Editor’s Note: I (“SlimJim”) am away in a family trip and this is a pre-scheduled post.  It is written by our guest Adam Kristofik who is a brother in Christ that regularly interact with us on our facebook page.  Today happens to be the day his wife is induced and giving birth so you might want to pray for his wife and their family.

discipline ahead

“Does God send trouble?” Surely, surely, He and He alone. To the sinner in punishment, to his children in chastisement.” – B.B. Warfield

Our first bundle of joy is expected to be arriving on this earth in about two weeks from the current time I am typing this. My wife and I are excited that we will be having a girl. Naturally, being a father of a girl, excitement for me is redefined as being extra cautious. I am enthusiastic about soon approaching the tragedies and triumphs of being a parent.

I pray that I will show my child the goodness of the Gospel as long as I am alive. My life example will not be her saving grace, but that only of Jesus Christ crucified. I am prepared to teach her all of the wonderful things throughout Scripture. With the understanding that I will not be the perfect parent, I hope to show her that our Father in Heaven is.

Speaking of the perfect parent, never in my wildest dreams would I think to send danger anywhere near my child. Sure, I might teach her lessons when she falls short. Although, deliberately placing my child into harm’s way seems terrible. What kind of parent would I be if I were to place spiritual, physical, and/or emotional roadblocks in my little girl’s path of life? Well, let us look at scripture.

We see in Hosea 9 that God placed many dangers in Israel’s way. The LORD dealt with Israel’s insubordinate nature harshly. In hindsight we see that God’s providential hand brought harm their way to punish their sin and renew the relationship that was shattered. God’s people are only ever put through the ringer with the goal to redirect them back to God.

True parental love is best displayed through gruesome chastisement. Being disciplined exposes your joy and exterminates your happiness. This process is painful but reaps great spiritual rewards. Hebrews 12 tells us this. God will put hardships in our life to prune us. Sanctification is an inwardly beautiful process that seems torturous to the carnal mind.

The veil of sin has still obscured our view with the false pretense of human innocence. We set our standards by others around us as opposed to the perfect standard set by Christ. Therefore, our sin does not look as heinous to God as it really is. We should stand firm against the temptation of the heresy of human righteousness.

May the Lord of Hosts continue to not spare His rod, as this is His people’s best assurance of an unfailing love. May we as His people seek the living Christ through the midst of the brutal discipline we will face. May the Lord purge our sin with His sanctified fire. This present pain pales in comparison to the glory that will be revealed.

Editor’s Note: I (“SlimJim”) am away in a family trip and this is a pre-scheduled post.  Responses will be delayed.

Warfare in the Old Testament The Organization, Weapons, and Tactics of Ancient Near Eastern Armies

Available on AMAZON

This is a wonderful book by an Old Testament professor who has done his doctoral dissertation related to ancient warfare.  Given the prevalence of war in the Old Testament, this book serves as an important resource in giving the background information for our understanding of Scripture.  The content of the book is well researched and interesting.  It also helps that the book is filled with beautiful illustrations that feature ancient drawings, archaeological finds, helpful maps and contemporary painting recreating what warfare in the past must have looked like.  They are very helpful and the author Boyd Seevers did a good job coordinating what he has to say with the illustrations.

The book focuses primarily on warfare in the Ancient Near East.  The author begins with the Hebrews during the era when they entered into the promise land.  Two chapters are devoted towards Israel and their military.  This is followed by two chapters on Egypt, one chapter on the Philistines, two chapters on the Assyrians, one chapter on the Babylonians and the final chapter on the Persians.

Every kingdom’s military is presented in an organized and clear manner. Each time a certain kingdom is introduced, the author takes the literary license of giving us a fictional “eye witness” account of a warrior so we can get the idea of what it must have been like.  This is followed by discussion of the specific kingdom’s historical background, military organization (structure, military branches, etc), weapons (long-medium-short range offensive weapons and defensive measures), and strategies/tactics.  Each section and subsection is clearly labeled which makes this an easy access reference for later use.

Over all, the book has more strengths than it did weakness.


