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Archive for November, 2014

Counseling

Counseling: Depression, Part 1

PART TWO: Read God’s Word.

Introduction:

Please read Psalm 119 everyday throughout the week. Pray while reading Psalm 119. Psalm 119 is a powerful chapter that displays the glories of God’s Word. Since the psalmist had a high view of God’s Word, you too, need to have a high view of God’s word in order to effectively battle the blues. God’s Word cleanses the soul and spirit. Also please make great effort in trying to memorize Psalm 119:25-32.

Action:

  • What was your mentality of obeying God’s Words at the time of your blues?
  • Where you happy in terms of your relationship with God when you were in your blues?
  • Was there a desire in terms of conforming to God’s Word at the time of your blues?
  • Before you desired to receive counseling, what was your priority in terms of obedience to God?
  • Read the entire Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing, by C.J. Mahaney
  • Please provide a summary of the book in regards to what you learned. Minimum length is half-a-page (single space).

Reflection:

  • Do you desire change or do you desire to wallow in your sin? Please explain clearly.
  • After reading Psalm 119, endeavoring to memorize Psalm 119:25-32, and answering the above questions, are you ready to make a declaration of war against the blues? If you do not desire to make war against the blue, please transparently provide the reason.
  • “We never move on from the cross, only into a more profound understanding of the cross” (Mahaney, Cross Centered Life, 17). Let that quote sit in your thoughts for a while.
  • “Do you think the truth of the cross is something you’ve already adequately understood” (Mahaney, Cross Centered Life, 17)?
  • “If you think for a moment that the truth of the cross is something you’ve already adequately understood—if you suspect your life is already cross centered—allow me to bring to your attention some symptoms that arise from not being cross centered. Do any of the following describe you?
    • You often lack joy.
    • You’re not consistently growing in spiritual maturity.
    • Your love for God lacks passion.
  • You’re always looking for some ‘new truth’ or new experience to pull all the pieces of your faith together” (Mahaney, Cross Centered Life, 17).
  • If you experienced any of the following above, then it is safe to say that you are not adequately living a cross centered life.
  • How do you live a cross centered life (Romans 6:11 [read the surrounding verses in Romans 6 to get a better grasp; Colossians 3:5)?
  • If time permits, please make an effort in memorizing Proverbs 13:15; Colossians 3:5; and James 1:15.

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Christmas gift on defocused lights background This is the fifth year on our blog in which we post our recommendations of books as Christmas gifts on the subject of Presuppositional apologetics and the Christian worldview.  When I first began this I didn’t think it would be that popular. Here are the past years’ recommendation:

This year list’s of recommended books on Presuppositional apologetics is below.  Each category has one book with a brief description, a link to my review and links to purchase the book.

For Nonbelievers

What’s Your Worldview? by James N. Anderson

What's Your Worldview James Anderson Description: Dr. Anderson has written a book with a “Choose Your Own adventure” format that is great for non-Christians! My Review can be found by clicking HERE. Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

For Discipleship

Christian Answers to Hard Questions (9 Booklet Set)

Christian Answers to Hard Questions Description: Booklet series that is perfect for discipleship discussion! Video interviews and links to my review of individual books can be found by clicking HERE. Purchase: Westminster 

For Beginners

Always Ready: Directions For Defending The Faith by Greg L. Bahnsen

Bahnsen Always Ready Description: Many think this is the best introduction to Presuppositional apologetics! My Review can be found by clicking HERE. Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

For Intermediate and Advance Students

The Doctrine of the Christian Life (A Theology of Lordship) by John Frame

Doctrine of Christian Life John Frame Description: I feel many discussion in apologetics’ today touches on the area of ethics.  This book is more than helpful! My Review can be found by clicking HERE.   Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

For Those Who Probably Have Every Book on Presuppositional Apologetics

The Doctrine of the Christian Life (A Theology of Lordship) by John Frame

John Frame's Selected Shorter Writings Volume 1 Description: A more recent book that is probably not as well known at this time.  Good collection of essays from John Frame! My Review can be found by clicking HERE. Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

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Happy Thanksgiving bible

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

We are thankful to God for our family, friends and church.

We are thankful to God for all the readers of this blog.

Here are some blog links on Thanksgiving from some of our blogging friends:

The First Thanksgiving: The Back Story

My Thanksgiving !!!!!!

Thanksgiving: The Primary Worship Response

Share with us, what are some things that you are thankful to God for?

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With the second night of protest with the Ferguson decision, there is a lot of heated rhetoric about race and injustice in America.

I think one thing missing in many of the mainstream discussion about race and victims surrounding Ferguson is another minority group that often gets overlooked if you want to look at it through the lens of racial paradigm: Asians.  And this is not the first time this has occurred.

