Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for December, 2013

end the fed Ron Paul

 (Order it on Amazon)

This is a book by former Congressman and Presidential candidate Ron Paul that focuses on monetary issue in the United States. And while it focuses on the specific situation in the United States Ron Paul does make the point in the book that the consequences of our bad monetary policy does have impact for the rest of the world. This book is critical of the Federal Reserve and argues that it is bad for our economy. It is not just merely an economic issue but Ron Paul argues that it is a moral issue as well. There is too much power given to the Federal Reserve with too little accountability and too much secrecy. To this day, the Federal Reserve has never been audited by the Congressional Budget Office. Some may object that the Federal Reserve does have Congressional oversight with the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board appearing before several Congressional committee; still, many questions are often not answered to Congress during these sessions. Still others might still defend the Federal Reserve as being a semi-private institution rather than a full government agency. Ron Paul argues in the book that the Federal Reserve has the worst of the Government and the Private Sector. In the end it boils down to the flawed economics of the Federal Reserve’s role end up causing the boom and bust cycle of today’s economy with messing with the supply of money. The printing of paper money and partial banking without any standard behind them is conducive to inflation. This is my first book by Ron Paul and I plan to read future works by him in the near future—he turns out to be more level headed than some of his followers I knew in college. Ron Paul does not believe that the Federal Reserve or the Government was behind 9/11, and does not unnecessarily demonize those in the Federal Reserve. I even appreciated the book sharing transcripts from Congressional hearings with different chairman of the Federal Reserve, be it Greenspan nor Bernake. The dialogue with Bernake about the housing bubble was the most interesting to me—Bernake totally didn’t see it coming despite Ron Paul’s concern. This was a year before the housing bubble burst. The book is also interesting for providing the personal background and influences driving Ron Paul—it also provides a personalize window into the connection of famous figures in the circle of Austrian School of Economics.

Read Full Post »

young vantil

 

Cornelius Van Til is the father of Presuppositional apologetics.  Here is a quick quote from The Reformed Pastor and Modern Thought pages 5-6:

All the facts of the universe are of necessity God-created, God-dependent facts. Therefore men ought to see that God is man’s Creator and his Judge. “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Rom 1:20).”

If God has indeed revealed Himself to all to such an extent that they are without excuse, shouldn’t this shape how we engage in apologetics with those who do not believe?

It should.  And Van Til was trying to be conscious of his Reformed and biblical conviction as what should drive and shape his apologetics.

Read Full Post »

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Here is a rare interview of the doctor being interviewed by this journalist on “What is Man?” Even though he is home with our Lord, his voice still reverberates in today’s generation. He is a God-fearing man who spoke with conviction. For those unaware of Lloyd-Jones, he left a prestigious occupation as a doctor because of his call to the ministry and is regarded as one of the most prolific expositors in the 20th century. May we learn from his example.

Hebrews 13:7, “Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith” (NASB).

Read Full Post »

dc008c8d0478c8e2e92e9b698b928fd4

These are Presuppositional apologetics links between December 8th-14th, 2013:

1.) Apologetic Evangelism 101: Developing a Strategic Offensive

2.) Review of debate: Young Earthers and Presuppositionalism

3.) Questions about False Doctrine: What Is Monism?

4.) Objective Moral Values: God is Required

UPDATE: 2 MORE LINKS!

The Bahnsen Conference – Lecture One: Pastor Roger Wagner

Read Full Post »

Marine Graduation

Went to a Marine graduation the last few days, hence I’ve been slow in posting on here.  Some of you may know that I served in the Marines and I’ve been out for a few years now.

The trip was sentimental but it also made me think tangent to the Christian faith and specifically with discipleship.  Here were some thoughts I found it stirred within me to continue being biblical in discipleship of believers:

1. Don’t compromise the faith and teaching the hard things of the Christian faith.  If our goal is make disciples and teach them all things that Christ want us to teach from His Word, we best not compromise.  Compromise will definitely lower the quality of the disciples we forge within the church.

2. The Goal of discipling Christians ought not be to get rid of suffering in their lives but to explain and make sense of it biblically.  If we don’t teach them to expect suffering, we should probably expect them to suffer seriously in their Christian walk.