  • In the introduction the author is conscious of cultural experience with warfare and he acknowledges that he never served in the military and grew up in the United States during a time of social upheaval where serving in the military was not necessarily valued.  Realizing his limitation, the author took the initiative to share a Marine sergeant’s insight concerning war.  It was really good especially concerning tactics!  I must confessed my own biases: I myself am a Marine veteran of Iraq.
  • There were a lot of things I learned from this book that I didn’t know beforehand: The book made the point that the Babylonians and Persians seem to be generally less cruel than the Assyrians during warfare and the Assyrians tend to use a lot of psychological warfare with their opponents.  I learned what a composite bow is (a bow that was glued together of various pieces of wood which allow the arrows to go futher).
  • I appreciated the fact that Seevers cited primary sources and also important secondary sources in the study of the Ancient Near East; especially exciting for me is his reference to Yadin’s work on Old Testament warfare in light of archaeological finding.  I have been thinking about getting Yadin’s work for some time now but I have hesitated given how it is somewhat outdated; this new volume by Seevers is a much needed update on the topic.
  • The end of the book has a good list of recommended resources for further study.


  • The input of the Marine concerning strategy waned by the time we get to the middle of the book.  It would have been nice to see more insights from him!
  • Some of the colors on some of maps were clashing and hard to distinguished at time given how they were a few shade different.


I highly recommend this book for anyone with interests in the Old Testament, the Ancient Near East and military history.  Pastors and Bible Students will gain much from this work.

NOTE: This book was provided to me free by Kregel Publications without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

To purchase the book CLICK HERE.


Beginning tommorow I (SLIMJIM) will be going on Vacation and this week’s posts will feature guest posts and pre-scheduled pieces I written.  I think we have an edifying line up.  My comments will be delayed in light of our travels.



It seems suddenly the world’s attention has shifted since last week to notice the horrific development in Iraq with ISIS.  Things has deteriorated for the worst the last four months and especially with this last week.

I think its important to see the bigger picture:  Its not just a bunch of terrorists guys running around as the “Junior Varsity” members of Al Qaeda as Obama called it in January 2014.  ISIS has begun making their Caliphate Islamic State.  They have taken over major cities, control oil centers and funding their state by selling them in the black market.  They have picked up the weapons left over from the fleeing Iraqi Government, picked up other weapons from other fighting groups in Syria and even controling a strategic dam.  Their Islamic Theocracy has begun with the violent cleansing of different Muslims, Christians and other minorities.

The following videos that are dispatches by Vice News gives us a little more perspective on the ground.  We can see that what we have here is really the breaking down of Iraq as a country, the fear that many had when the US was occupying Iraq.  The breakdown is now on sectarian lines.  These dispatches is fascinating in that you see every group mistrusting other groups and also how the Kurds are also taking this opportunity to advance their claims on territory in light of the Iraqi military running away.

As you watch these videos one must realize these were produced a few weeks ago and things have gotten worst since these were put online.  The Kurds are more involved with direct combat with ISIS.  ISIS has captured more grounds.  The Kurds have been running low on ammunition and there’s a major refugee crisis.  Two failing state (Iraq and Syria) are unable to put down ISIS and don’t forget the direct foreign involvement in weakening the two states that are trying to put them down (the US arm the FSA against Assad in Syria, etc).

I’m praying for the Christians and other minorities.  I’m praying that God will use this to bring people to Himself.  I’m praying for peace for the sake of people who have suffered so much.   I’m also praying for God’s justice and imprecatory prayers towards those who are in ISIS that will not repent.



These are our collection of Presuppositional apologetics’ links from around the World Wide Web between August 1st-7th, 2014.


