Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mission Trip to Central India - Please Pray and Consider a Donation





Dear Reform-Shire friends,

On March 19, 2009 I will be going on a 14 day mission trip to India with Countryside Christian Church.

Our team will be involved in surveying the work and ministries of (CICM) Central India Christian Ministries including the women’s ministry, Bible academy, church planting, children’s home, and especially the ministry of Harris and Winnie Walters in Bhopal, India.

The purpose of my letter is threefold:

1. To inform you of some of the exciting things the Lord is currently doing in my life by giving me this opportunity to visit some brothers and sisters in Christ who are reaching an area that the Gospel is moving through in spite of much adversity. I hope that I may be able to encourage our Brothers and Sisters to let them know that we care for them and their mission of spreading the Gospel to India.

2. To request your prayers for the next few months or weeks as our team begins to prepare for this ministry opportunity.

3. To ask you to prayerfully consider being part of my financial support team so that I may experience and participate in this unique missionary opportunity.

The cost of our trip is approximately $3000.00. Anything you can do to help me in this endeavor will be greatly appreciated. Your financial gift is tax deductible. Your check can be made out to Countryside Christian Church. If you would like to donate online please use this link to go to the Secure Pay Pal website to make a donation via their website and I will forward to Countryside Christian on your behalf.

I am really excited about this opportunity to serve the Lord in a very special way, and want to thank you for assisting me in any way possible. May God richly bless you.

In His Service,

Grace and Peace,

Chris Allen

Coram Deo!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Viewpoint - Washington Post Web-chat with Dr. Michael S. Horton

Here is a question that I asked of Mike Horton of the White Horse Inn. And his answer. You'll notice that it is a similar topic that I sent to the Christian Standard Editor.

Grace and Peace,
Chris Allen
Coram Deo!!!

Wichita, Kan.: I have visited some of the Christian Bible Colleges around the country and have sat in some of the classes being offered. I have also visited churches planted by these colleges and they all have become infected by this virus and are now promoters of this Christless Christianity. Question: Since this problem is so sweeping across the country and denominations, do I contact the Presidents of these Colleges? What can we say or do to change the tide? Or are we on the "Downgrade" that Charles Spurgeon warned us about so many years ago?

Michael S. Horton: You put your finger on a major argument in my book. Conservatives often identify "Christless Christianity" with liberalism. However, it is hard to find Christ-centered preaching in so-called "Bible-believing" churches today. Everybody seems to be interested in other things these days.

The prophets, Jesus, Paul, Augustine, the Protestant Reformers, Spurgeon, and countless others had to confront the heresy of self-salvation. It is our default setting to believe that we are basically good people who could be a little better with the right game-plan, support-network, and coaching. "God helps those who help themselves": according to surveys, most evangelicals thought that this was a biblical quotation, when it actually comes from Ben Franklin. The Good News that the Bible proclaims, however, is that God saves those who cannot save themselves.

The first thing we have to realize if there is going to be genuine reformation in the churches today is that the self-trust that engenders Christless Christianity is not just a problem in some times and places, but is the natural drift of our fallen heart. We have to be taught out of it our whole lives as Christians. One generation assumes the gospel; the next generation forgets it; the next one abandons it. But each of us will be constantly tempted to fall back on ourselves instead of on Christ unless Christ is seen as the center and circumference of the church's preaching, teaching, the sacraments, and mission.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christian Standard: Letter to the Editor

Just so you know my letter to the Editor of the Christian Standard Magazine has been posted on their website. I was right that they would probably omit the names of the Colleges that I visited. But, that's cool.
So, now what? Only God knows that. We'll just continue to challenge and observe what is being taught or presented in the name of Christ or even without the name of Christ.

I'm going to be fine tuning my sermon for this coming Sunday in the teen worship service at my church. I'm really pumped about this opportunity, but very nervous about the importance of such a task. All the while I want to be able to show the details of Christ's coming which is most certainly a timely time to deliver the Gospel. I've been told that we need to be careful about giving them the "Churchy" words. But, the Churchy words are necessary and just need some explaining what these scary words mean. I have to balance a solidly Christ centered message all the while keeping their attention without any kind of flash or gimmicks and still keep the message around 20 minutes. Hmmmm...... please pray for me. I have, at times, tend to be critical here on the blog but when preaching I so much want to be encouraging when delivering the Good News.

