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Archive for November, 2012

NOTE FOR November 13th, 2012: For a limited time, download it for free on KINDLE by clicking HERE.

As I’ve stated in other reviews before, 2012 is the year of Navy SEALs autobiography and perhaps the Osama Bin Laden raid by DEVGRU might have had something to do with this sudden market and interests concerning the Navy SEALs. This is an autobiography of a Navy SEAL that became a Christian, though the book begins with the author’s high school days of teenage rebellion and silliness. I was surprised how much he spent in the book for that portion of his life. Then it turned towards the direction of how the author wanted to be a SEAL, his parents opposition, which led his dad hiring Scott Helvenston to physically train Chad Williams to be ready for the SEALs. For those who know anything about the SEALs, the name Scott Helvenston should ring a bell, since he was one of the youngest member to join the Navy SEALs at age 17 that became well known for the infamous incident in Fallujah when he and three other security contractors were brutally killed on March 31st, 2004. That event prompted a serious Marine assault on the city that April. Williams describe his sadness of the news of the lost of his mentor days before he left for the Navy, then goes on with his experience going through BUD/S. You wouldn’t want to put this book down; every SEALs biography about Hell Week and BUD/S makes me glad that there are some really tough men out there serving to protect our country and national interests. For a man so determine to be a SEAL, the author describes his sudden depression after having arrived at being a SEAL and his life’s downward direction before coming to Christ a crusade by Greg Laurie. This conversion led a radical shift in his life and the chapter on him being picked on and physically assaulted by members of his platoon was an unexpected turn in the book. It reminds us that being a Christian light in the military sometimes is it’s own war zone for the Christian. His tour in Iraq was mentioned only towards the end of the book. As I read this book I realized just how young this author is and how grateful I am for men like him who served in such a capacity as being a SEAL. I appreciate and was encouraged by his evangelistic zeal, nevertheless I am hoping that he grow deeper and deeper in the WORD of God as he ministers to people (not that I have doubts that he’s not, but just praying that he will grow). Too often we can see the Evangelical world be obsessed with young heroes and role models and set them up to fail when we don’t equally pray for them more than praise them. Again, this is a good autobiography and I read it under 24 hours because I can’t put it down and head to read late into the night and early morning

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This is a lecture by Greg Bahnsen, a Presuppositional apologist who have made a contribution by popularizing the apologetics of Cornelius Van Til and “taking it to streets.”

I need to watch this later.

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Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

Usually, when I read a commentary for devotional purposes, I read the passage from the Bible first then I consult a commentary with an eye for additional insight or observation and point of application I might have missed. I usually weigh commentaries in that regard with what it brings out from the text. Schaffer brought out insights to things that I missed not only upon my first reading of the passage, but my previous reading of Joshua also as well. To that end, I thought this work was helpful. For instance, I did not noticed before that the memorial of the stones that Jacob commanded Israel to lay was on the Jordan itself from rocks that were on land and also rocks from the Jordan unto dry land in Joshua 4. This seemingly trivial point is explained by Schaeffer as being significant since the stones from the river (assuming it looks different) will stand out on dry land and vice versa as a memorial of God’s faithfulness when God once again parting water for Israel. Francis Schaeffer also had a good section on the Abrahamic covenant of God as the background to what was going on in Joshua in terms of receiving the promise land. It’s always beautiful seeing the flow of biblical theology being taken into account in interpreting a passage. The book also had a theologically rich chapter that focused on Joshua 8:30-35 on what Mount Ebal and Gerizim meant, where Schaeffer was able to use it to point to the gospel with the altar on Mount Ebal (the mountain of curses and judgment), of how this symbolizes that there is a need for the cleansing of sins. This commentary also answered a question I had for a while but neglected in finding the answer to. I’ve known before that the 12 tribes of Israel included two sons of Joseph which made me wonder how is it that there are 12 tribes instead of 13 if the tribes are from Jacob’s 12 sons. The math never added up to me until Schaeffer’s note from Genesis 49 that there is a prophecy that Simeon was to be without their own land. Over all, for a devotional flavor commentary, this work had good use of antecedent theology in interpreting the text, with Schaeffer using the Laws of Moses to make sense of what was going on in Joshua. Examples have already been cited above but added to this is the chapter on the city of Refuge, which must be understood in light of the directions and technicalities of Deuteronomy 4:41-43, Deuteronomy 19:1-13, Numbers 35:4-5 and 34:15-30. I also enjoyed the fact that Francis Schaeffer points out that when we look at the Bible, events took place in “time and space,” that is, in history. The ramification of that is huge: history is going somewhere. It is objectively meaningful. Of all people, Christians should be interested in the study of history since we know of God’s plan, promises and providence.