1.) Atheism Fails as a Worldview: It Lacks Objective Moral Values


3.) Why Materialism Cannot Object to The Miraculous

4.) Cornelius Van Til’s lectures on Modern Theology

5.) Late week’s installment of Presuppositional Apologetics’ Links 


    • [Introductory words]:
      • Because the Trinity has often been misconstrued, it is imperative to provide the foundational elements of the Trinity.  Although the word Trinity does not appear in the Bible, it does not mean the Trinity is prevented from being taught.  The concept of the word Trinity is rooted and anchored in Scripture.  Central to its concept is how God can be both one revealed as three.  Many in the early church had to grapple with this concept.  Many did not want to lose sight of a monotheistic faith that many of the Jewish believers in the Bible adhered to and followed.  However, the Trinity is the fountain head of our faith.  It is the fountain head that adheres to the monotheistic faith of the believers in the Bible.
    • [Snapshot from church history]:
      • Many tried to redefine God in their own perspective and rationalism, which resulted in myriads of heresies such as dynamic monarchianism, modalistic, monarchianism, subordinationism, unitarianism, tritheism, etc.
      • Some of the most familiar heresies are unitarianism, sabellianism, and tritheism.
        • Unitarianism is the belief that the Father is the Creator, the Son is a creature, and that the Holy Spirit is impersonal.
        • Sabellianism (also known as modalism) is the belief that God takes on three different modes rather than seeing them as three eternal distinct persons.  In other words, in the OT, you had the Father, and in the NT, you had the Son, and the now in the present, you have the Holy Spirit.
        • Tritheism carries the notion that there are three gods rather than one God.
        • The church understood the importance of defining God biblically.  In an effort to preserve the Trinity as taught in Scripture, the pre-nicene church (A.D. 33-325), the council of Nicea (A.D. 325), the council of Constantinople (A.D. 381), etc. tried to reserve the biblical teaching of God.
        • Here is one famous historical battle to take mental note (2nd-4th centuries AD).
          • Arian controversy and Athanasius’ (Bishop of Alexandria) exile.   An exile of Athanasius that was due to his acceptance of homoousios (“same substance”) and his denial of  homoiousios (“similar substance”).  The difference was over one Greek letter; and it was enough to have him exiled for over 16 years.  For Athanasius, he understood that in the incarnation of Christ, the Son was subordinate to the Father in function, but ontologically, he was equal to the Father in essence and substance, not similar.  His deity was not divested at His incarnation.
    • [Illustrations and Analogies]:
      • Oftentimes, people will try to use illustrations and analogies in explaining the Trinity, but I think that is a defeated cause.  I don’t think you can use illustrations and analogies when trying to explaining the one in three and the three in one.  This particular  truth concerning God is a transcendent revelation.
      • Some have tried to use the construction worker who wears three hats, the  gas, liquid, and solid, the apple, and Starbucks (multiple franchises).  However, all of those illustrations can lead to a negative misrepresentation (i.e. modalism) and implications of the Trinity if one is not careful.
      • The best way to explain the Trinity is through the Scripture,
    • [Foundational elements]:
      • God is one (Deuteronomy 6:4; 20:2-4; 3:13-15; 1 Timothy 1:7; 1 Cor. 8:4-6; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; James 2:19), but reveals Himself as three distinct persons.  One God, but three distinct persons.
      • The Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Father, the Father is not the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is not the Father, the Son is not the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is not the Son, etc.
      • Each of the persons in the Godhead is Deity.
      • Each person in the Godhead are eternal.
      • Each person is the same in essence and attribute and neither of the Godhead are inferior or superior to one another.
      • Each person in the Godhead is not made, has no beginning (John 1:1), nor has an end, and without division of nature, essence, or being.
      • The Trinity cannot be rationalized in accordance to the human perspective.  It is transcendent and incomprehensible.
        • As Job states so clearly when it comes to God, “Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?” (Job 11:7; cf. Psa. 145:3, Rom. 11:33).
    • [Incomprehensible]:
      • Without the Trinity, we as finite human beings would not be able to comprehend God.  Moreover, the revealing of the Godhead allows us to have a personal relationship with the Holy God of this world.  His ultimate revelation was His Son in the OT and the NT.  The ultimate revelation was His Son’s incarnation.  The Son who explained immortal and invisible God in great ways (John 1:18).
    • [Relationship to the Creator]:
      • Because of Christ, we are able to understand and appreciate greatly concerning God’s holiness, justice,  grace, mercy, love, and other truths about Him.
      • Christ willingly revealed Himself to us.  If He did not reveal Himself, we would not know God fully.  For example, you can’t know the Godhead of the Bible by just looking at creation.  God has to reveal Himself. And He revealed Himself to us through His Word.  His Word confirms how he is revealed in creation, our conscience, and His Son.   His Word reveals that there is a plurality in the Godhead, personality in the Godhead, and deity in the Godhead, equality, and essence and attributes in the Godhead.
    • Verses that point to the plurality of the persons:
      • Psalm 2:7; 1 Peter 1:2; John 1:17; 1 Cor. 8:6; Phil. 2:11; Ps. 2:7; Heb. 1:1-13; Ps. 68:18; Isa. 6:1-3; 9:6; Matt. 3:16-17; Gen. 1:1-2; Exod. 31:3; Judg. 15:14; Isa. 11:2; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Cor. 3:17.
      • Plural pronouns point to plurality:
        • Genesis 1:26, “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth’” (NASB).
      • The use of the singular word “name” that is used in reference to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit points the inviolableness of the oneness of God within the three persons of the Godhead.
        • Matthew 28:18-20, “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’”
    • The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are not things, they are persons that have a will, senses, works, to name but a few.
      • Father:
        • He has a will: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matt. 7:21).
        • He has senses such as being able to see (Matt. 6:4) and speak (Matt. 3:17), does not forgive (Matt 6:15-16) or send off (1John 4:14).