Grace and Peace,
Chris Allen
Coram Deo!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Good News for Lawbreakers, Part A Romans 3:20-31

Hello,

Once again here is a message that is so good. You may want to catch tomorrow's message as well. But, the emphasis on the Gospel is so inspiring. I could just imagine this kind of message being preached to the Youth of today. It is direct and right to the point and not spoon fed with sugar or some kind of media or method to make it more tolerable to swallow.
I have heard recently a pastor focus on the commission of certain sins like going over the speed limit or other seemingly small and insignificant sins. To where someone could make a case for not being that bad of a person. "God surely would not be so unfair and not consider them as a good person." The pastor mentioned a few sins and said that if you were to only sin 3 times a day for a year and multiply that say by 60 years. That's a whole lot of sinning. However, the pastor forgets that we sin every second of every minute, hour, day, month year, life and
that is a whole lot of sinning. But, the focus, unfortunately, is on sins and not on the fact that we do not love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and we do not love our neighbors as ourselves. So, the emphasis should really move away from the acts of sin to the fact that we are SINNERS. And as Jonathan Edward's puts it, "we are sinners in the hands of an angry God". Now, we don't like looking at God from this standpoint because we have squelched this attribute of God and have only embraced the ones that we like. But the truth is that we are wicked people. And the law gives us the realization that we are in fact deserving of God's condemnation. As Alistair says, (paraphrasing) if we were to get a grade on how well we were doing in the school of righteousness, we would all get "Fs". No matter what effort or good deeds we do will ever change our grade to anything but an "F".
So, now we know why we celebrate Christmas... "Joy to the World, the Lord has come". We now have someone that gets the grade "A" on our behalf. We are in need of a Savior to come and rescue us from this life of destruction. I can praise Him and share Him as a gift that has come into this dark world. We can't help but share this gift of Christmas since we are blessed by God that His Grace was given. This present was already given and already opened by His Son Jesus Christ.
I listened to the story of Saul and David recently and it was quite interesting to here how God was working in the heart of David and how God protected David. God
had to protect David because the son or descendant that would come out from him would also be David's Lord. The Son of God. The Savior of the World. This was promised to Abraham as well.
Remember when Saul threw the spear at David and all the times he pursued him to kill him? God protected David. He preserved him and this gift to come way before the Angels and the shepherds were to witness the birth of Jesus. And God continues to keep us and protect us as a humanity that was created as a gift from the Father to the Son. But, the Son had to come to Earth to be the Redeemer and redeem the gift (us) and be our atonement.
Why did He do this?
1. Because He loves His Father.
2. Because He loves the gift (us) He receives from the Father.
Isn't that the picture provided by the 10 commandments? Isn't that what the 2 greatest commands tell us? Not only our sins condemn us but our lack of perfect love and holiness condemn us.
That is just mind boggling if you really think about it.

Now that's a Christmas present worth showing to the whole world.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Praise Him all creatures here below.
Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts.
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. AMEN!!!


Grace and Peace,
Chris Allen
Coram Deo!!!



Pathway to Freedom Pathway to Freedom

Title: Good News for Lawbreakers, Part A Romans 3:20-31

Series: Pathway to Freedom more about this series >

Listen Now: Listen in Mini-Player

The breaking of the 10 Commandments are offensive against a holy God. What can we do to restore our relationship with Him? The first step is to discover some “Good News for Lawbreakers” on Truth For Life with Pastor Alistair Begg.

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Good News for Lawbreakers, Part A

Romans 3:20-31, Series: Pathway to Freedom

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Looming Christian College Cri$i$

This is a letter I wrote to the Christian Standard Editor. I hope this email will be seen as a genuine concern for the Church as a whole. It is certainly easier while I'm not a pastor to point these things out and I certainly have had help from Mike Horton and the guys on the White Horse Inn.

Grace and peace,
Chris Allen
Coram Deo!!!



Dear Christian Standard,

I have recently been visiting your online magazine and I have been pleased to see what has been written recently.
I have a hobby or ministry of evaluating preaching and church trends which also includes the Christian Colleges. I want to call churches back to the Gospel and Christ Centered preaching.

Over the years I have observed what has been produced by these Christian colleges and I'm concerned about what many of these "would-be" pastors or worship leaders have been taught. They come to us saying "this is how you should do ministry". And we reply emphatically, "No it is not!!!".