3. We must not forget our spiritual roots and also ensure that we past them on to the next generation.  We must show them that each one of us have an obligation to not just subscribe to what we believe but pass it on to the next generation while realizing the world around us would slowly reflect values different than our own.

4. 2 Timothy 2:3-4 in the ESV is an imperative for all of us: “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.”

Read Full Post »

Assurance of Salvation Series

Note: The following are eight reasons Christian ought to study the doctrine of assurance and:

a. Truth in of itself is important

i.      Point: If God’s Word reveals anything about this subject, it ought to be seen as a gift of God’s truth for us to understand.

ii.      Proof

1.  “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.” (Deuteronomy 29:29)

a. Verse reveals two kinds of knowledge: Revealed vs. Hidden.

b. What is revealed “belong to us” (second generation Hebrews out of Egypt) but also “to our sons forever,

c. Purpose: “that we may observe all the words of this law.”

2. “Buy truth, and do not sell it, Get wisdom and instruction and understanding.” (Proverbs 23:23)

a. Truth is precious enough that Scripture tells us to buy it and not sell it.

b. It’s not just any truth but truth that is wise, instructive and understanding.

iii.      Practice

1. We ought to study this doctrine not just intellectually but to obey God’s Word (Cf. Deuteronomy 29:29b)!

2. If truths are even worth buying, how much do we appreciate a study on God’s Truth which in this case is about assurance when it’s free

b. God tells us to test ourselves if we are saved

i.      Point: If God’s Word tells us to test to see if we are saved, then we best understand what that test means in order to give us assurance

ii.      Proof

1.  “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you [a]fail the test?” (2 Corinthians 13:5)

a. Command stated twice: “Test yourselves” “examine yourselves

b. Reflexive pronoun referring to ourselves in introspection, an activity down to us.

iii.      Practice

1. Approach this study not just with head knowledge but to ask: Am I really saved?

2. This ought to be sobering

c. Too great a consequence to be mistaken about

i.      Point: Note earlier in 2 Corinthians 13:5 that “Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you [a]fail the test?

ii.      Proof

1.  “21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many[n]miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” (Matthew 7:21-23)

a. Jesus clearly state in verse 21 that some could be mistaken.

b. Note what these people say about their relationship to God in verse 22

i.      “prophesy in Your name

ii.      “cast out demons

iii.      “perform many[n]miracles

c. Consequences of their error: “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” (v.23)”

iii.      Practice

1. Ask yourself: Does this concern you?

2. Are there any practices of lawlessness that you need to repent of?\

d. The danger of self-deception is real (James1:22-24)

i.      Point: People can delude themselves and we ought to know with grounded assurance of our relationship with God and status for eternity.

ii.      Proof

1.  “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his [a]natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, [b]he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.” (James 1:22-24)

a. Note verse 22 the reality that when it comes to spirituality some may “delude themselves

b. How one may delude oneself: “merely hearers”(v. 22a)

c. How one may not delude oneself: “But prove yourselves doers of the word,” (v. 22a)

d. An ironic illustration (v. 23-24)

iii.      Practice

1. Take the next few weeks to be very honest with oneself especially with the areas of one’s life others don’t see.

2. Search yourself to see if you do the Word or not.

e. To be saved

i.      Point: If at the course of one’s test it turns out that one is not saved then the one thing to do is to make sure you get saved!

ii.      Proof:37 Now when they heard this, they were [a]pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “[b]Brethren, [c]what shall we do?” 38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:37-38)

1. Contextually this took place on day of Pentecost when Peter was preaching to a multitude of Jews at the Temple.

2. Note verse 37, the people realize they were in the wrong.

3. Note the hope in verse 38.

iii.      Practice

1. We need to do the same if it turns out we are not saved!

2. There is hope in receiving Jesus Christ!

f. Comfort the Christian

i.      Point: There is comfort and hope in a Christian assurance of their salvation!

ii.      Proof:

1. “ And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence [a]so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end,” (Hebrews6:11)

a. Note “the full assurance of hope” is something “that each one of you show the same diligence [a]so as to realize

b. This “full assurance”” is “of hope

2. Full assurance allow us to approach God: “let us draw near with a [a]sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled cleanfrom an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:22)

iii.      Practice

1. Do you want to have hope and comfort as a Christian? Study this topic to get it!

2. The more regularly you do this the more better your relationship with God is and the more you are comforted and have hope!