      • Son:
        • He has a will: “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matt. 26:39).
        • The Son, namely Jesus is able to see (John 9:1), speak (Matt. 5:2), forgives (Mark2:5) or send off (Matt. 28:19).
      • Holy Spirit:
        • The Spirit can see or witness (Acts 5:32), speak (Acts 8:29), guides (John 16:13) and send off (Acts 13:1-4).
        • The Spirit does things that no inanimate objects can do.  He loves: “I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.” (Romans15:30).
    • In their essence, we see that the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit shares the same attributes.
      • Father:
        • Eternality: Psalm 90:2, “Before the mountains were born or You gave birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.”
        • Power: 1 Peter 1:5, “Who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
        • Omniscience: Jer. 17:10, “‘I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.'”
        • Omnipresence: Jer. 23:24“’Can a man hide himself in hiding places so I do not see him?’ declares the Lord.  ‘Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?’ declares the Lord.”
        • Holiness: Rev. 15:4, “Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name?  For You alone are holy;
          for all the nations will come and worship before You, for Your righteous acts have been revealed.”
        • Truth: John 7:28, “Then Jesus cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, ‘You both know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know.'”
        • Unchangeable: Psalm 33:11; Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 1:12; Hebrews 6:17-18; James 1:17
        • Benevolence: Rom. 2:4, “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?”
      • Son:
        • Eternality: John 1:2, “He was in the beginning with God.”  Rev. 1:8, 17
        • Power: 2 Cor. 12:9, “And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’  Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”
        • Omniscience: Rev. 2:23, “And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.”
        • Omnipresence: Matt. 18:20, “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”
        • Holiness: Acts 3:14, “But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you.”
        • Truth: Rev. 3:7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says this.”
        • Unchangeable: Psalm 33:11; Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 1:12; Hebrews 6:17-18; James 1:17
        • Benevolence: Eph. 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.”
      • Holy Spirit:
        • Eternality: Heb. 9:14, “How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
        • Power: Rom. 15:19, “In the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit; so that from Jerusalem and round about as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.”
        • Omniscience: 1 Cor. 2:11, For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.”
        • Omnipresence: Ps. 139:7, “Where can I go from Your Spirit?  Or where can I flee from Your presence?”
        • Holiness: Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
        • Truth: 1 John 5:6, “This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.
        • Unchangeable: Psalm 33:11; Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 1:12; Hebrews 6:17-18; James 1:17
        • Benevolence: Neh. 9:20, “You gave Your good Spirit to instruct them, Your manna You did not withhold from their mouth, and You gave them water for their thirst.
    • In the midst of their active roles, the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit are equal.
      • Father:
        • Creation of the World: Ps. 102:25“Of old You founded the earth,and the heavens are the work of Your hands.”
        • Creation of Man: Gen. 2:7, “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”
        • Baptism of Christ: Matt. 3:17, “And behold, a voice out of the heavens said, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.’”
        • Death of Christ: Heb. 9:14, “How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
        • Gospel: Romans 1:1, “Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God.” Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
        • Salvation: 1 Peter 1:2, “According to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.”
        • Judgment: Hebrews 9:27; Hebrews 13:4; Revelation 6:16; Romans 1:18; 1:24-28
      • Son:
        • Creation of the World: Col. 1:16, “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.”
        • Creation of Man: Col. 1:16
        • Baptism of Christ: Matt. 3:16,  “After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him.”
        • Death of Christ: Heb. 9:14, “How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
        • Gospel: Romans 1:1; Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
        • Salvation: 1 Peter 1:2
        • Judgment: John 5:22; Hebrews 9:27; Hebrews 13:4; Revelation 6:16; Romans 1:18
      • Holy Spirit:
        • Creation of the World: Gen. 1:2, “The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.” Job 26:13, “By His breath the heavens are cleared.  His hand has pierced the fleeing serpent.”
        • Creation of Man: Job. 33:4“The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.”
        • Baptism of Christ: Matt. 3:16
        • Death of Christ: Heb. 9:14, “How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
        • Gospel: Romans 1:1; Romans 1:16
        • Salvation: 1 Peter 1:2
        • Judgment: Judges 3:10; John 16:5-11; Acts 5:1-6;Hebrews 9:27; Hebrews 13:4; Romans 1:18
    • The Bible portrays the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as God.
      • FATHER:
        • He is called God in Galatians 1:1, Phil. 2:11 and 1Peter 1:2
        • He is prayed to (Matthew 6:9), eternal (Romans 1:20), worshiped (Phil. 4:20) and we can have fellowship with anywhere (1John 1:3; Deut. 6:13; cf. Matt. 4:9-10; Ps. 97:7; Isa. 45:23; Rev. 19:10; 22:8-9
      •  SON:
        • He is called God: See John 8:58; 20:28, Titus 2:13
        • Jesus, the Son is eternal (John 1:1), involved in Creation (Col. 1:16), worshipped (Matt. 2:2, 11; 8:2; 9:18; 14:33; 15:25; 20:20; 28:9, 17; Phil. 2:10-11; Heb. 1:6; Rev. 1:17; 5:14) and we can have fellowship with Him anywhere (1John 1:3).
      •  SPIRIT:
        • He is called God: See Acts 5:3 in light of Acts 5:4; Hebrews 9:14
        • The Spirit is eternal (Hebrews 9:14), searches the things of God (1Corinthians 2:10), involved in Creation (Genesis 1:2), worshipped (2 Cor. 13:14 [prayer addressed to God]) and we can have fellowship with Him anywhere (2Corinthians 13:14).
          • Loraine Boettner says 2 Corinthians 13:14 “Is a prayer addressed to Christ for His grace, to the Father for His love, and to the Holy Spirit for His fellowship” (Studies in Theology, p. 92).
          • Prayer is a form of worship.  The prayer is addressed to the Godhead.



