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Archive for August, 2017

This is a guest post by Shuan Marksbury.  His blog can be found here.

Today, the term “elders” rings sour in many Baptist ears. Perhaps it seems too Presbyterian, or it may seem to authoritarian. Indeed, many SBC churches practice a model of a deacon leadership or have such a congregational government that spiritual decisions are left in the hands of those not holding (and, perhaps, unqualified for) any office.

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This is a guest post by Mike Warren.  His website can be found here.

In February a documentary film was released called “Is Genesis History?” that defends the historical accuracy of the book of Genesis from a literal, young-earth creationist perspective.  Paul Nelson was interviewed for the documentary.  He is a scholar at the Discovery Institute, the leading Intelligent Design (ID) organization.  He is one of the few young-earth creationists at the Institute.  But when he saw the completed work, he felt compelled to write a strong denunciation of the message that his interview seemed to convey.  In the article, “New Film Is Genesis History? Presents a False Dichotomy: I Dissent from My Role in It,”[i] Nelson says that his talk about the “conventional paradigm” and the “historical Genesis paradigm” included in the film after some editing presented a false dichotomy between the young-earth creationist view and all the other views of origins.  I have addressed the epistemological problems with the ID movement’s disregard for the Bible in an essay published in the Journal of Creation,[ii] but Nelson’s protest over the film is an appropriate time to revisit the issue and focus on his particular argument.

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This is a guest review by Alf Cengia.  He is a friend who reads this blog and his website can be found at Zeteo316.  Check it out.

The Inerrant Word: Biblical Theological and pastoral Perspectives. Edited by John MacArthur and Foreword by R. C. Sproul. Published by Crossway (Hardcover 399 pages).

Purchase: Crossway | Amazon

This is another important book I picked up from our Church Bookstore. I’m particularly drawn to these apologetics because of my former Roman Catholic background, a stint in a “Christian” cult and New Age years. What connected all these experiences was a downgrade of God’s Word. As most of us understand, this has happened throughout history. Today God’s Word is being questioned by some professing Christian leaders who are capitulating to the culture. John MacArthur writes:

The Bible is treated like Silly Putty, pressed and reshaped to suit the shifting interests of popular culture. ~ The Inerrant Word (page 26)

MacArthur states that the most dangerous attacks against God’s word have come from the evangelical community. He lists: “seminary professors, mega church pastors, charismatic charlatans on television, popular evangelical authors, Christian psychologists, and bloggers on the evangelical fringe.”

Iain Murray’s contribution (How Scotland Lost Her Hold on the Bible – A Case Study of Inerrancy Compromise) is an excellent case study of how God’s word can be gradually downgraded by ambivalent language. Murray demonstrates why claiming that Scripture contains God’s Word isn’t good enough.

The problem with saying that Scripture contains the Word of God is that it doesn’t affirm that Scripture is the Word of God. You may mean that it contains God’s Word; but also items which aren’t affirmed by the church, and thus open for debate. Homosexuality and same sex marriage would be two examples.

Murray uses the example of a bag of groceries. You can tell someone that it contains potatoes. You might even mean that the bag ONLY contains potatoes. But you might also mean that it contains other items. This chapter was one of my favorites as it is especially relevant to cultural challenges in the church today.

Another favorite was Alistair Begg’s Let the Lion Out, based on 2 Tim 4:1-5 and Charles H. Spurgeon. Just preach the Word! Ferguson’s The Holy Spirit and the Holy Scriptures was another gem in a lost list of important contributions.

The book is comprised of four main parts:

  1. Inerrancy in the Bible: Building the Case
  2. Inerrancy in Church History: Showing the Precedent
  3. Inerrancy in Theological Perspective: Answering the Critics
  4. Inerrancy in Pastoral Practice: Applying to Life

Each section has a number of chapters by a selection of evangelical scholars and ministers including: John Frame, Matt Waymeyer, Michael Vlach, Alistair Begg, Sinclair Ferguson, G. K. Beale, Abner Chou, William Barrick and more.

The Inerrant Word highly recommended reading for all Christians.

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This is worth bookmarking if you are a pastor or teacher in the Church.

Here’s a post on “How to Get the Most from our Sunday Morning Motivations for Preachers and Teachers Series.”

Here’s the series:

  1. Sunday Morning Motivation for Preachers and Teachers: Used by God to bring People to Salvation
  2. Sunday Morning Motivations for Preachers and Teachers: Fixing our hope on the living God
  3. Sunday Morning Motivations for Preachers and Teachers: Your Spiritual Gift Bestowed by God
  4. Sunday Morning Motivations for Preachers and Teachers: You are given spirit of Power
  5. Sunday Morning Motivations for Preachers and Teachers: You are given spirit of Love
  6. Sunday Morning Motivations for Preachers and Teachers: You are given spirit of Self-Discipline
  7. Sunday Morning Motivations for Preachers and Teachers: You were appointed a preacher or teacher
  8. Sunday Morning Motivations for Preachers and Teachers: Your reward is great in heaven
  9. Sunday Morning Motivations for Preachers and Teachers: Knowing Christ

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This is an update report written by a brother traveling with SlimJim.

Yesterday night we met our host and pastor coordinator. We were extremely exhausted from the trip, yet we were able to have a meaningful talk about the things going on in his ministry. It was very encouraging for Pastor Jim and I to hear the heart of this Pastor. He has a deep love and thirst for the scripture and seeks to grow in the knowledge and understanding of the deep things of God. He was so excited for our arrival he prepared many of his church member’s hearts and wet their appetite for the topic discussing the biblical role of manhood and womanhood. He had invited and encouraged many of the pastor’s wives to come to the conference, the men and women of the church who were married, as well as the single young men and women to come hear the word of God related to the topic, since it is relevant to all. What is truly encouraging was the power of the Holy Spirit to lead and cause the yearning of many of the church members to come and gather to learn God’s word. Individuals came from far distances and came in spite of being in pain. An example is one of the Pastor’s had a severe shock to the hand which damaged his right hand severely. There was heavy burning and loss of movement in his hand. Please pray for his healing. The members from pastors to young men and women took notes with an eager heart. It was an encouraging sight to behold. This dedication and love for the Lord is truly a beautiful and glorious site. It was a hot and sweaty affair even for the locals! For the love of God, they all bore the 8 hours and 6 sessions of the biblical roles of manhood and womanhood in the humid heat. The church has no air conditioning, no running water, no restrooms with working plumbing (they have an out house), and very little chairs. But praise God for their faithfulness! More again soon, I lost a 2 hour email and got to tired to finish it last night.

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This is a guest review by our Michael Coughlin.  He is a friend who reads this blog and his website can be found at here.  Check it out.

Consider this:

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This is a guest review by our Michael Coughlin.  He is a friend who reads this blog and his website can be found at here.  Check it out.

“I wish the Bible described what Jesus looked like.“

“I wish the Bible had more descriptions of Heaven.“

“I wish the Bible had a liturgy for church services.”

“I wish there was a Bible verse that said clearly, ‘Don’t baptize infants.’”

“I wish the Bible had explicit rules for modesty or what shows were OK to watch.”

Have you ever uttered a phrase like that? On the surface it doesn’t sound too bad. Usually people utter this phrase because they are seeking God’s will in a matter and want to do what is right. Sometimes people are having a debate with another Christian and they believe clarity would resolve the conflict.

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