g. Bear fruit

i.      Point: Christian assurance is the motivation for bearing fruit and being productive for the Lord!

ii.      Picture: “Take, for an illustration of this, two English emigrants, and suppose them set down side by side in New Zealand or Australia. Give each of them a piece of land to clear and cultivate. Let the portions allotted to them be the same, both in quantity and quality. Secure that land to them by every needful legal instrument; let it be conveyed as freehold to them and theirs forever; let the conveyance be publicly registered and the property made sure to them by every deed and security that man’s ingenuity can devise.  Suppose then that one of them shall set to work to clear his land and bring it into cultivation and labor at it day after day without intermission or cessation.  Suppose in the meanwhile, that the other shall be continually leaving his work and going repeatedly to the public registry to ask whether the land really is his own, whether there is not some mistake, whether after all there is not some flaw in the legal instruments which conveyed it to him.  The one shall never doubt his title — but just work diligently on. The other shall hardly ever feel sure of his title — and spend half his time in going to Sydney or Melbourne or Auckland with needless inquiries about it.  Which now of these two men will have made most progress in a year’s time? Who will have done the most for his land, got the greatest breadth of soil under tillage, have the best crops to show, be altogether the most prosperous?  Anyone of common sense can answer that question. I need not supply an answer. There can be only one reply. Undivided attention will always attain the greatest success.”[1]

iii.      Practice: Seek assurance so you can be productive as a believer!

h. To worship God with praise, marvel and thanksgiving


[1] JC Ryle, “Assurance” in Holiness: http://www.gracegems.org/Ryle/holiness8.htm

Go to Part 2

Read Full Post »

Going Clear Wright

 (Available on Amazon)

This book on Scientology is penned by a capable author; he is not someone careless nor with an ax to grind against Scientology per se.  I first heard of the Pulitzer Prize winning author for his earlier work Looming Tower.  Here in this work, he does a thorough research of giving us the history of Scientology, its dynamics and beliefs.  I must say after reading this book I can’t Scientology see in the same light again; it is much more frightening than I originally realized.  Sure, I have heard of the hiring of Private Investigators to harass people, the record of embarrassing information among its members as blackmail to keep people in and beliefs in aliens the higher up the level you go…but keeping people imprisoned, actual physical violence and requiring their dedicated members of the SEA ORG sign a billion year contract?  This takes things to another level.  The author does a good job of interviewing people (two hundred I believe) and also what the church has to say or deny.  In the beginning of the book when it went over the founder Ron Hubbard’s personal history, I thought it was interesting and fascinating with all of Hubbard’s tall tales, for instance his lies of being a decorated Naval officer who was wounded in combat.  Hubbard has this thing with embellishment and lies even after he got out of the Navy during World War two including fronting as some kind of nuclear physicists if I remember correctly from the book.  But by the time the book got to the part where Hubbard started the SEA ORG within Scientology and was out in his ship in the middle of the Ocean with no accountability—things go from ridiculous to dark.  It’s a maddening history with incidents like the infamous Operation Snow White in which Scientology engages in a massive intelligence operation like Scientology is its own state.  If Hubbard in power was bad, it got worst according to the book when the current chairman of the board took over.  This is a story of physical abuse, imprisonment and slave labor among the dedicated members known as SEA ORG.  It made me very emotional and sad with all the wickedness not only in its doctrinal teaching but actual physical harm Scientology has inflicted upon some members according to the book.  I commend the author for his bravery in writing this book, and the scholarship he poured into it.  I thoroughly enjoyed how toward the end of the book the author describes his interaction with authorities from the church in Scientology.  This book is a must read if you have any curiosity of this religion.

Note: This has made me pray for those who are in the SEA ORG and general members to come to know the truth in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Read Full Post »

Funny-Sleeping-Bag

About a month ago someone commented on my post concerning Jaeson Ma’s New Song “Rise and Fall” being unbiblical.  The issue is with my charge of Jaeson Ma being Pelagian.  The original comment can be read by clicking here.  The commentator, a “James Jordan” whose blog name is Descriptive Grace, is no stranger of commenting on our blog and displaying irrationality.

