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Archive for the ‘Christian Ministries’ Category

no-compromise-by-charles-spurgeon

Charles H. Spurgeon. No Compromise.  Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library, September 5th, 2014. 24 pp.

This is a sermon by Charles Spurgeon that he preached based upon Genesis 24:5-8.  Spurgeon preached this on October 7, 1888 which would have been around the infamous time of the “Downgrade controversy” in which some of the churches in the Baptist Union that Spurgeon was a part of started watering down the Gospel.  I read this book during a time that I needed to be encouraged while taking a stand on an issue that made others heated.  Knowing Spurgeon’s own battle and that he delivered this sermon during the midst of that time really ministered to me.

(more…)

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critical questions sproul

Saw this going viral on my facebook.  If you did not know about this yet, but R.C. Sproul is making it free the booklets from his Crucial Question series.  You can have them as ebooks format for Apple or Kindle Books! This is great!

To further help Christians know what they believe, why they believe it, how to live it, and how to share it, from today the eBook editions of R.C. Sproul’s Crucial Questions series will be free forever.

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Few days ago I just reviewed this book.

Thanks to Lynda O. for pointing that the internet has a free copy of this work on PDF.

You can download a free PDF copy by clicking HERE.

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As we shared earlier, this year’s recommended Christmas Christian Book List on Christian Worldview and Apologetics Discipleship also includes a book on Biblical evangelism by Ray Comfort.  Be sure to check out other books we suggested.  Below is my review of “God Has A Wonderful Plan for Your Life: The Myth of the Modern Message”

Purchase: Amazon

They say one should not judge a book by it’s cover–but with this book by Ray Comfort, the cover speaks volume, illustrating while the irony and tension of the unbiblical nature of the contemporary Evangelical evangelism method of saying “God has a wonderful plan for your life” with the picture of the stoning of the first Christian martyr Stephen. The contrast of Biblical teaching of evangelism and the modern “God has a wonderful plan for your life” message couldn’t be ever capture more beatifully in picture–and pictures are worth a thousand words. Contrary to what many Christians might say today when they evangelize, the Bible does not promise a wonderful plan for the non-believer’s life…as the nonbeliever would understand or plan it. Against this “genie in the bottle” gospel, Ray Comfort brings out the teaching concerning the use of the law in sharing the gospel. Comfort’s work communicates this “Way of the Master” well: He is to the point, clear, sprinkle with use of Scripture and use many illustrations to explain what he means. The current evangelical landscape is so filled with bad popular approach to evangelism that I know many are hostile hearing about the use of the law in evangelism. I am always amazed at how winsome Ray Comfort is in articulating the biblical method of evangelism despite many who are upset with this method. Many of the content will be familiar in this book for those who are familiar with Ray Comfort’s other work or videos. What I like was the appendix–which addresses those in Campus Crusade who recognize that this “God has a wonderful plan for your life” line is one popularized by Campus Crusade. Comfort makes the good case with documentation from CCC’s founder Bill Bright, that towards the end of his life, Dr. Bright would be in agreement with the use of the law in evangelism and the need to do so. Very valuable appendix.

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This took place at Cerritos College.

Sadly, similar things like this happen too often before my eyes in our campus outreaches in Southern California. Shallow Christians present the biggest threat against the gospel work at times.

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I thought this quote was so…true, whether it’s Prayer of Jabez or Purpose Driven Life.

“At the start of each surge, younwould think (from the level of breathless anticipation) that the craftsmen of contextualization have finally identified something that will revolutionize just about everything. At the peak of each dad’s popularity, it will be practically the only thing anyone in the evangelical community wants to talk about. Then suddenly one day it will be gone because something newer is in the horizon. At that point, the dead fad becomes fodder for ridicule. Like yesterday’s Precious Moments figurines and Thomas Kinkade paintings, they become objects of scorn for today’s more sophisticated holy hipsters. But be forewarned: criticism of any fad is deemed intolerable and uncharitable while the dad is still hot. On the other hand, to defend an old fad is to declare one’s own irrelevance. So timing is everything, and it is a lot of work to keep up with what’s hot and what’s not.” (John MacArthur, Ashamed of the Gospel, 207).

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I first heard about the news over at Foxnews that Campus Crusade was going to drop the name Christ from it’s official name.