I have also visited and attended classes at 3 Christian Colleges (Ozark, Manhattan, and Johnson). I also have visited several churches planted by these colleges. I must say I am a little disappointed with what is being done in the name of Christ. It seems that the Gospel is assumed, and that we ultimately have a teaching that is moralistic, therapeutic, and deistic. I could get this same teaching from Anthony Robbins, Joel Osteen, or the Mormon Church. So, in a sense what I have seen coming out of these several years is basically a Christless Christianity.

So, to the point of this note to the editor, from my standpoint is I've lost any kind of confidence in the Christian Colleges. And I have a daughter attending one of these at this very moment. I'm especially concerned after recently attending the Missionary Convention I listened to the keynote speaker and interviewed many representatives of colleges and mission organizations. So now I'm starting to wonder if this Christless Christianity has infected the entire American Church. It is very discouraging and it is with a heavy heart that I write this and I plead with you the Christian Churches to do a self evaluation once again and maybe it is time for a "Reformation" to bring us back to a Christ Centered, Gospel preaching, church.

Here is a book entitled Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers

Also, a book and a website by Mike Horton called Christless Christianity.


Grace and Peace,
Chris
www.Reform-Shire.blogspot.com
Coram Deo!!!


Monday, November 24, 2008

Here is an amazing message given by an apologist whom I have admired for many years. I was especially impacted by the sharing of a letter written by a 12 year old boy. Listen to this message and think about your relationship with those around you. How about your father? How about you as a father? I marvel in God's holiness, that there can be such a thing as grace for anyone. Especially me. At times I just don't know where I'm going and I feel like Solomon in Ecclesiastes.

Ecclesiastes 1

All Is Vanity
1The words of(A) the Preacher,[a] the son of David,(B) king in Jerusalem.
2(C) Vanity[b] of vanities, says(D) the Preacher,
(E) vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
3(F) What(G) does man gain by all the toil
at which he toils under the sun?
4A generation goes, and a generation comes,
but(H) the earth remains forever.
5(I) The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
and hastens[c] to the place where it rises.
6(J) The wind blows to the south
and goes around to the north;
around and around goes the wind,
and on its circuits the wind returns.
7All(K) streams run to the sea,
but the sea is not full;
to the place where the streams flow,
there they flow again.
8All things are full of weariness;
a man cannot utter it;
(L) the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
nor the ear filled with hearing.
9(M) What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun.
10Is there a thing of which it is said,
"See, this is new"?
It has been(N) already
in the ages before us.
11There is no(O) remembrance of former things,[d]
nor will there be any remembrance
of later things[e] yet to be
among those who come after.

It is all vanity, but there is one who gives meaning to it all. There is one who gives wisdom when we have been awaken from this darkened life of sin and self destruction. Regeneration is all of God bringing us out of this miry clay and makes us into something to give song and praise. Jesus Christ is the one that these passages point us to. Jesus did not come to make bad people good, nor to make poor people rich. He came to bring dead people to life. And all the while loving, and honoring the Father and loving and saving us from a Holy and Just God.

This past weekend I attended a Missions Convention and it was wonderful to see the many missions all over the world. But, I could not help but think. Who is the missionary to the churches, and the Bible colleges here in the United States? The reason I say that is, it seemed the emphasis by the featured speaker was that reaching the poor and oppressed was a greater mission than the great commission. I understand that is usually the focus of missionaries to do both and usually get caught up in the physical needs of the people. However, it should never be the emphasis of one over the other. Because, if you give emphasis to the Gospel message, (the same Gospel message that Paul gave), the results will always be compassion for the needs of the people. There are many non-religious and non-Christian organizations around the world that do a very good job of meeting physical needs. But, what distinguishes us from them is the bread that will sustain them for eternity. Living water that will eternally quench their thirst. So, I question the need to give emphasis to the Church on getting out there and helping those who are in need. This is part of our make up as human beings who are bearing the image of God. So, I hope that I am making this point clear, that it is important to meet the needs of people, but for us as the church, we must share this precious gift of Grace through Faith, on account of Christ Alone. Soli Deo Gloria!!! All the Glory goes to God Alone!!!

Grace and Peace,
Chris Allen
Coram Deo!!!




Who Are You God?
(part 2 of 2)
by Ravi Zacharias
Knock-knock. “Who’s there?” God. “God who?” That’s a pretty heavy question to answer, isn’t it? How would you describe God to someone who asked? Would you start with His love or would you focus more on His power? What about His wrath - how does that fit in? Join Ravi Zacharias as he explores the question on the hearts of all mankind - Who Are You God?