Here’s my response to his comment:

Hey James,
Please read carefully and don’t misrepresent others and engage in ad hominem. You have a history of doing this on our blog (my previous response can be found herehttps://veritasdomain.wordpress.com/2013/05/31/a-fallacious-versus-a-proper-use-of-ad-hominem-argumentation/). This is your second strike and with the thIrd strike you’re out.

1.) “Are you sure you realize this? Because I don’t think you do.”

Response: If you think that I’m expecting a three point sermon from his song, marshal forth a quote demonstrating that I expect that of Jaeson Ma. Please don’t twist my words either.

2.) “Whatever happened to I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me”? I guess you Marcionites removed that from your copy of the Pauline Corpus. Its in your nature to mutilate scripture.”

Response: First off I don’t know what’s with the straw man fallacy you are committing when you charge me with being a Marcionite as I don’t believe that verse should be removed from Philippians (or the Bible for that matter). Nor does my post here even imply anything of that sort. I believe what Philippians 4:13 teaches by the way. Secondly, what does this passage have to do with the subject at hand in a post dealing with Jaeson Ma’s music video being heretical? Ma didn’t cite that verse in the song nor paraphrased it, so obviously I didn’t bring up Philippians 4:13 either. I don’t know what’s your thinking here, but if you think this post was silent on Philippians 4:13 imply I don’t believe in the truth taught there then you are committing a fallacy of argument from silence buddy.

3.) “If this was Pelagian, would he admit that we all fall short?”

Response: I see you are implying in your argument that if Jaeson Ma admit all fall short morally/spiritually then he cannot be a Pelagian. But the song’s topic of “fall” isn’t talking about sin or a moral fall per me but a much more general fall in the sense of a disappointment or being “down.” Jaeson Ma clearly says “we all fall short” between 2:27-28. But did you listen to the context? It’s sandwhiched in a verse beginning in 2:15 that talks about the will to rise and get up, be courageous (an activity of the will), etc. Thus, it’s not a fall of Romans 3:23 (of sin). Note again the emphasis on the will.

4.) “You knee-jerk jerks just like caling everone Pelagians, like little kids who just learned a new big word.”

Response: First off, where did I call everyone else Pelagians? Secondly, what’s with your ad hominem attack of calling me “knee-jerk jerks” and “little kids who just learned a new big word”? Thirdly, I don’t know why you are addressing me in the plural. I assume you are attacking those who blog here and not just myself, the writer of this post on Jaeson Ma. Way to go with your guilt by association fallacy for the other two guys. Fourthly, say for the sake of the argument I am a little kid who just learned a new big word. Is this the right way and godly response?

5.) “But I don’t like the song. In fact, it sounds Calvinist to me, and that’s why I hate it. Paraphrasing the song “We rise and fall, no big deal, nobody’s perfect, we’re all born sinners, so sin is nothing, no big deal, cheap grace will handle it–we rise and fall–get over it.””

Response: First off, what you paraphrase don’t sound Calvinistic (in popular usage of the term). I think the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that Calvinism essentially subscribes to the belief (a) “sin is nothing,” as in “no big deal,”(b) “cheap grace will handle” sin, (c) and regards to whatever that ambiguous “rise and fall” is in Calvinism (which you need to clarify), we should “get over it.” Secondly, your paraphrase of the song is inaccurate; for instance, where in the song does Jaeson Ma assert “we’re all born sinners”? At 54-55 seconds, Jaeson Ma did say “We may have sinned…” but that doesn’t lead to the conclusion that therefore means all have sinned in the same way Pelagians can believe there are those who may sin but that doesn’t mean all have sinned (to go back to response 3 to your own admission about all having sinned is incompatible with Pelagianism). Also, where in the song does he mentioned cheap grace at all? Or quote what lines that lead you to assume “cheap grace”? I might have missed it so help me out if I’m mistaken which can happen.

6.) “The non-Christian worldview is the Calvinist worldview secularized: sin ain’t no big thing. Pelagianism viewed sin as a big deal.”