According to Campus Crusade’s own press release to their donors, Campus Crusade will adopt a new name in order to connect with the younger generation.

Campus Crusade for Christ in the U.S. is changing its name to Cru.

What?

Cru?

What’s that?

According to their website:

The new name will be adopted in early 2012. The U.S. ministry hopes the new name will overcome existing barriers and perceptions inherent in the original name.

I like what one blogger, Four Pointer, has to say:

It is not the word ‘Crusade’ that is being removed–that word is simply being shortened. The offensive word that is being completely removed is……the name of Christ. That’s right.

I think “Crusade” is more offensive than Christ…and they remove Christ! Weird.  Now their new name is “Cru” and people are now going to ask, “What? What’s that?”  AND then people will have to say “Cru stands for Crusade”  This inevitably will lead people to focus even more on their offensive name Crusade, but now there no Christ to explain anything in their name…whoever is the guy that had this idea ought to be fired.

It’s sad but I can’t say I didn’t see it not coming.  Having served in Campus Crusade as a student leadership, I have rather been distraught with where the staff member wants to take the direction of the club.

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I don’t know how long it will be up online at Ligoner’s Ministries but they have right now on their website an apologetic mock debate series titled “Silencing the Devil” where R.C. Sproul plays the Devil’s advocate and his mentor John Gertsner respond for the Christian position.

While the links are to the videos, I’ve begun listening through them as MP3.  Each segments are about thirty minutes long.  Here they are:

1.) Can We know the Truth?

2.) Is there a God?

3.) Is the Bible Inspired by God?

4.) Is God or Man is Sovereign?

5.) Interview with R.C. Sproul & John Gerstner

Again, these won’t be online forever! If somehow you visit those links above and it no longer works, you can purchase the DVD HERE through Ligonier ministries.

The method of apologetics employed here is Classical and influence by the Thomistic tradition, as those observing the debate will see in their exchange.  Of course, here at Veritas Domain we are Presuppositional in our apologetics methodology, but I thought it was good to be fair and give a hearing for Classical apologetics’ better advocates and also to learn from it.

Having said that, there were certain points in the debates that I would not have responded the way Dr. Gerstner did, and at times I think I would have headed at a different direction in a debating scenario during the moment of having to think on your feet.

RC Sproul has also interacted with Presuppositionalist Greg Bahnsen available at Covenant Media Foundation as a four CD set HERE

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There has been much to do about the whole Ergun Caner controversy: with what he have publically stated over the years, and whether or not he has “repented”, etc.

I won’t be pouring here the details and argue that he has lied, etc.  I want to focus on what true remorse and repentance means.  I think Christians who have exposed Caner want to see a true repentance because ultimately any offense Caner committed is against the LORD first.

TurretinFan has written on the topic of Ergun Caner and his apology HERE and HERE, and in light of that I thought it is important that the whole discussion must come to term with a biblical understanding of repentance and penance. That is the subject of this post.

LEXICAL AND EXEGETICAL CONSIDERATION

In considering the distinction between penance and repentance, it is sobering to consider the similarities and differences between Judas and Peter.  Certainly both men suffered grief with what they have done.  Peter, after denying Jesus three times, “went out and wept bitterly” (Matthew 26:75).  Judas, after realizing what he has done and the severity of betraying Jesus, “felt remorse” and even “returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders” (Matthew 27:3).  Yet, both of these men’s grief led to different result: one ended up committing suicide by hanging himself (Matthew 27:5) and the other ended up being restored by Jesus (John 21), going on to experience fruitful ministry for the Lord.  Paul teaches in his second epistles to the Corinthians the distinction between two different kinds of grief: There is a “sorrow that is according to the will of God” which “produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation” and a “sorrow of the world” which “produces death” (2 Corinthians 7:10).  Since the differences between these two griefs are as wide as heaven and hell, it is important to have a proper understanding of what true repentance means, which is the result of Godly sorrow.