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Prayer Request

Here is an update from Global Hope Network.  Please pray for them and this situation in Afghanistan and please also pray for those being persecuted in India.

Grace and Peace,
 
Chris
www.Reform-Shire.blogspot.com
Coram Deo!!!


----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Michael Parks <michael.parks@ghni.org>
To: Michael Parks <michael.parks@ghni.org>; Sheri Parks <sheri.parks@ghni.org>
Sent: Sunday, November 16, 2008 12:21:56 AM
Subject: Prayer Request

We work in some of the hardest and most dangerous places on earth.

I want to share with you an "incident report" from Afghanistan , the type which I get every day.  

This situation you will read is a common event our staff, other faithful aid workers and the folks who live there face every day.

After you read this say a prayer for the people there who want to live a normal life, send their children to school to be educated without the fear of some terrorist seeking to kill them.

I see these reports every day and face them when I am in country but our staff and the people who live there face this often.

So for a moment try to put yourself in place of the mother or father or student…trying to live a normal life…yes, it is different from you or I, but like you and I, they want the same basic things in life…education, medicine for their children, food for their family, safety as they and their sons and daughters try to work, go to school, or buy groceries…in common public places.

 

 

Location:                   Khost Province , Khost City , Khost Technical High School

Incident type:            Attempted BBIED

Date/Time:               15 November 2008, 1440hrs

Report Source:          OTHER

Information:              A person entered the school premises and threw two grenades which detonated, causing some damage but no casualties. The assailant was then fatally shot by ANP and found to be wearing a suicide vest.

Assessment:              This incident comes the day after a SVBIED attack in the city and follows the shooting of three engineers in the neighbouring district of Mando Zayi on 13 November 2008. It also follows the killings of teachers in two separate incidents in the province in mid-October, and illustrates the threat against education facilities in the province as well as being part of a more general increase in AOG activity in and around Khost City .

Advisory:                   Any NGOs working or travelling in and around Khost should recognise a clear increase in threat level, as well as a shift in the nature of threat from AOG attacks against security forces to a wider range of risks such as those demonstrated in the past 72 hrs.

 

Regards,

Regional Safety Advisor- East

Afghanistan NGO Safety Office (ANSO)

 

Though we have our "Columbine" incidents, in Afghanistan it is a regular incident that some diabolical person is trying to blow up a girl's school, high school, market place…

But God…Who is great in mercy and grace is working in the hearts of many to bring peace and hope to a generation that has only known war and terror.  So don't grow weary in prayer for those who are seeking peace in a perverse and dangerous time.

I thank the Lord for your faithfulness to pray for our friends and for us.

God bless you!

Mike

 

 

Friday, November 14, 2008

Better than Perfect - Series: God's Beautiful Design for Women: Living Out Titus 2:1-5 - part 2

I just happened to be listening to the radio in my car during lunch and caught Nancy Leigh DeMoss talking about wives ministering to those in their family. But, what caught my ear is not just for wives but for all of us. And it was when she said, "first to the Lord." That is the place to start for all of us. If we truly have Christ at the center, then all other relationships should fall into place. Not just in the family but the church as well. If you would like to listen to this message click the link and look for the listen tab.

Grace and Peace,

Chris

Coram Deo!!!

_________________

Nancy: Well, we’ve been talking over the last couple of sessions about women being keepers at home—workers at home, being domestically inclined, the virtue of domesticity and having a heart for the home—and how this is in such missing supply today and really crucial. Anything that God says is important is important.

If God says this is the way that we’re supposed to function, then we’re going to find our freedom, our blessing, and our joy by functioning in that way. This is a call for women at every season of life to say, “Lord, what would it look like in this season—whether I’m in high school or college or newly married, with no children, young children, older children, or an empty nest? At every season of life, how can I reflect a heart for home?”

At different seasons of life, you may be able to do more by ministering to people outside of your own home. But in domestic ways, I want to tell you today the tale of two women. It’s actually two stories.

One is the story of a woman who sent me an email. She’s a friend; I’ve known her for a number of years. I told her that we were talking about domesticity, and I knew that God had done some things in her life along this line. I asked her if she would share some of that, so she sent me an email this past week.

