anthony | December 04, 2009 at 09:00 AM EST | No Comments
I love Greg Koukl and the Stand to Reason ministry. He is a great apologist and offers well thought out answers to tough issues. Here is a link to their top 20 articles this year. Enjoy them and happy reading!!
By Anthony | November 21, 2009 at 08:22 AM EST | No Comments
Asurvey by George Gallup Jr. revealed a startling trend in our culture. According to Gallup, the evidence seems to indicate that there are no clear behavioral patterns that distinguish Christians from non-Christians in our society.
We all seem to be marching to the same drummer, looking to the shifting standards of contemporary culture for the basis of what is acceptable conduct. What everybody else is doing seems to be our only ethical norm.
This pattern can emerge only in a society or a church wherein the law of God is eclipsed. The very word law seems to have an unpleasant ring to it in our evangelical circles.
Let’s try an experiment. Read the passages from Psalm 119 that accompany this devotion. Try to crawl into the skin of the writer and experience empathy. Try to feel what he felt when he wrote these lines thousands of years ago.
Does this sound like a modern Christian? Do we hear people talk about longing passionately for the law of God? Do we hear our friends expressing joy and delight in God’s commandments?
Do you long passionately for God’s law? Do you express joy and delight in His commandments?
Passages for Further Study
Psalm 119:97 Psalm 119:11–12 Psalm 119:131
From Ligonier Ministries, the teaching fellowship of R.C. Sproul. All rights reserved. Website: www.ligonier.org | Phone: 1-800-435-4343
By Anthony | November 20, 2009 at 11:04 AM EST | No Comments
Following is the 1863 Lincoln Presidential Proclamation - celebrated shortly after Lincoln committed his life to Christ and celebrated while America was still in the midst of its Civil War. It was this proclamation which eventually led to the establishment of our national Thanksgiving holiday:
The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful years and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the Source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.
In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.
Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the field of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than theretofore. Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.
No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.
It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.
And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.
In testimony wherof I have herunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
By Anthony | November 16, 2009 at 07:31 AM EST | No Comments
One of the doctrines of grace explains that we are totally depraved which means that every part of our being has been effected by sin. It does not mean that we are utterly depraved, or as depraved as we could be - even Hitler loved his mother!
So, what is the glory of this doctrine? Well, if we are totally depraved and cannot atone for our own sins, we need to be loved totally - totally loved. We need a love that bears all things, a love that keeps no record of wrongs, and a love that never fails. And, that is what our God does - He totally loves us.
It is not a love in part, but a love in total. It is not a love that says "if you choose me, I will choose you" or "if you continue in obedience, I will continue my love". That makes God's love dependant on you, the creature, and makes His favor a function of your works. i.e. - a god that can be manipulated by what we do.
No, a total love justifies, sanctifies and glorifies you based on God's mercy, not your works. It is sufficient to pay the price without the addition of anything else.
It is a love that chooses us in the depths of our sin and transforms us. It is a powerful and redeeming love that accomplishes what it sets out to do - save us!!
Do you not see the glory of God in this! Totally depraved, yet totally loved. His grace is truly amazing.
By Anthony | November 11, 2009 at 08:10 AM EST | No Comments
Thank you to all of our veterans who have fought for this country and have protected the freedom we have. Without these men, America would be in serious trouble - and not only America, but the rest of the world
I think we take for granted everything that these men have fought for and protected. Please keep in mind their sacrifice and extend your hand to them today, and everyday after.
Their spilled blood allows me to write about my Savior's spilled blood. Their sacrifice allows me to talk about my Savior's sacrifice. Their loyalty allows me to talk about my Savior's loyalty.
Please take a moment to pray for the soldiers who are currently on the front lines of battle making the world a safer place. May God bless and protect the brave men and women who have fought for, and those who currently fight for this country.
There is something for everyone, from the problem of evil to ethics to Atheists to the cults. This list hits it all.
Studying takes hard work and its important to understand your opponents position. Misrepresenting what someone thinks can push them further away from Christ so it's our job to articulate the positions and bring them closer.
The Marines say "the more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle" and its true!
By Anthony | October 30, 2009 at 12:24 PM EDT | No Comments
Most Protestant Christians observe Reformation Day in honor of Martin Luther and other Christians who removed false doctrine and destructive practices from the Christian church.
Because the Roman Catholic Church was desperate to raise money to complete St. Peter's in Rome during the Middle Ages, many clergy used fear as a tool to obtain money from poor and unsophisticated people. They told the people that they had to pay money to the church so that their sins and the sins of their families might be forgiven. The people bought pieces of paper called pardons and indulgences from the church so that they could believe that they would go to heaven when they died.
Luther was deeply disturbed by these and other abuses in the church. At the same time he was aware of his own sins and imperfections, and he tried very hard to make himself into a person that he thought God would like. The harder he tried, the worse he felt. He thought he was growing farther and farther away from God, and that it was becoming impossible for God to like him at all.
In despair, he began a deep study of the Bible, especially the letters in the New Testament that were written by Paul, most of all the letter to the Romans, and he began to understand what Paul had told the early Christians over a thousand years before.