In the Old Testament, there are several Hebrew words that are typically translated as “repent”.  These include mhB and bwv.  The first Scriptural reference to “repent” occurs in Genesis 6:4 and the Hebrew verb here is mhB.  A lexical study of mhB reveals that there is a semantical range with this term in the Hebrew. According to Butterworth, the word generally means “Be sorry, console one self.”[1] The same term could also be used to mean “to feel sorrow or sympathy, find comfort, be comforted.”[2] Specifically in Genesis 6, the word carries the meaning of “change one’s mind.”[3] Interestingly though, the subject in Genesis 6:4 is God.  Butterworth has observed that “the reference is notable as being one of the rare occasions when God is said to repent or change his mind concerning something intended as good.”[4] Simian-Yofre notes that the use of the verb m’êheB “in the other texts where Yahweh is the subject, it is a punishment that is regretted (or not).”[5] While the issue of God’s “repentance” is different than man’s repentance, in considering the possible semantical range of this word, one get a glimpse that this term has an idea of change in the various meaning of this verb.  Butterworth has also noted that “repentance on the part of the people…will make it possible for God to repent, change his mind (nhm): 18:8, 10; 20:16; 26:3, 13, 19; cf. 42:10.”[6] The exegetical significance of this Hebrew term reveals that repentance involves change, and specifically the changing of one’s mind.

Perhaps more relevant to this current discussion is the Hebrew verb bwv, which verbal and noun forms appears over 1,050 times in the Old Testament, and the twelfth most frequently found word in the Old Testament.[7] It is also a term that the Old Testament prophets used regularly especially Isaiah and Jeremiah.  Graupner states that the original basic meaning is “to move in an opposite direction from that toward which one previously moved.”[8] Graupner also qualifies this by noting that in later development bwv does not necessarily presuppose a return towards some kind of original direction.[9] According to Thompson and Martens, this term’s “imagery is one of a person doing a turnabout.”[10] Theologically, the direction of repentance that one is heading towards is important: “Critical in this turnabout, if it is to be repentance, is the direction toward which one turns, namely, to Yahweh.”[11] Since true repentance turns to God, godly remorse of sin will lead one to turn to the Lord rather than away from Him.

In order for this repentance to be genuine, repentance also “requires an understanding of one’s own guilt.”[12] The usage of Jeremiah 3:13 attest to this truth, in which the surrounding verses (v.12, 14) both feature the Lord exhorting, “Return, faithless Israel’” and verse 13 asks of Israel, “Only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against the LORD your God.”  In summary, the significant lexical insight of this Hebrew term reveals that Biblical repentance requires the admission of one’s guilt with sin, a turning away from a previous set direction (of sin) and the adoption of a new direction (seeking the LORD Himself).

Concerning the Greek terms employed for “repentance”, the Greek Septuagint translates bwv with various equivalents.  Out of the thirty plus Greek forms used, the most common form is στρεφω, which is used about 70 percent (or about 800) of all occurrences.[13] This Greek phrase carries the basic meaning of “turn towards”.[14] Soebo has observed concerning the Greek substitute terms of how “no particular translation tendency is discernable.”[15]

It would seem natural to expect στρεφω to be the common word used to describe repentance in the Greek New Testament.  However, this is not the case; instead the frequent New Testament term for repentance is μετανοεω.  In the Greek Septuagint, bwv has never been translated as μετανοεω.  More surprisingly, the verb μετανοεω and it’s noun form does not even appear at all in the Greek Septuagint.[16] Graupner gives two possible reasons for why this is the case: 1.) μετανοεω and its noun form are rarely used in any case in Classical and Hellenistic Greek[17], 2.) and the word μετανοεω is a noetic term that runs contrary to bwv as a verb of motion.[18] Goetzmann states that “the NT does not stress the concrete physical concept implied in the OT use of bwv, but rather the thought, the will, the νους.”[19] As a result of this truth, it is significant to know that biblical repentance involves every faculty of man, and not just an outward behavior.

Lexically, the term μετανοεω is a compound word, with the preposition μετα and νοεω.[20] According to Vine, the term literally means “to perceive afterwards.”[21] The term carries the meaning of changing one’s mind or adopting another view.[22] Behm notes that repentance requires “a radical break with the sins of the past”, as evident from 2 Corinthians 12:21.[23] The exegetical significance of this term lexically is that repentance results in actual change and the change originate at the root of the level of the mind.

To summarize the study of the Hebrew and Greek terms for repentance, biblical repentance always involve an honest confession of one’s sin, a true change, a turning away from one’s previous direction towards sin for a new direction towards God.  This change involves the whole person: the mind, will and outward behavior.