I was hoping for a paragraph or two, and what I got was more of her story than I was even aware of. So it’s lengthy. But I want to take time to share it with you because I think it illustrates some of the principles we’ve been talking about related to the importance of women centering their lives around ministering to those in their family—first to the Lord, and then to their husbands and children—and the dangers that can take place when those responsibilities are neglected.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Your Enemy the Devil

Here is a wonderful message that I really feel is a great challenge for us as individuals and the church together. I was just talking on the phone to a new friend but an old Brother in Christ. Such an encouraging Pastor, and a true blessing to talk with.
I am glad to know that we are not alone in this battle to bring the church back to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We have been blessed to have been saved through the foolishness of preaching this message. We are doubly blessed to have our hearts charged with the desire to share this news. The Good News of Christ that saves us from the bad news of guilt before a Holy and Just God. Grace is truly amazing.

Grace and peace,


Chris
www.Reform-Shire.blogspot.com
Coram Deo!!!


Your Enemy the Devil - Part A
Monday, November 10, 2008
Why is it so hard to trust God, even though the Bible tells us that we should? If your spiritual life is less than it could be, you may be engaged in spiritual warfare. For some valuable insight into this topic, join Alistair Begg as he considers the next issue from Peter's first letter.
Series: Standing Firm in Shaky Times-Volume 3
















Your Enemy the Devil Part B - 11/11/2008


Monday, November 03, 2008

In the INN - "Election Coverage"

Election! We just happen to be talking about this very subject in Sunday School. Or at least we try to talk about it. I think someone yesterday was trying to change gears or head into a different direction than what the passage was talking about. It was stated that Paul had his credibility in mind when he said "I am not lying" because the Jews know he betrayed them when Christ dragged him into faith on the road to Damascus. The Christians were a little nervous about him because he at one time was having them persecuted. However, if that was his motivation for writing this at this point in the book of Romans, I'm not buying it. He should have said "I am not lying" at the very beginning of this epistle, because he has already said quite a bit that his "credibility" would need to be discussed. But, that's OK. Next week Romans 9 will clearly head us into the weighty matters of election and there will be no need to wonder of Paul's credibility because no human would want to write what he had to write about the Sovereignty of God. It just isn't in ourselves to develop such a marvelous doctrine such as God's Sovereign Election.

Romans 9:1-18

God's Sovereign Choice
1I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit— 2I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, 4the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. 5Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised![a] Amen.

6It is not as though God's word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham's children. On the contrary, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned."[b] 8In other words, it is not the natural children who are God's children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham's offspring. 9For this was how the promise was stated: "At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son."[c]

10Not only that, but Rebekah's children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. 11Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God's purpose in election might stand: 12not by works but by him who calls—she was told, "The older will serve the younger."[d] 13Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."[e]

14What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15For he says to Moses,
"I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."[f] 16It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. 17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."[g] 18Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.


This doctrine is very humbling and it is very beautiful if you really think about it. The thought that God would save anyone is remarkable. We as followers of Christ can go on with confidence that God's word will bring people to faith and not any kind of program or persuasion. I would rather know for sure that it was the Word of God that changed the heart, rather than my ability to "woo" them into some kind of feeling or sensation that won't endure the storms of this life. We have a great privilege to be a part of sharing in the redemption of those who are foreknown, predestined, called, justified, and glorified. We are saved by grace, through faith, because of Christ alone. All the glory goes to God alone. Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Solus Christus, Soli Deo Gloria.

Chris
www.Reform-Shire.blogspot.com
Coram Deo!!!

Join us for the 2008 series "Christless Christianity"
Election Coverage

Hello and welcome to another edition of the White Horse Inn. In this program we are intentionally - we are being right up front about it - we are using the old technique known as "bait and switch." Election is our subject and it's not the election that you are, like the rest of us preoccupied with at this time of the year, it is God's election. We are used to electing our monarchs, but when we talk about how God has saved us - salvation is of the Lord. It's a very different kind of picture.
Click here to read the rest of this week's commentary

Listen Now: "Election Coverage"

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RELATED ARTICLES
Is God Unfair?
by J. I. Packer

Grace, How Strange the Sound
by Michael Horton

The Canons of the Synod of Dordt (Reformed)

The Book of Concord on Election (Lutheran)






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Friday, October 31, 2008

Time Sensitive: Christless Christianity update

Hello friends,
Today is an important live webchat and the introduction of a book that is very timely. I have visited the Christian Bible Colleges and sat in on some classes. I have also visited the churches these colleges have planted. Either recently or in the past. Much of the preaching has departed from the Gospel and Christ Centered preaching for something that has been deemed "moralistic, therapeutic, deism. It is time to call all denominations, all congregations, all pastors, all Sunday school teachers, all bible study leaders, back to what Paul passed along to Timothy.