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Taking a break this Veteran’s Day friday evening from our regularly scheduled apologetics and theology blogging to remember those who served.  This is a 1951 movie that I recently found online and I was surprised that a movie like this was made in the early 50s and that it was made that close after the war.  If you don’t know anything about the Japanese American infantry unit known as the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, you ought to do a little online reading this weekend which would be more than appropriate for Veteran’s Day.  They are still today the most decorated Army unit on the record, with the highest casualty rate sustained by any unit.  And they were serving in a time when Japanese American loyalty were being questioned and their family held in internment camps back in the States which makes the amount of sacrifice shown by these brave men even more phenomenal.  I kind of wish a 21st century movie of this unit would have been made today of the quality of Band of Brothers and Saving Private Ryan.  I think it would sell.

I was struck with how the movie capture so much reality rather than being another sugar coat war propaganda movie: they did a good job showing the reality of racism, conveying GI culture, referencing specific things that’s Japanese American and made honest allusion to the reality of the internment camp experience.  That was probably the more surprising part of the movie, to see that being acknowledged back in the 50s!  The US government would acknowledge this sad chapter in American history in the 1980s (but that’s another subject, another post and another time!).  On the lighter side of things, I found it funny the movie’s reference to one of the guys being a graduate of USC (I’m a UCLA Bruin) and the small size of Asian infantryman.  As an American Marine of Asian descent, the last part struck a chord with me.  More than one time throughout the movie I was surprised at how it did not caricature Japanese American compared to other movies showing Asian during this time period.  I highly commend this movie in able to capture of slice of reality, conveying bravery and folly, sadness and humor, irony and patriotism with even a consciousness of civilians caught in the mix of war.  Well done film for it’s time.

Enjoy!  I just hope I didn’t hype it too much.

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Thomas Aquinas’ legacy among Evangelicals is an interesting one.  One the one hand are those who love and identify with him so much as to embrace the term Evangelical Thomists.  On the other hand are those who are much more cautious with what Aquinas has to say  while appreciating his contribution.

The Gospel Coalition recently featured a two part series with one author affirming how Aquinas might help Evangelical with the other one bent more on being cautious with Aquinas.

Here are the two articles:

1.) Aquinas: How He Might Help Evangelicals by GERALD R. MCDERMOTT.

2.) Aquinas: A Shaky Foundation by K. SCOTT OLIPHINT.

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These are some links on Presuppositional apologetics from around the internet recently.

1.) Christianity Provides Moral Absolutes: The Failure of non-Christian Moral Systems

2.) Pascal’s Wager is a Bad Bet

3.) Chris Bolt’s Debate: November 10th

4.) Dualism, Ontology and Pauline Authority

5.) How Can Atoms be Put on Trial for Killing Other Atoms?

6.) Answering Common Questions and Objections Part 1 – Vintage

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No matter who’s president, for the Christian we still have one KING.  He still reign.

Let us pray for God’s guidance in how we vote and also applying Biblical wisdom and principles.

But don’t forget to pray.

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Wow, Vern Poythress has done it again this year!  Another free book that he has written that he has made available online for free on PDF!  We are thankful for this Christian apologist, theologian and philosopher!

 

For your copy, click HERE.

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I don’t always agree with everything Gary North has to say but there has been many things I have learned from the man and change in terms of beliefs and outlooks on matters.  So I want to share with you his 31 Volume Economic Commentary on the Bible that he has made available until December 31st 2012.  Download them before it’s too late!

This is quite relevant in an election year that’s focus heavily on the economy.

