Archive for May, 2007

Movie Spoilers. Do not continue reading if don’t want plot spoilers and haven’t watched the Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest or At World’s End

“Do you fear death?” -Davy Jones

Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean, “Dead Man’s Chest” and “At World’s End,” both express the similar dread and fear of death. In Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Davy Jones, captain of the Flying Dutchman, recruited more pirates for his ship by asking them one question, “Do you fear death?” Davy Jones sought dying people willing to delay death by serving 100 years on the Flying Dutchman. Similarly, in Pirates of the Caribbean: At the World’s End, Jack Sparrow is pained between obtaining immortality for himself by taking Davy Jones’ place as captain of the ghost-ship, the Flying Dutchman.

Pirates of the Caribbean assumes there is something to fear of death. Is such fear irrational? No, the underlying the fear of death is the fear of God and his judgement.

Man already knows the outcome of God’s judgement is punishment. “Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them (Romans 1:32).”

This is why some men readily joined Davy Jones’ crew. And why men are hesitant to cast life so easily. Though mankind knows beforehand the outcome of God’s judgement, they attempt to delay it. The fear of God’s judgement motivates the sinner to delay death. However the time the sinner spends “delaying death” is not actually a delay at all. The time before death is time allotted by God, upon “the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead [the sinner] to repentance.”

Death cannot be escaped. Even in Pirates of the Caribbean, Davy Jones himself was unable to escape death. It reminds me of people attempting to hide their face from God:

“When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”
-Revelations 6:12-17

Such terror has happened before:

“And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the lofty pride of men shall be brought low, and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day. And the idols shall utterly pass away. And the people shall enter the caves of the rocks and the holes of the ground, from before the terror of the LORD and from the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to terrify the earth.”
-Isaiah 2:17-19

Man would rather hide then face God but God is there to meet them:

For his eyes are on the ways of a man, and he sees all his steps. There is no gloom or deep darkness where evildoers may hide themsevles.
Job 34-1-22

Often times in suicide, man attempts to escape the pain and suffering he exeriences. Yet Isaiah warns us, “What will you do on the day of punishment, in the ruin that will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help, and where will you leave your wealth (Isaiah 10:30)?” There is no consolation or comfort in death.

With this understanding, Jesus’ statement about death makes sense:

“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.” -John 12:23-26

If one truely desires to escape final judgement in death, one must die to oneself and place faith in Christ. For such faith far exceeds anything Davy Jones or any man can offer, giving everlasting life.

Aye, come ye sinners, and serve on Christ’s crew, for our captain is unlike any other in the past, present, or future.

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This debate between Eric Svendsen and Mitchell Pacwa is on the subject of Sola Scriptura vs Sola Ecclesia.

HT: Rhoblogy (a review of the debate is posted as well)

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The New Attitude audio messages are all now available for free download. This is great for those who can’t afford to go or to purchase the audios. Don’t forget to drop a note to thank them for their service.

Free registration required.

Update: no need for registration now, they have moved it to another server.

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I surf the net often trying to keep abreast with the latest apologetics development online and also various assorted atheist website (though I have cut down on my atheist diet recently)

Well, interestingly enough, John Loftus, whom I’ve suspect in the past as the source behind various attacks against Christian anonymously or under false guise, have finally been caught cold handed in the act, thanks to the FEED CODE.

I first caught news of this from Frank WALTON earlier today, and J.P Holding of Tektonics Ministry was the target of John Loftus. So I thought I drop by Tektonics again (I was on it earlier at 7AM to see if there was any new material on a site that I’ve grown to love and hope to contribute more pieces in addition to the two essay I have there) and a link was given to the TWEB, where Mr. Holding regularly is in the forum of.

After much weasling, John Loftus the atheist who just had a recent blog on how Conservative Christians are hateful bigots (because there’s the KKK…lol!) turn out to be a hateful immature bigot himself.