Paul's Charge to Timothy
2 Timothy 3:10-17
10You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 4:1-3 (NIV)

1In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.



What kind of preaching did Paul do?

1 Corinthians 2:1-4

1When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.[a] 2For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, 5so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.

A little bit about Paul's conversion and his being compelled to only preach what was given to him by God. This is what he was passing on to Timothy and to charge to Timothy to continue preaching the word even when everyone else is following what they think is the right way to go and they see such a "positive response" from the people. But, it isn't the Gospel, and it isn't Christ Centered. It is Christless Christianity.

This causes me to have a heavy heart at times, but I know that we are blessed that there are brothers in Christ out there that are contending for the faith. The same charge that was given to Timothy is what has been handed down throughout church history. And we are blessed to be a part of passing it on.

I will be watching this webcast today. I have posted a question to Mike Horton and I hope to see him answer. I'll let you know how it goes.

Grace and Peace,

Chris
www.Reform-Shire.blogspot.com
Coram Deo!!!

Dear Listeners and Supporters of the White Horse Inn,

I'm writing you today because I want to give you the latest information regarding the launch of my new book Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church. It's hard to believe October is already almost over, and the 50% off promotion will end this Friday, October 31st. For those of you who have already purchased this book and have told your friends and family, thank you so much.

I hope you will be as excited as I am to learn that the books are already shipping, and according to Amazon's statistics this has been my best book launch yet! If you've been thinking about getting this book, then don't miss your chance to order it direct from Amazon at a good low price, or through our preferred partner for only $9.99! I'm hoping you'll agree; there has never been a better time to act. With your generous support of this book we can expose the problem of "Christless Christianity" and give this subject matter main stream attention.

Now, as I wrote to you earlier this month the grand finale will be a live web chat with me on October 31st at 1:00 P.M. EASTERN hosted by The Washington Post. I thought that you would be interested to know that The Washington Post informed us that they have never received this many questions in advance, and they were "impressed!" One thing's for sure: based on the questions we have received thus far the web chat should prove to be interesting. I hope you will want to be a part of this. You can help make our first web event a success. Please take a moment now and post a question. If you would like, you can read the first chapter of the book here.

How many times have you said to yourself "What else can I do to help?" Well, here's how!


This is all possible because of you - THANK YOU! Please continue to partner with White Horse Inn as we remain steadfast in our mission to inform and persuade Christians to embrace Reformation theology, effectively helping Christians to "know what they believe and why they believe it." Thank you for caring so very much.

In Christ,
Michael Horton


Friday, October 24, 2008

The OnStar Study Bible

For those who have a great sense of humor. My side aches from laughing while visiting a website called "The Sacred Sandwich". I also have this site listed on the side-bar.

Enjoy!!!

The OnStar Study Bible

Posted on 22 October 2008


Grace and Peace.... and Joy!
Chris

www.Reform-Shire.blogspot.com
Coram Deo!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

DG Taste & See: The Strange Task of Witnessing About Light

A friend shared this with me, so I'm going to post it on the blog.  I'm grateful for the blessing of sharing the light and the preciousness of the Gospel message.  It is a treasure to be held up like a torch for everyone to see.  Our witness can be used by God to open their spiritual eyes.

Grace and Peace, 
Chris
www.Reform-Shire.blogspot.com
Coram Deo!!!