They will appear in reverse order: newest posting at the top.
On Completing Phase 2 of My Lifetime Calling
Gary North
This took 52 years. The grunt work is over. Now the creative work begins . . . and the marketing. . . . keep reading
Free Weekly Book: The Epistles
Gary North
The episltes to the early churches are filled with economic rules and advice. . . . keep reading
Free Weekly Book: First Timothy
Gary North
Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth emphasizes the issue of hierarchy: in family, church, and state. . . . keep reading
Free Weekly Book: First Corinthians
Gary North
This book deals with that crucial ability, making good judgments. . . . keep reading
Free Weekly Book: Romans
Gary North
The first of Paul’s epistles sets forth some fundamental economic principles. . . . keep reading
Free Weekly Book: Acts
Gary North
This is the book on “communism in the early church.” You may need an answer. Here it is. . . . keep reading
Free Weekly Book: Luke
Gary North
This is by far the most anti-wealth book in the Bible. This is why it is cited by pro-welfare state Christians. . . . keep reading
Free Weekly Book: Mark
Gary North
This is the shortest of the four Gospels. . . . keep reading
Free Weekly Book: Matthew
Gary North
At last! We have reached the New Testament. In writing time, this took me 27 years (1973-2000). . . . keep reading
Free Weekly Book: Prophets
Gary North
Old Testament prophets are invoked by Social Gospel promoters who cannot find anything that Moses wrote to justify theft by the ballot box. But the prophets sided with Moses. . . . keep reading
Free Weekly Book: Ecclesiastes
Gary North
This book baffles commentators. That’s because they don’t understand the author’s strategy. . . . keep reading
Free Weekly Book: Proverbs
Gary North
This is God’s success manual. . . . keep reading
Free Weekly Book: Psalms
Gary North
The Psalms have a lot of economic information in them. They boil down to this: there are winners and losers in life. Join the winners. . . . keep reading
Free Weekly Book: Job
Gary North
The Book of Job raises the question: Why does God let bad things happen to good people? Then it answers it. . . . keep reading
Free Weekly Book: Historical Books: Joshua to Nehemiah
Gary North
From Joshua to Nehemiah, the Israelites rebelled. This is the account of that rebellion and its consequences. . . . keep reading
Free Weekly Book: Deuteronomy, Volume 3
Gary North
This concludes the exegesis of Deuteronomy. There are a total of 76 chapters. . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Book: Deuteronomy, Volume 3
Gary North
This concludes the exegesis of Deuteronomy. There are a total of 76 chapters. . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Books: Deuteronomy, Vol. 2
Gary North
Here is the second of three volumes of exegesis. . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Book: Deuteronomy, Volume 1
Gary North
Deuteronomy marked the transition of power to the generation of the conquest. . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Book: Deuteronomy, Vol. 4
Gary North
This is the volume of appendixes. . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Book: Numbers
Gary North
This is the only book in the Pentateuch for which I wrote only one volume. It’s simple. . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Book: Leviticus, Vol. 3
Gary North
This volume extends the economic laws of Leviticus. . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Book: Leviticus, Vol. 2
Gary North
This . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Book: Leviticus, Vol. 1
Gary North
This is the book that derails people’s attempt to read the Bible from start to finish. . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Book: Leviticus, Vol. 4
Gary North
Volume 4 contains the appendixes. There are some highly controversial ones. . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Book: Exodus, Vol. 4
Gary North
This is the final volume of Part 3 of Exodus. . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Book: Exodus, Vol. 3
Gary North
This begins my commentary on the case laws of Exodus: applications of the Ten Commandments. . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Book: Exodus, Vol. 2.
Gary North
The Ten Commandments remain the foundation of liberty. This includes economic liberty. . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Book: Exodus, Vol. 1
Gary North
This is the story of a confrontation: Moses vs. Pharaoh. It is the story of the greatest bureaucracy in the ancient world, and how it was laid low. . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Book: Exodus, Vol. 6: Appendixes
Gary North
Exodus Vol. 6 contains the remainder of the appendixes. . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Book: Exodus, Vol. 5: Appendixes
Gary North
This volume contains my appendix on social cost, one of the Big 3 articles in my career. . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Book: Genesis, Vol. 2: Appendixes
Gary North
Two of these appendixes are among the best academic essays I have ever written. . . . keep reading

Free Weekly Book: Genesis, Vol. 1
Gary North
Genesis lays the foundations for all thought. Economic theory is no exception. Genesis establishes origins. This is the starting point. . . . keep reading

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Short book that summarizes five reasons why the Christian ought to believe in recent creationism as opposed to theistic evolution. I read this book as a reminder of the summary of what reasons for Young Earth Creationism and to that end I think this booklet does it’s job though those who want to explore for details ought to pursue other works for their studies. One interesting note is that the author is a kin of the famous Henry Morris who was involved with the launch of the modern Creationism movement. There is also an appendix that explains the Gospel, which I think is a win. Again this book is to be understood as a summary rather than a fully fleshed out presentation for Young Earth Creationism. I think sometimes it’s good to have a summary booklet like this.

Purchase: Amazon

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Purchase: Amazon

Originally I was not sure if I wanted to read this book, as I don’t really have daddy issues. But this book turns out to be good not only from the perspective of a son on a father but of a father to their son as well. This book will capture the readers attention: It is witty, biblical and practical. It is interwoven with personal story but not in excess. I am glad I read it. I believe the author is onto something concerning the problem of men with their fathers. He’s also dead-on with the problems of men who blame their dad for everything as an escape from responsibility. I love how the book makes a conscious attempt to be Gospel centered as the solution to various problems from identifying true masculinity (which means being servant like) to sexuality and pornography. He emphasize also gospel driven motives for sanctification rather than “do better” mentality we can so easily slip into. Change and try harder is not good enough and does not go far enough: We need to realize we have sins that we need to God to repent about!
I enjoyed several illustrations from the book that really sinks in deep in making the author’s point: He had a good point about how no responsible fathers would ever teach their children on how to ride a bike for the first time by going on a hill, giving them a few advice concerning their bike lesson and let them go down hill into oncoming traffic. Yet that’s what we do with our sons when it comes to guidance when it comes to the area of sex. A few pat on the back, and the assumption that they will “figure it out,” never mind that the world is teaching them about sex rather than having them be informed Biblicall that sex is serving one another out of love and not selfish gratification.
The other illustration I enjoyed was his reference to ax, how if you only seen horror film your first encounter with an ax would be shaped by the perversion of what that ax is used for. However, ax is not bad in of itself, especially if it’s used for what it’s originally intended for such as chopping up fire wood for the fire place. This is analogous to sex: our culture has preverted it so much that we think it’s bad because our mind is informed by the perversion of the good. It’s important that fathers then inform and provide real guidance of the biblical view of sex–and biblical everything else for that matter. Good book. Recommend this book.

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