Concerning the concept of repentance as taught in the Old Testament and the New Testament, Vincent remarked that “In the O.T., repentance with reference to sin is not so prominent as that change of mind or purpose…”[24] While the truth of the doctrine of progressive revelation would lead believers to expect the New Testament to flesh out more fully the meaning of repentance as seen above, yet one must not assume that the concept of repentance which involves the change of mind can only be found in the New Testament. Traces of the requirement of biblical repentance can also be found in the Old Testament.  One such Old Testament example is found in Isaiah 55:6-7.  The Hebrew term for repent, bwv, is used in verse seven in the clause “And let him return to the LORD”.  Verse six implores the hearers to “Seek the LORD while He may be found.”  In verse seven, the author exhorts the hearers with “Let the wicked forsake his way” and similarly, “the unrighteous man his thoughts.”  Note the reference to “thoughts.”  These three actions (“seek”, “forsake his way…his thoughts) correspond to the Biblical requirement of repentance (seeking the Lord, turning away from previous sinful behavioral direction and sinful thoughts as well).  This repentance is the hope for Isaiah’s hearers in dealing with the guilt of sin, and also subsequent listeners since verse seven states that as a result, the LORD “will have compassion on him” to the point that the LORD “will abundantly pardon.”

Thompson and Martens also believes that Jeremiah 3:22-4:2 is another indication of the full requirement of repentance found in the Old Testament, since it has the elements of “acknowledging God’s lordship (3:22); admitting wrongdoing (3:23) including the verbal confession, ‘We [I] have sinned’ (3:25); addressing the shame (3:25); and affirming and adhering to new conduct (4:1-2).”[25] This passage, along with Isaiah 55:6-7 indicates that the concept of repentance was there during Old Testament times, and that the New Testament often built upon and expanded on what the Old Testament had taught earlier.  Progressive revelation adds more information but must never be taken to mean as introducing radically alien new material.

Repentance is in contrast to penance, since repentance involves real change of the whole person while penance does not.  While it looks similar to μετανοεω, the word μεταμελεσθαι does not have the understanding of a radical total change.  They are not synonyms.  According to Michael, “μετανοειν implies that one has later arrived at a different view of something (νους),  μεταμελεσθαι that one has a different feeling about it (μελει).”[26] Having a different perspective versus having a different feeling are two different things.  Michael goes on to say that remorse is different from repentance because “Remorse does not have to be pleasing to God.  It can simply be a change in mood.”[27] In other words, penance is just the emotional reaction towards sin rather than an actual transformation in one’s perspective, will and behavior towards sin.

Just having a change in feeling is not enough.  Feelings are also very fickle: Moods comes and goes and are often prone to being inaccurate in it’s reflection of external realities.  Even Paul experience μεταμελεσθαι (“regret”) as mentioned in 2 Corinthians 7:8, but later chose not to feel emotionally regretful.  Moods then, are too subjective and cannot serve as an adequate basis in which to measure one’s repentance.  Determining repentance must rest in other requirements rather than solely on feelings.  Fortunately, Scripture has given us these requirements.

As mentioned in the beginning of this essay, the insufficiency of experiencing μεταμελεσθαι without true repentance is soberly illustrated in the case of Judas.  The remorse that Judas felt is described in Matthew 27:3 and the Greek root word for remorse here is unsurprisingly μεταμελεσθαι.  Judas grief did not lead him to turn towards God for reconciliation from sin.  Instead, Judas continued on with his direction of sin, and eventually even committing the sin of suicide: “he went away and hanged himself” (Matthew 27:5).  Just having a bad emotional reaction towards sin does not clear one’s conscience of one’s own sin.  In fact, left alone without any hope, such a “sorrow of the world produces death” (2 Corinthians 7:10).  Christians need to remember that they are not immune from sin, for 1 John 1:8 clearly states that “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.”  If a Christian is convicted of their sins and is in a sorrowful state, the believer is called to repent without regret.  True repentance involves confessing one’s sin to the Lord, and 1 John 1:9 promises that “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  True repentance does not stop here: one who repents is also called to change, and change is possible because God took the initiative to renew the believer’s spirit and mind (Ephesians 4:23) so that a believer can now “put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth” (Ephesians 4:24).