The Strange Task of Witnessing About Light

October 15, 2008
By John Piper
Read this article on our website.
Witnessing about light is a strange task if your aim is for people to see the light and believe in the light. Light illumines by itself. When you want someone to see a light, you don't witness about the light, but you hold up the light. If you have a torch in your hand, and you want someone to see the torch, you don't say, "This is a torch." You hold up the torch.
But John 1:7 says that John the Baptist "came as a witness, to bear witness about the light." So as strange as this task is, that was John's mission. And it is ours too.
So what do we learn about our task when it is described as witnessing to the light?
1. We learn that Christ, the Light of the world (John 8:12), shines not like a physical torch before the physical eye, but like a spiritual glory before the spiritual eye. This is why Jesus said, "Seeing they do not see" (Matthew 13:13). And it is why Paul prayed in Ephesians 1:18, that you would have "the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you." There is a seeing that we do with "the eyes of the heart," not merely with the eyes of the head.
2. We learn that the light of Christ, this spiritual glory which we see with the eyes of the heart, shines mainly through the gospel. That is, it shines mainly through the witness of human beings about what Jesus accomplished when he died and rose again. This is strange. Light shines through words. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:4-6,
The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seein g the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. . . . God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
The glory of Christ is his light. This glory, Paul says, shines as "the light of the gospel." That means it shines through a witness. When we witness to what Christ achieved for us in dying, we are "witnessing about the light." That is how the light of Christ shines in this world. Deeds of love are crucial in this shining (Matthew 5:14-16). But deeds alone cannot witness effectually to the greatest glory of Christ, namely, his achievement on the cross. That light shines through the gospel in the mouths of witnesses.
3. We learn that people need to have the eyes of their hearts opened to see the light of Christ in the gospel. Jesus said to Paul when he sent him to witness to the light, "I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins" (Acts 26:17-18).
God does this eye-opening work through human witnesses. Luke tells us that the way Lydia saw the light was that "the Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul" (Acts 16:14). Paul witnessed. God opened her heart. So Paul prays that this would happen: "I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that [you would have] the eyes of your hearts enlightened" (Ephesians 1:16-18). God's answer to that prayer is described in 2 Corinthians 4:6: "[God] has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."
So we witness about the light, even though we know that people are blind to this light. But that does not daunt us, because we know that God's eye-opening power accompanies the witness about his Son.
4. We learn that the miracle of spiritual sight through the gospel happens when witnesses tell blind people to look at Christ and then describe what they will see when they look there. There is a mental analogy to this spiritual reality. Consider a typical optical illusion like this one:
Optical illusion that can be both a pictures of a sax player or a lady.
Suppose someone only sees one picture in this illustration. They are "blind" to the other. Then you "witness" to them: "Look at this, there are two pictures: a girl's face and a man playing a saxophone. That very witness opens their eyes to both pictures.
It's only an analogy, because in the spir itual realm the process is not merely mental or natural. It is spiritual and supernatural. But we can get some idea of how it is possible to be spiritually blind and yet God can use a witness to open our eyes.
Therefore, don't let the strangeness of witnessing about light stop you. It is gloriously strange. It is strange in a way that gives us hope that we really can help the blind to see. It is strange in a way that will get all the glory for God—both in the gospel itself and in the way people see the glory of Christ in it.
Seeing and speaking about the Light with you,
Pastor John


Monday, October 13, 2008

The Gospel of Thy Grace Part A and B

Here is a wonderful presentation or message about the Gospel. I have been challenging our church about this for years and it is very refreshing and reaffirming to hear Alistair Begg stating the importance of preaching the Gospel on a regular basis. It is a mistake to assume that the Gospel message is basic, and only for presenting to non-believers when evangelizing those who are outside the church. But, the Gospel is for all people at all stages of faith. It is what brings people to faith and it is what keeps us examining ourselves to see if we are in the faith and motivates us to do good works and to reach out to our brothers. It also reminds us that the Good Samaritan in the parable about the Good Samaritan is Jesus Christ Himself. He is the only one who has ever loved their neighbor and has loved God with all His heart, soul, mind and strength. We are indeed saved by works... but not our works. It is the works of Christ, doing the will of the Father, and doing His will perfectly. Please listen to these two messages. And if you feel compelled listen to the next ones because they are good as well. Let me know what you think.


The Gospel of Thy Grace Part A

Wednesday, October 08, 2008
The Bible tells us that all of Scripture has been given for teaching and correcting, but have you ever felt that some of it was not for you? The Gospel is one of these misunderstood elements. If you've thought that the Gospel is just for unbelievers, tune in for Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.
Series: The Enduring Word
1 Peter 1:25b










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The Gospel of Thy Grace Part B


Thursday, October 09, 2008
We've been studying a verse in 1 Peter that started with a pretty bleak picture: our lives are as ephemeral as grass. This study introduces us to the Word of God, which is eternal. Join us on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg as we meld these two elements into a rescue story that involves you.








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Grace and Peace,
Chris Allen

Coram Deo!!!