Response: Again, the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate this mispresentation of Calvinism seeing sin as no big deal. By the way do you think that your sins committed here of misrepresenting others and personal attacks “ain’t no big thing?”

7.) “You Calvinists have perverted the term ‘Pelagian’ like you pervet so many terms (Sovereignty comes to mind) so to you Pelagian means some limp-wristed doofus who says ‘just be a moral person.’ That’s not what Pelagius himself or any of his associates taught.”

Response: Jaeson Ma’s gospel here is Pelagian in the sense that it believes in the power of the will, which he assumes reside generally among his listening public (Christian and non-Christian). Jaeson Ma’s song is essentially Pelagian in that regards. See below #8.

8.) “so to you Pelagian means some limp-wristed doofus who says ‘just be a moral person.’ That’s not what Pelagius himself or any of his associates taught. You’re using the term ‘Pelagian’ to mean a Deist. Pelagius was no Deist.”

Response: Technically Deist refers to those who view a God knowable by reason with the rejection of God’s supernatural revelation. Should I assert the same kind of rhethoric you use here against yourself (how ironic) that you “pervert” this term? But I get what you mean by the popular term Deist to refer to those who thinks the point of God and religion is just to be a moral person. My observation of how you use the handle “Deism” in popular parlance leads me to ask the question: Why is it there a double standard on your part when I use the common understanding of the term Pelagian?

9.) “Pelagius believed that you had to believe in Jesus and be baptized. He just believed you did those things by free will.”

Sounds like Jaeson Ma’s belief matches Pelagius, knowing of his Passion Church baptizing people and the theme of his song here on the will (not to mention his preaching). It’s just he focuses and emphasize everyone having the same will power able to exercise the will to rise–or fall and rise after the fall.

10.) “he was a credobaptist”
Pelagius was Credo-Baptist? Help me to document this from his writing. I thought his letter to Innocent I repudiate the charge that he didn’t baptize children: “”there are certain subjects about which some men are trying to vilify me. One of these is, that I refuse to infants the
sacrament of baptism,” and “”[I have been] defamed by certain persons for [supposedly] refusing the sacrament of baptism to infants, and
promising the kingdom of heaven irrespective of Christ’s redemption. [I have] never heard even an impious heretic
say this about infants. Who indeed is so unacquainted with Gospel lessons, as not only to attempt to make such an
affirmation, but even to be able to lightly say it or even let it enter his thought? And then who is so impious as to wish
to exclude infants from the kingdom of heaven, by forbidding them to be baptized and to be born again in Christ?”

Again, your comments is far from being descriptive of grace and care.

Read Full Post »

The Masculine Mandate

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

The author takes a good and biblical approach towards the topic of manhood and masculinity.  In the past I have read and heard teachings on manhood that seems more of a knee-jerk reaction against radical feminism.  Some of these end up sneaking in more cultural mores than Biblical principles. The best commendation I would give for this work is that the author does a good working through the Biblical principles.  There are in some Christian circles today who are influenced by the book Wild at Heart which advocates a concept of manhood that is about how men are design for adventure and being out in the wild; the author here critiques this model and note how it fail to account for the biblical data in the beginning of Genesis of man being created for a Garden and situated in a “covenantal” context; but the Bible’s view of man is more of a cultivator than an adventurer per se.  That is, man was design to be responsible with their commitment.  Genesis 2:15 is the controlling verse for much of the content of the book, in which the author argues that what defines manhood is cultivating and keeping.  He applies this concept of manhood in various spheres such as marriage, leadership, marriage and the church.  Personally I thought the best part of the book was on being a father.  Good book, definitely recommend it.  I liked what the author has to say and desire to read his other work on relationship sometime in the near future.

Read Full Post »

Download it now!

Reformedontheweb's Blog

A Reformed Approach to Science and Scripture, A New Free eBook from Keith Mathison

In A Reformed Approach to Science and Scripture, Dr. Mathison briefly introduces us to a topic that has long been a subject of debate, aiming to equip Christians with a clear foundation so that they may approach questions and discussions pertaining to science and Scripture with grace, humility, and patience.