He finally confessed to being behind the blog that he set up.

Peter Pike (Calvindude) over at Triablogue put it in perspective, and he’s hit it right on the nail on Atheistic hate which was written as part satire but also discusses the issue itself on Secularist bigoted hatred.


If you believe that Debunkers don’t propagate a notably strong sense of bigotry and hatred toward those who believe differently than they, then I have some challenges for you.First, seek out a member of the Debunkers or any other brand name apostates. Ask that person as plainly as you can, “Why do you hate Peter, Paul, and Steve?” Listen to their answer. I’m willing to bet an airline ticket to the Bahamas that the answer will be something like, “We don’t hate them. We hate what they stand for,” or “Those of us who believe in Debunking supremacy are having our way of life taken from us, and we are fighting to stop that.” Or, if the person you are asking is exceptionally well-versed in their bigotry, you may even get to hear a biblically endarkening discourse on Genesis on how “God himself never claimed to create blogs. Who are we to support them?” Almost never will they say, “I admit it. You got me. I hate those theists because that’s the way I am.”

Then, find a college atheist, a member or a sympathizer of a terrorist group like the Rational Response Squad. Ask him why he hates the Christians so much. Chances are, you’ll hear, “We don’t hate Christians. We once lived in peace with the Christians. We are fighting them to win back our freedom.” I am amazed how people can be so darn good at putting soft-peddle twists on hate speech to make it sound less objectionable.

THe three of us who blog for Vertias Domain are active in engaging in Presuppositional Apologetics and evangelism in Southern California, particularly to high schoolers, youth groups, college and grad students and Secular Campuses.

WHile following this, I thought to myself of how every anti-Christian I have met never confess their hatred to Christianity though it becomes so evident. YEsterday, during our evangelism, we had a dialogue with a regular atheist we debate with, and the amount of heat was fierce, yet there was little substance. The bulk of his ‘attack’ was ad Hominem and Red Herring, and getting upset that we would use logic since he’s rejected logic in his belief (laws of Identity is not true, no such thing as truth, no laws on Noncontradiction according to a previous conversation we had, science and logic are not compatible, Valid= good induction argument, etc…of course the list here protray a serious problem with his worldview and his own understanding of logic).

But he wouldn’t say he’s a hate monger. Ask someone walking by, and you might get something different…where he’s caught with his pants down.

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Memorial Day morning…

Lest we forget, with our church retreats, picnics, the beach or sleeping in,

Take a time this morning or evening to remember those who have fallen in during times of war…

Out of all the pictures I’ve seen, I think this has got to be the most riveting for me of all the pictures concerning Iraq…

The picture of a Marine’s casket (a 2nd. Lt. Cathey, who left behind his pregnant wife) as contrast to the plane and the people looking out of the window…the contrast is beautifully captured and is almost surreal.


Enough with my words. THis picture was part of a series that won the pulizter prize…reading the 19 pages, you would know why.  Have tissues nearby, it is very emotional.

SOURCE:(Beware, its 10MB PDF FILE) 

The picture in its context:

The American Airlines 757 couldn’t have landed much farther from the war.  The plane arrived in Reno on a Friday evening, the beginning of the 2005 “Hot August Nights” festival — one of the city’s biggest—filled with flashing lights, fireworks,care free music and plenty of gambling.  When a young Marine in dress uniform had boarded the plane to Reno, the passengers smiled and nodded politely. None knew he had just come from the plane’s cargo hold, after watching his best friend’s casket loaded on board.

At 24 years old, Sgt. Gavin Conley was only seven days younger than the man in the coffin.The two had met as 17-year-olds on another plane — the one to boot camp in California. They had slept in adjoining top bunks,the two youngest recruitsin the barracks.

All Marines call each other brother. Conley and Jim Cathey could have been.They finished each other’s

sentences, had matching infantry tattoo setched on their shoulders, and cracked on each other as if they had grown up together— which, in some ways, they had.