Knowing that true repentance requires actual changes, it is reasonable to expect evidence of moral changes of the character of the one who has repented.  The Biblical motif of bearing fruit testifies to this truth.  John the Baptist, who’s opening message is about repentance, asked of the religious leaders of his day, “”You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” and then proceeded to tell them “Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:7-8).  Someone who says that they have repented from their sins, is expected to have actual results (“fruits”) testifying to the truth of their repentance.  This principle assumes that one’s outward behavior (“fruit”) is directly tied to the moral condition of that person, a principle that Jesus taught when He stated in Matthew 7:17, “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.”  In bearing fruit in keeping with repentance, one would not expect bad behavior (“fruit”) since Jesus has taught, “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit” (Matthew 7:18).

COUNSELING SCENARIO

In the scenario of a Christian church member who has confessed to an immoral affair and is seeking counseling, it can not be over-emphasized the importance of prayer in dealing with the issue.  Perhaps a strict formula is difficult, and prayers for wisdom from God is vital in such a counseling situation.  Knowing that man cannot know the heart of another man except the man himself and God, it is important that the biblical counselor seek God for wisdom as to how to handle the situation.  Having stressed the importance of prayer and need for spiritual wisdom, there are also some principles in dealing with the person with the immoral affairs, to see that they truly repent rather than have remorse because of the fear of man or remorse of being caught.

To begin with, as the counselor one has to gather as much information of the situation possible.  Who are the parties involved?  What was the extant of the sin, and how long has this been going on for?  What was the counselee’s unbiblical behavior and thoughts?  The description given by the counselee and others must be interpreted biblically and be called as sin for what it is.

It is important that the counselee go before the presence of God and honestly assess in their prayers to God whether or not they are truly born-again.  While Christians can sin, and commit horrendous sin, such a moment of sin should lead one to genuinely question their salvation in open honesty.  Often such shocking news of an affair sounds like big news to the church and loved ones, but much of these types of “large” sins took many habitual small steps to get there.  It is a hidden secret sin that reflects that person’s entire lifestyle, entire identity and character for months if not even years. Because of the reigning nature of such a sin, there is legitimate ground to question the counselee’s salvation and if it turns out that one is not saved to begin with, there is only so much a counselor can do with a counselee if the individual is not a Christian. The goal then is to seek to it that this individual might perhaps by the grace of God repent from his sin unto salvation.

Even if the counselee is a believer, going before the presence of God is important as the sin of the affair is primarily against God before anyone else.  Going through Biblical passages on sexual immorality, lust, and adultery is important, because it is only through the Word of God that can bring the individual to have godly sorrow, sorrows that lead to true repentance instead of moods of remorse (2nd Corinthians 7:10).  If the counselee does not primarily see God as the principle party whom he has wronged, it is dangerous since this individual might just be experiencing remorse.  The counselee need to be informed that only God can see his heart and nothing escapes him, that the only alternative is truly turning away from his sins beginning with his heart and mind.  The Word is able to judge the counselee’s mind and heart (Hebrews 4:12), and it is the flamethrower so to speak that can reach the dark corners of his caved heart.

The counselee should be exhorted to make a radical 180 degrees turn away from the sin.  That means breaking all ties immediately with the person whom the affair was shared with.  Repentance is radical, and anything short of this such as the idea of keeping the friendship is unacceptable.  Counselors should watch for this total break away from the previous sinful direction.

Another important step in the counseling process should make sure that the counselee goes to all that he offended and confess all the sins he has committed against them.  He needs to genuinely ask for their forgiveness, even willing to seek any restitution for the past wrongs, if possible. Genuine repentance fears God much more than it fears man, and it is the fear of God that should prompt him to approach those whom he has wronged (church, spouse, family).  The counselee should seek to restore the relationship of those whom he has wronged.  He must also come up with a radical plan to avoid such a sin in the future, and how he can be held accountable, which the counselor can walk with the counselee through.

ELDER’S EVALUATION OF GENUINE REPENTANCE

How would you encourage the elders of your church to evaluate the genuine repentance of this Christian church member expressing to be repentant?  As mentioned earlier, only God can know the heart.  However, the local congregation’s elders have a responsibility to evaluate genuine repentance on the part of the counselee if not at the minimum for the sake of the Holy testimony of the Church.  One aspect is to see if the counselee is following an active plan to deny the possibility of gratifying his sin.  If the individual does not have a plan, then the elders or a biblical counselor can walk with him through the steps of developing a plan.  How faithful is this person to the plan?  This is a tangible way for the elders to judge whether the repentance was genuine.  Another important aspect is assessing how the counselee is taking the accountability.  Furthermore, the testimony of those around him such as his wife, family, friends and others are important, of whether or not they see genuine repentance.