*Some notes and concepts were adapted from SLIMJIM and David Miller’s notes on the Trinity.




Dogmatic Theology Vol. 1 by W. G. T Shedd

Boy there’s a lot of great books now available online for free–even systematic theology books!  In the past I have blogged on Louis Berkhof’s Systematic Theology.  Now we have William Shedd’s Dogmatic Theology, courtesty of Monergism!

Monergism has announced this week the availability of this classic.  Part of the Preface is as follows:

The immediate preparation of this treatise began in 1870, when the author was called to give instruction for a year in the department of Systematic Theology, in Union Theological Seminary. The work was resumed in 1874, when he was elected to this professorship, and was prosecuted down to 1888. But some general preparation had been made for it, by previous studies and publications. The writer had composed a History of Christian Doctrine in the years 1854-1862, which was published in 1863; and also a volume of Theological Essays containing discussions on original sin and vicarious atonement, and a volume of Sermons to the Natural Man predominantly theological in their contents. The doctrinal system here presented will be found to be closely connected with these preceding investigations; and this will explain the somewhat frequent references to them as parts of one whole. The Dogmatic History is the natural introduction to the Dogmatic Theology.

The general type of doctrine is the Augustino-Calvinistic. Upon a few points, the elder Calvinism has been followed in preference to the later. This, probably, is the principal difference between this treatise and contemporary ones of the Calvinistic class.

To download it as a EPUB, to download it as a MOBI for Kindle.


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