When the airline crew found out about Conley’s mission, they bumped him to first-class.  He had never flown there before.  Neither had Jim Cathey.  On the flight, the woman sitting next to him nodded toward his uniform and asked if he was coming or going. To the war,she meant.

He fell back on the words the military had told him to say: “I’m escorting a fallen Marine home to his family from the situationin Iraq.”

The woman quietly said she was sorry, Conley said.  Then she began to cry.

When the plane landed in Nevada, the pilot asked the passengers to remain seated while Conley disembarked alone.

Then the pilot told them why.

The passengers pressed their faces against the windows.

Outside, a procession walked toward the plane. Passengers in window seats leaned back to give others a better view. One held a child up to watch.

From their seats in the plane, they saw a hearse and a Marine extending a white-gloved hand into a limousine,helping a pregnant woman out of the car.

On the tarmac, Katherine Cathey wrapped her arm around the major’s, steadying herself. Then her eyes locked on the cargohold and the flag-draped casket.

Inside the plane, they couldn’t hear the screams.


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In discussion with Christians about why they ought to adopt Presuppositional Apologetics, the subject of religious neutrality MUST BE ADDRESSED  

Here is  a link to “A Brief Outline Against Religious Neutrality”


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The Associated Press has a piece on the Marines and their problems with getting new types of equipment.

Notably, the following excerpt is enlightening:

Of more than 100 requests from deployed Marine units between February 2006 and February 2007, less than 10 percent have been fulfilled, the document says. It blamed the bureaucracy and a “risk-averse” approach by acquisition officials.

Those of us here who write for this blog all have background in the military and we all know what its like in the receiving (or shall I say the unreceived) end of things like this

Marines, I am proud to say, have always been good in making as much as possible with the little it has been given

Still, I hope some internal review and solution could be implemented to address the above concern

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Thought this was a fun thing from James White’s website, as he’s teaching in Scotland…

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You know, I feel very strongly about guys that have never been in the military, that pretends to be veterans, and then use the oppourtunity to tell lies that are not even real and falsify alleged immoral violent acts.

Those of you who read this blog might also as well, especially those of you with prior service or are currently still in the military…you know what I’m talking about. 

Meet Jessie Macbeth


Jessie Macbeth’s interview and documentary, which I’ve seen the whole thing (and I can’t stomach it) made me rather upset some time ago; as a military history buff at a young age and an avid Sun Tzu ‘young grasshoppa’  who believe that there is power in the knowledge of one’s opponent and one’s side (not just marines, our other military branches as well…), everything just didn’t seem right in the interview….and it didn’t require me to dig deep either, through old Army uniform regulation in his ‘graduation’ photo nor did I have to consult Army’s Table of Organization, Ranger SOP or research about base instillation and bases…the talking head was a wannabe.

Well, after a fake documentary, earning a place of being a hero to the anti-war crowd, slandering our military, falsifying alleged military documentation of military service, collecting $10,000 of Veteran’s benefits (how this guy get away with it when guys who really need the money don’t even see any money?!) and last week being arrested finally for assulting a girl (now that’s low, let me tell you),

Mr. Jessie Macbeth has finally been detained.

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Online dating has become a lifestyle for many singles. A friend that I know got married through “online dating.” Most singles today have met someone online. So, how do we addressed the current trend?

Pastor Isaac Hydoski from Covenant Life Church wrote on this new trend.

Online Dating: A Pastoral Perspective by Isaac Hydoski

Don’t you wish it was as easy for you as it was for Adam and Eve? Online dating services have been around for just over 10 years, but the idea of finding a spouse goes back to the Garden of Eden. The world looks very different now in some respects, but in other ways it hasn’t changed. We still desire to get married and God is still bringing husbands and wives together in marriage.

But how does the $500 million industry of online dating fit in to the grand scheme of God’s plan for marriage? Does the Bible have anything to say about online dating? Can we learn anything from others’ experiences with online dating?