In his preaching and writing, Luther began to emphasize two main points: justification by faith and the priesthood of all believers.
Justification by faith means that Christians can never earn God's love or forgiveness. All that Christians must do is to accept God as God, and God will love and forgive and cherish them.
The priesthood of all believersmeans that every Christian has his or her own personal relationship with God, reading the Bible and worshiping in his or her own language, and praying directly to God without anyone's going in between.
So Protestant Christians give thanks to God on this day for the opportunity to lead lives of faith, instead of lives of fear.
Reformation Day is observed on the last Sunday of October, during the Season of Pentecost. The symbol of Luther and Lutherans is theLuther Rose.
By Anthony | October 22, 2009 at 10:30 AM EDT | No Comments
NEW YORK - Remember Ida, the fossil discovery announced last May with its own book and TV documentary? A publicity blitz called it "the link" that would reveal the earliest evolutionary roots of monkeys, apes and humans.
Experts protested that Ida wasn't even a close relative. And now a new analysis supports their reaction.
In fact, Ida is as far removed from the monkey-ape-human ancestry as a primate could be, says Erik Seiffert of Stony Brook University in New York.
By Anthony | October 16, 2009 at 01:10 PM EDT | No Comments
In our Tuesday night bible study, we read John Chap 5 where Jesus meets and invalid of 38 years at the pool in Bethesda near the Sheep Gate. The invalid has been there waiting to get into the pool to be healed, but unable to enter because other people have been pushing their way ahead of him. There was a tradition at the time suggesting that the first person in the water when it began to stir would be healed. It is here that Jesus meets this man and a conversation ensues.
Jesus asks the invalid “do you want to be healed?” Now, I think this is a loaded question with more to it than meets the eye. I couldn’t imagine the invalid saying anything else but an immediate “Yes!” After 38 years of being an invalid, who wouldn’t want to be healed?!!!
Was Jesus testing the potency of his real desire to be healed, or was he simply offering him immediate healing as an act of mercy in the midst of hypocrisy?
Instinctively, the sick man's flesh (human nature) reacts and he focuses on the opposition to his healing rather than simply answering the question. In his mind it was: person + water = healing. Unfortunately, he was thinking in the natural, according to the pattern of this world, while Jesus is thinking in the supernatural according to the kingdom.
I can hear the invalid's heart saying "I’m doing the best I can to get into the water but they won't let me - it's not my fault, I'm trying!"
If the invalid only knew who was asking him this question!
Let's try to picture the scene in our minds. First, imagine the type people who pushed themselves in front of this man to get healed. They obviously saw his affliction and ignored it. They had enough strength to walk into the pool themselves and pushed him aside – he must have been in worse condition than all of them.
Next, and worse, how many healthy Jews must have passed him by, and passed by the Sheep Gate seeing him year after year as they went to celebrate the Passover? Remember, this all takes place at the temple during the feast of Passover! This feast of the Lord commemorates and remembers God’s mercy on the Jews in Egypt when they were being delivered into the Promised Land. Did they receive mercy and yet forget to extend mercy?
Without pressing the man about his answer, Jesus says to him “get up, take up your mat and walk.” Jesus’ response is amazing – He doesn’t wait for the man to ask Him for healing, He just does it. Jesus came to seek and save the lost.This is true mercy, true grace – getting what you don’t deserve! As the others passed by, Jesus stoops down and helps the helpless. I think He is saying "the last will be first!"
Think of the typology. The invalid, a type of sinner, is totally unable to affect his own cause in healing himself, and yet is healed by Jesus even though he never answers his question.
When it comes to salvation, how many times do we hear "I’m doing the best I can to get into heaven, I'm trying!" The sinner mistakenly thinks that a natural solution can solve a supernatural problem.
We are dead in our own sins, incapable of atoning for them and need God to act first. He comes to us - we don't go to Him, He knows us - we don't know Him, He asks us questions - we offer our excuses, He gives us life – we come alive! The darker the place, the deeper God's grace!
It is no coincidence that this happens in Bethsaida, the house of mercy. In Titus 3:5 we are told “he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit”. We serve a merciful God!
This scene also happened near the Sheep Gate. The Sheep Gate was the place where people would bring in their sheep that were to be sacrificed. Jesus knows full well that He himself will one day be the Lamb sacrificed for His people. Later in John's Gospel, we will hear Jesus say "I know my sheep and my sheep know me. I give them eternal life and they will never perish." This is the best promise in all of the bible if you ask me!
Jesus knows, cares for, and gives life to his sheep! He did it for the invalid, and He does it for us! The Son gives life to whom He wills that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father.
What an incredible display of God's mercy on sinners, that the Shepherd would lay His life down for the sheep. That is the God we serve!! To God alone be the glory!
By Anthony | October 07, 2009 at 11:59 AM EDT | No Comments
Thank you for stopping by and reading our blog. Our desire is to proclaim Christ and Him crucified in the tradition of the great Reformers. We hold to the Five Solas of the Reformation and the doctrines of grace as they have been taught historically.
We will look to promote a Christian worldview in light of a biblical understanding.
Thanks for stopping by and we look forward to great dialogue moving forward. God bless you.