Likewise, in the situation of Ergun Caner, the church he attends, and those around him must be involved in seeing his repentance instead of making a defense for him and his sins as just “mistakes”.  To see otherwise is not really seeing the sins the way God sees it, and is not a true confession and repentance.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Behm, J. “μετανοεω” in Theological Dictionary of New Testament, 10 volumes. Edited by Gerhard Kittel, 4:976-1008. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1967.

Butterworth, Mike. “mhB” In New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis, 5 volumes. Edited by William A. VanGemeren. 3:81-2. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1997.

Elliger, Karl, and W. Rudolph, eds.  Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia.  5th ed.  New York:  American Bible Society, 1997.

Friberg, Timothy and Barbara Friberg, Neva F. Miller, Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2000.

Goetzmann, J. “μετανοια” in New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, 3 volumes. Edited by Colin Brown, 1:357-359.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1975.

Graupner, Bonn M., “bwv” in Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, 14 volumes. Edited by G. Johannes Botterweck, Helmer Ringgren and Heinz-Josef Fabry. Translated by Douglas W. Stott,14:461-511. Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1997.

Soebo, M., “bwv” in Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, 14 volumes. Edited by G. Johannes Botterweck, Helmer Ringgren and Heinz-Josef Fabry. Translated by Douglas W. Stott,14:527. Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1997.

Thompson, J.A and Elmer A. Martens, “mhB” in New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis, 5 volumes. Edited by William A. VanGemeren, 4:55-59. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1997.

Vine, W.E., An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words: With Their Precise Meanings for English Readers. Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1966.

Yofre, “mhB..” In Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament. 14 volumes. Edited by G. Johannes Botterweck, Helmer Ringgren and Heinz-Josef Fabry. Translated by Douglas W. Stott, 9:340-355. Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1997.


[1] Mike Butterworth, “mhB” in New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis, 5 vols., ed. by William A. VanGemeren, 3:81-2. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1997), 81.

[2] Simian-Yofre, “mhB” in Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, 14 vols., ed. by G. Johannes Botterweck, Helmer Ringgren and Heinz-Josef Fabry translated by Douglas W. Stott, 9:340-355. (Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1997), 342.

[3] Butterworth, New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis, 82.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Simian-Yofre, Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, 344.

[6] Butterworth, New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis, 82.

[7] Bonn M. Graupner, “bwv” in Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, 14 vols., ed. by G. Johannes Botterweck, Helmer Ringgren and Heinz-Josef Fabry translated by Douglas W. Stott,14:461-511. (Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1997), 472.

[8] Graupner, “bwv” in Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, 464.

[9] Ibid.

[10] J.A Thompson and Elmer A. Martens, “mhB” in New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis, 5 vols., ed. by William A. VanGemeren, 4:55-59. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1997), 57.

[11] Thompson and Martens, New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis, 57.

[12] Graupner, “bwv” in Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, 495.

[13] Ibid, 514.

[14] Timothy Friberg, Barbara Friberg, Neva F. Miller, Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament, (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2000), 358.

[15] M. Soebo, “bwv” in Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, 527.

[16] Graupner, “bwv” in Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, 514.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Ibid.

[19] J. Goetzmann, “μετανοια” in New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, 3 vols., ed. by Colin Brown, 1:357-359. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1975), 357.

[20] W.E. Vine, An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words: With Their Precise Meanings for English Readers, (Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1966), 279.

[21] Ibid.

[22]J. Behm, “μετανοεω” in Theological Dictionary of New Testament, 10 vols., Gerhard Kittel, 4:976-1008. (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1967),976.

[23] J. Behm, “μετανοεω” in Theological Dictionary of New Testament, 10 vols., Gerhard Kittel, 4:976-1008. (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1967),1004.

[24] W.E. Vine, An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words: With Their Precise Meanings for English Readers, 279.

[25] Thompson and Martens, New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis, 57.

[26] Michael, Theological Dictonary of the New Testament, 4:626.

[27] Ibid, 4:627.

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I just received the following email from Phil Vischer about upcoming Christian TV shows on a “mini-network” called JellyTelly. I wasn’t able to hear the sound from the videos but the newsletter suggested the Christians shows are meant to address kids’ biblical illiteracy and compete with secular networks such as Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel.