These are some of the questions we hope to bring clarity to through this paper. This perspective paper is the fruit of the application and study of Scripture, pastoral experience with counseling others and an interview with some from our community who have participated in online dating. We believe this paper is timely. We hope it serves you as you seek to obey and honor our Lord Jesus Christ.

Before getting into the details it is vital to establish that Scripture nowhere forbids online dating and therefore neither should we. It is a denial of the sufficiency of Scripture to add ‘laws’ that God in his wisdom decided not to include in Holy Scripture. Let’s all commit to not load each other’s consciences with ‘sins’ that are not in Scripture. This was the mistake of the Pharisees. But we do want to help inform your thinking and practice related to on-line dating that is shaped by biblical principles.

As we studied on-line dating sites some of the benefits we were able to identify are:

• Online dating allows for interaction with a much larger group of singles.
• If used wisely, it can provide a context to evaluate a potential date before meeting face-to-face.
• In addition, many singles who invest the amount of time and energy into online dating are generally interested in a serious relationship.
• Finally, there are positive examples of couples who have met and got engaged/married through these services.

These are good benefits. But with any decision we make, it is important to weigh the benefits and the risks before we proceed. Having said this we, as pastors, do have significant concerns about on-line dating services and the unwise use of them, which we will detail in this paper.

Concerns to consider (not in order of significance):

Expensive A few of these sites are free, but most average $30 a month and some are as high as $50 per month.Time-consuming

Filling out lengthy questionnaires, sorting through potential “matches”, and contacting matches can be a very time consuming and slow process that can distract from other priorities.

False hope
Advertising campaigns for these sites such as “finding your soul mate” or “the love of your life” border on being disingenuous. Most sites report that only 1-2% of participant’s relationships end in marriage. But the advertisements show couple after couple finding true love, which creates an impression not in keeping with reality.

• Most online dating sites have lengthy disclaimers and warnings regarding personal safety when meeting people online.
• Disclosing highly personal information to someone you don’t know at all is unwise at best and dangerous at worst.
• Best foot forward syndrome: It is quite easy to become a different person online or to not represent oneself truthfully. Often a person will communicate what they would like to be true of themselves rather than their actual lives in practice.
• Consumer complaint sites list stories of predators, liars, con-men/women who are actively trolling online dating sites for victims.

• Values: Many find that their potential matches answer value questions in a similar way (sexual purity, fellowship, church involvement, etc.) but how they define and practice these values is much different and leads to the immediate need to either end the relationship or deal with the temptation to compromise.
• Lowering standards: Maintaining God-glorifying standards for relationships is much more difficult after you’re already involved with someone and as a result it is easy to drift into casual dating relationships and compromise on the significant values of a committed, intentional relationship.
• Doctrinal beliefs: Excitement of meeting new people interested in you can lessen the importance of significant doctrinal differences that will seriously affect any long-term relationship. Consider a marriage where husband and wife cannot agree on how the sovereignty of God is expressed in salvation, or how the role of husband and wife differ, or how they ought to raise and discipline their children.
• Priority of local church: Getting connected with other believers from different areas immediately adds the pressure of the potential of relocation and can affect commitment to their particular local church.

Can reinforce self-focused view of relationships
• Matches are generally based on what you want in a spouse or how well someone is compatible with you instead of biblical criteria.
• Decisions to contact a match can be based on superficial preferences or how well they measure up to what you want/prefer.
• This encourages sowing towards a selfish view of finding someone who will love you rather than the other way around. (Read Ephesians 5:22-32 for God’s perspective.)

Loss of protection from church community
• Many singles in our community are not involving family or friends in this process due the “stigma” associated with online dating.
• You lose the benefit of dating someone known by others you trust.
• You do not have the benefit of seeing the fruit of their life lived out in a local church context.
• Your impressions of the potential match are almost entirely dependent on their self-disclosure and are subject to their honesty or lack thereof.