You might have remembered the security camera footage months ago that recorded Michael Brown stealing some box of cigarettes at a Liquor store.

Ferguson Market and Liquor

That store was called Ferguson Market and Liquor.  According to CNN the store has been looted.

Outrage In Missouri Town After Police Shooting Of 18-Yr-Old Man

 

I think there is something sad with this ordeal.

Here is an Asian man who is probably like many other Asian small business owner: he probably works incredible hours to run the place and invest much of his money, resource and life to keep the convenience store going all the while having a small profit margin.

Then you have Michael Brown step in one day who decides to shoplift at his store.  He tries to stop Michael Brown but was physically intimidated by the bigger man.

The store owner did not call the cops for fear of being a “rat” since being a snitch will bring more problem for his business (it was a bystander that called the Police).

Then Brown was killed by a police officer away from the store.  The police officer was acquitted of any wrongdoing, people got angry and they decide to protest.  When one thinks about it, all of this is really out of his control.  Then people decided to loot his store.

All the while the Asian store owner didn’t do anything against Michael Brown.

He is a victim.  And a victim of a racial conflict between two other races that’s not his own.

ferguson store owner

I stumbled upon a webpage that had some derogatory remarks against the man and his store; I am going to post only the last paragraph of the ignorant article:

Poor store owner? Sure. It sucks to have your place ransacked, and getting paid out on the insurance claim will probably take him a while. But at least he’s not dead.

I can’t believe that a website that report on things “hip” and “emerging” would post something like that.  There’s nothing cool or hip about it.  Especially when you logically dissect it.

First off, I think one can see from the article that the writer is taking out his frustration with the supporter of the police officer onto the store owner.  That’s not right.  That’s the same logic that is driving the rioting and looting.  It perpetuate more victims and create more racial problems.

Second, the writer’s perspective against this store owner is from the angle that if you support the police you will be for this store owner and if you are for Michael Brown you will be against him (or find that its acceptable to make fun of the store owner’s plight).  I think that’s logically fallacious and the writer commits an either/or fallacy.  It is logically possible to think Michael Brown has been unjustly killed and still say that what has happened to this man with his store being looted is wrong and wicked.  If one is campaigning against violence en toto, why not be consistent and be against both scenario?

Third, just because insurance covers the property (that’s a big assumption given how Asian small business owners often are trying to lessen overhead costs), that still doesn’t make it right.  Insurance, like insurance for many things in life, never cover the full cost of the actual damage.  With this twisted logic should we then say that it’s okay for people to destroy someone’s house, commit grand theft auto and beat someone senseless just because they have insurance to cover for those damages?

Fourth, I think the line “But at least he’s not dead” is really twisted.  Sure the store owner is not dead but that still doesn’t make what has happened to him as “right.”

Fifth, the line “But at least he’s not dead” cuts both ways: it is a dangerous line of thinking that goes against the very position of Michael Brown’s supporters.  If one wants to use the thinking of “but at least he’s not dead” to justify an evil done to a person short of death, our ignorant writer would have to ask why didn’t Michael Brown not beat the officer in the first place and just comply with the officer just to be alive?   Again, this is not my position but I am merely taking this ignorant writer’s twisted thinking to it’s logical conclusion with the writer’s own beliefs and position: “Sure, it sucks to undergo racial profiling and cops cussing you out but at least you are not dead if you comply.”  Again, what sick line of reasoning with the statement “But at least he’s not dead.”

I am not against Blacks.  I am not against Whites.  I am not against Asians.  I think racism is a sin including reverse discirmination.  I have seen racism among my own kind and also racism among other groups.  All of us are sinners who need to repent.  I think it is good for all of us to search our hearts, repent of our sins and trust in Jesus Christ as one’s Savior from one’s sins.  God is merciful and only through Christ can there be unity with the plurality of various ethnicity because Christ is the greatest motivation for us to love others even when it is difficult and humanly impossible.

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James White

We have posted on our blog various debates by James White that his ministry has recently made available for free for viewing on Youtube.  About two weeks ago Dr. White’s ministry posted a video titled “James White and Tom Ascol – The Debate that Never Was.”  While technically this is not a debate, the context of this video was originally there was suppose to be a debate on the topic of Calvinism between James White teaming up with Tom Ascol between Ergun and Emir Caner.  That debate at Liberty University was cancelled and James White in another conference presented his discussion not too long after the cancellation.  For those of you guys that followed the controversy some years ago, you would probably remember things were pretty heated.  It is interesting to look back a few years later and see where Ergun Caner’s ministry and life has headed.

Here’s the video of the discussion between Reformed Baptists James White and Tom Ascol of the Founders’ Ministry:

May it be for the edification for God’s People in Sound and Biblical doctrine.