Table of Contents

Foreword by R.C. Sproul

Introduction

1. All Truth Is God’s Truth

2. General and Special Revelation

3. Interpreting General and Special Revelation

4. Luther, Calvin, and Copernicus

5. Earthly Things and Heavenly Things

6. When Science and Scripture Conflict

7. The Age Of The Universe and Genesis 1

Endnotes

“Christians have absolutely nothing to fear ultimately from scientific research,” says Dr. Mathison. “If scientists discover something about God’s creation that is actually true, it will not and cannot ultimately contradict the Scriptures when…

View original post 10 more words

Read Full Post »

Cornelius-Van-Til

Here’s our installment of Presuppositional apologetics links for early December (December 1st-7th, 2013).  The picture is courtesy of Calvinistic Cartoons, be sure to check them as well =)

1.)Applied Presuppositional Apologetics lecture series by Chuck Muether.

2.) Dogma, Disagreement and Doubt

3.) Apologetic Evangelism 101: Building Our Defense

4.) Antitheism Presupposes Theism (5)

5.) Vern Poythress’ Pedagogical Best Practices for the Doctrine of Inerrancy: A Contribution

6.) Two Atheists walk into a bar…only one walks out

Read Full Post »

Jeff Durbin

Jeff Durbin Pastor of Apologia Church, Christian apologist and host of Apologia Radio just spoke recently at a class on philosophy.  Here’s the video of it:

Here’s the video’s description:

Christian Apologist and Pastor, Jeff Durbin, was invited to speak to the Philosophy of Religion class at Scottsdale Community College. Initially, this was planned as a debate between Jeff and an Atheist. After being unable to find an Atheist to participate, Jeff was invited to give a positive presentation the existence of God and the truthfulness of the Christian Worldview.

Jeff presents and defends the claim: The proof of the Christian God is that apart from Him you can’t prove anything.

This is an excellent introduction to the Christian Worldview and the Biblical Gospel. We hope you’ll feel led to share this with your friends, family, and even those hostile to the Gospel.

It’s good to see someone applying Presuppositional apologetics as taught by Cornelius Van Til.

Read Full Post »

This is a review of a historical biography from the perspective of a Christian worldview.

The Black Count the Real Count of Monte Cristo

This is an extraordinary history of the father of the famous writer Alexander Dumas, author of The Count of Monte Cristo. Here the book presents the father, also named Alex Dumas, as the extraordinary source for his son’s later novels. It is an amazing tale of riches to rag and rags to riches. Born to a terrible French father and a black slave woman in a French slave colony, Alex Dumas moves to France, enlisted in the Army as private despite his father’s place in society would have allowed him to be an officer. It is a fascinating story of a half-black Frenchman whose heroic military service led him to become one of Napoleon’s significant Generals, though his greatness would lead to difficulties with Napoleon. This book is a great example of how history can be more amazing than works of fiction; and as the source of inspiration for fictional novels. I appreciated the book taking us back to the turbulent transition in France from monarchy to Republic than empire. To think Alex Dumas was living through this phenomenonal moment in history and as a major character while he was half-black! Amazing story, truly amazing. The only thing I wished the author of this book could have explored more in depth is the historical account of a man’s death bed confession that riveted France at the time of Alexander Dumas’ childhood that parallel the story of Edmund in The Count of Monte Cristo. It seems such a coincidence is too large to ignore if we are going to discuss about history and the book, The Count of Monte Cristo.

This is a good example of how history can be itself a better story than what human fiction could come up with.  Of course, in a Christian worldview we know that history is really the unfolding of God’s story.

(Available on Amazon)

Read Full Post »

apologist john whitcomb

John Whitcomb is a prolific Christian teacher, apologist and former Old Testament Professor whose materials and resources we have shared in the past on our blog.  In light of the holiday season he has several Christmas devotionals related to Christ’s birth.  Below is one of them that his ministry has allowed us to post on our page.

Sermons by the Greatest ‘Christmas Prophet’

By DR. JOHN C. WHITCOMB
President, Whitcomb Ministries, Inc.

The prophet Isaiah was surely the greatest “Christmas Prophet” of the Old Testament. Let us briefly consider two of his most famous Christmas sermons.

Isaiah Chapter 7

One of the great marvels surrounding Jesus’ birth was the fact of His virgin conception.