New temptations
• Deception: It is easy to conceal from others involved in your life what you are doing and easy to conceal the truth about yourself to others online.
• Hopelessness: Many singles approach online dating after experiencing disappointment within their church context and can even see this as their “last chance” for a meaningful relationship. Given that only 1-2% of those participating in online dating services find a spouse this can be a significant discouragement if marriage doesn’t occur.
• Laziness: Some see online sites as an easier approach to relationships, which hinders a cultivation of a trust and faith in God.
• Discouragement: Many singles find that after a few months of online searching, nothing meaningful comes from the hard work. Some are never contacted at all.
• Distortion of biblical roles: These services can place women in the difficult position of having to lead if paired with a man who is unwilling to lead.

From our perspective these are significant concerns/risks that you need to prayerfully consider if you are thinking about participating in one of these services. Please do so with the help of the spiritual community God has given you, because “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22).

Pastoral Counsel to Those Using Online Dating Services

For those who are currently participating in online dating, we want to counsel you so that you are best equipped to navigate these concerns & risks.

1. Discern your motives (Jeremiah 17:9; Luke 6:43-45; James 1:14)
Our motives are constantly driving us to do things–whether good or bad. When it comes to online dating, there is a range of possible motivations one might have. One common motive seems to be a hopelessness in God’s provision and timing of a spouse. You might ask yourself this question to discern this, “Is this a means to take the possibility of marriage into my own hands instead of trusting God?” We are not saying that you shouldn’t be taking action and specific steps towards pursuing good things like marriage, but if this is your motive you might be setting yourself up for an even greater temptation and struggle because the reality is that the vast majority of those using services like this are not finding a spouse. If you discern this is your motive, then repent of unbelief and start believing in God’s sovereign goodness and provision for you in particular. Please also consider if continuing in this service is going to further tempt you to doubt God’s goodness for you by trusting in yourself to find a spouse. If the temptation is too strong, it may be wise to discontinue using it and start sowing to trusting in God to provide.

2. Involve your community (Proverbs 11:14, 15:22, 20:18, 24:6; Hebrews 3:12,13, 10:24,25)
The biggest concern we have about online dating is that it seems to go under the radar. People aren’t talking to their friends or their care groups or their pastors about the people they are meeting online. We realize that you might be wary of sharing this with others because of a perceived “stigma” that on-line dating has, but you need to be seeking wisdom from others to help you honor God more than you need to maintain a reputation. It is unwise to not invite your friends who care for you and know you well to help you evaluate the type of people you are meeting online. The reality is that no matter how often you re-read their profiles, talk to them through email or phone, you still do not really know this person. What we would suggest is that you invite family or a trusted friend into your correspondence with the people you are meeting. We know this sounds very personal, but consider letting them read the emails, profiles, etc. to get their perspective on these individuals. We are aware of some examples of humble people who have done just this as they sought to apply biblical principles to online dating. Finally, bring the people you are meeting into your community so your family and friends and pastors can begin to get to know them face-to-face. This will bring much needed grace, protection, and wisdom to you as you evaluate this relationship.

3. Know your values and convictions (Ephesians 5:10)
What are the non-negotiables in a potential spouse for you? If you haven’t spent time considering this in light of Scripture you will likely default to what feels right instead of determining what is most important for you in a spouse. Compromise really is right around the corner when we don’t determine what our convictions are. We have seen this time and again with Christians who aren’t clear on Biblical criteria and priorities for a spouse.

4. Communicate your values and convictions (Zechariah 8:16; Ephesians 4:15, 25)
Feelings of attraction and a desire for the opposite sex are powerful realities in our lives. If these are not anchored by your values about the Christian life (e.g. sexual purity, local church, fellowship) they will pull you towards either conflict or compromise. Please do not allow a relationship to remain in an undefined territory where what you believe and hold to is not communicated by you or the other person. This will inevitably lead to either you tempting the person who is becoming emotionally attached to you or it will tempt you to simply jettison important convictions you have because of your emotional attachment.