Honestly, I think if they can pull this off business-wise, it’d be great. When I used to watch some of these shows with my younger cousin, I’d have to qualify every underlying message I felt compelled to bring up. Watching secular television without a developed Christian worldview is a uphill battle. Some common themes I saw on Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and Disney Channel included, secular love, dating, romance and marriage, portrayal of maliciousness toward other kids as humor, lying, and disobeying parents. Add secular music, and educating a kid with a biblical worldview is a losing battle. I can’t censor every song she listens to on Disney radio.  It’s no wonder she already has a “boyfriend.”

Anyways, I digress. Below is the newsletter and the links:

November 2008

Dear FFP (friends and fans of Phil!) …
We’ve launched! After three years of work, we just launched JellyTelly – our new kids “mini-network” – at www.JellyTelly.com!

Every day on JellyTelly kids can watch 20 minutes of “mini” TV shows and play online games while learning about the Bible and their faith. Biblical illiteracy is a huge problem in the church, and we think we can help address it in the same way Sesame Street tackled basic literacy back in the 60s and 70s.

Beyond that, by collaborating with other Christian producers we are planting the seed for what could become an alternative to Nickelodeon® and the Disney Channel® – a tiny kids network that can help raise the next generation of Christians while launching the next generation of Christian storytellers. It’s an exciting time – the most fun I’ve had since we launched VeggieTales® out of a spare bedroom way back in 1993!

To hear more about the mission of JellyTelly, watch this video. To see a sample of our programming and meet Buck Denver, Clive & Ian, the Bentley Brothers, Dr. Schniffenhowzen, Agnes & Winnefred, and Quacky the Duck, watch this clip.

We’ve got a great opportunity to launch the next phase of Christian kids media, and you can be a part of it. Check it out at www.JellyTelly.com/!
Phil Vischer

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I believe the legalization of homosexual marriage and future laws pushing the homosexual agenda will be the tell-tale signs. Hate speech criteria and freedom of speech restrictions will mark just the beginning.

I thought I’d bookmark what certainly won’t be last hostile attack against the Christian faith:
Burning Man suspect held in Grace Cathedral arson attempt
Another Church Under Attack In San Francisco

Some good sermons to listen to:

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I came across a ICE’s website, discovering a large amount of free books available (90 to be exact) in HTML or PDF format. As reminder you can get more free books by clicking above on E-books. Here’s the list: (more…)

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This audio from Unchained Radio is worth buying and saving on your hard drive if you follow the rational responders

Brian Culter on Rational Responders stated on National TV that they would debate anybody

Paul Manata inquire for a debate and this show is about his request for a debate with the Rational Responders and what did not happened

http://unchainedradio.com/new/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=shop.flypage&product_id=285&category_id=30&manufacturer_id=0&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=26

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This is from http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20070919/us_time/whychristopherhitchensiswrongaboutbillygraham&printer=1;_ylt=Arw4dhAqrUg3nCC.uS75pDY7Xs8F

 Why Christopher Hitchens Is Wrong About Billy Graham

By NANCY GIBBS AND MICHAEL DUFFY

Wed Sep 19, 1:40 PM ET

Christopher Hitchens once devoted an entire book to portraying Mother Teresa as a phony, so perhaps Billy Graham got off easy when Hitchens described him, in a recent C-Span appearance, as “a self-conscious fraud,” who didn’t believe a word of what he preached, but was just in business for the money.

The celebrated atheist, whose latest polemic, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, is firmly entrenched on the bestseller list, also called Graham a power-worshiping bigot who made a living by “going around spouting lies to young people. What a horrible career. I gather it’s soon to be over. I certainly hope so.”

Graham, now 88 and in failing health, was recently hospitalized for two weeks for intestinal bleeding.

Over the course of his long public ministry, Graham has certainly acquired his share of critics – a group which includes Graham himself. In our hours of interviews with him – while researching our own book, The Preacher and the Presidents – he was quick to find fault with his own conduct and quite willing to explore the reasons behind the mistakes he admitted making. The odd thing about Hitchens’ attack is not that he assaults an ailing icon – that’s both his specialty and his right – but that the evidence he cites actually proves him wrong.