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Note: I’m posting later than usual this Sunday, I had a busy week with ministry.  For the next few weeks on Sunday we will feature a review of books outside of theology, philosophy and apologetics.  Each review of a non-Christian book will also have a section titled, “What’s in it for the Christian?”

In the President's Secret ServicePurchase: Amazon

With all the news about the Secret Service this past year I thought I spend some time to read this book.  What an interesting read!  I thought the book was insightful into the men and women who protect the president of the United States and also insightful in terms of some of the things members of the Secret Service have observed about various US presidents.

Since the book does discusses the account of agents’ observation on the President of the United States, the author makes the point that while the president should have some privacy of their private lives nevertheless there are some conducts and character that the public should know about if it affects their ability and judgment as president.  The author feels that Secret Service agents as are public employees of the people ought to make certain concerns made known for the interest and well being of our nation.

It seems from the book that presidents who were Democrats tend to have a bad rap in their personal life and relations to others more than the presidents who were Republicans—we have stories of Jimmy Carter’s bad attitude towards Secret Service agents and Carter having the Secret Service become his servants to carry things until the Secret Service had to finally tell him that it’s not their job.  The book also record the account of Secret Service members observation of how Jimmy Carter loved carrying his own luggage when the media was around—but had the Secret Service carry it as the soon as they left, and sometimes Carter would even carry an empty big luggage bag just for show!  Secret Service agents were also struck with the hypocrisy of Jimmy Carter who talked much about how the White House was free from alcohol when they were not—and how ironically the Regan first family didn’t ban drinking in the White House actually drank less in the White House than the Carters.  Carter’s behavior is in contrast to Regan, George Bush senior and junior who were typically cozy to security.  The book also described how Hillary Clinton was not very nice to her Secret Service agents and how she’s never even talked at all to some of her personal details for years.  I thought it was strange to hear about Hillary’s odd habit of not wanting anyone to say hi to her when she’s walking and how she even scolded an agent who made the mistake of greeting her.  Then you also had Vice President Al Gore who scolded his son in front of agents that if he does not do well in school he could end up being like these guys (pointing to agents).

The book is more than a look at the idiosyncrasies of the President; the book also talk about the Secret Service as an agency in trouble.  What amazes me is that this book was written in 2009, before the recent media storm against the Secret Service.  I think the author accurately anticipated the problems of the Secret Service and he was right in sounding the alarm concerning the current state of the agency.  The book does not attack the typical agents but faults the problem with the leadership of the Secret Service.  According to the author the agency has taken on more duties after 9-11 but has often failed to ask for more realistic resources and funds from Congress but instead pride itself as an agency who is doing more with less.  However, this has affected the quality of services, training and agent that the Secret Service could provide.  The author talks about how good agents are experience burn outs with the long hours that are demanded of them and how talented agents are leaving for other Federal agencies.  The book also talks about the negligence that fewer agents have produced, such as dropping training standards.  It was sad to read in the book of how some agents are so busy guarding important dignitaries that they have not gone to the gun range in years—and how the leadership have not enforce physical fitness standards and even fail to test agents but instead have agents fill out their own paper work of what they think their run time is.  The low standards of the Secret Service has affected their weapons platform, with the Secret Service still using older MP5s to do things that other agencies are using M4s to fulfill, etc.  The book calls for new management, one that involves new leadership that’s fresh outside of the Secret Service in order to change the agency’s culture.  I think the author here has a case.

Just so I don’t misrepresent the book, the book records many stories of the men who serve nobly in the agency.  The book tells us stories of Secret Service agents who serve sacrificially in protecting our president and their first family.  The author definitely have a high respect for the agents and what they do, even as he faults presidents and the leadership of the agency.  I think this book is worth reading.

What’s in it for the Christian: An unspoken rule is that Secret Service agents are to be ready to give up their life to protect the president.  They are ready to take the bullet for him.  This should remind us of the truth that our Savior is also one willing to lay down His life to save us–and indeed He has done so.  Secret Service agents are great examples of sacrificial service and commitment to one’s duty–virtues that a Christian should emulate in their devotion towards God.

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These are Presuppositional apologetics’ links gathered from the Web between November 15th-21st, 2014.

Enjoy!

1.) Rebutting Bill Nye’s Evolutionary Oath

2.) Does the Bible teach that a woman has to marry her rapist?

3.) Free on PDF! Redeeming Philosophy: A God-Centered Approach to the Big Questions by Vern Poythress

4.) A Denied Christian Newspaper Article

5.) The Circularity of Evolutionary Trees

6.) Apologetics for the Average Christian: Asking Good Questions

7.) Reformed Forum Show: Redeeming Philosophy

8.) Proofs, Persuasion and the Truth Problem

Last Installment: Mid-November 2014 Presuppositional Apologetics’ Links

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