5. Ask about their values and convictions (Ephesians 5:6,7; Proverbs 24:21; 1 Corinthians 15:33)
Don’t get entangled with someone who doesn’t love what you love, value what you value, desire what you desire–especially as it relates to your relationship with God. Ask detailed, specific questions about their faith and how it functions for them in day-to-day life BEFORE a relationship begins. We’d also like to suggest that you try to talk to this person’s pastor or significant leader in their church. Ask them the same questions that you’ve been asking the person through email/phone and compare notes. They will likely offer a much more balanced perspective on this person. This will be really helpful if the person has spoken much more idealistically about themselves than the pastor’s or leader’s perspective.

In summary, if you are participating in online dating, please know that we love you and we support you. Our concerns are just that: concerns. We want to see you experience God’s grace in Christ Jesus and we want to be faithful to show you some of the significant pitfalls as we see them, so you can be protected from discouragement and danger.

If you are considering participating in online dating, please weigh our concerns and make your decision carefully and with much prayer and counsel.

Written by Isaac Hydoski. Copyright: Covenant Life Church, 2007.

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Bernard Lewis wrote in the Wall Street Journal,

For a long time, the main enemy was seen, with some plausibility, as being the West, and some Muslims were, naturally enough, willing to accept what help they could get against that enemy. This explains the widespread support in the Arab countries and in some other places first for the Third Reich and, after its collapse, for the Soviet Union. These were the main enemies of the West, and therefore natural allies.

Now the situation had changed. The more immediate, more dangerous enemy was the Soviet Union, already ruling a number of Muslim countries, and daily increasing its influence and presence in others. It was therefore natural to seek and accept American help. As Osama bin Laden explained, in this final phase of the millennial struggle, the world of the unbelievers was divided between two superpowers. The first task was to deal with the more deadly and more dangerous of the two, the Soviet Union. After that, dealing with the pampered and degenerate Americans would be easy.

We in the Western world see the defeat and collapse of the Soviet Union as a Western, more specifically an American, victory in the Cold War. For Osama bin Laden and his followers, it was a Muslim victory in a jihad, and, given the circumstances, this perception does not lack plausibility.

Will visiting of history preserve the future? (HT: AM)

More of Dr Lewis articles,

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The first time I have heard of this man was a negative comment made by a professor. From then on, I have heard so much about this man. Therefore I went to read up about him. Wow! I have found that there are so much “stuff” written about him. Especially from people who hate him. The 2 biggest fight for Falwell was abortion and family. So the people who were against him were obviously feminists, homosexuals, atheists, secularists, maxists, communists, etc. They call him bigoted, intolerant, racist, narrow minded, & other names not worth mentioning. And yet, where are the tolerance they speak of? Where is the pluralism of ideas? Where is the consistent liberalism? Where are the non-judgmental people? Where are the non-narrow minded, non-bigoted and tolerant atheist, secularist, communist, feminist, homosexual, etc?

I have found this about Jerry Falwell,

1. He was faithful to his wife of 48 years.

2. He was faithful to his church since 1956.

3. He was faithful to his supporters (there was never a financial discrepancy throughout his ministry)

4. He was faithful to his Lord Jesus Christ.

Even though we disagree with some of his theological position and many controversial comments (just a few weeks ago, he call us heretics for our belief in particular atonement), we salute him as a faithful worker and brother.

Our condolences to his family.

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There’s a brave BRuin taking a stand against Abortion


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This is the preaching of Dr. Bahnsen on this very topic; though it was years ago, it is eerily timely….

As a courtesy, we recommend those who want to see more lectures by Bahnsen in other areas to visit CMF.

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These are some resources for those who are engaging with Roman Catholics.

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