Hitchens calls as his main corroborating witness a Canadian contemporary of Graham’s, whom he misidentifies as “James Templeton.” Hitchens explains that as a young firebrand preacher, Templeton (whose name was actually Charles), found his faith faltering; but when he challenged Graham, Hitchens claims, the evangelist told Templeton that it was too late to stop now – “We’re in business” – and proceeded to spend the next 50 years as a kind of religious racketeer.

The true story of Graham’s encounter with Templeton is fascinating and critical in understanding the ministry that followed – just not in the way Hitchens describes. Like Graham, Templeton was young and handsome; he was also the more talented preacher. But his growing spiritual questions led him to leave the sawdust trail in 1948 for Princeton Theological Seminary to put himself through a kind of theological boot camp. He tried to talk Graham into coming with him; Graham’s unquestioning faith in the literal truth of the Bible, he said, amounted to intellectual suicide. He tried to phrase it in Graham’s own terms: “You cannot disobey Christ’s great commandment to love God with all thy heart and all thy soul and all thy mind.” They continued to debate all year whenever their paths crossed, until finally in the summer of 1949, as Graham was preparing for what would be his breakout crusade in Los Angeles, Templeton confronted him one more time. “Billy, you’re 50 years out of date,” he said. “People no longer accept the Bible as being inspired the way you do. Your faith is too simple … You’re going to have to learn the new jargon if you’re going to be successful in your ministry.”

Templeton was actually pressing Graham to modernize his ministry, make it more commercially viable. What could be more tempting – to a rising preacher trying to reach young people, a preacher who stressed being approachable and relevant – than to tailor his theology to the tastes of the times, especially if the latest scholarship allowed wider appeal? But for Graham this was not an option. He felt that he could either believe the Bible or leave the ministry. “It was not too late to be a dairy farmer,” he concluded.

In the end, as the story was told many times over the years, Graham says he took a walk late at night and prayed. He didn’t understand everything in the Bible. But he decided to accept it, and preach it, without apology. In years to come critics like Reinhold Niebuhr would challenge his preaching as too simple, too far removed from the complexity of the human condition. But not even Niebuhr questioned the sincerity of Graham’s faith or motives. And neither, contrary to Hitchens, did Templeton. “I disagree with him profoundly on his view of Christianity and think that much of what he says in the pulpit is puerile nonsense,” Templeton wrote in his memoirs. “But there is no feigning in him: he believes what he believes with an invincible innocence. He is the only mass evangelist I would trust. And I miss him.”

The charge that Graham went into ministry to get rich is just as easily refuted, both by what he did and didn’t do. Well aware of how easily a famous preacher could be destroyed by financial or sexual scandal, Graham took pains early on to protect himself from both. He insisted that crusade accounts be audited and published in the local papers when the crusade was finished. Having founded the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in 1950, he took a straight salary, comparable to that of a senior minister of a major urban pulpit, no matter how much in money his meetings brought in. He was turning down million-dollar television and Hollywood offers half a century ago. He never built the Church of Billy Graham, and while he lived comfortably, his house is a modest place. If he had wanted to get rich, he could have been many, many times over.

Hitchens is on more solid ground when he attacks Graham for his comments about Jews in a 1972 Oval Office meeting with Richard Nixon. That conversation was indeed vile, and since it was disclosed in 2002, Graham has apologized repeatedly for his part in it. “I cannot imagine what caused me to make those comments, which I totally repudiate,” he said. “Whatever the reason, I was wrong for not disagreeing with the President … I don’t ever recall having those feelings about any group, especially the Jews, and I certainly do not have them now.” When we asked Graham about the conversation, his shame was obvious, and he confessed to the other fault at work that day – his sycophancy, the courtier’s habit of trying to win favor with the king by embracing even his most odious ideas. “I think I was just trying to agree with what he said or something,” Graham told us. Hitchens may reject Graham’s many apologies if he chooses, and discount his remorse more evidence of fraud. But rational people should have a hard time accepting Hitchens’ characterization of Graham as “a disgustingly evil man.”

Gibbs and Duffy’s book, The Preacher and the Presidents, was published in August.

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Latest Trinity Review feature portions from a new reprint of Gordon Clark’s “In Defense of Theology” that is now published by John Robbins of Trinity Foundation

See the Trinity Review in PDF file here:

http://www.trinityfoundation.org/PDF/270-InDefenseofTheology.pdf

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