But how could a virgin be with child and bear a son? Luke explains: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you [Mary], and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). Was this impossible? No, “For with God nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37).

Not only was it not impossible, it was predicted 700 years before by Isaiah. He received the message that Christ, the Messiah, would be one Person with two natures – divine and human.

At a time of great crisis for Israel, the house of David was given a great promise. “Then he said, ‘Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son [i.e., fully human], and shall call His name Immanuel [i.e., “God with us,” fully divine]’” (Isa. 7:13, 14). In the very next chapter, the prophet is told that the God of Israel is “Immanuel” (Isa. 8:8; cf. v. 10).

Notice that God told Israel that He would give them a great sign. The coming of the Messiah/Christ would be so great that “the depth” of Sheol or “the height” of heaven could not compare (Isa. 7:11.)! That is a measure of God’s love for the world.

Our Lord Jesus Christ is called Immanuel. What does that mean? It means that Jesus is not merely a man – He is also God. Otherwise, He could not have paid for all of our sins on the cross. What a Person, and what a gift!

Without Immanuel, Israel could never have survived. To all of her enemies, God said:

“Take counsel together, but it will come to nothing;
Speak the word, but it will not stand,
For God is with us [Hebrew, “Immanuel”]” (Isa. 8:10).

That is still true for Israel today.

Sadly, Ahaz, the ancient king of Israel, refused to believe in Immanuel, the Savior. And when He finally came, the vast majority of Jews rejected Him – and still do. But someday soon, thank God, the nation of Israel will acknowledge Him, and will “be grafted into their own olive tree” (Rom. 11:24) of divine blessing. God is merciful!

Isaiah Chapter 9

The dual nature of our Savior was also revealed to Isaiah in Isaiah 9:6:

“For unto us a Child is born [i.e., human nature],
Unto us a Son is given [i.e., divine nature];
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Where would Jesus, the Light of the world, perform His first miracle? “In Galilee of the Gentiles” (Isa. 9:1; cf. John 2:11) – despised by Judean Jews! Thus, Nathaniel asked Philip, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46). But Isaiah had long since written:

‘The people who walked in darkness [i.e., Galileans]
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined” (Isa. 9:2).

Who was this great Light?

“Unto us a Child is born [His true human nature],
Unto us a Son is given [His divine nature]” (Isa. 9:6).

The Second Person of the eternal Godhead – Who added a sinless human nature to His divine nature – is now and forever one Person with two distinct natures, in order that He, Jesus Christ, might be able to die for our sins.

Does Christ truly possess the qualities that would be essential to be our Savior? God, the Holy Spirit, who is the ultimate author of the Bible (cf. 2 Pet. 1:21), lists His qualifications:

“And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father [see Isa. 63:16], Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6).

What more could sinful humanity ask for?

The Lord Jesus is not only our Savior, He is also our coming King. Yes,

‘The government [of the entire world] will be upon His shoulder” (Isa. 9:6).

He will rule the world all by Himself? Yes!

“For the LORD is our Judge [i.e., Supreme Court],
The LORD is our Lawgiver [i.e., Congress],
The LORD is our King [i.e., executive branch];
He will save us” (Isa. 33:22).

When our Savior becomes our King, He will be so forever!

“Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end” (Isa. 9:7a).

For He will,

“Order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever” (Isa. 9:7b).

But how can this occur? May all mankind hear the answer:

“The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this” (Isa. 9:7c).

Merry Christmas! May you be blessed this day by the hearing of the great “Christmas Prophet.” He reminds us that, indeed, God’s Word is true from the beginning to the end.

Copyright © 2013 by Whitcomb Ministries, Inc.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Us

Read Full Post »

discussion evangelism

 

It seems to be important that when we evangelize and engage in apologetics to communicate as clearly as possible the concepts of Christian truth or the reasoning for our defense and refutation.  Thus, apologetics illustration seems to be important in the apologist’s toolbox.

The following are twenty apologetics illustration I’ve thought might be helpful that I’ve written up on over the years.

I’ve tried to include illustrations also touching on facets of Presuppositional apologetics as taught by Cornelius Van Til.

Apologetics Sermon Illustration # 20: Torching A Safe Full of Fire Works and Self-Destructive Arguments

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »